Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Liberal Hypocrisy: Democrats Using Mobile Billboard To Bash Rush Limbaugh

A billboard. Mounted on the back of a big truck.

So while Obama and the rest of the liberals tell us that we can’t have our thermostats set where we want, that our cars have to be a certain color, that we can’t just use any sort of dish soap we want, that we can only use special types of light bulbs and that we have to sit in the dark for an hour all in the name of global warming and saving the environment they’re driving a big, gas-guzzling truck around for no other reason than show off a billboard they made. And not only drive it around in a certain area, but apparently transport it around the country too. So that it can be driven around even more.

No word on what the carbon footprint of that is.

Hypocrites? You betcha.


'New York Times' Spiked Obama Donor Story

Congressional Testimony: ‘Game-Changer’ Article Would Have Connected Campaign With ACORN

A lawyer involved with legal action against Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) told a House Judiciary subcommittee on March 19 The New York Times had killed a story in October that would have shown a close link between ACORN, Project Vote and the Obama campaign because it would have been a "a game changer."

Heather Heidelbaugh, who represented the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee in the lawsuit against the group, recounted for the committee what she had been told by a former ACORN worker who had worked in the group's Washington, D.C. office. The former worker, Anita Moncrief, told Ms. Heidelbaugh last October, during the state committee's litigation against ACORN, she had been a "confidential informant for several months to The New York Times reporter, Stephanie Strom."

Ms. Moncrief had been providing Ms. Strom with information about ACORN's election activities. Ms. Strom had written several stories based on information Ms. Moncrief had given her.

During her testimony, Ms. Heidelbaugh said Ms. Moncrief had told her The New York Times articles stopped when she revealed that the Obama presidential campaign had sent its maxed-out donor list to ACORN's Washington, D.C. office.

Ms. Moncrief told Ms. Heidelbaugh the campaign had asked her and her boss to "reach out to the maxed-out donors and solicit donations from them for Get Out the Vote efforts to be run by ACORN."

Ms. Heidelbaugh then told the congressional panel:

"Upon learning this information and receiving the list of donors from the Obama campaign, Ms. Strom reported to Ms. Moncrief that her editors at The New York Times wanted her to kill the story because, and I quote, "it was a game changer."'

Ms. Moncrief made her first overture to Ms. Heidelbaugh after The New York Times allegedly spiked the story — on Oct. 21, 2008. Last fall, she testified under oath about what she had learned about ACORN from her years in its Washington, D.C. office. Although she was present at the congressional hearing, she did not testify.

U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., the ranking Republican on the committee, said the interactions between the Obama campaign and ACORN, as described by Ms. Moncrief, and attested to before the committee by Ms. Heidelbaugh, could possibly violate federal election law, and "ACORN has a pattern of getting in trouble for violating federal election laws."

He also voiced criticism of The New York Times.

"If true, The New York Times is showing once again that it is a not an impartial observer of the political scene," he said. "If they want to be a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party, they should put Barack Obama approves of this in their newspaper."

By Michael P. Tremoglie - The Bulletin

Another day, another Obama nominee with tax problems

Knock me over with a feather. Another Obama nominee made “unintentional” errors, meaningless goofs, nothingburger mistakes on her tax returns.

It’s HHS nominee Kathleen Sebelius. Via Brian Montopoli of CBSNews:

Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama’s nominee to become Health and Human Services secretary, said in a letter obtained by the Associated Press that she made “unintentional errors” on her taxes and has corrected her returns from three different years.

In the letter, which was sent to senators and dated today, Sebelius wrote that she had made changes related to charitable contributions, business expenses and the sale of a home, according to the AP.

The wire service reports that she and her husband paid just over $7,000 in back taxes, along with $878 in interest, for the years 2005-2007.


Why no women's bracket from Obama?


As the father of two athletic daughters, President Obama should know all about the importance of sports for women and girls.

Which is why he should have filled out not only a men's NCAA tournament bracket but also a women's tournament bracket in his well-publicized appearance on ESPN last week.

I realize the men's tournament is much more popular than the women's, and Obama is a big men's hoops fan and avid player, but the fact remains there is another top-notch college basketball tournament going on at the same time, and he absolutely should have acknowledged it.

Christine Brennan

Wasteful pork in the porkulus bill? You don’t say!

Now, they tell us, Part 1,001:

Should a bridge that would connect two campuses at Microsoft’s headquarters be funded with $11 million from the federal stimulus package?

Critics of using stimulus money for the bridge say it would give the software giant a break on a pet project. They also say it serves as a warning sign of how some stimulus money is not being used to finance new projects but is being diverted to public works already under way…

…”This is $11 million where we are substituting public money for private money, and that means there’s some other project that would have a greater benefit than a bridge to Microsoft that’s not being built,” says Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense.

But without the stimulus money, Marchione counters, the bridge may not have been built. Microsoft had “capped out” its contribution to the project, he explains. And the economic tough times have affected even the biggest companies. “Microsoft laid off 5,000 people in January,” Marchione points out.

Ellis doesn’t buy it.

“Let’s face it. Microsoft is one of the most lucrative companies in the country,” Ellis says. “They could have easily funded this out of pocket change. This is really about getting while the getting is good. Uncle Sam has a big wallet that’s there for the taking, and Redmond wanted to take it — and Microsoft was happy to let them pick up that part of the tab.”


Friday, March 27, 2009

Obama's Short Sell

Though "words matter" to President Obama, details don't.

Last night Obama delivered a live press conference that came after a week of bizarre behavior, ranging from inappropriate jokes on the Tonight Show, and delayed outrage over executive bonuses. America is eagerly waiting for President Obama to make his case, again tonight, there were no answers.

After tonight, one thing is clear: Obama has his bachelors, masters and doctorate in persistent ambiguity.. He dodged questions on how exactly he'll cut the deficit by increasing spending. He ducked the issue of whether his policies will result in massive inflation. And he danced around the fact that his budget will double the national debt in 5 years and triple it in ten years.

The only thing we do know, is that Obama will make it harder for some people to give to charity. It is one thing to oppose the rich, it is another to oppose charitable giving.

Answers weren't the only thing missing last night; so were tough questions from the press. No questions about the AIG bonuses; no questions about Congress’s latest efforts to raise taxes, Leno grilled him harder than the White House press corps.

Most disappointing was the failure of the press to seriously question Obama on Geither's latest plan to thaw credit markets. Will it work? Hard to tell in the absence of tough questions.

Most notable was his verbal word orgy when it came to investments, which we all know is liberal speak for spending. In fact, I use the term investment every time I try to justify a shoe purchase at Bloomingdale's. Note: the last person to overuse the term investment was Bernie Madoff.

His press conference left the public unconvinced. And that Mr. President is no laughing matter.



Expanded Americorps has an authoritarian feel

With almost no public attention, both chambers of Congress in the past week advanced an alarming expansion of the Americorps national service plan, with the number of federally funded community service job increasing from 75,000 to 250,000 at a cost of $5.7 billion. Lurking behind the feel-good rhetoric spouted by the measure’s advocates is a bill that on closer inspection reveals multiple provisions that together create a strong odor of creepy authoritarianism. The House passed the measure overwhelmingly, while only 14 senators had the sense and courage to vote against it on a key procedural motion. Every legislator who either voted for this bill or didn’t vote at all has some serious explaining to do.

Last summer, then-candidate Barack Obama threw civil liberties to the wind when he proposed “a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded” as the regular military. The expanded Americorps is not quite so disturbing, but a number of provisions in the bill raise serious concerns.

