Just wait until the government controls healthcare. Wired reports on plans to send NY National Guards troops out of state for a training drill even as the region reeled from Hurricane Sandy.
Updated 8:42 a.m. Hours after being contacted by Danger Room, the New York Army National Guard on Tuesday night abruptly reversed a decision to send hundreds of soldiers out-of-state in the midst of the Hurricane Sandy relief effort.
The troops were previously declared unavailable to help New York recover from the state’s biggest hurricane in centuries. Instead, they were assigned to fight a fake disaster.
But hours before they were set to deploy, the troops’ participation in a week-long exercise in Missouri known as “Vigilant Guard” was cancelled. The exercise is designed to test the response to a mock earthquake in the Midwest. Until Tuesday, that previously scheduled drill took precedence over the real-world catastrophe that struck the East Coast. It was declared a bureaucratic near-impossibility to redeploy hundreds of guardsmen at a moment’s notice, even at a moment when so many are in need.
Troops from the New York Army National Guard’s 104th Military Police Battalion, the 1156th Engineer Company – 450 soldiers in all — were poised to head to the middle of the country. Dozens more from the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade were supposed to train in Pennsylvania this weekend. ”At this point in time, we’re still sending our soldiers to Vigilant Guard,” Eric Durr, a spokesman for the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs, told Danger Room late Tuesday afternoon.
Hours later, that changed. “Last night the decision was made to cancel New York National Guard participation in Vigilant Guard,” Durr emailed on Wednesday morning. “The adjutant general [the Guard's commanding officer] decided to keep troops in state in case they are needed.”
The New York Army National Guard has about 10,600 troops in total. Of those, about 2,100 are either in, or are waiting for, basic training. Another 400 to 500 are medically unavailable. And an additional 3,500 troops from the 27th Brigade Combat Team are either just back from Afghanistan or still there. Which means that New York’s Army National Guard had, at most, 4,500 troops at its disposal — before the assignments to Vigilant Guard began. About 2,300 Army and Air National Guardsmen are currently deployed to the hurricane relief effort.
Henry I. Miller in the WSJ. Let’s all remember that “progressives” fancy themselves as pro-science.
…what few members of the public know is that Greenpeace isn’t just about saving whales and other appealing sea creatures. Its PR machine is now spearheading an effort to deny millions of children in the poorest nations the essential nutrients they need to stave off blindness and death.
The targets are new plant varieties collectively called “golden rice.” Rice is a food staple for hundreds of millions, especially in Asia. Although it is an excellent source of calories, it lacks certain micronutrients necessary for a complete diet. In the 1980s and ’90s, German scientists Ingo Potrykus and Peter Beyer developed the “Golden Rice” varieties that are biofortified, or enriched, by genes that produce beta-carotene, the precursor of vitamin A.
Vitamin A deficiency is epidemic among poor people whose diet is composed largely of rice, which contains no beta-carotene or vitamin A. In developing countries, 200 million-300 million children of preschool age are at risk of vitamin A deficiency, which increases their susceptibility to illnesses including measles and diarrheal diseases. Every year, about half a million children become blind as a result of vitamin A deficiency and 70% of those die within a year.
Golden rice could thus make contributions to human health on a par with Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine. Instead, antitechnology groups such as Greenpeace have given already risk-averse regulators the political cover to delay approvals.
Genetically modified food has been a bête noire of left-wing groups for years, perhaps because it combines the evils of being somehow “unnatural” and often comes from corporate research labs. Greenpeace hasn’t been swayed by the scientific consensus about the safety of genetically engineered crops—a consensus that is the result of hundreds of risk-assessment experiments and vast real-world experience. In the United States alone, approximately 85% of all corn and 91% of all soy grown is genetically engineered, and in almost 20 years of consumption around the world not a single health or environmental problem has been documented.
Greenpeace has variously alleged that the levels of beta-carotene in golden rice are too low to be effective or so high that they would be toxic. But feeding trials have shown the rice to be highly effective in preventing vitamin A deficiency, and toxicity is virtually impossible. So with no science to support its antagonism, the organization has been forced to adopt a new strategy: try to scare off the developing nations that are considering adoption of the lifesaving products.
In August, Greenpeace issued a press release stating that 24 children had been “used as guinea pigs in [a] genetically engineered ‘golden rice’ trial.” The reference was to the results of a 2008 study conducted by Chinese researchers and Tufts University and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health.
The 2008 study demonstrated that the new varieties of golden rice did indeed deliver sufficient vitamin A and were superior to spinach for that purpose. As to the ethics of the study, the journal article states clearly: “Both parents and pupils [subjects] consented to participate in the study.”
