Sharks Are Not Misunderstood Dolphins, and Islam Is Not a Religion of Peace

Sharks Are Not Misunderstood Dolphins, and Islam Is Not a Religion of
Peace

By Kevin
DuJan

 

I’ve often been told rumors from very old, wise people about a time, long
before I was born, when “Saturday Night Live” was both funny and relevant.  It’s
hard to believe, but in those unimaginably distant days deep into the past,
Chevy Chase played a Land
Shark
who wore various disguises in attempts to break into people’s
apartments and eat them.  When subterfuge and gimmicks failed, he just lied and
told various idiots he was a dolphin.
[Knock, knock]
“Who’s there?  It’s not that Land Shark I’ve heard about, is it?”
“Nope.  Just a candygram, Ma’am.”
“Candygram?  I’ve never heard of such a thing.  I think you are that Land
Shark.”
“No, Ma’am.  I am just a misunderstood dolphin.”
“A dolphin?  Well, okay then.  No cause for alarm if you are only a
dolphin.  I certainly wouldn’t want to appear to be species-ist by having
reservations about trusting a dolphin.”
In case you haven’t seen it in late-night reruns, that scene ends with
a monstrous foam shark head bursting through the door to devour Jane Curtin,
Gilda Radner, Laraine Newman, Lily Tomlin, and other unsuspecting New York City
victims in one hungry gulp.
Whenever there’s a new Islamic terrorist attack somewhere in the world (and
that’s somewhat redundantly phrased because just about the only terrorist
attacks that occur in this world are Islamic, unless of course you have heard of
murder sprees the Amish and Buddhists often go on whenever someone draws a
cartoon they don’t like or names a dog after a self-proclaimed prophet they
revere…oh wait, no, those are Muslims who do that, as usual…never mind), I
always think of this dusty old SNL skit.  The American media deliberately plays
the role of stunned bystander shocked that there really was a Land
Shark at the door.
The idiots.
No matter how many times the delusional fools in the American media try to
convince you otherwise, sharks are not misunderstood dolphins, and Islam is not
a religion of peace.
I think that even the media knows this, on some level, because I’ve noticed
that few journalists ever cover Islamic terror attacks the way they’d report on
other murder sprees and tragedies committed by non-Muslims.
In the case of the latter, great effort is made to explain precisely why
someone like Jared
Lee Loughner
picked up a gun, killed six, and injured a dozen more in his
assassination attempt on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  His parents,
friends, teachers, distant relatives, acquaintances, and kindergarten teacher,
and a kid who sat next to him for an hour and a half on the ride to summer camp
fifteen years ago, are all scrutinized for clues into his behavior, then blamed
for being bad influences on him.  The media stokes an abusive outrage against
these people — the parents in particular — for not catching the warning signs
that could have prevented these murders.  Simultaneously, the media and the left
join together in politicizing the tragedy, invoking Rahm Emanuel’s corollary to
the Alinsky Rules for Radicals that no good crisis should go to waste.  This
means that in addition to the people a murderer like Loughner actually knew, the
entire conservative movement in this country must also be held responsible for
this single man’s actions, including people Loughner never met, spoke to, or
even knew much about, like Governor Sarah Palin.
When a Muslim commits an act of mass-murdering terrorism, in contrast, the
left does not camp out in front of the shooter/assassin/bomber’s home and
scrutinize every person he ever in his life came in contact with and blame them
all for his actions.  Instead, the media personalities report on acts of
terrorism the way they do shark attacks.
When great whites gobble a surfer
or menace a beach somewhere, the media runs footage of vacationers running
screaming from the water, family members of the victims shocked and in tears
huddled together by the lifeguard station, and plenty of stock footage of
ambulances racing to hospitals with helicopters overhead surveying the carnage.
