The classic Halloween video with Bob Hope in "The Ghost Breakers"
And coming to a theater near you:
It is increasingly clear that pressure is mounting on many of my supporters to shift their support. Consequently, I hereby release those individuals who have endorsed and supported my campaign to transfer their support as they see fit to do so. I am and have always been a proud Republican. It is my hope that with my actions today, my Party will emerge stronger and our District and our nation can take an important step towards restoring the enduring strength and economic prosperity that has defined us for generations.
On Election Day my name will appear on the ballot, but victory is unlikely. To those who support me – and to those who choose not to – I offer my sincerest thanks.
SCOZZAFAVA SUSPENDS 23RD CAMPAIGNScozzafava didn't have to make this statement today. It was an act of sacrifice more than it was an acknowledgement of reality. She should be commended for doing so.
SIENA POLL SUGGESTS REPUBLICAN CAN'T WIN
By JUDE SEYMOUR
Watertown Daily TimesSATURDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2009
Dede Scozzafava, the Republican and Independence parties candidate, announced Saturday that she is suspending her campaign for the 23rd Congressional District and releasing all her supporters.
The state Assemblywoman has not thrown her support to either Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate, or Bill Owens, the Democratic candidate.
"Today, I again seek to act for the good of our community," Ms. Scozzafava wrote in a letter to friends and supporters. "It is increasingly clear that pressure is mounting on many of my supporters to shift their support. Consequently, I hereby release those individuals who have endorsed and supported my campaign to transfer their support as they see fit to do so. I am and have always been a proud Republican. It is my hope that with my actions today, my party will emerge stronger and our district and our nation can take an important step towards restoring the enduring strength and economic prosperity that has defined us for generations."
Ms. Scozzafava told the Watertown Daily Times that Siena Research Institute poll numbers show her too far behind to catch up - and she lacks enough money to spend on advertising in the last three days to make a difference. Mr. Owens has support from 36 percent of likely voters in the poll, with Mr. Hoffman garnering 35 percent support. Ms. Scozzafava has support from 20 percent of those polled.
The Gouverneur resident said she thinks she will receive more than 20 percent of the vote, based on several factors, including her performance during a Thursday debate.
See the Watertown Daily Times' "All Politics is Local" blog to read Ms. Scozzafava's complete statement or for more information on today's Siena poll.
Even Good ole Rev. Jeremiah "God DAMN America" Wright got a visit. Even after disrespecting Obama during last year's campaign.
If you ever wondered why Obama appointed so many raving radicals to important positions in the White House, this list makes it clear: That's the only kind of people this man knows and cares to associate with.
LIZ CHENEY:"I think that what President Bush used to do is do it without the cameras. And I don't understand sort of showing up with the White House Press Pool with photographers and asking family members if you can take pictures. That's really hard for me to get my head around...It was a surprising way for the president to choose to do this."
According to a preliminary CBO estimate of the bill released Thursday, the cost of expanding coverage to an additional 36 million Americans under the House plan would total $1.055 trillion over the next decade, counting tax breaks for small businesses, subsidies for low- and moderate-income families and the largest expansion of Medicaid since its inception 40 years ago. Add a variety of other costs outside the coverage package -- including the creation of a new innovations center to reform Medicaid and Medicare -- and the total cost of the bill rises to nearly $1.28 trillion, according to calculations by other Democratic aides.Pelosi and House Democrat leaders are trying to push the fiction that this won't be a budget busting bill but members of her own party are not buying it. The famous Blue Dogs are rebelling again and demanding answers from the CBO on how much the bill will actually cost after all the smoke and mirrors are gone. As we all know, government programs typically cost far more than they are projected to.
What's come from Obama holding his tongue while Iranian demonstrators were being shot and from his recognizing the legitimacy of a thug regime illegitimately returned to power in a fraudulent election? Iran cracks down even more mercilessly on the opposition and races ahead with its nuclear program.Yes, we even trashed politically difficult agreements with our Polish and Czech allies hoping for Russian help with Iran and we got nothing. It's actually worse than nothing. We're back to square one with Iran and we've squandered what little diplomatic and political capital we have while at the same time giving Iran's rogue regime legitimacy through high profile negotiations in Geneva.
What's come from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton taking human rights off the table on a visit to China and from Obama's shameful refusal to see the Dalai Lama (a postponement, we are told)? China hasn't moved an inch on North Korea, Iran or human rights. Indeed, it's pushing with Russia to dethrone the dollar as the world's reserve currency.
What's come from the new-respect-for-Muslims Cairo speech and the unprecedented pressure on Israel for a total settlement freeze? "The settlement push backfired," reports The Post, and Arab-Israeli peace prospects have "arguably regressed."
