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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Obama's Iraq Policy in Ruins


Already America’s hopes for a free and peaceful Iraq have been crushed by the unbelievably stupid policies put in place by the Obama Administration. From the victories of the ‘surge’ and the foundation of several free elections, Iraq is now descending into chaos – brought on by Obama’s announced timetable for withdrawal, by Obama’s transfer of troops to Afghanistan and by the signals sent by the release of classified documents describing interrogation techniques.

Thoughtful people who are patriots predicted this outcome, but even we are surprised at how quickly this disintegration has come. It is clear that the blood and treasure expended in Iraq is being wasted due to liberal foolishness. Obama is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Five car bombings across Baghdad kill 48

Shiite Muslims appear to be the targets, and that raises fears of a renewed Sunni insurgency. Survivors of two blasts in Sadr City say Iraqi security forces failed to protect them.

April 30, 2009 LA Times (Excerpt)

Reporting from Baghdad — "Five car bombs ripped through neighborhoods across Baghdad late Wednesday, killing at least 48 people, wounding scores more and further raising concerns that a new wave of violence is threatening the security gains of the last 18 months.

The bombings came after the deaths of nearly 160 people in a 24-hour period late last week marked the worst surge of violence in a year. The attacks in recent days, all appearing to target Shiite Muslim civilians, have raised fears that the Sunni insurgency is regrouping for a fresh campaign of violence that could in turn trigger retaliation and reignite the sectarian warfare that only recently subsided.

U.S. troops are due to withdraw from Iraq's cities by the end of June, and the attacks have deepened concerns that the Iraqi security forces are not up to the job of taking charge from the departing Americans." LA Times

As in the domestic area, Obama makes grand pronouncements, but his policies are dangerously foolish and based on deception.
Iraq maneuvers: The administration bobs and weaves on the war

April 30, 2009 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Baghdad on Saturday and discussion among American military officials about "exceptions" to the troop pullout from Iraqi cities do not square very well with President Barack Obama's pledge to close down the U.S. military presence there.

During her visit, Mrs. Clinton told the Iraqis, "We are committed to Iraq; we want to see a stable, sovereign, self-reliant Iraq." She also commented that Iraq relies on the United States for security, stability and economic survival. She made these comments in the face of an upsurge last week in sectarian violence, which was directed by Sunnis against Shiites, some of whom were Iranian pilgrims visiting religious shrines.

How she could believe that Iraq can achieve stability and self-reliance within the time frame that Mr. Obama has promised for U.S. withdrawal is difficult to imagine. If the president intends to keep his promise to the American people to end the war and the occupation, it is irresponsible on the part of his secretary of state to assure them of such a commitment to the future.

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Buy Fords

Ford took no TARP money and has retained its independence and resisted the nationalization (socialization) of its business property. NAZI, as in Nazi Germany, stands for national socialism. I say Ford should be supported by buying its products.

Federal control of General Motors is game changer

Daniel Howes April 29, 2009 Detroit News

With the arguable exception of the disastrous British Leyland experiment in the 1970s, even the Europeans never went this far.

Not in post-war France, when Charles DeGaulle nationalized Renault SA in 1945 to punish its founder for alleged enemy collaboration, a stake that has diminished to 15 percent over time. Not in Germany, where the state of Lower Saxony owns 20 percent of Volkswagen AG and its minister-president sits on VW's supervisory board alongside representatives of labor.

Not even across western Europe, where a consortium of France, Germany and Spain controls Airbus SAS, the chief aerospace rival to America's Boeing Co. But the one guy with experience competing against a government-backed entity is Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally, former head of Boeing's commercial aviation unit.

Good thing, because he'll need it. The week's not half gone and already the U.S. Treasury is in line to control 50 percent of General Motors Corp. with the United Auto Workers set to gain another 39 percent of the automaker. The feds would select GM's directors, effectively giving this White House (and the others to follow) control over GM's strategic direction, top management and even high-level product decisions.

That's just the beginning.

With or without bankruptcy, a Government Motors partnered with the UAW would be a whole new model for the global auto industry, a nationalized company whose labor union owners would be bargaining with themselves, their interests in positive cash flow to finance retiree health care obligations colliding with political interests to preserve wages and benefits.

There's a reason the Europeans (not to mention the Japanese or the South Koreans) don't go there: Too many priorities are mutually exclusive. Government Motors could be a bulwark of infinitely patient capital married to major stakeholders whose goals aren't shareholder return, operational efficiency and market penetration but the social goals of maximized employment, environmental trend-setting and political (damage) control.

"It is not our desire to either own or run one of the auto companies," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday. It may not be, as if saying so makes it so, but that's the practical effect.

And it has potentially profound implications for industry players -- starting with Ford -- who aren't in the same situation but nevertheless would be forced to manage the repercussions on relations with dealers, suppliers, customers, organized labor and a diverse financial community of lenders, equity investors and bondholders.
"We're trying to understand how we can remain competitive," a Ford source familiar with the internal deliberations told me Tuesday. "It's on everyone's radar screen that the government will be a big owner and will have a big interest in making it successful. It's uncharted waters for us -- again. The government can do just about anything it wants."

By now, that should be obvious and a reminder that the Golden Rule -- "he who has the gold rules" -- is the omnipotent force in Detroit's Great Restructuring. If President Obama's auto task force wants to run GM or Chrysler LLC through bankruptcy, it will do so because they're the chief bargainers for their boss. He's the chief creditor, the chief lender and the chief executive-in-chief.

They don't do this in Europe -- haven't come close to it for 30 years or more -- with the possible exceptions of Putin's Russia or Lukashenko's Belarus. Even Germany's Mitbestimmung, the co-determination of the post-war years that splits corporate oversight between executives and labor representatives doesn't deliver shareholder voting power to organized labor.

In this, Obama's Treasury and its auto task force are breaking revolutionary ground.
By subordinating the legitimate claims of investors to those of labor, they're confirming their bias against the Wall Street crowd and, second, what people in this town have known for years: That management's cradle-to-grave commitments to Big Three employees risked outstripping the ability of anyone but the government to pay -- and only then after the company has been nationalized, its bondholders neutered or threatened with bankruptcy and its equity investors wiped out.

For months as GM, Chrysler, the UAW, members of Congress and the Obama administration have careened toward this mind-numbing culmination, I've been asking myself what we're saving by asking the feds to keep big chunks of Detroit Auto on life support.

Already, tens of thousands of jobs have been wiped out. Plants closed. Retirements induced or destroyed. Dealers starved into submission. Suppliers pushed into liquidation. Local and state budgets decimated by the loss of tax revenue. And, now, investors short-changed with a strong arm that would make Tony Soprano proud.

We're saving -- or trying to save -- the political capital of those in power, the outsized obligations of GM and Chrysler to the UAW, and whatever jobs, union and salaried, may be left when this enabled nightmare finally comes to an end.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

An Interview with Arlen Specter’s Challenger

Today, while I was in the middle of this post about Senator Specter and his likely opponent, Pat Toomey, the news surfaced that Specter is switching parties to become a Democrat. This is probably a gain for Republicans, since Specter mostly voted Democrat, and it saves the conservative, Toomey, from a tough and expensive primary fight. Toomey can go on to defeat Specter in the general election, and Specter has no guarantee that he will win the Democratic primary anyway. I have changed this post to a short excerpt, instead of the lengthy interview I was planning to publish in two installments.

My disaffection for Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania is exceeded only by my dislike for former Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island. Chafee was not only a foolish liberal who pretended to be a conservative at election time, but he rode into the sunset on a debt of gratitude that Rhode Islanders had for his father, John Chafee. Senator Specter has torpedoed so many conservative Republican attempts to re-impose Constitutional government on our nation, that we see red whenever he appears in our field of view. It was Senator Specter who torpedoed our last attempt to defeat Obama’s porkulus bills. Hopefully, he has ridden the single-bullet theory into his own sunset.

