Thursday, March 31, 2011

Obama Takes Next Step Towards Wider Conflict in Libya with CIA "Boots" on the Ground

I wonder how his anti-war supporters feel about this?

What a sad disappointment this must be for the anti-war left. Despite Obama's campaign promise to end the war in Iraq and his August 2010 declaration that the war was over, tens of thousands of U.S. troops remain and the violence continues. This week, the death toll in Iraq continued to rise as at least 57 Iraqis died in a terrorist attack in Tikrit.

And now Libya.

In his March 22nd news conference in El Salvador, President Obama promised that the Libyan operation would be "limited in time, scope, with a well-defined mission."  Yet, we learn that Obama has broadened U.S. involvement by sending in CIA agents:
CIA Deploys to Libya as White House Authorizes Direct Assistance to Rebels
The move could be the first step toward giving aid to the opposition rebels.
By Yochi J. Dreazen and Marc Ambinder
National Journal
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
 
The CIA has sent more than a dozen covert operatives to Libya as part of an escalating U.S. effort to vet the rebels working to oust Libyan strongman Muammar el-Qaddafi and lay the groundwork for funneling American aid to the insurgents, according to a person with direct knowledge of the CIA operations there.

The CIA’s deployment to Libya, which is virtually certain to expand in the coming days, comes amid word that President Obama has authorized U.S. intelligence agencies to provide direct assistance to the Libyan rebels. There are no U.S. military personnel on the ground in Libya yet, though the United Kingdom, America’s closest battlefield ally, has several dozen Special Air Service commandoes and M16 agents already operating there. News of the CIA deployments to Libya was first reported by The New York Times and then independently confirmed by National Journal.

The CIA operations inside Libya highlight the delicate balancing act that the Obama administration is facing when it comes to the U.S.-led military intervention there. Obama has been adamant that there will be no U.S. military "boots on the ground" inside Libya, and U.S. Special Operations personnel in nearby countries have been placed on high-alert but not yet deployed, according to military officials familiar with the matter.
It's bad enough that Defense Secretary Gates suggested the Administration was making it up as they went along in Libya, but Obama's decision to send in CIA agents, is only the next step in expanding the Libyan operation to that wider conflict and U.S. involvement that Obama promised it would not become.

I'm reminded of the letter Speaker of the House John Boeher (R-OH) sent to President Obama a week ago where he said that Obama has "left some fundamental questions about our engagement unanswered."

Will Speaker Boehner be hailed by the anti-war left as the only person in high authority to dare and demand Obama answer the difficult questions regarding Obama's war in Libya? Don't bet on it. But the truth remains that Obama is sliding step by step towards a wider conflict in Libya without any well defined plan.

Poll Gives Obama Failing Grade for Leadership

Separate poll says he does not deserve to be re-elected!

This from Gallup:
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Altogether, Obama's ratings on being a strong and decisive leader are down a total of 21 percentage points since taking office, compared with a 15-point decline on understanding Americans' daily problems and a 9-point decline in sharing their values. Obama's overall job approval rating declined 16 points over the same time period.
And the Wall Street Journal sums up the new Quinnipiac Poll:
The latest Quinnipiac University poll gives President Barack Obama the lowest approval ratings of his presidency, with a majority of Americans saying he does not deserve another term in the White House.

As Mr. Obama gears up for re-election, 48% of American voters disapprove of the job he’s doing while 42% approve of it. The numbers are even worse when it comes to whether he deserves another four-year term in the White House, with 50% saying “no” and 41% saying “yes.”

Both sets of numbers show a steady decline from a Quinnipiac poll on March 3, when his approval ratings split evenly, 46%-46%. This recent batch of polling comes as gas prices are on the rise, unemployment continues to hover around 9% and the U.S. military has intervened in Libya to prevent Col. Moammar Gadhafi from attacking his own people.

The poll showed Mr. Obama running neck and neck with an unnamed Republican (Mr. Obama, 36%, a GOP challenger, 37%.)
None of this comes as a surprise as we have witnessed Obama's overreach on health care paired with a near total absence of leadership on key issues like the budget, the Gulf Oil Spill and the Middle East crisis.

To paraphrase Rev. Wright once again, Obama's chickens are coming home to roost!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Syrians Suckered Obama

The Nobel Peace Prize President has enabled the slaughter currently underway in Syria!

On Wednesday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad spoke to the Syrian Parliament and declared that the current unrest in his country was the result of some unspecified "big conspiracy." Assad repeated the claim that he is a reformer and modernizer while promising to crush the protesters. "If a battle is imposed on us today, we welcome it," said Assad. Expectations that Assad would deliver on promises for concessions to the protesters were sadly disappointed.

After years of Western intellectuals and left wing politicians believing Assad to be a true reformer, the real Assad was unveiled Wednesday. Years of willful ignorance and delusion on the part of those Western elites was stripped away. But it's unlikely members of those elites will admit they were wrong.

How Did We Get Here?

To be fair, the current situation is not all Obama's fault. He had help in adopting a delusional outlook regarding Syria. In April 2007 then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a high profile visit to Damascus and met with Assad. The Bush Administration had attempted to isolate Assad for Syria's role in permitting Al Queda fighters to enter Iraq to kill Americans and the key part Syria played in supplying arms for Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon enabling them to attack Israel.

But Speaker Pelosi swept all that aside for the sake of a photo op with Assad. Speaking of the visit, one Syrian resident said that "This is the best thing that has happened here, if it proves [Mr. Assad] was right not to give concessions" to the Americans.

What were those concessions?

•The United States has long sought to get Syria to stop being a state sponsor of terrorism. Syria has been on the State Department's State Sponsors of Terrorism list since 1979.

•The United States, working with the United Nations has demanded Syria cooperate with the international investigation into the death of Lebanese Lebanese leader Rafik Hariri.

•Syria helped arm Hezbollah in it's war against innocent civilians in Israel in 2006 and insists it will continue to support both Hezbollah and Hamas.

•90% of suicide bombers entering Iraq do so from Syria according to the U.S. State Department.

Worse still was the negative impact Pelosi's visit had on democracy activists:
“Pelosi’s visit made the regime feel that Americans were divided on how to deal with Syria,” said a Damascus-based women’s-rights activist who, like five other activists interviewed for this article, asked that his name be withheld because he feared punishment. “This sends a message to the regime that the pressure is off, that it can do what it likes.”
Well, after Obama's inauguration, the U.S. government was no longer divided on how to deal with Syria. Instead of using U.S. power in a carrot and stick approach, Obama threw away the stick and tried the all carrot approach. In his Inaugural Address Obama said: "We will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist." We extended the hand and Assad gave us the finger!

Obama lifted economic sanctions on Syria but that was just the beginning. Sen. John F. Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee made the first high profile visit of the Obama years to Syria in February 2009. A month later Obama's Syrian Spring went into high gear with a VIP delegation sent by Obama and Hillary Clinton. The message was clear, the hand of friendship had been extended.

Assad made all the right noises and his plan to hoodwink gullible American leftists was on track. Just look at the gushy piece written by Seymour Hersh at the New Yorker who proudly brags that he and Assad are email buddies:
A major change in American policy toward Syria is clearly under way. “The return of the Golan Heights is part of a broader strategy for peace in the Middle East that includes countering Iran’s influence,” Martin Indyk, a former American Ambassador to Israel, who is now the director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, at the Brookings Institution, said. “Syria is a strategic linchpin for dealing with Iran and the Palestinian issue. Don’t forget, everything in the Middle East is connected, as Obama once said.”
In short, the goal of the Syrians was to use this new relationship with Washington to put pressure on Israel. And Syria got what it wanted. Obama's behavior towards Israel has been nothing less than antagonistic.