And what's come from Obama's single most dramatic foreign policy stroke -- the sudden abrogation of missile defense arrangements with Poland and the Czech Republic that Russia had virulently opposed? For the East Europeans it was a crushing blow, a gratuitous restoration of Russian influence over a region that thought it had regained independence under American protection.
But maybe not gratuitous. Surely we got something in return for selling out our friends. Some brilliant secret trade-off to get strong Russian support for stopping Iran from going nuclear before it's too late? Just wait and see, said administration officials, who then gleefully played up an oblique statement by President Dmitry Medvedev a week later as vindication of the missile defense betrayal.
The Russian statement was so equivocal that such a claim seemed a ridiculous stretch at the time. Well, Clinton went to Moscow this week to nail down the deal. What did she get?
"Russia Not Budging on Iran Sanctions; Clinton Unable to Sway Counterpart." Such was The Post headline's succinct summary of the debacle.
Note how thoroughly Clinton was rebuffed. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov declared that "threats, sanctions and threats of pressure" are "counterproductive." Note: It's not just sanctions that are worse than useless, but even the threat of mere pressure.
"We've got to think about giving out cookies," said Gration, who wasMeanwhile, the Iranians proceed on their way to building an atomic bomb and the kiddies running the White House take a break from bashing Fox News and send Iran's Ahmadinejad cookies and smiley faces!
appointed in March. "Kids, countries, they react to gold stars, smiley faces,
handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement."!
Stimulus jobs overstated by thousands
By BRETT J. BLACKLEDGE and MATT APUZZO
WASHINGTON (AP) - An early progress report on President Barack Obama's economic recovery plan overstates by thousands the number of jobs created or saved through the stimulus program, a mistake that White House officials promise will be corrected in future reports.
The government's first accounting of jobs tied to the $787 billion stimulus program claimed more than 30,000 positions paid for with recovery money. But that figure is overstated by least 5,000 jobs, according to an Associated Press review of a sample of stimulus contracts.
The AP review found some counts were more than 10 times as high as the actual number of jobs; some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two and sometimes more than four times; and other jobs were credited to stimulus spending when none was produced.
- A company working with the Federal Communications Commission reported that stimulus money paid for 4,231 jobs, when about 1,000 were produced.
- A Georgia community college reported creating 280 jobs with recovery money, but none was created from stimulus spending.
- A Florida child care center said its stimulus money saved 129 jobs but used the money on raises for existing employees.
There's no evidence the White House sought to inflate job numbers in the report. But administration officials seized on the 30,000 figure as evidence that the stimulus program was on its way toward fulfilling the president's promise of creating or saving 3.5 million jobs by the end of next year.
The reporting problem could be magnified Friday when a much larger round of reports is expected to show hundreds of thousands of jobs repairing public housing, building schools, repaving highways and keeping teachers on local payrolls.
Here are some of the findings:
- Colorado-based Teletech Government Solutions on a $28.3 million contract with the Federal Communications Commission for creation of a call center, reported creating 4,231 jobs, although 3,000 of those workers were paid for five weeks or less.
"We all felt it was an appropriate way to represent the data at the time" and the reporting error has been corrected, said company president Mariano Tan.
- The Toledo, Ohio-based Koring Group received two FCC contracts, again for call centers. It reported hiring 26 people for each contract, or a total of 52 jobs, but cited the same workers for both contracts. The jobs only lasted about two months.
The FCC spotted the problem. The company's owner, Steve Holland, acknowledged the actual job count is closer to five and blamed the problem on confusion about the reporting.
The AP's review identified nearly 600 contracts claiming stimulus money for more than 2,700 jobs that appear to have similar duplicated counts.
Full text of the speech
Reagan successfully battled back the forces of socialist progressivism in his time but the virus is a tough one to shake. It has now come back full force and with no Reagan on the horizon to put the genie back in the bottle.
Excerpts from "A Time for Choosing"...No nation in history has ever survived a tax burden that reached a third of its national income. Today, 37 cents out of every dollar earned in this country is the tax collector's share, and yet our government continues to spend 17 million dollars a day more than the government takes in. We haven't balanced our budget 28 out of the last 34 years. We've raised our debt limit three times in the last twelve months, and now our national debt is one and a half times bigger than all the combined debts of all the nations of the world.
By Ronald Reagan
Broadcast October 27, 1964
There can be no real peace while one American is dying some place in the world for the rest of us. We're at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars, and it's been said if we lose that war, and in so doing lose this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening. Well I think it's time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that were intended for us by the Founding Fathers.
