Some say that if you live long enough you’re bound to hear or see just about anything. To whit …
Havana, CUBA – Fidel Castro told a visiting American journalist that Cuba’s communist economic model doesn’t work, a rare comment on domestic affairs from a man who has conspicuously steered clear of local issues since stepping down four years ago.
The fact that things are not working efficiently on this cash-strapped Caribbean island is hardly news. Fidel’s brother Raul, the country’s president, has said the same thing repeatedly. But the blunt assessment by the father of Cuba’s 1959 revolution is sure to raise eyebrows.
Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, asked if Cuba’s economic system was still worth exporting to other countries, and Castro replied: “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore” Goldberg wrote Wednesday in a post on his Atlantic blog.
Paul Haven … AP … Sept 8 2010
Like the author says, Martin Luther King had worthy quotes of his own that could have been used. Just another example of a brazen attempt at revisionist history by the progressive left.
And, really! What is up with that sand color he chose?
Thanks for the history lesson, Jamie.
A mistake has been made in the Oval Office makeover that goes beyond the beige.
President Obama’s new presidential rug seemed beyond reproach, with quotations from Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. woven along its curved edge.
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” According media reports, this quote keeping Obama company on his wheat-colored carpet is from King.
Except it’s not a King quote. The words belong to a long-gone Bostonian champion of social progress. His roots in the republic ran so deep that his grandfather commanded the Minutemen at the Battle of Lexington.
For the record, Theodore Parker is your man, President Obama. Unless you’re fascinated by antebellum American reformers, you may not know of the lyrically gifted Parker, an abolitionist, Unitarian minister and Transcendentalist thinker who foresaw the end of slavery, though he did not live to see emancipation. He died at age 49 in 1860, on the eve of the Civil War.
A century later, during the civil rights movement, King, an admirer of Parker, quoted the Bostonian’s lofty prophecy during marches and speeches. Often he’d ask in a refrain, “How long? Not long.” He would finish in a flourish: “Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
King made no secret of the author of this idea. As a Baptist preacher on the front lines of racial justice, he regarded Parker, a religious leader, as a kindred spirit.
My investigation into this error led me to David Remnick’s biography of Obama, “The Bridge,” published this year. Early in the narrative, Remnick, the editor of the New Yorker, presents this as “Barack Obama’s favorite quotation.” It appears that neither Remnick nor Obama has traced the language to its true source.
The familiar quote from Lincoln woven into Obama’s rug is “government of the people, by the people and for the people,” the well-known utterance from the close of his Gettysburg Address in 1863.
Funny that in 1850, Parker wrote, “A democracy — that is a government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people.”
Theodore Parker, Oval Office wordmeister for the ages.
Jamie Stiehm … Washington Post … Sept 4 2010
Barrack Obama is no fool. He is not incompetent. To the contrary, he is brilliant. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He is purposely overwhelming the U.S. economy to create systemic failure, economic crisis and social chaos — thereby destroying capitalism and our country from within.
Barack Obama is my college classmate (Columbia University, class of ’83). As Glenn Beck correctly predicted from day one, Obama is following the plan of Cloward & Piven, two professors at Columbia University. They outlined a plan to socialize America by overwhelming the system with government spending and entitlement demands. Add up the clues below. Taken individually they’re alarming. Taken as a whole, it is a brilliant, Machiavellian game plan to turn the United States into a socialist/Marxist state with a permanent majority that desperately needs government for survival … and can be counted on to always vote for bigger government. Why not? They have no responsibility to pay for it.
— Universal health care. The health care bill had very little to do with health care. It had everything to do with unionizing millions of hospital and health care workers, as well as adding 15,000 to 20,000 new IRS agents (who will join government employee unions). Obama doesn’t care that giving free health care to 30 million Americans will add trillions to the national debt. What he does care about is that it cements the dependence of those 30 million voters to Democrats and big government. Who but a socialist revolutionary would pass this reckless spending bill in the middle of a depression?
— Cap and trade. Like health care legislation having nothing to do with health care, cap and trade has nothing to do with global warming. It has everything to do with redistribution of income, government control of the economy and a criminal payoff to Obama’s biggest contributors. Those powerful and wealthy unions and contributors (like GE, which owns NBC, MSNBC and CNBC) can then be counted on to support everything Obama wants. They will kickback hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions to Obama and the Democratic Party to keep them in power. The bonus is that all the new taxes on Americans with bigger cars, bigger homes and businesses helps Obama “spread the wealth around.”
— Make Puerto Rico a state. Why? Who’s asking for a 51st state? Who’s asking for millions of new welfare recipients and government entitlement addicts in the middle of a depression? Certainly not American taxpayers. But this has been Obama’s plan all along. His goal is to add two new Democrat senators, five Democrat congressman and a million loyal Democratic voters who are dependent on big government.
— Legalize 12 million illegal immigrants. Just giving these 12 million potential new citizens free health care alone could overwhelm the system and bankrupt America. But it adds 12 million reliable new Democrat voters who can be counted on to support big government. Add another few trillion dollars in welfare, aid to dependent children, food stamps, free medical, education, tax credits for the poor, and eventually Social Security.
