Sticker wars: Shattering the myth of Hope and Change

Michelle Malkin 

Sticker wars: Shattering the myth of Hope and Change

By Michelle Malkin  •  July 27, 2009 12:12 PM

Just wanted to share a quick back story about the cover of Culture of Corruption:

If the distinctive artwork seems familiar, it’s because the graphic artist behind the shattered O logo is our friend, Tennyson Hayes. Tennyson and I collaborated on the image, which sums up the book — and the last six months of the Age of Obama — in a stark and arresting way. The Obama campaign understands the power of visual propaganda. The Right needs to get in the game, too. Just look around your neighborhood or highway and the still-stubborn proliferation of HopeAndChange bumper stickers.

To fight back against the delusional tide, Tennyson has made shattered O stickers available here. I’ve got one on the back of my car window and have already earned some dirty looks:

So, get a book. Lend it to your “progressive” friends and family. Send them a sticker. Send me photos of your car with the shattered O logo sticker. I’ll post ‘em.

And stay tuned. We have more goodies in store for you!

Just how smart is Obama?

Just how smart is Obama?

By Clarice Feldman

Just how smart is the President? Famous presidential historian Michael Beschloss, a regular on PBS’s Newshour show, says his IQ is “off the charts” and that he is “probably the smartest guy ever to become president,” while admitting he doesn’t know what his IQ is. I say: let’s look at the evidence.


Obama’s books

 

Jack Cashill has expended a great deal of effort at American Thinker to blast holes in the “foundational myth” that President Obama is a “literary genius”.

 

Comparing books attributed to Obama with known undisputed samples of his writings, Cashill has shown that, in fact, Obama is a crappy writer, who, despite a Harvard-educated father, a mother with a PhD, attendance at the best private prep school in Hawaii and degrees from Columbia University and Harvard Law School, never mastered such elemental matters of grammar as the necessary agreement of verbs and nouns in a sentence.

 

I think Cashill’s rather convincingly demonstrated his thesis that Obama never authored the two books which are cited as proof that he is some kind of literary genius.

 

But the “literary genius” foundational myth is not the only one in need of serious examination. The very notion that he merited admission let alone degrees from these rigorous and competitive institutions is called into question every time Obama makes an extemporaneous remark. He knows little or nothing about history, economics, law, geography  and  the grammar rules of his native tongue.

 

Obama Geography

 

 

 

“We only have a certain number [Arabic translators] of them and if they are all in Iraq, then it’s harder for us to use them in Afghanistan,” Obama said.   (Afghanistan is not an Arabic-speaking country.)

 

“[I]t was also interesting to see that political interaction in Europe is not that different from the United States Senate. There’s a lot of — I don’t know what the term is in Austrian, wheeling and dealing.” (Confusing German for “Austrian”, a language which does not exist.)

 

Obama History

 

“On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes — and I see many of them in the audience here today — our sense of patriotism is particularly strong. ” (He sees dead people?)

 

“I had a uncle who was one of the, who was part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps….”  (Stalin’s army liberated Auschwitz, and he should use “an” before a word which begins with a vowel, a grammatical error he makes often .)

 

“I’m always worried about using the word ‘victory,’ because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur….”   (Hirohito never attended the surrender ceremony and you don’t “sign a surrender”.)

 

Obama Economics

 

“… profit and earnings ratio.” (The correct term is the Price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Profit and earnings ratio is nonsensical.)

 

“The reforms we seek would bring greater competition, choice, savings and inefficiencies to our health care system,” Obama said in remarks after a health care roundtable with physicians, nurses and health care providers.  [emphasis added]

 

 

Think about that,” he said, “California producing jobs, their economy keeping pace with the rest of the country and yet they’ve been able to maintain their energy usage in a much lower level than the rest of the country.” 

 

Obama Spoken Language

 

“The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity. But she is a typical white person. If she sees somebody on the street that she doesn’t know. . .there’s a reaction in her that don’t [emphasis supplied] go away and it comes out in the wrong way.”

 

While he argued that American children should learn to speak Spanish , he referred to the Cinco de Mayo celebration as Cinco de Cuatro  (Five of Four) 

 

Often the press smoothes the flubs over, and only careful transcribers like my friend jmh catch them as here where Obama shows he doesn’t understand what pronoun to use:

 

 

“At the end of the conversation there was discussion about ah — my conversation with Sgt Crowley — there was discussion about he and I and Professor Gates havin’ a beer here in the White House, ah, we don’t know if that’s scheduled yet but ah…” (Of course, when he’s trying to sound knowingly folksy he — like Hillary — also drops the final g in words.)