The Greenpeace press release nonetheless produced a furor in China. Chinese news agencies inaccurately reported that the researchers had conducted dangerous, unauthorized experiments on poor children, and within days Chinese police had interrogated the researchers and coerced statements disavowing the research.
While Tufts is cooperating with the Chinese and responsible organizations in the U.S. to conduct a review, for the time being Greenpeace has achieved its aim of significantly delaying, if not actually eliminating, further development of golden rice in China.
On occasion, I have wondered what motivates liberals to say and do all those nutty things we have come to expect of them. At times, I find myself wondering if it’s to keep me supplied with material. If that’s actually the case, and that’s certainly a more reasonable conclusion than that they really mean all that stuff, I would only ask that they take a break because it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with them. The truth is that I’m beginning to feel like Lucy and Ethel when they were working the assembly line at the candy factory.
For instance, successful actors, directors and producers, are always attacking CEOS for making X-times as much money as their employees. What you never hear about is some actor who’s paid $25 million to make a movie taking just a million for himself and suggesting the remaining millions be divvied up among the rest of the cast and crew.
Speaking of movies, I don’t recall anyone ever asking Obama to name his all-time favorite. My guess is that it might be a modern version of “Frankenstein,” in which the monster is created out of spare parts in the laboratory of a mad scientist named George Soros.
During the Democratic convention in Charlotte, a backdrop to the stage at one point showed a convoy of what were supposed to be American warships, but were actually Russian vessels. The DNC claims it was an unfortunate accident, but considering Obama’s open mic comments to Russian President Medvedev about having greater flexibility after the election, I’m not buying it.
Nobody who has his head screwed on right should be the least bit surprised that the Muslim mobs in the Middle East are storming our embassies and murdering our people. At the risk of boasting, I was one of the few who predicted with 100% certainty that the Arab Spring would end badly. It’s not that I’m a latter-day Nostradamus, but the Arabs and the Muslims have been the sewer rats of the world for over 1600 years. Why would anyone think that they would suddenly wake up one day and be civilized?
For far too long, our leaders have treated these creeps with respect they don’t deserve. It was bad enough when George Bush and Condoleezza Rice kept telling us on a daily basis that Islam was a religion of peace. But then along came Barack Hussein Obama, late of Indonesia, to tell the world that Muslims had helped create the United States of America and, moreover, that they have always been known for their tolerance. Try telling that to the Christians who have been stoned, stabbed and crucified, in the Middle East. Try telling that to the Israelis who are hit with missiles on an hourly basis and have been threatened with extermination for the past six decades.
Speaking of which, has anyone noticed that nearly all of Fox’s Middle East correspondent Leland Vittert’s reports emanate not from the scene of the crime, be it Libya, Syria or Yemen, but from Jerusalem. He tries to act as if he’s dodging bullets by emoting as if channeling his inner Joan Crawford, but my question is why he simply doesn’t do his reporting from the safety of Fox studios in downtown Manhattan.
With Election Day looming up in the near-future, I would like to make a few comments about the Tea Party. By and large, I am aligned with their goals and their values. However, on occasion, I think its members ignore William F. Buckley’s wise counsel that in every election Republicans should vote for the most conservative candidate who can get elected. In 2010, the Tea Party cost the GOP fairly predictable Senate victories in Nevada and Delaware by pushing forth the likes of Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell. This year, they were the folks behind Todd Akin emerging victorious from the GOP Senate primaries in Missouri. But they weren’t alone; the Democrats also spent a million bucks getting him the nomination because they recognized that he would have the worst chance of defeating the incompetent and unpopular Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) in the general election.
What the often naïve, though well-meaning, members of the Tea Party fail to grasp is that even if every member of the House and Senate is a Tea Party advocate, unless the GOP holds a majority of the seats, they might as well just stay home and let Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi run things the way they did between 2009-2011, when they gave us ObamaCare, Cash for Clunkers and the trillion dollar Stimulus Bill.
Finally, I’d like to give a shout-out for Mitt Romney, who had not only the right but the responsibility, to deliver a rebuke to the administration for its cowardly response to the mob in Egypt. You would think that by this late date, Washington would finally get the message that being conciliatory to Arabs and Muslims makes about as much sense as giving candy to a baby or the car keys to a teenager just to make them stop howling.
As bad as it is in principle, the actual wording of the embassy message made it even worse. It read: “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”
In short, this wasn’t a message to the brutes who decided to use a silly video as a motive for setting fire to our embassies on 9/11, but to the clowns who produced the video that ridiculed Muhammad. Which, by the way, they had every right to do, not because by any stretch of the imagination is the right of free speech a universal right, but because it’s guaranteed by our sacred First Amendment.