To begin with, the legislation threatens the voluntary nature of Americorps by calling for consideration of “a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people.” It anticipates the possibility of requiring “all individuals in the United States” to perform such service – including elementary school students. The bill also summons up unsettling memories of World War II-era paramilitary groups by saying the new program should “combine the best practices of civilian service with the best aspects of military service,” while establishing “campuses” that serve as “operational headquarters,” complete with “superintendents” and “uniforms” for all participants. It allows for the elimination of all age restrictions in order to involve Americans at all stages of life. And it calls for creation of “a permanent cadre” in a “National Community Civilian Corps.”

But that’s not all. The bill also calls for “youth engagement zones” in which “service learning” is “a mandatory part of the curriculum in all of the secondary schools served by the local educational agency.” This updated form of voluntary community service is also to be “integrated into the science, technology, engineering and mathematics curricula” at all levels of schooling. Sounds like a government curriculum for government approved “service learning,” which is nothing less than indoctrination. Now, ask yourself if congressmen who voted for this monstrosity had a clue what they were voting for. If not, they’re guilty of dereliction of duty. If yes, the implications are truly frightening.


Between being first officially "reported" to the House and being voted on by the full House, bill managers stripped one whole section of the measure that created a Congressional Commission on Civil Service, thus removing the section that contained the language cited above concerning "a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people" and a possible requirement for "all individuals in the United States" to perform such service. The section could be restored during the Senate-House conference committee meeting. A new, separate bill containing that language has since been introduced in the House.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Over 100,000 Outraged over Obama Speaking at Notre Dame

Outrage over the invitation of President Barack Obama to offer the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame has translated to over 111,000 signatures and counting in protest.

At one point Tuesday evening, the website notredamescandal.com popped up with the "Server is too busy" statement as the online petition continued to collect an average of 1,000 new signatures every 15 minutes.

"People are outraged, and the alumni of Notre Dame in particular are communicating to each other," Patrick J. Reilly, president of Cardinal Newman Society, which launched the petition, told LifeSiteNews.com.

White House officials announced on Friday that Obama had accepted Notre Dame's invitation to speak at the May 17 event. Following protests from pro-life groups, university alumni and religious leaders, the White House issued a statement Tuesday saying Obama welcomes the "spirit of debate and healthy disagreement on important issues."

Bishop John D'Arcy, the Roman Catholic Bishop of South Bend, Ind., has decided not to attend the commencement ceremony, where Obama will also be given an honorary degree.

D'Arcy's main protest is against Obama's recent actions which include lifting a ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research and overturning a policy that banned U.S. taxpayer money from going to international groups that perform or promote abortions.

"President Obama has recently reaffirmed, and has now placed in public policy, his long-stated unwillingness to hold human life as sacred," D'Arcy said Tuesday. "While claiming to separate politics from science, he has in fact separated science from ethics and has brought the American government, for the first time in history, into supporting direct destruction of innocent human life."

Reilly of Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) told LifeSiteNews.com that he sees outrages all the time but he believes Obama's selection was "the last straw."

"The president has been waging a campaign of human destruction with his policies, and abortion, and stem-cell research, and now trying to eliminate conscience protections for healthcare workers," he said. "And in the meantime, Catholic institutions – in particular Catholic universities – have been very quick to abandon their Catholic mission for the sake of prestige. And this is probably the most prominent Catholic University hosting the most prominent leader of the Culture of Death."

CNS, which is dedicated to renewing and strengthening Catholic identity at the nation's 224 Catholic colleges and universities, launched the petition on Friday right after the announcement by the White House. Other groups, including Notre Dame campus organizations and Catholicvote.org, have joined the petition drive.

"Notre Dame has chosen prestige over principles, popularity over morality," the petition laments.

Despite the burgeoning protest, the president of the renowned Catholic university, the Rev. John Jenkins, said the invitation still stands, citing that past presidents from both political parties have also spoken at Notre Dame's graduation ceremonies.

"We will honor Mr. Obama as an inspiring leader who faces many challenges," Jenkins said. "It is of special significance that we will hear from our first African-American president."

He added that the invitation does not mean the university supports all of Obama's positions and that it "should not be taken as condoning or endorsing his positions on specific issues regarding the protection of human life."

"Yet, we see his visit as a basis for further positive engagement."

Meanwhile, CNS' petition says Obama's pro-choice views "directly contradict fundamental Catholic teachings on life and marriage" and violates the 2004 "Catholics in Political Life" mandate, part of which states: "The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."

By Nathan Black - Christian Post Reporter

Obama’s Nation of ‘Special Olympians’

Last week, President Obama gaffed. While appearing on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” to push his outrageous budget, Obama was quizzed by Leno about his famously incompetent bowling. Obama bragged that he’d recently bowled a 129; Leno chuckled. Then Obama let loose with a remark that should rightfully haunt him the rest of his career: “it’s like -- it was like the Special Olympics or something.”

Obama apologized for the joke by calling up the head of the Special Olympics, who quickly covered for him. His press secretary, Robert Gibbs, apologized on his behalf, stating that Obama recognizes that disabled people “deserve a lot better than the thoughtless joke that he made last night.” But Obama made no direct apology to those with disabilities. He did not release a statement. He did not do anything that could be construed as a public pronouncement of remorse. He slandered the disabled before millions, then apologized behind the scenes.

There are those who say we should look beyond silly mistakes like Obama’s feeble joke. We’ve got more important things on our plate, they say. We’re in the midst of a deep recession and we’re still fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why focus on a single botched quip? The answer is simple: Americans have a right to focus on the character of their president. They didn’t do so before he was elected -- instead they focused on the color of his skin, the diversity of his background, the eloquence of his speeches. But now that America has enjoyed its “transformational moment,” it’s time to get to know the man we elected to the White House.

And gaffes are the best way to get to know a politician. Politicians carefully craft their images, burnishing their credentials and hiding their faults. They present their best side to the camera at all times. They present a mask to the world. Gaffes are the brief moments when the mask slips, when the true people behind the facades emerge. We learned about Bill Clinton when he explained, “it depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is”: he was a slippery lawyer accustomed to manipulating the truth. We learned about George H.W. Bush when he visited a supermarket and was amazed by the scanning technology: he was out of touch.

What do we learn about Obama from the “Special Olympics” gaffe? We learn, first and foremost, what we already knew: Obama is an elitist with a high school sense of humor. Laughing at the Special Olympics is a habit of the overgrown sophomores who populate the intellectual salons at places like Harvard Law School; it’s not uncommon to label political opponents “retarded” behind closed doors, political correctness be damned. Obama is a self-important Ivy League type entranced with his own brilliance.

But Obama’s gaffe teaches us something else about him: for all his talk about compassion, he sees those below him on the physical, socioeconomic, and educational scale as inferior. They are, at best, sheep to be led. They are, at worst, lifelong liabilities. Sure, Obama says he bowls like a Special Olympian -- but the implication is that he does not think or lead like a Special Olympian. He is above that.

In fact, he is at a level of sophistication in understanding that far surpasses ordinary Americans. That is why Obama sees government as the only solution to every crisis -- with him at the top, government is Aristotelian rule of the best. Americans, in Obama’s view, are a nation of children -- which is why, in his Inaugural Address, Obama encouraged us to “set aside childish things.” And we can only do so, presumably, with Obama’s leadership.

My grandfather worked at Easter Seals, an organization dedicated to helping the disabled. My father’s first childhood memory was meeting physically disabled children. During his grade school years, my father used to get into fights with kids who would taunt the “special ed” kids. My mother taught autistic children; my wife works with children who suffer from ADHD and depression.

All of these kids are special and deserve respect. They are not “Special Olympians,” to be painted as inadequate and ridiculous. They are human beings. They are individuals.