Not too long ago, two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, "We don't know how lucky we are." And the Cuban stopped and said, "How lucky you are? I had someplace to escape to." And in that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.
This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.
You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I'd like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There's only an up or down—[up] man's old—old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.
In this vote-harvesting time, they use terms like the "Great Society," or as we were told a few days ago by the President, we must accept a greater government activity in the affairs of the people.But they've been a little more explicit in the past and among themselves; and all of the things I now will quote have appeared in print. These are not Republican accusations. For example, they have voices that say, "The cold war will end through our acceptance of a not undemocratic socialism." Another voice says, "The profit motive has become outmoded. It must be replaced by the incentives of the welfare state." Or, "Our traditional system of individual freedom is incapable of solving the complex problems of the 20th century." Senator Fullbright has said at Stanford University that the Constitution is outmoded. He referred to the President as "our moral teacher and our leader," and he says he is "hobbled in his task by the restrictions of power imposed on him by this antiquated document." He must "be freed," so that he "can do for us" what he knows "is best." And Senator Clark of Pennsylvania, another articulate spokesman, defines liberalism as "meeting the material needs of the masses through the full power of centralized government."
Meanwhile, back in the city, under urban renewal the assault on freedom carries on. Private property rights [are] so diluted that public interest is almost anything a few government planners decide it should be. In a program that takes from the needy and gives to the greedy, we see such spectacles as in Cleveland, Ohio, a million-and-a-half-dollar building completed only three years ago must be destroyed to make way for what government officials call a "more compatible use of the land."
Welfare spending [is] 10 times greater than in the dark depths of the Depression. We're spending 45 billion dollars on welfare. Now do a little arithmetic, and you'll find that if we divided the 45 billion dollars up equally among those 9 million poor families, we'd be able to give each family 4,600 dollars a year. And this added to their present income should eliminate poverty. Direct aid to the poor, however, is only running only about 600 dollars per family. It would seem that someplace there must be some overhead.
Now—so now we declare "war on poverty," or "You, too, can be a Bobby Baker." Now do they honestly expect us to believe that if we add 1 billion dollars to the 45 billion we're spending, one more program to the 30-odd we have—and remember, this new program doesn't replace any, it just duplicates existing programs—do they believe that poverty is suddenly going to disappear by magic? Well, in all fairness I should explain there is one part of the new program that isn't duplicated. This is the youth feature. We're now going to solve the dropout problem, juvenile delinquency, by reinstituting something like the old CCC camps [Civilian Conservation Corps], and we're going to put our young people in these camps. But again we do some arithmetic, and we find that we're going to spend each year just on room and board for each young person we help 4,700 dollars a year. We can send them to Harvard for 2,700! Course, don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting Harvard is the answer to juvenile delinquency.
Yet anytime you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we're denounced as being against their humanitarian goals. They say we're always "against" things—we're never "for" anything.
Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.
Now—we're for a provision that destitution should not follow unemployment by reason of old age, and to that end we've accepted Social Security as a step toward meeting the problem.
But we're against those entrusted with this program when they practice deception regarding its fiscal shortcomings, when they charge that any criticism of the program means that we want to end payments to those people who depend on them for a livelihood. They've called it "insurance" to us in a hundred million pieces of literature. But then they appeared before the Supreme Court and they testified it was a welfare program. They only use the term "insurance" to sell it to the people. And they said Social Security dues are a tax for the general use of the government, and the government has used that tax. There is no fund, because Robert Byers, the actuarial head, appeared before a congressional committee and admitted that Social Security as of this moment is 298 billion dollars in the hole. But he said there should be no cause for worry because as long as they have the power to tax, they could always take away from the people whatever they needed to bail them out of trouble. And they're doing just that.
A young man, 21 years of age, working at an average salary—his Social Security contribution would, in the open market, buy him an insurance policy that would guarantee 220 dollars a month at age 65. The government promises 127. He could live it up until he's 31 and then take out a policy that would pay more than Social Security. Now are we so lacking in business sense that we can't put this program on a sound basis, so that people who do require those payments will find they can get them when they're due—that the cupboard isn't bare?
I think we're for an international organization, where the nations of the world can seek peace. But I think we're against subordinating American interests to an organization that has become so structurally unsound that today you can muster a two-thirds vote on the floor of the General Assembly among nations that represent less than 10 percent of the world's population. I think we're against the hypocrisy of assailing our allies because here and there they cling to a colony, while we engage in a conspiracy of silence and never open our mouths about the millions of people enslaved in the Soviet colonies in the satellite nations.
No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. So governments' programs, once launched, never disappear.
Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth.