In February 2010 The Obama Administration threw Syria another bone by returning a U.S. Ambassador. The previous Ambassador had been recalled after Syria's role in the assassination of Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri became known. What did we get for all our efforts?  A slap in the face.
Last month, five years exactly after the scolding of the Bush Administration, President Obama nominated Robert Ford as the new U.S. Ambassador to Syria. The rationale of the current U.S. administration is that Assad can be sweet-talked into trading his alliance with Iran for a deal with America. Obama’s gamble has produced immediate results, but not the expected ones. Shortly after the nomination of Ambassador Ford, Ahmadinejad paid an official and pompous visit to Damascus (where he also met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah). Baffled, Hillary Clinton asked Assad why he was doing the opposite of what her government’s policy was supposed to produce. Assad responded as follows: “We have a hard time understanding Clinton, either because of a translation problem or because of our limited capabilities.” Hillary Clinton is being pushed around by Middle Eastern machos and America is being ridiculed.
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Ahmadinejad, Assad and Nasrallah
in Damascus February 2010.
Assad's high profile welcoming of Iran's Ahmadinejad and arch terrorist Hezbollah leader Nasrallah in February 2010 showed just what a complete failure Obama's engagement policy has been. Following up that meeting, we learn that Syria is supplying Hezbollah in Lebanon with long range Scud missiles that put Israel's heartland at risk. The short range rocket attacks Hezbollah used to launch the 2006 war on Israel are greatly eclipsed by this new threat.

In October 2010 Assad followed up the Damascus summit with a visit to Tehran where he declared "the continuing and eternal stance of Syria to be on the side of Iran."

What was the Obama and the Democrat's reaction to these events? A new reward for Assad with another high profile visit by Sen. Kerry in November 2010.

And as the Syrian government murders it's citizens in the streets, Hillary Clinton declared last Sunday that "members of the U.S. Congress from both parties say they believe Assad is “a reformer.” I'm not sure who she is talking about on the GOP side of the aisle, but I have a good idea that Sen. John Kerry still has the wool pulled over his eyes.

Kerry delivered a speech on March 16 at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In a wide ranging discussion of the Arab uprising he never mentioned Syria.
When Kerry was asked about Syria during a question-and-answer session afterwards, he voiced optimism about the direction relations were taking.

“I have been a believer for some period of time that we could make progress in that relationship,” he said. “And I’m going to continue to work for it and push it.”
Kerry who pushed strongly for U.S. intervention in Libya has been hoodwinked by Assad. How long will he ignore news reports such as this?


Even before the latest violence in Syria began, Martin Peretz of the New Republic, in a piece titled "Obama Courted Iran. Obama Courted Syria. Obama Achieved Nothing" Peretz concludes:
Almost nobody notices the disasters of U.S. policy outside our borders because the disasters within our borders are so climactic. One of the president's most ambitious ventures was to bring Syria to heel. He sent many emissaries to Dr. Assad. Their visits all flopped.

But Obama is still pressing Israel to leave the Golan Heights, and Secretary Clinton is trying get Syria to soften the views of the Palestinians. The president and the secretary of state don't recognize failure. So they court more humiliation.
Obama's humilitation is nothing compared to the deaths of so many innocent Syrians and others who have died as a result of his unwillingness to see the world for the dangerous and evil place that it is!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Obama Gives Bush's Speech on Libya

Too bad Obama doesn't have Bush's fortitude and ability for effective wartime leadership!

Can you spot the conflict between these two statements?

“The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” --Senator Barack Obama, December 20 2007

"America has an important strategic interest in preventing Qaddafi from overrunning those who oppose him.  A massacre would have driven thousands of additional refugees across Libya’s borders, putting enormous strains on the peaceful –- yet fragile -– transitions in Egypt and Tunisia." --President Barack Obama, March 28, 2011

Photobucket And let's not forget the words of Defense Secretary Gates who said that the crisis in Libya was "not a vital national interest to the United States."

On Monday, March 28 Obama gave a speech justifying his war in Libya using words that sound like they might have come from the mouth of George W. Bush. And let's also remind ourselves that President Bush not only went to the United Nations before taking action in Afghanistan and Iraq he also got authority from the U.S. Congress; something Obama has not.

Sadly in the case of Obama words that are approximately what Bush would say in the same situation are not matched by strong Bushian deeds!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Obama Doctrine Violates U.S. National Security Needs

He won't intervene when it could help U.S. interests even if lives are at stake!

Explaining his justification for sending U.S. forces to attack Libya, Obama told reporters in a press conference in El Salvador on March 22 that:
Now, with respect to our national interests, the American people and the United States have an interest, first of all, in making sure that where a brutal dictator is threatening his people and saying he will show no mercy and go door-to-door hunting people down, and we have the capacity under international sanction to do something about that, I think it’s in America’s international -- in America’s national interest to do something about it.

That doesn’t mean that we can solve every problem in the world. It does mean that when you have not only the United Nations but also the Arab League and also other countries in the Gulf who are saying, we need to intercede to make sure that a disaster doesn’t happen on our watch as has happened in the past when the international community stood idly by.
In a further refinement, Obama offered the following statement in Saturday's Weekly Radio Address:
I firmly believe that when innocent people are being brutalized; when someone like Qaddafi threatens a bloodbath that could destabilize an entire region; and when the international community is prepared to come together to save many thousands of lives—then it’s in our national interest to act. And it’s our responsibility.
Some are referring to the above statements as the Obama Doctrine of limited intervention but only with broad international support. But like nearly every other aspect of Obama's foreign and national security policy there are many confused and contradictory elements.

Sec. Gates: No U.S. 'Vital National Interest' in Libya

Obama's statement that intervention in Libya "is in America’s national interest," was contradicted by Bill Gates, the Secretary of Defense in an interview on the This Week Sunday program. Along with the useful hedging and butt covering came the following: "“It [Libya] was not -- it was not a vital national interest to the United States."

Intervention in Syria?

Amnesty International reports that the death toll in Syrian protests is rising daily. President Bashar Assad, an ally of Iran, ordered his military to take brutal action in suppressing protests. The number of dead is still smaller, compared to Libya, but may soon catch up with those in Egypt where the Obama Administration played a front and center, if confused, role in unseating President Mubarak.

Asked about an intervention in Syria, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that such intervention was "not going to happen," due in part to lack of any international consensus. Yet, here is a case where there is a direct U.S. national interest in unseating the  dictator Assad.

Together with Iran Syria has been a prime benefactor of the radical Islamic terrorist group Hezbollah, which has established bases in Lebanon. Hezbollah has killed at least 289 Americans, including 241 Marines who died in the Beirut barracks bombing in 1983. Hezbollah is the key agent in destabilizing Lebanon and attacking Israel. There are reports that Hezbollah agents are actively working in Syria to quell protests against the regime. And by  "quell" I mean kill. Unseating Syrian dictator Assad might be the best way to unravel the Iran/Syrian/Hezbollah terrorist nexus. If that's not in the U.S. national interest I don't know what is.

Like Iran, Syria has been a key transit point for Al Queda and other agents entering Iraq to attack and kill U.S. forces.