But individuality doesn’t seem to factor into Obama’s thinking. Where he’s from, everyone is a type: “Special Olympians,” “childish Americans,” benighted right-wing bigots. Everyone, that is, except for Barack Obama. He’s The One. And even if he can’t bowl, he’s still better than the rest of us.

by Ben Shapiro - townhall.com

Candidate Obama vs. President Obama: Change We Can Believe In?

How Would He Pronounce "Cassiopeia"?

Everyone knows that Barack Obama is lost without his teleprompter, but his latest blunder, courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, via the Corner, suggests that the teleprompter may not be enough unless it includes phonetic spellings. Obama was speaking at a White House roundtable on clean energy systems, and repeatedly saluted Orion Energy Systems, whose CEO, Neal Verfuerth, was present at the event. So Obama referred to "Orion" a number of times. Only problem was, he appeared to be unfamiliar with the word:

All terrific press for Orion, except that Obama kept pronouncing the company's name wrong, calling it OAR-ee-on.

Unbelievable. Orion is one of the best-known constellations, mostly because it actually looks like its namesake. So evidently we have to add astronomy to history and economics as subjects of which Obama is remarkably ignorant. I'm beginning to fear that our President has below-average knowledge of the world. Not for a President, but for a middle-aged American.

This latest episode suggests that Obama's teleprompter should up the ante. Iowahawk obtained exclusive access to the teleprompter's attempt to shake down the Big Guy (Warning, the teleprompter's language can be a little rough):

If the teleprompter starts giving the President phonetic pronunciations of words the rest of us know but the President doesn't, there's no telling what concessions he might win!

Finally, I know it's a trite observation, and one to which we have been driven on almost a daily basis since the Age of Obama began two short months ago, but can you imagine the hooting and hollering that would have ensued if George Bush had never heard of Orion? I can't, actually.



Obama Upgrade: Teleprompters Swapped for Giant TV Monitor for News Conference

Saturday, March 21, 2009

House adopts plan for 'volunteer' corps - Also requires new evaluation of 'mandatory' service for all

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a plan to set up a new "volunteer corps" and consider whether "a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people" should be developed.

The legislation also refers to "uniforms" that would be worn by the "volunteers" and the "need" for a "public service academy, a 4-year institution" to "focus on training" future "public sector leaders." The training, apparently, would occur at "campuses."

The vote yesterday came on H.R. 1388, which reauthorizes through 2014 the National and Community Service Act of 1990 and the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, acts that originally, among other programs, funded the AmeriCorps and the National Senior Service Corps.

It not only reauthorizes the programs, but also includes "new programs and studies" and is expected to be funded with an allocation of $6 billion over the next five years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Many, however, are raising concerns that the program, which is intended to include 250,000 "volunteers," is the beginning of what President Obama called his "National Civilian Security Force" in a a speech last year in which he urged creating an organization as big and well-funded as the U.S. military. He has declined since then to elaborate.

WND reported when a copy of the speech provided online apparently was edited to exclude Obama's specific references to the new force.

The video of his statements is posted here:

The new bill specifically references the possibilities "if all individuals in the United States were expected to perform national service or were required to perform a certain amount of national service."

Such new requirements perhaps, the legislation notes, "would strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges by bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds."

No one, apparently with the exception of infants, would be excluded:

"The means to develop awareness of national service and volunteer opportunities at a young age by creating, expanding, and promoting service options for elementary and secondary school students, through service learning or other means, and by raising awareness of existing incentives."

According to a report by Canada Free Press, "'volunteerism' that kept America running since the days of its founding" would be "wiped out with the stroke of a pen."

"It becomes forced labor and like the practice of another era, presses American citizens of all ages and creeds, unknowingly into military service," the commentary said.

"On paper, H.R. 1388 is the 'Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act'; the more innocuous sounding 'The Give Act,' for short.

"The Give Act puts the finishing touches to Public Allies New Leadership for New Times, modeled after Saul Alinsky's 'Peoples Organizations' and operating under Michelle Obama," the commentary said.

"Michelle was also a pioneer in the social entrepreneur movement – leaders who create new approaches and organize to provide new solutions to social problems. Like most things Saul Alinsky, H.R. 1388 sounds noble in stating why wide-sweeping change is necessary," the commentary said.

"H.R. 1388 goes straight to the heart of volunteerism in America, impacting everything from the lemonade stands of neighborhood children, to the residents of senior citizens homes. … The Give Act puts tow-headed school children and silver-haired seniors in the official uniform of the new State, and encompasses every walk of life in main-street America," the commentary said. "Whether you are young or old, or firmly believe that volunteering means you are offering your time to the good of community work, you will be pressed into Obama's National Civilian Community Corps."

Groups of such "volunteers," would, under the legislation, be "grouped together as appropriate in campuses for operational, support, and boarding purposes. The Corps campus for a unit shall be in a facility or central location established as the operational headquarters and boarding place for the unit. … There shall be a superintendent for each camp."

The plan generated this concern from Resistnet.com: "This is the equivalent of brown shirts."

Another portion of the bill talks about a "service learning" plan that will be "a mandatory part of the curriculum in all of the secondary schools served by the local educational agency."

A forum participant noted, "I wonder what's going to happen to those who refused to 'volunteer.' Maybe they will be put into a different 'campus.' I guess we will soon find out."

Formal announcements about the plan suggested something far different, picking a provision far down in the 200 pages of legislation to highlight.

According to a Business Wire statement released by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the bill "would formally authorize federal support for establishing the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on America as a National Day of Service and Remembrance."

That provision is tucked into the far reaches of the legislation, but Schumer discussed it as if it were the primary point.

"I could not be more proud to work to pass this important provision," said Schumer. "September 11 should not only be a day for mourning – it should be a day to think about our neighbors, our community, and our country. We can take a tragic day in our nation's history and turn it into a force for good."

On the Albany Insanity blog, this concern was raised: "What gives the government the right to require individuals to give three years service under the guise of 'volunteer' service? It is not explicit exactly who is required but I think they get the bill passed and then iron out the details. It talks about uniforms and 'camps.' They revise the word 'camps' and call it 'campus.' There is language about Seniors and Community organizations."

The blog noted, such work forces would be used for "pressing national and local challenges" that apparently could range from weather disasters to economic uncertainty.

At a Republican website, officials noted it authorizes funding for an Education Corps, Healthy Futures Corps, Clean Energy Corps, Veterans' Corps and Opportunity Corps.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a Democrat from New York. It was approved in the House 321-105, with mostly GOP opposition. It now goes to the Senate.

WND reported earlier on Obama's Colorado Springs campaign speech when he sought a civilian security force as big and well-funded as the military – with a budget of hundreds of billions of dollars.

WND later reported when the official website for Obama, Change.gov, announced he would "require" all middle school through college students to participate in community service programs.

However, after a flurry of blogs protested children being drafted into Obama's proposed youth corps, officials softened the website's wording.

Originally, under the tab "America Serves," Change.gov read, "President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in under served schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps.

"Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year," the site announced.

WND previously reported on a video of a marching squad of Obama youth.

Joseph Farah, founder and editor of WND, used his daily column first to raise the issue and then to elevate it with a call to all reporters to start asking questions.

"If we're going to create some kind of national police force as big, powerful and well-funded as our combined U.S. military forces, isn't this rather a big deal?" Farah wrote. "I thought Democrats generally believed the U.S. spent too much on the military. How is it possible their candidate is seeking to create some kind of massive but secret national police force that will be even bigger than the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force put together?

"Is Obama serious about creating some kind of domestic security force bigger and more expensive than that? If not, why did he say it? What did he mean?" Farah wrote.

By Bob Unruh - WorldNetDaily

Eric Holder States that Gitmo Prisoners Could Be Released in the US

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some of the Guantanamo Bay prisoners could be released into the United States while others could be put on trial in the American court system, Attorney General Eric Holder said on Wednesday.

