Archive for October 6th, 2009

The Obamas’ Narcissism on Display

Posted on October 6, 2009. Filed under: Obama | Tags: , |

By George Will

WASHINGTON — In the Niagara of words spoken and written about the Obamas’ trip to Copenhagen, too few have been devoted to the words they spoke there. Their separate speeches to the International Olympic Committee were so dreadful, and in such a characteristic way, that they might be symptomatic of something that has serious implications for American governance.

Both Obamas gave heartfelt speeches about … themselves. Although the working of the committee’s mind is murky, it could reasonably have rejected Chicago’s bid for the 2016 games on aesthetic grounds — unless narcissism has suddenly become an Olympic sport.

In the 41 sentences of her remarks, Michelle Obama used some form of the personal pronouns “I” or “me” 44 times. Her husband was, comparatively, a shrinking violet, using those pronouns only 26 times in 48 sentences. Still, 70 times in 89 sentences was sufficient to convey the message that somehow their fascinating selves were what made, or should have made, Chicago’s case compelling.

In 2008, Obama carried the three congressional districts that contain Northern California’s Silicon Valley with 73.1, 69.6 and 68.4 percent of the vote. Surely the Valley could continue its service to him by designing software for his speechwriters’ computers that would delete those personal pronouns, replacing them with the word “sauerkraut” to underscore the antic nature of their excessive appearances.

And — this will be trickier — the software should delete the most egregious cliches sprinkled around by the tin-eared employees in the White House speechwriting shop. The president told the Olympic committee that: “At this defining moment,” a moment “when the fate of each nation is inextricably linked to the fate of all nations” in “this ever-shrinking world,” he aspires to “forge new partnerships with the nations and the peoples of the world.”

Good grief. The memory of man runneth not to a moment that escaped being declared “defining” — declared such by someone seeking to inflate himself by inflating it. Also, enough already with the “shrinking” world, which has been so described at least since Magellan set sail, and probably before that. And by the way, the “fate” of — to pick a nation at random — Chile is not really in any meaningful sense “inextricably linked” to that of, say, Chad.

Read the rest At Real Clear Politics

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Dems Gang Up on McChrystal

Posted on October 6, 2009. Filed under: America | Tags: , , , , |

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: With members of Congress set to huddle at the White House this afternoon to discuss Afghanistan strategy with President Obama, leading Democrats are ratcheting up criticism of Gen. Stanley McChrystal for publicly discussing his recommendations to the president as part of the strategic review.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last night told Charlie Rose that McChrystal should be making his arguments only in private.

“Let me say this about Gen. McChrystal, with all due respect: His recommendations to the president should go up the line of command. They shouldn’t be in press conferences,” said Pelosi, D-Calif.

Pelosi also had praise for Vice President Joe Biden’s view — that al Qaeda should be dealt with in Afghanistan through the use of more drone strikes and special forces, not additional troops.

“Let me say this: The vice president’s views are ones that widely shared,” Pelosi said.

This morning, Sen. Jim Webb, a former Navy secretary and a veteran, said it was “pretty odd” that McChrystal gave an interview to “60 Minutes” and spoke to a London think-tank about his recommendations, even as President Obama deliberates on the best way forward.

“At a time when people were meeting in the White House discussing Afghanistan, he was giving a speech in London,” Webb, D-Va., told MSNBC. “I thought that was pretty odd.”

At a forum last night, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates said decisions regarding troop strength should not be made as part of a public debate.

But Gates said his comments were “absolutely not” aimed at McChrystal, and he voiced his support for the general’s leadership in Afghanistan.

McChrystal’s grave assessment of the situation in Iraq was leaked to The Washington Post last month. The Obama administration has resisted calls from members of Congress to have McChrystal testify in front of Congress on his recommendations before the president makes up his mind.

visit ABCNews BLOG

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Podesta spends Soros’ money stupidly

Posted on October 6, 2009. Filed under: Acorn | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

BREITBART: Podesta spends Soros’ money stupidly

By Andrew Breitbart

A telling event occurred on Sept. 15, Day 6 of the drip, drip, drip ACORN video rollout. President Obama met for lunch with former President Bill Clinton at trendy Il Mulino in New York City.