Yet we have the Obama Administration issuing hands off policies regarding Syria as well as Iran. Funds for democracy activists were cut by Obama in Iran just as he did in Egypt.

No one is suggesting that we propose a no fly zone over Syria, but at the very least we should offer  assistance, short of military help, to the protesters. Obama, who couldn't shut up when it came to criticizing Mubarak or Khaddafi's treatment of protesters hasn't spoken one word in support of the protesters in Syria. This is the same silent treatment he followed for at least a week while Iranian government agents were shooting protesters in the streets.

Where is the American drive in the United Nation's to condemn Syria? Not a word from the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. No U.S. call for Arab League or other international support to end the violence in Syria.

Obama Policy: Incoherent, Incompetent, Confused and Contradictory!

Obama seems bent on continuing a policy that weakens U.S. leadership and confounds and confuses our allies. Niall Ferguson, a professor of history at Harvard, recently said : "A succession of speeches saying, in essence, "I am not George W. Bush" is no substitute for a strategy."

Thus far, Obama's alternative to Bush policies has been more damaging to U.S. national interests and critical allied relationships than the worst imagined by Bush's critics during the years of his presidency. The consequences of Obama's weak leadership and confused and contradictory policy actually make the indecision and waffling of the Carter years look competent by comparison.

A while back I assumed that the consequences of Obama's lack of foreign policy experience would take years to be made evident. That assessment was wrong. It's obvious now that Obama neither understands complex international problems nor has the inclination to effectively represent U.S. national interests and lead world opinion. The emptiness of his empty suit is now apparent for all to see!

Obama's Cousin Spells Out Failure of ObamaCare on 1 Year Anniversary

Obama's relative is also a physician!

It's the one year anniversary of ObamaCare and much has been written about the legislation that is still as reviled as it was when the Democrats rammed it through Congress a year ago. The Heritage Foundation has this excellent report: Obamacare: The One-Year Checkup

But of all the articles written about this anniversary, the one I would most like to share with readers was written by a physician and blogger who also happens to be a cousin of Barack Obama on his mother's side. Wolf bills himself as "the only Tea Partier our president actually knows." Dr. Milton Wolf, who blogs at the Wolf Files, is also a columnist for the Washington Times.

In his Times article marking the one year anniversary he starts by pointing out how often liberals exempt their friends from the same laws that they enforce when it comes to the rest of us. Wolf points out how ACORN asked for an exemption from minimum wage laws that they themselves campaigned for vigorously. The same is true for Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) who claims credit for writing much of the ObamaCare law but now seeks an exemption for New York City. The same goes for Obama's big labor and big business supporters who backed Obama Care but now want to be exempt from it's provisions.

You'll want to read Wolf's entire article but here's a teaser to get you started:
Now Mr. Weiner wants in on the action. Why? He thinks escaping Obamacare would mean that New York City "can save money and have more control over its own destiny." Regular Americans need not apply.

Such is the standard operating procedure for big-government types: Impose ever-increasing burdens on hardworking Americans who play by the rules and don't have best friends in Washington or armies of lobbyists at their disposal or millions of dollars for campaign contributions. This sickening display shows that, at best, this administration is admitting that Obamacare is unraveling, in part, because its one-size-fits-all, big-government plan simply cannot accommodate all the unique needs of 310 million patients. At worst, its pay-for-play, politics-as-usual scheme is enriching administration cronies on the backs of everyone else. As Mr. Weiner said, "A lot of people who got waivers were ... people who are our friends."
Most people on the conservative side of things have long understood that the real motivation of liberal do-gooders isn't some new benefit for the good of mankind but instead another tool to be used to acquire and wield power. There is no better illustration of this than ObamaCare which is a disaster for those who are required to obey the law while so many friends of Obama skate free.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why I Envy Japanese Patience

Compare their patient reaction to the slow pace of disaster relief to the whacko who went berserk in Burger King!

You may have seen the stories about the patient response of Japanese as they lined up for hours just to get a bottle of water and a cup of rice. Very few episodes of looting and an overall atmosphere of dignity and good behavior under the most difficult of circumstances any of us can imagine.

By comparison we have the recent video from a Burger King in Panama City, Florida where one patron dressed only in a bikini thought it was taking too long to deliver her Whopper Jr. and fries so she started a riot and accosted store personnel.


Another example of liberal American culture that creates spoiled, indolent and combative citizens who feel entitled to break the law when their "right" to instant gratification, in this case a Whopper Jr., is delayed.

The video almost makes me want to move to Japan!

Speaker Boehner Asks Tough Questions Over Libya

Does the Administration really have a plan? If so, what is it?
BOEHNER: I respect your authority as Commander-in-Chief and support our troops as they carry out their mission. But I and many other members of the House of Representatives are troubled that U.S. military resources were committed to war without clearly defining for the American people, the Congress, and our troops what the mission in Libya is and what America’s role is in achieving that mission. In fact, the limited, sometimes contradictory, case made to the American people by members of your Administration has left some fundamental questions about our engagement unanswered. At the same time, by contrast, it appears your Administration has consulted extensively on these same matters with foreign entities such as the United Nations and the Arab League.

It is my hope that you will provide the American people and Congress a clear and robust assessment of the scope, objective, and purpose of our mission in Libya and how it will be achieved. Here are some of the questions I believe must be answered:
Speaker Boehner Letter to President Obama on Military Action in Libya

Boehner's concerns are sensible and well thought out. It will be difficult for President Obama to ignore this appeal from the Speaker of the House!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

NJ Judge Finds Christie Budget Cuts Harm Children's Education

The same playbook will soon be launched nationwide

Here's the Reuter's report on the finding by a Judge in New Jersey which says that Governor Christies cuts in education "fail to meet constitutional standards for education."

What Reuters left out of the story is this nugget from the Judge's finding:
"Despite spending levels that meet or exceed virtually every state in the country, and that saw a significant increase in spending levels from 2000 to 2008, our 'at risk' children are now moving further from proficiency,"
So, all of a sudden, spending that "meet[s] or exceed virtually every state in the country" is suddenly not enough. No wonder Reuters left that part out of the story. It doesn't fit with the idea that Christies cuts are somehow unfair and disproportionate.

Same Game Plan Nationwide

But the same game plan will be played out nationwide as Democrats in Congress try to paint Republican budget cuts to the federal budget as "draconian" (the word used by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid D-NV). If anything, the cuts proposed by Republicans have been TOO SMALL. Six billion in one bill out of a budget of $3.8 TRILLION. At Powerline, John Hinderaker compared the GOP proposal to a dieter reducing his caloric intake by one third of a french fry in a Big Mac supersize meal.

Federal spending exploded in the last two years but when Republican try to trim around the edges we can expect the Democrats to trot out the usual parade of victims whose lives would be made miserable (they claim) were it not for hyper-inflated federal spending.

Were the poor dying in the streets when Bush was president? No, but you can expect Democrats to suggest they will if the budget is cut!

Libya Alliance in Disarray as Obama Fails to Lead

Obama's chickens coming home to roost!
The Government simply cannot make up their mind, or they cannot get the Prime Minister to make up his mind. So they go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent.-- Winston Churchill, November 12, 1936
It might help to explain why Obama banished the bust of Winston Churchill from the White House (in addition to his other early snubs of the British) when you consider that the above quote by Churchill, made in reference to the weak and waffling Baldwin government in the run up to World War II might just as well be made about Obama.

