Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Obama now has Al Franken and a SUPER-Majority in the Senate

Franken declared Senate winner, Coleman concedes
By Todd Melby Todd Melby – Tue Jun 30, 6:03 pm ET

MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) – Democrat Al Franken, a satirist turned politician, was declared the winner of a Senate seat in Minnesota on Tuesday, clearing the way for President Barack Obama's party to secure a critical 60-seat majority in the Senate.

Ending one of the longest Senate races ever, the Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously rejected each of Republican Norm Coleman's five legal arguments that an earlier recount of the November 4 vote had been unfair. Coleman quickly conceded.

Franken will become the 58th Senate Democrat, the most the party has had since 1981. Two independents routinely vote with the Democrats, giving the party the 60 votes needed to clear Republican procedural hurdles known as filibusters.

However, the party has traditionally had trouble ensuring all its members vote the same way. They will also need to rely on Arlen Specter, a former Republican from Pennsylvania who switched parties in April who has said he will vote his own way and not necessarily along party lines.

read the whole sad thing if you want

More Americans See Democratic Party as “Too Liberal”

by Jeffrey M. Jones | Gallop

PRINCETON, NJ -- A Gallup Poll finds a statistically significant increase since last year in the percentage of Americans who describe the Democratic Party's views as being "too liberal," from 39% to 46%. This is the largest percentage saying so since November 1994, after the party's losses in that year's midterm elections.

. . . The Democratic Party continues to hold the upper hand over the Republican Party in the current U.S. political environment by a variety of measures, including party identification and party favorable ratings. However, compared to last year, Americans are significantly more likely to see the Democratic Party as too liberal, and as a result, they are somewhat more likely to view the party as being too far left than to perceive the Republican Party as too far right. That may expose a bit of a vulnerability for the Democratic Party, and if perceptions of the Democratic Party as being too liberal continue to grow, the GOP may be able to win back some of the support it has lost in recent years. But that may be possible only if the Republicans are at the same time able to convince the public that they are not too far to the political right.

Obama Approval Index Falls Below Zero...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 | Rasmussen Reports

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 31% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-three percent (33%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -2. That matches the lowest level yet recorded (see trends).

Over the past two weeks, the Presidential Approval Index has stayed in a narrow range between +2 and -2. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of Democrats Strongly Approve while 60% of Republicans Strongly Disapprove.

Fifty percent (50%) favor passage of the health care reform proposal being crafted by Obama and Congressional Democrats. Forty-five percent (45%) are opposed.

"Heads They Win, Tails We Lose" Diplomacy

No, it's called Marxist Diplomacy and meddling.
Check out this ominous-sounding video from BBC (they disable embedding for some reason).

Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion | William A. Jacobson | Tuesday, June 30, 2009

There is something strange about the Obama administration's diplomacy. We speak softly to our enemies, but use a big stick against our friends.

Protesters take to the streets in Iran in opposition to election fraud, and against a regime which is openly hostile to the U.S., and Obama treads with the greatest of care. First silence, then mixed messages assuring the regime we want to negotiate with it regardless of election fraud. Only after almost two weeks are there strong statements against regime violence.

Fast forward. The President of Honduras, who is aligned with our enemies such as Hugo Chavez, attempts an unlawful referendum giving him a third term. The Honduran legislature and courts rule such a referendum illegal, and put a stop to it when the President moves forward anyway. Acting on a court order, the military removes the President in order to protect Honduran democracy. There are swift and furious denunciations from Obama, who declares the action "not legal." The ultimate meddling, telling Honduras what is or is not legal in Honduras, regardless of what the Honduran courts say.

What is wrong with this picture? Be cautious with our enemies, but come down hard with our friends. Heads our enemies win, tails we lose.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Marxist Obama Lashes out at Honduras; Sides with Chavez, Castro

Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:26pm EDT
By Arshad Mohammed and David Alexander

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday the coup that ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was illegal and would set a "terrible precedent" of transition by military force unless it was reversed.

"We believe that the coup was not legal and that President Zelaya remains the president of Honduras, the democratically elected president there," Obama told reporters after an Oval Office meeting with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.

Zelaya, in office since 2006, was overthrown in a dawn coup on Sunday after he angered the judiciary, Congress and the army by seeking constitutional changes that would allow presidents to seek re-election beyond a four-year term.

read the whole thing

Basij Thugs Shooting At Protesters From Rooftop


"Why do we need President Obama's big-bang health-care reform at all? What's the real agenda here? If it's really to cover the truly uninsured, a much cheaper, targeted, small-ball approach would do the trick. But on the other hand, maybe the real goal is a larger, ultra-liberal plan aimed at a government takeover of the U.S. health system. ... According to the U.S. Census Bureau, we don't have 47 million folks who are truly uninsured. When you take out college kids plus those earning $75,000 or more who choose not to sign up for a health-care plan, roughly 20 million people are removed from the list of uninsured. After that, you can remove the 10 million who are not U.S. citizens and the 11 million who are eligible for SCHIP and Medicaid but for some reason have not signed up for those programs. So that leaves only 10 million to 15 million people among the long-term uninsured. Yes, they need help. And yes, they should get it. But not with mandatory universal coverage, or new government-backed insurance plans, or massive tax increases. And certainly not with the Canadian-European-style nationalization that has always been the true goal of the Obama administration and congressional Democrats. Instead, we can give the truly uninsured vouchers or debit cards that will allow for choice and coverage, and even health savings accounts for retirement wealth. ... Knocking down profits and telling people what to do because government planners know best, right? Wrong. Absolutely wrong." --economist Lawrence Kudlow

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Barack Obama Is a Big Fat Liar

By Jim Geraghty | June 26, 2009 4:00 AM | National Review

Ever since Barack Obama declared his candidacy for president, it’s been easy — and great fun — to spotlight when his promises and statements come with “expiration dates.” The list is long: Public financing. Renegotiating NAFTA. His promise to support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies. His inability to disown Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The release of detainee photos. Denouncing Turkey for genocide.