Furthermore, by even suggesting that it’s a right that exists in Arab and Muslim nations is an insult to every American who has ever fought and died to ensure that it continue to exist in reality and not just on two hundred year old parchment.
This ad provides a window into many Democrat’s minds: they see the GOP as evil. Given that, how can we ever expect bipartisanship?
Follow the link to Newsbusters to read the full script of the video and spare yourself suffering through the whole retched thing.
Recently, when Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel paid a visit to Greece, she was greeted with violent protests. Because Greece’s socialist government had long retained power by caving in to every last demand of its left-wing labor unions, much as we have done in America, when economic circumstances inevitably changed for the worse, the worker bees inevitably turned into greedy, self-righteous, sons of bees.
It was only natural that the Greek strikers would revile the head of the nation that has done the most to keep their economy afloat, thus setting a new low when it comes to ingratitude. The world now sees that the major difference between Greeks and the mangiest of curs is that only the former is so contemptible that it bites the hand that feeds them.
Ever since the Trojan Horse, people have been advised not to trust Greeks bearing gifts. In recent years, the world has discovered that you also shouldn’t trust Greeks accepting gifts.
Starting in 1901, using the money generated by royalties accruing to the estate of Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, the Swedes have awarded Nobel Prizes dealing with literature, physics, medicine, chemistry and since 1969, economics. However, when it came to the Peace Prize, the Swedes jobbed it out to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, in Oslo.
I have no clue as to why they did so, unless it was in order to make their Scandinavian cousins the endless target of ridicule and derision. Perhaps the Swedes harbored a sneaky hunch that the Norwegians would eventually hand out these million dollar prizes to such nincompoops and ne’er-do-wells as Woodrow Wilson, Le Duc Tho, the U.N. Peacekeeping Forces, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore and Barack Obama, while ignoring the contributions to and sacrifices for world peace made by the likes of Winston Churchill, the R.A.F., Dwight D. Eisenhower, George Patton and the entire U.S. military.
In keeping with its proud tradition, Oslo gave its most recent Peace Prize to the European Union. It is just possible that the Norwegians, who are even more left-wing than their wacky relatives in Minnesota, figured that any group that referred to itself as a union was prize-worthy.
When people, including some conservatives, insist that Mitt Romney is stiff or, worse yet, a stiff, I suspect they’re merely repeating guff they’ve heard from the likes of Jon Stewart, Bill Maher and David Letterman, much the way that liberals who dismiss Fox as a right-wing megaphone must overlook the constant presence of Juan Williams, Geraldo Rivera, Leslie Marshall, Marc Lamont Hill, Bob Beckel and Alan Colmes.
After seeing Mitt Romney and Barack Obama delivering jokes at the recent Al Smith charity dinner in NYC, you would have to revise your opinion as to which of them is the dullard. Whereas Obama came across like the sort of no-talent amateur who used to show up regularly on The Gong Show, Romney proved he definitely didn’t require my writing services in order to channel his inner Bob Hope.
Speaking of Obama, like most politicians, he is fond of pretending that he subscribes to Harry Truman’s line about the buck stopping with him, so long as he can bob and weave, eluding the pesky buck the way that Walter Payton used to elude tacklers. Among those things that Obama has blamed for his own failings are George Bush, Japan’s tsunami, Europe’s economy, the oil and coal industries, congressional Republicans, the Tea Party, Hillary Clinton, droughts, earthquakes and Kim Kardashian’s divorce. He has laid the blame on everything, in fact, but Michelle’s hot flashes and his own incompetence.
The only bucks that stop with Obama are those donated to his re-election campaign. And in the end, like those billions of dollars he has used to subsidize green energy companies owned by his major bundlers — all of which have gone bankrupt — this money, too, will be foolishly wasted. But at least the billion dollars squandered in an effort to keep this schmuck in the White House came out of the pockets of boobs like Bill Maher, Jeffrey Immelt, Eva Longoria and the two Georges, Clooney and Soros, and not, for once, out of yours and mine.
Finally, it’s a shame that Obama inherited his disdain of white people, Englishmen in particular, from his loony Commie father. Otherwise, instead of banishing the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office, he might have harkened to Churchill’s sage advice that “A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year and, of course, have the ability to explain why it didn’t happen.”
…like a fish needs a bicycle.