No effort is made to track down the family of the sharks responsible for
the attacks, and not much effort at all is made to get inside the mind of the
sharks to figure out why they did what they did, or to pretend Governor Palin
was behind it after all, just as everyone in the media suspected.  Palin is
behind everything, you know, except the things the media likes, which
she’s singlehandedly responsible for making less likable just because she’s
breathing.  Always breathing, somewhere, living rent-free in the media’s
nightmares.
There is no attempt in the media to connect shark attacks to any political
ideology, because the sharks are of course brutes composed entirely of teeth,
fins, and bite, churning the waters with blood, guts, and foam because that’s
just what sharks do.  Everyone accepts that, even the most delusional bleeding
hearts in the media ranks.
Sharks are just animals.  Animals like sharks kill people sometimes.  It’s
horrific and frightening, but there’s no one to blame.  After a day in the
headlines, it’s back to reporting on how terrible the Tea Party is and how
Governor Palin hunts werewolves from helicopters she, Todd, and her children
make themselves in their backyard in Wasilla — or some other nonsense the likes
of Ashley Judd are bound to parrot at the next red-carpet gala.  “Did you hear
what Sarah Palin did now?”  Because the entire Palin family has been
ascribed everything the media elite detest about regular, hardworking Americans,
including the twisted fixation the media has on the conceit that these regular
Americans are virulent racists.
But have you realized how intensely condescending and bigoted the left is
toward Muslims in all of its reporting?  The actions of a non-Muslim mass
murderer like Loughner are pinned on everyone he ever met (and conservatives
like Governor Palin whom he never in fact met), but the carnage caused by
Muslims and sharks alike isn’t blamed on anyone or anything and just chalked up
to “tragedy.”  Nothing more to see here, just move along now, and stay out of
the water or don’t get on an airplane for a while, and you’ll be just fine.
The reason terrorist attacks are reported on with the same style of
coverage reserved for shark attacks is because the left sees both sharks and
Muslims as just dumb animals who do what they do, unexpectedly, in gruesome
fashion, without any blame assigned for their actions.
Sharks aren’t people who can be held accountable for what they do — and
neither are Muslims in the eyes of the left.
When is the last time you saw MSNBC devote hour-long news specials to the
parents, friends, teachers, and other relatives of Muslim terrorists responsible
for mass murders and assorted bombings?  When was the last time CNN scheduled an
in-depth look into the Koran and the very clear recipes for murder and mayhem
contained in its instructive pages?  Probably about the last time the Discovery
Channel set aside a night of Shark Week to explore the familial relations of the
deep’s apex predators and why their behavior is influenced by blowfish with
chalkboards or barracudas who put targets on treasure maps at the bottom of the
sea.
If a big story about some explosive, horrific event comes knocking at the
door, rest assured the New York Times and rest of the dinosaur media will first
ask if a Muslim’s involved before they decide on the course and tone of their
coverage.
If it’s a member of the “Religion of Peace” who blew dozens to pieces, then
the trusty old shark attack template for reporting is dusted off, with no blame
assigned to anyone or anything for this lone animal’s aggressive actions.
If it’s anyone at all with a link to conservatism who held the gun or lit
the fuse, especially anyone connected to Governor Palin, no matter how remotely,
then the story is covered obsessively, for months, with the full resources of
the Gray Lady dumped into an indictment of every Republican less than a thousand
miles away from the scene of the crime.
It is as predictable and tired as a stale old “Saturday Night Live” skit.
Only it’s half as funny, and ten times as stomach-turningly tragic.
Kevin DuJan is the editor of Hillbuzz.