For the second consecutive day, the New York Post featured the ACORN scandal on its cover – complete with James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles in their outrageous “pimp and ho” costumes.

Does anyone think the president and the former president were unaware that the city in which they were dining was mesmerized by the ACORN scandal – especially since ACORN had bragged that its employees had kicked Mr. O’Keefe and Ms. Giles out of their New York office?

The Sept. 15 edition of the New York Post explored the political angles and directed attention to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s investigation into why an ACORN office in its jurisdiction helped instruct a prospective brothel owner how to hide his prostitution proceeds in a tin in his backyard.

No one in the morally superior media world has asked, why did Mr. Obama have lunch with Mr. Clinton that day? So let me take a guess, and it seems like an obvious answer. Mr. Obama, under siege by a video-a-day expose that was exposing the Democratic Party to an avalanche of consequences (ACORN defunded in the House and Senate, ACORN delinked from the census, etc.), needed advice from the last president to navigate through a major political scandal.

On this day, neither the president or the former president, nor the media knew how many more videos were coming.

The next day, Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta, the Democratic Party’s top fix-it guy with control over much of the left’s well-funded vast attack machinery (think George Soros, the Tides Foundation, et al.), was among a small advisory group placed in charge of investigating the matter.

With the mainstream media continuing to ignore the evidence on the tapes, Mr. Podesta is now clearly in charge of feeding them information about his well-structured investigation into the investigators. The ACORN internal probe is a “war room” aimed at destroying the messengers and is not meant to clean up major corruption.

See more @ Breitbart Washington Times

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Or We Could Make It Simple and Cheap

Posted on October 6, 2009. Filed under: health care | Tags: , , , |

Jennifer Rubin

The monstrously complicated Democratic health-care bills costing upward of a trillion dollars are churning through Congress. They are too complicated for the average voter to fully comprehend and too voluminous for the average lawmaker to read. They spend money we don’t have and create enormous new bureaucracies to regulate, limit, control, and, yes, ration care. The actual cost of health care (as opposed to what the government will pay for it) isn’t addressed in any meaningful way. Medicare Advantage, a popular program, will be slashed. And millions will have huge new tax liabilities. There is something for everyone to hate, and a lot of people do.

Republicans and a few Democrats have offered insightful critiques. There are many, many ideas and proposals swirling from, among others, Sen. Tom Coburn, Sen. Jim DeMint, Rep. Tom Price, and Rep. Paul Ryan. But now Jeffrey Anderson has gone to the trouble of culling the best ideas and putting them on a single page. Yes, one page. These ideas have appeared in one form or another in Republican proposals and in pundit columns. And here’s the kicker: it doesn’t really cost a lot. Here’s the short version of the already short version of conservative health-care reform suggested by Anderson:

1. Leave employer-provided insurance as it is and give individuals a $2,500 tax credit to equalize tax treatment for individuals who buy their own insurance.

2. Allow individuals to buy insurance across state lines.

3. Extend COBRA for up to 30 months, allowing people to keep their insurance if they leave a job.

4. Remove government regulations limiting insurers from offering premium breaks for healthy lifestyle choices.

5. Enact real malpractice reform (limit punitive damages to $250,000 and all noneconomic damages to $750,000).

6. Provide help to encourage insurance pools for the hard to insure.

That’s it. Over 10 years Anderson’s plan would spend $75B and include $345M in tax cuts. The Baucus bill (one version of it, at least) would spend $856B and include a net increase of $352B in tax hikes and $47B in fines. Both the Anderson and the Baucus plans would insure 95 percent of Americans.

