Bachmann Hits Home Run For Tea Party

Bachmann Hits Home Run For Tea Party

Lloyd
Marcus

 

Hallelujah! Finally, We The People have a voice. It’s a
bright new day! Rep. Michele Bachmann gave the Tea Party Movement response
(video here; transcript
here)
to Obama’s State of the Union (bait and switch) address.

In their astonishingly arrogant continuous effort to do everything in their
power to “shut us up”, the liberal media is spinning Bachmann’s speech; calling
it ridiculous, unnecessary, a family feud within the Republican Party and simply
prep for her run for the White House.
Bottom line, the liberal media despises We The People having a voice.
Bachmann said her response to President Obama’s State of the Union was just
fulfilling a request to speak from the Tea Party Express. Thank you, Tea Party
Express.
The liberal media was desperately hoping and even predicted the Tea Party
Movement would fade away after the 2010 election. They still don’t “get it,” or
should I say, “get us.”
The Tea Party Movement is growing in numbers and power; still birthing new
groups. Heck, we even have a Black Tea Party; my fellow black patriots hosting
tea parties in urban neighborhoods. Praise the Lord!” Please excuse my Christian
outburst, but I am so excited!. Americans are awakening from their, “Obama,
Night of the Living Brain Dead” zombie state of mind.
Special kudos to my patriot sister Bachmann. Her response to Obama’s silky
empty words speech was focused, on target, fact-filled, confident and non
politically correct “let’s make nice nice.”  Bachmann simply spoke the truth and
common sense . Wow, what a concept.
LloydMarcus.com
Spokesperson &
Entertainer of Tea Party Movement &
Tea
Party Express
.
The
American Tea  Party Anthem
cd/album.
Confessions of a Black
Conservative
, written by Lloyd Marcus & foreword
by Michelle Malkin
President,
NAACPC (National Association for the
Advancement of Conservative People of ALL Colors)
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Miracle Worker: Obama Matches 214 Years Worth of US Debt in Less Than 24 Months

Miracle Worker: Obama Matches 214 Years Worth of US Debt in Less Than 24 Months

By Doug Powers  •  October 18, 2010 10:45 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

President Obama, assisted by his willing accomplices in Congress who have helped swipe the national credit card like giddy teenage girls at the mall with daddy’s Visa, have made history.

From CNS News:

It’s official: The Obama administration has now borrowed $3 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

It took from 1776, when the United States became an independent country, until 1990, the year after the Berlin Wall fell signaling victory in the Cold War, for the federal government to accumulate a total of $3 trillion in debt, according to the Treasury Department. It only took from Jan. 20, 2009, the day President Barack Obama was inaugurated, until Oct. 15, 2010, for the Obama administration to add $3 trillion to the federal debt.

The overall debt of the federal government, according to the Treasury Department, is now $13.666 trillion.

Republicans are far from removed from guilt when it comes to debt accumulation over the decades, but one thing’s for certain: The GOP’s Slurpees and lattes over the years have cost far less than Obama’s alleged attempt to get the car out of the ditch.

Fortunately the country has a lot to show for this new debt (I’m selling long on sarcasm and short on Hope & Change, in case that isn’t obvious).

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

The folly of high-speed rail, redux;

The folly of high-speed rail, redux; Plus: Did Obama consult J-Nap on “no pat-down” promise?

By Michelle Malkin  •  January 26, 2011 12:04 AM

Among President Obama’s many pie-in-the-sky promises tonight, he delivered this:

“Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it takes to travel by car. For some trips, it will be faster than flying – without the pat-down. As we speak, routes in California and the Midwest are already underway.”

Like so much of the speech, the high-speed rail folly is recycled claptrap (he tossed it into last year’s speech, too). The remarks will appease Big Labor and eco-radical social planners led by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who’ll have his grubby hands all over the high-speed rail slush fund faster than you can turn off your soon-to-be-banned cell phone.