— Stimulus and bailouts. Where did all that money go? It went to Democrat contributors, organizations (ACORN), and unions — including billions of dollars to save or create jobs of government employees across the country. It went to save GM and Chrysler so that their employees could keep paying union dues. It went to AIG so that Goldman Sachs could be bailed out (after giving Obama almost $1 million in contributions). A staggering $125 billion went to teachers (thereby protecting their union dues). All those public employees will vote loyally Democrat to protect their bloated salaries and pensions that are bankrupting America. The country goes broke, future generations face a bleak future, but Obama, the Democrat Party, government, and the unions grow more powerful. The ends justify the means.
— Raise taxes on small business owners, high-income earners, and job creators. Put the entire burden on only the top 20 percent of taxpayers, redistribute the income, punish success, and reward those who did nothing to deserve it (except vote for Obama). Reagan wanted to dramatically cut taxes in order to starve the government. Obama wants to dramatically raise taxes to starve his political opposition.
With the acts outlined above, Obama and his regime have created a vast and rapidly expanding constituency of voters dependent on big government; a vast privileged class of public employees who work for big government; and a government dedicated to destroying capitalism and installing themselves as socialist rulers by overwhelming the system.
Add it up and you’ve got the perfect Marxist scheme — all devised by my Columbia University college classmate Barack Obama using the Cloward and Piven Plan.
verified at SNOPES
I was there at the Restoring Honor Rally on 8-28-10. Through many decades I have been to numerous rallies, marches, parades and concerts here in Washington – and I can tell you none were even close to this in crowd size. This peaceful gathering of patriotic Americans numbered well over 500,000.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans – of many creeds and colors – made what ended up being a pilgrimage of sorts to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., for Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally [8-28-2010].
Catholics, other Christians and Jews spoke to WND on site, many celebrating the themes of faith and reliance on God proclaimed from the platform.
As WND reported, Beck proclaimed the purpose of the rally, saying, “It has nothing to do with politics; it has everything to do with God.”
Anita Crane … World Net Daily … August 29 2010
Act One is over. The stimulus, Obamacare, financial reform have exhausted his [Obama’s] first-term mandate. It will bear no more heavy lifting. And the Democrats will pay the price for ideological overreaching by losing one or both houses, whether de facto or de jure. The rest of the first term will be spent consolidating these gains (writing the regulations, for example) and preparing for Act Two.
The next burst of ideological energy — massive regulation of the energy economy, federalizing higher education and “comprehensive” immigration reform (i.e., amnesty) — will require a second mandate, meaning reelection in 2012.
That’s why there’s so much tension between Obama and congressional Democrats. For Obama, 2010 matters little. If Democrats lose control of one or both houses, Obama will probably have an easier time in 2012, just as Bill Clinton used Newt Gingrich and the Republicans as the foil for his 1996 reelection campaign.
Obama is down, but it’s very early in the play. Like Reagan, he came here to do things. And he’s done much in his first 500 days. What he has left to do he knows must await his next 500 days — those that come after reelection.
Charles Krauthammer … Washington Post … July 16 2010
Can you imagine the press uproar if Laura Bush took a European vacation (yet another vacation in a string of lavish family vacations) during a time of catastrophic economic hardships in America when so many families have had not one vacation, let alone are dealing with joblessness and loss of homes?
Headline: While Obama Preaches Sacrifice, His Family Frolics in Spain
AS THE US economy endures high unemployment and a jittery stock market, President Barack Obama has preached sacrifice and fiscal discipline. But the pictures coming out of a sun-splashed Spanish resort may be sending a different message.
First lady Michelle Obama is in the midst of a five-day trip to a luxury resort along with a handful of friends, her younger daughter, aides and Secret Service. Her office said the Obamas would pay for personal expenses, but would not reveal the taxpayer cost for the government employees.
Just last month, Mrs. Obama flew to the Florida panhandle, a tourist draw hit hard by the oil spill crisis, and delivered the message that for parents ”looking for things to do with their kids this summer … this is a wonderful place to visit”.
The opulence of the European trip also has drawn scrutiny. Mr Obama has urged frugality in lean economic times. He once cautioned that families saving money for college shouldn’t ”blow a bunch of cash in Vegas”.
Mrs Obama is staying at the Hotel Villa Padierna, a Ritz-Carlton resort outside Marbella. It has two golf courses, a spa with Turkish baths, views of the Mediterranean and a restaurant specialising in avant-garde fare. Room rates start at $400 and rise to $6500 for a two-bedroom villa.
Mrs Obama flew in on a type of aircraft used by Vice-President Joe Biden. It costs the government $11,555 an hour to operate the plane, according to the air force. Assuming a nearly eight-hour flight to nearby Malaga, the total round-trip cost [to the American taxpayers] of the flight is about $178,000.
Peter Nicholas and Katherine Skiba … The Age (AU) … August 8 2010
and even the pro-Obama NYT is forced to weigh in on the Obama family’s indifferent, arrogant, heedless, and phlegmatic behavior toward hard-hit American citizens…
As Mrs. Obama and her entourage arrived [in Spain on one of multiple vacations this year – there is still the 10 day Nantucket vacation coming up in a couple of weeks] on Friday in a 13-car motorcade at a beach club with a stretch of sand cleared by security and police boats hovering off the shore, the blogosphere has been filled with commentary about a tone-deaf trip in the same week the United States government reported the loss of another 131,000 jobs. “A modern-day Marie Antoinette,” scolded a New York Daily News columnist.
