Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
And what do they propose as the replacement for all of the lost jobs? So-called "green jobs"? Don't bet on it. There will be fewer of them, they will all be federally subsidized, and they will pay much less than current jobs. You can't dismantle two entire industries without massive job displacement.
This starry-eyed liberal president and his lilliputian utopian nut cases live in a theoretical world that doesn't work. It just looks good on paper.
A your next car will cost you $800-$1,300 more than your last one just to pay for this ridiculous and unnecessary legislation...
Obama takes aim at climate-warming car emissions
By John Whitesides
May 19, 2009
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama took aim at climate-warming greenhouse gases on Tuesday and ordered the struggling auto industry to make more fuel-efficient cars under tough new national standards to cut emissions and increase gas mileage.
Obama said the standards, announced at a White House ceremony attended by auto industry and union leaders, would reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and give five years of cost certainty to an industry battling to survive.
"The status quo is no longer acceptable," Obama said in an announcement that will pressure carmakers to transform and modernize the industry to produce more efficient vehicles.
"We have done little to increase fuel efficiency of America's cars and trucks for decades," he said, calling the standards the start of a transition to a clean energy economy.
Obama has made fighting climate change a priority, and lawmakers in Congress have begun wrangling over a historic bill many hope will provide broader guidelines for controlling greenhouse gas emissions.
Growing public support for efforts to battle climate change and the weakened state of the U.S. auto industry, which is staying afloat through federal bailouts and restructuring at the government's direction, gave Obama a window of opportunity to impose the rules.
Criticism of Obama's announcement was limited, and focused on the higher production costs, the safety concerns created by producing lighter cars and fears from some observers about increasing government involvement in the industry.
"The government is now designing our cars. It's out of the hands of vehicle manufacturers," said auto industry consultant Larry Rinek.
Under the new standards, U.S. passenger vehicles and light trucks must average 35.5 miles per gallon (6.62 litres/100km) by 2016. The current law, approved by the Bush administration, requires a similar gain by 2020.
Obama said the new standards would save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the program -- the equivalent of taking 58 million cars off the road for a year.
The Environmental Protection Agency would regulate and reduce tailpipe emissions for the first time under the standards.
The U.S. Congress does not have to approve the standards, which will be implemented through rules developed by the Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency, which could take more than a year to complete.
HIGHER PRICE TAGS FOR CONSUMERS
The plan was praised by automakers, environmentalists and an array of politicians, but it will mean higher price tags for consumers. The new program will add about $1,300 to the price of producing a vehicle.
Obama said car buyers would recoup the money with the lower fuel costs realized under more efficient mileage standards.
"This is a winning proposition for folks looking to buy a car," he said. "Over the life of a vehicle, the typical driver would save about $2,800 by getting better gas mileage."
The plan could cut deeply into voracious U.S. gasoline demand, dealing another blow to a refining sector hard hit by recession and bracing for more climate legislation.
The White House announcement came as U.S. gasoline prices soared for the second week in a row, with the latest pump cost up 7 cents over the previous week to $2.31 a gallon amid signs of an easing of the recession.
Obama was flanked at the ceremony by executives from 10 automakers and labor leaders. Governor Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, whose state includes the capital of the beleaguered auto industry, Detroit, also attended and embraced the plan for giving the industry cost certainty by setting a uniform national standard.
The plan resolves a long-running dispute between the government and California, which sought a waiver from federal law to impose its own tough standards on emissions. That could have led to a patchwork of different state regulations.
Obama said a series of lawsuits tied to California's efforts would be dropped. California would save money by avoiding the need for a special state compliance program.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who attended the announcement, told reporters the weekend negotiations on the plan were "very intense."
"Then all of a sudden it all clicked and it came together," he said. "It really was a huge battle and the president has brought everyone together and now we're marching forward in the same direction."
The proposal is aimed at cutting climate-warming carbon emissions, which would fall by 900 million metric tons or more than 30 percent over the life of the program.
Monday, May 18, 2009
1. Occidental College records -- Not released
2. Columbia College records -- Not released
3. Columbia Thesis paper -- "Not available"
4. Harvard College records -- Not released
5. Selective Service Registration -- Not released
6. Medical records -- Not released
7. Illinois State Senate schedule -- Not available
8. Your Illinois State Senate records -- Not available
9. Law practice client list -- Not released
10. Certified Copy of original Birth certificate -- Not released
11. Embossed, signed paper Certification of Live Birth -- Not released
12. Record of your baptism -- Not available
13. Any articles he published as editor of the Harvard Law Review -- Not available
14. Any articles he published as a professor at the University of Chicago -- Not available
The Chicago political machine has been grooming Barack Obama for the presidency for many years. If you like Chicago politics - the most corrupt political system in America - he's your man!
That's right. When a government takes unprecedented ownership into private businesses, spends trillions of dollars on bailouts, and increasingly grows the size of government while the private market shrinks, the senior adviser to the President thinks it's "unhealthy" for taxpayers to express their displeasure with the overreaching government.
Watch this video for more details.
Thomas Sowell: Regulators Started Housing Crisis
May 17, 2009
Respected economist Dr. Thomas Sowell, author of the new book "The Housing Boom and Bust," tells Newsmax that the current housing crisis can be blamed on pressure from government officials seeking to remedy a "problem that didn't exist."
Dr. Sowell also said politicians' stated concern about that so-called problem — a lack of affordable housing — is "a farce."
Newsmax.TV's Kathleen Walter asked Sowell what caused the "house of cards" in the housing market to collapse.
"The most fundamental thing is that the money that was normally paid for monthly housing payments stopped coming in, or stopped coming in in the volumes that it had in the past," said Sowell, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
"The question then is, why did that happen? And the reason that happened was that banks and other lending institutions began lending to people who did not meet the traditional standards for mortgage loans, but were given those loans under pressure from government regulators, and even in some cases under threats from the Department of Justice if their statistics didn't match what the Department of Justice thought they should be — for example, in terms of income levels, race, what communities they invested in, and so on."
Walter noted that Sowell asserts in his book that politicians in Washington were trying to solve a problem that didn't exist.
"The problem that didn't exist was a national problem of unaffordable housing," Sowell explained.
"The housing in particular areas, particularly coastal California and some other areas around the country, were just astronomically high. It was not uncommon for people to have to pay half of their family income just to put a roof over their head. So that was a very serious problem where it existed.
"But it existed in various coastal communities primarily and a couple of other places. Unfortunately, the elites whose strongholds are on the East and West Coasts don't seem to understand that there's a whole country in between, and in most of that country housing was quite affordable by all historical standards.
"So they set out to solve the problem by setting up a federal program to bring down the mortgage requirements, the 20 percent down payment and that sort of thing, and by forcing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy up those mortgages from the people who no longer had to meet the same requirements.
"The banks had no choice but to go along because the regulators controlled their fate. So the banks would simply sign up people, and sell the mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It now became Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's problem. And that meant it became the taxpayers' problem."
Walter asked: "Who is really responsible for all this?"
"There are a lot of people who were irresponsible," Sowell responded.