I pointed out last September that Obama’s infrastructure scheme is the mother of all Big Dig boondoggles:

President Obama calls his latest attempt to revive the economy a “Plan to Renew and Expand America’s Roads, Railways and Runways.” I’m calling it “The Mother of all Big Dig Boondoggles.” Like the infamous “Big Dig” highway spending project in Boston, this latest White House infrastructure spending binge guarantees only two results: Taxpayers lose; unions win.

The plan would add at least $50 billion more to the nearly $230 billion already allocated in the original trillion-dollar stimulus law for infrastructure. Less than one-third of that infrastructure stimulus money has been spent, but the urgency to pile on has increased exponentially as the midterm elections approach and unemployment hovers near 10 percent. So, the president says he wants to “put people back to work” through a new “upfront investment” in surface transportation, airports and the air-traffic control system paid for by repealing tax incentives for the oil and gas industries — followed by massive, unpaid-for expenditures on pie-in-the-sky high-speed rail, “environmental sustainability” and “livability,” whatever that means.

Obama spoke emotionally at an AFL-CIO rally on Labor Day about unemployed construction workers. A “lot of those folks, they had lost their jobs in manufacturing and went into construction; now they’ve lost their jobs again,” he said. “It doesn’t do anybody any good when so many hardworking Americans have been idled for months, even years, at a time when there is so much of America that needs rebuilding.”

But here’s the rub: Not all workers are equal in Obama’s eyes. And most of them will remain “idled” by the Democrats’ own design. The key is E.O. 13502, a union-friendly executive order signed by Obama in his first weeks in office, which essentially forces contractors who bid on large-scale public construction projects worth $25 million or more to submit to union representation for its employees.

The blunt instrument used to give unions a leg up is the “project labor agreement (PLA),” which in theory sets reasonable pre-work terms and conditions — but in practice, requires contractors to hand over exclusive bargaining control; to pay inflated, above-market wages and benefits; and to fork over dues money and pension funding to corrupt, cash-starved labor organizations. These anti-competitive agreements undermine a fair bidding process on projects that locked-out, nonunion laborers are funding with their own tax dollars. And these PLAs benefit the privileged few at the expense of the vast majority: In the construction industry, 85 percent of the workforce is nonunion by choice.

We don’t need to theorize about how this shakedown works in the real world. Boston’s notorious Big Dig was a union-only construction project thanks to a Massachusetts government-mandated PLA. The original $2.8 billion price tag for the project skyrocketed to $22 billion in state and federal taxpayer subsidies thanks in no small part to ballooning labor costs. In February, the Bay State’s Beacon Hill Institute found that PLAs added 12 percent to 18 percent to school construction costs in Massachusetts and Connecticut. In Washington, D.C., the Department of Veterans Affairs commissioned an independent study showing that PLAs would increase hospital construction costs by as much as 9 percent in some markets.

In short, Obama’s new Union Infrastructure Rescue Plan is a political favoritism scheme that raises the cost of doing business and bars tens of thousands of skilled, nonunion laborers who choose to run open shops from securing work. In the name of patching up America’s highways and byways, Mr. Fix It would create another gaping fiscal sinkhole to appease his special interest donors. Recovery Summer turns to Union Payback Fall.

And in 2008, I walked through the wasteland of high speed rails to nowhere:

Bay Area officials are rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of tens of billions of dollars in tax subsidies for a high-speed rail line from Oakland to Los Angeles. This is so wrong on so many levels. Can anyone say “High-Speed Rail to Nowhere?”

With the economy in recession, California’s plan to ask the federal government for billions of dollars to help build the nation’s first high-speed rail system might seem like wishful thinking rather than a feasible financial strategy.

But transportation officials say that California’s high-speed rail project seems to be on a fast track to a hefty federal contribution – perhaps as much as $15 billion to $20 billion.