Federal employees—federal employees number two and a half million; and federal, state, and local, one out of six of the nation's work force employed by government. These proliferating bureaus with their thousands of regulations have cost us many of our constitutional safeguards. How many of us realize that today federal agents can invade a man's property without a warrant? They can impose a fine without a formal hearing, let alone a trial by jury? And they can seize and sell his property at auction to enforce the payment of that fine. In Chico County, Arkansas, James Wier over-planted his rice allotment. The government obtained a 17,000 dollar judgment. And a U.S. marshal sold his 960-acre farm at auction. The government said it was necessary as a warning to others to make the system work.
back in 1936, Mr. Democrat himself, Al Smith, the great American, came before the American people and charged that the leadership of his Party was taking the Party of Jefferson, Jackson, and Cleveland down the road under the banners of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin. And he walked away from his Party, and he never returned til the day he died—because to this day, the leadership of that Party has been taking that Party, that honorable Party, down the road in the image of the labor Socialist Party of England.
Now it doesn't require expropriation or confiscation of private property or business to impose socialism on a people. What does it mean whether you hold the deed to the—or the title to your business or property if the government holds the power of life and death over that business or property? And such machinery already exists. The government can find some charge to bring against any concern it chooses to prosecute. Every businessman has his own tale of harassment. Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, unalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment.
Our Democratic opponents seem unwilling to debate these issues. They want to make you and I believe that this is a contest between two men—that we're to choose just between two personalities.
Those who would trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state have told us they have a utopian solution of peace without victory. They call their policy "accommodation." And they say if we'll only avoid any direct confrontation with the enemy, he'll forget his evil ways and learn to love us. All who oppose them are indicted as warmongers. They say we offer simple answers to complex problems. Well, perhaps there is a simple answer—not an easy answer—but simple: If you and I have the courage to tell our elected officials that we want our national policy based on what we know in our hearts is morally right.
We cannot buy our security, our freedom from the threat of the bomb by committing an immorality so great as saying to a billion human beings now enslaved behind the Iron Curtain, "Give up your dreams of freedom because to save our own skins, we're willing to make a deal with your slave masters." Alexander Hamilton said, "A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one." Now let's set the record straight. There's no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there's only one guaranteed way you can have peace—and you can have it in the next second—surrender.
Admittedly, there's a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson of history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face—that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight or surrender.
You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin—just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard 'round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn't die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well it's a simple answer after all.
You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, "There is a price we will not pay." "There is a point beyond which they must not advance." And this—this is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater's "peace through strength." Winston Churchill said, "The destiny of man is not measured by material computations. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we're spirits—not animals." And he said, "There's something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.
We'll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.
The WellPoint RevelationIf you would like to read a detailed analysis of the rising costs in the 14 states Wellpoint studied, you may read more here.
Private insurance premiums could triple under ObamaCare.
Wall Street Journal
OCTOBER 28, 2009
Washington is captivated by the Senate melodrama over the so-called public option, salivating at the ring of Harry Reid's political bell (see below). But the most important health-care questions continue to be about the policy substance—particularly those that Democrats don't want asked.
Foremost among them is: How will ObamaCare affect insurance premiums in the private health-care markets? Despite indignant Democratic denials, the near-certainty is that their plan will cause costs to rise across the board. The latest data on this score come from a series of state-level studies from the insurance company WellPoint Inc.
At the request of Congressional delegations worried about their constituents—call it a public service—WellPoint mined its own actuarial data to model ObamaCare in the 14 states where it runs Blue Cross plans. The study therefore takes into account market and demographic differences that other industry studies have not, such as the one from the trade group America's Health Insurance Plans, which looked at aggregate national trends.
In all of the 14 states WellPoint scrutinized, ObamaCare would drive up premiums for the small businesses and individuals who are most of WellPoint's customers.
the Wellpoint study is its detailed rigor. Take Ohio, where a young, healthy 25-year-old living in Columbus can purchase insurance from WellPoint today for about $52 per month in the individual market. WellPoint's actuaries calculate the bill will rise to $79 because Democrats are going to require it to issue policies to anyone who applies, even if they've waited until they're sick to buy insurance. Then they'll also require the company to charge everyone nearly the same rate, bringing the premium to $134. Add in an extra $17, since Democrats will require higher benefit levels, and a share of the new health industry taxes ($6), and monthly premiums have risen to $157, a 199% boost.
Meanwhile, a 40-year-old husband and wife with two kids would see their premiums jump by 122%—to $737 from $332—while a small business with eight employees in Franklin County would see premiums climb by 86%. It's true that the family or the individual might qualify for subsidies if their incomes are low enough, but the business wouldn't qualify under the Senate Finance bill WellPoint examined. And even if there are subsidies, the new costs the bill creates don't vaporize. They're merely transferred to taxpayers nationwide—or financed with deficits, which will be financed eventually with higher taxes.