…Which gets us to Bob Woodward’s “The Price of Politics,” published last month. The portrait it contains of Mr. Obama—of a president who is at once over his head, out of his depth and wholly unaware of the fact—hasn’t received the attention it deserves. Throughout the book, which is a journalistic history of the president’s key economic negotiations with Capitol Hill, Mr. Obama is portrayed as having the appearance and presentation of an academic or intellectual while being strangely clueless in his reading of political situations and dynamics. He is bad at negotiating—in fact doesn’t know how. His confidence is consistently greater than his acumen, his arrogance greater than his grasp.
He misread his Republican opponents from day one. If he had been large-spirited and conciliatory he would have effectively undercut them, and kept them from uniting. (If he’d been large-spirited with Mr. Romney, he would have undercut him, too.) Instead he was toughly partisan, he shut them out, and positions hardened. In time Republicans came to think he doesn’t really listen, doesn’t really hear. So did some Democrats.
Business leaders and mighty CEOs felt patronized: After inviting them to meet with him, the president read from a teleprompter and included the press. They felt like “window dressing.” One spoke of Obama’s surface polish and essential remoteness. In negotiation he did not cajole, seduce, muscle or win sympathy. He instructed.
He claimed deep understanding of his adversaries and their motives but was often incorrect. He told staffers that John Boehner, one of 11 children of a small-town bar owner, was a “country club Republican.” He was often patronizing, which in the old and accomplished is irritating but in the young and inexperienced is infuriating. “Boehner said he hated going down to the White House to listen to what amounted to presidential lectures,” Mr. Woodward writes.
Mr. Obama’s was a White House that had—and showed—no respect for trying to negotiate with other Republicans. Through it all he was confident—”Eric, don’t call my bluff”—because he believed, as did his staff, that his talents would save the day.
They saved nothing. Washington became immobilized.
Mr. Woodward’s portrait of the president is not precisely new—it has been drawn in other ways in other accounts, and has been a staple of D.C. gossip for three years now—but it is vivid and believable. And there’s probably a direct line between that portrait and the Obama seen in the first debate. Maybe that’s what made it so indelible, and such an arc-changer.
People saw for the first time an Obama they may have heard about on radio or in a newspaper but had never seen.
They didn’t see some odd version of the president. They saw the president.
And they didn’t like what they saw, and that would linger.
He’ll have leverage, skill at negotiation and a winning personality (that is, he’s not a snotty jerk).
Conn Carroll at the Washington Examiner
When President Obama was marshaling his $800 billion economic stimulus through Congress, his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had a pat answer for any Republican requests to change the bill, “We have the votes. F–k ‘em.”
With that tone set, it is not surprising that more than 18 months later, in October 2010, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., echoed Obama’s bipartisan tone, telling National Journal that after the 2010 election, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” No wonder Obama has completely failed at every turn to get any bipartisan support for any of his agenda.If Mitt Romney is elected president this November, he will not have the same luxury Obama did to vulgarly dismiss the opposition. From day one, Romney will need at least some Democratic votes in the Senate if he wants to get anything done. The good news is Romney will be in much better position to win those Democratic votes.
Despite his landslide election, there were only two Republicans senators who were running for reelection in 2010 in states that Obama won in 2008, Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Richard Burr, R-N.C. Neither senator faced an opponent who raised more than a few hundred thousand dollars. Both won reelection comfortably. In other words, no Republican senator had any reason to fear Obama would come in and campaign for their opponent if they didn’t play ball.
But, if Romney wins in 2012, there will be up to ten Democratic senators from Romney states up for reelection in 2014. They are:
Mark Begich in Alaska
Mark Pryor in Arkansas (+27 Romney according to RCP)
Mark Udall in Colorado
Tom Harkin in Iowa
Mary Landrieu in Louisiana (+23 Romney according to RCP)
Max Baucus in Montana (+9 Romney according to RCP)
Kay Hagan in North Carolina
Tim Johnson in South Dakota (+5 Romney according to RCP)
Mark Warner in Virginia
Jay Rockefeller in West Virginia (+21 Romney according to RCP)
Not all of these Democrats will face tough elections in 2014. But many of these incumbents, like Baucus and Begch, are likely to work with a Romney administration anyway. Throw in the other Democrats from red (more…)
She was hankering for Applebees and looked to Twitter for help.
Numbers, shumbers – it’s all Greek to Joe Biden, who claimed that the GOP voted for a $500 trillion tax cut for 120,000 rich people.
That works out to a tax break of more than $4,166,666,666 per person. Those folks must be really raking it in!
A Christian group has been effectively banned from Tufts University in Massachusetts. Tufts Christian Fellowship (TCF) has lost its recognition as an official campus group because it discriminates by requiring the group leaders to be Christians and adhere to a set of values.