Toomey Talks

By Philip Klein 4.28.09 American Spectator (Excerpt)

“In 1998, Pat Toomey left a career in finance and restaurants to launch a bid for a Congressional seat in Pennsylvania's 15th District, located in Allentown. After winning a surprising victory, he served for six years in the U.S. House of Representatives, earning a lifetime 97 percent rating from the American Conservative Union. In 2004, he challenged incumbent Arlen Specter for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination, coming within 17,000 votes out of a million cast in a bitterly fought primary in which he was outspent 4 to 1.

Toomey served as president of the Club for Growth for more than four years starting in 2005 as the organization financed candidates who stood for lower taxes and limited government. Earlier this month, Toomey announced he would challenge Specter again in 2010, setting the stage for what is sure to be one most closely watched primary battles of next year's election cycle. A Rasmussen poll released last week showed Toomey with a 21-point edge over Specter.” American Spectator

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Unfortunately Many Democrats ARE Traitors

The so-called torture fracas that we are witnessing in Washington today is the most degrading and disgusting display of political chicanery ever seen throughout our history – a fictitious wailing that has destroyed our intelligence capabilities in order that Democrats cement their hold on power. Please read the following report by Porter Goss, who served in the Congress during the critical period – and also served as the Director of the CIA.

A person does not have to slink around and deliver secrets to foreign spies to be a traitor; anyone who deliberately undermines the security of his country for gain or for ideology is a traitor.

Security Before Politics

By Porter J. Goss
Saturday, April 25, 2009 Washington Post

Since leaving my post as CIA director almost three years ago, I have remained largely silent on the public stage. I am speaking out now because I feel our government has crossed the red line between properly protecting our national security and trying to gain partisan political advantage. We can't have a secret intelligence service if we keep giving away all the secrets. Americans have to decide now.

A disturbing epidemic of amnesia seems to be plaguing my former colleagues on Capitol Hill. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, members of the committees charged with overseeing our nation's intelligence services had no higher priority than stopping al-Qaeda. In the fall of 2002, while I was chairman of the House intelligence committee, senior members of Congress were briefed on the CIA's "High Value Terrorist Program," including the development of "enhanced interrogation techniques" and what those techniques were. This was not a one-time briefing but an ongoing subject with lots of back and forth between those members and the briefers.

Today, I am slack-jawed to read that members claim to have not understood that the techniques on which they were briefed were to actually be employed; or that specific techniques such as "waterboarding" were never mentioned. It must be hard for most Americans of common sense to imagine how a member of Congress can forget being told about the interrogations of Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. In that case, though, perhaps it is not amnesia but political expedience.

Let me be clear. It is my recollection that:
-- The chairs and the ranking minority members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, known as the Gang of Four, were briefed that the CIA was holding and interrogating high-value terrorists.
-- We understood what the CIA was doing.
-- We gave the CIA our bipartisan support.
-- We gave the CIA funding to carry out its activities.
-- On a bipartisan basis, we asked if the CIA needed more support from Congress to carry out its mission against al-Qaeda.

I do not recall a single objection from my colleagues. They did not vote to stop authorizing CIA funding. And for those who now reveal filed "memorandums for the record" suggesting concern, real concern should have been expressed immediately -- to the committee chairs, the briefers, the House speaker or minority leader, the CIA director or the president's national security adviser -- and not quietly filed away in case the day came when the political winds shifted. And shifted they have.

Circuses are not new in Washington, and I can see preparations being made for tents from the Capitol straight down Pennsylvania Avenue. The CIA has been pulled into the center ring before. The result this time will be the same: a hollowed-out service of diminished capabilities. After Sept. 11, the general outcry was, "Why don't we have better overseas capabilities?" I fear that in the years to come this refrain will be heard again: once a threat -- or God forbid, another successful attack -- captures our attention and sends the pendulum swinging back. There is only one person who can shut down this dangerous show: President Obama.

Unfortunately, much of the damage to our capabilities has already been done. It is certainly not trust that is fostered when intelligence officers are told one day "I have your back" only to learn a day later that a knife is being held to it. After the events of this week, morale at the CIA has been shaken to its foundation.

We must not forget: Our intelligence allies overseas view our inability to maintain secrecy as a reason to question our worthiness as a partner. These allies have been vital in almost every capture of a terrorist.

The suggestion that we are safer now because information about interrogation techniques is in the public domain conjures up images of unicorns and fairy dust. We have given our enemy invaluable information about the rules by which we operate. The terrorists captured by the CIA perfected the act of beheading innocents using dull knives. Khalid Sheik Mohammed boasted of the tactic of placing explosives high enough in a building to ensure that innocents trapped above would die if they tried to escape through windows. There is simply no comparison between our professionalism and their brutality
.


Our enemies do not subscribe to the rules of the Marquis of Queensbury. "Name, rank and serial number" does not apply to non-state actors but is, regrettably, the only question this administration wants us to ask. Instead of taking risks, our intelligence officers will soon resort to wordsmithing cables to headquarters while opportunities to neutralize brutal radicals are lost.

The days of fortress America are gone. We are the world's superpower. We can sit on our hands or we can become engaged to improve global human conditions. The bottom line is that we cannot succeed unless we have good intelligence. Trading security for partisan political popularity will ensure that our secrets are not secret and that our intelligence is destined to fail us.

The writer, a Republican, was director of the CIA from September 2004 to May 2006 and was chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 1997 to 2004.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

What’s Wrong With Same Sex Marriage?

I never thought that traditional marriage was, for thousands of years, the underlying foundation of civilization.

I never thought that the main purpose of marriage was for the nurturing of children.

I never thought it was wrong for a man to marry another man or for a woman to marry another woman.

I also have no objection to a man marrying two men or marrying his dog or marrying his cow. What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with a man marrying his sister or his cousin? Loosen up!

I never thought that anything government approved of, government thereafter sponsored and encouraged – like food stamps, welfare and abortion.

I never thought that same-sex marriage trivialized traditional marriage. After all, homosexual couples should get the same tax and insurance breaks as people raising a family. What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with subsidizing deviancy?

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Rev. Wright Running the Show Behind Obama

The release of the intelligence memos and the hints by Obama and AG Holder that prosecutions may be in order for those who protected us during the dark days after 9/11- have turned the USA into a Latin American banana republic – where the new regime immediately begins the prosecution of the previous regime. We have managed to avoid this kind of outrage for over 230 years, but we are finding that nothing – not the Constitution – not common sense – not common decency - will stop the Obamaites in their focus on righting imagined wrongs.

Everything now fits neatly into the racist tirade by Rev. Wright we all witnessed last summer – the deliberate dissing of our closest ally, the apologies and insulting of America in Europe, the groveling to Muslims and Iran, the hearty handshakes of tyrants in South America, the slashing of defense capabilities, the porkulus bills, the nationalizing of private businesses - and on and on. Those of us who saw Obama’s 20 year association with Wright and friendship with the terrorists as indications of his true character and beliefs have been proven correct, and we fear for our country.

The Real Interrogation Scandal

Andrew C. McCarthy April 21, 2009 NRO (Excerpt)

It’s the disclosure of the memos that should ‘shock the conscience.’

“‘Does it shock the conscience?” Chris Wallace, the Fox News Sunday anchor, pressed former CIA director Michael Hayden about waterboarding. General Hayden gave the only responsible answer that honesty would allow: “It depends on the circumstances.”