Since writing yesterday's post describing how Obama is very content to abdicate U.S. leadership in the world we have seen new evidence of the consequences such action brings.

At a press conference in El Salvador on Tuesday Obama declared: "We will continue to support the efforts to protect the Libyan people, but we will not be leading them." This raises the question: who will lead if the U.S. will not?

The British newspaper The Daily Mail asks: Who's in Charge? The Mail goes on to chronicle the withdrawal of German support, the threat by the Italians to do the same. The headline in the German newspaper Der Spiegel is 'Gadhafi Is Facing a Coalition of the Unwilling' in an article that goes on to cite how coalition members cannot agree among themselves what their objective is, mostly centering around whether Khaddafi should be removed from power. In the U.S. the Washington Times reports:
“NATO is in complete disarray,” James Ludes, director of the think tank the American Security Project, told The Washington Times. “Everyone seems to have a different idea about what this is and where it is going.” If the world leaders cannot reach an agreement, “we will be left holding the baby,” Mr. Ludes said.
Defense Sec. Gates Admits We Are Making It Up "On the Fly"

The people who wanted Obama as President because he would be different from George Bush sure got their way with this one. Before going into both Afghanistan and Iraq President Bush assembled a broad based coalition with clear command authority and goals BEFORE starting the attack. There was no question who was in charge and what their mission was. No one can say that regarding the Libya alliance.

On a trip to Moscow, Secretary of Defense Bill Gates seemed to be ignorant of recent history when he spoke of the Libya coalition saying: “This command-and-control business is complicated, and we haven’t done something like this kind of on-the-fly before.” Perhaps he should call his predecessor Donald Rumsfeld and ask him how it's done.

Obama wasted three weeks dithering over whether to set up the no fly zone in Libya. All that time he could have spent working out a clear understanding with our allies was apparently spent golfing, fundraising and picking winners in basketball.

Obama: Don't Worry, We'll Fix It

During his remarks in El Salvador, Obama promised that all the questions of who is in charge and what is the mission would be answered in a few days. Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass found that a bit hard to swallow:
On Tuesday, Obama was asked about these command issues. It wasn't a trick. It should have been expected. He stood there, and he opened his mouth.

"I would expect that over the next several days you will have clarity and a meeting of the minds of all those who are participating in the process," Obama said.

We'll have clarity in a few days?

Clarity in a few days, Mr. President?

You don't wait to find clarity a few days after you begin a war. You'd better have complete clarity before you ever give the order to fire in the first place.

Days after ordering the launch of cruise missiles at around $1 million a pop isn't the time to find clarity, Mr. President.

Days after you bomb a country — even one run by a murderous psychopath like Moammar Gadhafi — isn't the time to begin searching for clarity.

The president must find clarity before beginning such an enterprise. To do otherwise is to risk not only American lives and his own presidency and political fortunes, but to risk America's future security and its place among nations.
Larger size suitable for framing.
For the Record: We Told You So!

I suppose at this point it doesn't do much good to remind Obama voters once again that many of us warned them about the consequences of electing an inexperienced and unqualified man as President. But just for the record, we did make that warning. And now, unfortunately, as we are being proved right yet again the damage to this country's position in the world is mounting.

The good news is that the damage cannot continue much longer. In less than two years we have the opportunity to begin restoring sanity to our national security as well as our domestic security policy.

2012 can't come soon enough!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Obama OK with U.S. as Second Rate World Power

His failure to lead when the world calls is at the core of his view of the U.S. as a Superpower.

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Obama to World: Don't bother me, I'm busy!
People have been scratching their heads over Obama's leadership style since he took office but even more so now with his weeks long delay in backing a Libyan no-fly zone. God knows how many thousands of innocent Libyans were slaughtered while Obama dithered. The same happened when protests broke out in Iran in 2009. Images of people being murdered in the streets by government thugs went unanswered by Obama who was, once again, on vacation in Hawaii.

Instead of addressing these and other pressing concerns Obama has been seen having a good time golfing, on vacation, partying in the White House and on television picking out winners in basketball. It's almost a cliche that when a crisis breaks, Obama will be too busy having fun to do anything about it.

Too often in the course of any foreign or domestic crisis Obama pops up, probably in reaction to his falling poll numbers, gives a speech with some focus group tested language then goes off to another party. The problem is that a world crisis does not respond to Obama's rhetoric the same way the fawning liberal media in the U.S. does.

Obama seems to believe that a strongly worded speech is enough to get the job done when obviously it's not.

Ditherer in Chief? Or, the "Weakest President in History?"

In the wake of the Libyan no-fly decision British writer Niall Ferguson declares that the Obama strategy is to have no strategy. In a Newsweek article titled "The Big Dither" Ferguson says:
Obama, a novice in foreign affairs, is a president without a strategy. Once a critic of American military intervention in the Middle East, once a skeptic about the chances of democratizing the region, he now finds himself with a poisoned chalice in each hand. In one there are the dregs of the last administration’s interventions: military commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan that he is eager to wind down. In the other is a freshly poured draft of his own making.
Another Brit, writing for the U.K. Daily Express had a different view. In an article titled "Barack Obama: Weakest President in History" Anna Pukas is looking for signs of forethought and leadership in the White House and not finding it:
What is the Obama administration’s position on the protests in the Gulf island state of Bahrain, which the authorities there are savagely suppressing with the help of troops shipped in from Saudi Arabia? What is the White House view on the alarming prospect of the unrest spreading to Saudi Arabia itself? Who knows? Certainly not the American people, nor the leaders of nations which would consider themselves allies of America.

The President has not really shared his views, which leads us to conclude that he either doesn’t know or chooses, for reasons best known to himself, not to say. The result is that a very real opportunity to remove an unpredictable despot from power may well have been lost. Who knows when or if such an opportunity will come along again?
Obama's Conscious Effort to Disengage!

But what Brits Ferguson and Pukas, as well as a great many Americans, including even some conservatives, miss is that Obama DOES have a strategy and a world outlook and it's one that runs counter to the basic instincts of many, if not most, Americans.

Sadly, during the 2008 presidential race GOP candidate John McCain steered his campaign away from the character questions that so many had concerning Obama. Had he not done so, we might have a better understanding of why Obama is doing, or not doing, what he is today.

The warning signs were clear for all to see if only they would. There was Obama's Chicago neighbor and fellow board member of the Annenberg Project Bill Ayers; the man photographed standing on the American flag and whose notorious quote "kill your parents" often distracts people from his even more insidious anti-American views. And who can forget Obama's long time pastor Rev. Wright with this "God damn America" rant [video]about how awful the U.S. government is? Surely these two men had an impact on Obama's way of thinking.

But it goes deeper than that. Obama's early life was a total immersion into the left wing ideology that sees the exercise of American power and leadership in the world as suspect. Columist Alan Caruba sums up that early experience this way:
Obama's grandparents were devoted to socialism, raising their daughter in schools known for it, even attending a church that reflected it. They were close friends with Frank Marshall Davis, a member of the CPUSA[Communist Party USA] and an Afro-American. Dr. Kengor noted that, during the 1970s, the period of Obama's adolescence, "His impact is profound because he mentored a young man who made it all the way to the White House."