Peter Baker and Raphael Minder … NYT … August 6 2010
People are asking, “Is the government doing us more harm than good? Should we change what it does and the way it does it?”
Bill Clinton lowered the culture, moral tone and strength of the nation — and left America vulnerable to attack. When it came, George W. Bush stood up for America, albeit sometimes clumsily.
Barack Obama, however, has pulled off the ultimate switcheroo: He’s diminishing America from within — so far, successfully.
He may soon bankrupt us and replace our big merit-based capitalist economy with a small government-directed one of his own design.
He is undermining our constitutional traditions: The rule of law and our Anglo-Saxon concepts of private property hang in the balance. Obama may be the most “consequential” president ever.
The Wall Street Journal’s steadfast Dorothy Rabinowitz wrote that Barack Obama is “an alien in the White House.”
His bullying and offenses against the economy and job creation are so outrageous that CEOs in the Business Roundtable finally mustered the courage to call him “anti-business.” Veteran Democrat Sen. Max Baucus blurted out that Obama is engineering the biggest government-forced “redistribution of income” in history.
Fear and uncertainty stalk the land. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says America’s financial future is “unusually uncertain.”
A Wall Street “fear gauge” based on predicted market volatility is flashing long-term panic. New data on the federal budget confirm that record-setting deficits in the $1.4 trillion range are now endemic.
Obama is building an imperium of public debt and crushing taxes, contrary to George Washington’s wise farewell admonition: “cherish public credit … use it as sparingly as possible … avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt … bear in mind, that towards the payment of debts there must be Revenue, that to have Revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised, which are not … inconvenient and unpleasant … .”
Opinion polls suggest that in the November mid-term elections, voters will replace the present Democratic majority in Congress with opposition Republicans — but that will not necessarily stop Obama.
…Pruning the power of government begins with the imperial presidency.
Too many overreaching laws give the president too much discretion to make too many open-ended rules controlling too many aspects of our lives. There’s no end to the harm an out-of-control president can do.
A President Obama intent on achieving his transformative goals despite the disagreement of the American people has powerful weapons within reach. In one hand, he will have a veto pen to stop a new Republican Congress from repealing ObamaCare and the Dodd-Frank takeover of banks.
…And by executive orders and the in terrorem effect of an industrywide “boot on the neck” policy, he can continue to diminish energy production in the United States.
…A wounded rampaging president can do much damage — and, like Caesar, the evil he does will live long after he leaves office, whenever that may be.
The overgrown, un-pruned power of the presidency to reward, punish and intimidate may now be so overwhelming that his re-election in 2012 is already assured — Chicago-style.
Ernest S. Christian and Gary A Robbins … Investors Business Daily online … July 30 2010
My mother believed in “common sense” testing. She said if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck and acts like a duck; it’s a duck. She believed that actions speak louder than words and that only a liar said one thing and then did the opposite.
Would President Obama pass my mother’s “is he a Muslim” test? Let’s see. President Obama says there is nothing more beautiful than the Muslim call to prayer in the evening. He says that the United States was not founded as a Christian nation.
Obama’s father and step-father were Muslims and he spent his childhood living in a Muslim country where his school enrollment records say his religion is Islam. As President of the United States he genuflects to the Muslim King of Saudi Arabia but not the Christian Queen of England. He thumbs his nose at America’s friends and bows to its enemies. In short, Obama quacks like a Muslim, waddles like a Muslim and acts like a Muslim, so is he a Muslim? My mother would say, “Yes! He’s a Muslim through and through.”
Growing up as a Muslim, Obama must have learned that according to the Qur’an it is acceptable to lie, deceive and live by a double standard provided in so doing one advances Islamic goals. Muslims only pretend to trust and be friends with non-Muslims; in the deepest of their Muslim hearts they have been taught that all non-Muslims are infidels.
Maj. Gen. Jerry Curry … Human Events … July 27 2010 … Major Curry (US Army Ret.) Ph.D. is a decorated combat veteran, Army Aviator, Paratrooper and Ranger who has served his country both in the military and as a Presidential appointee in three administrations. He is also the author of “From Private to General” (Believe Books)
what is it going to take, my Jewish friends?! here is yet another painfully obvious reason why Jewish Democrats have got to wake up and smell the coffee before it is too late for them again – HEL-LO! your real friends are on the CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE RIGHT …
[Hollywood left-wing elitist extraordinaire] Director Oliver Stone belittled the Holocaust during a shocking interview with the Sunday Times today, claiming that America’s focus on the Jewish massacre was a product of the “Jewish domination of the media.”
The director also defended Hitler and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and railed against the “powerful lobby” of Jews in America.
Stone said that his upcoming Showtime documentary series “Secret History of America,” seeks to put Hitler and Communist dictator Joseph Stalin “in context.”