 

Sometimes as here — he just makes up new meanings for words:

 

OBAMA: The government would play that role with respect to money that the government is spending. Right? Which it always — it currently plays that role. That’s not a change.
So Medicare and Medicaid — those programs in which the government is involved and honing up [emphasis supplied] dollars, I think taxpayers would expect that we spend that money wisely. We don’t want to see that money wasted on weapons systems that aren’t needed. We don’t want it spent on welfare programs that don’t work. And we shouldn’t want that spent on tests that aren’t making people better.

 

 

“I could have calibrated those words differently” [emphasis supplied]

 

Obama Law

 

He seems to have utterly misread the U.S. Constitution and its role in our lives:

 

“…That generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn’t shifted.” (Interview on WBEZ-FM 2001)

 

 

“In March, President Obama announced that government officials would not be allowed to consider the views of lobbyists regarding specific stimulus projects unless the requests are put in writing. The materials also had to be posted on an agency’s website within three business days of receipt.”

 

I have, with the help of fellow posters at Just One Minute, pulled together these representative errors not for the purpose of being mean spirited. We know we all are error prone from time to time. Just as we know that had Obama not been a certain favorite of the media each and every one of these illiteracies and gaffes would have received far more play than they have.

 

I have another purpose. I do not believe that someone with such a  consistently weak understanding of economics, history, and the guiding legal document of our nation and its language  merited admission to Columbia University or Harvard law school. Nor can I imagine how anyone could have merited graduation from these institutions (let alone edited the Harvard Law Review, the most prestigious legal publication of its kind) with these deficiencies.

 

Did his professors give him a special pass along the way? Or was he assisted in school, as Jack Cashill suggests he was assisted in his literary endeavors by ghost writers? Did others write his essays? Did he take only open book exams? Terrorist Bill Ayers, who Cashill says ghosted Dreams of my Father, lived close to Obama when he attended Columbia. Did he shepherd him through college, too? Ayers’ wife, Bernardine Dohrn, went to the University of Chicago Law School but there is some overlap between the time she worked at Sidley Austin and Michelle Obama did. Dohrn worked there from 1984-1988 and Michelle apparently worked there as a summer associate for two years before she graduated in 1988 from Harvard Law School. Obama began law school in 1988 and began work as a summer associate at Sidley Austin in 1989. It’s hard to believe they all didn’t know each other rather well.

 

In any event, people who entered these institutions under the normal admission rules, took the required courses, and faced stiff graduation requirements, have got to start believing the President is undercutting the once far more prestigious value of their educational accomplishments.

 

Clarice Feldman is a retired attorney in Washington, DC.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/07/just_how_smart_is_obama.html at July 27, 2009 – 01:36:56 PM EDT

What’s in the Health Care Bill?

 What’s in the Health Care Bill?

 

This is important stuff.   Too important not to pass on.   If you don’t believe the data, check it out yourself.    Too scary to think about!!!

 

 

Once you crack the text msg code – this is pretty interesting.  Personal freedom/privacy – goodbye.

 

You can access the bill at the bottom of the email.

 
Subject: What’s in the Health Care Bill? Wow!

 

Pg 22 of the HC Bill MANDATES the Govt will audit books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure!!

Pg 30 Sec 123 of HC bill – THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benes u get

Pg 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill – YOUR HEALTHCARE IS RATIONED!!!

Pg 42 of HC Bill – The Health Choices Commissioner will choose UR HC Benefits 4 you. U have no choice!

PG 50 Section 152 in HC bill – HC will be provided 2 ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise

Pg 58HC Bill – Govt will have real-time access 2 individs finances & a National ID Healthcard will b issued!

Pg 59 HC Bill lines 21-24 Govt will have direct access 2 ur banks accts 4 elect. funds transfer

PG 65 Sec 164 is a payoff subsidized plan 4 retirees and their families in Unions & community orgs (ACORN).

Pg 72 Lines 8-14 Govt is creating an HC Exchange 2 bring priv HC plans under Govt control.

PG 84 Sec 203 HC bill – Govt mandates ALL benefit pkgs 4 priv. HC plans in the Exchange

PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill – Specs for of Benefit Levels for Plans = The Govt will ration ur Healthcare!