"But the fundamental problem, the problem of reduced lending standards, with people buying houses even with no money down in some cases, that all came precisely from the regulators that people are now talking about as the salvation of the housing market.
"There's no such thing as regulation in the abstract. There are certain kinds of regulation that can have beneficial effects. Canada does not have the same problem that we have even though they have regulations. But their regulators are trying to make sure that the banks and other lending institutions are obeying clear-cut rules. Ours were trying to produce higher statistics on home ownership in general, and in particular trying to reduce the gap between low-income people and high-income people, blacks and whites, et cetera."
Walter asked what Americans can do to ensure that the housing boom and bust will not happen again.
"First and foremost the voters have to learn to be skeptical and to find out what the facts are," Sowell said.
"There is not the slightest incentive for a politician to behave better in the future. If voters don't understand that, it's going to happen again.
"This is the worst housing crisis we've had but it is not the first. This very same drive to increase home ownership occurred under the Republicans in the '20s. It occurred under the Democrats in the '30s, and it occurred under both parties in the '40s and '50s.
"There is not the slightest incentive for politicians to learn from their mistakes because they pay no price for it. And they'll never pay a price for it as long as the voters don't make an effort to find out what is going on."
Sowell added: "I see absolutely no reason why politicians should take charge of which way prices go. That's precisely what led to the current disaster. . .
"When you realize how long politicians have been talking about a need for affordable housing, you realize what a farce it is."
Editor’s Note: To see the full Thomas Sowell interview, Go Here Now.
© 2009 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Click on the link to see the 10-page briefing memo from the CIA. At the top of that list is the lying Speaker of the House. Please note that the CIA briefers specifically discussed the enhanced interrogation techniques used.
Friday, May 15, 2009
April 6, 2009
By: Barry Farber
John Dean, a President Nixon staffer as Watergate was about to unfold, told his boss, "There is a cancer on your presidency."
Would any member of President Obama's staff dare tell him any such thing today?
Watergate was Nixon's 800-pound gorilla everybody talked about, who sat there until he broke the sofa. The location of Obama's birth is an 800-pound gorilla that gets fatter every day and nobody — at least nobody in major media — likes to admit its existence. There's never been a coming-together of factors resembling this one in America's entire political history.
At no point until now has the birthplace of a president been anything more than a local chamber-of-commerce item of pride (where I come, from they're still arguing whether President James Polk was born in Tennessee or North Carolina!). All of a sudden the question of President Obama's birth place threatens to undermine his very eligibility to serve, and to toss America into a constitutional crisis of unfathomable proportions.
In-depth journalism here would instinctively immerse itself in the growing blizzard of lawsuits launched by activists seeking "standing" (Do you have the right to question the president's eligibility to serve?) and writs of certiorari (Hey, Court! Will you please hear this case?). In-depth journalism would detail how many and who in which states are making the pile of challenges zoom.
In-depth journalism would distinguish between the challenges to President Obama's legitimacy on grounds of his alleged birth in Kenya versus his alleged status as a British subject by virtue of his father's citizenship. That's what in-depth journalism would do.
This may sound strange, but I believe this is a time for simple — even superficial — journalism. Let's keep the flight deck as uncluttered as possible and stick to what we all know for sure.
The Constitution insists that the president be a natural-born American. We have the president's paternal grandmother claiming she was present at his birth in Kenya, and we have a TV talk host named Keith Olbermann who tells those who say things like that to put the Reynolds Wrap back on their heads. We have no proof that Grandma was there or that Obama doubters like to wear Reynolds Wrap on their heads.
We know a few facts for certain. And our knowledge is disturbing. We know that President Obama is either covering up the truth of his birthplace or, and this is an Olympic stretch, refusing to offer proof because of some unstated "principle." I recall many college post-midnight bull-sessions debating whether taking the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination was really anything but an admission of guilt bathed in a hoped-for constitutional respectability. The "admission of guilt" side won every time.
The "grandmother-was-there" story really began before the election. The scenario goes as follows: His mother wanted to fly from Kenya to Hawaii so she could give birth in Hawaii, but she was too pregnant to fly. She therefore gave birth in Kenya and later had Barack registered in Hawaii.
We've not been allowed to see the president's birth certificate. Instead we've been offered something nobody ever heard of called a "certificate of live birth" from the state of Hawaii. If all this culminates in the revelation that Barack Obama is not, in fact, eligible to serve as president of the USA, this will go down as his team's biggest mistake.
The American people may not be all we used to be, but we're not yet ready to roll over and smile at the sight of a confection designed to masquerade as a birth certificate while we're being angrily denied a look at the real thing.
Do a little thought-experiment. Let's talk "probably."
If the president were unjustly accused of being ineligible to serve and the chorus became nationally audible, what would he probably do?
Probably what would happen would be the press secretary would talk to a subordinate five layers down and instruct him to talk to a subordinate another five layers down (the coffee-fetching level) and instruct him to have copies of the president's birth certificate — nothing else, please — printed and made available at the next White House news conference. That's a mosquito swat too small to make anybody's memoirs.
That’s quite far from what's happening.
We're getting nothing but angry cries of "garbage" from the administration whenever anybody dares hint at a problem or even a question. And the entire press corps seems to be in an intimidation hammerlock. Look how successfully the administration has handled this. Not only is the birth certificate issue taboo but also we’re not allowed to see Obama's applications to Columbia and Harvard.
Such forms may have inconvenient answers to questions like, "Citizenship?” "Place of birth?" etc. Yet none of the working reporters dares say anything about any of this. And if one ever did, he would be pounced upon and devoured, not by the administration piranhas, but by their own brother and sister journalists.
How can the White House press corps refrain from any such questioning and then look at their faces in a mirror while shaving or applying mascara?
Disclosure: I don't care where an American president was born. I do care about the Constitution. A businessman who keep two sets of books goes to jail. It's worse when a country lists which laws we must obey and which we're free to ignore.
In the fairy tale, a 6-year-old boy brought the regime down by saying, "The emperor has no clothes!"
Trouble is, they don't allow 6-year-olds in White House news conferences.
For the first time since 1983, the Treasury ran a DEFICIT in April. It racked up $20.9 billion in red ink. That was worse than economists were expecting ... worse than the Congressional Budget Office had forecast ... and a huge, huge shift from a year earlier when Treasury recorded a SURPLUS of $159.3 billion.
What happened? Simple. Uncle Sam spent money he didn't have!
Government spending surged 17.5 percent year-over-year, while revenue plunged 34.1 percent. You don't need a Ph.D. in economics to know that's a recipe for disaster.
The budget deficit for the current fiscal year is now running at $802.3 billion. That compares to $153.5 billion this time last year. In other words, we've ALREADY dug a budget hole that's more than five times as deep as the one in 2008!
The administration was just forced to raise its 2009 budget deficit estimate to $1.84 trillion, up 5 percent from the outlook it shared just two months earlier. And the 2010 deficit estimate jumped 7.4 percent to $1.26 trillion. This means we're running a deficit equal to a whopping 12.9 percent of the U.S. economy ... the highest in 64 years!