“Hitler was a Frankenstein but there was also a Dr Frankenstein. German industrialists, the Americans and the British. He had a lot of support,” Stone told reporter Camilla Long during the interview, which can be found behind the paywall on the Sunday Times’ website.
Stone said that, “Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people, 25 or 30 [million killed].”
The Sunday Times interviewer then asked why there was such a focus on the Holocaust.
“The Jewish domination of the media,” responded Stone. “There’s a major lobby in the United States. They are hard workers. They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has f***** up United States foreign policy for years.”
The director, who recently met with Iranian President Ahmadinejad, also slammed the U.S. policy toward Iran as “horrible.”
“Iran isn’t necessarily the good guy,” said Stone. “[B]ut we don’t know the full story!”
The Scarface screenwriter had even more encouraging words for socialist Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who Stone called “a brave, blunt, earthy” man. The director has recently been promoting his Chavez-praising documentary called “South of the Border.”
When the interviewer pointed out that Chavez has had a less-than-stellar record on human rights, Stone immediately dismissed the criticism.
“The internet’s fully free [in Venezuela],” said Stone. “You can say what the hell you like. Compare it with all the other countries: Mexico, Guatemala, above all Colombia, which is a joke.”
While Stone has not been as blunt about his views on Jews and the Holocaust in the past, he has been outspoken in his fondness for Chavez and his disagreements with the U.S.’s policy on Iran.
On ABC’s Good Morning America on July 28, the director told anchor George Stephanopoulos that he “absolutely” believes Chavez is a good person, and claimed that there was “there’s no pattern of censorship in this country [Venezuela].”
Stone also said that if the U.S. pursued sanctions against Iran, “it’s going to be like North Vietnam again.”
be afraid …
We’ve got to stop being afraid of Glenn Beck…
Howard Dean, former DNC chairman … FoxNews Sunday with Chris Wallace … July 25 2010
look what we have to look forward to under ObamaCare …
[Great Britain’s]National Health Service’s bosses have drawn up secret plans for sweeping cuts to services, with restrictions on the most basic treatments for the sick and injured.
Some of the most common operations — including hip replacements and cataract surgery — will be rationed as part of attempts to save billions of pounds, despite government promises that front-line services would be protected.
Laura Donnelly, Health Correspondent … telegraph.co.uk … July 24 2010
perhaps if Obama would focus on being president rather than winning the next election …
The White House has quietly launched an effort to confront the political backlash along the Gulf Coast over its handling of the BP oil spill – giving special attention to Florida, the only state in the region President Barack Obama won in 2008 and one he will need again when he runs for re-election in 2012.
The White House dispatched political and communications aides to the Gulf Coast states on July 12, with Alabama and Mississippi each receiving one, sources familiar with the effort said. Some aides went to Louisiana. Florida received four.
The battleground state will be a heavy lift. In interviews along the coast, Florida Democrats accused the administration of largely ignoring their calls and letters, and complained of a White House that’s out of touch.
Alex Sink, Florida’s chief financial officer and presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee, even characterized Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to the state as “a screw-up,” saying she was “embarrassed” by his speech.
“Someone recognized that all we were doing was playing defense,” an administration official said. The aides were sent to the Gulf Coast five days later.
thank you, Charles! I thought I was the only one who is continually sickened by the president’s appalling barrage of arrogance and hubris …
There was no finer expression of belief in American exceptionalism than [President John. F.] Kennedy’s. Obama has a different take. As he said last year in Strasbourg , “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”
Which of course means: If we’re all exceptional, no one is.
It’s fine to recognize the achievements of others and be nonchauvinistic about one’s country. But Obama’s modesty is curiously selective. When it comes to himself, modesty is in short supply.
It began with the almost comical self-inflation of his presidential campaign, from the still-inexplicable mass rally in Berlin , in front of a Prussian victory column, to the Greek columns framing him at the Democratic convention. And it carried into his presidency, from his posture of philosopher-king adjudicating between America ‘s sins and the world’s to his speeches marked by a spectacularly promiscuous use of the first-person pronoun.
Notice, too, how Obama habitually refers to cabinet members and other high government officials as “my” – “my secretary of homeland security,” “my national security team,” “my ambassador.” The more normal – and respectful – usage is to say “the,” as in “the secretary of state.” These are, after all, public officials sworn to serve the nation and the Constitution – not just the man who appointed them.
It’s a stylistic detail, but quite revealing of Obama’s exalted view of himself. Not surprising, perhaps, in a man whose major achievement before acceding to the presidency was writing two autobiographies.
Obama is not the first president with a large streak of narcissism. But the others had equally expansive feelings about their country. Obama’s modesty about America would be more understandable if he treated himself with the same reserve. What is odd is to have a president so convinced of his own magnificence – yet not his country’s.
Charles Krauthammer … philly.com … July 12 2010
take note Barrack, Nancy and Harry …
Even as the new [British] coalition government said it would make enormous cuts in the public sector, it initially promised to leave health care alone. But in one of its most surprising moves so far, it has done the opposite, proposing what would be the most radical reorganization of the National Health Service, as the system is called, since its inception in 1948.