Flip-flops are nothing new in politics, but every once in a while, a president breaks a promise or an important pledge on such an epic level that it defines him, at least in part: “Read my lips: No new taxes.” “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” “We did not — repeat — did not trade weapons or anything else for hostages — nor will we.” Even “I will never lie to you.”

Barack Obama’s sudden about-face on taxing employer-provided health insurance deserves to rank among these classics. Not because it’s as laughable as Bill Clinton’s, or as emphatic as George H. W. Bush’s, but because it takes a certain moral venality to casually adopt, as president, a position that was a dominant theme of your argument for why your opponent should not be president.

read the whole thing

Obama's EPA confirms Global Warming is about politics, not science

Obama's EPA Quashes Climate Change Science
June 28, 2009 Posted by John at 7:28 AM

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has obtained an EPA study of the "endangerment" to human well-being ostensibly caused by carbon dioxide emissions, together with a set of EPA emails indicating that the study, which concludes that carbon dioxide is not a significant cause of climate change, was suppressed by the EPA for political reasons.
read the whole thing

Jihadist urges Muslim soldiers to cannibalism

By Steven Edwards, Canwest News Service | June 27, 2009

Muslim fighters are being told they may be justified in cannibalizing U.S. soldiers, it emerged Friday.

The chilling message is contained in a recent jihadist Internet entry that quotes from the work of a prominent jihadist ideologue, Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi.

In one section of his work, Maqdisi discusses the idea of having to do something that is otherwise forbidden, including eating food "sacrificed for an idol," according to the Washington-based SITE Intelligence Group, which translates jihadist "chat" sites. Maqdisi adds some scholars believe this has evolved to mean that Muslims, faced with hunger, are allowed to kill an enemy and "cannibalize him."
read the whole thing

Saturday, June 27, 2009

truly a disgrace - house passes bill that nobody could read

POTOMAC WATCH | JUNE 26, 2009 | Wall Street Journal

Steve Fielding recently asked the Obama administration to reassure him on the science of man-made global warming. When the administration proved unhelpful, Mr. Fielding decided to vote against climate-change legislation.

If you haven't heard of this politician, it's because he's a member of the Australian Senate. As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to pass a climate-change bill, the Australian Parliament is preparing to kill its own country's carbon-emissions scheme. Why? A growing number of Australian politicians, scientists and citizens once again doubt the science of human-caused global warming.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Waxman-Markey: Man-Made Disaster

By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, June 25, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Fiscal Policy: The House of Representatives is preparing to vote on an anti-stimulus package that in the name of saving the earth will destroy the American economy. Smoot-Hawley will seem like a speed bump.

Not since a misguided piece of legislation imposed tariffs that turned a recession into a depression has there been a piece of legislation as bad as Waxman-Markey.

The 1,000-plus-page American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) is being rushed to a vote by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before anyone can seriously object to this economic suicide pact.

It's what Janet Napolitano, secretary of Homeland Security, might call a "man-caused disaster," a phrase she coined to replace the politically incorrect "terrorist attack." But no terrorist could ever dream of inflicting as much damage as this bill.

Its centerpiece is a "cap and trade" provision that has been rightfully derided as "cap and tax." It is in fact a tax on energy everywhere it is consumed on everything it is used to make or provide.

read the whole thing

which is worse? cap and tax or socialized medicine?

June 25, 2009 Posted by John at 8:41 PM | Powerline

And the answer is . . . SOCIALIZED MEDICINE.

[I]n fact, having the public "option" crowd out private insurance will result in a monopsony not a monopoly....i.e., one buyer rather than one seller.

This is, of course, the whole point of the plan... constructively, a single payer system which is, by definition, a monopsony which will exercise monopsony purchasing power....in effect confiscating as much of the incomes of providers as it can get away with...and managing the resulting supply shortage by its complementary monopoly position as a seller (or provider) of insurance to the public....only one place to go on either side of the trade....nice work if you can get it.

read the whole thing

Mark Steyn with Hugh Hewitt

The passing of Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and the American health care system if Barack Obama gets his way.

More Hugh Hewitt podcasts here

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Obama not closing door on possible health care tax

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR | Associated Press | Jun 25, 7:09 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- With lawmakers trying to crunch the numbers on a $1 trillion health care overhaul, President Barack Obama is leaving the door open to a new tax on employer-provided health care benefits.

Senior senators said Wednesday the benefits tax could be essential for the complex plan to be fully financed.

Dr. Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist at the New York University Langone Medical Center, challenged Obama: What if the president's wife and daughters got sick? Would Obama promise that they would get only the services allowed under a new government insurance plan he's proposing?

Obama wouldn't bite.

read the whole thing

Politics of personal perfection

By EAMON JAVERS | 6/25/09 7:01 AM EDT

Let’s be honest: Barack Obama is better than you are.

He’s a better father — taking breaks from running the world to cheer on his daughters at soccer and basketball games.

He’s a better husband — zipping his wife off for dinner
in New York and Paris.

He’s got a better diet — nibbling on vegetables from his homegrown garden to keep his love handles in check.

And he’s got a terrific jump shot.

You? Not so much.

Call it the politics of personal perfection. The Barack Obama brand is as much about being a personal example to the nation as it is about being a political figure. But the danger of that frothy mix of glamour and domesticity is that President Obama could become in the public mind something he never sought to be: the Martha Stewart of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

read the whole asinine thing here

Ahmadinejad: Obama 'made a mistake'

By ANDY BARR | Politico 44
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad compared Obama on Thursday to former President George W. Bush.

Reacting to Obama's comment Tuesday that he is "appalled and outraged" by crackdowns in Iran, Ahmadinejad said, "Mr Obama made a mistake to say those things ... our question is why he fell into this trap and said things that previously Bush used to say."

"Do you want to speak with this tone? If that is your stance then what is left to talk about... I hope you avoid interfering in Iran's affairs and express your regret in a way that the Iranian nation is informed of it," he added, according to Reuters.