The story is largely the same from state to state, though the increases are smaller in the few states that have already adopted the same mandates and regulations that Democrats want to impose on all states. For the average small employer in high-cost New York, for instance, premiums would only rise by 6%. But they'd shoot up by 94% for the same employer in Indianapolis, 91% in St. Louis and 53% in Milwaukee.
A family of four with average health in those same cities would all face cost increases of 122% buying insurance on the individual market. And it's important to understand that these are merely the new costs created by ObamaCare—not including the natural increases in medical costs over time from new therapies and the like.
America Moving from Kingdom of Cash to Socialism Slowly but SurelyYeah, that's right. The world would be such a better place if we returned to the feudal system where the great mass of mankind were treated as the slaves to a handful of rich aristocrats!
October 19, 2009
Obama’s decision not to build the Missile Defense System in Poland and the Czech Republic and his Noble Prize have not yet been comprehended from a philosophical viewpoint. It’s time to do it.
The last turning point similar to the current one happened approximately 400 years ago. The Western European society discovered a new hierarchy of values. Feudalism that valued service and chivalry was replaced with capitalism. Wealth became the measure of success, and everyone was to care about his own pocket only. The cult of money replaced all other values, including religious.
What does Obama’s decision not to build the Eastern European Missile Defense System have to do with all of this? Well, it means that it’s not capitalism that’s undergoing the crisis, but the belief in its high efficiency. And this, in turn, means that America, the bulwark of capitalism, is no longer the boss of the world. And if it’s not the boss any more, it has to be friends with everybody, including Russia. And it’s America’s turn to offer Russia to push the reset button. Or maybe it’s just tired of imposing its rules on others and felt that friendship is more valuable than money and power? If this is the case, we will soon witness another turning point in the world history.
The marathon joker and Nobel laureate!Get your Barack the Joker Mask here.
What else do you expect in the age of the Obama Thugocracy!
The U.S. Department of Labor has formally rescinded a series of reporting changes designed to enhance union disclosure.
The aim of these rule changes is to weaken union oversight requirements - a trend this Administration started with its FY 2010 budget, which cut $4.4 million from the Office of Labor Management Standards, more than a 10 percent reduction in its overall budget. Judging by the profligate spending this Administration has applied to nearly every other department - giving the federal budget a nearly 10 percent boost in spending, cutting union oversight seems an odd place to “save money” - unless reducing transparency, and not saving money, were their aims.
Part of the transparency roll back for union bosses includes the following items that the Labor Department will no longer require of unions:
•Disclose the total value of benefits received by union officers and employees;
•Disclose the names of parties buying and selling union assets; or
•Itemize union receipts
Federal labor law is intended to ensure that rank-and-file union members have a full, equal, and democratic voice in union affairs. Armed with knowledge, union members will have better tools to elect leaders who work in their best interest — and to hold accountable union officials who serve their own interests.
"We gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics." --Barack Hussein Obama, January 20, 2009Those words contrast with the ones he spoke on the campaign trail in Philadelphia in June 2008:
“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun...Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.” -- Barack Hussein Obama, June 13, 2008Words, words and more words. But look at Obama's actions to see who the man really is:
The Chicago WayDid you notice Valerie Jarret's warning that CEO's might need to "seek better protection?" Do you get the feeling that we are living back in Chicago in the 1920's?
The Chamber of Commerce is only the latest target of the Chicago Gang in the White House.
By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL
Wall Street Journal
OCTOBER 22, 2009,
"They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way. "–Jim Malone, "The Untouchables"
When Barack Obama promised to deliver "a new kind of politics" to Washington, most folk didn't picture Rahm Emanuel with a baseball bat. These days, the capital would make David Mamet, who wrote Malone's memorable movie dialogue, proud.
In recent weeks the Windy City gang added a new name to their list of societal offenders: the Chamber of Commerce. For the cheek of disagreeing with Democrats on climate and financial regulation, it was reported the Oval Office will neuter the business lobby. Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett slammed the outfit as "old school," and warned CEOs they'd be wise to seek better protection.
The Chamber can at least take comfort in crowds. Who isn't on the business end of the White House's sawed-off shotgun? First up were Chrysler bondholders who—upon balking at a White House deal that rewarded only unions—were privately threatened and then publicly excoriated by the president.
Next, every pharmaceutical, hospital and insurance executive in the nation was held out as a prime obstacle to health-care nirvana. And that was their reward for cooperating. When Humana warned customers about cuts to Medicare under "reform," the White House didn't bother to complain. They went straight for the gag order. When the insurance industry criticized the Baucus health bill, the response was this week's bill to strip them of their federal antitrust immunity. ("I want you to find this nancy-boy . . . I want him dead! I want his family dead! I want his house burned to the ground!")