Practical details of the plan are still sketchy. But its aim is clear: to shift control of England’s $160 billion annual health budget from a centralized bureaucracy to doctors at the local level. Under the plan, $100 billion to $125 billion a year would be meted out to general practitioners, who would use the money to buy services from hospitals and other health care providers.
Sarah Lyall … New York Times … July 24 2010
just don’t redistribute MY wealth…
Sen. John Kerry [hypocrite extraordinaire], who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, R.I.
Isabel, Kerry’s [$7 million] luxe, 76-foot New Zealand-built [read: not built in the USA … jobs …] Friendship sloop with an Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior, two VIP main cabins and a pilothouse fitted with a wet bar and cold wine storage – was designed by Rhode Island boat designer Ted Fontaine.
Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa … Boston Herald.com … July 23 2010
Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who’s to know where mythology leaves off and history begins – or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his won kingdom – Lucifer.
Saul Alinsky, hero of the Liberal Left … Rules for Radicals
Mantra of the Liberal Left: progressives, community organizers, and seekers of social justice …
Pick the target, freeze it, personalize and polarize it.
Saul Alinsky … Rules for Radicals
“You know, it [liberal] is a word that originally meant that you were for freedom, that you were for the freedom to achieve, that you were willing to stand against big power and on behalf of the individual.
“Unfortunately, in the last 30, 40 years, it has been turned up on its head and it’s been made to seem as though it is a word that describes big government, totally contrary to what its meaning was n the 19th and early 20th century.
“I prefer the word ‘progressive,’ which has a real American meaning, going back to the progressive era at the beginning of the 20th century.
“I consider myself a modern progressive, someone who believes strongly in individual rights and freedoms, who believes that we are better as a society when we’re working together and when we find ways to help those who may not have all the advantages in life get the tools they need to lead a more productive life for themselves and their family.
“So I consider myself a proud modern American progressive, and I think that’s the kind of philosophy and practice that we need to bring back to American politics.”
Hillary Clinton … CNN/YouTube sponsored Democratic debate July 24 2007 … when asked, “How would you define the word ‘liberal’? And would you use this word to describe yourself?”
If it seems as if the tax code was conceived by graphic artist M.C. Escher, wait until you meet the new and not improved Internal Revenue Service created by ObamaCare. What, you’re not already on a first-name basis with your local IRS agent?
National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson, who operates inside the IRS, highlighted the agency’s new mission in her annual report to Congress last week. Look out below. She notes that the IRS is already “greatly taxed”—pun intended?—”by the additional role it is playing in delivering social benefits and programs to the American public,” like tax credits for first-time homebuyers or purchasing electric cars. Yet with ObamaCare, the agency is now responsible for “the most extensive social benefit program the IRS has been asked to implement in recent history.” And without “sufficient funding” it won’t be able to discharge these new duties.
…We never thought anyone would be nostalgic for the tax system of a few months ago, but post-ObamaCare, here we are.
Wall Street Journal … Opinion Journal … July 17 2010
… here’s the newest White House promotion: “Health food czar” Sam Kass.
“In a comical move even for a czar-happy president who has rewarded dozens of cronies with distinguished titles, the White House has named the Obamas’ personal Chicago cook as ‘Senior Policy Adviser for Healthy Food Initiatives,'” reports the Washington government watchdog Judicial Watch.
“Sam Kass went from being a 20-something, Windy City gourmet cook – privately paid by the Obamas to feed them – to big-time White House adviser in a matter of months,” the report said.
“It’s no joke, even though it sounds like a bad one. The Chicago chef’s rapid ascension … has been kept under the radar for the last month,” Judicial Watch said.
Bob Unruh … World Net Daily – July 15 2010
insert the name ‘George W. Bush’ in place of Obama – now, how would you react to this story? …
President Barack Obama has played a remarkable 41 rounds of golf since becoming president, easily outpacing his predecessor and possibly damaging his ability to portray himself in 2012 as a populist advocate of average folks.With the excursions lasting on average at least five hours, the president has devoted a total of more than 200 hours to golf, not counting time spent on the White House putting green. That’s the equivalent of twenty five eight-hour work days, or five work weeks spent smacking golf balls.
The former community organizer’s 41 trips around the links – a standard of recreational activity well beyond the budgets of most Americans – compares to only 24 total outings for former President George W. Bush, according to statistics compiled by White House chronicler Mark Knoller of CBS News. Bush, whose golf outings were used to help deride him as a callow, lazy, rich boy, played his 24th and last round on Oct. 13, 2003, saying he was ending the practice out of respect for the families of Americans killed in Iraq.
Since the April 20 explosion that killed 11 rig workers and started the Gulf oil spill, Obama has teed up seven times, according to White House Dossier’s count. This includes back to back sessions April 23 and 24 while on vacation at the Grove Park Resort & Spa in Asheville, NC, just days after the crisis began.
Obama’s focus on golf borders on obsession. Startled reporters follow him out to the course in the motorcade in the broiling Washington heat and then wait in the air conditioning while he puts in 18 holes. Rarely does he play any less.
On June 19, he dragged the 67 year old Vice President Biden onto the course for a sweltering 18 holes, calling into question whether he was trying to commit murder-by-golf in order to free the 2012 VP slot up for Hillary.