May 14 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama, calling current deficit spending “unsustainable,” warned of skyrocketing interest rates for consumers if the U.S. continues to finance government by borrowing from other countries.
“We can’t keep on just borrowing from China,” Obama said at a town-hall meeting in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, outside Albuquerque. “We have to pay interest on that debt, and that means we are mortgaging our children’s future with more and more debt.”
Holders of U.S. debt will eventually “get tired” of buying it, causing interest rates on everything from auto loans to home mortgages to increase, Obama said. “It will have a dampening effect on our economy.”
This is precisely what ALL conservatives in America have been saying since his misguided Stimulus B.S. bill was proposed in January!
My bet? He's a well practiced liar who is very adept at saying one thing while doing quite the opposite. If he really believed what he just said, he wouldn't have MORTGAGED OUR CHILDREN'S FUTURE!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Never in American history has there been a wider divide between a president's reality and his self-perception. This man knows everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Just ask him. No, better yet, read what he said to the ASU graduates and decide for yourself....
Thank you, President Crow, for that generous introduction, and for your inspired leadership here at ASU. And I want to thank the entire ASU community for the honor of attaching my name to a scholarship program that will help open the doors of higher education to students from every background. That is the core mission of this school; it is a core mission of my presidency; and I hope this program will serve as a model for universities across this country.
Now, before I begin, I'd like to clear the air about that little controversy everyone was talking about a few weeks back. I have to tell you, I really thought it was much ado about nothing, although I think we all learned an important lesson. I learned to never again pick another team over the Sun Devils in my NCAA bracket. And your university President and Board of Regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS.
In all seriousness, I come here not to dispute the suggestion that I haven't yet achieved enough in my life. I come to embrace it; to heartily concur; to affirm that one's title, even a title like President, says very little about how well one's life has been led - and that no matter how much you've done, or how successful you've been, there's always more to do, more to learn, more to achieve.
And I want to say to you today, graduates, that despite having achieved a remarkable milestone, one that you and your families are rightfully proud of, you too cannot rest on your laurels. Your body of work is yet to come.
Now, some graduating classes have marched into this stadium in easy times - times of peace and stability when we call on our graduates to simply keep things going, and not screw it up. Other classes have received their diplomas in times of trial and upheaval, when the very foundations of our lives have been shaken, the old ideas and institutions have crumbled, and a new generation is called on to remake the world.
It should be clear by now the category into which all of you fall. For we gather here tonight in times of extraordinary difficulty, for the nation and the world. The economy remains in the midst of a historic recession, the result, in part, of greed and irresponsibility that rippled out from Wall Street and Washington, as we spent beyond our means and failed to make hard choices.
We are engaged in two wars and a struggle against terrorism. The threats of climate change, nuclear proliferation, and pandemic defy national boundaries and easy solutions.
For many of you, these challenges are felt in more personal terms. Perhaps you're still looking for a job - or struggling to figure out what career path makes sense in this economy.
Maybe you've got student loans, or credit card debts, and are wondering how you'll ever pay them off. Maybe you've got a family to raise, and are wondering how you'll ensure that your kids have the same opportunities you've had to get an education and pursue their dreams.
In the face of these challenges, it may be tempting to fall back on the formulas for success that have dominated these recent years. Many of you have been taught to chase after the usual brass rings: being on this "who's who" list or that top 100 list; how much money you make and how big your corner office is; whether you have a fancy enough title or a nice enough car.
You can take that road - and it may work for some of you. But at this difficult time, let me suggest that such an approach won't get you where you want to go; that in fact, the elevation of appearance over substance, celebrity over character, short-term gain over lasting achievement is precisely what your generation needs to help end.
I want to highlight two main problems with that old approach. First, it distracts you from what is truly important, and may lead you to compromise your values, principles and commitments. Think about it. It's in chasing titles and status - in worrying about the next election rather than the national interest and the interests of those they represent - that politicians so often lose their way in Washington. It was in pursuit of gaudy short-term profits, and the bonuses that come with them, that so many folks lost their way on Wall Street.
The leaders we revere, the businesses that last - they are not the result of narrow pursuit of popularity or personal advancement, but of devotion to some bigger purpose - the preservation of the Union or the determination to lift a country out of depression; the creation of a quality product or a commitment to your customers, your workers, your shareholders and your community.
The trappings of success may be a by-product of this larger mission, but they can't be the central thing. Just ask Bernie Madoff.
The second problem with the old approach is that a relentless focus on the outward markers of success all too often leads to complacency. We too often let them serve as indications that we're doing well, even though something inside us tells us that we're not doing our best; that we are shrinking from, rather than rising to, the challenges of the age. And the thing is, in this new, hyper-competitive age, you cannot afford to be complacent.
That is true in whatever profession you choose. Professors might earn the distinction of tenure, but that doesn't guarantee that they'll keep putting in the long hours and late nights - and have the passion and drive - to be great educators. It's true in your personal life as well. Being a parent isn't just a matter of paying the bills and doing the bare minimum - it's not bringing a child into the world that matters, but the acts of love and sacrifice it takes to raise that child. It can happen to presidents too: Abraham Lincoln and Millard Fillmore had the very same title, but their tenure in office - and their legacy - could not be more different.
And that's not just true for individuals - it is also true for this nation. In recent years, in many ways, we've become enamored with our own success - lulled into complacency by our own achievements.
We've become accustomed to the title of "military super-power," forgetting the qualities that earned us that title - not just a build-up of arms, or accumulation of victories, but the Marshall Plan, the Peace Corps, our commitment to working with other nations to pursue the ideals of opportunity, equality and freedom that have made us who we are.
We've become accustomed to our economic dominance in the world, forgetting that it wasn't reckless deals and get-rich-quick schemes that got us there; but hard work and smart ideas -quality products and wise investments. So we started taking shortcuts. We started living on credit, instead of building up savings. We saw businesses focus more on rebranding and repackaging than innovating and developing new ideas and products that improve our lives.
All the while, the rest of the world has grown hungrier and more restless - in constant motion to build and discover - not content with where they are right now, determined to strive for more.
So graduates, it is now abundantly clear that we need to start doing things a little differently. In your own lives, you'll need to continuously adapt to a continuously changing economy: to have more than one job or career over the course of your life; to keep gaining new skills - possibly even new degrees; and to keep taking risks as new opportunities arise.
And as a nation, we'll need a fundamental change of perspective and attitude. It is clear that we need to build a new foundation - a stronger foundation - for our economy and our prosperity, rethinking how we educate our children, and care for our sick, and treat our environment.
Many of our current challenges are unprecedented. There are no standard remedies, or go-to fixes this time around.
That is why we are going to need your help. We'll need young people like you to step up. We need your daring and your enthusiasm and your energy.
And let me be clear, when I say "young," I'm not just referring to the date on your birth certificate. I'm talking about an approach to life - a quality of mind and heart.
A willingness to follow your passions, regardless of whether they lead to fortune and fame. A willingness to question conventional wisdom and rethink the old dogmas. A lack of regard for all the traditional markers of status and prestige - and a commitment instead to doing what is meaningful to you, what helps others, what makes a difference in this world.