This summer Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl criticized stimulus dollars. Obama cabinet secretaries sent letters to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. One read: "if you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to the state, as Senator Kyl suggests," let us know. The Arizona Republic wrote: "Let's not mince words here: The White House is intent on shutting Kyl up . . . using whatever means necessary." When Sens. Robert Bennett and Lamar Alexander took issue with the administration's czars, the White House singled them out, by name, on its blog. Sen. Alexander was annoyed enough to take to the floor this week to warn the White House off an "enemies list."
"Most analysts predict that the fiscal stimulus will have its greatest impact on growth in the second and third quarters of 2009.By mid-2010, fiscal stimulus will likely be contributing little to growth."So, we spent a trillion taxpayer dollars and exploded the deficit only to lose 2.7 million jobs? It gets worse. Romer concluded:
"We enter the fourth quarter of 2009 with the unemployment rate nearing 10 percent and likely to remain severely elevated."In the video posted at right you can hear the incredulity expressed by the panel of the Fox News program Special Report. No wonder the White House wants to silence Fox News!
His problem isn't what George W. Bush left but what he himself has done. It is a problem of political judgment, of putting forward bills that were deeply flawed or off-point. Bailouts, the stimulus package, cap-and-trade; turning to health care at the exact moment in history when his countrymen were turning their concerns to the economy, joblessness, debt and deficits—all of these reflect a misreading of the political terrain.
At some point, you own your presidency. At some point it's your rubble. At some point the American people tell you it's yours. The polls now, with the presidential approval numbers going down and the disapproval numbers going up: That's the American people telling him.
Obama vs. The President He Said He'd Be
By Tom Bevan
Real Clear Politics
October 23, 2009
During the campaign Barack Obama vowed he would be a different kind of leader who would move America beyond the "smallness of our politics." That inspired promise was not an insignificant part of why he was elected last November.
In his inaugural address Obama told us that "the time has come to set aside childish things." He promised to bring "an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics."
Not only has President Obama failed to live up to those promises so far, it appears that on more than a number of occasions he’s made a conscious decision to break them.
Americans understand it's not easy governing a country as divided as ours. It takes hard work to find common ground in a system that’s been increasingly polarized, and it takes political courage for a President to buck the interests of the base of his party when necessary. More than anything else, achieving real bipartisanship requires a good faith effort led by the President that genuinely seeks compromise with the opposition without demonizing, dismissing, or demeaning them.
Voters expect politicians to say one thing and do another. But Obama took the public’s cynicism and turned it to his advantage by vowing he would be a different kind of leader. So far, however, he is falling well short of his promises, using tactics and rhetoric that not only drive Americans apart but hurt him politically. It's time for Obama start acting like the President he told us he’d be.
You have literally got into a situation, is there another way you can do this? And the president is asking the questions that have never been asked on the civilian side, the political side, the military side, and the strategic side. What is the impact on the region? What can the Afghan government do or not do? Where are we on the police training? Who would be better doing the police training? Could that be something the Europeans do? Should we take the military side? Those are the questions that have not been asked. And before you commit troops, which is -- not irreversible, but puts you down a certain path -- before you make that decision, there's a set of questions that have to have answers that have never been asked. And it's clear after eight years of war, that's basically starting from the beginning, and those questions never got asked.Amazing. As if no one will realize what a pack of lies that is.
And what I find interesting and just intriguing from this debate in Washington, is that a lot of people who all of a sudden say, this is now the epicenter of the war on terror, you must do this now, immediately approve what the general said -- where, before, it never even got on the radar screen for them. That -- everything was always about Iraq.
CHENEY: Recently, President Obama’s advisors have decided that it’s easier to blame the Bush Administration than support our troops. This weekend they leveled a charge that cannot go unanswered. The President’s chief of staff claimed that the Bush Administration hadn’t asked any tough questions about Afghanistan, and he complained that the Obama Administration had to start from scratch to put together a strategy.
In the fall of 2008, fully aware of the need to meet new challenges being posed by the Taliban, we dug into every aspect of Afghanistan policy, assembling a team that repeatedly went into the country, reviewing options and recommendations, and briefing President-elect Obama’s team. They asked us not to announce our findings publicly, and we agreed, giving them the benefit of our work and the benefit of the doubt. The new strategy they embraced in March, with a focus on counterinsurgency and an increase in the numbers of troops, bears a striking resemblance to the strategy we passed to them. They made a decision – a good one, I think – and sent a commander into the field to implement it.