From a period stretching from April 3 to May 22 of this year, the president went golfing eight of nine weekends. WOULD YOUR WIFE LET YOU DO THAT?? WOULD YOU LET YOUR HUSBAND? Michelle, what gives?
He went out only once in June when, with the Gulf of Mexico slowly becoming the new U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve and accusations of presidential inattention at their height, White House image counselors appeared to think the golf needed scaling back. But he’s back with a vengeance, having made his way out on the course both weekends so far this month.
Since he’s officially on vacation this weekend in Bar Harbor Maine, there appears to be little holding him back from heading out to the greens at least once.
While on the course, Obama for the most part likes to keep it nice and light, often playing with a youngish crowd. No deep discussions of policy on the links.
One of his companions on nearly every outing is Marvin Nicholson, the affable, White House trip director. Nicholson, a former “body man” to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), is the perfect guy for getting away from it all, having worked as a golf caddy, a bartender, and in a windsurfing shop – where he met Kerry.
Also generally on hand is David Katz, a former Obama campaign photographer.
Emphatically not invited for the most part are members of Congress or senior White House aides.
The White House is of course sensitive to the awkward look of the whole thing. A search of of the word “golf” on the White House page or the photo sharing site Flickr brings back only nine official White House photo results, three of which are neither of Obama nor golf. A search for “basketball,” the everyman’s game, brings back 39 photos.
But who wants to be the White House official to tell the president to cut back on golf? Somebody with another job offer, one would presume.
Keith Koffler … White House Dossier … July 16 2010
“Any healthcare funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized, and humane must, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent healthcare is by definition redistributional.”
Donald Berwick, Obama’s appointee for Healthcare Czar, in a speech praising the UK health care system
“My job is to educate black people, whether they want to be educated or not. I don’t give a damn what they may think about white people, I hate white people. All of them. Every last iota of a cracker I hate him.
We didn’t come out here to play. There is to much serious business going on in your black community to be sliding through South Street with white, dirty cracker whores on your arms.
What’s a matter with you black man, you got a doomsday with a white woman on your arm. Your enemy can not make you free, fool. You want freedom you’re going to have to kill some crackers. You’re going to have to kill their babies.”
New Black Panther Leader, Samir Shabazz … November 2008 Philadelphia Election Headquarters
and in a related story …
For months, readers have contacted the ombudsman wondering why The Post hasn’t been covering the [New Black Panther] case. The calls increased recently after competitors such as the New York Times and the Associated Press wrote stories. Fox News and right-wing bloggers have been pumping the story. Liberal bloggers have countered, accusing them of trying to manufacture a scandal.
But The Post has been virtually silent.
… The Post didn’t cover it. Indeed, until Thursday’s story, The Post had written no news stories about the controversy this year. In 2009, there were passing references to it in only three stories.
… To be sure, ideology and party politics are at play.
… But in this case, coverage is justified because it’s a controversy that screams for clarity that The Post should provide. If Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and his department are not colorblind in enforcing civil rights laws, they should be nailed. If the Commission on Civil Rights’ investigation is purely partisan, that should be revealed. If Adams is pursuing a right-wing agenda, he should be exposed.
Andrew Alexander, Ombudsman … Washington Post … July 18 2010
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a recent interview that his “foremost” mission as the head of America’s space exploration agency is to improve relations with the Muslim world.
Though international diplomacy would seem well outside NASA’s orbit, Bolden said in an interview with mideast media that strengthening those ties was among the top tasks President Obama assigned him. He said better interaction with the Muslim world would ultimately advance space travel.
“When I became the NASA administrator — or before I became the NASA administrator — he charged me with three things. One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science … and math and engineering,” Bolden said in the interview.
FoxNews.com … July 2010
Emergency rooms, the only choice for patients who can’t find care elsewhere, may grow even more crowded with longer wait times under the nation’s new health law. That might come as a surprise to those who thought getting 32 million more people covered by health insurance would ease ER crowding.
Carla K. Johnson …AP Medical Writer … Jul 2 2010
As the oil spill continues and the cleanup lags, we must begin to ask difficult and uncomfortable questions. There does not seem to be much that anyone can do to stop the spill except dig a relief well, not due until August. But the cleanup is a different story. The press and Internet are full of straightforward suggestions for easy ways of improving the cleanup, but the federal government is resisting these remedies.
• First, the Environmental Protection Agency can relax restrictions on the amount of oil in discharged water, currently limited to 15 parts per million.
• Various skimmers and tankers (some of them very large) are available that could eliminate most of the oil from seawater, discharging the mostly clean water while storing the oil onboard. While this would clean vast amounts of water efficiently, the EPA is unwilling to grant a temporary waiver of its regulations.
• Next, the Obama administration can waive the Jones Act (as President Bush did 4 days after Katrina), which restricts foreign ships from operating in U.S. coastal waters.
• In addition, the federal government can free American-based skimmers. Of the 2,000 skimmers in the U.S. (not subject to the Jones Act or other restrictions), only 400 have been sent to the Gulf. Federal barriers have kept the others on stations elsewhere in case of other oil spills, despite the magnitude of the current crisis.