Rep. Bachmann Refuses To Fill Out 2010 Census

June 18, 2009 2:45 PM | CBS NEWS Blogs | Posted by Prerana Swami
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann told the Washington Times that she and her family will not be fully filling out the 2010 census forms.

Bachmann, a Republican, said her family will only be indicating the number of people in the household, because "the Constitution doesn't require any information beyond that."

Bachmann believes the upcoming census to be "very intricate" and "very personal" and expresses concerns about ACORN's involvement in the data collection. The community organizing program came under scrunity after charges of voter registration fraud during the 2008 presidential elections.

. . . According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Bachmann may be in trouble if she fails to fill out the entire census. Spokeswoman Shelly Lowe told the Washington Times that anyone over the age of 18 must fill out all the questions and any such person who refuses to answer "any of the questions" faces a $5,000 fine.

CBO Grossly Underestimates Cost of Cap and Trade

by David Kreutzer, Ph.D., Karen Campbell, Ph.D. and Nicolas Loris | Heritage Foundation | June 24, 2009

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their analysis of the Waxman-Markey climate change bill that had proponents of the bill claiming Americans could save the planet for just $175 per household. That was the figure CBO estimated cap and trade would cost households in 2020 alone.[1]

Both the CBO's analysis and the subsequent legislation are troubled: The analysis grossly underestimates economic costs while the legislation will have virtually no impact on climate. Overall, there are a number of basic problems with CBO's analysis:

* Their allowance cost numbers do not add up;
* They ignore economic costs such as the decrease in gross domestic product (GDP) as a result of the bill; and
* The analysis is an accounting analysis, not an economic analysis.

read the whole thing

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Obama Fields Question from Nico Pitney of Huffington Post

Michael Savage Lights up Obama Over Iran Policy

Weenie diplomacy with Iran still on

Who knows what kind of perverse reasoning or obfuscated moral compass makes anyone reach these depths, but here you have it:
US says hot dog diplomacy still on with Iran.

Yes, the hot dog diplomacy they were talking about before the Iranian government started shooting at and killing demonstrators, tear gassing them, beating them up with clubs and dragging off the hospital emergency rooms. The same Iranian government that killed Neda last Saturday.

read the whole thing

Stay Tuned for More of 'The Obama Show'

By Dana Milbank | Wednesday, June 24, 2009 | Washington Post

The use of planted questioners is a no-no at presidential news conferences, because it sends a message to the world -- Iran included -- that the American press isn't as free as advertised. But yesterday wasn't so much a news conference as it was a taping of a new daytime drama, "The Obama Show." Missed yesterday's show? Don't worry: On Wednesday, ABC News will be broadcasting "Good Morning America" from the South Lawn (guest stars: the president and first lady), "World News Tonight" from the Blue Room, and a prime-time feature with Obama from the East Room.

read the whole thing

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

PETA chooses granddaughter of mass-murderer for ad campaign

guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 23 June 2009 10.53 BST
It has been a dismal seven days for arthropods. The elated reaction of the world to Barack Obama's deft fly-swat was practically a ringing endorsement of insect slaughter. It is about time that somebody redressed the balance.

And so we come to Peta's true answer to the brutal murder of that most base (but necessary) of beings, the humble housefly.

This autumn sees the launch of Peta's new advertising campaign, the face of which is neither Chris Martin, nor Macca, nor even Leona Lewis. It is Lydia Guevara, the granddaughter of Che Guevara: revolutionary, soldier, and fridge-magnet mainstay.

Vegetarianism and guerrilla warfare are not obvious bedfellows. Lost in Showbiz can only assume that Peta is hoping Che's pop culture ubiquity will anaesthetise us to the military associations of their campaign.

No doubt it also helps, however, that Lydia is naked, bar a neatly positioned bandolier of carrots and the customary red beret.

we know Obama's in the tank, but where are American feminists?

Iranians hate the regime and are prepared to die to bring it down
June 22nd, 2009 8:58 pm | Pajamas Media

. . . Women are playing a key role in the insurrection (a central element of any good analysis of events in Iran, which is invariably overlooked, even by some outstanding scholars). This was already clear in the “election circus,” in which Mrs. Mousavi played a leading role, thereby threatening the Islamic Republic at its sexist and misogynistic core). The regime knows this, as was confirmed by the verbal attacks on Mrs. Mousavi by Ahmadinezhad during the televised presidential debate with her husband, and by the shooting of Neda by a sniper who had a choice of targets. He picked a girl wearing a very loose scarf.

By the way, the celebrated writer Paolo Coelho reports on his blog that the doctor who tried so desperately to save Neda is a friend of Coelho’s. That doctor’s revolutionary credentials are in good order; he served on the battlefield during the Iran-Iraq War. An interesting footnote to a terrible story.

Meanwhile, the Iranian Women’s Movement has issued a very strong statement:

Alongside civil and political rights activists, labor activists, students, journalists, and ethnic rights activists, a large spectrum of women’s rights activists from several campaigns and tendencies also participated in the election in order to say “no” to a government with a discriminatory orientation and to demand an end to gender discrimination…

We, the undersigned activists of the women’s rights movement, condemn the violence and humiliation that has continued to be perpetrated against Iranian women and men in recent years and which is aimed at repressing them. We emphasize our continued commitment to achieving the demands of the women’s rights movement, which has had a profound role in educating the public and in civil struggles in recent years, and we express our solidarity with those who protest the results of this election. We demand that those arrested in recent days be released without condition and we call for securing and protecting civil and political freedoms.

read the whole thing

Obama's Iran policy is a bomb

No matter which side comes out on top, the president's policy will blow up in his face.
Jonah Goldberg | June 23, 2009 | Los Angeles Times Opinion

Here is the one immutable fact of Barack Obama's foreign policy agenda as it relates to Iran: It's over. The rule book he came in with is as irrelevant as a tourist guide to the Austro-Hungarian empire.