The group is the Tufts chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, which describes itself as “an evangelical campus mission serving students and faculty on college and university campuses nationwide.”
So basically Tufts said that it wasn’t fair to require the leaders of the Christian group to actually be Christians. One has to wonder if they went to every other religiously affiliated group on campus to make sure that none of them were requiring their leaders to follow the tenants of their faiths.
Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard
Charles Woods, the father of Tyrone Woods, who was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attack at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, reveals details of meeting Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton at the publically broadcast memorial service for the slain Americans at Andrews Air Force Base only days after the attack. And, in a recent radio appearance, Woods publicly questions who made the call not to send in back-up forces to possibly save his son’s life, as well as the three other Americans killed in Benghazi (which includes the American ambassador to Libya).
“When [Obama] came over to our little area” at Andrew Air Force Base, says Woods, “he kind of just mumbled, you know, ‘I’m sorry.’ His face was looking at me, but his eyes were looking over my shoulder like he could not look me in the eye. And it was not a sincere, ‘I’m really sorry, you know, that your son died,’ but it was totally insincere, more of whining type, ‘I’m sorry.’”
Woods says that shaking President Obama’s hands at his son’s memorial service was “like shaking hands with a dead fish.”
“It just didn’t feel right,” he says of his encounter with the commander in chief. “And now that it’s coming out that apparently the White House situation room was watching our people die in real time, as this was happening,” Woods says, he wants answers on what happened—and why there was no apparent effort to save his son’s life.
“Well, this is what Hillary did,” Woods continues. “She came over and, you know, did the same thing—separately came over and talked with me. I gave her a hug, shook her hand. And she did not appear to be one bit sincere—at all. And you know, she mentioned that the thing about, we’re going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the (more…)
For all the buzz about President Barack Obama’s skills on the basketball court, the NBA’s commissioner, David Stern, thinks the hype is overblown.
“He’s not that good,” Stern, who announced Thursday he is retiring in 2014, said in an interview with Reuters. “He’s a lefty, he goes the same way every time.”
Stern’s critique, good-natured as it was, wasn’t simply some partisan swipe.
“I’m a loyal Democrat, a passionate Democrat. He’s not as good as he thinks he is.”
As a passionate conservative, I wholly agree.
And the one Putin did.
My favorite quip:
Kim Chol, vice minister of the army, was taken into custody earlier this year on the orders of Kim Jong-un, who assumed the leadership after the death of his father in December.
So far this year, 14 senior officials have fallen victim to the purges, according to intelligence data provided to Yoon Sang-hyun, a member of the South Korean Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification Committee.
On the orders of Kim Jong-un to leave “no trace of him behind, down to his hair,” according to South Korean media, Kim Chol was forced to stand on a spot that had been zeroed in for a mortar round and “obliterated.”
At least he wasn’t waterboarded.
The execution of Kim Chol is just one example of a purge of members of the North Korean military or party who threatened the fledgling regime of Kim Jong-un.
Human rights folk might draw a parallel between this and Obama’s drone strikes, and they’d have a point.
Quin Hillyer at American Spectator reminds us of who Powell really is.
So…. Colin Powell, fulminating about the economy (as if he is an expert on that!) and avoiding all discussion of the incompetence and dishonesty of the Obama administration’s handling of Libya, has endorsed Barack Obama again. Gee, what a surprise. This is a man still playing out his personal picque at some imagined sleights during the administration of Bush 43.
But this is a man without honor. This is a man who allowed the spending of millions of dollars in a witch-hunt of a law-enforcement investigation even while personally knowing that his own top aide had been the one who inadvertently leaked the name of a second-tier CIA agent with a dishonest and histrionic husband. One word from Colin Powell, and the “Valerie Plame” case would have come to an end with no prosecutions, but with a few days, maybe just one or two news cycles, of public admonishment of his office for its carelessness.
But no… Powell remained silent, thus settling some score with vice presidential chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and his boss, Vice President Richard Cheney — letting Libby twist in the wind for an alleged cover-up of a non-crime for which Libby himself wasn’t even responsible, but for which Powell’s aide Dick Armitage was culpable instead. (Libby was convicted on a highly dubious perjury charge, based on a years-old conversation with newsman Tim Russert that Russert remembered differently. This was the same Tim Russert whose own memory had been shown to be horrifically wrong in another major court case, but who suddenly was supposed to be perfectly inerrant. Meanwhile, famed newsman Bob Woodward produced notes that Woodward himself said might tend to support Libby’s recollection — but no matter.)