That optimism in the face of a dire economic outlook is the product of the priorities of President-elect Barack Obama’s administration; the likelihood of a big federal infrastructure investment; growing concern over climate change; the volatility of gas prices; Californians’ backing of the $10 billion high-speed rail bond measure and strong support for the project from the state’s potent congressional delegation, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“It seems like the stars are aligned,” said Rod Diridon of San Jose, a member of the High Speed Rail Authority.

Building the San Francisco-to-Los Angeles and Anaheim line that will be the spine of the system will cost between $32.8 billion and $33.6 billion, according to the High Speed Rail Authority’s business report. Extensions built later would cost another $12 billion. In addition to the $10 billion from state bond sales, the authority is counting on $12 billion to $16 billion in federal funds plus $6.5 billion to $7.5 billion in private investment and $2 billion to $3 billion in local contributions.

(link to SFgate article)

Okay, where to begin? It currently costs $49 one-way to fly Southwest from Oakland to Los Angeles. That flight takes about an hour and fifteen minutes. How much ya think it’ll cost to ride the high-speed line from O-town to L.A.? For comparison’s sake, government-funded Amtrak trips from Washington to New York’s Penn Station cost about $133 one-way on the Joe Biden-endorsed Acela (if they’re running). That trip takes about two hours and 45 minutes.

More data for you: It’ll take you about six-seven hours to drive from Oakland to Los Angeles on the I-5– and at current gas prices, it’ll cost you a mere $25 (with a few more bucks if you stop by In-N-Out!)

Bottom line: Who in their right mind would take this high-speed rail line? And why should people in Des Moines and Miami and Chicago pay for California commuters to ride it?

The bureaucrats say it’ll cost $30 billion, plus $12 billion for every extension — which means you should triple the asking price. There’s no need to guess whether this thing will be a money pit. Just look at the Los Angeles MTA black hole.

One last point: Who will get all the vaunted jobs the high-speed rail line boondoggle promises to deliver? Bloated unions.

The more things change…

***

Reader Terry adds: “I don’t know just how much you know about California topography, but the High Speed Train will be doing about 30 mph when it is going over the mountains outside Bakersfield.  Someone should do a story on this issue by itself.  It is a joke without a punchline.”

A very, very expensive joke.

Allll aaaaboard!

***

Parting questions: Obama got laughs for emphasizing the no-pat-down appeal of rail travel. (Video here.)

Obama in a bubble of his own making

Obama in a bubble of his own making

Rick
Moran

 

The
temptation when you work in the White House as president is to close yourself
in, shutting out the world beyond the gates, with the hubristic belief in your
own perfection. After all, you made it all the way to the White House – what
does the rest of the world know that can help you?

Good presidents always have one or
two aides that will disabuse him of his own brilliance. They try to cut through
the staff sycophants and yes men in order to present the real world to the
president – warts and all. But apparently, Obama’s arrogance extends to his
inner circle as well.

John Hielermann:

Few
perceptions were more widely shared or loudly voiced around Washington than that
the Obamans were huffing their own fumes. “You know the cliché about our
strengths being our weaknesses? It’s true for them as well,” says a top
political strategist in a previous White House. “I think they felt like if they
had listened to conventional wisdom in 2007, they never would have run. When
they hear criticism, they say, ‘Been there, done that, we’re gonna stay the
course.’ There’s almost a Zen-like quality about how they’ve been in their own
universe and their own bubble.”