Now they seem to be pulling back and blaming others for their failure to implement the strategy they embraced. It’s time for President Obama to do what it takes to win a war he has repeatedly and rightly called a war of necessity.
There are policy differences, and then there are affronts that have to be answered every time without equivocation, and this is one of them. We cannot protect this country by putting politics over security, and turning the guns on our own guys.
We cannot hope to win a war by talking down our country and those who do its hardest work – the men and women of our military and intelligence services. They are, after all, the true keepers of the flame.
With such a poor record of performance on jobs, what makes people think Democrats can deliver on their promises for health care?7 Months After Stimulus 49 of 50 States Have Lost Jobs
America Now Over 6 Million Jobs Shy of Administration's Projections
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The table below compares the White House's February 2009 projection of the number of jobs that would be created by the 2009 stimulus law (through the end of 2010) with the actual change in state payroll employment through September 2009 (the latest figures available). According to the data, 49 States and the District of Columbia have lost jobs since stimulus was enacted. Only North Dakota has seen net job creation following the February 2009 stimulus. While President Obama claimed the result of his stimulus bill would be the creation of 3.5 million jobs, the Nation has already lost a total of 2.7 million – a difference of 6.2 million jobs. To see how stimulus has failed your state, see the table below.
OBAMA: Senator McCain has continually made is that somehow my associations are troubling. Let me tell you who I associate with. On economic policy, I associate with Warren Buffett and former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker. If I'm interested in figuring out my foreign policy, I associate myself with my running mate, Joe Biden, or with Dick Lugar, the Republican ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, or General Jim Jones, the former supreme allied commander of NATO.Jim Jones is under wraps, Joe Biden still shoots his mouth off but Lugar, Buffett and Volker are nowhere to be found. Instead, we have a string of communists like Van Jones, Mao lovers like Anita Dunn and now Car Czar Ron Bloom:
Those are the people, Democrats and Republicans, who have shaped my ideas and who will be surrounding me in the White House.
"The free market is nonsense....This is largely about power....We kind of agree with Mao that political power comes from the barrel of a gun!"
Outside of a classroom, have you ever heard a more anti-capitalist, radical screed in your life?
And this is the guy Obama choose to help restore America's manufacturing sector?
Just How Many Radicals Are There in the White House?
Including Michelle and Barack, quite a few. The American Thinker has this roundup but I'd also include New Zeal's summary which includes Ron Bloom's quote from an article he wrote for Democrat's Left, the magazine of Democrat Socialists of America:
In today’s world the blather about free trade, free-markets and the joys of competition is nothing but pablum for the suckers.Some of our Democrat friends have said that these quotes citing Mao and other commies from histories horrors are nothing more than a philosophical discussion. The problem is that these quotes Obama officials so freely cite seem to be the guiding principles in their lives and shape how they develop and implement official government policy.
On June 22, 2007, at New Hampshire Community Technical College in Manchester, NH, then-Sen. Barack Obama said, "when I'm president, meetings where laws are written will be more open to the public. No more secrecy. That's a commitment I'm going to make to you as president. No more secrecy."Listen to the cheering Obamatons as Obama declared "no more secrecy." Are they even aware of what is going on now behind closed doors? Would they care? My guess is no on both counts.
If the Democrats' health care package is so great, why are President Obama and Dem congressional leaders so hungry to share the credit for its passage with a Republican?While it was laughable for Obama to point to the vote of one RINO from Maine and claim bipartisan support for his reforms it underscored the real problem which is Obama can't get unipartisan support from within his own party. It's a battle between the remaining moderates in the Democrat party and the liberals. The libs insist on a public option which will destroy the private health care industry and the moderates refuse to support any plan which does include such a government takeover.
It's not as if D.C. Dems are opposed to hogging the glory when a federal program is popular. So why did Obama feel the need to announce after the Senate Finance Committee passed a health care measure with the support of Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, that the measure "enjoys the support of people from both parties" -- when this one bill enjoyed the support of one lone-wolf Republican?
House, Senate Dems at odds on health care overhaulAll the while, Moveon.org and it's spawn are spitting poison at their own team from the sidelines:
By ERICA WERNER
The Associated Press
Sunday, October 18, 2009 1:55 AM
WASHINGTON -- You may think Democrats and Republicans are at odds over health care. Well, they've got nothing on House and Senate Democrats going after each other.
The intraparty disputes may prove the most grueling test of all as Congress tries to write a bill that fulfills President Barack Obama's goal of extending coverage to millions of Americans and reining in rising medical costs.