So, in order to protect a tiny nick to his reputation and that of his aide, Armitage, and in order to achieve a “gotcha” against a bureaucratic opponent, Libby, Powell was willing to let Libby have his career ruined and possibly his freedom curtailed (he faced possible prison time). That is pathetically dishonorable behavior from Powell, and it discredits anything else he ever does. Today’s endorsement comes from a man who built most of his reputation on one memorable turn of phrase about “cutting off the head” of the Iraqi army in 1991, but whose diplomacy so famously failed in gaining cooperation from longtime ally Turkey for the 2003 liberation of Iraq — a failure that set back the mission in ways that harmed it for the next two years.
Democrats have successfully convinced themselves and others that the GOP were intent on thwarting Obama from the outset, America be damned.
(Obama uses the McConnell misquote in the post below.)
You have to wonder how Obama thinks he can get away with misrepresenting recent history. Does he think everyone is stupid?
President Obama doesn’t give many interviews these days outside Comedy Central, so it caused a stir Wednesday when editors at the Des Moines Register managed to pin him down and even elicit some news. Specifically, Mr. Obama said he wants to pursue immigration reform in a second term, as well as a budget “grand bargain” with Republicans that includes tax reform.
This will come as a surprise to voters reading the President’s just-released 20-page brochure on his second-term agenda, which makes little or no mention of these priorities. Perhaps that’s why the White House first demanded that the interview be off the record, making the transcript public only after the Register editor objected in a public blog post.
But the larger reason to be skeptical concerns Mr. Obama’s answer to another Register question: Whether he regrets pursuing ObamaCare and other liberal social priorities in his first two years rather than focusing on the economy.
“Absolutely not,” Mr. Obama told the Iowa journalists. “Remember the context. First of all, Mitch McConnell has imposed an ironclad filibuster from the first day I was in office. And that’s not speculation.”
Whoaaaa there, big fella. Mr. McConnell was then and still is the Senate Minority Leader, and in 2009 he had all of 40 votes. Mr. Obama could have pursued any agenda he wanted, and the Des Moines editors wanted to know why he didn’t focus on the economy first. Yet Mr. Obama’s instinctive reaction is to blame Republican obstructionism that never happened.
In those first days of progressive wine and roses, Mr. Obama managed to peel off three Republican votes for his stimulus blowout in February 2009. He got five Republicans for the trial-bar gift known as the Lilly Ledbetter bill and nine for an expansion of the state children’s health program, both in January. That was some ferocious filibuster.
By spring 2009, when Minnesota’s Al Franken was seated, the White House had 60 votes and a GOP-only filibuster wasn’t even possible. “We have the votes. F– ‘em,” declared then-Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, according to the first-100-days chapters of Bob Woodward’s new book.
The President is also missing the larger import of the Register’s question. As Mr. Obama likes to remind voters now, in 2009 the economy had suffered a financial heart attack and needed to be nurtured back to health. That required careful management and attention to reviving consumer and business confidence.
Yet rather than work with both parties to fashion a growth agenda, he went all-in for a Keynesian spending blowout and subcontracted the details to House Democrats. And rather than wait to see how strongly—and even whether—the economy then recovered, he dove headlong into fighting to pass 40 years of pent-up liberal social policy.
It wasn’t merely ObamaCare. The President also tried to impose a cap-and-tax on carbon energy production, end secret ballots for unions via card check, while promising to raise taxes in 2011 until he was stopped when voters elected a GOP House in 2010.
Mr. Obama likes to say he inherited “the most severe economic emergency we’ve had since the Great Depression,” but then he claims that it didn’t matter that he staged a two-year fight to remake one-sixth of the economy and threatened to remake another four-sixths.
If recessions following financial crises really are worse than normal, as the President also told the Iowa editors, then why didn’t he take special care to postpone legislation that would add new costs to business, undermine confidence and thus weaken the recovery?
Mr. Obama didn’t really answer the Register’s question, so we will. He didn’t focus on the economy because he didn’t and still doesn’t understand how the private economy works. He doesn’t understand that incentives matter, or how government policies and regulation can sabotage growth. He really believes that government is the engine of economic prosperity.
Anyone who thinks the second term will be different should consult Mr. Emanuel’s incisive counsel above.
I don’t believe the polls that insist that Obama is ahead of Romney. This isn’t just wishful thinking on my part, either. It simply doesn’t make any sense that Obama would be doing better in any state than he did in 2008, especially when you realize that he was running against McCain, one of the worst campaigners in history, and that he now has to run on his own record.