 

Pelosi Logged 43 Flights Covering 90,155 Miles from January to October 2010; Received “Chocolate-Covered Strawberries” for Birthday Surprise

Pelosi Logged 43 Flights Covering 90,155 Miles from January to October 2010; Received “Chocolate-Covered Strawberries” for Birthday Surprise

Contact Information:
Press Office 202-646-5172, ext 305

Washington, DC — January 26, 2011

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained new documents from the United States Air Force detailing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s use of United States Air Force aircraft in 2010. According to the documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Pelosi used Air Force aircraft for 43 flights from January 1 to October 1, 2010. According to documents previously uncovered by Judicial Watch, by comparison, Nancy Pelosi logged 47 flights in the prior nine-month period, April 1, 2009, to January 1, 2010.
.
The most recent documents uncovered by Judicial Watch include a Passenger Mission Activity chart detailing all of former Speaker Pelosi’s flights January 1 to October 1, 2010, as well as detailed shopping lists for some flights, flight authorization forms, Mission Expense Records and internal Air Force correspondence related to the flights. Among the highlights from the documents, obtained pursuant to a FOIA request filed on September 10, 2010:
  • Pelosi used the Air Force aircraft for a total of 43 trips, covering 90,155 miles, from January 1 through October 1, 2010. The Air Force documented in-flight expenses for 22 of these flights totaling $1,821.33. The Air Force did not provide expense information for the remaining 21 flights.
  • Former Speaker Pelosi received chocolate covered strawberries as a birthday surprise on a March 26, 2010 flight. According to one internal Air Force email sent on March 25, 2010: “The speaker’s office is requesting egg salad sandwiches on wheat toast with fruit (watermelon, etc) for desert [sic]. It’s the speaker’s B-Day tomorrow so we’re also asking for something like chocolate covered strawberries (dark chocolate preferred)…” The immediate response to the email from another member of the Air Force staff: “Copy all. We’ll plan something for the birthday and take care of the meal.”
According to previous documents uncovered by Judicial Watch, the former Speaker’s military travel cost the United States Air Force $2,100,744.59 over one two-year period — $101,429.14 of which was for in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol. For example, purchases for one Pelosi-led congressional delegation traveling from Washington, DC, through Tel Aviv, Israel to Baghdad, Iraq May 15-20, 2008, included: Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Baileys Irish Cream, Maker’s Mark whiskey, Courvoisier cognac, Bacardi Light rum, Jim Beam whiskey, Beefeater gin, Dewar’s scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniel’s whiskey, Corona beer and several bottles of wine.
Judicial Watch also previously uncovered internal Department of Defense (DOD) email correspondence detailing attempts by DOD staff to accommodate Pelosi’s numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft as well as the speaker’s last minute cancellations and changes. For example, in response to a series of requests for military aircraft, one DOD official wrote, “Any chance of politely querying [Pelosi's team] if they really intend to do all of these or are they just picking every weekend?…[T]here’s no need to block every weekend ‘just in case’…” The email also notes that Pelosi’s office had, “a history of canceling many of their past requests.”
Judicial Watch also uncovered emails from the DOD that show the Pentagon worked hand-in-hand with congressional offices prior to releasing documents regarding congressional military travel under the FOIA. These “heads up” emails involved FOIA requests filed by Judicial Watch, The Wall Street Journal, Congressional Quarterly, and Roll Call, among other organizations, related to the use of military aircraft by a number of congressional members, including Pelosi.
“Despite the media firestorm over her military travel abuses, Nancy Pelosi continued to use the United States Air Force as her own personal travel agency right up until her final days as House Speaker,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Nancy Pelosi demonstrated an alarming disregard for the men and women in the U.S. Air Force during her tenure as House Speaker. We are pleased that Speaker Boehner will not follow Pelosi’s corrupt example and will instead fly commercial. But this scandal is not only about travel by the Speaker of the House. Through the Speaker’s office, other members of the House are able to obtain permission for the use of military luxury travel for congressional delegation trips abroad. These trips, known as CODELs, have exploded in number and cost. Speaker Boehner needs to reform this abuse of our military’s assets. This is the right thing to do for the U.S. Air Force and for the American taxpayer.”

Obama’s Love Affair with Chairman Mao: Part Deux

Obama’s Love Affair with Chairman Mao: Part Deux

Stella Paul

 

Remember when Obama celebrated his very first White House Christmas by
hanging Chairman
Mao
on his tree?  After all, nothing says, “I’m a traditional American,”
better than a shiny ball emblazoned with the face of a mass murdering Communist,
sparkling like an angel’s wings on Christmas
morning.
Alas, Obama’s paltry poll numbers forced him into all sorts of tiresome
charades, like decorating his Christmas tree without any Communists this year,
and ostentatiously shlepping around a book on Ronald Reagan.
But true love is hard to hide; it keeps blazing through in all the little
things.  Like publicly bowing to Mao’s successor,
Hu Jintao, with the trusting submission of a lovesick puppy.   Hey, it’s just a
nuclear summit… it’s not like Obama needed to look strong or
anything!
And then there are this week’s adoring little signals: delighting in
pianist Lang Lang’s musical performance at the White House of a famous Chinese
ballad.  It turns out the song, “My Motherland,” is a glorious celebration of
the slaughter of American “jackals” (otherwise known as drafted American
soldiers in the Korean war).  The ChiCom tyrants loved it, and the whole world
got to laugh at us pathetic suckers. Obama
was in heaven!
Now think back to junior high school, when all your friends figured out
your latest crush, because you couldn’t stop talking about him.  Well, check out
Obama’s State of the Union!  There he was, once again sending gooey love signals
to China — “home to the world’s largest private solar research facility, and
the world’s fastest computer.”  And its limpid, lustrous eyes aren’t bad
either!
As Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit notes,
“It was historic. Obama cheers Maoist song at White House State Dinner, Praises
Commie China in the State of the Union…All in One Week.”
America breathlessly awaits the day that Obama loves us with as much ardor
as he loves the communist Chinese.

