Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Perfect: Obama Accepts Transparency Award in Closed Press Ceremony

If anything, the Obama administration has a consistent knack for making me feel like I’m at a meeting of the Endangered Elephant Awareness Club while being served hors d’oeuvres from ivory plates.

From Politico:

President Obama finally and quietly accepted his “transparency” award from the open government community this week — in a closed, undisclosed meeting at the White House on Monday.

The secret presentation happened almost two weeks after the White House inexplicably postponed the ceremony, which was expected to be open to the press pool.

This time, Obama met quietly in the Oval Office with Gary Bass of OMB Watch, Tom Blanton of the National Security Archive, Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight, Lucy Dalglish of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and Patrice McDermott of, without disclosing the meeting on his public schedule or letting photographers or print reporters into the room.

The AP would have been invited to the transparency award ceremony, but they recently reported about how the administration lacks transparency, and as such maybe they’re unworthy of such openness.

Hopefully the president shares the award with his VP, who is also no stranger to this kind of transparency.

Doug Powers -

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Figures. Bush’s Iraqi Coalition of Willing Had 4 TIMES AS MANY Active Members Than Obama’s Libya Group

George Bush put together a 48 member coalition for the Iraq War in 2003.

40 of those members supported military operations.

In April 2003, the list was updated to include 49 countries, though it was reduced to 48 after Costa Rica objected to its inclusion. Of the 48 states on the list, three contributed troops to the invasion force (the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland). An additional 37 countries provided some number of troops to support military operations after the invasion was complete.

Then there’s Mr. Internationalist’s coalition…
Barack Obama was only able to find 10 countries who would sign up for military action in Libya.

Of the 35 countries that are supposed to be supporting the implementation of a no-fly zone, just ten of them have signed up for military action. And of those, three – Britain, France and America – are undertaking the lion’s share of the sorties. So much for international consensus.

But despite the facts… Obama continues to attack President Bush for his unilateralist policies.
And, of course, the state-run media lets him.

Monday, March 28, 2011

OBAMA versus GATES on Libya

Who to believe?
Barack Obama says America has an important strategic interest in Libya. Just yesterday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Libya is not a vital national interest to the United States.

Yesterday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that Libya did not pose a threat to the United States
ABC reported:

On “This Week,” ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper asked Gates, “Do you think Libya posed an actual or imminent threat to the United States?”

“No, no,” Gates said in a joint appearance with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “It was not — it was not a vital national interest to the United States, but it was an interest and it was an interest for all of the reasons Secretary Clinton talked about.

That was yesterday.
Today Barack Obama told the American public.

“When are interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act. That’s what’s happened in Libya in the course of these last six weeks.”

It’s all so confusing.

Obama: “I Refused to Wait for Images of Slaughter and Mass Graves Before Taking Action”

Barack Obama told America tonight:
“I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.”

Massacre in Syria-

Protesters slaughtered by regime in Yemen-

Regime moves in military on protesters in Bahrain-

Barack Obama, who opposed the Dumb War in Iraq and won’t send troops to Syria, defended his kinetic military operation in Libya tonight.

To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and – more profoundly – our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are. Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as President, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.

Moreover, America has an important strategic interest in preventing Gaddafi from overrunning those who oppose him. A massacre would have driven thousands of additional refugees across Libya’s borders, putting enormous strains on the peaceful – yet fragile – transitions in Egypt and Tunisia. The democratic impulses that are dawning across the region would be eclipsed by the darkest form of dictatorship, as repressive leaders concluded that violence is the best strategy to cling to power. The writ of the UN Security Council would have been shown to be little more than empty words, crippling its future credibility to uphold global peace and security. So while I will never minimize the costs involved in military action, I am convinced that a failure to act in Libya would have carried a far greater price for America.

Now, just as there are those who have argued against intervention in Libya, there are others who have suggested that we broaden our military mission beyond the task of protecting the Libyan people, and do whatever it takes to bring down Gaddafi and usher in a new government.