That's the spirit that led a band of patriots not much older than you to take on an empire. It's what drove young pioneers west, and young women to reach for the ballot; what inspired a 30 year-old escaped slave to run an underground railroad to freedom, and a 26 year-old preacher to lead a bus boycott for justice. It's what led firefighters and police officers in the prime of their lives up the stairs of those burning towers; and young people across this country to drop what they were doing and come to the aid of a flooded New Orleans.
It's what led two guys in a garage - named Hewlett and Packard - to form a company that would change the way we live and work; and what led scientists in laboratories, and novelists in coffee shops to labor in obscurity until they finally succeeded in changing the way we see the world.
That is the great American story: young people just like you, following their passions, determined to meet the times on their own terms. They weren't doing it for the money. Their titles weren't fancy - ex-slave, minister, student, citizen. But they changed the course of history - and so can you.
With a degree from this university, you have everything you need to get started. Did you study business? Why not help our struggling non-profits find better, more effective ways to serve folks in need. Nursing? Understaffed clinics and hospitals across this country are desperate for your help. Education? Teach in a high-need school; give a chance to kids we can't afford to give up on - prepare them to compete for any job anywhere in the world. Engineering? Help us lead a green revolution, developing new sources of clean energy that will power our economy and preserve our planet.
Or you can make your mark in smaller, more individual ways. That's what so many of you have already done during your time here at ASU - tutoring children; registering voters; doing your own small part to fight hunger and homelessness, AIDS and cancer. I think one student said it best when she spoke about her senior engineering project building medical devices for people with disabilities in a village in Africa. Her professor showed a video of the folks they'd be helping, and she said, "When we saw the people on the videos, we began to feel a connection to them. It made us want to be successful for them."
That's a good motto for all of us - find someone to be successful for. Rise to their hopes and their needs. As you think about life after graduation, as you look in the mirror tonight, you may see somebody with no idea what to do with their life. But a troubled child might look at you and see a mentor. A homebound senior citizen might see a lifeline. The folks at your local homeless shelter might see a friend. None of them care how much money is in your bank account, or whether you're important at work, or famous around town - they just know that you're someone who cares, someone who makes a difference in their lives.
That is what building a body of work is all about - it's about the daily labor, the many individual acts, the choices large and small that add up to a lasting legacy. It's about not being satisfied with the latest achievement, the latest gold star - because one thing I know about a body of work is that it's never finished. It's cumulative; it deepens and expands with each day that you give your best, and give back, and contribute to the life of this nation. You may have set-backs, and you may have failures, but you're not done - not by a longshot.
Just look to history. Thomas Paine was a failed corset maker, a failed teacher, and a failed tax collector before he made his mark on history with a little book called Common Sense that helped ignite a revolution. Julia Child didn't publish her first cookbook until she was almost fifty, and Colonel Sanders didn't open up his first Kentucky Fried Chicken until he was in his sixties.
Winston Churchill was dismissed as little more than a has-been, who enjoyed scotch just a bit too much, before he took over as Prime Minister and saw Great Britain through its finest hour. And no one thought a former football player stocking shelves at the local supermarket would return to the game he loved, become a Super Bowl MVP, and then come here to Arizona and lead your Cardinals to their first Super Bowl.
Each of them, at one point in their life, didn't have any title or much status to speak of. But they had a passion, a commitment to following that passion wherever it would lead, and to working hard every step along the way.
And that's not just how you'll ensure that your own life is well-lived. It's how you'll make a difference in the life of this nation. I talked earlier about the selfishness and irresponsibility on Wall Street and Washington that rippled out and led to the problems we face today. I talked about the focus on outward markers of success that can lead us astray.
But here's the thing, graduates: it works the other way around too. Acts of sacrifice and decency without regard to what's in it for you - those also create ripple effects - ones that lift up families and communities; that spread opportunity and boost our economy; that reach folks in the forgotten corners of the world who, in committed young people like you, see the true face of America: our strength, our goodness, the enduring power of our ideals.
I know starting your careers in troubled times is a challenge. But it is also a privilege.
Because it is moments like these that force us to try harder, to dig deeper, to discover gifts we never knew we had - to find the greatness that lies within each of us. So don't ever shy away from that endeavor. Don't ever stop adding to your body of work. I can promise that you will be the better for that continued effort, as will this nation that we all love.
Congratulations on your graduation, and Godspeed on the road ahead.
Napolitano Pulls Right Wing Extremism Report
The Washington Times
May 14, 2009
By Audrey Hudson
A contentious "Rightwing Extremism" report that warned of military veterans as possible recruits for terrorist attacks against the U.S. was not authorized, has been withdrawn and is being rewritten, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Capitol Hill lawmakers.
"The wheels came off the wagon because the vetting process was not followed," Ms. Napolitano told the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday.
"The report is no longer out there," she said. "An employee sent it out without authorization."
The report was shared with state and local law enforcement officials nationwide via the department's internal Web site on April 7, angering Republican lawmakers and military veterans who said it unfairly stereotyped veterans.
Ms. Napolitano did not say when the report was taken off the "intel Web site" and all Homeland Security Department Web sites, but she said it is in the process of being "replaced or redone in a much more useful and much more precise fashion."
Rep. Christopher Carney, Pennsylvania Democrat, said that as a veteran he "took offense personally," and his constituents were offended by the report as well.
"It really hit home hard to me and in our district," Mr. Carney said. "It's not a good start when I go to town hall meetings and I hear people calling for your resignation."
Ms. Napolitano said the report titled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," is not the only report she has seen that says veterans are targets for recruitment by racist and other hate groups.
"It was an assessment, not an accusation," Ms. Napolitano said.
"It didn't say that," Mr. Carney interrupted.
"That's right," Ms. Napolitano responded. "That is why it should not have gone out."
Asked whether the person who wrote the report is still employed, Ms. Napolitano said, "Appropriate personnel action is being taken."
Rep. Peter T. King, the ranking Republican on the committee, said the report "made an impression" in his New York district as well.
"I don't think it reflects well on the department, and I know you want to address it," Mr. King said.
David K. Rehbein, commander of the American Legion, said the withdrawal of the report "validates our objections."
"It did not contain any evidence," Mr. Rehbein said. "It was an unfair and unsubstantiated stereotype based on Timothy McVeigh."
The report also said "rightwing extremism" may include groups opposed to abortion and immigration, among several other threat assessments.
In March, the department issued and recalled within hours, a lexicon of key terms and phrases used by Homeland Security analysts "that addresses the nature and scope of the threat that domestic, non-Islamic extremism poses to the United States."
Whites and blacks, Christians and Jews, Cubans and Mexicans, along with tax objectors, were among several political leanings listed in the "Domestic Extremism Lexicon." Both reports were prepared by the department's Office of Intelligence and Analysis.
"Some things in my initial days have gone very well at the department, some things have not. And that was probably the worst thing," Ms. Napolitano told the House Appropriations subcommittee on homeland security on Tuesday.
"It was not authorized to be distributed. It had not even completed its vetting process within the department. It has been taken off of the intel Web sites and the lexicon that went along with it was similarly withdrawn," she said.
