A suggestion for this 4th of July

A suggestion for this 4th of July

Jerry Philipson

Every patriotic American should do two things on this July 4th.

First, recite the Presidential Oath of Office to themselves and second, resolve to do everything they can within the law to prevent Obama from inflicting further damage on the country and the world until he is tossed out of office in disgrace in the next election.

In other words, we must all be President. We must all take personal responsibility for safeguarding our values and beliefs and this great nation of ours because thanks to Obama and his acolytes the consequences will be catastrophic if we don’t. Hell, they already have been in many ways and if we don’t get on with it now America and the world will be unrecognizable by the time he’s through.

The Oath of Office is as follows…I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Since Obama has proven incapable of doing the job we must do it for him.

Pelosi: Unemployment benefits create jobs? If I hadn’t seen and heard it myself I would have never believed it.

Pelosi: Unemployment benefits create jobs?

Neil Braithwaite

If I hadn’t seen and heard it myself I would have never believed it. 

Nancy Pelosi telling America that unemployment benefits are “One of the biggest stimulus’s to our economy.”

Waite – it gets better.

Speaker Pelosi went on to say that unemployment benefits are actually “Job creating” and that unemployment benefits “Create jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name.”

Let’s get this straight. When you lose your job and start collecting unemployment benefits, it stimulates the economy AND creates jobs?

So the logical conclusion is: the more people lose their jobs – the more jobs will be created – and the economy gets a big boost?

OK – I’m totally confident in Democrat leadership now.

 
Neil Braithwaite writes political commentary and satire.

Obama one of the best presidents evah! Is there bias in the academy toward Democrats and liberals?

Obama one of the best presidents evah!

Rick Moran

Is there bias in the academy toward Democrats and liberals?

Does Charlie Daniels play a real fast fiddle?

George W. Bush was no FDR, but Barack Obama could be.That’s the verdict of 238 of the nation’s leading presidential scholars, who – for a fifth time – rated Franklin Delano Roosevelt the best president ever in the latest Siena College Research Institute poll.

In office for barely two years, Obama entered the survey in the 15th position – two spots behind Bill Clinton and three spots ahead of Ronald Reagan.

Obama got high marks for intelligence, ability to communicate and imagination, but his score was dragged down by his relative lack of experience and family background.

“Most of the presidents came from elite backgrounds, and he certainly did not,” said professor Douglas Lonnstrom, who crunched the numbers. “He grew up without a father.”

I find this kind of thing fascinating. Not because they rank conservatives and Republicans lower, or that they made FDR #1 (that’s the narrative and they’re sticking to it). It’s that the nation’s public intellectuals operate so much in a cocoon that they don’t realize people are laughing at them when they make Barack Obama the 15th best president of all time, while giving him “high marks for intelligence, ability to communicate and imagination.” The evidence for any of that is so lacking that it obviously exists only in the minds of the respondents.

BTW – they rank Jimmy Carter 7 places higher (#32) than George Bush (#39).

Obama: ‘You’ve got a lot of golf courses here, don’t you?

Obama: ‘You’ve got a lot of golf courses here, don’t you?’

J.C. Arenas

President Obama is visiting Canada for the G8 and G20 meetings. Looks like he has something else on his mind:

When U.S. President Barack Obama stepped off his helicopter in Huntsville on Friday, the first thing he said was, “You’ve got a lot of golf courses here, don’t you?” Industry Minister Tony Clement told the National Post in an exclusive interview.
“I told him, ‘We would really recommend and love it if you could come back here with Michelle and the kids at some point – we think you’d really love it here,’” Minister Clement said on the sidewalk of Huntsville’s Main Street, in his home riding. “I think I’ve planted a seed in the President’s mind.”

A new Dr. Seuss book…

A new Dr. Seuss book…

I do not like this Uncle Sam, I do not like his health care scam.

I do not like these dirty crooks, or how they lie and cook the books.

I do not like when Congress steals,

I do not like their secret deals.

I do not like this speaker Nan ,

I do not like this ‘YES WE CAN’.do not like this spending spree,

I’m smart, I know that nothing’s free, 

I do not like your smug replies, when I complain about your lies. 

I do not like this kind of hope. 

I do not like it you BIG Dope. 

I do not like it NOPE NOPE NOPE! 

 

 

A Surreal Presidency Obama revives the theatre of the absurd….