Of course, there is no question that Libya – and the world – will be better off with Gaddafi out of power. I, along with many other world leaders, have embraced that goal, and will actively pursue it through non-military means. But broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake.

Here is the full transcript.

This is the same man who once said that genocide was no reason to keep US troops in Iraq.

Obama said the US would continue to go after Al-Qaeda… Even though Al-Qaeda is allied with the opposition in Libya.

Obama forgets to mention how he ignored the protesters in Iran when they were being slaughtered by the regime.

“We welcome the fact that history is on the move.”

The speech was full of contradictions from Obama’s past statements and actions. He also contradicted what his own cabinet told reporters yesterday about Libya not being vital to US interests.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Reuters: Only 17% Of Americans See President Obama As A Decisive Military Leader

Libya is turning out to be bad, bad politics for Obama:

Only 17 percent of Americans see President Barack Obama as a strong and decisive military leader, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll taken after the United States and its allies began bombing Libya.

Nearly half of those polled view Obama as a cautious and consultative commander-in-chief and more than a third see him as indecisive in military matters.

Obama was widely criticized in 2009 for his months-long consultations with senior aides and military chiefs on whether to send more troops to Afghanistan. Critics called it dithering, but he said such a big decision required careful deliberation. He eventually dispatched 30,000 more troops.

But Obama is facing mounting discontent among opposition Republicans and from within his own Democratic Party over the fuzzy aims of the U.S.-led mission in Libya and the lack of a clearly spelled-out exit strategy for U.S. forces.

If the Libya mission becomes a foreign policy mess, mixed with perceptions Obama is a weak military leader, it could spell trouble for him in the 2012 presidential election.

Whether you agree with taking action in Libya or not, Obama looks like a fool. He bypassed getting authorization for the war kinetic military action and went to the UN and got a resolution that allows intervention but not regime change. But then, Obama started talking about installing a democratic government.

Given that Gaddafi is a tyrant and dictator, that means regime change.

So what we have is our troops involved in a war that we’re not supposed to believe is actually a war, the goal of which may or may not be regime change dependent on which day you ask the President.

No wonder people have no faith in this clown.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Joe Biden: Impeach a President Who Takes Us to War Against a Nation That Didn’t Attack Us

As you’ll see below in a Hardball interview back when the famous leg thrill was just a glimmer in the inseam of Chris Matthews’ slacks, in 2007, Joe Biden argued that the president had no constitutional authority to launch an attack without congressional approval against a nation that hadn’t attacked or threatened imminent attack on the United States. Biden also insisted that doing so is an impeachable offense.

Sheriff Joe agreed with Dennis Kucinich in those days, but ever since then Biden’s legal opinion has evolved with stickleback-like speed:

Doug Powers -

Obama 2009: We Can’t Impose Democracy… Obama 2011: We’ll Impose Democracy

You’ve heard it before… All Obama statements come with an expiration date. All of them.

In 2009 Barack Obama told reporters that the US cannot simply impose democracy on another country.

“The message I hope to deliver is that democracy, rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of religion — those are not simply principles of the west to be hoisted on these countries. But, rather what I believe to be universal principles that they can embrace and affirm as part of their national identity, the danger, I think, is when the United States, or any country, thinks that we can simply impose these values on another country with a different history and a different culture.”

But, that was in 2009.
Today Barack Obama told Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey that the US intends to impose a democracy in Libya.
The Washington Examiner reported:

The White House is shifting toward the more aggressive goal in Libya of ousting President Muammar Gadhafi and “installing a democratic system,” actions that fall outside the United Nations Security Council resolution under which an international coalition is now acting, according to a conversation between President Obama and Turkey’s prime minister.

Obama and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke late Monday and “underscored their shared commitment to the goal of helping provide the Libyan people an opportunity to transform their country, by installing a democratic system that respects the people’s will,” according to a White House report on the phone call.

The rhetoric matches Obama’s reiteration on Monday that it is still U.S. policy that “Gadhafi needs to go.”

But it is a marked contrast to the U.S.-led military mission as defined by the U.N. resolution.