Among the hints Obama drops in "Dreams of My Father" was a reference to his college years "hanging out with Marxist professors," attending "socialist conferences," and discussing "neocolonialism." Dr. Kengor quotes Dr. John Drew, a contemporary of Obama at Occidental College for whom Obama was "as a fellow Marxist" and said of the President, "Obama was already an ardent Marxist when I met (him) in the fall of 1980."
This isn't the background of someone who believes in American exceptionalism or places high value on U.S. leadership and accomplishments in world affairs. And even before these most recent examples of Obama's attitude to U.S. world leadership we got a taste of Obama's views from the first moments he arrived in the White House.

In his first interview with Arab televisions Al Arabiya, on January 27, 2009, less than one week after being sworn in as President Obama likened the U.S. over the past thirty years to some colonist power (very much like the anti-imperialist Marxist claptrap he learned as a younger man):
OBAMA: My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there's no reason why we can't restore that.
On April 3, 2009 Obama began what many called his worldwide apology for America tour. He told French citizens gathered in Strasbourg that:
OBAMA: In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.[video]
Two weeks later at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad Tobago where he chummed it up with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez Obama told the assembled leaders:
OBAMA: I know that promises of partnership have gone unfulfilled in the past, and that trust has to be earned over time. While the United States has done much to promote peace and prosperity in the hemisphere, we have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms. But I pledge to you that we seek an equal partnership. There is no senior partner and junior partner in our relations; there is simply engagement based on mutual respect and common interests and shared values. So I'm here to launch a new chapter of engagement that will be sustained throughout my administration.
I could go on and on with Obama's apology tour but would instead direct readers to Niles Gardiner's post on that topic at the Heritage Foundation web site for much more.

A common thread from Obama's apology tour is his expressed desire to restore America's image in the world by being a better partner in international affairs. In Strasbourg he said that "in recent years we've allowed our Alliance to drift," and he promised in other speeches to restore our position in the world.

Instead, we've seen an abdication of leadership and the responsibilities that went with it. In case of Libya, France stepped into the vacuum. But what happens in another world trouble spot if nations like China whose motives are not so humanitarian seeks to exploit the situation? The problem with left wing bashing of  U.S. superpower status is the unintended consequences of our becoming a second rate power.

The same attitude towards leadership is true in economic affairs as well. In 2010 Obama told leaders at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh that they could no longer rely on the U.S. to be "the engine of world economic growth" because it was " important for us to rebalance" our economy. If the U.S. isn't the engine pulling the train down the tracks who is and where will that train be headed?

Our alliances are "adrift," to use Obama's own words, and much of that drift is due to the man in the White House who bitterly complained about how his predecessor exercised U.S. leadership during his time in office. Now, even the Libyan rebels call out for George Bush to save them as they realize Obama wants to restrict U.S. power even when it is the only thing that may be used to save lives.

To cite Obama's pastor Rev. Wright "America's chickens are coming home to roost." We are now seeing the first consequences of Obama's worldwide abdication of U.S. leadership. Let's hope that there is time to restore our position before much more damage takes place and something REALLY awful happens as a result!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Postcards Home from the Obama Family Weekend Getaway to Rio

Sadly for him, not all the Brazilians welcomed him. So much for restoring our repuation in the world!

After a busy week filled with golf, a fundraiser, St. Patrick's Day and the basketball brackets Obama and the family needed a getaway and well... Camp David isn't all that special for such a grand family. They needed a real treat! So, off to Rio de Janiero in Brazil for a little R&R from all those White House parties!

Never mind that Japan is suffering the worst natural disaster in it's history or that the U.S. launched an all out attack on Libya, it's PLAY TIME!

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President Barack Obama (C) walks with First Lady Michelle Obama (R) and his daughter Sasha (L) and Malia (2nd R) as they tour Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, March 20, 2011.

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Demonstrators protest against the visit of US President Barack Obama at Candelaria square in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on March 18, 2011.

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Didn't Obama promise to restore our reputation in the world? These guys didn't get the message.

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The protesters think Obama covets Brazil's oil? Maybe they think that because he is shutting down U.S. oil production we are going to come and steal it from them?

Most of the protesters were communists. So, I was surprised to see them protest so vehemently. After all, he's the best friend they have EVER had in the White House!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

World Famous Polar Bear Knut Dead in Berlin at 4 Years Old

The bear who spawned the cute Knut polar bear craze is no more!

Did whacko environmentalists finally get their revenge?

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Visitors watch polar bear cub Knut in the Berlin zoo, March 24, 2007. Knut, the polar bear who became a global celebrity as a cute cub, died in at the Berlin zoo March 19, 2011 at the age of four. Knut, the first polar bear born at the zoo for more than 30 years, was rejected by his mother and fed instead by his keeper Thomas Doerflein. Thousands of visitors came to watch keeper and cub playing together, and Knut's fame soon spread around the world. The cause of death was unknown and he will undergo an autopsy. (Arnd Wiegmann / Reuters) Share
More on the story from AP.

Here at Mike's America we had quite a fondness for Knut when this story first came out. Readers may recall that environmentalists wanted Knut killed because it was "unnatural" to raise a bear that would otherwise have died without his mother's support.

I did a whole series on Knut starting with:

They're Cute at This Age, showing the earliest photo of Knut.
Early photos of Knut outdoors and with toys.
A slightly older Knut playing with his handler and a blanket.
An Encore Presentation with Knut rolling around in the dirt and playing outside
Knut even lended a hand in one post poking fun at "Neville Nancy" Pelosi.
And one last post of Knut taking a sick day in April 2007.

Another German zoo tried to get into the act with their own cute polar bear cub named Wilbaer but he didn't catch on quite like Knut.

In captivity polar bears live twice as long as the 15 or so years wild bears live. So Knut's sudden death is quite a shock and we will look forward to the post mortem results.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Barack Obama Elementary School in NJ to Close

Not enough students inspired hood winked by hope and change!

This is one of those human interest stories that is just too good to pass up:
The Barack H. Obama Elementary School in Asbury Park, N.J. will be shuttered this summer, largely due to low enrollment, the Asbury Park Press reports
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The Bangs Avenue School elected in 2010 to change its name to Barack H. Obama Elementary.
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"Every time they walk through the school doors, there's going to be a certain amount of pride in where they go to school," Campbell told the Star-Ledger in 2009.
It seems that "pride" in Obama, just like hope and change, isn't what it used to be.

And of course we should also recall that the statue of boy Obama erected in a park in Indonesia was unceremoniously removed a year ago.

With the acronym O.B.A.M.A. standing for "One big ass mistake America" (print one out) in the U.S. and abroad it's only a matter of time before the Nobel Prize Committee asks for the Peace Prize back!

Hillary Clinton and the Brits Dump on Indecisive, Weak Obama

PhotobucketObama's "yes we can" slogan replaced by "maybe we shouldn't?"

Leaks from behind the scenes at Hillary Clinton's State Department reveal the rift between Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama. In an article titled "Oh HILL No" these nuggets stand out:

“Obviously, she’s not happy with dealing with a president who can’t decide if today is Tuesday or Wednesday, who can’t make his mind up,” a Clinton insider told The Daily. “She’s exhausted, tired.”
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Or as the insider described Obama’s foreign policy shop: “It’s amateur night.”
Hillary also made it clear that no matter whether Obama is re-elected in 2012 or not she intends to resign as Secretary of State and will not serve another term.