If the forces of reform and democracy win, Obama's plan to negotiate with the regime is moot, for the regime will be gone. And if the forces of reform are crushed into submission by the regime, Obama's plan is moot, because the regime will still be there.

If Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei come out on top, even the most soulless realists will be repulsed by the blood on the regime's collective hands. Politics and decency will demand that the world condemn or shun the regime.

Before June 12, Obama's eagerness to negotiate with Ahmadinejad -- ridiculed by his conservative critics -- was hailed by the establishment and the left as proof of his high-minded faith in diplomacy, a healthy antidote to George W. Bush's allegedly close-minded approach.

But now, if the clerical junta prevails, anyone who shakes hands with Ahmadinejad will have a hard time washing the blood off his own hands.

read the whole thing

Monday, June 22, 2009

drowning in debt

FTC to Monitor Blogs

James Joyner | Monday, June 22, 2009

Here we go again: The government is looking to get into the business of regulating blogs, reports AP’s Deborah Yao:

Savvy consumers often go online for independent consumer reviews of products and services, scouring through comments from everyday Joes and Janes to help them find a gem or shun a lemon. What some fail to realize, though, is that such reviews can be tainted: Many bloggers have accepted perks such as free laptops, trips to Europe, $500 gift cards or even thousands of dollars for a 200-word post. Bloggers vary in how they disclose such freebies, if they do so at all.

The practice has grown to the degree that the Federal Trade Commission is paying attention. New guidelines, expected to be approved late this summer with possible modifications, would clarify that the agency can go after bloggers — as well as the companies that compensate them — for any false claims or failure to disclose conflicts of interest.

read the whole thing

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Messiah tells men what kind of dads they should be

By CALVIN WOODWARD – 1 hour ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Barack Obama got a basketball, his first name and ambition from his father. Little else.

The son gave back more than he received: a lifetime of ruminations about the man who abandoned the family, a memoir named "Dreams from My Father," and endless reflections on his own successes and shortcomings as a parent of Sasha, 8, and Malia, 10.

As a candidate and now president, he's been telling men what sort of father they should be. It's become his Father's Day ritual.

He's asking American men to be better fathers than his own.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Khamenei tells Mousavi to toe the line over election or be cast out

From The Times | June 19, 2009

The moderate Iranian leader who says that he was robbed of victory in last week’s presidential election faces a fateful choice today: support the regime or be cast out.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, has told Mir Hossein Mousavi to stand beside him as he uses Friday prayers at Tehran University to call for national unity. An army of Basiji — Islamic volunteer militiamen — is also expected to be bussed in to support the Supreme Leader.

The demand was made at a meeting this week with representatives of all three candidates who claim that the poll was rigged, and it puts Mr Mousavi on the spot. He has become the figurehead of a popular movement that is mounting huge demonstrations daily against the “theft” of last Friday’s election by President Ahmadinejad, the ayatollah’s protégé.

read the whole thing

Obama Clueless on Iran

By Charles Krauthammer | Real Clear Politics | June 19, 2009

WASHINGTON -- Millions of Iranians take to the streets to defy a theocratic dictatorship that, among its other finer qualities, is a self-declared enemy of America and the tolerance and liberties it represents. The demonstrators are fighting on their own, but they await just a word that America is on their side.

And what do they hear from the president of the United States? Silence. Then, worse. Three days in, the president makes clear his policy: continued "dialogue" with their clerical masters.

Dialogue with a regime that is breaking heads, shooting demonstrators, expelling journalists, arresting activists. Engagement with -- which inevitably confers legitimacy upon -- leaders elected in a process that begins as a sham (only four handpicked candidates permitted out of 476) and ends in overt rigging.

Then, after treating this popular revolution as an inconvenience to the real business of Obama-Khamanei negotiations, the president speaks favorably of "some initial reaction from the Supreme Leader that indicates he understands the Iranian people have deep concerns about the election."

Where to begin? "Supreme Leader"? Note the abject solicitousness with which the American president confers this honorific on a clerical dictator who, even as his minions attack demonstrators, offers to examine some returns in some electoral districts -- a farcical fix that will do nothing to alter the fraudulence of the election.

read the whole thing

Fired AmeriCorps IG responds: White House charges are false

By: Byron York | Chief Political Correspondent | 06/17/09 12:24 PM EDT | The Examiner

Fired AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin strongly denies the White House's claim that he was "confused, disoriented [and] unable to answer questions" at a May 20, 2009 board meeting of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the organization that oversees AmeriCorps. In a letter to several members of Congress Tuesday night, Norman Eisen, who is the White House Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform, wrote that at the May 20 meeting, "Mr. Walpin was confused, disoriented, unable to answer questions and exhibited other behavior that led the board to question his capacity to serve." Eisen wrote that Walpin lost the confidence of the Corporation Board, which led to the decision to fire him.

In a detailed conversation Wednesday morning, Walpin said the White House is "grasping at nonexistent straws" to justify his termination as watchdog for one of the Obama White House's favorite federal programs.
read the whole thing

U.S. boosts missile defense amid reports of planned N. Korea test

Defense chief Robert Gates' remarks about shoring up Hawaii's defense may be aimed at deterring a test launch and signals that the U.S. is willing to act to prevent a successful test.
By Julian E. Barnes
10:17 PM PDT, June 18, 2009

Reporting from Washington -- Reacting to reports that North Korea may be preparing to test-fire a missile toward Hawaii, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Thursday that he had ordered additional assets deployed to shore up defense of the islands.

Gates ordered the deployment of a powerful sea-based radar system that can help closely track the path of intercontinental ballistic missiles and also sent terminal-phase missile interceptors to Hawaii.

Mark Steyn with Hugh Hewitt

more Hugh Hewitt podcasts here

Fiddling as Tehran burns

Posted by Moe Lane | June 18, 2009

When it comes down to it, I pity the President right now: he doesn’t have the right personal mindset to handle this mess. His predecessor the idealist would have picked an answer consistent with his personal moral code and regulated his actions accordingly; and his predecessor’s predecessor the cynic would have at least done something useful. Instead, we’re going to get detachment. And no matter what the result is, we will be told that it was for the best, in this best of all possible worlds.