"Neither were authorized products, and we have now put in place processes. And it turned out there were really no procedures to govern what went out and what didn't before, and now there are. I do not want to see a replication of that," Ms. Napolitano said.
Tincture of Lawlessness
Obama's Overreaching Economic Policies
By George F. Will
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Anyone, said T.S. Eliot, could carve a goose, were it not for the bones. And anyone could govern as boldly as his whims decreed, were it not for the skeletal structure that keeps civil society civil -- the rule of law. The Obama administration is bold. It also is careless regarding constitutional values and is acquiring a tincture of lawlessness.
In February, California's Democratic-controlled Legislature, faced with a $42 billion budget deficit, trimmed $74 million (1.4 percent) from one of the state's fastest-growing programs, which provides care for low-income and incapacitated elderly people and which cost the state $5.42 billion last year. The Los Angeles Times reports that "loose oversight and bureaucratic inertia have allowed fraud to fester."
But the Service Employees International Union collects nearly $5 million a month from 223,000 caregivers who are members. And the Obama administration has told California that unless the $74 million in cuts are rescinded, it will deny the state $6.8 billion in stimulus money.
Such a federal ukase (the word derives from czarist Russia; how appropriate) to a state legislature is a sign of the administration's dependency agenda -- maximizing the number of people and institutions dependent on the federal government. For the first time, neither sales nor property nor income taxes are the largest source of money for state and local governments. The federal government is.
The SEIU says the cuts violate contracts negotiated with counties. California officials say the state required the contracts to contain clauses allowing pay to be reduced if state funding is.
Anyway, the Obama administration, judging by its cavalier disregard of contracts between Chrysler and some of the lenders it sought money from, thinks contracts are written on water.
The administration proposes that Chrysler's secured creditors get 28 cents per dollar on the $7 billion owed to them but that the United Auto Workers union get 43 cents per dollar on its $11 billion in claims -- and 55 percent of the company. This, even though the secured creditors' contracts supposedly guaranteed them better standing than the union.
Among Chrysler's lenders, some servile banks that are now dependent on the administration for capital infusions tugged their forelocks and agreed. Some hedge funds among Chrysler's lenders that are not dependent were vilified by the president because they dared to resist his demand that they violate their fiduciary duties to their investors, who include individuals and institutional pension funds.
The Economist says the administration has "ridden roughshod over [creditors'] legitimate claims over the [automobile companies'] assets. . . . Bankruptcies involve dividing a shrunken pie. But not all claims are equal: some lenders provide cheaper funds to firms in return for a more secure claim over the assets should things go wrong. They rank above other stakeholders, including shareholders and employees. This principle is now being trashed."
Tom Lauria, a lawyer representing hedge fund people trashed by the president as the cause of Chrysler's bankruptcy, asked that his clients' names not be published for fear of violence threatened in e-mails to them.
The Troubled Assets Relief Program, which has not yet been used for its supposed purpose (to purchase such assets from banks), has been the instrument of the administration's adventure in the automobile industry. TARP's $700 billion, like much of the supposed "stimulus" money, is a slush fund the executive branch can use as it pleases.
This is as lawless as it would be for Congress to say to the IRS: We need $3.5 trillion to run the government next year, so raise it however you wish -- from whomever, at whatever rates you think suitable. Don't bother us with details.
This is not gross, unambiguous lawlessness of the Nixonian sort -- burglaries, abuse of the IRS and FBI, etc. -- but it is uncomfortably close to an abuse of power that perhaps gave Nixon ideas: When in 1962 the steel industry raised prices, President John F. Kennedy had a tantrum and his administration leaked rumors that the IRS would conduct audits of steel executives, and sent FBI agents on predawn visits to the homes of journalists who covered the steel industry, ostensibly to further a legitimate investigation.
The Obama administration's agenda of maximizing dependency involves political favoritism cloaked in the raiment of "economic planning" and "social justice" that somehow produce results superior to what markets produce when freedom allows merit to manifest itself, and incompetence to fail.
The administration's central activity -- the political allocation of wealth and opportunity -- is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Congress and Waterboarding
Nancy Pelosi was an accomplice to 'torture'
May 14, 2009
By KARL ROVE
Someone important appears not to be telling the truth about her knowledge of the CIA's use of enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs). That someone is Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. The political persecution of Bush administration officials she has been pushing may now ensnare her.
Here's what we know. On Sept. 4, 2002, less than a year after 9/11, the CIA briefed Rep. Porter Goss, then House Intelligence Committee chairman, and Mrs. Pelosi, then the committee's ranking Democrat, on EITs including waterboarding. They were the first members of Congress to be informed.
In December 2007, Mrs. Pelosi admitted that she attended the briefing, but she wouldn't comment for the record about precisely what she was told. At the time the Washington Post spoke with a "congressional source familiar with Pelosi's position on the matter" and summarized that person's comments this way: "The source said Pelosi recalls that techniques described by the CIA were still in the planning stage -- they had been designed and cleared with agency lawyers but not yet put in practice -- and acknowledged that Pelosi did not raise objections at the time."
When questions were raised last month about these statements, Mrs. Pelosi insisted at a news conference that "We were not -- I repeat -- were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used." Mrs. Pelosi also claimed that the CIA "did not tell us they were using that, flat out. And any, any contention to the contrary is simply not true." She had earlier said on TV, "I can say flat-out, they never told us that these enhanced interrogations were being used."
The Obama administration's CIA director, Leon Panetta, and Mr. Goss have both disputed Mrs. Pelosi's account.
In a report to Congress on May 5, Mr. Panetta described the CIA's 2002 meeting with Mrs. Pelosi as "Briefing on EITs including use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah, background on [legal] authorities, and a description of the particular EITs that had been employed." Note the past tense -- "had been employed."
Mr. Goss says he and Mrs. Pelosi were told at the 2002 briefing about the use of the EITs and "on a bipartisan basis, we asked if the CIA needed more support from Congress to carry out its mission." He is backed by CIA sources who say Mr. Goss and Mrs. Pelosi "questioned whether we were doing enough" to extract information.
We also know that Michael Sheehy, then Mrs. Pelosi's top aide on the Intelligence Committee and later her national security adviser, not only attended the September 2002 meeting but was also briefed by the CIA on EITs on Feb. 5, 2003, and told about a videotape of Zubaydah being waterboarded. Mr. Sheehy was almost certain to have told Mrs. Pelosi. He has not commented publicly about the 2002 or the 2003 meetings.
So is the speaker of the House lying about what she knew and when? And, if so, what will Democrats do about it?
If Mrs. Pelosi considers the enhanced interrogation techniques to be torture, didn't she have a responsibility to complain at the time, introduce legislation to end the practices, or attempt to deny funding for the CIA's use of them? If she knew what was going on and did nothing, does that make her an accessory to a crime of torture, as many Democrats are calling enhanced interrogation?
Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy wants an independent investigation of Bush administration officials. House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers feels the Justice Department should investigate and prosecute anyone who violated laws against committing torture. Are these and other similarly minded Democrats willing to have Mrs. Pelosi thrown into their stew of torture conspirators as an accomplice?