PG 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill – Govt mandates linguistic approp svcs. Example – Translation 4 illegal aliens

Pg 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18 The Govt will use groups i.e., ACORN & Americorps 2 sign up indiv. for Govt HC plan

PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill – Specs of Ben Levels 4 Plans. #AARP members – U Health care WILL b rationed

-PG 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill – Medicaid Eligible Indiv. will b automat.enrolled in Medicaid. No choice

pg 124 lines 24-25 HC No company can sue GOVT on price fixing. No “judicial review” against Govt Monop

pg 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill – Doctors/ #AMA – The Govt will tell YOU what u can make.

Pg 145 Line 15-17 An Employer MUST auto enroll employees into pub opt plan. NO CHOICE

Pg 126 Lines 22-25 Employers MUST pay 4 HC 4 part time employees AND their families.

Pg 149 Lines 16-24 ANY Emplyr w payroll 400k & above who does not prov. pub opt. pays 8% tax on all payroll

pg 150 Lines 9-13 Biz w payroll btw 251k & 400k who doesnt prov. pub. opt pays 2-6% tax on all payroll

Pg 167 Lines 18-23 ANY individual who doesnt have acceptable HC accrdng 2 Govt will be taxed 2.5% of inc

Pg 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from indiv. taxes. (Americans will pay)

Pg 195 HC Bill -officers & employees of HC Admin (GOVT) will have access 2 ALL Americans finan/pers recs

PG 203 Line 14-15 HC – “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax” Yes, it says that

Pg 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill Govt will reduce physician svcs 4 Medicaid. Seniors, low income, poor affected

Pg 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill – Doctors, doesnt matter what specialty u have, you’ll all be paid the same

PG 253 Line 10-18 Govt sets value of Dr’s time, prof judg, etc. Literally value of humans.

PG 265 Sec 1131Govt mandates & controls productivity for private HC industries

PG 268 Sec 1141 Fed Govt regulates rental & purchase of power driven wheelchairs

PG 272 SEC. 1145. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS – Cancer patients – welcome to rationing!

Page 280 Sec 1151 The Govt will penalize hospitals 4 what Govt deems preventable readmissions.

Pg 298 Lines 9-11 Drs, treat a patient during initial admiss that results in a readmiss-Govt will penalize u.

Pg 317 L 13-20 OMG!! PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. Govt tells Drs. what/how much they can own.

Pg 317-318 lines 21-25,1-3 PROHIBITION on expansion- Govt is mandating hospitals cannot expand

pg 321 2-13 Hospitals have oppt to apply for exception BUT community input required. Can u say ACORN?!!

Pg335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339 – Govt mandates estab. of outcome based measures. HC the way they want. Rationing

Pg 341 Lines 3-9 Govt has authority 2 disqual Medicare Adv Plans, HMOs, etc. Forcing peeps in2 Govt plan

Pg 354 Sec 1177 – Govt will RESTRICT enrollment of Special needs ppl! WTF. My sis has down syndrome!!

Pg 379 Sec 1191 Govt creates more bureaucracy – Telehealth Advisory Cmtte. Can u say HC by phone?

PG 425 Lines 4-12 Govt mandates Advance Care Planning Consult. Think Senior Citizens end of life

Pg 425 Lines 17-19 Govt will instruct & consult regarding living wills, durable powers of atty. Mandatory!

PG 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3 Govt provides apprvd list of end of life resources, guiding u in death

PG 427 Lines 15-24 Govt mandates program 4 orders 4 end of life. The Govt has a say in how ur life ends

Pg 429 Lines 1-9 An “adv. care planning consult” will b used frequently as patients health deteriorates

PG 429 Lines 10-12 “adv. care consultation” may incl an ORDER 4 end of life plans. AN ORDER from GOV

Pg 429 Lines 13-25 – The govt will specify which Doctors can write an end of life order.

PG 430 Lines 11-15 The Govt will decide what level of treatment u will have at end of life

Pg 469 – Community Based Home Medical Services=Non profit orgs. Hello, ACORN Medical Svcs here!!?

Page 472 Lines 14-17 PAYMENT TO COMMUNITY-BASED ORG. 1 monthly payment 2 a community-based org. Like ACORN?