Wallace’s question came after the Obama administration’s shockingly irresponsible decision to release government memoranda that spell out, in exquisite detail, the enhanced interrogation methods that were approved for top-tier al-Qaeda detainees in 2002–2003. Certainly President Obama is entitled to his rose-tinted opinion that more is to be gained by shelving the tactics than by further exploiting them. As chief executive, moreover, it is his prerogative to supplant a policy of proven effectiveness with one based on vague, counter-historical hopes of depressing terrorist recruitment. He could easily have altered the policy course, however, without giving a tactics seminar to our enemies.

The revelations will make al-Qaeda a more efficient killing machine: better able to resist our efforts to thwart its attacks. Worse, they will paralyze our intelligence community, which now knows that even a presidential assurance complemented by Justice Department guidance and congressional encouragement will not protect agents from second-guessing and possible legal jeopardy a few months or years from now, when vigilance is no longer in fashion and political power has changed hands. To complete the triple play, the disclosures demonstrate to intelligence agents that the commander-in-chief is not to be trusted: He claimed that coercive interrogation tactics beyond the anodyne Army Field Manual measures were being studied to determine whether their authorization might be appropriate; but the revelations make the “study” a hollow gesture — there is nothing to be gained from authorizing tactics the enemy has already been armed against.

All this folly finds its way back to that simple question: “Does [insert interrogation tactic of choice] shock the conscience?” As Wallace put it to Hayden, and as Obama frames it in policy debates, the question is utterly devoid of context. The “shock the conscience” standard is derived from a 1952 Supreme Court case, Rochin v. California. That, evidently, is enough to qualify it as the high-minded yardstick of permissible government behavior — no need to get into icky complications like circumstances or (dare I say) obligations.

We have “waterboarding,” or simulated drowning. Grisly stuff. Tough guys wrestle the subject onto a slab. Another tough guy does the dirty work, rendering the subject unable to breath, creating the fear of imminent death. How could that not be shocking to even a jaded conscience? Next case.

Except what if the next case involves coercing a subject onto a slab for the purpose of administering injections that will kill him? Or what if we shoot a hellfire missile at a house where a subject is meeting with three other subjects and their guests? Or what if we drop a bomb on a densely populated area, knowing full well that many subjects will be killed and others permanently maimed? Doesn’t all that shock the conscience too? Does it not matter that the subject is a convicted rapist-murderer? The emir of a terrorist organization plotting mass murder? A member of an organization with which we are at war?

Law provides guidance for the human condition in all its endless variety. As such, it always accounts for context. It is a favorite talking point of leftists and libertarian extremists that heightened security measures “suspend” the Constitution even though a crisis is when the Constitution is most needed. Never has anything so vapid been repeated with such indignation. The Constitution is never suspended. It anticipates war and peace, insurrection and domestic tranquility, and prescribes adjustments for different conditions. Free speech is guaranteed but treason is proscribed. Privacy is guaranteed but searches are authorized. Liberty is guaranteed but imprisonment is permitted. Life is guaranteed but the death penalty is permitted.

“The great ordinances of the Constitution,” Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. instructed, “do not establish and divide fields of black and white.” Everything is contingent. In peacetime, the rule of law is what the statutes prescribe and the courts ensure. But the Framers also knew it would not always be peacetime. That is why, Holmes elsewhere wrote, “when it comes to a decision by the head of the State upon a matter involving its life, the ordinary rights of individuals must yield to what he deems the necessities of the moment. Public danger warrants the substitution of executive process for judicial process.” Executive process doesn’t suspend the Constitution any more than Congress would be suspending the Constitution if it suspended habeas corpus. Rather, executive, legislative, and judicial processes are all parts of the Constitution, their roles waxing and waning based on “the necessities of the moment.”

Rochin itself is testament to the seemingly rudimentary but often ignored fact that circumstances matter. The police behavior in that case — breaking into a home without a warrant, forcing a man to have his stomach pumped to coerce evidence in a run-of-the-mill drug case — did “shock the conscience.” But it might not in other contexts. Here is Justice Felix Frankfurter, explaining the test that he and his fellow justices were inventing: “Hypothetical situations can be conjured up, shading imperceptibly from the circumstances of this case and by gradations producing practical differences despite seemingly logical extensions.” What shocks the conscience in some situations may be less, even far less, than what duty demands in others.

Which brings us to two final points that are especially crucial in wartime (and it is worth remembering that enhanced interrogation techniques were adopted after an unprecedented domestic attack, during a defensive war authorized by Congress). First, war is just, and proportional, only because of evils so pronounced that they have triggered the legal and moral obligation of government officials to use the powers necessary to quell the evil — to protect the lives those officials are sworn to defend. That obligation is no less solemn than any obligation not to “shock the conscience.” Indeed, no faithful “shock the conscience” test can fail to account for it….

In 2002, the only thing our lawmakers wanted to know was whether we were being tough enough on high-value detainees. In 2002, Barack Obama and Eric Holder wouldn’t have dared take a courageous stand against enhanced interrogation tactics for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. In fact, back then, when it was expedient to be tough on terror, Holder was telling anyone who would listen that these al-Qaeda savages who murdered Americans absolutely did not deserve Geneva Convention protections.

To carp now about the rule of law is shameful. The rule of law hasn’t changed. But they have
."
NRO


________________________________________

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Hoyts, A Message of Love and Redemption

We Shall Overcome Even Obama

Virtually everyone my age that I know is in a state of despair and depression over this America-hater and his far-left friends who have taken power. Whether you figured him out last summer or have come to enlightenment only recently, even if you voted for him and are now horrified, I have a message for you: we will stop him, and we will defeat him.

Today’s post is a message of hope and redemption that all things are possible. It concerns the love of a father for his son, and it is brought forward today because on Monday, in Boston, Dick Hoyt once again competed in the 26 mile Boston Marathon by pushing his badly and permanently injured son through to the finish line. Thanks to Tony Medeiros for alerting me to this story and for keeping the faith.


If this video doesn’t play click here.

Here is a video of Dick and Rick crossing the finish line on Monday.

“Team Hoyt is a father (Dick Hoyt, b. ca. 1940) and son (Rick Hoyt, b. 1962) in Massachusetts who compete together in marathons, triathlons, and other athletic endeavors. Rick has cerebral palsy, caused by loss of oxygen to his brain at birth because his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. Dick pulls him in a special boat as they swim, carries him in a special seat up front as they bike, and pushes him in a special wheelchair as they run.

Doctors told his parents that Rick would live in a vegatative state, but his parents, with the help of Tufts University engineers, recognized that his sense of humor indicated intelligence. At the age of 12, Rick was able to learn how to use a special computer to communicate using movements from his head. The first words he typed were, "Go Bruins!", and the family learned he was a sports fan. They entered their first race in 1977, a 5 mile benefit run for an injured lacrosse player who was a schoolmate of Rick's.

Dick is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Air National Guard. Rick earned a college degree from Boston University in special education, and now works at Boston College. They continue to compete in races, and are also motivational speakers.

As of August 31, 2008, Team Hoyt had participated in a total of 984 events, including 229 Triathlons (6 of which were Ironman competitions), 20 Duathlons, and 66 Marathons, including 26 Boston Marathons.[1] They have also biked and run across the USA, in 1992 — a 3,735 mile journey that took them 45 days.

When asked what one thing Rick wished he could give his father, his reply was "The thing I'd most like is that my dad would sit in the chair and I would push him once."” from Wikipedia

Here is a longer video of a report by CNN on Team Hoyt


If this video doesn’t play click here.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Some Cartoons for April, 2009

LEFT CLICK TO ENLARGE




















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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Already A Great Accomplishment of the Tea Parties

One thing the Tea Parties have immediately accomplished is that middle America have finally awakened to the extreme left-wing bias in the press and in most TV networks, and in the absolute viciousness and depravity of the far left – with its talk of racism and “tea bagging”. Among the worst were MSNBC and CNN as exemplified by Keith Olbermann and Janeane Garofalo in the following video. How sick are these people?