About 240 terrorism suspects, including suspected planners of the September 11 attacks, are being held in the prison. Many have been detained for seven years without charges and some were subjected to interrogation techniques denounced by critics as torture.

The administration faces intense political resistance to the idea of bringing the prisoners to the United States as part of closing the detention camp. The administration seeks to transfer some detainees to Europe or other countries while freeing others.

Holder told reporters at the Justice Department that the administration's review, made on a case-by-case basis, would determine whether the prisoners need to be put on trial or whether they can be released.

"For those who are in that second category, who can be released, there are a variety of options that we have. Among them is the possibility that we could release them into this country," he said.

By James Vicini

Five Reasons Obama Should Return His Book Advance

With his massive wealth transfer proposals, it was hard not to view President Obama as a decent man who was inviting fiscal ruin with the best of intentions. That was until the Washington Times reported that he had secured a $500,000 advance for a book project just days before taking office. The White House argues that the $500,000 payment is not a “book deal,” but a “license” that was negotiated over the course of months for an abridged youth version of a preexisting book. Only the “paperwork” was signed just before taking office.

Whatever the argument, it is incumbent on President Obama to return his book advance immediately. Here’s why.

First, Obama’s deal gives the impression of impropriety. A president, or president- elect, with the highest ethics, should shun large private pecuniary arrangements, so as not to cast doubt on the office, or the intentions of the office holder. In the case of President Obama, the deal makes him look like an old school Chicago politician looking to get rich off of public service.

Second, Obama is cashing in on a loophole. According to the Washington Times, there are no rules preventing such a deal, just as there were no rules against most of the actions leading to the present financial crisis. The trouble with this loophole is that Obama has been criticizing corporations for taking advantage of loopholes, even though he took advantage of a big one himself.

Third, Obama’s $500,000 deal sets a poor precedent. How do we distinguish between a book deal now; a book and movie deal four years from now; a book, movie and consulting deal eight years from now; and simply a consulting deal or other arrangement 12 years from now? Unless returned, Obama’s book advance (or license) could allow future presidents to profit more and more at the expense of the public good.

Fourth, the advance smacks of exploitation. Obama surrogates are stressing that the payment is a license to a children’s publisher for an abridged youth-oriented version of a preexisting book. Somehow this is supposed to make the arrangement innocuous; but this is what makes it so bad. The fact that they hide behind youth makes it all the more exploitive.
Last, it is pure hypocrisy. Obama is continually slamming those who make money, while quietly getting rich himself, and this undermines his credibility.

The White House defense of Obama’s publishing payment is truly unpersuasive. Whether one calls it a “license” or a “book deal,” the fact remains that President Obama negotiated a lucrative private arrangement while both a presidential candidate and president-elect. This arrangement casts doubt on the president’s ethics and judgment. It also begs the question of how he intends to spend his time in the White House. Will he be negotiating profitable license deals and approving abridged versions of his books? Or will he be governing our nation? Instead of negotiating this license, Obama’s time would have been better spent staffing the Treasury Department and figuring a way out of the credit mess.

There will be plenty of time for President Obama to augment his income after he leaves office. As it stands now, he should return the book advance to his publisher and apologize to the nation for using his office to enrich himself at a time of economic distress.

By Chris Coffey, AndreaTantaros.com Contributor

Obama’s “Special Olympics” joke: The teleprompter made him do it!

Jake Tapper reports that Barack Obama pulled a Joe Biden (or a Barack Obama, for that matter) and ended up mocking the Special Olympics in a lame attempt to make fun of his weak bowling skills. But of course, the White House says he “in no way intended to disparage the Special Olympics.” You be the judge:

The first appearance by a sitting president on “The Tonight Show” may well end up being the last.

President Obama, in his taping with Jay Leno Thursday afternoon, attempted to yuk it up with the funnyman, and ended up insulting the disabled.

Towards the end of his approximately 40-minute appearance, the president talked about how he’s gotten better at bowling and has been practicing in the White House bowling alley.

He bowled a 129, the president said.

“That’s very good, Mr. President,” Leno said sarcastically.

It’s “like the Special Olympics or something,” the president said.

When asked about the remark, the White House said the president did not intend to offend.

“The president made an off-hand remark making fun of his own bowling that was in no way intended to disparage the Special Olympics,” White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton said.

Way to go, Soul Fixer.

I blame Obama’s Prompter… or lack thereof.

But this is all just a big distraction.

Let’s get back to the real business of America: NCAA picks!

By Michelle Malkin

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Obama: Obsessed With Infamy?

There’s a saying: “You can never be too rich, too thin, or go too far too fast.” Our current President seems to subscribe to the latter. Being the first African American to be elected to the White House doesn’t appear to be good enough for Barack Obama. He's got to be ultra infamous, and that means going far—fast.

While many Presidents have laid out what they have believed to be "bold" policy plans for the future, it's typically a broad theme or two that echoes their campaign promises and is accepted as somewhat attainable. But Obama is making it his mission to address every issue this country faces by sounding the alarm of urgency to get his way. From greenhouse gas to healthcare to government contracts, he's made them all priorities. But are his initiatives really about us, or about his own obsession with infamy?

Obama says "this country can't afford to wait on healthcare." More like, this country can't AFFORD universal healthcare. However, if Obama were to completely socialize medicine he'd surely earn his place in the history books while simultaneously thumbing his nose at the Clintons. If he can shove his cap and trade program through he'd be hailed an environmental savior, out greening even Al Gore. He's gone after executive pay, proposed a budget that seeks to grow government, cripple investment, and impose a host of punitive wealth transfer programs turning us into Europe.

Many economists are editorializing that what he’s preaching isn’t even possible due to our country’s limited financial bandwidth. But Obama doesn’t seem to care. He is charging ahead and planning to charge all of his proposals on the country’s already maxed out credit card. Most puzzlingly, he is devoid of a plan to address the most pressing problem facing the nation: a credit crisis.

Is Obama’s pathological narcissism and pursuit for unparalleled notoriety driving our nation into the ground?

Many politicians are egomaniacs from Nixon to Clinton. Samuel Vaknin, Ph.D., and a known expert on pathology and narcissism writes:

“David Koresh, Charles Manson, Joseph Koni, Shoko Asahara, Stalin, Saddam, Mao, Kim Jong Ill and Adolph Hitler; They created a personality cult around themselves and with their blazing speeches elevated their admirers, filled their hearts with enthusiasm and instilled in their minds a new zest for life. They gave them hope! They promised them the moon, but alas, invariably they brought them to their doom. When you are a victim of a cult of personality, you don't know it until it is too late.”

The personalized emblems, the presumptuous presidential seals before he won office, the cultish iconography, the desire to silence any kind of dissent among his detractors, all of these things point to a man who seems to be obsessively driven by his own self interest.

With each policy push and passing day that Wall Street suffers, we are seeing that with Obama, reality and fantasy are intertwined. Let’s hope the country wakes up in time, before his quest for greatness sacrifices the nation's best interests.



Sunday, March 15, 2009

Thousands gather for 'Tea Party' in Cincinnati

Thousands of people filled Fountain Square this afternoon for the Cincinnati Tea Party, a grassroots-effort designed to show their disapproval for bailouts and the massive federal stimulus plan.

Advertisement People wore Revolution-era costumes and raised anti-bailout signs with messages like “Give us Liberty, not debt” and “No more bailouts.”

Sean Lynch was one of thousands who navigated the crowd.

“I’m frustrated with the way things are going in Congress. They need to remember that they work for us, and right now, we don’t approve,” said Lynch, of Colerain. “This is not a Democrat thing or a Republican thing. It’s a government thing.”