Personally, I won’t need it to sleep at night - I voted for the other guy - but I suppose that some people out there are going to really want that sop to their conscience.

How Republicans can crack the AmeriCorps scandal

By: Byron York | Chief Political Correspondent | 06/19/09 12:05 AM EDT | The Examiner
What's next in the budding scandal over President Obama's abrupt firing of Gerald Walpin, the inspector general of AmeriCorps?

Republican investigators on Capitol Hill know one thing very well. As minorities in both House and Senate, they have no power to compel the White House to disclose anything. And majority Democrats, at least for now, are not inclined to help the opposition uncover embarrassing facts about one of President Obama's favorite federal programs.

So Republicans are brainstorming things they can do by themselves to shake loose information from an administration that has no obligation to cooperate with them. And indeed, there are a few ways.
read the ways

Why Obama’s big economic gamble is failing

Posted by: James Pethokoukis | June 19th, 2009 5:56 | Pajamas Media
A string of new polls seems to show that America’s belief in the wonder-working power of Obamanomics has begun to fade. A Pew poll found President Obama’s economic approval rating has fallen to 52 percent from 60 percent in April. A Wall Street Journal poll found 53 percent disapprove of his handling of GM and Chrysler vs. 39 who approve. And the New York Times found that 60 percent don’t think Obama has a “clear plan” to deal with the monstrous budget deficit.

Okay, here’s the thing: Obama took a tremendous economic and political gamble last January. The new president had the option of putting forward a stimulus plan that would attempt to reverse or significantly dampen America’s terrible economic downturn ASAP. The quickest and most effective approach would have been a big cut in payroll taxes. For $800 billion, combined Social Security and Medicare taxes could have been slashed by 6 percentage points, or 40 percent. That would have put $1,500 in worker paychecks and, according to one credible study, increased employment by 4 million jobs in 2009.

Instead, Obama chose to listen to Rahm “Never let a crisis go to waste” Emanuel and put forward an $800 billion plan that advanced his healthcare, energy and education policy goals — but pretty much neglected the economy in 2009. Team Obama had to fully understand this. Indeed, a study from the Congressional Budget Office study — when led by current Obama budget chief Peter Orszag — concluded that an Obama-like economic stimulus package would be “totally impractical” because it would take so long to implement. (True enough, only seven percent of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been doled out so far.)
read the whole thing

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Christopher Hitchens with Hugh Hewitt

Hugh talks about the growing Iranian crisis with Vanity Fair and Slate columnist Christopher Hitchens.

more Hugh Hewitt podcasts here

Obama Kills Fly Like a Ninja!

PETA Says No More Fly-Killing, Sends Obama a Humane Fly Catcher

"He isn't the Buddha," PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement. "He's a human being, and human beings have a long way to go before they think before they act."

But think upon this ancient proverb: Let, he who has never swatted a fly, cast the first whack.

"We support compassion even for the most curious, smallest and least sympathetic animals," PETA spokesman Bruce Friedrich said Wednesday. "We believe that people, where they can be compassionate, should be, for all animals."

what do Barack Obama, Gerald Walpin and Led Zeppelin have in common?

Not Just Walpin - 3 IG Firings Being Questioned

He's been dazed and confused for so long in a spin/Wanted an Inspector General and got Gerald Walpin. Barack Obama plays heavy metal.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 | Althouse

Obama’s AmeriCrooks and cronies scandal Updated
By Michelle Malkin • June 17, 2009 05:02 AM
We now have the White House in full Chicago thug mode — maligning fired AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin as “confused” and “disoriented.” Yep, that was the response after Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill weighed in and pronounced herself unsatistifed with Obama’s “loss of confidence” rationale.

Implying that Walpin has lost his marbles is desperate and lame. Walpin has been consistenly lucid and laser-sharp in every TV and radio interview I’ve seen or heard — including on the Laura Ingraham show yesterday, where he noted that evidence in the Sacramento mayor/NBA star/Obama crony Kevin Johnson case was destroyed.

Far from being “confused” and “disoriented,” Walpin is clear as day. Anyone who actually reads through his audits and investigative reports knows that. You can, should, and must read Walpin’s reports both on CUNY funding abuse and on the Johnson scandal here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fired IG Calls White House Explanation 'Baseless,' Says He's Being Targeted

Gerald Walpin, who until last week was the inspector general for the Corporation for National and Community Service, tells FOXNews.com that part of President Obama's explanation for firing him was a "total lie" and that he feels he's got a target on his back for political reasons.

By Judson Berger | FOXNews.com | Wednesday, June 17, 2009

. . . "It appears to suggest that I was removed because I was disabled -- based on one occasion out of hundreds," he said.

"I would never say President Obama doesn't have the capacity to continue to serve because of his (statement) that there are 56 states," Walpin said, adding that the same holds for Vice President Biden and his "many express confusions that have been highlighted by the media." Obama mistakenly said once on the campaign trail that he had traveled to 57 states.

Bronstein: Obama/MSM . . . get a room

Obama and the fawning press need to get a room
by Phil Bronstein | June 08 2009 at 03:35 PM

When Barack Obama decided that questions from the German press about his trip agenda in that country were too pesky, he told the reporters, "So, stop it all of you!" He just wanted them to ask things he wanted to talk about. Well, what politico wouldn't want that?

OK, dad. We'll behave.

And according to a new Pew Research Center poll, we are behaving...like fans. On domestic press, it showed that "President Barack Obama has enjoyed substantially more positive media coverage than either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush during their first months in the White House" with "roughly twice as much" Obama coverage about his "personal or leadership qualities" than was the case for either previous president.