A Surreal Presidency

 

Posted By David Solway On June 21, 2010 @ 12:01 am In FrontPage | 24 Comments

 In thinking of Barack Obama’s presidency, I can’t help recalling the Comte de Lautréamont [1]’s definition of Surrealism as the quintessence of the Absurd: “the encounter of an umbrella and a sewing-machine on a dissection table.” For this is certainly the most surreal presidency since Jimmy Carter’s, or even Andrew Jackson’s—or, more likely, the most implausible and Absurd administration in the entirety of American history.

Let us see how Lautréamont applies. It is raining debt and joblessness on the United States, but Obama and his crew are protected by an umbrella so vast it resembles Muammar Gaddafi’s tent. Obama enjoys the top job in the country and avails himself lavishly of all its perks, posting as well an annual income in the millions of dollars [2], over five million [3] in 2009 alone. His cohorts and backers are doing quite proudly too, not to mention Democratic godfather George Soros, one of the world’s richest men. Home foreclosures and job terminations are not an issue for these people, who are good at theoretical empathy and not much else, apart from making the situation even worse than it already is. As for the sewing-machine, it is busy at work stitching a fabric of lies and subterfuges, from global warming to Green energy to cap-and-trade to socialized medicine. And on the dissection table an entire nation is being cut to shreds to the jubilant disbelief of America’s dedicated enemies. The borders are porous, military spending is being reduced, terrorists are Mirandized, geopolitical adversaries are regarded as aggrieved friends-in-waiting and real friends are given the cold shoulder. On the domestic front, genuine popular movements seeking beneficial change are slandered as an army of thugs and seditionists. All this is Surrealism with a vengeance.

Carter and Jackson serve as theatrical analogies. Jimmy Carter, as we all know, was (and is) the archetypal wimp who never met a theocrat he didn’t like and gave us the Iran we know today while eventually selling out to the Saudis, the principal funders of his misnamed Peace Center. Carter was conceivably the worst president in POTUS history until the present incumbent appeared to bring the highest office in the land into turmoil and disrepute. Andrew Jackson, according to his biographer James Parton [4], was a bundle of contradictions: “A democratic aristocrat. An urbane savage. An atrocious saint.” Founder of the Democratic Party, Jackson was one of the most interesting and selectively dynamic in the almanac of presidential characters, but also one of the most problematic, especially with respect to the institution of slavery. Both Carter and Jackson, each in his own unique way, were spectacles that almost defied credence. Both were made for the Theatre of the Absurd, one a grovelling clown without an iota of reason to his credit and the other a blustering commander who dominated the political proscenium with his personal eccentricities.

They have now been pre-empted by Barack Obama, aided and abetted by an apostolic media that refused to examine his tainted past [5] and divinized him as someone rather more than merely human. One remembers that old joke about the media’s relation to George W. Bush. If he had walked on water, the headlines would have read: “Bush can’t swim.” But with Obama it’s exactly the other way round. If he went for a swim, the headlines would read: “Obama too modest to reveal messianic powers.”

What many have failed to recognize until recently is that Obama is no wonder-worker, no farsighted statesman, no honest broker, no competent chief executive, no bipartisan healer—and in point of fact, he is simply not presidential material at all. Obama has absolutely no idea of how to go about running a country. But it would be a mistake to assume that he is nothing more than an untalented bungler, for he is blessed with thespian aptitudes that none of his predecessors could have mustered. Obama is a man with a résumé so thin it would look sideways head-on, but he is unexcelled as a performer.

Obama is essentially an actor in a kind of Brechtian drama promoting a neo-Marxist ideology, say, The Caucasian Chalk Circle [6], mixed with robust elements of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot [7]. As with Brecht, Obama believes in the redistribution of income as the central program of the welfare state—although Brecht, who wrote in the service of the East German regime, deposited [8] his substantial profits in West German banks, a rather salient item in the current context. At the same time, there is a sense in which Obama resembles Beckett’s elusive Godot who is eagerly awaited but never actually arrives. He intends to show up later in the day, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, but the promise is never realized. Similarly, Obama doesn’t “show up” in any meaningful acceptation of the phrase, as his tardy response to the BP oil spill makes pretty obvious. But it’s more than that: he just doesn’t seem “there” to meet the major challenges of the time with insight, knowledge, intelligence and courage. Obama also mirrors the character Estragon whose trousers fall to his ankles without him noticing it, a fitting end to the play in which the character’s naked ineffectualness and perpetual dithering is finally exposed.