Media Was More Concerned With Congressional Approval For War When Bush Was President

The folks at Newsbusters have put together a video montage of big media types insisting that President Bush get the authorization of Congress before going to war (something he did). “It would be crazy not to,” said one ABC correspondent.

At the time some in the Bush administration argued that a new authorization for war wasn’t really necessary as Saddam Hussein’s regime had again violated the 1991 sanctions that certified the first gulf war. I didn’t buy that argument at the time, but it’s a moot point. The Bush administration got an authorization from Congress for military force in Iraq.

But now flash forward to Obama’s push toward war in Libya, and suddenly the media isn’t nearly as concerned:

Of the three morning shows, only ABC’s Good Morning America on Tuesday highlighted anger and dismay on Capitol Hill that Barack Obama did not seek congressional approval for air strikes against Libya. Reporter Jake Tapper pointed out the “real disappointment” felt by “all the Republicans I spoke to and the liberal Democrats.”

An ABC graphic asserted, “Obama faces critics on Libya.” Yet, although NBC’s Today found time for the latest on Charlie Sheen’s escapades, the program couldn’t manage a full report on Barack Obama’s decision bomb Libya. CBS’s Early Show also failed to cover this aspect of the story.

Whether the President is a Republican of a Democrat, the Constitution is clear: Congress, not the President, says when we go to war.

Obama 3/21: Gaddafi Must Go… Obama 3/22: Gaddafi Can Stay

On Monday Barack Obama told reporters in Chile that Gaddafi needs to go.

But, that was yesterday.
Today Barack Obama told reporters that Gaddafi can stay.
Politico 44 reported:

President Obama indicated on Tuesday that Muammar Qadhafi may still have an opportunity to “change his approach” and put in place “significant reforms” in the Libyan government.

Asked by NBC’s Savannah Guthrie what the U.S. commitment is in Libya if Qadhafi remains in power but continues to pose a threat to his people, Obama appeared to leave the door open for political reforms.

“You are absolutely right that as long as Qadhafi remains in power, and unless he changes his approach and there are significant reforms in the Libyan government that allow the Libyan people to express themselves, there are still going be potential threats against Libyan people—unless he is going to step down,” Obama said.

His quick shift back to what he had earlier stated—that Qadhafi must step down—is more in line with the conclusion that he and his administration officials had come to weeks ago. But a return to the call for “political reforms” is reminiscent of the White House position on Egypt during its upheaval.

It’s settled then. Gaddafi can stay… Until tomorrow’s press conference.

Chilean Protesters Torch US Flag at Anti-Obama Rally

More hope and change…
“This demonstration is to reject Barack Obama’s militaristic policies,” said a protest organizer.

Demonstrators burn a makeshift U.S. flag during a protest against a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama in Santiago March 21, 2011. Obama is in Santiago on the second leg of his five-day Latin America tour to Brazil, Chile and El Salvador. (REUTERS/Cristobal Saavedra)

Emirates 23-7 had more on the protest:

Some 300 people, including influential union leaders and members of Chile’s Communist Party, earlier marched in the downtown Plaza de Armas carrying banners that read “Obama Persona No Grata” and “Gringos Go Home.”

“This demonstration is to reject Barack Obama’s militaristic policies,” protest organizer Ricardo Sole told AFP.

Why Did Obama Get The UN’s Authorization For Military Action In Libya But Not Congress’?

This is what then-Senator Obama had to say about the President’s use of military actions four years ago:

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.

Some might say that Obama was getting in a jab at Bush over the wars in Iraq and Afghanitan, but it’s worth noting that both of those military actions had the explicit authorization of Congress. My libertarian friends would argue that because the Authorization for Use of Military Force bills that passed Congress for Iraq and Afghanistan aren’t really declarations of war as required by the Constitution because they don’t use the words “declare war” or something, but I digress.

The point is, America is now involved in a military action in Libya, and whether you agree that military action should be happening or not, President Obama should have gotten the authorization of Congress before beginning. He didn’t.