I have heard a lot of questions about the polls this time around. Some people are claiming that they’re heavily weighted towards Democrats and that some pollsters are even in the tank for Obama, trying to discourage Republicans from even leaving the house on Election Day because the outcome is a foregone conclusion.
Let me tell you why that doesn’t make any sense. We conservatives who live in California go out and vote in every election even though we know that our candidates have next to no chance of winning, whether they’re running for the presidency or a state office. We vote because we take voting seriously and we want our voices heard. Also, some of us believe in miracles and are hoping for divine intervention.
The truth, though, is I believe that the polling propaganda is far more likely to work against Obama than it is against Romney. After all, if the Democrats are convinced that Obama is a shoo-in, they’re far more likely to sit out the election because they are just naturally more shiftless than Republicans.
The difference between the two presidential hopefuls can be seen in the crowds they address. Romney speaks to tax-payers, Obama speaks to college students and welfare recipients.
Romney gets applause by telling people that he will diminish the debt; lower the tax rate; boost the economy by freeing up the energy industry; cut the EPA down to size; and get small businesses going again. Obama gets cheers by telling his crowds what they can expect from his goody bag in his second term.
For his part, it seems to me that Obama has spent more time on college campuses as a politician than he ever did as a student.
Being, by nature, an optimist, the upside as I see it is that when most countries have a leader as vile as Obama, it generally takes a bloody revolution to get rid of him, but in America, all we have to do is vote for the other guy.
I am convinced that the only reason that the election figures to be close is because our media is so corrupt that it puts one in mind of the lackeys who lick the boots of the dictators who run China, Russia and North Korea. I swear, if Romney and Obama each had a benign mole on his cheek, the media would refer to Romney’s as a cancerous growth and to Obama’s as a beauty mark.
I know it’s rude to dismiss an entire group of people as dummies, but when over 90% of blacks continue to troop out and vote for any lunkhead with a (D) after his or her name, the choice is to be either a liar or discourteous. I mean, how disconnected from reality do black Americans have to be to continue supporting Democrats? Are they really unaware that the Ku Klux Klan was a gang of sheet-wearing Democrats? Don’t any of them realize that Jim Crow laws were enacted and enforced by Democrats? Has nobody told them that Abe Lincoln was a Republican or that it was Democrats who refused to pass anti-lynching legislation or that most of the opposition to Civil Rights legislation came from the Democrats in Congress, including Al Gore’s daddy?
Even if they’re a little weak when it comes to history, surely they can look around and notice that the cities they inhabit, year after year, decade after decade, are the most poverty-stricken, crime-riddled, in America and inevitably have Democratic mayors.
Democrats say all the right things and do all the wrong ones, but that seems to be good enough for black voters. If they ever woke up and began to think for themselves, they might notice that the Democrats not only take them for granted, but treat them like their personal bitch.
If black Americans ever stopped selling out their birth right for food stamps and other picayune bribes, they might come to understand that liberals are the best friends they never had.
Finally, I have to admit that when some really dumb person agrees with me, I begin to have second thoughts about my position. So, how is it that it never occurs to Barack Obama that if the likes of Samuel Jackson, Bill Maher, Madonna, Chris Matthews, Juan Williams, Joy Behar, David Letterman and Conan O’Brien, are singing your praises, it might be time to consider the very real possibility that you’re dead wrong about everything?
This afternoon, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) will release its newest “research” report, Graduating with a Pay Gap. This report, according to the AAUW pre-publicity, is “an update of the 2007 AAUW report, Behind the Pay Gap, which found that just one year after college graduation, women are paid only 80 cents for every dollar men are paid.” Can the AAUW be trusted? Consider its record.
The 2007 report does give readers the impression that millennial women are facing serious workplace discrimination. But buried on page 18, we find this qualification: “After controlling for all the factors known to affect earnings, college-educated women earn about 5 percent less than college-educated men earn. Thus, while discrimination cannot be measured directly, it is reasonable to assume that this pay gap is the product of discrimination.” As Steve Chapman noted in Reason, “Another way to put it is that three-quarters of the gap clearly has innocent causes—and that we actually don’t know whether discrimination accounts for the rest.” (more…)
Just recently, the Internal Revenue Service issued an 18-page, single-spaced notice explaining how to distinguish between full-time and part-time workers under the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). The difference matters, because the act requires employers with 50 or more full-time workers to provide health insurance for those workers. At the same time, no company has to buy insurance for part-time employees, defined as those working less than 30 hours a week.