As frustrated as Hillary Clinton is with Obama, the frustration in Europe is even more intense. The Europeans who love to complain about the heavy handed American leadership of the Bush years are now complaining about the even worse lack of leadership on the part of Obama. This from the Daily Express, a British newspaper:

BARACK OBAMA: THE WEAKEST PRESIDENT IN HISTORY?
By Anna Pukas
The Daily Express
Friday March 18,2011

INEFFECTUAL, invisible, unable to honour pledges and now blamed for letting Gaddafi off the hook. Why Obama’s gone from ‘Yes we can’ to ‘Er, maybe we shouldn’t’...
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Obama’s campaign slogan was mesmerisingly simple and brimming with self-belief: “Yes we can.” His presidency, however, is turning out to be more about “no we won’t.” Even more worryingly, it seems to be very much about: “Maybe we can… do what, exactly?“ The world feels like a dangerous place when leaders are seen to lack certitude but the only thing President Obama seems decisive about is his indecision. What should the US do about Libya? What should the US do about the Middle East in general? What about the country’s crippling debts? What is the US going to do about Afghanistan, about Iran?

What is President Obama doing about anything? The most alarming answer – your guess is as good as mine – is also, frankly, the most accurate one. What the President is not doing is being clear, resolute and pro-active, which is surely a big part of his job description. This is what he has to say about the popular uprising in Libya: “Gaddafi must go.” At least, that was his position on March 3.

Since then, other countries – most notably Britain and France – have been calling for some kind of intervention. Even the Arab League, a notoriously conservative organisation, has declared support for sanctions. But from the White House has come only the blah-blah of bland statements filled with meaningless expressions and vague phrases. Of decisive action and leadership – even of clearly defined opinion – there is precious little sign.
The comments section for that article are a treat in themselves. Americans are writing in to tell the Brits, many of whom hopped on the hope and change bandwagon "we told you so."

What is heartening is that despite Obama's winning the Nobel Peace Prize for doing absolutely nothing (the Norwegians should ask for it back) the rest of the world is slowly waking up to what the rest of us knew all along. Unfortunately, Obama is in a position to continue damaging U.S. foreign and domestic policy for a little less than two years. I can't wait until January 2013!

Thanks Ken Taylor on Facebook for finding the cartoon!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Going Green is for St. Pat's Day, Not Energy Development or Job Creation

Obama's Green Jobs program has failed to create either jobs or energy!

Remember Obama's campaign promise to "create five million 'green' jobs" and "protect our existing manufacturing base" while doing so?

Yeah, I know. Another pie in the sky campaign promise from Obama like so many others that simply turned out to be hot air. But this one also has a downside.

Despite spending billions under Obama's plan (not to mention the billions spent previously for green energy)we haven't seen anything like five million "green" jobs and we haven't seen the energy created by all these supposedly "shovel ready" green energy projects.

Green Jobs KILL Jobs!

Instead of seeing the benefits of new green jobs, two new studies show that green projects actually kill jobs AND make energy more expensive.

Kenneth P. Green, an environmental scientist and resident scholar at the American Enterprise  published: "The Myth of Green Energy Jobs: The European Experience:"
Using Spain as a model, when you do the math, you realize that creating 3 million new green jobs could cost $2.25 trillion" -- nearly a million tax dollars apiece for jobs that are likely to go away as soon as the government subsidies end.

Green programs in Spain destroyed 2.2 jobs for every green job created, while the capital needed for one green job in Italy could create almost five jobs in the general economy.
...
Countries are cutting these programs because they realize they aren't sustainable and they are obscenely expensive.
A second study by the Copenhagen Consensus confirms Kenneth Green's conclusion with these points:
  • Job creation claims rest on unreliable assumptions and fuzzy definitions
  • Any job increase is likely to be outweighed by job destruction elsewhere
  • Other sectors could create more jobs for the same investment
  • Claims of higher productivity and income are not backed up by evidence
Writing at Slate, Bjorn Lomborg summarizes the Copenhagen study this way:

In some cases, Gülen finds that proponents of green jobs have not distinguished between construction jobs (building the wind turbines), which are temporary, and longer-term operational jobs (keeping the wind turbines going), which are more permanent. Moreover, sometimes advocates have assumed, without justification, that the new jobs would pay more than careers in conventional energy. In other cases, the definition of a "green" job is so fuzzy that it becomes virtually useless. If a sustainability adviser quits a concrete factory and goes to work instead for a renewable energy project, can we really conclude that the number of green jobs has actually increased?

More disturbing is Gülen's finding that some claims of job creation have rested on assumptions of green-energy production that go far beyond reputable estimates. Of course, if you assume that vast swaths of the countryside will be covered in wind turbines and solar panels, you will inevitably predict that a large number of construction jobs will be required.

But the biggest problem in these analyses is that they often fail to recognize the higher costs or job losses that these policies will cause. Alternative energy sources such as solar and wind create significantly more expensive fuel and electricity than traditional energy sources. Increasing the cost of electricity and fuel will hurt productivity, reduce overall employment, and cut the amount of disposable income that people have. Yet many studies used by advocates of green jobs have not addressed these costs at all—overlooking both the cost of investment and the price hikes to be faced by end users.
The only people seeing any green from these energy projects are the enviro-investors who have gotten rich convincing government to fund inefficient and otherwise uneconomical projects!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Libyan Asks U.S. "When Will You Support Us?" After We're Dead?

When will Obama learn that speeches don't stop bullets?

Standing by while the Libyan rebels are butchered by Khaddafi is cowardly and foolish. It will invite MORE bloodshed and repression around the world as evil rulers realize they have nothing to fear from the U.S. and world community!


Libyan rebels have been crying out for help and might have expected it to come from the United States. After all, it was just two weeks ago when President Obama declared:
“With respect to our willingness to engage militarily, … I’ve instructed the Department of Defense … to examine a full range of options. I don’t want us hamstrung. … Going forward, we will continue to send a clear message: The violence must stop. Muammar Gaddafi has lost legitimacy to lead, and he must leave.”
Since then, nothing. No help, nothing.

Like every other serious, recent issue requiring U.S. leadership Barack Hussein Obama has been AWOL. But his failure to lead isn't just an embarrassment to the U.S., it means that thousands of people in places like Libya will soon be dead because we failed to act in time.

Cue the player below to the 1:35 mark to hear one Libyan in the rebel held zone as he talks about the need for U.S. support NOW!

Is it possible that Obama will let one of America's worst enemies, a man who is guilty of murdering Americans, stay in power and get away with butchering his own people too?

Inhuman Savagery of Palestinians Who Massacred Sleeping Family in Israel

Is this the "partner for peace" that Israel must come to terms with?

The Israelis often get smeared around the world for daring to defend themselves. And perhaps sometimes they are a bit heavy handed in how they respond. But any sense of moral equivalency goes out the window when you see the photos of the massacre of the Fogel family in Samria on March 11.

Father ,mother, a 3 month old infant and two young children brutally butchered by two Palestinians as they slept.

I wasn't going to post on this topic. After all, this isn't the first time that Palestinian animals have butchered innocent Israelis. That list of atrocities is very long indeed. But the pictures are compelling. I won't post them here, but I do encourage readers with the courage to view them to do so.

There was debate within Israel about whether or not to show the photos. The view that the world should see what kind of animals Israel must deal with as it struggles to find peace with the Palestinians won out. "Being humane does not require us not to show the other side's brutality," said Amnon Shomron, an Israeli expert in public relations. Another PR expert, Roni Rimon said: "It is crucial that people understand the difference between us and them. We must stress that that when we kill civilians it is by mistake, but they butcher an entire family in the middle of the night."