He got the authorization of the United Nations Security Council, mind you, but not Congress. Kind of speaks volumes about Obama’s views of our nation’s sovereignty, doesn’t it?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Protesters Firebomb US Consulate in Brazil Ahead of Obama Trip

Verum Serum asks: “Why is the media not reporting this?”

Protesters firebombed the US Consulate in Brazil today during a massive protest against President Obama’s trip there tomorrow.
AFP reported:

Police fired rubber bullets and used tear gas to break up a demonstration outside the US consulate in Rio de Janeiro on Friday, as US President Barack Obama prepares to visit the country, AFP reports.
Some 300 people had gathered at the site when Brazilian Military Police showed up and tried to break up the demonstration.

Police cracked down on the crowd after protesters hurled a molotov cocktail at the consulate door, the O Globo newspaper reported on its website.

“I was in the center of the protest when people began to run and I heard shots,” said AFP photographer Vanderlei Almeida. “I had to get out of there because it was hard to breathe.”

Almeida was struck by two rubber bullets — one hit him in the leg, and the other in his stomach.
Several protesters were detained, Almeida said.

Verum Serum has more photos.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Obama’s Irish Relatives Not Very Happy He’s Their Cousin

Barack Obama’s Irish relatives are not so thrilled that he’s a blood relation.
The New York Daily News reported, via Free Republic:

Obama found out years ago that an ancestor, Falmouth Kearney, fled the potato famine in Ireland and was brought to the United States on the Marmion when he was 19.

Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, was a descendant of one of Kearney’s daughters and a man named Jacob Dunham.

The study further filled out the branches on Obama’s family tree and identified 28 living descendants of Kearney living in the U.S. and abroad.

But despite the prestigious connection, some of the newly discovered relatives aren’t exactly dancing an Irish jig.

“I really don’t like to claim a relationship to Obama,” Roma Joy Palmer, 66, of Mulvane, Kan., told the AP. “He is not my favorite president.”

“I don’t have anything against him personally, but I don’t think we have the same agenda,” she said.

Another relative, 83-year-old Dorma Lee of Tucson, was similarly underwhelmed by the news.

“I’m not a Democrat, so I can’t say I clapped,” said Reese, who lives in Tucson. “I don’t appreciate what he’s done by any means, but I do appreciate that he holds that office.”

Vietnam vet Daniel Dillard, 63, though, said he took pride in “being related to a President of the United States,” even though he didn’t vote for Obama.

Mmm, mmm, mmm: NJ shuts down Barack Obama Elementary School

How fitting that a school named after our profligate, post-achievement president is shutting down thanks to fiscal mismanagement and non-achievement.

R.I.P., Barack Obama Elementary School (hat tip: reader Peter):

The state fiscal monitor who oversees financial operations in the school district Thursday morning ordered the closing of the Barack H. Obama Elementary School as of July 1.

Students next year will go to the district’s two other more modern elementary schools — Thurgood Marshall on the east side and Bradley on the west side.

Bruce Rodman, the monitor, made the decision after the school board in recent weeks failed to support a plan by Schools Superintendent Denise Lowe to reconfigure elementary grades to create early childhood learning centers in the district, a plan which would have kept the Obama school open.

Officially renamed early in 2010 after the president, the building was known as the Bangs Avenue School since it was built a century ago. The state School Development Authority had planned to build a new school to replace the historic building, but has pulled back and Lowe said recently the state would not build a new school.

Reader Peter adds: “Asbury Park’s school system was taken over by the state of New Jersey a few years back (along with those of other underachieving municipalities) for gross managerial incompetence. The state has, in the meantime, poured beaucoups bucks into the district. According to, the district spends nearly $36,000 per student but pulls in the lowest test rating the site offers.”

Yes they can?

Not any more.

Sing it with me: “Mmm, mmm, mmm…”

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chris Matthews: Earthquake, Tsunami an Opportunity for Obama to Remind Everybody He Was Born in Hawaii

“Was this sort of a good opportunity for the president to remind everybody that he grew up in the United States and Hawaii?”