Back in the US, NBC's Brian Williams' two-part "Living Large With the Top Dog" feature on Mr. Obama's life included a plug for Conan O'Brien's new show and mention of cable talkies where Mr. Obama only cited MSNBC personalities. Accident? I don't think so. There were a few probing moments in there, but they were overshadowed by the flash of hanging out in the back of the Auto One limo and having burgers. A little navel-gazing among journalism standards hall monitors about whether the thing had been too soft came and went.

read the whole thing

see those stacks of paper? That's over one trillion in health care that will further jack up your taxes

“I kind of wake up at night thinking, ‘My gosh, we could wind up with a more convoluted system than we have now.’ We could just be multiplying the points in our system that create waste and abuse and cost us so much money." -- Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa

Republicans pounce on estimate for health care plan

Protests in Iran: Then and Now

by Jigar Mehta | Published: June 16, 2009
Since Friday's disputed presidential elections in Iran, the country has witnessed the largest street demonstrations since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

click for video

It's about FREEDOM stupid!

Does Obama Care?

Does Obama care? Part Two

President Obama has figured out that "something has happened in Iran." Unfortunately, his take on what that "something" is suggests that he is uncaring, clueless, or both:

"I do believe that something has happened in Iran where there is a questioning of the kinds of antagonistic postures towards the internation community that have place in the past." -- Barack Obama

In other words, the mass demonstrations aren't about the quest for freedom, they are about being more respectful towards "the international community."

Barack Hussein Obama -- please look at the pictures in the links below and tell us it's not about freedom:

Iran's continued election turmoil

Iran's Disputed Election

Obama Aspires to a 'Light Touch,' Not a Heavy Hand

-- you can bet that whatever Obama says, he's doing the opposite, or why would he feel compelled to comment? --


As he prepares to release the most extensive proposals to change financial regulations since the 1930s, President Barack Obama is a bit anxious.

Anxious, that is, for people -- and specifically for his conservative critics -- to know he isn't the heavy-handed meddler some suspect.

"I think the irony … is that I actually would like to see a relatively light touch when it comes to the government," he said Tuesday in a White House interview.

It is a counterintuitive case to make when his government is a majority shareholder of General Motors, and when he will propose Wednesday new oversight of big financial institutions, new capital requirements for banks and a new consumer-protection agency for small investors.

Which is precisely why Mr. Obama went to great pains to explain that there is a philosophy behind the changes he is about to propose to the nation's financial plumbing. Indeed, he says, it is the same philosophy that applies to his broader view of the government's role in the economy:

"You set up some rules of the road, ensure transparency and openness, guard against huge systemic risk that will lead...government potentially having to step in to avoid a depression, and then let entrepreneurs and individual businesses compete and do what they do.

"And so it's puzzling to me sometimes to hear the standard conservative critique of what we're doing, when essentially every step we're taking involves cleaning up the mess that we found when we arrived here at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."

read the rest

Iran unrest continues to leak despite crackdown on Internet

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Obama frets on debt, sees U.S. unemployment rising

Reuters | Washington Post
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 5:50 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that worrying about the U.S. government's finances "keeps me awake at night" and the country needed to start planning now to tackle soaring deficits.

In a pair of interviews on CNBC and Bloomberg television, Obama defended increasing government spending to prevent the recession from worsening, and warned the unemployment rate may hit 10 percent this year, a level not seen since 1983.

"There's no doubt that we've got a serious problem in terms of our long-term deficits and debt," he told CNBC. "I make no apologies for having acted short term to deal with our recession."

But he said once the recession ends, "we're going to have to close that gap between the amount of money coming in and the amount of money going out."

The Congressional Budget Office estimated on Tuesday that the federal deficit would hit $1.43 trillion in fiscal 2010 under Obama's budget plan, slightly higher than it had previously forecast.

Obama said unless the United States can contain its long-term debt and deficits, foreign investors may shun U.S. assets, driving up borrowing costs for the government as well as households and businesses.

[isn't it sort of too late to be worried about debt?]

read the whole thing

Maher slams Obama for not shoving progressive legislation down our throats NOW

Maher repeats his concerns that Obama is "caving in to corporations and lobbyists. The track record so far is not good," slamming the president for "not putting it on the line and standing up to the energy companies, the health care industry, the banks."

The lack of initiative could cause political harm, warns Maher. "If he doesn't act boldly, then he's probably going to lose the midterm elections. If he can't shove some progressive legislation down their throats now, I don't know when it's going to happen."

what transparency? Obama blocks list of visitors to White House

By Bill Dedman | Investigative reporter | msnbc.com

The Obama administration is fighting to block access to names of visitors to the White House, taking up the Bush administration argument that a president doesn't have to reveal who comes calling to influence policy decisions.

Despite President Barack Obama's pledge to introduce a new era of transparency to Washington, and despite two rulings by a federal judge that the records are public, the Secret Service has denied msnbc.com's request for the names of all White House visitors from Jan. 20 to the present. It also denied a narrower request by the nonpartisan watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which sought logs of visits by executives of coal companies.

The Jim Cramer Treatment

It’s now acceptable to bash the AMA.
By Jim Geraghty | June 16, 2009 4:00 AM

We haven’t lived in President Obama’s America for long, but already we are witnessing a strange new phenomenon: Previously apolitical figures and organizations find themselves demonized, and then forgotten, with the speed, fury, and transience of a summer thunderstorm.

For most of his tenure at CNBC, Jim Cramer was a fairly apolitical creature. First and foremost a stock-market guru, Cramer stated that he eventually split from his partnered show with NRO’s Larry Kudlow “because politics is not my inclination . . . I just really don’t care for [the topic].” But Obama’s early moves spooked the market, and Cramer — who strongly and vocally supported Obama in last year’s campaign — called out Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, lamenting the “invisible Treasury secretary” and “the most, greatest wealth destruction I’ve seen by a president.”
read the whole thing


Tue Jun 16 2009 08:45:10 ET | DrudgeReport

On the night of June 24, the media and government become one, when ABC turns its programming over to President Obama and White House officials to push government run health care -- a move that has ignited an ethical firestorm!

Highlights on the agenda:

ABCNEWS anchor Charlie Gibson will deliver WORLD NEWS from the Blue Room of the White House.