The more
pointed variant of this critique was directed specifically at Obama. Unlike
42-who loved to stay up late, jabbing at the speed dial, spending countless
hours gabbing with local pols and businesspeople around the country to gauge the
political wind and weather-44 not only eschewed reaching out to governors,
mayors, or CEOs, but he rarely consulted outside the tiny charmed circle
surrounding him in the White House. “What you had was really three or four
people running the entire government,” says the former White House strategist.
“I thought they put a pretty good Cabinet together, but most of those guys might
as well be in the witness-protection program.”
A funny line,
no doubt, but an overstatement, surely? Well, maybe not. “I happen to know most
of the Cabinet pretty well, and I get together with them individually for
lunch,” says one of the most respected Democratic bigwigs in Washington. “I’ve
had half a dozen Cabinet members say that in the first two years, they never had
one call-not one call-from the president.”
(H/T: Hot
Air
)
Cabinet members have been reduced
to glorified PR people for their departments over the years so I am not
concerned that the president hasn’t talked with the Secretary of Commerce or the
Secretary of Veterans Affairs. They don’t run those departments anyway – their
assistant secretaries do the job.
What is much more troubling is the
president’s failure to reach out and discover what the rest of the country
really thinks of his policies. That kind of myopia leads to bad government -
which is what we have now. And Obama shows no signs of changing.
The State of the Union speech
tonight will probably sound strange to most of us because of this
disconnect.
 

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Ongoing Disaster in the Gulf

Ongoing Disaster in the Gulf

By George
Scaggs

 

While the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the Obama administration’s
subsequent six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico are
common knowledge, the fact that the federal government has turned the tragic
accident into an ongoing economic calamity seems to be drawing scant attention.
Though the drilling moratorium was officially lifted three months ago, it
has been replaced with an ongoing de facto ban.  But the full scope and damaging
consequences of the federal government’s reactions to the gulf spill go well
beyond deep-water drilling.
While the moratorium was limited to deep-water rigs, the work stoppage in
the Gulf was not.  Due to new regulations and ever-evolving permit processes,
many shallow-water oil and gas drilling operations have been effectively shut
down as well.  Mind you, there is no evidence that the rigs being prevented from
operating are anything but safe.
During the six-month hiatus, though most companies decided to ride out the
situation (believing the work stoppage was for a fixed period of time), no fewer
than five of the 33 deep-water rigs in operation at the time of the spill moved
to foreign shores to fulfill their intended purpose.
Now rig owners, the contractors who lease them, and tens of thousands of
workers find themselves subject to an indefinite waiting game as the federal
bureaucracy mills about.  As rigs continue to sit idle, pressure is mounting for
contractors to void existing leases, and an increasing number of jobs are under
threat.
Indeed, just this month, Marathon Oil terminated its contract on the Noble
Corp’s Jim Day rig that arrived in the Gulf in September. Similarly, deep-water
rigs built by Pride International and the Maersk Group which were intended to
set up operations in the Gulf have been redirected elsewhere.
Less oil drilling in the Gulf means less oil production in the Gulf.  In
addition to drilling rigs sitting dormant, many of the hundreds of production
platforms operating in the Gulf have also been affected.  From there, the ripple
of economic death extends out to equipment, transportation, fuel and food
suppliers, and other businesses that support the region’s oil industry and its
workers.
The frustrations of Gulf Coast residents affected by the federal
government’s actions were on full display earlier this month (seen here
and here)
as Oil Spill Czar Feinberg held a series of town hall meetings in Mississippi