There is something to be said for simplicity — and a lot to be said for achieving the same results as Democrats are promising without a massive tax hike, a government takeover of health care, another massive hit to the budget, and thousands of pages of new federal regulations.

Commentary magazine

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ACORN’s Lewis suggests opponents are racist

Posted on October 6, 2009. Filed under: Acorn | Tags: , , , |

By Joseph Curl

ACORN’s Bertha Lewis charged Tuesday that accusations about the embattled community organizing group are racist, alleging that a coordinated political effort started by former Bush adviser Karl Rove sought to stop the group from registering minority voters.

“For many years, there’ve been folks who’ve disagreed with our ideology or methodology that has [cq] gone after us,” ACORN’s CEO said in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington.

“I mean we, back going [cq] to 2004, we now see through e-mails from Karl Rove from the previous administration that ACORN itself was targeted, targeted to go after us so that we would stop doing voter registration because it was said that we were moving too many minorities to vote, changing the power dynamics on the local election and that we needed to be stopped.”

She also labeled as racist the infamous videos that show ACORN workers advising a man and young woman posing as pimp and prostitute how to circumvent the law. “These new filmmakers, [James] O’Keefe himself, told The Washington Post, ‘They’re registering too many minorities, they usually vote Democratic, somebody’s got to stop them,’ ” Mrs. Lewis said.

Washington Times

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Cops to conservative talk: You’re off the air!

Posted on October 6, 2009. Filed under: liberal | Tags: , , , , |

By Drew Zahn

A conservative talk radio station has been forced off the air after years of wresting with the state and the courts over property rights, shut down by a reported 30 armed police officers who barged into the station in the middle of the owner’s radio show and showed him the door.

John Stokes is the owner of KGEZ-radio, a station whose headquarters sit on 6.5 acres and whose towers sit on a 160-acre easement of farmland in rural Kalispell, Mont. According to Stokes, KGEZ is America’s oldest independently owned radio station, on air since 1927.

But nine years ago, the Montana Department of Transportation decided it wanted to expand nearby U.S. Highway 93 … right through the middle of the radio station.

Stokes, a former real estate agent for 25 years, valued the cost of destroying his business with the new roadway at $2.5 million, but the state, he says, only offered him $100,000 in order to bulldoze it.

Now, after years of fighting both the state and private interests over the land his station sits on, Stokes is battling in bankruptcy court. And even though at least $3.8 million of his debt is from a questionable, defamation lawsuit still in appeals, the court has come to collect.

Last week, armed deputies from the sheriff’s office entered the station, evicted Stokes and turned of the power. Except for its website’s online presence, KGEZ is off the air.

It’s time to put up or shut up, America. Literally. Get the book that shows how to fight the assault on your freedom of speech!

Stokes told WND he believes the deluge of lawsuits and judgments is linked both to the content of his broadcasting – for Stokes has blasted big government, environmentalism and illegal immigration, among other sensitive issues – and to local government run amok.

“This is America’s oldest station, we’re an independent voice, and they’re trying to silence us and put me in jail,” Stokes said. “They want me to go away.”

WND’s Joseph Farah, whose radio program once broadcast on KGEZ, sees a bigger picture in Stokes’ fight to keep his station:

“By hook or by crook, it seems, government at all levels – local, state and federal – have no respect for property rights nor freedom of speech and the press,” Farah said. “What happened to KGEZ should be a wakeup call that we are all in a titanic battle for freedom – and right now we are losing the battle.”

Read the rest @ WorldNetDaily

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The continuing battle over Obama’s radicals

Posted on October 6, 2009. Filed under: Obama's Radicals |

Barack Obama is fighting a lot of political wars these days. The most important, of course, is the war over the war in Afghanistan. Then there’s the war over health care. And spending. And the environment. And financial regulation. And on and on.

They’re all serious and time consuming. But the war that has become unexpectedly intense in recent days isn’t about any particular policy. It’s the war over personnel — the president’s choices to fill important but not necessarily high-profile jobs in his administration.