America is now living under the simulated presidency of an impressive actor for whom all the world’s a stage and all the people in it merely suckers. Displaying the quirkiness and ostentation of the inveterate ham, he soliloquizes in Cairo, postures in Copenhagen, preens in Oslo, orates in Washington, warbles “Hey Jude” [9] with a merry singalong gang in the White House, awarding Paul McCartney the Library of Congress Gershwin Award for Popular Song “on behalf of a grateful nation” while the real, neglected nation groans, looks fetchingly troubled when examining oil slick on the Gulf coast, relishes photo-ops and relies on a teleprompter the way actors depend on the souffleur beneath the planks. As president, he manifests on the one hand the futility and ineptitude of Jimmy Carter taken to the nth degree, in particular with regard to the Iranian threat, and on the other the idiosyncratic behavior of Andrew Jackson—though it must be acknowledged, without Jackson’s native gumption and profoundly held convictions.

Indeed, Obama is a weird bird. To be fair, he does bring a parcel of convictions with him, albeit of a distinctly socialist stamp, which he seems determined to impose on a once-largely unsuspecting public. These convictions, however, seem like a kind of ideological stuffing without which he would fold, buckle and collapse on himself. It is as if he needs to have something controversial, something startling to say in order to convince himself, as well as others, that he exists, and requires a platform on which to exercise his repertoire of roles. An utter prima donna, he is so consumed with his own histrionic self, and his ability to adopt whatever pose the situation demands, that he seems nothing so much as an absence made concrete, a flamboyant nullity inadequate to the problems he confronts, adept only at speeches, monologues and striking gestures. As a result, the time inevitably comes when he begins to look inauthentic and faintly ridiculous, and ultimately as unreal as a typical character in an Absurdist play who faces alarmingly incomprehensible predicaments before which he remains helpless and unbuttoned. Such, of course, is the nature of the genre, as it is of this presidency.

The long and the short of it is that Obama’s tenure in the White House will be remembered as a national aberration, a piece of avant-garde theatre and a surreal installment in the far more serious drama of unforgiving realpolitik. Meanwhile, the umbrella is open wide, the sewing machine keeps humming away and a country is laid out flat on the dissection table.

Will Obama Be the ‘Jimmy Carter of the 21st Century’?

06/17/2010 03:14 PM

The World from Berlin

Will Obama Be the ‘Jimmy Carter of the 21st Century’?

Can US President Barack Obama lead America away from fossil fuel dependency? German commentators don’t think so. Some say he is in danger of turning into an idealistic, one-term president like Jimmy Carter.

US President Barack Obama’s address from the Oval Office on Tuesday was supposed to be a moment of leadership during the worst environmental disaster in American history. But critics from across the political spectrum wondered afterwards whether he’d shown leadership at all. The geyser of oil in the Gulf of Mexico seems, technologically, to lie beyond anything either BP or the US government was prepared for, and Obama failed to mention any specific new ideas.

“The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean-energy future is now,” he declared, without offering policy details. Of course, it wasn’t a policy speech. But the fact that Obama failed to outline a clear path toward this clean-energy future seems to have disappointed a lot of people. “He didn’t boldly push an agenda,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator from South Carolina, to Politico, the Washington-based news website. “I think a lot of people took that to mean lukewarm support for anything big.”

One immediate result of White House talks with the American arm of BP, though, was a series of concessions on Wednesday. BP Plc agreed to set aside $20 billion (€16.1 billion) in escrow to cover damage claims by shrimpers, restauranteurs and other Gulf-Coast residents hurt by the spill. The energy giant also said it would suspend shareholder dividends until 2011, when it expects to have a clearer notion of the catastrophe’s costs. Another $100 million (€80.8 million) will be set aside for compensation to BP workers hurt by the spill.

These gestures from the energy giant are the most tangible form of good news local residents have heard in the two months since the spill began. German commentators on Thursday think BP’s concessions are genuine as well as worthwhile — but they warn that Obama will need to paddle harder to realize the shining future he promised in his speech on Tuesday.

The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes:

“Obama wants to lead the US out of its dependence on oil. Absolutely right. In fact it’s the very thing people have been wanting to hear from Obama for weeks.”

“But how cautious he seems, and how vague his suggestions. In 1961 President Kennedy declared a national mission to place a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Obama has chosen not to name concrete goals. No numbers, no time frame. He doesn’t dare mention how things will have to change to favor the climate. Professor Obama waits for new ideas and looks forward to a public debate. He doesn’t dare push the Senate to settle on a climate-change bill. This president won’t lead America out of a crisis this way — and he certainly won’t usher in a new era.”