Did I really hear that? Sadly, yes. Was it surprising? Not at all.

Matthews’ concern for the political well-being of Obama is made a little more uncomfortably surreal when accompanied by video of the devastation that killed as yet untold numbers of people:

Sources tell me that Matthews, who is on record as wanting President Obama to release a copy of his birth certificate just to put the conspiracy to rest, offered to personally travel to Hawaii and place the document in a watertight Baggie stuffed deep down the front of his trousers for safe keeping until the Hawaiian tsunami warning expired.

Doug Powers -

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Applicants Wanted: ‘Win a Commencement Speech From President Obama’ Contest Falling Short

Is there something a little sad about the people working for a man who Oprah once referred to as “The One” essentially resorting to begging?

CBS News:

The White House is ramping up an effort to promote a nationwide competition to decide which high school wins a commencement speech by President Obama.

An internal White House memo indicates that the White House is facing a shortage of applications less than a week before the deadline.

The competition was extended from the February 25 deadline until Friday, March 11 after few schools met the original application deadline. CBS News has learned a White House Communications Office internal memo dated February 22 noted “a major issue with the Commencement Challenge.”

“As of yesterday we had received 14 applications and the deadline is Friday,” the memo said. The memo also urged recipients to, “please keep the application number close hold.”

A follow-up memo on February 28 reported receipt of 68 applications. Noting the competition among more than 1,000 schools last year, the memo said, “Something isn’t working.” It called on staffers to ask “friendly congressional, gubernatorial and mayoral offices” to encourage schools to apply.

The White House is even promising that not as many kids will fall asleep as this year’s commencement as did at last year’s. What gives?

In the spirit of bipartisanship, here’s a suggestion that might help Team Obama get more entries: Threaten any school that fails to submit an application with a mandatory commencement address from Joe Biden.

Doug Powers -

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fail. Obama Posts LARGEST MONTHLY DEFICIT EVER… Larger Than Bush 2007 Deficit For Entire Year

Worst. President. Ever.

Barack Obama told Americans Saturday in his Weekly Address,

“We need a government that lives within its means.”

But, that was Saturday.
Today we found out that Obama’s February deficit topped Bush’s Deficit for all of 2007.

Barack Obama tripled the national deficit in his first year in office. In his second year the deficit was again a record $1.29 Trillion. This year the deficit will be even higher.

This chart was updated to reflect the recent news that the deficit this year will reach $1.65 trillion. (The Captain’s Comments)

In Febrauary the Obama Administration posted the largest monthly deficit in US history.
The Washington Times reported, via Free Republic:

The federal government posted its largest monthly deficit in history in February at $223 billion, according to preliminary numbers the Congressional Budget Office released Monday morning.

That figure tops last February’s record of $220.9 billion, and marks the 29th straight month the government has run in the red — a modern record. The last time the federal government posted even a monthly surplus was September 2008, just before the financial collapse.

Last month’s federal deficit is nearly four times as large as the spending cuts House Republicans have passed in their spending bill, and is more than 30 times the size of Senate Democrats’ opening bid of $6 billion.

But don’t worry…
Democrats are willing to cut a .28% from their record budget.

Obamacare Waivers Break 1,000

We’re at 1,040 businesses, unions and other organizations getting extra-special exemptions from Obamacare now with the Department of Health and Human Services posting another 126 waivers today.

HHS posted 126 new waivers on Friday, bringing the total to 1,040 organizations that have been granted a one-year exemption from a new coverage requirement included in the healthcare reform law enacted almost a year ago. Waivers have become a hot-button issue for Republicans, eager to expose any vulnerabilities in the reform law.


We’re all equal under the law. Except in Obama’s America, where some businesses and unions can get special exemptions from the law just because.

Discussion question: If this law is so onerous that thousands of businesses, representing hundreds of thousands of workers and billions in health care payments, have to be exempted from it then why shouldn’t we exempt the whole nation from the idiotic abomination and start the health care debate over?