Some of Obama’s choices have been people with radical pasts — or radical presents. Others are so overtly political that they can’t see any line between serving Obama and serving the public. The presence of each has made it increasingly difficult for their boss, the president, to present himself as a centrist.

First was Van Jones, the Obama “green jobs” czar who once signed a petition supporting the “9/11 truther” movement; who was a self-professed communist during much of the 1990s; who supported the cop-killer Mumia abu-Jamal; and who accused “white polluters” of “steering poison into the people of color communities.” Under fire for his extremist views, Jones disappeared in an unusual middle-of-the night resignation on Sept. 5.

Then there was Yosi Sergant, who, as communications director for the National Endowment for the Arts, crossed an entire football field of ethical lines by using his office, which is intended to promote the arts in America, to instead enlist artists to work on behalf of specific Obama initiatives. He resigned Sept. 24.

By: Byron York

Now comes Kevin Jennings, the gay activist who heads the Education Department’s Office of Safe & Drug Free Schools. Jennings founded a group called the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network and has devoted his career to introducing the topic of homosexuality into every American classroom, including elementary schools. Some of his credentials include writing the foreword to a book called Queering Elementary Education, which included chapters like “Why Discuss Sexuality in Elementary School?” and “Locating a Place for Gay and Lesbian Themes in Elementary Reading, Writing, and Talking.” Jennings worked hard to bring discussions of overtly homosexual topics — and in some cases, sexual practices — into classrooms.

As a young teacher, nearly two decades ago, Jennings was approached by a 15-year old boy (some defenders now say the boy was 16) who said he had had an encounter with an older man. Instead of pursuing the matter with the authorities, Jennings, by his own account, offered some simple advice: “I hope you used a condom.”

Read more at Washington Examiner

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ACORN embezzlement was $5 million, La. attorney general says

Posted on October 6, 2009. Filed under: Acorn | Tags: , , , , , , |

By Robert Travis Scott

Louisiana’s attorney general has broadened the scope of an investigation of ACORN to include a possible embezzlement of $5 million a decade ago within the community organization, five times more than previously reported.

ACORN Chief Executive Officer Bertha Lewis said the new reported amount is “completely false.”

Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has been conducting an investigation of ACORN since June. He issued subpoenas in August seeking documents related to former ACORN International President Wade Rathke and his brother Dale Rathke, who kept the group’s books. Those subpoenas were focused on possible ACORN violations for non-payment of employee withholding taxes, obstructing justice and violating the Employee Retirement Security Act. No charges have been made.

The attorney general had inquired in June into an alleged embezzlement within ACORN that happened 10 years ago. The group last year dealt with an internal dispute and a lawsuit involving accusations that Dale Rathke made nearly $1 million in improper credit card charges in 1999 and 2000. The brother and a donor repaid the money.

Caldwell said last month that the statute of limitations presented obstacles to prosecutors taking action on the embezzlement, and that his investigation was not focused on that issue. The subpoena issued Monday changed the tone of the investigation and put a new emphasis on the embezzlement issue.

“Current high-ranking members of ACORN have publicly acknowledged that embezzlement did in fact occur, but the exact amount of the embezzlement was unknown until it was recently acknowledged in a board of directors meeting on Oct. 17, 2008, by Bertha Lewis and Liz Wolf that an internal review had determined that the amount embezzled was $5 million, ” the new subpoena says.

Read more at NOLA.COM

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Department of Interior employees collaborate with lobbyists

Posted on October 6, 2009. Filed under: Department of Interior | Tags: , , , |

By: J.P. Freire
Looks like the Department of Interior has a problem with a section responsible for 26 million acres of federal lands. According to an investigation conducted by the Interior inspector general regarding the department’s National Landscape Conservation System (NCLS), employees and environmental advocacy organizations frequently violated federal anti-lobbying policies.
A redacted report from the investigation includes this zinger:
 

Our investigation determined that numerous activities and communication took place between NLCS officials and nongovernmental organizations (NGO), including discussions about the NLCS budget and BLM employees’ editing brochures and producing fact sheets for a specific NGO. Our investigative efforts revealed that communication between NLCS and certain NGOs in these circumstances gave the appearance of federal employees being less than objective and created the potential for conflicts of interest or violations of law. We also uncovered a general disregard for establishing and maintaining boundaries among the various entities.