Lynch brought his children to the demonstration and hoped that one day, when they’re older, they’ll understand the importance of taking a stand. His 8-year-old, Isabel, held a “Stop spending my allowance” sign and 5-year-old Kate raised a “Stay out of my piggy bank” one.

“I don’t think anything is going to change overnight,” Lynch said. “But this is a start.”

The rally at Fountain Square was one of dozens staged across the country.

By Amber Ellis - news.cincinnati.com

Pictures posted by Glenn Reynolds

More than a bad day: Worries grow that Barack Obama & Co. have a competence problem

Not long ago, after a string of especially bad days for the Obama administration, a veteran Democratic pol approached me with a pained look on his face and asked, "Do you think they know what they're doing?"

The question caught me off guard because the man is a well-known Obama supporter. As we talked, I quickly realized his asking suggested his own considerable doubts.

Yes, it's early, but an eerily familiar feeling is spreading across party lines and seeping into the national conversation. It's a nagging doubt about the competency of the White House.

It was during George W. Bush's second term that the I-word - incompetence - became a routine broadside against him. The Democratic frenzy of Bush-bashing had not spent itself when a larger critique emerged, one not confined by partisan boundaries.

The charge of incompetence covered the mismanagement of Iraq, the response to Hurricane Katrina and the economic meltdown. By the time Bush left, the charge tipped the scales to where most of America, including many who had been supporters or just sympathetic, viewed him as a failed President.

The tag of incompetence is powerful precisely because it is a nondenominational rebuke, even when it yields a partisan result. It became the strongest argument against the GOP hammerlock on Washington and, over two elections, gave Democrats their turn at total control.

But already feelings of doubt are rising again. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were never held in high regard, so doubts about their motives and abilities are not surprising.

What matters more is the growing concern about Obama and his team. The longest campaign in presidential history is being followed by a very short honeymoon.

Polls show that most people like Obama, but they increasingly don't like his policies. The vast spending hikes and plans for more are provoking the most concern, with 82% telling a Gallup survey they are worried about the deficit and 69% worried about the rapid growth of government under Obama. Most expect their own taxes will go up as a result, despite the President's promises to the contrary.

None other than Warren Buffet, an Obama supporter, has called the administration's message on the economy "muddled." Even China says it is worried about its investments in American Treasury bonds. Ouch.

Much of the blame falls on Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, whose appalling tax problems softened the ground under him before he took office. After his initial fumbling presentations, he became a butt of jokes on "Saturday Night Live," not a sustainable image for the point man in a recession. And still the market waits for his answer to the banks' toxic assets.

It's also notable that four people lined up for top jobs under Geithner have withdrawn, leaving one British official to complain that there is nobody to talk to at the Treasury Department. Perhaps it was a bid to combat the Geithner blues that led Larry Summers, Obama's top economic adviser, to make an unusual appearance Friday in which he defended the spending plans everyone is so worried about.

Yet the doubts aren't all about Geithner, and they were reinforced by the bizarre nomination and withdrawal of Chas Freeman as a top intelligence official. It's hard to know which explanation is worse: that the White House didn't know of Freeman's intemperate criticism of Israel and his praise of China's massacre at Tiananmen Square, or that it didn't care. Good riddance to him. But what of those who picked him?

Which brings us to the heart of the matter: the doubts about Obama himself. His famous eloquence is wearing thin through daily exposure and because his actions are often disconnected from his words. His lack of administrative experience is showing.

His promises and policies contradict each other often enough that evidence of hypocrisy is ceasing to be news. Remember the pledges about bipartisanship and high ethics? They're so last year.

The beat goes on. Last week, Obama brazenly gave a speech about earmark reform just after he quietly signed a $410 billion spending bill that had about 9,000 earmarks in it. He denounced Bush's habit of disregarding pieces of laws he didn't like, so-called signing statements, then issued one himself.

And in an absolute jaw-dropper, he told business leaders, "I don't like the idea of spending more government money, nor am I interested in expanding government's role."

No wonder Americans are confused. Our President is, too.


Does Barack Obama Think For Himself?

Let’s be fair here.

If George W. Bush cancelled news conferences with foreign leaders because (of the appearance) he’d need a teleprompter guiding him through responses while the others didn’t, just what would the left be saying about him?

Remember Barack Obama’s primetime press conference where the punditry later complained his answers averaged 10-15 minutes each? Could it have been he was being fed pertinent mini speech segments?

With that, take a good listen (if you haven’t already) when he speaks without his security prompter. Progressives will excuse him, saying he’s being thoughtful, while some of us think he’s in search of a thought, period.


Speculation is that David Axelrod is the man behind the prompter, whether it be speeches or press conference crib notes, and if that’s the case it should make us all wonder what’s really happening upstairs in the president’s head. Is he really this deep thinker or is he just a bubblehead, doing what he’s told to do and say?

By Bob Parks

Could Obama Be Just Too Awesome?

It’s unfashionable right now to worry about things. The dark ages of being ruled by a thuggish tyrant are now behind America. By electing Barack Obama (the pinnacle of perfect manhood) our leader, we have entered a new era of enlightenment and declared to the universe that we are no longer feuding beasts. Soon Obama’s extremely targeted and precise stimulus plan will have us overflowing with riches, and his wisdom in all things will bring peace to this world. Then all the troubles we now have will be but fables to scare children with.

Despite all this, though, I still worry. Could Obama have a flaw? Could he be, in fact, too awesome?

Before you grab the pitchforks and label me an apostate, hear me out. Now I am an enlightened individual who fully understands and appreciates President Obama (pbuh), but can we expect the same from other countries with non-Obama leaders? Those people have never produced a person like Obama, not to mention elected him, so it is natural for them to be scared and intimidated by someone so beyond their understanding. To them, meeting Obama must be like encountering Jesus riding a dinosaur — both reassuring and intimidating at the same time. It’s natural they’ll be confused.

Just look at the British reaction to Obama’s meeting with Gordon Brown. They seem to think their prime minister was snubbed by not getting the special reception they had become accustomed to when the troglodyte Bush was dictator. Many British reporters were also angry how Obama seemed hesitant to answer many questions. Such nonsense shows that the British are still stuck in pre-Obama thinking. Of course the unrefined Bush would make a big deal of meeting foreign leaders; to that simpleton, it must have been like being visited by advanced aliens. It would be silly for Obama, though, to act like it is an honor to meet with other countries’ non-Obama leaders, or for him to hold the pretense that speaking with them would give him knowledge he did not already possess. He is Obama; the British should not worry if Obama is listening, because he already understands their needs better than they do. As for the British press, they must learn to be more like the American press, which already knows there is no reason to question Obama. Obama is aware of what we need to know and when we need to know it, so there is no reason for the formality of questions. We simply must sit and wait for his wisdom, but the British have yet to come to that understanding. Also, it wouldn’t hurt if in the future they brought offerings of gold and silver.

Obama’s overwhelming magnificence could also be a problem with Iran. After eight years of the caveman Bush screaming gibberish at Iran and shaking a rock at them threateningly, it is natural that Iran is still quite easily startled. So Obama, much unlike the previous leader who would order military strikes against loud thunderstorms, wanted to be delicate and try a thing called diplomacy. Thus he wrote a letter to Russia to try and help. That was a mistake, for once again the inability of another country to comprehend Obama resulted in trouble.