If the video does not play, go here.

I made a copy of this video for future use if Youtube takes it down.

Tea Party animals not boiling over

Media portrayals of protesters as right-wing kooks are overheated.

Mark Steyn April 17, 2009 OCRegister.com (Excerpt)

“But in America tea is not a soothing beverage to be served with McVitie's Digestive Biscuits. It's a raging stimulant. It's rabies in an Earl Grey bag. At America's tea parties, there's no McVitie's, just McVeighs – as in Timothy of that ilk, as in angry white men twitching to go nuts. To Paul Krugman of The New York Times, the tea party is a movement of "crazy people" manipulated by sinister "right-wing billionaires." To the briefly famous Susan Roesgen of CNN, the parties are not safe for "family viewing." Which is presumably why the Boston Globe forbore to cover them last week. The original Boston Tea Party was so-called because it took place at Boston Harbor, which I gather is a harbor somewhere in the general vicinity of the Greater Boston area. So there would appear to be what I believe the journalism professors call a "local angle" to Wednesday's re-enactment. Might be useful for a publication losing a million bucks a week and threatened with closure by a parent company that, in one of the worst media acquisitions of all time, paid over $1 billion for a property that barely a decade later is all but worthless.

But I digress. Asked about the tea parties, President Barack Obama responded that he was not aware of them. As Marie Antoinette said, "Let them drink Lapsang Souchong."

His Imperial Majesty at Barackingham Palace having declined to acknowledge the tea parties, his courtiers at the Globe and elsewhere fell into line. Talk-show host Michael Graham spoke to one attendee at the 2009 Boston Tea Party who remarked of the press embargo: "If Obama had been the king of England, the Globe wouldn't have covered the American Revolution."

The American media, having run their own business into the ground, are certainly qualified to run everybody else's into the same abyss. Which is why they've decided that hundreds of thousands of citizens protesting taxes and out-of-control spending and government vaporization of Americans' wealth and their children's future is no story. Nothing to see here. As Nancy Pelosi says, it's AstroTurf – fake grass-roots, not the real thing.

Besides, what are these whiners so uptight about? CNN's Susan Roesgen interviewed a guy in the crowd and asked why he was here:

"Because," said the Tea Partier, "I hear a president say that he believed in what Lincoln stood for. Lincoln's primary thing was he believed that people had the right to liberty, and had the right …"

But Roesgen had heard enough: "What does this have to do with your taxes? Do you realize that you're eligible for a $400 credit?"

Had the Tea Party animal been as angry as these Angry White Men are supposed to be, he'd have said, "Oh, push off, you condescending tick. Taxes are a liberty issue. I don't want a $400 'credit' for agreeing to live my life in government-approved ways." Had he been of a more literary bent, he might have adapted Sir Thomas More's line from "A Man For All Seasons": "Why, Susan, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world … but for a $400 tax credit?"

But Roesgen wasn't done with her "You may already have won!" commercial:
"Did you know," she sneered, "that the state of Lincoln gets $50 billion out of this stimulus? That's $50 billion for this state, sir."

Really? Who knew it was that easy? $50 billion! Did those Navy SEALs find it just off the Somali coast in the wreckage of a pirate skiff in a half-submerged treasure chest, all in convertible pieces of eight or Zanzibari doubloons?

Or is it perhaps the case that that $50 billion has to be raised from the same limited pool of 300 million Americans and their as yet unborn descendants? And, if so, is giving it to "the state of Lincoln" – latterly, the state of Blagojevich – likely to be of much benefit to the citizens?” OCRegiste.com
With Mark Steyn on your side how can you be wrong or go wrong? If Rush ever retires I hope Mark takes his place.

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A Right Wing Terrorist Caught in the Act

Originally the iron-on lettering said:
RIGHT WING
EXTREMIST
TERRORIST
but Norma made me remove TERRORIST because it made her uncomfortable. It was her iron.
LEFT CLICK TO ENLARGE


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Saturday, April 18, 2009

You might be a “radicalized rightwing extremist” if…

Great article here by Michelle Malkin. Apparently Obama and his henchmen are so unaware of history they do not know how many times the USA has helped and defended Europe and also Muslims everywhere, and they have no knowledge of the reaction to the Alien and Sedition Acts in our own history. This morning I'm going out to purchase some white tee-shirts on which I will iron on the front, "Right Wing Extremist Terrorist", and on the back, "Tea Party Protester".

You might be a “radicalized rightwing extremist” if…

by Michelle Malkin April 16,2009 Creators Syndicate

What and who exactly are President Obama’s homeland security officials afraid of these days? If you are a member of an active conservative group that opposes abortion, favors strict immigration enforcement, lobbies to protect Second Amendment rights, protests big government, advocates federalism, or represents veterans who believe in any of the above, the answer is: You.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano has turned her attention away from acts of Islamic jihad on American soil (which she now refers to as “man-caused disasters”). Instead, her department is sounding the alarm over an un-quantified “resurgence” in “rightwing extremism activity.” On April 7, DHS sent a nine-page warning memo to law enforcement offices across the country titled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”

The report includes a sweeping definition of the threat:

“Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”

You cannot ignore the context or the timing of this DHS report. It’s no small coincidence that Napolitano’s agency disseminated the assessment just a week before the nationwide April 15 Tax Day Tea Party protests. The grass-roots events organized by fiscal conservatives, independents, Libertarians, and yes, even some blue Dog Democrats were fueled by the “current economic and political climate” of bipartisan profligate spending and endless taxpayer-funded bailouts. The growing success of the loose-knit movement has invited scorn, ridicule, and fear-mongering from Obama’s supporters. Liberal bloggers have likened the Tea Party movement to neo-Nazis, militias, and even Weather Underground terrorists.

These attempts to demonize the Tea Party movement come on the heels of widespread conservative-bashing over the recent shooting sprees in Pittsburgh and Binghamton, New York. Taking Hillary Clinton’s advice to “never waste a good crisis,” left-wing pundits and analysts have blamed the tragedies on everyone from Rush Limbaugh to Fox News to the NRA.

The DHS spokespeople I talked to on Monday insisted that the report was not a politicized document and that DHS had done similar assessments on “leftwing extremism” in the past. But past domestic terrorism reports have always been very specific in identifying security threats – such as the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front – and very specific in identifying their methods and targets, including repeated physical harassment, arson, and vandalism against pharmaceutical companies, farms, labs, and university researchers.

By contrast, the Obama DHS report is an overarching indictment of conservatives. “Rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the economy, the perceived loss of U.S. jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and home foreclosures,” the assessment warns. When I asked DHS spokeswoman Sara Kuban to explain who was responsible for this “extremist chatter,” she could not and would not name names.

Moreover, the report relies on the work of the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center to stir anxiety over “disgruntled military veterans” – a citation which gives us valuable insight into how DHS will define “hate-oriented” groups. The SPLC, you see, has designated the venerable American Legion a “hate group” for its stance on immigration enforcement. The report offers zero data, but states with an almost resentful attitude toward protected free speech: “Debates over appropriate immigration levels and enforcement policy generally fall within the realm of protected political speech under the First Amendment, but in some cases, anti-immigration or strident pro-enforcement fervor has been directed against specific groups and has the potential to turn violent.”

Potential to turn violent?” So did the hysterical fervor whipped up by Capitol Hill over the AIG bonuses, which prompted ugly death threats from across the country. No mention here, though. Not “rightwing” enough. Nor will you see Obama DHS warnings to police and sheriff’s departments about self-proclaimed bank terrorists such as Bruce Marks of the aggressive Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America or the mob activists of ACORN who have committed burglary, stormed corporate executives’ homes, and vowed to conduct “civil disobedience” by “any means necessary” in response to the “current economic and political climate.”