 

The Role Model: What Obama Sees in Reagan

The Role Model: What Obama Sees in Reagan

By Michael Scherer and Michael Duffy
In May 2010, Barack Obama invited a small group of presidential historians to the White House for a working supper in the Family Dining Room. It was the second time he’d had the group in since taking office, and as he sat down across the table from his wife Michelle, the President pressed his guests for lessons from his predecessors. But as the conversation progressed, it became clear to several in the room that Obama seemed less interested in talking about Lincoln’s team of rivals or Kennedy’s Camelot than the accomplishments of an amiable conservative named Ronald Reagan, who had sparked a revolution three decades earlier when he arrived in the Oval Office. Obama and Reagan share a number of gifts but virtually no priorities. And yet Obama was clearly impressed by the way Reagan had transformed Americans’ attitude about government. The 44th President regarded the 40th, said one participant, as a vital “point of reference.” Douglas Brinkley, who edited Reagan’s diaries and attended the May dinner, left with a clear impression that Obama had found a role model. “There are policies, and there is persona, and a lot can be told by persona,” he says. “Obama is approaching the job in a Reaganesque fashion.”
When Obama stood before Congress, the Cabinet and the American people to deliver his second State of the Union address, both the Reagan persona and policies put in appearances. He proposed a freeze in discretionary spending and federal salaries, a push to simplify the tax code and billions in cuts to the defense budget, and he made new calls for a bipartisan effort to repair Social Security.  Each of these had been proposed before by another third-year President coming off a midterm defeat in a period of high unemployment. “Let us, in these next two years — men and women of both parties, every political shade — concentrate on the long-range, bipartisan responsibilities of government,” Reagan said in his 1983 State of the Union, “not the short-range or short-term temptations of partisan politics.”(See Reagan in TIME’s top 10 memorable debate moments.)
At a glance, it’s hard to imagine a President who had less in common with Reagan than the Ivy League lawyer from Hawaii who seeks larger federal investments, a bigger social safety net and new regulations for Wall Street and Big Oil. But under the surface, there is no mistaking Obama’s increasing reliance on his predecessor’s career as a helpful template for his own. Since the November elections, Obama has brought corporate executives into the White House, reached out to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and made compromise his new watchword. He signed a surprise $858 billion tax cut that would have made Reagan weep with joy and huddled with Reagan’s former White House chief of staff Ken Duberstein for lessons learned when the Gipper governed amid economic troubles. Over the Christmas break, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs tweeted that Obama was reading a Reagan biography, and just to confirm the bond, Obama recently wrote an homage to Reagan for USA Today. “Reagan recognized the American people’s hunger for accountability and change,” Obama wrote, conferring on Reagan two of his most cherished political slogans.(See “From Actor to Politician: 1966, Ronald Reagan’s Pivotal Year.”)
Every man who occupies the Oval Office discovers that the place is haunted — by both the achievements and the failures of his predecessors. It is only natural for them to ask, How will I stack up? Where will history rank me? And do I really belong here with the likes of Washington, Jefferson and all the rest? LBJ worried constantly about Eisenhower’s opinion. Reagan often modeled himself in style on Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for whom he cast his first vote for President, in 1932. George H.W. Bush asked himself, Can I be another Teddy Roosevelt? When George W. Bush was asked after his first term whether he thought more or less highly of any of his predecessors, he replied that having sat in the chair himself, he thought more highly of all of them.
Obama’s affection for Reagan’s political style carries with it a clear self-interest. White House aides gaze fondly at the arc of the Reagan presidency in part because they pray Obama’s will mirror it. Both men entered office in wave elections in which the political center made a historic shift. Both faced deep economic downturns with spiking unemployment in their first term. Both relied heavily on the power of oratory. “Our hope,” admits Gibbs, “is the story ends the same way.” (Read “The Reagan Revelation.”)
What Reagan Taught Obama
In many ways, the Gipper gave Obama his start. Obama’s first public political act occurred on Feb. 18, 1981, just 29 days after Reagan took the oath of office in Washington. The 19-year-old sophomore, who had just abandoned the nickname Barry for his birth name Barack, climbed onto an outdoor stage at Occidental College to urge his school to divest from companies doing business in apartheid South Africa. “There’s a struggle going on,” he called out. “I say, there’s a struggle going on.” As he spoke, Reagan was already laying the groundwork to shift U.S. policy on South Africa in the opposite direction, giving cover to the all-white government under a policy called constructive engagement. (Comment on this story.)
In the years that followed, Reagan would come to epitomize all that Obama opposed. Reagan cut social spending in America’s cities, backed what Obama called “death squads” in El Salvador and began to build what Obama regarded as an “ill conceived” missile-defense shield. “I personally came of age during the Reagan presidency,” Obama wrote later, recalling the classroom debates in his courses on international affairs. When he graduated from Columbia in 1983, Obama decided to become a community organizer. “I’d pronounce the need for change,” Obama wrote in his memoir. “Change in the White House, where Reagan and his minions were carrying on their dirty deeds.” A decade later, he was still at it, leading a 1992 Illinois voter-registration effort aimed at breaking the Reagan coalition’s hold on his state’s electoral votes.