First off, Russia was quite startled to receive a letter from the American president, as they were used to the leader of America being illiterate and scared of the mail (since he believed it was transported by black magic). Thus it is no wonder the Russians would be suspicious and a bit confused. Not understanding Obama, they thought the letter outlined a quid pro quo where Obama would scrap missile defense in Europe in exchange for help with Iran, not only against actual missiles but also the much deadlier missiles of hate and ignorance. In fact, the letter was expressing how Obama now is our missile defense

Now, of course, Iran will be even more bewildered by what’s going on. They’re a primitive people whose leader believes in a mystical “God” character much like our own leader did in the dark ages of earlier this year. I’m sure Obama eventually will be able to calm them and get them to trust him again — perhaps by building them a missile defense so they’ll feel safer — but the damage is already done.

So this is what we’re up against. We may have entered a new era, but much of the world is still Obamaless and mired in the fear and mistrust of pre-Obama times. It will be up to us to help assure the world that Obama’s hope and change is for them as well. They need to know that if Obama’s actions seem stupid or insulting to them, it’s only because they are not yet able to understand his splendor. We must remember that while Obama’s brilliant radiance may fill us with awe, it could actually hurt the eyes of those unused to such light.

by Frank J. Fleming


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Obama Admin Wants to Make Wounded Vets Use Private Insurance

The Obama administration has to make cuts somewhere to push out this immense spending bill, so guess where they’re looking to save some money? Senators slam plan for wounded vets to use private insurance.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance.

But the proposal would be “dead on arrival” if it’s sent to Congress, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, said.

Murray used that blunt terminology when she told Shinseki that the idea would not be acceptable and would be rejected if formally proposed. Her remarks came during a hearing before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs about the 2010 budget.


White House Got Heads Up: FBI Arrests Two in Raid of Former Office of Obama's Pick for Chief Information Officer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says it got a heads up before FBI agents raided the former offices of a new Obama administration technology official.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the Department of Justice told the White House on Thursday morning of its planned raid at the offices of the District of Columbia's chief technology officer. Vivek Kundra recently left that post to take a job in the White House. Gibbs declined to say if administration officials knew about the ongoing investigation of the D.C. technology office when they hired Kundra.

Kundra earlier this month was hired to oversee federal government computers as the administration's chief information officer. Kundra is also in charge of security for the vast federal information databanks.

Gibbs declined to comment on the investigation, calling it a serious matter.

The Associated Press

Obama Refuses To Sign Pork-Filled Spending Bill In Public, Declines To Answer Questions As To Why

Ah yes. Here’s that transparency and accountability and hope ‘n change that Obama promised us.

“I am signing an imperfect omnibus bill because it’s necessary for the ongoing functions of government,” Obama declared. “But I also view this as a departure point for more far-reaching change.”

In a sign of his discomfort with the bill, Obama did not sign it in public. And he declined to answer a shouted reporters’ question about why.

Running for president, Obama denounced the pet projects as wasteful and open to abuse — and vowed to rein them in.

Right. He signed it in private because he’s uncomfortable with the pork. Not because he’s a promise-breaking, politics-as-usual hypocrite who doesn’t want a lot of fanfare surrounding his hypocrisy.

By the way, Senator John McCain put forward an amendment in the Senate to strip this spending bill of earmarks before it ever got to Obama and Obama’s Democrats rejected it. Obama could have spoken out in favor of that amendment if he was truly interested in stopping government waste and working with Republicans. He could have threatened a veto if the amendment wasn’t passed.

But he didn’t. Because Obama doesn’t mean what he says.

By Rob - Sayanythingblog

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The 10 Biggest Amateur Mistakes By the Obama Administration So Far

During the 2008 presidential campaign, people speculated whether someone like Barack Obama, who has never really run anything or had any major achievements other than winning political office, could handle a three AM crisis call. Well, as it turns out, Obama has been such a bumbling incompetent that he probably couldn't handle a trip through a Wendy's drive-in window without a teleprompter telling him what to order and whether he wants a Coke or a Mountain Dew. Even though Obama has been in office less than two months, he has already made more boneheaded errors than most Presidents do in an entire term.

10) After doing the "We've got to have this stimulus package passed right this second or the economy is going to explode" routine so convincingly that not one single soul in Congress actually had time to read the entire bill before it was signed, Barack Obama then promptly went on a three day vacation to celebrate before he signed it. If the bill was so important that no one could even have time to read it before it was passed, then why wasn't it important enough for Obama to skip dinner at Table Fifty-Two in Chicago to immediately make it a law?

9) In a juvenile stunt, reminiscent of something a third grader might come up with, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton handed Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov a button that was supposed to say "reset." However, incredibly, the word on the button translated to "overcharge," not "reset." Apparently, despite the enormous deficit the government is going to run up this year, Team Obama forgot to budget enough money to hire someone who speaks Russian for the State Department. If only America could just press a button and reset the entire Obama presidency so far and start over.

8) When Barack Obama was trying to sell America his stimulus bill that will put the country more than a trillion dollars in debt, he alerted America that, "Caterpillar's chief executive…told him the company will rehire some laid-off workers if the stimulus bill passes." But, when he was asked about Obama's statement, Caterpillar CEO Jim Owens said, "I think realistically no. The truth is we're going to have more layoffs before we start hiring again."

7) A large part of Barack Obama's appeal was the idea of racial reconciliation. The implicit deal was that by putting our first black President in office, America would prove once and for all that it wasn't racist, and we could put all this silly squabbling about race in the rear view mirror once and for all. However, not only has it failed to work out that way, Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder issued an an insulting challenge on the topic to the American people,

"Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards."

Maybe someone should ask the poor guy who did an innocent cartoon for the New York Post that made fun of the stimulus bill and the rampaging monkey that was in the news why people might be afraid to get dragged into a debate about race.

6) Typically, Presidents don't pick fights with pundits and talk radio hosts for obvious reasons. It draws more attention to their criticisms, elevates their status, and comes across as thin skinned and a little creepy, much like Richard Nixon's "Enemies list."

But, the Obama Administration hasn't figured this out -- yet. They've launched attacks at Rick Santelli, Jim Cramer, and most prominently, Rush Limbaugh. Ratcheting up the creepiness factor a couple of notches in Limbaugh's case, the President of the United States, members of the mainstream media, and liberal interest groups are all coordinating an attack on a private individual for daring to criticize Barack Obama. That sounds more like something that would happen in the old Soviet Union than in the United States.

But happily, if you look at the results of the White House campaign, it has backfired in every instance. Rush Limbaugh is on pace to make more revenue by the end of March than he made all last year, there are Santelli inspired "Tea Parties" popping up all across the country, and every criticism of Obama that Jim Cramer utters is now linked by the Drudge Report.

5) The first task a new President engages in is bringing a staff on board. After choosing Joe Biden, who has behaved like he was kicked in the head by a horse as a child, things have really gone down hill from there. Bill Richardson quit as Commerce Secretary after coming under investigation. Republican Senator Judd Gregg accepted, then declined Obama's offer to be his Commerce Secretary over irreconcilable differences. Tom Daschle quit after having tax problems. So did Nancy Killefer. Ron Kirk also has tax problems, but he's trying to hang in there like Hilda Solis and another cabinet member who gets his own special entry -- and keep in mind, Obama has a considerable number of positions left to fill. Hey Barry, the word of the day is "vetting." You should look into it.

4) George Bush spent a lot of time strengthening our ties to Eastern European nations like Poland and the Czech Republic during his two terms in the White House. Yet, it took Barack Obama less than two months to undo much of Bush’s good work with those nations.

Obama wrote a "secret" letter to Dmitri Medvedev offering to leave Poland and the Czech Republic twisting in the wind on missile defense in return for Russia's help in stopping Iran from getting nukes. The problem was that the letter went public even as Russia turned down the deal. So, in other words, our friends in Eastern Europe were publicly alerted that we were willing to sell them down the river to the Russians, who they were already afraid of, and yet we got nothing out of the deal. That's a real "welcome to the Big Leagues" maneuver from the Russians for our naive, rookie President.