and Louisiana coastal communities.  Many local businesses harmed by the oil
spill are still suffering due to the government shutdown of the oil and gas
industry in the Gulf.
With no recovery in sight for our nation’s private-sector job market and
government revenues (at all levels) consequently stagnating, if not declining,
it is troubling to find the federal government in the business of killing
private-sector jobs, and many of them good middle-class jobs, in wholesale
fashion.
Though it has been estimated that some 20,000 jobs have been lost due to
the federal government’s actions, Lee Hunt, President of the International
Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC), contends that job losses are only a
part of the overall economic impact resulting from the continued ban.
The massive deepwater rigs that operate in the Gulf generate about $500,000
per day in revenues, though numerous owners have reduced daily rates by as much
as $200,000 to keep companies in place while the shutdown continues.
Additionally, Hunt estimates that “companies spend approximately another half
million a day for consumables, transportation, maintenance operations and other
costs” per rig.
All told, Hunt conservatively estimates that there is a direct “$30 million
a day negative impact to the economy” due to the deep-water shutdown alone.
However, he said that considering factors including lower dividend payments,
stock prices, lost wages and investment dollars, “the total enterprise loss is
incalculable.”
Texas Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones, who is one among three
commissioners overseeing Texas energy policy, agrees, commenting that “[p]eople
should be up in arms[;] it’s not as though we [America] can afford this much
longer.”
So where are the Democratic Party and Big Media on this development?  The
self-proclaimed champions of the “little guy” have fallen strangely silent,
considering the dramatic impact on jobs and prosperity in the Gulf Coast region.
When thousands of jobs are lost due to corporate layoffs, it is the stuff
of headlines.  When the jobs of local and state bureaucrats are threatened
unless they receive federal “stimulus” funding, a hue and cry goes out across
the land.  But when the government kills private-sector jobs, the sufferings of
average Americans are suddenly of no import whatsoever.
Indeed, though local news outlets thoroughly covered Feinberg’s recent
visit to the region, one would be hard-pressed to find any national coverage of
the controversial meetings which took place.  This is a direct contrast to
media coverage when the ire of Gulf Coast residents was directed at
BP.
Official sources now project a 13% decrease is domestic oil production in
2011, and most industry executives now predict that it will take several
years
before production in the Gulf of Mexico returns to 2009 levels.
Hunt predicts that by the end of 2011, only four to ten deep-water rigs in the
gulf will have returned to full operation.  These are troubling developments,
considering America’s already overwhelming dependence on foreign oil.
The shutdown in the gulf will also have a direct impact on the size of the
federal government’s deficit.  Though leftist politicos inside the Beltway
routinely demonize the oil industry, in truth, Washington reaps huge windfalls
from the industry in the form of royalties and excise taxes.
In sum, there are two rather troubling realities which are completely at
odds with the present course being pursued by an overzealous federal government
and the intrusive “Green” movement that sets the tone for much of today’s
government policy.
First, energy produced from oil and gas is literally the fuel for the
world’s major economies.  As unpalatable as it must be for some, economic
prosperity throughout the world depends on oil and gas.
Secondly, much of government’s revenues come from the exploration,
production, and usage of these hydrocarbons.
Whether the continuing disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is due to deliberate
government fiat or just gross bureaucratic incompetence, the results are the
same.  Congress should act immediately to end the Obama administration’s
overreach into this vital American industry.