So it is that the pictures were released with the permission of the Fogel family and the faces of the victims has been blurred.

Next time the worldwide Palestinian propaganda machine bewails some action by Israel to defend itself, remember the Fogel family and know the nature of the enemy the Israelis face!

The World Burns While Obama Plays

Obama is the only president who can make Jimmy Carter look like a strong leader by comparison!

Where's the "judgement that matters?"

Remember the "3 AM Phone Call" ad run by Hillary Clinton during the Democrat presidential primaries in 2008? The Obama campaign responded with it's own 3 AM ad touting Obama's leadership and suggesting that "in a dangerous world, it's judgement that matters."

Well, two years in to the Obama presidency and it looks like the man who voted "present" 129 times in the Illinois State Senate is phoning it in when it comes to managing some of the most challenging crises and political debates of his presidency.

Consider this:
  • Libyans are being killed by the thousands. The French are leading on the issue calling the world to action to stop the killing. THE FRENCH!
  • In Japan, a mega quake devastated the country followed by the crisis at the Fukuyama nuclear plant.
  • Both the U.S. House and Senate are struggling with a spending plan to fund the government and potentially address the debt issue.
In all this Obama seems to be sitting on the sidelines.

On Saturday, the White House issued the President's Weekly Address. It was to honor Women's History Month. Obama didn't deliver it live, he was on the way to the golf course for his 61st round since becoming President. On Monday, as the Libyan rebels were being pushed back and the nuclear crisis in Japan entered a serious phase, Obama was taping a program for ESPN picking his favorites for the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Thursday he meets with the Taoiseach of Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and then it's off to Brazil for the weekend in Rio de Janeiro.

Even liberals have started to notice Obama's absence in office:

Obama's 'Where's Waldo?' presidency
By Ruth Marcus
Washington Post
March 2, 1011

For a man who won office talking about change we can believe in, Barack Obama can be a strangely passive president. There are a startling number of occasions in which the president has been missing in action - unwilling, reluctant or late to weigh in on the issue of the moment. He is, too often, more reactive than inspirational, more cautious than forceful.
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[T]he dots connect to form an unsettling portrait of a "Where's Waldo?" presidency: You frequently have to squint to find the White House amid the larger landscape.
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Where's Obama? No matter how hard you look, sometimes he's impossible to find.
When it comes to resolving Washington's fiscal crisis, one correspondent referred to Obama as the "Spectator in Chief" who dismissed the need for presidential leadership by calling the job "an appropriations task."

John Podhoretz summed up the situation this way:

This is not a time for leadership; this is the time for leadership.

So where is Barack Obama?

The moment demands that he rise to the challenge of showing America and the world that he is taking the reins. How leaders act in times of unanticipated crisis, in which they do not have a formulated game plan and must instead navigate in treacherous waters, defines them.

Obama is defining himself in a way that will destroy him.

It is not merely that he isn't rising to the challenge. He is avoiding the challenge. He is Bartleby the President. He would prefer not to.
Personally, I'm not all that surprised by Obama's lack of leadership. Remembering that he was the least experienced president ever elected to that office and that nothing in his prior life suggested he had what it takes to manage anything bigger than a labor union protest. Readers may recall when Hillary supporter, Harriet Christian, came out of a meeting of the Democrat National Committee in Washington in May 2008 and hotly declared Obama "an inadequate black male."

That "inadequacy" was obvious soon after Obama took office and acted as the inspiration for this original Mike's America video:

The world is literally burning and Obama is playing. We need a President in the White House, not a Spectator in Chief. 2012 can't come soon enough!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Before and After Photos Show Devastation in Japan

Plus: links to interactive before/after photos.

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This combo image provided by GeoEye shows an area of Yuriage, near Japan's Miyagi Prefecture (top), and March 12 (bottom), after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck the nation.


Interactive Before and After Photos

Both the Australian Broadcast Company and Courier Mail have an interactive page where you put your mouse pointer on each photo and move it from left to right to see the change in satellite photos taken before the disaster and after. The scope of devastation is astounding!

The Boston Globe has a large format photo presentation if you would like to see more pictures from Japan.

Will the Community Organizers Out-Organize Conservatives in Wisconsin and Elsewhere?

We won the 2010 election. Now, we have to win the fight to protect that victory!

A good piece Monday by Byron York in the Washington Examiner describing how conservatives are being out-organized and outspent by labor unions and the usual Democrat suspects in Wisconsin in the wake of GOP success in reigning in public sector unions:

Unions vs. the little guy in Wisconsin recall fight
By Byron York
Washington Examiner
March 14, 2011

...Local and national labor organizations, enraged by the successful Republican effort to limit the collective bargaining powers of public employees unions, are pouring money and manpower into petitions to recall GOP state senators. At the same time, Republican drives to recall runaway Democrats, while rich in volunteer spirit, are working with far less money and organized support.

On the Democratic side are the AFL-CIO, the big public worker unions, party organizations and activist groups like MoveOn.org, which have already raised millions of dollars online. On the Republican side are a few Tea Party groups, taxpayer organizations and not a lot more.
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Wisconsin law requires recall petitioners to gather thousands of signatures before an actual election is held. The specific number, based on voting in the most recent elections, is different for each district but ranges from about 15,000 to 22,000.

That's where the organizing strength of the AFL-CIO and its unions come in. Labor and its Democratic allies realize that Wisconsin is a critical battle and are desperate to make sure other states do not follow Wisconsin's lead. Republicans, meanwhile, seem less aware of the stakes.

"If Republicans do not take this very seriously, they could be in trouble here," says Steve Baas of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, which supports Walker's budget reforms.
Tea Party Enthusiasm Often No Match in Tight Contests

One problem with the folks on the conservative side is that once we win an election we think that's the end of it. But the left never gives up. Not even after the "shellacking" they took last November. They simply took that defeat as a challenge to work even harder. And as we have seen in Wisconsin they are willing to say or do ANYTHING to get their way.

As much as I admire and respect the contributions of local Tea Parties with their volunteer enthusiasm and dedication it's often not enough to overcome the systemic organizational advantages of the professional protesting class who work hand in glove with the Democrat Party.

In 2010 we lost elections for Senate in both Nevada and Colorado where the polls showed GOP candidates Buck (CO) and Angle(NV) with slight leads at the end. A large part of our defeat in both races was the permanent union and progressive organization working behind the scenes. As one Colorado analyst pointed out: "Tea Party enthusiasm is no substitute for well-organized political movement infrastructure."

Protecting conservative gains in 2010 is absolutely vital as we gear up for 2012. To do so will take both organization and money. The Democrats have launched a national effort to overturn the victory of 2010. If we fail to counter their move with a fully funded and well organized national campaign we will pay for it in 2012. If Democrats succeed in overturning the gains in states like Wisconsin then all bets are off for defeating Obama in 2012.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Predictable Effort to Link Japan Disaster to Global Warming

If you needed further proof that the global warming nuts were without principle or any sense of scientific integrity this is it!

As former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel once said: "never let a crisis go to waste." And now, we learn that the left is trying to use the disaster in Japan to advance their global warming political agenda. Moonbattery has the story, but I wanted to repeat this highlight from Stormy Blogger which sums it up perfectly:

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It's sad that in the face of such a disaster some in the environmental activist community cannot help but try and politicize such an event.

Stunning Photos of Disaster in Japan

Today we are all Japanese!