If you can redefine dissenting opinion as “hate,” you can brand your political opponents as “extremists” – and you can marginalize electoral threats. “Antigovernment?” “Pro-enforcement?” “Disgruntled?” Feeling taxed enough already and “recruiting” and “radicalizing” your friends and neighbors through “chatter on the Internet?”

We are all rightwing extremists now. Welcome to the club.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Should Tea Party Protesters Support a Third Party?

Some of the thousands of people who were at the tea parties Wednesday probably voted for Obama because of the deceptions of his campaign and also because they saw little difference between him and Senator McCain. The fact that in mid-September a secret group started a massive run on bank money-market deposits that would have crashed our banking system if it were not stopped did not help McCain either.

Let’s face it, Senator McCain is not a conservative. The one thing that came through loud and clear Wednesday was that Tea Party protesters want a return to conservative values in matters of government, no matter whether it be through the efforts of conservative Democrats or by conservative Republicans. Realistically, however, with Obama, Pelosi and Reid holding complete power, these changes can only come about by electing conservative Republicans or by supporting a third party. My view is that the record of successful third parties is dismal, and supporting them only ends up strengthening the party in power. This means that what is really needed is to rid the Republican Party of liberal, big spenders and get conservative Republicans back into power in 2010. In the meantime, pressure on Blue Dog Democrats to join existing Republicans can slow down the Obama freight train that is taking us down the path to collectivism.

For 2012, one of the most important things that Tea Party supporters can do to make things better for America is to work to change the presidential primary process so that liberals do not select the Republican candidate again. By the time that primaries were held in important states like Florida, the contest was over, and McCain was the winner.

The reason that this happened was that in earlier caucus and open primary states, like New Hampshire and South Carolina, liberals and independents voted for McCain and sealed conservatives off from any chance of winning the nomination. I would go so far as to try to get the Republican National Committee to refuse to recognize or seat any delegate from caucus or open primary states. This is hardball, but hardball is what we need right now. This is war.

"Recent proof: In the 2008 presidential primaries, exit polls prove John McCain failed to win a single race among registered Republican voters in open primaries up to Super Tuesday, yet during that same period he went from also-ran to front runner because most non-Republicans who crossed over voted for him. In New Hampshire, Romney won among registered Republicans, but McCain won overall. Likewise, in South Carolina, Huckabee won among registered Republicans, but McCain won the state." Human Events

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Tea Parties: Why? and What Now?

LEFT CLICK ANY TO ENLARGE

The incredible success of today’s Tea Parties (well over 1000 in little old Punta Gorda) tells me that this is only the beginning, but we have to understand what the movement means. The Tea in Tea Party stands for (T)axed (E)nough (A)lready?. This year, due to the Bush tax cuts that will soon expire, we celebrated Tax Freedom Day on April 13, the earliest since about 1960. The total tax burden on Americans for 2009 is estimated at 28% of national income, while in the last year of the Clinton Administration it reached 34%, the highest in recent history. In 1930 the total tax burden was less than 12%.

Obviously the Tea Party protesters (including myself) were not protesting present and past taxes; what we are protesting are the tax increases built into the future Obama budgets – which have to be paid for through taxes or hyper-inflation. Either way, our real incomes will suffer drastically. The second thing we are protesting is the massive intrusion into our lives by government bureaucrats at all levels. In Florida, in particular, where I live, nothing ever gets done for years and the cost of everything is doubled because of government regulations, delays and red tape.

In a strange way we actually owe Mr. Obama a debt of gratitude, because his over-reaching attempts 1. to socialize major aspects of our economy, 2. to force national healthcare on everyone and 3. to turn our history on its head has awakened many Americans to what we have lost and what we have given away over these many years of control by what Mark Levin calls “statists”. Mr. Obama’s heavy-handed attempt to label everyone who disagrees with him as “right-wing terrorists” has also helped the cause and jolted some complaisant people.

What the Tea Party protesters are saying is “no higher taxes” and “start getting off our backs”. Both political parties are to blame for high taxes and unacceptable government intrusion in our lives. Instead of increasing these trends, we want to see some rolling back. We want to see some steps that are in the direction of restoring Constitutional government. We want to change the atmosphere whereby Congresspeople are rewarded for increasing our freedom and lowering our taxes – rather than for bringing home the bacon.

It is generally the older generation who best understands what we have lost – perhaps because we are the last generation that studied civics and history in school instead of global warming and polar bears. It probably will need the older generation to start making some sacrifices to start us on the way back. I think the first step should be for us to support the ending of cost-of-living increases in Social Security payments and also support raising again the full retirement age, steps that will start to correct a system that is currently bankrupt.

This is only a first, small step. Others will follow. If we don’t force a change in direction, our tax burden will approach 50%, our healthcare will replicate Canada’s problems, and the opportunities for our children to become successful entrepreneurs will be gone forever.


To see the Google map showing Tea Parties all over the USA, go here.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tea Parties and Homeland Security

I learned today that the version of the Department of Homeland Security fashioned by the Obama Administration considers me to be a right-wing extremist, and that my associates and I constitute a greater danger to this country than the Islamofascists who murdered 3000 innocent people on 9/11 and have carried out 13,050 murderous attacks since then, the latest one yesterday.

In response to this I wrote the speech that I would give at tomorrow’s Tea Party if I were asked. Here is that speech:

I can only say that I am 74 years old and have never attended a political protest rally before in my life. I have followed politics and political events in this country since I was a child, and I have been active in politics since college, but I have never seen anything like what we are seeing today. I have disagreed with presidents, and sometimes disliked them, but I have never feared for my country and dreaded the actions of a president as I do now.

I am almost afraid to turn on the news, for every day some new obscenities wash over us, from trashing our history to apologizing for our actions in Europe. There would be no Europe if not for America. Does Obama know no history? He went to Normandy. Did he not see the crosses there? Does he not know of the Marshall Plan? Does he not remember the Peacemakers that Reagan put there that removed the yoke of the Soviets from the necks of Poland and other Eastern European countries? What is he talking about?

And he speaks of a new relationship with Muslims; does he forget that it was America who stopped the ethnic cleansing being carried out on Muslims in Bosnia? Does he not remember how many times President Bush asked all Americans to be tolerant and friendly to peaceful Muslims here and around the world? Does he not remember that it was Americans who liberated now joyful and free Iraqis from the tyranny of Saddam and the rape rooms run by his sons, Uday and Qusay? What is he talking about?

Obama promised to reduce taxes on 95% of Americans; instead 95% of Americans end up paying for the excesses and stupid mortgages of the other 5%.

Obama said he agreed with the second amendment; instead he and his henchmen have figured out ways to take ammunition off the market. They are rendering the firearms of peaceful, law-abiding Americans useless, while criminals will find a way, as they always do.

The North Koreans fire a missile; Obama cancels a second missile defense system the very next day. The Iranians move forward with their bomb, and Biden warns Israel to stand by to be incinerated.. I guess he never heard the words, “never again”.

Over the years, liberals in Congress have passed laws that directly led to the housing and mortgage crisis and have crippled the American automobile industry. Now they want to run those companies, and they want to saddle us with government-run healthcare as well. I say hands off. I don’t want some bureaucrat in government clothing telling my doctor what procedures he can use and what procedures he can’t use in treating me. I don’t want to wait six months for a biopsy or a cat scan as they have to in Canada and in England. I say hands off, Obama.