In fact, in one instance, Jeff Jarvis, who is an employee of the Bureau of Land Management, requested that a representative of the National Wildlife Federation change legislation affecting NCLS. As the inspector reports, “this was potentially problematic because BLM employees were prohibited from influencing the legislation.”

Maybe no one told this to Jarvis:

On November 28, 2007, Jeff Jarvis e-mailed a legislative representative for the NWF, a nonprofit based in Reston, VA, stating: “I am in Northern New Mexico. We are looking at some protected archaeological sites protected by law in Galisteo. The managers and staff want to be added to NLCS. I don’t want to complicate anything, but what would it take to add a few small areas to the legislation?” On December 5, 2007, the NWF legislative representative e-mailed Jarvis asking him to contact her “off line” concerning the Galisteo Basin.

We interviewed the NWF legislative representative who worked for BLM as the special assistant to the Director for five years. In 2006, she started working at NWF as the legislative representative, she said, and she was responsible for advocating for public lands policy and wildlife. She said her work included NLCS, mining reform, oil and gas reform, wildlife habitat, and oil shale issues. She first met Jeff Jarvis and Elena Daly when she worked for BLM, she said.
It should be no surprise that friendly relations exist between a federal employee and an NGO lobbyist for whom “NLCS issues accounted for approximately 60 percent of her workload.” Given the casual nature of the communications from Jarvis, it may be that this was a regular thing for other federal employees to engage in.

Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT) is awaiting more information on other areas of the Department of Interior. Stay tuned. Read the Update The Washington Examiner

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ACORN brings outrage, Abortion Not So Much

Posted on October 6, 2009. Filed under: health care |

By Star Parker

The ACORN scandal shows that if Congress wants to act, it can.

Within weeks of Fox airing videos of a couple posing as a pimp and a prostitute being advised by ACORN “community organizers” on how to evade taxes and set up a prostitution ring, our stalwart Washington legislators voted to cut off federal funds to the organization.

But similar publicized abuses at Planned Parenthood – workers agreeing to cover up rape or earmarking funds to abort black babies – all captured on video and audio – produced no similar action in Washington to cut off funds.

Why?

Of course, the scope of taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood is many times greater – a few hundred million dollars per year versus a few million.

But that’s no explanation.

Congress acts when voters demand it. And, sadly, the decibel level of outrage about abortion, let alone federal funds supporting abortion enablers, is not great enough.

A hint of the problem is evident in a new abortion survey released by the Pew Research Center.

The good news for “pro-lifers” is that sentiment continues to move against abortion. Forty five percent now believe abortion should be illegal in most cases, up four points from a year ago, and 47 percent believe it should be legal, down seven points from last year.

But less encouraging is a drop in the percentage that sees abortion as a “critical” issue. Fifteen percent, down from 28 percent a year ago.

I think this is why Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion factory in the country, continues annually to get hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds, under both Democrat and Republican leadership.

It’s why, despite opposition from Republicans and some conservative Democrats, we have health-care bills moving in both the House and Senate that will allow federal funds to subsidize purchase of insurance that will pay for abortions.

The outrage is not great enough. Too many still turn a deaf ear or a blind eye.

Young women prepared to abort largely change their mind when they see an ultrasound image of the live child moving inside of them. If somehow a whole nation could grasp this experience, things would change.

Or perhaps if they saw the picture of the beautiful young woman, recently given to me by her mother, who died in an abortion clinic.

Read more by Star Parker- GOPUSA

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