It is clear that after the 9/11 attacks Mrs. Pelosi was briefed on enhanced interrogation techniques and the valuable information they produced. She not only agreed with what was being done, she apparently pressed the CIA to do more.
But when political winds shifted, Mrs. Pelosi seems to have decided to use enhanced interrogation as an issue to attack Republicans. It is disgraceful that Democrats who discovered their outrage years after the fact are now braying for disbarment of the government lawyers who justified EITs and the prosecution of Bush administration officials who authorized them.
Mrs. Pelosi is hip-deep in dangerous waters, and they are rapidly rising.
Mr. Rove is the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.
Administration in Early Talks on Ways to Curb Compensation Across Finance
Wall Street Journal (Excerpt)
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration has begun serious talks about how it can change compensation practices across the financial-services industry, including at companies that did not receive federal bailout money, according to people familiar with the matter.
The initiative, which is in its early stages, is part of an ambitious and likely controversial effort to broadly address the way financial companies pay employees and executives, including an attempt to more closely align pay with long-term performance.
Administration and regulatory officials are looking at various options, including using the Federal Reserve's supervisory powers, the power of the Securities and Exchange Commission and moral suasion. Officials are also looking at what could be done legislatively.
WASHINGTON – Popular US breakfast cereal Cheerios is a drug, at least if the claims made on the label by its manufacturer General Mills are anything to go by, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said.
"Based on claims made on your product's label, we have determined that your Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal is promoted for conditions that cause it to be a drug," the FDA said in a letter to General Mills which was posted on the federal agency's website Tuesday.
Cheerios labels claim that eating the cereal can help lower bad cholesterol, a risk factor for coronary heart disease, by four percent in six weeks.
Citing a clinical study, the product labels also claim that eating two servings a day of Cheerios helps to reduce bad cholesterol when eaten as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, the FDA letter says.
Those claims indicate that Cheerios -- said by General Mills to be the best-selling cereal in the United States -- is intended to be used to lower cholesterol and prevent, lessen or treat the disease hypercholesterolemia, and to treat and prevent coronary heart disease.
"Because of these intended uses, the product is a drug," the FDA concluded in its letter.
Not only that, but Cheerios is a new drug because it has not been "recognized as safe and effective for use in preventing or treating hypercholesterolemia or coronary heart disease," the FDA said.
That means General Mills may not legally market Cheerios unless it applies for approval as a new drug or changes the way it labels the small, doughnut-shaped cereal, the FDA said.
General Mills defended the claims on Cheerios packaging, saying in a statement that Cheerios' soluble fiber heart health claim has been FDA-approved for 12 years, and that its "lower your cholesterol four percent in six weeks" message has been featured on the box for more than two years.
The FDA's quibble is not about whether Cheerios cereal is good for you but over "how the Cheerios cholesterol-lowering information is presented on the Cheerios package and website," said General Mills.
"We look forward to discussing this with FDA and to reaching a resolution."
Meanwhile, the FDA warned in its letter that if General Mills fails to "correct the violations" on its labels, boxes of Cheerios could disappear from supermarket and wholesaler shelves around the United States and the company could face legal action.
According to General Mills, one in eight boxes of cereal sold in the United States is a box of Cheerios. The cereal debuted on the US market in 1941.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Unfortunately, the government's endless pool of tax revenue is just about empty due to the economy and to reticence by even some Democrats to raise taxes further. They correctly foresee a future that does not include them living in Washington if they raise them any further. So now our government is borrowing money (U.S. Treasury bonds) and printing money, which will result in debt that we cannot repay and inflation that we cannot stop.
To further exacerbate the situation, Obama & Co is pushing for even more spending at precisely the worst time in our history to fund their misguided activist agenda. One of two things will happen: Obama will either not get the funding he needs for healthcare, energy and education, and will be stopped in his tracks before he runs America off the rails; or he will get the funding he needs, and he and his co-conspirators in congress will be run out of town on a rail in the next two election cycles...
U.S. Deficit Soaring Higher, to $1.8 Trillion
May 11, 2009
WASHINGTON — The government will have to borrow nearly 50 cents for every dollar it spends this year, exploding the record federal deficit past $1.8 trillion under new White House estimates.
Budget office figures released Monday would add $89 billion to the 2009 red ink, increasing it to more than four times last year's all-time high as the government hands out billions more than expected for people who have lost jobs and takes in less tax revenue from people and companies making less money.
The unprecedented deficit figures flow from the deep recession, the Wall Street bailout and the cost of President Barack Obama's economic stimulus bill, as well as a seemingly embedded structural imbalance between what the government spends and what it takes in.
As the economy performs worse than expected, the deficit for the 2010 budget year beginning in October will worsen by $87 billion to $1.3 trillion, the White House says. The deterioration reflects lower tax revenues and higher costs for bank failures, unemployment benefits and food stamps.
Just a few days ago, Obama touted an administration plan to cut $17 billion in wasteful or duplicative programs from the budget next year. The erosion in the deficit announced Monday is five times the size of those savings.
For the current year, the government would borrow 46 cents for every dollar it takes to run the government under the administration's plan. In 2010, it would borrow 35 cents for every dollar spent.
"The deficits ... are driven in large part by the economic crisis inherited by this administration," budget director Peter Orszag wrote in a blog entry on Monday.
The developments come as the White House completes the official release of its $3.6 trillion budget for 2010, adding detail to some of its tax proposals and ideas for producing health care savings. The White House budget is a recommendation to Congress that represents Obama's fiscal and policy vision for the next decade.
Annual deficits would never dip below $500 billion and would total $7.1 trillion over 2010-2019. Even those dismal figures rely on economic projections that are significantly more optimistic — just a 1.2 percent decline in gross domestic product this year and a 3.2 percent growth rate for 2010 — than those of private sector economists and the Congressional Budget Office.
As a percentage of the economy, the measure economists say is most important, the deficit would be 12.9 percent of GDP this year, the biggest since World War II. It would drop to 8.5 percent of GDP in 2010.
In the past three decades, deficits in the range of 4 percent of GDP have caused Congress and previous administrations to launch efforts to narrow the gap. The White House predicts deficits equaling 2.9 percent of the economy within four years.
Polling data suggest Americans are worried increasingly about mounting deficits and debt.
An AP-GfK poll last month gave Obama relatively poor grades on the deficit, with just 49 percent of respondents approving of the president's handling of the issue and 41 percent disapproving. By contrast, Obama's overall approval rating was 64 percent, with just 30 percent disapproving.
"Even using their February economic assumptions, which now appear to be out of date and overly optimistic, the administration never puts us on a stable path," said Marc Goldwein of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a bipartisan group that advocates budget discipline. "The president ... understands the critical importance of fiscal discipline. Now we need to see some action."
For the most part, Obama's updated budget tracks the 134-page outline he submitted to lawmakers in February. His budget remains a bold but contentious document that proposes higher taxes for the wealthy, a hotly contested effort to combat global warming and the first steps toward guaranteed health care for all.
Meanwhile, the congressional budget plan approved last month would not extend Obama's signature $400 tax credit for most workers and $800 for couples after it expires at the end of next year.