With all its faults and occasional crises, which history tells us are usually caused by stupid or corrupt government actions, our system of free-market capitalism has led to the greatest prosperity and the highest standard of living ever known to the ordinary person, and our system of limited government has led to 250 years of the greatest degree of freedom ever known to mankind. I say, hands off, Mr. Obama.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

The Only Reason You Need To Go To A Tea Party

ANNUAL DEFICITS - REAL AND PROJECTED

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Great Book – Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin

A few years ago I sent a copy of “What’s So Great About America”, by Dinesh D’Souza, to my children and grandchildren. D’Souza’s book drives a stake through the lies and distortions of American history that modern liberals believe and love to spread. I’m now going to distribute a new book, “Liberty and Tyranny” by Mark Levin. It is a concise reminder of what made us great, where we have gone wrong, and what to do about it. Every older American and conservative should read and pass on this book. If ever there was a time for a call to action to save America for our children, it is now.

Amazon Review No. 1:
“Finally, someone is able to encapsulate the current mess the US is in into a succinct, comprehensive thesis that explains not only where we are, how we got here but, most importantly, what to do about it.

An engrossing read that introduces new terminology in the use of the word 'Statist' instead of 'Liberal' to better pinpoint the mindset and agenda of the far left (as they have strayed so far from the path that to call them liberal is to insult true liberals everywhere).”

Amazon Review No. 2:
“Levin's latest sounds a clarion call to all Americans to embrace our conservative heritage. In clear and concise language, this instant classic shows how "statism" has undermined the foundations established by the Founding Fathers and why conservatives need to become more active. A must read for anyone who is concerned with the direction of our country.”

An excerpt from Pages 15, 16, and 17 from Mark Levin, “Liberty and Tyranny”, Threshhold Editions, New York, NY, 2009.

“The Conservative must accept that the Statist does not share his passion for liberty and all the good that flows from it. The Statist does not acknowledge the tremendous benefits to society from the individual pursuits of tens of millions of others. The Statist rejects the Founders' idea of the dignity of the individual, who can flourish through ordered liberty, for one rooted in unpredictability, irrationality and, ultimately, tyranny.

It is observed that the Statist is dissatisfied with the condition of his own existence. He condemns his fellow man, surroundings, and society itself for denying him the fulfillment, success, and adulation he believes he deserves. He is angry, resentful, petulant, and jealous. He is incapable of honest self, assessment and rejects the honest assessment by others of himself, thereby evading responsibility for his own miserable condition. The Statist searches for significance and even glory in a utopian fiction of his mind's making, the earthly attainment of which, he believes, is frustrated by those who do not share it. Therefore, he must destroy the civil society, piece by piece.

For the Statist, liberty is not a blessing but the enemy. It is not possible to achieve Utopia if individuals are free to go their own way. The individual must be dehumanized and his nature delegitimized.

Through persuasion, deception, and coercion, the individual must be subordinated to the state. He must abandon his own ambitions for the ambitions of the state. He must become reliant on and fearful of the state. His first duty must be to the state-not family, community, and faith, all of which have the potential of threatening the state. Once dispirited, the individual can be molded by the state.

The Statist's Utopia can take many forms, and has throughout human history, including monarchism, feudalism, militarism, fascism, communism, national socialism, and economic socialism.

They are all of the same species-tyranny. The primary principle around which the Statist organizes can be summed up in a single word-equality.

Equality, as understood by the Founders, is the natural right of every individual to live freely under self-government, to acquire and retain the property he creates through his own labor, and to be treated impartially before a just law. Moreover, equality should not be confused with perfection, for man is also imperfect, making his application of equality, even in the most just society, imperfect. Otherwise, inequality is the natural state of man in that each individual is born unique in all his human characteristics. Therefore, equality and inequality, properly comprehended, are both engines of liberty.

The Statist, however, misuses equality to pursue uniform economic and social outcomes. He must continuously enhance his power at the expense of self-government and violate the individual's property rights at the expense of individual liberty, for he believes that through persuasion, deception, and coercion he can tame man's natural state and man's perfection can, therefore, be achieved in Utopia. The Statist must claim the power to make that which is unequal equal and that which is imperfect perfect. This is the hope the Statist offers, if only the individual surrenders himself to the all-powerful state. Only then can the impossible be made possible.

President Barack Obama made this point when lecturing the Wesleyan University graduating class of 2008 during his campaign: "[O]ur individual salvation depends on collective salvation." But salvation is not government's to give. Indeed, it is not a grant to mankind from mankind. Under the wrong conditions and in the wrong hands, this deviant view is a powerful tool against humanity. The difficulty if not impossibility is in containing the soft tyranny so it does not metastasize into a more absolute tyranny, since the diminished and then vanquished civil society is the sole anecdote.


Editorial Note:
While I do not agree with every point in Levin’s Call to Action, I do agree that it is time for conservatives and other patriots to take their gloves off and get their hands dirty. If you are an older American, and think you are too old to get involved, you are wrong, wrong, wrong. You may be our only hope to save this country.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter Video

Happy Easter to all. Watch this video and enjoy the serenity and peace that comes from the only real source of hope and change.


If the video doesn't load, click here.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Emergency Room Visits Are Killing Me

Those who would push for national healthcare, in addition to bombarding the rest of us with meaningless statistics about the supposed number of Americans who have no insurance and also create the fictitious ranking of American healthcare vs other countries are usually the same people who supported free and unlimited emergency room care for everyone who walks through the door - paid for by the rest of us in our insurance costs and our taxes.

There is no-one in the USA who cannot afford a $20 – 30 co-payment for emergency room care once or twice a year (which would be plenty of visits for reasonable people). Such a charge would eliminate most of these absurd visits and dramatically lower healthcare costs for most Americans. It also seems like every time I have had to go to the emergency room in the middle of the night in Rhode Island, I always have to sit beside a prisoner who has a tummy ache sitting there in shackles, guarded by two or three policemen.

Austin ER's got 2,678 visits from 9 people over 6 years

Task force seeking ways to divert non-emergencies away from emergency rooms.

April 01, 2009 Austin-American Statesman (Excerpts)

In the past six years, eight people from Austin and one from Luling racked up 2,678 emergency room visits in Central Texas, costing hospitals, taxpayers and others $3 million, according to a report from a nonprofit made up of hospitals and other providers that care for the uninsured and low-income Central Texans.

One of the nine spent more than a third of last year in the ER: 145 days. That same patient totaled 554 ER visits from 2003 through 2008….

Kitchen estimated that each ER visit averaged about $1,000. The cost represents a national average for all ER patients, said Anjum Khurshid, the ICC's director of clinical research and evaluation and co-author of the report.

The ICC, whose mission is to work with safety-net providers to improve access to and quality of care, has a database of 750,000 uninsured and underinsured Central Texas patients collected from its members. That database is confidential because of patient privacy laws. It found that 900 frequent users — people who visited an ER six or more times in three months — had 2,123 preventable visits in 2007, or 18 percent of 11,600 total visits to Central Texas ERs, which cost more than $2 million. Among those picking up the bill were hospitals and taxpayers, including government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, Kitchen said.

It’s going to be very tough to oppose the formidable propaganda machine the Obamaites have assembled to fool the country into accepting government supplied, universal healthcare. For example:
200 nearly identical MSM headlines

April 9, 2009 Blue Ross Journal (Excerpt)

The following headlines have appeared in newspapers within the last 24 hours. This is not an inclusive list.