But in Obama’s story line, Reagan has been more than just the antagonist. As the 1980s rolled on and Obama matured, Reagan became a model for leadership. The attraction was less substantive than stylistic and instinctive. Both had strong mothers and dysfunctional fathers. Both prided themselves on bringing people together. Obama even conceded that he sometimes felt the emotional pull of Reagan’s vision. “I understood his appeal,” Obama recalled in his second book, The Audacity of Hope. “Reagan spoke to America’s longing for order, our need to believe that we are not simply subject to blind, impersonal forces but that we can shape our individual and collective destinies.” The Great Communicator, it seems, had struck a chord.
This admiration stayed with Obama after he rose to the U.S. Senate and as he weighed a run at the White House. In late 2006, his top strategist, David Axelrod, laid out an Obama-as-Reagan theory of the race. “I remember talking about the fact that this had the potential to be one of those big-change elections like 1980,” Axelrod says now. “The Republican project seemed to have run out of gas.” Axelrod believed the political pendulum, which had swung left with the New Deal and had been reversed by Reagan, was once again reaching the end of its arc. (See Patti Davis on her father Ronald Reagan’s best qualities.)
Among Obama loyalists, the Reagan theory was received wisdom, and for political reasons it was closely held. In January 2008, Obama broke cover. “I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that, you know, Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not,” Obama told a newspaper editorial board in Nevada. “He tapped into what people were already feeling, which is, We want clarity, we want optimism.” Obama’s comments inflamed the Democratic left (not to mention the Clinton operation), but his aides thought little of it at the time. “I basically told headquarters, ‘Sorry I didn’t call this in,'” remembers Gibbs, who was traveling with Obama at the time. “I had just heard him say this so many times.”
In the 2008 general election, Obama’s aides saw their challenge as the same one Reagan faced against Jimmy Carter: a need to demonstrate authority and credibility to the American people, many of whom thought Reagan might not be suitable as Commander in Chief. While Reagan solidified his support in a televised debate with Carter, Obama did it by outmaneuvering John McCain with his far steadier handling of the financial collapse. Obama’s campaign team even sought for a time to stage an event at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, where Reagan made history.
Theory into Practice
Shortly after the election, reporters Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson asked Obama if he thought his victory marked the end of the Reagan era. “What Reagan ushered in was a skepticism toward government solutions to every problem,” Obama said. “I don’t think that has changed.” But then he went on to say he believed his election would spell “an end to the knee-jerk reaction toward the New Deal and Big Government.” In Obama’s mind, his election was not an endorsement of the outsize government role that Reagan battled — bureaucratic, ever expanding, self-interested — but a cry for government that could carry out its basic missions more effectively. “I think what you’re seeing is a correction to the correction,” Obama explained. (See Reagan in TIME’s top 10 political defections.)