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Obama 2.0 – the SOTU

Obama 2.0 – the SOTU

Ed Lasky

 

Barack Obama shape-shifting to a  President who displays
pride in his nation and also into a “softer, gentler” man is proceeding
according to the plan I speculated about in
Obama 2.0: the Reinvention Begins.

My column suggested he would transform himself into being a warmer, more
personable President and that he would heed the advice of Democratic analyst William
Galston
who counseled him to articulate American exceptionalism.
How am I doing so far? Has the extreme makeover meant to fool us again
started?
Last night’s State of the Union address was heavy on atmospherics –
particularly Barack Obama’s notice that Americans might actually be proud of our
nation and want our President to display pride. He talked of our history of
being able to overcome and surpass the Soviet Union’s space technology, and of
our standing with those who aspire to democracy:
Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of
a satellite called Sputnik¸ we had no idea how we’d beat them to the moon. The
science wasn’t there yet. NASA didn’t even exist.

But after investing in
better research and education, we didn’t just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed
a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new
jobs.

This is our generation’s Sputnik moment.

Well, almost behind the scenes, Obama has eviscerated the space program.
Aside from this “hypocritical moment” is this the same man who refused to wear
the American flag because it was a meaningless, if not harmful and painful,
symbol? Is this the same man who equivocated and basically characterized such a
view as chauvinistic and simplistic, when asked if he viewed America as an “
exceptional nation”. He answered:
“I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits
believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek
exceptionalism.”
But that  was before the great Democratic shellacking that seemed to have
knocked some sense into his head. For all of his talk of jobs, there is one job
he is particularly concerned about above all:  his own.  Hence, the Great Pivot
has begun.
Barack Obama has also been perceived as a cold fish (though I prefer the
symbol of a cold-blooded chameleon that can camouflage itself to survive). He
has been derisive towards the media, contemptuous of Republicans, and
condescending toward the American people.  He has even belittled his own
Vice-President, using him as a butt of jokes. At least six Cabinet members did
not even merit a meeting with him during his first two years in office. He
clearly does not enjoy press conferences and prefers platitudes delivered by
teleprompter rather than relying on his own intelligence and knowledge. His
high-living lifestyle — fancy trips, his Broadway show trip after the
inauguration, the series of musical soirees at the White House, pick-up
basketball games with a dream team of pros, his frequent visit to the links –
has offended Americans worried about overspending and their own job futures.
There is a feeling he is not one of us — and lives in his own world.
The solution? We are about to see a new kinder and gentler Barack Obama.
There is a new effort to connect with us. From Politico:
Barack Obama is letting outsiders inside his White House. He’s
getting more personal in closed-door meetings and factoring social business into
his weekend schedule, a time he typically reserves for family and close friends.
He’s even using his teleprompter less and considering opening up his golf game,
which, with few exceptions, has been restricted to the same handful of people
since he took office.

In short, the new political environment in
Washington and the prospect of a daunting reelection bid have forced an
intensely private public figure out of his shell. The president, who will
address a television audience of more than 50 million people in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, is mingling more with
groups that number in the dozens or less. One form of communication he has
always been comfortable with; the other he has been slow to
embrace.

Just Monday night, freshmen members of Congress invited to a
pre-State of the Union reception at the White House were treated to the height
of Obama hospitality: a photo receiving line with the president. It’s a
grip-and-grin presidential mainstay that Obama has mostly avoided and privately
loathed.

“It seems he’s getting the idea that all this socializing is not such a bad
thing,” said Mike McCurry, former President Bill Clinton’s onetime press
secretary. “The biggest missing ingredient in the functioning of Washington is
trust, and you can’t build trust if you don’t know someone. And getting to know
someone is more than just reading them your talking points from a briefing book.
So I think this effort to socialize and this effort to build personal
relationships is really about restoring some basic functionality to Washington,
D.C. It’s fundamentally important.”
The shift comes after two years of criticism of Obama for being distant and
holding even his allies at arm’s length. It seems just about everyone in
Washington has at some point accused Obama of being standoffish: Congressional
Democrats have said he’s inaccessible; Republicans have said he makes only
politically calculated social calls; business executives and liberal groups have
felt they were on the outside looking in, and reporters who cover Obama daily
have complained he doesn’t know them or seem interested in getting to know them,
unlike his recent predecessors, Clinton and George W.
Bush.
He apparently is even using the teleprompter less, after being criticized
for his dependency on it not just by critics and comedians but even by Walter
Mondale
, who called them “idiot boards.” His words, not mine.
Will the mask stay on?
One can only hope that he exposes himself to the public more, absent the
teleprompter. When he is off script, we often see the real Barack Obama emerge.
The one who says
“suburbs bore me”  (implying that those of us who live in suburbs are implicitly
“boring” compared to him and live lives that are “boring” compared to his) and
that small town people ” get bitter
and “cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them
or anti-immigrant sentiment.”
I infer only metrosexuals and urban people matter to him.
Will he again boast that under his programs energy costs will necessarily
soar and that coal mines will go bankrupt? Will we hear the rage towards “fat
cats” and greedy doctors? Will he brag that “spreading the wealth” is his idea
of how boost the economy?
Will Americans buy what is again being sold by the master snake-oil
salesman? Will history be repeated as tragedy?

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