The network plans a primetime special -- 'Prescription for America' -- originating from the East Room, exclude opposing voices on the debate.
read the whole thing

Monday, June 15, 2009

CNN reports that Letterman has apologized . . . again, but he really sorta means it this time

Obama 'Troubled' by Post-Election Turmoil in Iran

Doctors' boos show Obama's tough road

Jun 15 04:24 PM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Barack Obama isn't used to hearing boos.

For all the young president's popularity, the response he got Monday from doctors at an American Medical Association meeting was a sign his road is only going to get rockier as he tries to sell his plan to overhaul the nation's health care system.

The boos erupted when Obama told the doctors in Chicago he wouldn't try to help them win their top legislative priority—limits on jury damages in medical malpractice cases.

But what could they expect? If Obama announced support for malpractice limits, that would set trial lawyers and unions—major supporters of Democratic candidates—on the attack. Not to mention consumer groups.

Obama fires an Inspector General - breaking a law he voted for while senator

The curious firing of Gerald Walpin gets … curiouser
posted at 3:15 pm on June 15, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
Senator Charles Grassley has demanded records from the Obama administration over the dismissal of the Inspector General for Americorps and raises the possibility that Barack Obama broke a law he co-sponsored in the Senate that protects the independence of the IGs. The firing comes as the Obama administration cut a sweetheart deal with a major Obama backer that allows him to receive federal funding as mayor of Sacramento, and fails to repay taxpayers for the money Kevin Johnson admittedly took illegally.
read the whole thing

Glenn Beck suggested that a Pulitzer Prize could be won if someone at the New York Times would actually cover this story.

What is modern liberalism? Sayet says Nihilismn

Here's a speech by Evan Sayet, a Hollywood writer who uses his entertainment industry insights to explain why Leftists are the way they are. Frankly, this presentation is one of the clearest, most direct, and lucid explanations about why the Left is as destructive as it is.

It's a bit long (at over 45 minutes) but well worth the time! "How Modern Liberals Think" ...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

the aftermath of a sham election

What's Happening In Tehran?
June 14, 2009 Posted by John at 9:28 PM

Breitbart TV has put together these 14 videos showing the ongoing protests and violence in Tehran. The first segment reportedly (according to AllahPundit) shows an Iranian whose home was invaded by policemen and who was beaten to death. The footage is, obviously, extraordinary:

UPDATE: Michael Totten has much more. He seems to take seriously the idea that the regime could be in trouble. This is painful to read:

According to our private phone conversations with people in Tehran, hundreds of parents have gathered by a police station in Yousef Abad, now known as Seyyed Jamal Aldin Asad Abadi, with their hands raised to the sky saying "Obama, please help us, they are killing our young children."

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Obama’s issues crumbling

By Dick Morris
Posted: 06/09/09 04:51 PM [ET]

At last, there is convincing evidence that Obama’s poll numbers may be descending to earth. While his approval remains high — and his personal favorability is even higher — the underlying numbers suggest that a decline may be in the offing. Even as he stands on his pedestal, the numbers under his feet are crumbling.

According to a Rasmussen poll, more voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats to handle the economy, by a margin of 45-39. Scott Rasmussen notes that “this is the first time in over two years of polling that the GOP has held the advantage on this issue.” Last month, he had the Democrats holding a one-point lead, but they lost it in June’s polling.
read the whole thing

Instapundit post

June 13, 2009


The ongoing efforts to conflate the Tiller and Holocaust Museum murderers with the Right, conservatives or Republicans - or to imply that criticism of government is responsible for these murders - is absurd and offensive. Would the critics change their political views if it turned out that one of the killers was a left wing militant? No.

What’s more, it’s not something any of the critics actually believe. Recall their outrage when Andrew Sullivan suggested that a fringe on the Left would fight against the US. Of the idea that this fringe on the Left would “ramp up its hatred in the days and months ahead”, Duncan Black said, “Sullivan was one of the earliest adopters of the idea that the most appropriate response to September 11 was to figure how to to use it to pit American against American.”

On the other hand, there’s this: “Conservatives who object to being tied to Von Brunn were eagerly associating Obama with Ayers and Wright.”

Except, you know, that Obama actually did associate with Ayers and Wright, while it’s not as if anybody who matters on the right was hanging out with von Brunn.

Posted at 1:57 pm by Glenn Reynolds

Enough with the Obamathon

The president is on TV more than the ShamWow guy, but I want to see a little more action.
By Bill Maher | June 12, 2009
President Obama should just join the cast of "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!" It's not that farfetched; he's been on everything else.

I'm still a fan, but there's a fine line between being transparent and being overexposed. Every time you turn on the TV, there's Obama. He's getting a puppy! He's eating a cheeseburger with Joe Biden! He's taking the wife to Broadway and Paris -- this is the best season of "The Bachelor" yet!

. . . Remember during the campaign when John McCain attacked Obama for acting like a celebrity and we all laughed at the grumpy old shellshocked fool? Well, it turns out he was right. Sorry, senator. I'm sending a nice gift basket of high-fiber muffins your way.
read the whole thing

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mark Steyn with Hugh Hewitt

Comments about the museum shooting, Reverend Wright, David Letterman, universal health care, regulating tobacco, anti semitism.

more Hugh Hewitt podcasts here

Roseanne Barr Slams Obama

Once an adamant Obama supporter, liberal talk host Roseanne Barr is no longer "drinking the Kool-Aid" as she describes it. During a guest appearance on the Stephanie Miller Show, Barr said she wasn't happy at all with his presidency so far, saying he was merely continuing the Bush Doctrine on key issues.

Miller Time - 06/10

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rev. Jeremiah Wright says "Jews" are keeping him from President Obama

By DAVID SQUIRES |6:19 PM EDT, June 10, 2009

HAMPTON - The Rev. Jeremiah Wright says he does not feel any regrets over his severed relationship with President Barack Obama, a former member of the Chicago church in which Wright was the longtime pastor.