PG 489 Sec 1308 The Govt will cover Marriage & Family therapy. Which means they will insert Govt in2 ur marriage

Pg 494-498 Govt will cover Mental Health Svcs including defining, creating, rationing those svcs

Here’s the full Health Care bill that sits in the House.

Ghoulish science + Obamacare = health hazard

Michelle Malkin 

Lead Story

Ghoulish science + Obamacare = health hazard

By Michelle Malkin  •  July 24, 2009 06:27 AM

My syndicated column today presses again on the freaky-deaky science czar John Holdren and the implications for Obamacare. Related read: Stacy McCain sheds light on Big Money and the Culture of Death. And Matt Barber wonders: Will there be a co-pay for forced abortion under Obamacare?

Ghoulish science + Obamacare = health hazard
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2009

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius tried to reassure citizens in New Orleans this week that Obamacare bureaucrats will make sound medical decisions for all Americans. She failed. Under the government-run plan, she promised, a team of health care experts will recommend what should be covered: “I think it would be wise to let science guide what the best health care package is.”

Gulp. It’s precisely the Obama administration’s view of sound “science” that should send chills down patients’ spines. Case in point: The president’s prestigious science czar John Holdren refuses to answer questions about his radical, published work on population control over the last 30 years.

Last week, I called the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to press Holdren on his views about forced abortions and mass sterilizations; his purported disavowal of Ecoscience, the 1977 book he co-authored with population control zealots Paul and Anne Ehrlich; and his continued embrace of forced-abortion advocate and eugenics guru Harrison Brown, whom he credits with inspiring him to become a scientist.

After investigative bloggers and this column reprinted extensive excerpts from Ecoscience, which mused openly about putting sterilants in the water supply to make women infertile and engineering society by taking away babies from undesirables and subjecting them to government-mandated abortions, the White House issued a statement from Holdren last week denying he embraced those proposals. The Ehrlichs challenged critics to read their and Holdren’s more recent research and works.

Well, I did indeed read one of Holdren’s recent works that reveals his clingy reverence for, and allegiance to, the gurus of population control authoritarianism. He’s just gotten smarter about cloaking it behind global warming hysteria. In 2007, he addressed the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference. Holdren served as AAAS president; the organization posted his full slide presentation on its website.

In the opening slide, Holdren admitted that his “preoccupation” with apocalyptic matters such as “the rates at which people breed” was a lifelong obsession spurred by scientist Harrison Brown’s work. Holdren heaped praise on Brown’s half-century-old book, “The Challenge to Man’s Future,” then proceeded to paint doom-and-gloom scenarios requiring drastic government interventions to control climate change.

Who is Holdren’s intellectual mentor, Harrison Brown? He was a “distinguished member” of the International Eugenics Society whom Holdren later worked with on a book about – you guessed it – world population and fertility. Brown advocated the same population control-freak measures Holdren put forth in Ecoscience. In “The Challenge to Man’s Future,” Brown envisioned a regime in which the “number of abortions and artificial inseminations permitted in a given year would be determined completely by the difference between the number of deaths and the number of births in the year previous.”

Brown exhorted readers to accept that “we must reconcile ourselves to the fact that artifical means must be applied to limit birth rates.” If we don’t, Brown warned, we faced a planet “with a writhing mass of human beings.” He likened the global population to a “pulsating mass of maggots.”

When I pressed Holdren’s office specifically about Holdren’s relationship with Harrison Brown, press spokesman Rick Weiss told me he didn’t know who Brown was and balked at drawing any conclusions about Holdren’s views based on his homage to lifelong intellectual mentor, colleague and continued inspiration Brown just two years ago.

Weiss lectured me rather snippily about the need for responsible journalism (he was a Washington Post reporter for 15 years). He then me not to expect any response from Holdren’s office to my question on whether Holdren disavows his relationship with a eugenics enthusiast who referred to the world population as a “pulsating mass of maggots” and championed a scheme of abortion and artificial insemination quotas.

If this is the kind of ghoulish “science” that guides the White House, we can only hope that Obamacare is dead on arrival.

Enough Is Enough

Enough Is Enough
By John Griffing

Tyranny has sprung up from amongst us.  President Obama has waged a blitzkrieg on American liberty, and, in only a short time, undercut the Constitution of the United States with a brazen arrogance that should shock Americans into action. 