• Third of Illinoisans went without health insurance in last 2 years: Sun-Times
• Report: 2.5M in Michigan lacked health insurance: Chicago Tribune
• Study: 29% of Ohioans have gone without health insurance: BizJournals
• Report: More NJ residents lacking health insurance: Forbes
• Study: Many Kansans are uninsured: BizJournals
• Report tallies uninsured in Hawaii: KPUA AM 670
• Study: 1 in 3 Alabamians have no insurance: BizJournals
• 1 out of 4 NH residents lacked health insurance within last two years: WBZ
• 1 out of 3 Coloradans lacked insurance in past two years: Denver Post
• Nearly 1 in 3 Idahoans lack health insurance, study says: Idaho Statesman
• One in four nonelderly Minnesotans has been without health insurance, study shows: Twin Cities
• 1 in 3 are uninsured in Georgia, study says: Augusta Chronicle
• 1.3 million Louisiana residents uninsured: Independent
• Millions in N.C. lack health plan: Winston-Salem Journal
• Uninsured are mostly working: Sun-Herald
• Nearly one-third of Wyoming residents went without health insurance in past two years: Wyoming Tribune
• Report finds health insurance lacking in W.Va.: Charleston Gazette
• Nearly 1/3 Of Kentuckians Uninsured Says Report: WFPL Radio
• REPORT: 254K Rhode Islanders Uninsured at Some Point from 2007-2008: ABC 6

All of the stories were marketed by a liberal "advocacy group" called Families USA.

According to Discover the Networks, Families USA is a member of the "Progressive States Network", which works closely with (you guessed it) ACORN and the SEIU. These ultra-partisan groups have truly one agenda: big government.

During his presidential campaign, then-Senator Obama spoke to a conference of Family USA activists and promised, "I am absolutely determined that by the end of the first term of the next president, we should have universal health care in this country."

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Some Bizarre Aspects of the Obama Era

The Obama era continues to provide us with some truly weird situations, from his associations and friendships with Rev. Wright and terrorist Ayers to his strangely missing birth certificate. Producing the certificate would instantly end the speculation and the lawsuits, but he does not produce it. Now added to that is the bizarre event of his bowing to the King of Saudi Arabia (a total no-no) – and then lying about it in the face of video evidence to the contrary.

Obama doubles down on the bow to the Saudi King

By Thomas Lifson April 09, 2009 American Thinker (Excerpt)

"The White House is denying that President Obama bowed before the Saudi King, committing a major mistake. Ben Smith of Politico reports:

"It wasn't a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he's taller than King Abdullah," said an Obama aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity
.


Michael Goldfarb summed up the problem for Obama succinctly in the Weekly Standard:

So who you going to believe -- Barack Obama or your lying eyes?

The story is officially "in play" now that the White House has spoken, albeit from an anonymous source. American citizens are implicitly asked to view the demi-prostration and decide for themselves. The evidence simply does not support the official position of the Obama administration.

Here is a 13 second clip of the bow:

Click here if video does not play.
Please note the following two freeze frames, which expose the White House spokesman as a liar: (Click to enlarge)

Another freeze frame, also showing that the President was not performing a two-handed handshake

So why would the White House lie, instead of just admitting that the President made a gaffe? Well, for one thing, history teaches us that bows between official representatives of nations are a rather serious matter.

We live in an age of a Clash of Civilizations (in Samuel Huntington's words), with many in the Islamic world convinced that Western Civilization, ascendant for the last few centuries, is about to be humbled by Islam, the once and future dominant force in the world. No Caliph exists today as head of the entire Islamic world, but the number two slot is amply occupied by King Abdullah, as guardian of Mecca and Medina, Islam's two holiest cities....

President Obama voluntarily bent his knee and bowed his head before the most important ruler in the Islamic world. Let us hope that it does not require a war to right this insult to American sovereignty." American Thinker

Thomas Lifson is editor and publisher of American Thinker. He has taught courses on East Asia at Harvard and Columbia Universities.

A gentle reminder as to the respect Obama really has for America:

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Two Good News Stories For A Change


While the multiculturalists have taken over and are spreading their poison, America, the great melting pot, continues on - creating a unique AMERICAN race out of the children of legal immigrants – Americans like David Cano, who will work to better America, not tear it down.

Teen completes Herculean task of earning all 121 badges, 20 Palms

04/06/2009 Marietta Daily Journal

Eagle Scout David Cano of east Cobb will be honored for earning all 121 Boy Scout merit badges and 20 Eagle Palms, becoming one of only three Scouts to do so in the United States.


EAST COBB - David Cano, a 17-year-old Eagle Scout, has become only the third Boy Scout ever to earn all 121 Boy Scout merit badges and 20 Eagle Palms, Scout leaders say.

It's a goal Cano set for himself when he joined the Scouts at age 10.

"I did it for the experience," said Cano, a member of Boy Scout Troop 1776 in east Cobb. "With every merit badge, there's a purpose. You'll learn something new with every single badge. Some are life skills and others are hobbies that will be with you for the rest of your life."

Young men must earn 21 of 121 merit badges to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Very few Scouts go on to earn all 121 merit badges, Boy Scout leaders say.

However, what makes Cano's achievement even more remarkable is that he fulfilled 1,674 additional requirements to earn the 20 Eagle Palms, the last one of which will be awarded to him on May 16. An Eagle Palm is awarded for every five merit badges beyond the 21 needed to become an Eagle Scout.

Cano, who will receive his final Eagle Palm on May 16 at a ceremony in Atlanta, is believed to be the first Scout from Georgia to earn all 20.

Rich Cuervo, of the Boy Scouts Atlanta Area Council, said his organization could find only two other Scouts who had accomplished as much in the nearly 100-year history of the Boy Scouts of America: Cameron Barber of Texas, in 2007, and Travis Cochran of California, in 2008.

"David is just a very focused young man. He set this as his goal when he was 10 years old," said Troop 1776 Scoutmaster Tom Morin, who has known Cano since he was 6.

Cano is a junior at Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell. He has been a member of the school's football and soccer teams, school band, Model United Nations and is a National Honor Society member. Someday, he hopes to become a surgeon.

"I've really enjoyed the Scouting program," Cano said. "I've picked up a lot of friends and really had the time of my life being in this organization."

He said he enjoys outdoor activities with friends, and water skiing - which developed as a result of earning a merit badge. Each merit badge requires a Scout to master a complete set of skills from a counselor who has expertise in the field.

Among the fields Cano earned badges in are dentistry, geology, law, hiking, railroading, graphic arts, surveying, music, public speaking and space exploration.

Cano said some badges took him only a few days to earn, while others took him a couple of years. The bugling badge was his most difficult, he said.

"One of the requirements is to play 15 bugle calls," Cano said. "I had to learn every single call and play the notes correctly to my counselor's satisfaction."

Cano's parents, Rodrigo and Rosa Cano, said they were extremely proud of their son and can barely keep up with all the media requests for interviews he has received. David's older brother, Steve, is also an Eagle Scout.

Rodrigo and Rosa Cano are natives of Colombia who moved to the United States in 1980. Rodrigo Cano said the values his sons had learned from the Boy Scouts helped ease his family's immersion.

"It did help us to bridge between being Hispanics into the American society in a way that Scouts offers minority boys - whether black, Chinese or Hispanic - the American culture," Rodrigo Cano said. "This is something that is very near and dear to many American families."

Last week, David Cano was recognized by the Georgia General Assembly. On April 19, he will be honored at a Court of Honor ceremony at the Boy Scouts Area Council in Atlanta
.

******************
It seems everyone wants more gun control in America except for the people who live here.
Before Recent Shootings, Gun-Control Support Was Fading

Americans evenly divided at 49% on need for stricter gun laws

by Lydia Saad April 8, 2009 Gallup.com (Excerpt)

PRINCETON, NJ –“In Gallup polling conducted prior to last week's gun massacre at an immigrant center in Binghamton, N.Y., only 29% of Americans said the possession of handguns by private citizens should be banned in the United States. While similar to the 30% recorded in 2007, the latest reading is the smallest percentage favoring a handgun ban since Gallup first polled on this nearly 50 years ago.