The left-leaning daily Die Tageszeitung argues:

“International markets have started to take environmental problems seriously. BP stock has fallen by almost 50 percent since the start of the oil catastrophe. Ratings agencies have downgraded its creditworthiness to near-junk status. And banks have stopped sealing long-term contracts with BP.”

“This situation is new. When oil companies in the past soiled the Niger Delta or the Amazon, markets tended to reward them — because corporations that skimped on security also increased their profits, to the detriment of the environment and the public interest. Now the costs of environmental damage have started to weigh on the balance sheet, with consequences extending to the possible bankruptcy of a multinational.”

“This new environmental sensibility has been possible not through a sudden display of reason on the markets, but through political decision-making. President Barack Obama made it clear (in early June) that BP won’t be exempt from criminal investigation. He’s also maintained a moratorium on new oil exploration on the deep-ocean floor, and looks determined to end corruption in federal oil agencies.”

The Financial Times Deutschland writes:

“The oil company could be prosecuted by shareholders for paying billions upon billions into a fund for damages without being legally required to do so … It’s therefore a good thing that the US government has not asked for a blank check to cover damages. With the high sum (of $20 billion), the government can now offer quick and unbureaucratic First Aid (to people living near the Gulf).”

“But the firm can’t just run free now that an arbitrary sum has been set. What the final cost for damages might be, and which mistakes were made by whom, have yet to be determined. Civil and criminal complaints against BP have to remain an open possibility. This fund is just a first step toward stopping the holes that the oil catastrophe has ripped in the finances of many affected people.”

The conservative daily Die Welt writes:

“When Obama surprised people by lifting his opposition to offshore drilling, just before the , he meant it as one part of a package deal: Citizens who worried primarily about high fuel prices were meant to be placated by expanded domestic oil production — as a gambit to win more acceptance for the core of his new-energy agenda. This strategy is marked by a typical American pragmatism, unlike Europe’s forces of climate protection. The emphasis rests on incentives to save energy, on building more nuclear-energy plants and on developing new ideas in renewable energy.”

“This is the right way to make America independent of problematic nations. Going forward, the mix will also have to include exploitation of (America’s) domestic energy resources, even if it also means heavier regulation to avoid a new disaster. But if this oil shock accelerates America’s shift to new energies, and moves the West away from a dangerous dependency on fossil fuels, then the catastrophe will have at least one positive outcome.”

The left-leaning Berliner Zeitung writes:

“If Barack Obama isn’t careful, he will become the Jimmy Carter of the 21st century.”

“In his speech, Obama tried to make a virtue of an emergency. He said a shift to new energy sources was now a ‘national mission.’ Just as the nation once mobilized its powers for World War II, now it needs to conquer its devilish dependence on fossil fuels … If Obama wins this debate, and achieves a true shift in energy dependence, then his name will perhaps be mentioned again in the same breath with great American presidents.”

“Politically, though, it’s fraught with risk. His opponents have already charged Obama with using the Gulf catastrophe to advance his climate agenda in Congress. Republicans rely on the tendency of Americans to prefer cheap fuel and big cars with a certain level of power. Over 30 years ago, after all, another president called for smarter American energy policies in a televised speech from the Oval Office. He wanted to know, ‘Why have we not been able to get together as a nation to resolve our serious energy problem?’ That president’s name was Jimmy Carter.”

– Michael Scott Moore

© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2010

Ship of state? Or ship of fools?

Ship of state? Or ship of fools?

Russ Vaughn

The State Ship (S.S.) Obama, which has been taking on water continuously since its launch in January 2009, and was most recently torpedoed by the sub-marine mishaps of a callous British offshore insurgency into the Gulf of Mexico, is now listing several degrees to port (that’s LEFT for you landlubbers) and, according to detractors on the right, is now in significant danger of turning turtle (that’s capsizing for those uninitiated in nautical terminology). Yep, bottoms up.

With the slowly growing fires of resistance to national health care reform that have been smoldering deep within the bowels of the vessel that are now threatening to explode into a full-blown conflagration, one would think that an experienced commander of the S.S. Obama would be marshaling his forces to deal with both this serious internal threat and the disastrous external threat unleashed upon our shores by B.P. and B.O. (Big Oil.)

But the S.S. Obama and its untested commander, while not exactly known for their ability to skillfully navigate the minefields of international politics, do, by damn, observe and enforce the federal rules of crisis navigation. And that means that regardless of how many tens of thousands of barrels of oil may be pouring into the Gulf of Mexico daily, those damned non-compliant skimmer boats which are working triple shifts to suck up the surface oil before it pollutes our Gulf coast will not, under any circumstances, do so until it has been satisfactorily determined by U.S. Coast Guard inspectors that each and every one of these skimmer vessels meets federal safety requirements for onboard fire extinguishers and the requisite number of life jackets.