The Daily Mail has this report including many large format photos which tell the story of destruction from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
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A convoy of emergency vehicles drive past rubble in Natory City (full size photo here)

Additional news reports describe how at least one GPS station records part of the Japanese land mass moved eight feet.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Documenting Obama's Plan to Restrict American Energy Development and Make Gas More Expensive

All Americans have to do is fill up their gas tank to know that we are not doing enough to find and use our OWN energy resources!

Gas prices have risen 90% since Obama took office in January 2009. If current trends continue, it is estimated that the average family will pay $700 more this year for gas. That's a huge hit in the wallets of Americans already struggling with tough economic times.

To counter the longstanding impression that the Obama Administration is anti-energy, Obama took to the microphones on Friday. He made a number of statements that might sound good but once you dig a bit deeper you see the truth. Fox News has this report:



OBAMA: Last year, American oil production reached its highest level since 2003. Let me repeat that. Our oil production reached its highest level in seven years. Oil production from federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico reached an all-time high. For the first time in more than a decade, imports accounted for less than half of what we consumed.

So any notion that my administration has shut down oil production might make for a good political sound bite, but it doesn’t match up with reality. We are encouraging offshore exploration and production.
Really? Does anyone believe that?

The Natural Resources Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives has compiled a lengthy list which documents the many steps the Obama Administration has taken to restrict oil and gas development.

Here are just a few highlights from the list:
  • One of the Obama Administration’s first acts in February 2009 was to unilaterally cancel 77 leases offered for new energy production on tracts of land in Utah (it later backtracked slightly and allowed 17 of the 77 leases to go forward). That August, the Administration withdrew another 23,757 acres of land leased for energy production, and in March 2010 withdrew 61 leases in Montana and 4,400 acres in West Virginia, putting more energy under lock-and-key.
  • Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar “scrapp[ed] leases for oil-shale development on federal land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.” The Heritage Foundation says “[t]he amount of oil available through oil shale is staggering,” and that “800 billion barrels of recoverable oil from oil shale in the Green River Formation is three times greater than the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia.”
And since Obama's oil drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico expired in October, only one permit for new deep water drilling has been issued. Meanwhile, a federal judge finds the Obama Administration's moratorium "unlawful" and holds the Administration in contempt.

After making what seemed like a compromise with very limited offshore drilling rights in March of 2010. the Administration reversed itself in December placing more areas off limits.

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Regulations and Environmental Activism Blocking More Energy Production

It's not just oil drilling that is being blocked by the Obama Administration. In concert with their environmentalist allies, energy projects of nearly every type are under assault nationwide. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has prepared a report which documents the energy projects that are stalled due to government regulatory and environmental activism. The chart below shows the projects which have been blocked, stalled or killed. The Chamber estimates that millions of jobs and trillions in economic activity are lost because of these efforts.
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Obama Taking Credit for Clinton/Bush Policies

It's pretty undeniable the Obama Administration is doing everything they can to block development of our energy resources. So what about Obama's claim that "Last year, American oil production reached its highest level since 2003?" Technically, it's true, but no thanks to Obama. What gains there were in energy production were the result of Bush and Clinton era policies. In fact, we are producing 16% less oil than projected before the Obama Administration took power.

Plenty of Oil and Gas

A November 2010 study from the Congressional Research service shows just how much untapped oil and gas potential exists within the U.S.:

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With the U.S. using approximately 7 billion barrels of oil per year, we have enough supply to last for decades as we transition to viable "green" alternatives using market forces.

The Hidden Agenda for Higher Gas Prices

Oil and natural gas remain the most efficient sources of energy and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Yet Obama and the Democrats have embarked on a deliberate campaign to make fossil fuels more expensive in their drive to reward their green friends who are heavy campaign contributors. It's no secret that people like former Vice President Al Gore have gotten rich by convincing the federal government to finance green alternatives to oil that would never make it in the free market without massive government subsidies.

It's also no secret that Obama and members of his Administration want higher gas prices as part of their extreme environmental agenda:
Sen. Obama In 2008: “[O]bama Suggested That The Main Problem With High Gasoline Prices Is Their Rapid Rise, Not Their Total Of About $4 A Gallon.” (Charles Babington and Jim Kuhnhenn, “One Down, More To Go For Republicans Aiding McCain,” The Associated Press, 6/12/08)

Obama Thought That Americans Could “Adapt” To Higher Gas Prices. “But if the government gives middle-class families tax cuts and encourages the market ‘to adapt to these new circumstances more quickly, particularly U.S. automakers, then I think ultimately, we can come out of this stronger and have a more efficient energy policy than we do right now.’” (Charles Babington and Jim Kuhnhenn, “One Down, More To Go For Republicans Aiding McCain,” The Associated Press, 6/12/08)

And Obama Wasn’t Concerned That Cap-And-Trade Would Have Boosted Consumer Energy Prices, He Boasted That: “[U]nder My Plan Of A Cap And Trade System, Electricity Rates Would Necessarily Skyrocket.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Interview With San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board, 1/17/08)

Energy Secretary Stephen Chu: “Somehow We Have To Figure Out How To Boost The Price Of Gasoline To The Levels In Europe.” (Neil King Jr. and Stephen Power, “Times Tough For Energy Overhaul, The Wall Street Journal,” 12/12/08)

Treasury Secretary Geithner Said The World Economy Can “Absorb” Higher Gas Prices. “Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner expressed confidence Wednesday that the world economy can successfully absorb any spike in oil prices brought on by political unrest in Libya and the greater Middle East.” (Dan Balz, “Geithner Confident World Can Deal With Oil Price Spike,” The Washington Post, 2/23/11)
It would not be fair to blame the entire increase in gas prices on Obama. But he and his Administration do bear a very great share of the blame. They have done absolutely NOTHING to insulate this country from price shocks caused by disturbances in the Middle East.  Worse still, Obama's suggestion that his Administration is encouraging oil production is laughable and false on it's face! As the full bite of his anti-energy policies take hold we will become increasingly dependent on foreign oil for our survival!

Who Will Protect Business and Individuals when Fire and Police in Wisconsin "Boycott?"

Shocking! Union goons threatening citizens.

With many Wisconsin legislators getting death threats and even one Democrat congressman suggesting there needs to be blood in the streets, the law abiding citizens of Wisconsin are right to be concerned for their safety.

But surely they can count on local police and fire services to protect them and their property?

Maybe not.

Charlie Sykes at Newsradio AM620 WTMJ received a copy of a letter sent to a Milwaukee businessman , Tom Ellis, noting that he was one of Governor Walker's campaign contributors. The Letter requests that Ellis publicly come out in opposition to Walker's effort to reign in public sector unions. If not, fire and police unions may "boycott" Ellis's business.

The letter is signed by union leaders for firefighters, police and educators.
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Now, imagine you are getting death threats and perhaps also threats to your property or business. You would hope that police and firefighters would be there to protect you. But when you receive a note threatening a "boycott" unless you publicly join the unions in protesting the Governor you helped to elect, you might have cause for concern that those who work in public safety jobs may not be there when you need them.

The concern of those receiving these letters is valid when we consider the legacy of union violence that has marred labor relations in this country for decades.

Union goons and the elected Democrats who support them know that in the face of possible violence and intimidation most people will buckle rather than fight. But if this kind of mass organized intimidation succeeds then violent minorities in other states will get the green light to overturn democratically elected governments and push through their agenda of greed and control.
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