• The Obama administration can also permit more state and local initiatives.
As the government fails to implement such simple and straightforward remedies, one must ask why.
• One possibility is sheer incompetence.
• Another possibility is that the administration places a higher priority on interests other than the fate of the Gulf, such as placating organized labor, which vigorously defends the Jones Act.
• Finally there is the most pessimistic explanation—that the oil spill may be viewed as an opportunity, the way White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said back in February 2009, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Many administration supporters are opposed to offshore oil drilling and are already employing the spill as a tool for achieving other goals. The websites of the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, for example, all feature the oil spill as an argument for forbidding any further offshore drilling or for any use of fossil fuels at all. None mention the Jones Act.
To these organizations and perhaps to some in the administration, the oil spill may be a strategic justification in a larger battle. President Obama has already tried to severely limit drilling in the Gulf, using his Oval Office address on June 16 to demand that we “embrace a clean energy future.” In the meantime, how about a cleaner Gulf?
Prof. Paul H. Rubin … WSJ … July 2 2010 … Professor of economics at Emory University, has held several senior positions in the federal government in the 1980s. Since 1991 he has spent his summers on the Gulf.
“Unemployment benefits are creating jobs faster than practically any other program”, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday.
Talking to reporters, the House speaker was defending a jobless benefits
extension against those who say it gives recipients little incentive to
work. By her reasoning, “Those checks are helping give somebody a job.”
“It injects demand into the economy,” Pelosi continued, arguing that when
families have money to spend it keeps the economy churning. “It creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name.”
Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi … July 1 2010
Thuggery is unattractive. Ineffective thuggery even more so. Which may be one reason so many Americans have been reacting negatively to the response of Barack Obama and his administration to BP’s Gulf oil spill.
1. Take Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s remark that he would keep his “boot on the neck” of BP, which brings to mind George Orwell’s definition of totalitarianism as “a boot stamping on a human face — forever.” Except that Salazar’s boot hasn’t gotten much in the way of results yet.
2. Or consider Obama’s undoubtedly carefully considered statement to Matt Lauer that he was consulting with experts “so I know whose ass to kick.” Attacking others is a standard campaign tactic when you’re in political trouble, and certainly BP, which appears to have taken unwise shortcuts in the Gulf, is an attractive target.
But you don’t always win arguments that way. The Obama White House gleefully took on Dick Cheney on the issue of terrorist interrogations. It turned out that more Americans agreed with Cheney’s stand, despite his low poll numbers, than Obama’s.
3. Then there is Obama’s decision to impose a six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf. This penalizes companies with better safety records than BP’s and will result in many advanced drilling rigs being sent to offshore oil fields abroad. The justification offered was an Interior Department report supposedly “peer reviewed” by “experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering.” But it turned out the drafts the experts saw didn’t include any recommendation for a moratorium. Eight of the cited experts have said they oppose the moratorium as more economically devastating than the oil spill and “counterproductive” to safety.
This was blatant dishonesty by the administration, on an Orwellian scale. In defense of a policy that has all the earmarks of mindless panic, that penalizes firms and individuals guilty of no wrongdoing and that will worsen rather than improve our energy situation. Ineffective thuggery.
4. And what about the decision not to waive the Jones Act, which bars foreign-flag vessels from coming to the aid of the Gulf cleanup? The Bush administration promptly waived it after Katrina in 2005. The Obama administration hasn’t and claims unconvincingly that, gee, there aren’t really any foreign vessels that could help.
The more plausible explanation is that this is a sop to the maritime unions, part of the union movement that gave Obama and other Democrats $400 million in the 2008 campaign cycle. It’s the Chicago way: Dance with the girl that brung ya.
5. Or the decision to deny Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposal to deploy barges to skim oil from the Gulf’s surface. Can’t do that until we see if they’ve got enough life preservers and fire equipment. That inspired blogger Rand Simberg to write a blog post he dated June 1, 1940: “The evacuation of British and French troops from the besieged French city of Dunkirk was halted today, over concerns that many of the private vessels that had been deployed for the task were unsafe for troop transport.”
6. Finally, the $20 billion escrow fund that Obama pried out of the BP treasury at the White House when he talked for the first time, 57 days after the rig exploded, with BP Chairman Tony Hayward. It’s pleasing to think that those injured by BP will be paid off speedily, but House Republican Joe Barton had a point, though an impolitic one, when he called this a “shakedown.”
For there already are laws in place that insure that BP will be held responsible for damages and the company has said it will comply. So what we have is government transferring property from one party, an admittedly unattractive one, to others, not based on pre-existing laws but on decisions by one man, pay czar Kenneth Feinberg.
Feinberg gets good reviews from everyone. But the Constitution does not command “no person . . . shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law except by the decision of a person as wise and capable as Kenneth Feinberg.” The Framers stopped at “due process of law.”
Obama doesn’t. “If he sees any impropriety in politicians ordering executives about, upstaging the courts and threatening confiscation, he has not said so,” write the editors of the Economist, who then suggest that markets see Obama as “an American version of Vladimir Putin.” Except that Putin is an effective thug.