President Obama’s unconstitutional salvo exceeds even the most intolerable indulgences of the Bush Administration.  President Bush was often brash and improper in his use of certain mechanisms, but President Obama has moved quickly far beyond the realm of comparatively benign Presidential Signing Statements.  When our new President can appoint “Czars” to rule entire sections of American life without electoral accountability or even Congressional confirmation, we have entered the unholy realm of Dictatorship. 

Presidents have made special “czar” appointments in the past, to aid in addressing key social or policy issues.  But President Obama has turned this capability into direct seizures of power, brazen and unchecked.  Obama’s czars have usurped the roles of elected officials, with power over an ever-increasing scope of society.  Pay is decided by a Czar.  What can or can’t be said on the internet is decided by a Czar.  And the power of regulating all aspects of American private life has been transferred from multiple congressionally audited regulatory agencies to the new Regulatory Czar,  Cass Sunstein.  The environment, healthcare, finance, and the economy will all fall under the control of this Regulatory Czar, a man who has stated,
A system of limitless individual choices, with respect to communications, is not necessarily in the interest of citizenship and self-government… Democratic efforts to reduce the resulting problems ought not be rejected in freedom’s name.
There’s even a “faith-based” Czar to handle church issues.  Separation of church and state appears to be somewhat more flexible as long as Obama is in power.
But for a true outrage, consider new Czar of Science, John P. Holdren, who, in a stunning display of unabashed evil, has actively advocated “compulsory abortion”:
There exists ample authority under which population growth could be regulated…It has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.
If that doesn’t send a chill down your spine, consider his words, “All the children who are born, beyond what would be required to keep up the population to a desired level, must necessarily perish, unless room be made for them by the death of grown persons.”  Let that sink in: an American official supports forced abortion and the death of “grown persons.”  We know what that looks like. It has been official policy for years in Communist China.
Holdren defends his radical proposals with archaic scientific arguments revolving around the idea that too many people equal global poverty and hunger.  But do not be fooled by the alleged “science” in support of “compulsory abortion.”  The issue is not whether the world population is exploding (an argument that has been completely discredited due to the fact that most western populations are shrinking.) The issue is whether or not government can force American women to kill their children. 
Even pro-choice advocates should be outraged at the idea of bureaucrats ordering American women to turn their babies over to state butchers.  And, despite Holdren’s own personal belief that this wholesale slaughter can be justified “under the existing Constitution,” the words, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process” make such a hollow justification meaningless.
All totalitarian regimes in history have one thing in common: population control.  By controlling who conceives, government can mitigate the growth of ideas dangerous to their seizures of power.  Families that teach American ideals can be gradually subdued until all Americans bow before the collective “we.”  How strange that liberty should end by the hands of a doctor with a vacuum and a scalpel.  If this is not enough to wake the sleeping giant and arouse the fires of freedom, then we will surely perish as a nation.
Power is what Holdren and his pseudo-science is really all about.  Holdren has long been a vocal supporter of a “planetary regime” to govern the affairs of the world.  In his book, Ecoscience, Holdren wrote the words:
Such a comprehensive Planetary Regime could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all natural resources, renewable or nonrenewable…The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world….[i] 
Holdren has elsewhere stated his goal of “de-developing” America. Obama’s appointment of this Marxist militant says much about his true agenda. 
Obama has done more to hasten America’s demise than our enemies could have dreamed of doing.  He must wake up every day with the words, “I can’t believe I’m getting away with this” on his lips.  His “change” is nothing less than the destruction of America as a free country.  And there is nowhere to escape.  America is the last stop in western civilization.  Europe is in a state of economic decay, and has retreated into gated communities as an influx of Muslim colonials overspreads the European continent.  France has 750 semi-sovereign Islamic kingdoms within its jurisdiction.  If we lose freedom here, there will be nowhere left for the “tired, huddled masses, yearning to breathe free” to lay their heads.
Wake up America.  Now is not the time to pat ourselves on the back for our racial sensitivity.  We have proven that we are not a racist country, several times over.  Now is the time to rise up against tyranny, before it consumes what is still left of the America we all know and love.  Conservative, Liberal, black, and white must join hands against the despot that holds the freedom of generations in such contempt.
Every last man, woman, and child must take to the streets, or the last best hope of mankind will vanish for all time
[i] Paul Ehrlich, Anne Ehrlich, and John Holdren, Ecoscience: Population, Resources, and Environment, (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1977),  943.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/07/enough_is_enough.html at July 16, 2009 – 09:57:43 AM EDT

Deja Vu: Americans Catching On To Obama’s Top 5 PR Tricks

Deja Vu: Americans Catching On To Obama’s Top 5 PR Tricks

July 22nd, 2009 Posted By Pat Dollard.