Here’s a sample:
This notice expands the safe harbor method described in a previous notice to provide employers the option to use a look-back measurement period of up to 12 months to determine whether new variable hour employees or seasonal employees are full-time employees, without being subject to a payment under section 4980H for this period with respect to those employees.
Obamacare has faded as a campaign issue, perhaps because it doesn’t suit either the president or Mitt Romney. It’s not popular, a minus for Barack Obama. Its resemblance to Romney’s Massachusetts program is a minus for him. But Obamacare’s relentless march to full-fledged introduction in 2014 demonstrates that, for all its good intentions, it will make the health-care system more confusing (see above), costly and contentious. It won’t control health spending — the system’s main problem — and will weaken job creation.
Consider the treatment of full-time and part-time workers as an object lesson.
Exempting part-time workers is a concession to practicality. If companies had to provide insurance for all part-time and seasonal workers — often unskilled and poorly paid — the high costs (a worker-only insurance policy can run more than $5,000) would eliminate many jobs or inspire mass evasion. On the other hand, exempting too many “part-time” and “seasonal” workers would make achieving near-universal insurance coverage much harder.
So there’s a balancing act: preserving jobs vs. providing insurance. The problem (more…)
The budget sequester, one of the worst ideas cooked up in DC in a long while, was the work of Barack Obama. He blames Congress.
Bob Woodward says President Barack Obama got some of his facts wrong on sequester at Monday night’s debate.
Woodward’s book “The Price of Politics” has been the go-to fact check source for the president’s answer, in which he claimed the idea of using deep, automatic, across-the-board domestic and defense spending cuts to force Congress to address the nation’s burgeoning federal deficit originated from Congress, not from the White House.
“What the president said is not correct,” Woodward told POLITICO Tuesday. “He’s mistaken. And it’s refuted by the people who work for him.”
Woodward, a Washington Post journalist who was a key reporter on the initial coverage of the Watergate scandal, said he stands behind his reporting in the book, which drew upon sources involved in last year’s deficit talks and detailed notes taken in the meetings.
The New York Times has unwittingly given GOP contender Mitt Romney a boost. In a recent editorial The Times contradicts Romney’s assertion that “Government doesn’t create jobs” – pointing out correctly that teachers, soldiers, park rangers – are all hired by Uncle Sam. The Times should have rested its case.
Of course, their salaries are paid by jobs in the private sector.
Instead, the paper goes on to report that government employment in the U.S. totals 22 million workers; they say that since the late 1980s, the “number of workers has averaged about 7.3 for every 100 people” in the U.S. “With the loss of 569,000 government jobs since June 2009” that ratio has declined to 7 today.
This drop concerns the editors at the Grey Lady who have apparently never heard of productivity. There is probably no sector of our economy in which we are using the same number of workers today for a given job, or unit of output, that we used in the late 1980s. Productivity gains, mainly from automation and technology improvements, have been startling over the past few decades.
Over time, it has been climbing productivity that has led to a rising standard of living and GDP growth beyond that of the population. The Labor Department reports that the productivity of the U.S. worker increased at an average annual rate of 2.1 percent from 1989 to 2011. That means that even if we had seen no growth in the number of workers over that 23-year period, we would still have turned out over 40 percent more goods and services.
Has the productivity of government workers kept pace? Doubtful. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out that our state and local workforce increased over the past three decades from 59 per 1000 people to 65 per 1,000. During the height of the recession that figure dropped to 61 per 1,000 in 2009. In other words, unless the government has vastly enlarged its activities, you could argue that productivity declined during this period.
Where have the extra workers been added? The Center reports that “All of that growth has been in education workers and reflects demographic changes and policy initiatives, such as efforts to reduce class sizes…” What do we have to show for this expansion? Good question.
In 2008, the U.S. spent $10,995 per student on secondary and elementary education – 35 percent higher than the average spent in all OECD countries. Despite this outlay, the most recent assessment of international reading capabilities from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study ranks the U.S. 18th, just behind Latvia and also trailing Bulgaria, Hungary and Russia…
Government, facing no competition, has no incentive to become more productive.
Quite the contrary, if you do business with a government agency nearing the end of its fiscal year with unspent funds, you can get very lucky: they’ll do whatever it takes to spend it lest they get less the next year.
Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show.
The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.
The brief emails also show how U.S. diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington.
U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Benghazi assault, which President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials ultimately acknowledged was a “terrorist” attack carried out by militants with suspected links to al Qaeda affiliates or sympathizers.
Administration spokesmen, including White House spokesman Jay Carney, citing an unclassified assessment prepared by the CIA, maintained for days that the attacks likely were a spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim film.