3) After making a stink by sending back a Winston Churchill bust, Barack Obama blew off a press conference with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown -- but, the real kicker was the gifts.

After Brown presented Obama with a pen holder crafted from the timbers of the 19th century British warship HMS President (whose sister ship, HMS Resolute, provided the wood for the Oval Office's desk), Obama offered up ... 25 DVDs of American movie classics.

The Brits offered Obama a thoughtful, priceless gift and he handed them back a bad Netflix queue that was probably picked up at Wal-mart earlier that day.

2) Choosing tax cheat Timothy Geithner to be his Treasury Secretary was such an incredible screw up that it deserves it own entry. It's mind boggling that any Administration would choose a tax cheat to run the department that's in charge of the IRS. Moreover, in Obama's case, he has already announced plans for the largest tax hike in American history, nearly a trillion dollars, and the man in charge of that effort doesn't pay his taxes? Prediction: a few years from now, if the New York Times isn't out of business by then, they'll write an article telling you that they're baffled, baffled I tell you, by the massive increase in the number of people cheating on their taxes.

1) Barack Obama may be a liberal thriller, but he's also a stock market killer. Since he came into office, his Bunyanesque new spending proposals, his plans for a trillion dollar tax hike, his regular badmouthing of the economy, and his incessant tinkering with banks and the housing market have caused the stock market to go into a freefall. Granted, stocks would have likely dropped anyway because of the economic crunch we're in, but the market wouldn't have already reached the lowest level since 1997 without lots of help from Obama. As Democratic financial wiz, Jim Cramer, has said of Obama’s performance, "it's amateur hour at our darkest moment" and it's "crushing nest eggs around the nation."

by John Hawkins - Townhall.com

Subsidizing Bad Decisions

Now that the federal government has decided to bail out homeowners in trouble, with mortgage loans up to $729,000, that raises some questions that ought to be asked, but are seldom being asked.

Since the average American never took out a mortgage loan as big as seven hundred grand-- for the very good reason that he could not afford it-- why should he be forced as a taxpayer to subsidize someone else who apparently couldn't afford it either, but who got in over his head anyway?

Why should taxpayers who live in apartments, perhaps because they did not feel that they could afford to buy a house, be forced to subsidize other people who could not afford to buy a house, but who went ahead and bought one anyway?

We hear a lot of talk in some quarters about how any one of us could be in the same financial trouble that many homeowners are in if we lost our job or had some other misfortune. The pat phrase is that we are all just a few paydays away from being in the same predicament.

Another way of saying the same thing is that some people live high enough on the hog that any of the common misfortunes of life can ruin them.

Who hasn't been out of work at some time or other, or had an illness or accident that created unexpected expenses? The old and trite notion of "saving for a rainy day" is old and trite precisely because this has been a common experience for a very long time.

What is new is the current notion of indulging people who refused to save for a rainy day or to live within their means. In politics, it is called "compassion"-- which comes in both the standard liberal version and "compassionate conservatism."

The one person toward whom there is no compassion is the taxpayer.

The current political stampede to stop mortgage foreclosures proceeds as if foreclosures are just something that strikes people like a bolt of lightning from the blue-- and as if the people facing foreclosures are the only people that matter.

What if the foreclosures are not stopped?

Will millions of homes just sit empty? Or will new people move into those homes, now selling for lower prices-- prices perhaps more within the means of the new occupants?

The same politicians who have been talking about a need for "affordable housing" for years are now suddenly alarmed that home prices are falling. How can housing become more affordable unless prices fall?

The political meaning of "affordable housing" is housing that is made more affordable by politicians intervening to create government subsidies, rent control or other gimmicks for which politicians can take credit.

Affordable housing produced by market forces provides no benefit to politicians and has no attraction for them.

Study after study, not only here but in other countries, show that the most affordable housing is where there has been the least government interference with the market-- contrary to rhetoric.

When new occupants of foreclosed housing find it more affordable, will the previous occupants all become homeless? Or are they more likely to move into homes or apartments that they can afford? They will of course be sadder-- but perhaps wiser as well.

The old and trite phrase "sadder but wiser" is old and trite for the same reason that "saving for a rainy day" is old and trite. It reflects an all too common human experience.

Even in an era of much-ballyhooed "change," the government cannot eliminate sadness. What it can do is transfer that sadness from those who made risky and unwise decisions to the taxpayers who had nothing to do with their decisions.

Worse, the subsidizing of bad decisions destroys one of the most effective sources of better decisions-- namely, paying the consequences of bad decisions.

In the wake of the housing debacle in California, more people are buying less expensive homes, making bigger down payments, and staying away from "creative" and risky financing. It is amazing how fast people learn when they are not insulated from the consequences of their decisions.

By Thomas Sowell

An Apology to Gordon Brown

An average American apologizes for the president:

To the Right Honorable Gordon Brown

Dear Mr. Brown,

As an average American, I just wanted to express my apology for the boorish behavior of my President regarding Mr. Brown’s recent visit to the United States. It goes without saying that his reception (wanting and abrupt) was a sorry thing indeed.

Please rest assured that more than just a few Americans grasp the pivotal, dignified, and guiding role that the British people and government have played in the maturation and survival of our American Republic and Western Civilization in general.

Most Americans wish the very best to The Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, his family, and all our good friends across the pond.

In embarrassment, but with best wishes for a continued strong relationship between our countries,

Alan Speakman

If you would like to extend your apologies, use the online contact information or send a letter:

The Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA
United Kingdom


Every shot a “hero shot” in Obama-land

Heroic Name Given to Photo of President Obama

Soon after President Barack Obama signed an executive order lifting the ban on the use federal funding of embryonic stem cells in medical research, the wizards behind the White House web site posted the photo above. Though I find it less troubling than the president’s continuing assault on the unborn, the file name (hero_stemcell_main2.jpg) under which someone at the White House saved the photo of the signing ceremony this afternoon is disturbingly creepy.

I discovered the file name when I went to save the photo to my computer. Click here to see a screen shot which shows the file name for the photo highlighted in blue as I was in the process of saving the photo to my computer.

To imply that President Obama is somehow heroic by signing a measure that lifts a ban on the slaughter of human embryos for scientific purposes goes beyond the pale. Such an amateurish action should not, however, surprise anyone familiar with Obama’s socialist agenda (a.k.a., “Obamalism”) and his follower’s blind allegiance to “Dear Leader.”


Mythic Obama the “Hero” of his People, White House Staff

Here’s an interesting, if unsurprising, little tidbit about the photos of President Obama on display at WhiteHouse.gov: they’re all uploaded to a folder called “hero.”

Take the one below for example:

(Link To Picture)

....take a look at the url in your address bar, which should read: http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/hero/624×351/P023009PS_dng_1.jpg (For those of you who can’t do this little exercise, I’ve grabbed a copy of the picture and posted it here with url properties displayed).

This is consistent for all of the featured photos of Obama on the new WH.gov site. For another example, here is Our Hero announcing former New Hampshire Senator Jim Jeffords Judd Gregg as his second nominee for Commerce Secretary (after the epic Bill Richardson whoopsie): http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/hero/624×351/gregg_announcement.jpg

And here is a silhouette shot of Our Hero watching the Super Bowl (is it safe to say that this administration endorses NBC? Nice product placement there regardless — something you rarely if ever saw in the Bush White House): http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/hero/624×351/superbowl2.jpg (Must…not…joke…about…the…EARS!!)

Apparently the leader of this administration is just too heroic for the old way of cataloging White House files (news, releases, images, etc.): http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2009/01/images/20090115-17_e5u5037-515h.html

Quite frankly, I’d concede this to be an entertaining example of nitpicking were there not so many examples already in evidence of the Larger Than Life, near-religious persona assigned to (and willingly accepted by) President Obama by his devoted followers.