Obama's "cap-and-trade" proposal to curb heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions is also reeling from opposition from Democrats from coal-producing regions and states with concentrations of heavy industry. Under cap-and-trade, the government would auction permits to emit heat-trapping gases, with the costs being passed on to consumers via higher gasoline and electric bills.
Also new in Obama's budget details are several tax "loophole" closures and increased IRS tax compliance efforts to raise $58 billion over the next decade to help finance his health care measure. The money would make up for revenue losses stemming from lower-than-hoped estimates for his proposal to limit wealthier people's ability to maximize their itemized deductions.
By Pat Buchanan
May 11, 2009
As was evident at the White House Correspondents Dinner, it is deja vu, 1961, all over again. We have a young, cool, witty, personable president – and an adoring press corps.
"I am Barack Obama," the president introduced himself. "Most of you covered me. All of you voted for me. (Laughter and applause.) Apologies to the Fox table. (Laughter.)"
What is also evident is that, without its new superstar in the lineup, the Democratic Party is a second-division ball club. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are not terribly formidable. Last fall, the Congress they ran had an approval rating below Vice President Cheney.
Why then is the Republican Party agonizing publicly over what it is supposed to do? If history is any guide, the pendulum will swing back in 2010.
After all, in 1952, Eisenhower was elected in a more impressive victory than Obama's, and ended the Korean War by June. And, in 1954, he lost both houses of Congress.
Lyndon Johnson crushed Goldwater by three times the margin of Obama's victory. He got Medicare, Medicaid, voting rights and a host of Great Society programs. And, in 1966, he lost 47 House seats.
Ronald Reagan won a 44-state landslide in 1980, cut tax rates – and proceeded to lose 26 seats in 1982.
Bill Clinton recaptured the presidency for his party in 1992 after 12 years of Republican rule. In 1994, he lost 52 seats and both houses of Congress.
Though, demographically, the nation is tilting toward the Party of Government, the GOP must remain the party of free enterprise, and should follow the counsel of Australia's Robert Menzies, long ago:
"(T)he duty of an opposition ... is to oppose selectively. No government is always wrong on everything. … The opposition must choose the ground on which it is to attack. To attack indiscriminately is to risk public opinion, which has a reserve of fairness not always understood."
Rather than debating what the national party position should be on foreign policy, health care, education, or social issues – which the party will decide when it chooses a nominee in 2012 – the GOP should focus now, and unite now, on what it will stand against.
Here the party has a good start. With the exception of Specter the Defector and the ladies from Maine, it united against the $800 billion stimulus bill. And as it is impossible to shovel out an added 6 percent of GDP in two years, without vast waste, fraud and abuse, this stimulus package is going to come back and bite Obama by 2010.
And, recall, in his address to Congress, Obama assigned Joe Biden to see to it there was no waste, fraud or abuse in spending the $800 billion: "And that's why I've asked Vice President Biden to lead a tough, unprecedented oversight effort – because nobody messes with Joe."
Joe has been set up to take the fall.
The next place to take a stand is against "cap and trade."
More and more Americans are coming to conclude, after the record cold temperatures in many cities this winter, that global warning is a crock – that there is no conclusive proof it is happening, no conclusive proof man is the cause, no conclusive proof it would be a calamity for us or the polar bears.
But cap and trade would mean a huge hike in the cost of energy for all Americans, the shutdown of fuel-efficient U.S. factories, and their replacement by dirtier and less fuel-efficient Chinese plants.
And we do know the agenda here is a vast transfer of wealth and power from U.S. citizens to government bureaucrats, and from the U.S. government to global bureaucrats who will run the oversight and enforcement machinery set up by the Kyoto II conclave in Copenhagen.
A third issue on which Republicans ought to stand and fight is health care. For the end goal of Obamacare is the same end goal as Hillarycare: nationalization, bureaucrats deciding what care each of us shall receive, when we may receive it, and whether we even ought to have it.
If the Republican Party remains the party of the individual and the private sector, does it have any choice but to fight?
For if cap-and-trade passes, and Obamacare becomes law, the government share of GDP rises to European socialist levels, and, as we saw after the Great Society, there is no going back.
A party defines itself by what it stands for, and what it stands against. After the Bush era, the Republican Party has been given the opportunity to redeem and redefine itself – in opposition to a party and a president who are further left than any in American history.
A true conservative party would relish such an opportunity.
After all, the Goldwater young did not lie down and die after a defeat far more crushing than the one the party suffered last fall.
Is this Republican Party made of similar stuff?
Monday, May 11, 2009
STICK TO YOUR GUNS, REPUBLICANS
By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN
Published in the New York Post on May 9, 2009
Gen. Colin Powell is wrong to say that the Republican Party must move to the center: Now is not the time to try for triangulation.This is a time for the party to stand firm on its principles until this nation again comes around to the GOP's way of thinking. This process will be driven by the consequences of President Obama's program.
The challenge brought by Obama is no longer just theoretical: He means to pass the ultimate leftist agenda and has the votes to do so.As a result, our nation will be unrecognizable well before the 2010 elections. Business will march to a beat drummed in Washington. The top producers will be hounded by confiscatory taxation. A majority will pay nothing or receive government welfare. Our health-care system will be destroyed. Illegal immigrants will be well on their way to citizenship.
Obama's brave new world will be the subject of the 2010 elections. We believe that his Congress will be swept from power as a result.
We think that inflation will join a lingering recession -- giving us recess-flation -- and that high unemployment will continue. Voters will recognize the damage to their health care as bureaucrats weigh in to prevent them from getting the care they need. Our security and defense failures may well have cost us Pakistan, and the nightmare of a nuclear-armed terrorist state may have already come true (even before Iran).
All America will be watching the Obama fallout, and Republicans must be seen as a clear alternative -- a strong voice for reversal of the harm the president will have inflicted -- if they are to benefit from this catastrophe.If the GOP is seen as a moderate force, a party just looking to split the difference, voters will cynically conclude that there is no distinction between the parties.
There is a season for triangulation and a season for confrontation. When America faces a new challenge -- such as what the financial crisis now poses -- we look to the left and right for new answers. We want the debate to rage. Those who seek to paper over are ignored. Such was the fate of the first President Bush in 1992 and of Sen. John McCain in 2008.
But once the debate has raged and the alternatives have been fleshed out, voters want a consensus, a Hegelian synthesis, on how to move in a new direction. They want to extract the best from each alternative and combine them. This is triangulation (a term coined by Dick).To ignore the demand for synthesis and insist on continuing the debate is to suffer the fate of Sen. Bob Dole in 1996 and Sen. John Kerry in 2004.
This process -- polarization, debate, synthesis and action -- is how America has always moved ahead. We are not Japan; we use the debate to see the options. And we are not Italy or France; we come to conclusions and act upon them, eventually leaving the debate far behind.
Now another great debate has been born. The thesis is democratic socialism. The antithesis is free-market capitalism.
The Obama Democrats have posed the challenge. It's up to the Republicans to fight along these lines. Compromise is not an option, yet.