Public support for restricting the sale and possession of handguns to "police and other authorized persons" was relatively high in the early 1990s, with 41% to 43% in favor, but has since edged lower. At the same time, opposition to a ban has increased from 53% in 1991 to 69% in the most recent survey.

The latest figures come from the most recent installment of Gallup's annual Crime survey, conducted Oct. 3-5, 2008. It is unclear what impact, if any, the recent Binghamton incident may have on Americans' views of gun control.

Separately, the October Crime survey found just under half of Americans, 49%, wanting the laws covering the sale of firearms to be made stricter than they are now. This is the lowest percentage favoring stricter gun laws in Gallup trends since the question was first asked in 1990. While only 8% say gun laws should be made less strict, 41% say they should remain as they are now.

Thus, as of last fall, Americans were evenly divided at 49% each over whether the laws covering the sale of firearms should be made stricter, or not. This contrasts with public opinion in the early 1990s, when the balance of opinion was more than 2 to 1 in favor of making gun laws more strict.”

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Two Perceptive and Frightening Articles

The Wall Street Journal recently published a report that the Obama Administration refused repayment from banks of TARP money.

Obama Wants to Control the Banks

There's a reason he refuses to accept repayment of TARP money.

By STUART VARNEY APRIL 4, 2009 Wall St Journal (Excerpt)

“I must be naive. I really thought the administration would welcome the return of bank bailout money. Some $340 million in TARP cash flowed back this week from four small banks in Louisiana, New York, Indiana and California. This isn't much when we routinely talk in trillions, but clearly that money has not been wasted or otherwise sunk down Wall Street's black hole. So why no cheering as the cash comes back?

My answer: The government wants to control the banks, just as it now controls GM and Chrysler, and will surely control the health industry in the not-too-distant future. Keeping them TARP-stuffed is the key to control. And for this intensely political president, mere influence is not enough.

The White House wants to tell 'em what to do. Control. Direct. Command.

It is not for nothing that rage has been turned on those wicked financiers. The banks are at the core of the administration's thrust: By managing the money, government can steer the whole economy even more firmly down the left fork in the road
.


If the banks are forced to keep TARP cash -- which was often forced on them in the first place -- the Obama team can work its will on the financial system to unprecedented degree. That's what's happening right now…

Think about it: If Rick Wagoner can be fired and compact cars can be mandated, why can't a bank with a vault full of TARP money be told where to lend? And since politics drives this administration, why can't special loans and terms be offered to favored constituents, favored industries, or even favored regions? Our prosperity has never been based on the political allocation of credit -- until now.

Which brings me to the Pay for Performance Act, just passed by the House. This is an outstanding example of class warfare. I'm an Englishman. We invented class warfare, and I know it when I see it. This legislation allows the administration to dictate pay for anyone working in any company that takes a dime of TARP money. This is a whip with which to thrash the unpopular bankers, a tool to advance the Obama administration's goal of controlling the financial system.

After 35 years in America, I never thought I would see this. I still can't quite believe we will sit by as this crisis is used to hand control of our economy over to government. But here we are, on the brink. Clearly, I have been naive.” Wall St Journal

******************
Those Arrogant Americans

By James Lewis RealClearPolitics April 06, 2009

We have a rock star president who for the first time in American history fired the President of a private corporation, General Motors, then immediately flew to Europe with an entourage of 500 courtiers and a worshipful media, bowed waist-deep to the King of Saudi Arabia, and proceeded to accuse his own country of arrogance.

In France, of all places.

Does anybody else think this guy is shockingly ignorant? I wonder if he has every really talked to a concentration camp survivor, or a Cuban refugee, or a boat person from Vietnam? Or a Soviet dissident. Or a survivor or Mao's purges.

Not to mention families with fallen American soldiers in the graveyards. Yes, he's going to Normandie, but will he apologize for our arrogance there, too? Does he really understand anything beyond the PC history of the world? Or will he just lie in his photo op at the American Cemetery at Normandy?

Ahhh, those arrogant Americans. First they rebel against King George III and all the crowned heads of Europe. Then they welcome tens of millions of poor and persecuted people from the Old World. Then they fail to bow down to Europe's greatest figures -- from Napoleon and Otto von Bismarck to the Kaiser, Hitler and Stalin. Then they fight a civil war, losing half a million people to liberate black people in America. Then they diss the man the BBC considers to be the greatest philosopher ever, one Karl Marx, whose followers killed 100 million innocents in the 20th century. And then, to top it all off, they liberate both the Western half of Europe (in 1946) and the Eastern half (in 1989).

What arrogance these Americans have. Either that, or a very, very -- no, stunningly -- ignorant man was just elected president. What kind of man has such an obsessive need to put down his own country? Especially given our real history? Has he ever read an honest history book?

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Monday, April 06, 2009

Finally Some Intelligent Banking Moves

On the way back home from a spring training baseball game this week, my three friends and I actually mixed in a discussion of the impact of “mark-to-market” rules on the terrible banking situation – with our baseball talk. (For a discussion of “mark-to-market” see my previous post last month on this subject.

Last week, the mark-to-market rules were relaxed slightly, as reported in the article from Marketwatch posted below. It is my opinion that this change will have a major impact in turning our banks around and righting the situation – and that if this change had occurred last year, there would have been no need for a TARP or a bank bailout package amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars. Just as Ted Stevens might still be US Senator from Alaska were it not for prosecutorial misconduct, Senator McCain would probably be president were it not for the November, 2007 imposition of “mark-to-market”.

Until this week’s change, banks have had to mark down the values of, not only mortgages that were in default, but also the values of mortgages that were being paid on time if the market value of the underlying collateral (usually a house) fell below the outstanding balance on the mortgage. These markdowns then rippled through to the derivatives in the secondary markets and substantially lowered their value on the balance sheets of financial institutions. Mortgage derivatives, which were the safest investments one could make, crashed with the crash of the housing bubble.

FASB approves more mark-to-market flexibility

Panel passes measure unanimously; measure could boost bank profit

By Ronald D. Orol, April 2, 2009 MarketWatch (Excerpt)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Responding to pressure applied by lawmakers on Capitol Hill, the Financial Accounting Standards Board on Thursday voted unanimously to give auditors more flexibility in valuing illiquid mortgage assets that may have long-term value.

The new guidance, which is expected to boost bank operating profits when they report first quarter results later this month, alters so called mark-to-market rules, which have required banks and other corporations to assign a value to an asset, such as mortgage securities, credit-card debt or student-loan investments, based on the current market price for either the security or a similar asset.

Banks have complained that they have viable assets with strong cash flows that can't be sold because there is no market for them.

Seeking to resolve this situation, FASB's new guidance allows banks and their auditors to use "significant judgment" when valuing the illiquid assets such as mortgage securities.

For example, if companies have assets with strong cash flows that can be estimated, then those cash flows would be used to approximate market value in the illiquid market. This approach could be used when bank auditors determine there is a "significant decline of a market for new issuances," in other words if there was a primary market and now there is no market.

FASB Chairman Robert Herz said the agency reached out to analysts, accountants, hedge funds, mutual funds and rating agency officials before approving the new guidance. He said auditors will need to make a greater effort to judge whether something is distressed or not.

"The majority supported what we were doing," Herz said. "There no longer will be the presumption that these assets are being sold in a distressed sale."

The FASB approval comes after an effective lobbying campaign on Capitol Hill by the American Bankers Association and other interest groups. Roughly 800 bankers gathered in Washington earlier this week, in part, to meet and press lawmakers to send a message to FASB that the accounting rules needed to change.

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