That’s not the sort of slogan that fits easily on a bumper sticker. One reason was that, unlike Reagan’s, Obama’s central theme remains somewhat mysterious. No one was unclear about Reagan’s guiding philosophy: “Government is the problem,” he declared on his Inauguration Day, and by then he had been saying it for nearly 20 years. Obama’s is more complex. He wants to reset the public’s attitude toward government, reverse 30 years of skepticism and mistrust and usher in a new era in which government solutions are again seen as part of the answer to the nation’s ills. But the yearlong health care debate only reminded Americans of government’s tendency to slow things down, muddle the choices and perhaps make them more expensive. A September Gallup poll found that 7 in 10 Americans had a negative impression of the federal government; they used words like too big, confused and corrupt to describe it. Obama’s signature initiative, a vast expansion of the federal role in health care, has mostly polled under 50% since mid-2009.
Yet even the midterm wipeout has become part of the borrowed Reagan script. For months, aides like Axelrod warned Obama to expect a drop in the polls like the one Reagan suffered during the 1982 recession. Reagan “wasn’t the Great Communicator then,” notes one senior Obama aide. Just as Reagan’s revolutionary agenda coincided with a historic recession, massive unemployment and a humbling defeat in the 1982 midterms, the story went, Obama’s new spending programs coincided with a historic recession, deep unemployment and midterms that cost the Democrats control of Congress. As the 2010 elections approached, White House aides struggled to recast press expectations in the mold of Reagan’s early struggles. “The most analogous election to the midterms probably isn’t the environment Clinton faced in 1994,” argued communications director Dan Pfeiffer. “It’s the one Reagan faced in 1982.”

This is where the Obama-Reagan comparison begins to break down. Lou Cannon, who wrote the Reagan biography that Obama read on vacation, points out that economic growth in the U.S. in the four quarters following the 1982 elections averaged a steroidal 7%. Most economists expect the U.S. economy to grow no more than half as fast this year. “If you were to say to anyone now that the U.S. would have a 7% growth rate in 2011, they would be writing the second Inaugural speech already,” says Cannon.
Duberstein, Reagan’s chief of staff, believes that Obama and Reagan share some traits: both loners more than backslappers, both heavily reliant on their spouses, both more trusting of their instincts than their advisers. But the 44th President has some ways to go before matching the 40th in the communications department. “Obama for the first two years has tried to forge a consensus in Washington,” Duberstein says. “He needs to take a page from Reagan and forge a consensus in America. Let his aides worry about the back and forth in D.C. He needs to be communicating with the American people.” (See TIME’s 2004 appreciation piece on Reagan.)
When Obama’s Jan. 25 speech soared highest, it streaked far above Washington’s often pointless political skirmishes and spoke directly to the nation’s pride. “As contentious and frustrating and messy as our democracy can sometimes be,” the President said, “I know there isn’t a person here who would trade places with any other nation on earth.”

Right Guard: Reagan fashioned a revolution that was positive and optimistic and found approval among both Republicans and Democrats

New Centrist: Chastened by voters in November, Obama is leading his team back toward the middle
Blessed by Weakened Rivals
Historians have noticed that Obama’s current situation shares one other similarity with the dark days of the Reagan era: the eroding unity of their opponents. Democrats were splitting in two in the early 1980s, into a labor-backed left and a new group of moderates who wanted to move the party to the center. Today, Obama faces a Republican Party that is struggling to reconcile its traditional, business-friendly wing and the upstart, impatient Tea Party faction. The split is starting to be distracting for the GOP. After Obama’s speech, Republicans came back with two responses — one from the party’s leadership and one from a junior Congresswoman from Minnesota, Michele Bachmann, under the Tea Party banner. Bachmann said she did not intend “to compete with the official Republican remarks,” but that was exactly the effect. “It was problematic and confusing for the Republican Party,” says Mark McKinnon, a former strategist for John McCain. When reporters asked McCain about the Bachmann rebuttal, he said with a wink, “It’s a free country.”
Reagan’s fiercest defenders naturally are suspicious about Obama’s bromance with Reagan. “He’s been trying to unspool everything Reagan stood for,” says one old hand. Nor is the Reagan role model something the President can really boast about to his nervous allies on the left. Obama will not take part in the 100th birthday celebration for Reagan at Simi Valley, Calif., in early March, though he may have something to contribute when a black-tie gala is held in Washington later this spring. (See TIME’s photo-essay “Ronald Reagan’s Fulcrum Year: 1966.”)
Obama invited Nancy Reagan to the White House 19 months ago, when he signed legislation creating a commission to plan for her husband’s centennial. The meeting was cordial and generous on both sides. Nancy and Michelle Obama had lunch. Nancy, who in her ninth decade retains a healthy sense of humor, didn’t miss a chance to point out one difference between Obama and her late husband. “You’re a lefty,” she said as Obama inked the Reagan commission into law.
“I am a lefty,” Obama replied. A lefty who wants to be remembered just like Ronnie.

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)
Join Lloyd Marcus
Facebook Page
Tea Are The World,
“Taking Back America” The Making of Documentary
… The MUST
SEE Tea Party Historic Conservative Music Event
!

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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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