The disagreements extend well beyond whether or not to allow the government to sell insurance in competition with the private market, though fissures over the so-called public plan - preferred in the House, less so in the Senate - have drawn the most attention.
Some of the toughest fights loom over what requirements employers should have to shoulder to see that their workers are covered, and perhaps stickiest of all, how to make coverage affordable and pay for extending it to millions of uninsured.
Senators would tax high-value health insurance plans to pay for covering the uninsured, an approach supporters say would curb health costs because it would lead to employers offering less generous benefits. The more populist House would tax the highest-income people, placing the burden of caring for the neediest Americans on the backs of millionaires.
"I don't know how you split that difference," said Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. "It's not just about numbers. These are philosophical differences about how you pay for reform."
Any showdown between the House and Senate is a ways off, and will happen only if both succeed in passing their own health bills. Democratic leaders in both houses are working to finalize their legislation - a process that is itself fraught with difficulties - in time to hold floor debates within the next several weeks.
Presuming the House and Senate do pass bills, they will go to a conference committee made up of Democratic leaders and key committee chairs from both chambers. There, with plenty of input from the White House, the most powerful members of Congress will fight it out in private.
Lefty anger splits Dems -- and may sink them
By: Byron York
October 16, 2009
"Harry Reid abdicates his leadership role," reads the headline at the lefty Daily Kos Web site. "Why Joe Biden should resign," reads the headline at the Huffington Post. "Whiner in Chief," reads the headline at The Nation, referring to President Obama.
Self-styled progressives across the country are angry, not just at Obama, but at the rest of the Democratic power structure, as well. That anger is causing an ugly split inside the Washington Democratic world.
While Obama is taking hits, Democrats in Congress are getting it full force. "Reid is poison," one reader of Daily Kos writes of the Senate majority leader. "He has NO, NADA, NONE interest in any of the progressive parts of the president's agenda," another writes. "Traitorous little weasel," a third writes. "The same goes for Pelosi," writes yet another, of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It doesn't matter that the netroots activists dislike Republicans far more; the fact is, they're deeply unhappy with their own party -- the party led by what Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas calls "ineffective corporatist Dems."
There simply can't be that many people in pajamas. Mainstream, non-progressive, non-pajama Democrats are now decidedly unhappy with the performance of their leaders in Congress. The presence of unbeatable Democratic majorities -- 256 Democrats in the House and 60 in the Senate, backed up by a Democratic president -- has made rank-and-file Democrats less, rather than more, satisfied.
The problem for Obama, and for Reid and Pelosi, is that there is no one solution to the problem. Some of the unhappy Democrats are unhappy because they believe their leaders are moving too far to the center, while others are unhappy because they believe their leaders are moving too far to the Left.
Pakistan Launches Full-Scale OffensiveOne other interesting paragraph from this story bears mentioning:
30,000 Troops Deploy In Militant Stronghold
By Karin Brulliard
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, October 18, 2009
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Oct. 17 -- The Pakistani military launched a major ground offensive Saturday in the insurgent haven of South Waziristan, starting a much-awaited fight that could define the nation's increasingly bloody domestic struggle against Islamist extremism.
After months of targeting South Waziristan with aerial strikes, Pakistani troops stormed the region from three sides, backed by jets and helicopter gunships, military officials said. A senior military official said soldiers were targeting areas held by the Mehsud tribe and expected to battle as many as 10,000 Taliban insurgents, bolstered by about 2,000 "foreign fighters." The official did not specify their origins.
But a victory in South Waziristan would hardly end Pakistan's militant scourge. Islamist insurgents have carved out other strongholds, such as in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, U.S. officials and Pakistani analysts have said.
"Something like this has to be sustained and not only go through North and South Waziristan, but, to be effective, it's got to eliminate the spaces where militants are able to flee," Hoffman said. "For Pakistan, unfortunately, it's just a starting point."
Although the Bush administration began the drone attacks, President Obama has authorized a sharp increase in the missile launches. U.S. intelligence officials have said that the CIA-directed attacks -- more than 40 this year -- have killed at least a dozen insurgent leaders.Anyone remember this?
As I explained on my radio show, this spectacle is bigger than I am on several levels. There is a contempt in the news business, including the sportswriter community, for conservatives that reflects the blind hatred espoused by Messrs. Sharpton and Jackson. "Racism" is too often their sledgehammer. And it is being used to try to keep citizens who don't share the left's agenda from participating in the full array of opportunities this nation otherwise affords each of us. It was on display many years ago in an effort to smear Clarence Thomas with racist stereotypes and keep him off the Supreme Court. More recently, it was employed against patriotic citizens who attended town-hall meetings and tea-party protests.
These intimidation tactics are working and spreading, and they are a cancer on our society.