Michael Barone … The Washington Examiner … June 20 2010
The Obama administration’s flagship effort to help people in danger of losing their homes is falling flat.
More than a third of the 1.24 million borrowers who have enrolled in the $75 billion mortgage modification program have dropped out. That exceeds the number of people who have managed to have their loan payments reduced to help them keep their homes.
Last month alone,155,000 borrowers left the program — bringing the total to 436,000 who have dropped out since it began in March 2009.
Alan Zibel … AP … June 21 2010
that would be Communism, Michelle …
They don’t want the whole pie,” she told the women. “There are some who do, but most Americans feel blessed just being able to thrive a little bit. But that is becoming even more out of reach. If we don’t wake up as a nation with a new kind of leadership, for how we want this country to work, then we won’t get universal health care. The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more.”
Michelle Obama … 2008 Presidential Campaign
Mountains of rotting food found at a government warehouse, soaring prices and soldiers raiding wholesalers accused of hoarding: Food supply is the latest battle in President Hugo Chavez’s socialist revolution. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says government-led raids of food markets will reverse exploitation of the poor, whom he needs for political support. Venezuelan army soldiers swept through the working class, pro-Chavez neighborhood of Catia in Caracas last week, seizing 120 tons of rice along with coffee and powdered milk that officials said was to be sold above regulated prices.
It is also the latest issue to divide the Latin American country where Chavez has nationalized a wide swathe of the economy, he says to reverse years of exploitation of the poor. Chavez supporters are grateful for a network of cheap state-run supermarkets and they say the raids will slow massive inflation. Critics accuse him of steering the country toward a communist dictatorship and say he is destroying the private sector.
They point to 80,000 tons of rotting food found in warehouses belonging to the government as evidence the state is a poor and corrupt administrator.
Reuters … June 20 2010
“This is not just an America in decline. This is an America in retreat — accepting, ratifying and declaring its decline, and inviting rising powers to fill the vacuum.”
Charles Krauthammer … May 2010
President Obama’s decision to skip the traditional Memorial Day ceremony in Arlington while on his second vacation since the BP oil spill began has some wondering what the schedule says about his priorities.
FOXNews.com … May 27 2010
The president, in my view, continues to govern in a way that suggests he is chronically detached from the central and immediate concerns of his countrymen. This is a terrible thing to see in a political figure, and a startling thing in one who won so handily and shrewdly in 2008. But he has not, almost from the day he was inaugurated, been in sync with the center. The heart of the country is thinking each day about A, B and C, and he is thinking about X, Y and Z. They’re in one reality, he’s in another.
Peggy Noonan … May 2010
… a critical mass of influential people in world affairs who once held high hopes for the president have begun to wonder whether they misjudged the man. They are no longer dazzled by his rock star personality and there is a sense that there is something amateurish and even incompetent about how Obama is managing U.S. power…America right now appears to be unreliable to traditional friends, compliant to rivals, and weak to enemies. One renowned Asian leader stated recently at a private dinner in the United States, “We in Asia are convinced that Obama is not strong enough to confront his opponents, but we fear that he is not strong enough to support his friends.”
Mort Zuckerman … US News & World Report … June 2010
A great part of America now understands that this president’s sense of identification lies elsewhere, and is in profound ways unlike theirs. He is hard put to sound convincingly like the leader of the nation, because he is, at heart and by instinct, the voice mainly of his ideological class. He is the alien in the White House, a matter having nothing to do with delusions about his birthplace cherished by the demented fringe.
One of his first reforms was to rid the White House of the bust of Winston Churchill—a gift from Tony Blair—by packing it back off to 10 Downing Street. A cloudlet of mystery has surrounded the subject ever since, but the central fact stands clear. The new administration had apparently found no place in our national house of many rooms for the British leader who lives on so vividly in the American mind. Churchill, face of our shared wartime struggle, dauntless rallier of his nation who continues, so remarkably, to speak to ours. For a president to whom such associations are alien, ridding the White House of Churchill would, of course, have raised no second thoughts.
Dorothy Rabinowitz … WSJ … June 9 2010
[I] don’t sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar — we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick.”
Barack Obama in an interview with NBC about the LA Gulf Oil Spill … June 8 2010
“I have not spoken to him directly,” Obama said, [defending his decision not to speak with Tony Hayward the CEO of BP June 8 2010]. “Here’s the reason. Because my experience is, when you talk to a guy like a BP CEO, he’s going to say all the right things to me. I’m not interested in words. I’m interested in actions.”
… it took the Department of Homeland Security more than a week to classify the spill as an event calling for the highest level of federal action. And when state officials in Louisiana tried over and over to win federal permission to build sand barriers to protect fragile coastal wetlands from the oil, they got nowhere. “For three weeks, as the giant slick crept closer to shore,” the Times reports, “officials from the White House, Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Environmental Protection Agency debated the best approach.”
NYT … May 2010
… [Louisiana Governor] Bobby Jindal’s request for hard booms on May 2 [in response to the oil spill] was still woefully undermet three weeks later. Exit question: Another two or three sanitized photo ops of Obama inspecting tar balls on the beach should smooth this over, no?
Allahpundit … HotAIR.com … June 8 2010