At some point, the synthesis will set in. But now is the time for clear alternatives and sharp disagreement. Only later can we hope to extract America from the leftist clutches into which it has fallen.
Go to DickMorris.com to read all of Dick's columns.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
We have stuck together since the late 1950's, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has run its course. Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.
Here is a model separation agreement:
Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.
We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU. Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military. You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell (You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them).
We'll keep the capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street. You can have your beloved homeless, homeboys, hippies and illegal aliens. We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks. We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood .
You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us. You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security.
We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values.. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U.N.. but we will no longer be paying the bill.
We'll keep the SUVs, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Subaru station wagon you can find.
You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors. We'll continue to believe healthcare is a luxury and not a right. We'll keep The Battle Hymn of the Republic and the National Anthem. I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute Imagine, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing, Kum Ba Ya or We Are the World.
We'll practice trickle down economics and you can give trickle up poverty your best shot. Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our flag.
At the same time, Obama tells the original Chrysler creditors they are only getting 30% equity.
How much did the UAW invest in Chrysler? Answer: Not a single penny! They only took money from Chrysler for decades until they sucked the lifeblood out of the company and destroyed it.
This is nothing more than a political payback for all those campaign contributions from the UAW...
UAW TO CHRYSLER: IT WILL SELL 55% STOCK STAKE TO TRUST
By JOSH KOSMAN
May 5, 2009
Even the guys who build Chryslers don't believe in their employer's stock.
The United Auto Workers union said yesterday it has no plans to keep its 55 percent stake in the new Chrysler and looks to sell the shares into a trust that will fund retiree health-care costs, a union official said.
Noting that Chrysler's stock is now worthless, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger said the union is taking on a huge risk by using the Chrysler stock to fund the trust, which is known as a voluntary beneficiary association, or VEBA.
Gettelfinger noted the VEBA currently is "on life support," as it is starting out with $1.5 billion from an existing health-care trust and will get just $300 million from Chrysler next year.
The revelation comes as the Obama administration's efforts to push Chrysler through a fast-track bankruptcy may be decided today.
A US Bankruptcy Court judge is expected to rule on whether a small group of lenders unhappy with the Chrysler bankruptcy process will get a chance to have their objections heard. If they get the judge's nod, it could delay the court proceedings until their objections are ruled upon, thus all but ensuring that Chrysler misses its goal of resolving the bankruptcy before the Memorial Day weekend.
Chrysler maintains the only way for it to survive while it idles its plants is to move quickly through the bankruptcy court and sell itself to Fiat in time to launch its 2010 line.
However, the renegade creditors, which represent about 10 percent of the lenders, have first claim on Chrysler's assets, and should be getting more than the proposed 30 cents on the dollar.
The lenders are particularly upset that the restructuring plan on deck gives the UAW a 55 percent stake, even though legally the union ranks lower on the creditor scale than the dissident lenders.
In an exchange yesterday, Judge Arthur Gonzalez told Thomas Lauria, the lawyer representing the renegade creditors, that "If the sale doesn't go through, your value [and the value of the company] diminishes."
Named and Shamed: The 16 Barred from UK
By Beverley Rouse
May 5, 2009
Sixteen people banned from entering the UK were "named and shamed" by the Home Office today.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she decided to make public the names of 16 people banned since October so others could better understand what sort of behaviour Britain was not prepared to tolerate.
The list includes hate preachers, anti-gay protesters and a far- right US talk show host.
"I think it's important that people understand the sorts of values and sorts of standards that we have here, the fact that it's a privilege to come and the sort of things that mean you won't be welcome in this country," Ms Smith told GMTV.
"Coming to this country is a privilege. If you can't live by the rules that we live by, the standards and the values that we live by, we should exclude you from this country and, what's more, now we will make public those people that we have excluded.
"We are publishing the names of 16 of those that we have excluded since October. We are telling people who they are and why it is we don't want them in this country."
She said the number of people excluded from Britain had risen from an average of two a month to five a month since October.
The list of the 16 "least wanted" includes radio talk show host Michael Savage, real name Michael Weiner.
"This is someone who has fallen into the category of fomenting hatred, of such extreme views and expressing them in such a way that it is actually likely to cause inter-community tension or even violence if that person were allowed into the country," Ms Smith told BBC Breakfast.
Also named are American Baptist pastor Fred Waldron Phelps Snr and his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper, who have picketed the funerals of Aids victims and claimed the deaths of US soldiers are a punishment for US tolerance of homosexuality.
"If people have so clearly overstepped the mark in terms of the way not just that they are talking but the sort of attitudes that they are expressing to the extent that we think that this is likely to cause or have the potential to cause violence or inter-community tension in this country, then actually I think the right thing is not to let them into the country in the first place. Not to open the stable door then try to close it later," Ms Smith said.
"It's a privilege to come to this country. There are certain behaviours that mean you forfeit that privilege."
Hamas MP Yunis Al-Astal, Jewish extremist Mike Guzovsky, former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard Stephen Donald Black and neo-Nazi Erich Gliebe are also on the list released today.
Artur Ryno and Pavel Skachevsky, the former leaders of a violent Russian skinhead gang which committed 20 racially motivated murders, are also banned from coming to Britain. Both are currently in prison.
Making up the rest of the 16 named by the Home Office today are preachers Wadgy Abd El Hamied Mohamed Ghoneim, Abdullah Qadri Al Ahdal, Safwat Hijazi and Amir Siddique, Muslim activist Abdul Ali Musa (previously Clarence Reams), murderer and Hezbollah terrorist Samir Al Quntar and Kashmiri terror group leader Nasr Javed.
He trivializes our concerns by isolating them as singular issues rather than addressing the entirety of his massive spending programs and redistributionist policies...
Obama Targets Tea Bags at Town Hall
By Alexander Burn
April 29, 2009
At his 100th-day town hall meeting in St. Louis Wednesday, President Barack Obama took direct aim at the anti-tax “tea party” demonstrations that have cropped up over the last month and took a veiled shot at the Fox News Channel, the cable news network closely associated with the protests. Asked about fiscal discipline and entitlements reform, Obama seemed to be repressing a smile as he jabbed critics of his spending plans.
"Those of you who are watching certain news channels on which I'm not very popular, and you see folks waving tea bags around, Obama said, “let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we are going to stabilize Social Security.”
“But,” Obama continued, “let's not play games and pretend that the reason for the deficit is because of the Recovery Act."
It’s the president’s most direct response so far to the protests that flared up in some locations around tax day, on April 15. In his briefing that day, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters: “I don't know if there's a specific response to protests..I think you saw the president today talk about as candidate Obama promising to bring a tax cut to 95 percent of working families in America, and as president delivering that tax cut.”
Click here to watch video: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0409/21870.html
Monday, May 4, 2009
"We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded." - Candidate Barack Obama
If he is allowed to have his way, he will have a civilian national security force whose primary purpose will be to protect him as he turns America into a third world dictatorship.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Of course, they weren't just any pair of sneakers...they were $540 Lanvin designer sneakers.
I'm sure it impressed the hell out of those who were there to receive food to feed their hungry children....