Wright also said that he had not spoken to his former church member since Obama became president, implying that the White House won't allow Obama to talk to him. He did not indicate whether he had tried to reach Obama.

"Regret for what... that the media went back five, seven, 10 years and spent $4,000 buying 20 years worth of sermons to hear what I've been preaching for 20 years?

"Regret for preaching like I've been preaching for 50 years? Absolutely none," Wright said.

Wright said that when he went to the polls, he did not hold any grudge against Obama.

"Of course I voted for him; he's my son. I'm proud of him," Wright said. "I've got five biological kids. They all make mistakes and bad choices. I haven't stopped loving any of them.

"He made mistakes. He made bad choices. I've got kids who listen to their friends. He listened to those around him. I did not disown him."

Asked if he had spoken to the president, Wright said: "Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter, that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck, or in eight years when he's out of office. ...
read the whole thing

what is she wearing? Michelle in London

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:47 AM on 10th June 2009

Her taste for restrained elegance has earned her the title of First Lady of Fashion.

But Michelle Obama clearly felt something rather more outlandish was in order for a sightseeing trip in London yesterday.

On a visit to Westminster Abbey she wore a trendy colourful tunic embellished with ribbons and fabric flowers.

The Beginning of the End of Private Health Insurance

How Obama's public health insurance option will quickly evolve into the only option
Ronald Bailey | June 9, 2009

In his weekly radio address on Saturday, President Barack Obama declared that "it's time to deliver" on health care reform. In a letter to Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), President Obama wrote, "I strongly believe that Americans should have the choice of a public health insurance option operating alongside private plans. This will give them a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive, and keep insurance companies honest." This week Sen. Kennedy released a draft of his proposed "American Health Choices Act" which includes one such optional public health insurance plan. The administration's goal is to report that bill out of the relevant Senate committees by the end of this month.

Earlier this week, Republican lawmakers sent a letter of their own, strongly warning the president that "Washington-run programs undermine market-based competition through their ability to impose price controls and shift costs to other purchasers. Forcing free market plans to compete with these government-run programs would create an unlevel playing field and inevitably doom true competition."
read the whole thing

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Newsweek’s Evan Thomas: Obama Is ‘Sort of God’

By Kyle Drennen (Bio | Archive)
June 5, 2009 - 18:45 ET

Newsweek editor Evan Thomas brought adulation over President Obama’s Cairo speech to a whole new level on Friday, declaring on MSNBC: "I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God."

Thomas, appearing on Hardball with Chris Matthews, was reacting to a preceding monologue in which Matthews praised Obama’s speech: "I think the President's speech yesterday was the reason we Americans elected him. It was grand. It was positive. Hopeful...But what I liked about the President's speech in Cairo was that it showed a complete humility...The question now is whether the President we elected and spoke for us so grandly yesterday can carry out the great vision he gave us and to the world."

Matthews discussed Obama’s upcoming speech marking the 65th anniversary of D-Day and compared it to that of Ronald Reagan. He then turned to Thomas and asked: "Reagan and World War II and the sense of us as the good guys in the world, how are we doing?" Thomas replied: "Well, we were the good guys in 1984, it felt that way. It hasn't felt that way in recent years. So Obama’s had, really, a different task We're seen too often as the bad guys. And he – he has a very different job from – Reagan was all about America, and you talked about it. Obama is ‘we are above that now.’ We're not just parochial, we're not just chauvinistic, we're not just provincial."
read the rest of the story

Rupert Murdoch: Unemployment Will Reach 10 Or 11 Percent

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mark Steyn with Hugh Hewitt

more Hugh Hewitt podcasts here

saving or creating jobs the Obama way

MICROSOFT to move jobs overseas if Obama tax plan goes through
By Ryan J. Donmoyer | June 3, 2009 | Bloomberg
June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steven Ballmer said the world’s largest software company would move some employees offshore if Congress enacts President Barack Obama’s plans to impose higher taxes on U.S. companies’ foreign profits.

“It makes U.S. jobs more expensive,” Ballmer said in an interview. “We’re better off taking lots of people and moving them out of the U.S. as opposed to keeping them inside the U.S.”

Obama on May 4 proposed outlawing or restricting about $190 billion in tax breaks for offshore companies over the next decade. Such business groups as the National Foreign Trade Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable have denounced the proposed overhaul.

U.S. tax rules let companies defer paying corporate rates as high as 35 percent on most types of foreign profits as long as that money remains invested overseas. Obama says he wants to end such incentives to keep foreign profits tax-deferred so that companies would invest them in the U.S.
read the whole thing

Obama sees himself in Qar hieroglyph

June 4, 2009 1:56 PM | CBS News
While Obama was in Egypt touring the pyramids, he visited the Tomb of Qar, who his guide, Dr. Zahi Hawass, described as a well-known priest, scholar and judge in ancient Egypt. On the wall were hieroglyphs of Qar, primitive images engraved in the stone. He was a thin man man with big ears.

“That looks like me!” exclaimed President Obama. “Look at those ears.”

The president summoned to his top aides to take a look, and repeated his observation about the Qar hieroglyph.

“Look, that’s me,” he told them. None of his senior staff was willing to disagree with the boss. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel smiled politely, if not knowingly.

link to CBS article

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Obama greenlights nukes for Muslims (including Iran)

In this audio clip from America's Newsroom (June 4, 2009), Obama greenlights nuclear power for Muslims. Notice that in the CBS youtube clip below, they avoid the topic altogether.

Gay groups grow impatient with Barack Obama


President Barack Obama’s promises of change are falling short for one core Democratic constituency: gays and lesbians, whose leaders say Obama’s administration isn’t keeping up with the times.

Gay rights campaigners, most of them Democrats who supported Obama in November, have begun to voice their public frustration with Obama’s inaction, small jokes at their community’s expense and deafening silence on what they see as the signal civil rights issue of this era.

His most important campaign promises repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and the military ban on openly gay and lesbian service-members have not been fulfilled.

read more