After all, it’s what’s important that counts.

Oil in our waters be damned! We have federal safety requirements to be observed here! Can’t you just wait for this kind of bureaucratic idiocy to infect your health care? The S.S. Obama has a fool as its master and its Pearl Harbor is rapidly approaching in November this year rather than on December 7th. The result however will be the same.

Sail on you ship of state? Not likely; the S.S. Obama is a sinking Ship of Fools.

The Big Lie used to justify drilling moratorium

The Big Lie used to justify drilling moratorium

Rick Moran

The Obama administration used the names of drilling experts to justify a ban on deep water drilling – despite the fact that 8 of these experts who were listed in the Interior Department report used as a basis for the moratorium say that their names had been used to justify a political decision:

When President Obama last month announced his six-month deepwater moratorium, he pointed to an Interior Department report of new “safety” recommendations. That report prominently noted that the recommendations it contained-including the six-month drilling ban-had been “peer-reviewed” by “experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering.” It also boasted that Interior “consulted with a wide range” of other experts. The clear implication was that the nation’s drilling brain trust agreed a moratorium was necessary.As these columns reported last week, the opposite is true. In a scathing document, eight of the “experts” the Administration listed in its report said their names had been “used” to “justify” a “political decision.” The draft they reviewed had not included a six-month drilling moratorium. The Administration added that provision only after it had secured sign-off. In their document, the eight forcefully rejected a moratorium, which they argued could prove more economically devastating than the oil spill itself and “counterproductive” to “safety.”

The Administration insisted this was much ado about nothing. An Interior spokesman claimed the experts clearly had been called to review the report on a “technical basis,” whereas the moratorium was a “comprehensive” question. Obama environment czar Carol Browner declared: “No one’s been deceived or misrepresented.” Really? We can only imagine the uproar if a group of climate scientists had claimed the Bush Administration misappropriated their views.

It gets worse.

The experts were certainly under the impression they were reviewing a comprehensive document, as some of the recommendations would take six months or even a year to implement. And the report they agreed to did address moratoria: It recommended a six-month ban on new deepwater permits. Yet Benton Baugh, president of Radoil, said that in at least two separate hour-and-a-half phone calls among Interior and the experts, there was no discussion of a moratorium on existing drilling. “Because if anybody had [made that suggestion], we’d have said ‘that’s craziness.’” 

The Obama administration is almost as good at “craziness” as they are at lying.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

Obama administration spends $1.2 billion on cycling and walking initiatives

Obama administration spends $1.2 billion on cycling and walking initiatives

The Obama administration more than doubled spending on cycling and walking initiatives to $1.2 billion (£810 million) last year as it seeks to coax Americans out of their cars.

Published: 11:36PM BST 16 Jun 2010

 

The Obama administration more than doubled spending on cycling and walking initiatives Photo: GETTY

Spending on biking and walking projects rose from less than $600 million (£407 million) in 2008, according to the Federal Highway Administraion. Twenty years ago, the federal government was spending only $6 million a year on such projects.

The spending on biking and walking projects was scheduled to rise last year anyway, but the administration boosted it with $400 million in funds set aside under the economic recovery program.

The new focus on biking and walking represents a turnaround from the administration of President George W Bush. Mary Peters, transportation secretary under Bush, dismissed biking paths and trails as projects that “really are not transportation,” saying they had no place in federal transportation policy.

In March, Mr Obama’s transportation secretary, Ray LaHood, announced a policy “sea change” that gives biking and walking projects the same importance as automobiles in transportation planning and the selection of projects for federal money.

The new policy is an extension of the Obama administration’s livability initiative, which regards the creation of alternatives to driving – buses, streetcars and trains, as well as biking and walking – as central to solving the nation’s transportation woes.

Biking and walking is on the rise, according to the report, which is based on annual survey data. The number of reported walking trips has more than doubled since the first survey, from 18 billion in 1990 to 42.5 billion in 2009. Bicycling trips saw a similar increase, from 1.7 billion to 4 billion during the same period.

Together, the two modes account for 11.9 per cent of all reported trips by Americans. Biking is less than 1 per cent of the total.

“Americans want and need safe alternatives to driving,” Mr LaHood said in a statement. “By making biking and walking safer and more accessible, we’ll be able to provide Americans with more choices and help foster more active, liveable communities.”

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