It could be worse, of course. They could have named the image folder “Dear Leader” instead of “Hero.” (Oh no. Now I’ve given them the idea…)

Posted by Jeff Emanuel

What's In A Filename?

Is there nothing that Our Hero can't do?

Nice catch by Bob McCarty.

Update - good God, there's an entire "/hero" subdirectory .

Hero watches the Superbowl...


A Heroic nomination...


Just an everyday Hero ...


Hero holds a door.


Sure, they're a writhing pit of lefties, but you gotta love Google...

(Note - Looks like Jeff Emanuel at Redstate caught this a few of days ago.)

Posted by Kate

Every shot a “hero shot” in Obama-land

Several bloggers are having good fun with the discovery of a subdirectory of White House photos categorized under the name “hero.” (See Small Dead Animals, Jeff Emanuel, and Bob McCarthy).

What’s amusing is not that the term “hero” was used — “hero shot” is a common photography term to describe the best images of a series of shots.

What’s amusing is that every damned shot that’s ever taken of Dear Leader is classified as a “hero shot.”

Except, of course, for that shot of him trying to enter the Oval Office through the window. D’oh…

By Michelle Malkin

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Snubbing Britain: Obama offends a country

Barack Obama was supposed to make the rest of the world like, if not love, America again. With his charm and sophistication, he would show our cultural superiors overseas, particularly Europe, that America had graduated from cowboy chauvinism to coffee-shop worldliness.

Then an actual European visited the White House, with the whole world watching. Oops. As the British -- or "the Brits" as the President called them during a brief press availability -- might say, the President dropped a clanger, all right.

On their first official visit to the United States, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife came to the White House bearing the traditional grand gifts. The prime minister gave Obama a pen holder carved from the remains of the HMS Gannet, a warship that once ran anti-slavery missions along the African coast. The desk in the Oval Office is made from the wood of the Gannet's sister ship.

Brown also gave the President a first edition of Sir Martin Gilbert's seven-volume authorized biography of Winston Churchill. This was apparently a response to Obama's having ungratefully sent back to England in January a bust of Churchill lent to the United States after 9/11.

Obama's gift to Brown? A box of 25 DVDs.

Then Obama canceled the customary joint press conference on account of snow and held a small press availability, leaving out more than a dozen British reporters.

The President acted bored by all of it, rotely acknowledged Britain's status as America's closest ally, and left the prime minister to go greet some Boy Scouts. The socially sensitive Britons went bonkers.

The Independent, a left-wing British newspaper, editorialized that Obama gave merely a "stale paean to the 'special relationship.' "

In a news report, it wrote, "Brown faces humiliation" and "The trip is in marked contrast to the hospitality lavished on Tony Blair by George Bush when they met for the first time."

The entire British press was inflamed with outrage that the American President had treated the prime minister of Great Britain so shabbily.

No one would have thought that George W. Bush could be made to look like a sophisticated gentleman compared to Barack Obama. But Obama just did it.


Wikipedia scrubs Obama eligibility - Mention of citizenship issues deleted in minutes, 'offending' users banned

Wikipedia, the online "free encyclopedia" mega-site written and edited entirely by its users, has been deleting within minutes any mention of eligibility issues surrounding Barack Obama's presidency, with administrators kicking off anyone who writes about the subject, WND has learned.

A perusal through Obama's current Wikipedia entry finds a heavily guarded, mostly glowing biography about the U.S. president. Some of Obama's most controversial past affiliations, including with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and former Weathermen terrorist Bill Ayers, are not once mentioned, even though those associations received much news media attention and served as dominant themes during the presidential elections last year.

Also completely lacking is any mention of the well-publicized concerns surrounding Obama's eligibility to serve as commander-in-chief.

Where's the proof Barack Obama was born in the U.S. or that he fulfills the "natural-born American" clause in the Constitution? If you still want to see it, join more than 300,000 others and sign up now!

Indeed, multiple times, Wikipedia users who wrote about the eligibility issues had their entries deleted almost immediately and were banned from re-posting any material on the website for three days.

In one example, Wikipedia user "Jerusalem21" added the following to Obama's page:

"There have been some doubts about whether Obama was born in the U.S. after the politician refused to release to the public a carbon copy of his birth certificate and amid claims from his relatives he may have been born in Kenya. Numerous lawsuits have been filed petitioning Obama to release his birth certificate, but most suits have been thrown out by the courts."

As is required on the online encyclopedia, that entry was backed up by third-party media articles, citing the Chicago Tribune and WorldNetDaily.com

The entry was posted on Feb. 24, at 6:16 p.m. EST. Just three minutes later, the entry was removed by a Wikipedia administrator, claiming the posting violated the websites rules against "fringe" material.

According to Wikipedia rules, however, a "fringe theory can be considered notable if it has been referenced extensively, and in a serious manner, in at least one major publication, or by a notable group or individual that is independent of the theory."

The Obama eligibility issue has indeed been reported extensively by multiple news media outlets. WorldNetDaily has led the coverage. Other news outlets, such as Britain's Daily Mail and the Chicago Tribune have released articles critical of claims Obama may not be eligible. The Los Angeles Times quoted statements by former presidential candidate Alan Keys doubting Obama is eligible to serve as president. Just last week, the Internet giant America Online featured a top news article about the eligibility subject, referencing WND's coverage.

When the user "Jerusalem21" tried to repost the entry about Obama's eligibility a second time, another administrator removed the material within two minutes and then banned the Wikipedia user from posting anything on the website for three days.

Wikipedia administrators have the ability to kick off users if the administrator believes the user violated the website's rules.

Over the last month, WND has monitored several other attempts to add eligibility issues to Obama's Wikipedia page. In every attempt monitored, the information was deleted within minutes and the user who posted the material was barred from the website for three days.

Angela Beesley Starling, a spokeswoman for Wikipedia, explained to WND that all the website's encyclopedia content is monitored by users. She said the administrators who deleted the entries are volunteers.

"Administrators," Starling said, "are simply people who are trusted by the other community members to have access to some extra tools that allow them to delete pages and perform other tasks that help the encyclopedia."

According to Alexa.com, Wikipedia is the seventh most trafficked website on the Internet. A Google search for the words "Barack Obama" brings up the president's Wikipedia page in the top four choices, following two links to Obama's official websites.

Ayers, Wright also missing in Obama's bio

The entire Wikipedia entry on Obama seems to be heavily promotional toward the U.S. president. It contains nearly no criticism or controversy, including appropriate mention of important issues where relevant.

For example, the current paragraph on Obama's religion contains no mention of Wright, even though Obama's association with the controversial pastor was one of the most talked about issues during the presidential campaign.

That paragraph states: "Obama explained how, through working with black churches as a community organizer while in his twenties, he came to understand 'the power of the African-American religious tradition to spur social change.' He was baptized at the Trinity United Church of Christ in 1988 and was an active member there for two decades."

Ayers is also not mentioned, even where relevant.

WND monitored as a Wikipedia user attempted to add Ayers' name to an appropriate paragraph. One of those additions, backed up with news articles, read as follows:

"He served alongside former Weathermen leader William Ayers from 1994 to 2002 on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which in 1985 had been the first foundation to fund the Developing Communities Project, and also from 1994 to 2002 on the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation. Obama served on the board of directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995 to 2002, as founding president and chairman of the board of directors from 1995 to 1991. Ayers was the founder and director of the Challenge."

Within two minutes that Wikipedia entry was deleted and the user banned from posting on the website for three days, purportedly for adding "Point of View junk edits," even though the addition was well-established fact.

By Aaron Klein - WorldNetDaily