258485d2eb854f96

Politico:

He’s been in office only six months, but already there’s a strong sense of déjà vu around the way Americans are seeing and hearing from President Barack Obama.

The president keeps returning to the same communications tactics over and over, and all the pages of his PR playbook have one thing in common: a big dose of Obama.

His prime-time news conference Wednesday night, one of the standbys, brings his total to four. That’s the same number that George W. Bush did — in eight years as president.

But as Obama’s once-lofty approval ratings dip — and voters express skepticism over his plans for health care and the economy — the longevity of the White House’s go-to techniques is being put to the test. One challenge for Obama’s team in coming weeks: not overusing the president.

“They have to be careful about that,” said former Clinton press secretary Mike McCurry. “There are diminishing returns if you see the president too much. … Part of this is just because he’s fascinating and popular right now. Inevitably, they’re going to hit some potholes, and they’re going to have to adjust their strategy.”

One troubling sign for the White House: TV networks were slow to sign on to Wednesday’s prime-time news conference. And Obama’s latest polls offer a strong reminder for the new White House that a president’s popularity is perishable — and time is ticking.

“They’ve got their eye on the expiration date, and they’re going to tap that well until it expires,” said former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer. “And if they’re successful, the well gets replenished. And success means that cap and trade and health care reform get signed into law.”

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs dismissed the idea of Obama overload. “It’s important that the president continue to remind the American people what’s at stake,” Gibbs said Tuesday, when asked about Obama’s nine health care speeches in nine days. “I don’t think he can probably say that enough.”

Here’s a peek inside the playbook and the reasons why the White House keeps rinsing and repeating the same tactics:

The town-hall-style meeting

Call it Obama unplugged.

This has been one of Obama’s favorite ways to get his message out. Since taking office, he has held more than a dozen town halls in eight states, as well as one streaming live online from the White House and one in Strasbourg, France.

For the White House, the events play to Obama’s strengths. The crowds are adoring. He can give a speech laying out his message, unfiltered. And he can play Washington outsider for a few hours while demonstrating how popular he still is.

There’s always the risk of a curveball question — but a small risk indeed, compared with the much greater chance for a funny, touching or downright lump-in-the-throat moment, like when Obama hugged a homeless woman in Florida and promised to help.

But the White House seemed to stack the deck a bit at Obama’s last town hall in Virginia — where the White House picked the questions for Obama from those that were submitted online and through its social-networking sites.

And it scrapped a planned town hall in Michigan recently — changing it at the last minute to a speech rolling out a higher education initiative. But Obama will hold one Thursday in Ohio.

The major address

This brings out Obama’s inner professor — as he explains in sometimes painstaking detail his views on a particular topic.

When the president is pitching a big initiative, he gives many smaller speeches on the topic. The ideas in those remarks are then collectively brought to a crescendo in a “major address” — a soup-to-nuts explanation of his views.

Obama has done this on the economy, detainees and torture policy, Iraq and U.S. relations with the Muslim world, but not yet on health care — so stay tuned.

“He tests out his message before he does the big speech and then after they do their big speeches, they don’t let it drop because people’s attention span is very short,” said Gerald Rafshoon, former White House communications director for former President Jimmy Carter. “They follow through and cover all the bases.”

The major address gets plenty of media coverage in the days beforehand, and the White House believes the “closing argument” approach is a powerful way to put Obama’s message into political conversation. These lengthy speeches are heavy on detail, and their effectiveness is debatable. It’s unclear how much the public takes in, as most of these addresses are nearly an hour long and have been delivered in the middle of the day.

The scripted, pre-screened solo prime-time news conference

For Obama, the prime-time news conference is just another version of the town hall. Except reporters are the ones in the audience asking the questions, and because of the prime-time slot, it offers him an unfiltered hourlong slot. His message goes directly to viewers at home.

“It’s not like going to doing something during the day, and it gets edited for the evening news,” Rafshoon said. “He is getting through the filter. … He can give it as long an answer as he wants, and they don’t cut away from it. They don’t edit it.”

Like the town hall, Obama gets to deliver an opening statement laying out his message. The topics of questions are usually predictable. It’s generally a cordial atmosphere, so even if the questions are tough, reporters only push so far and Obama gets to monopolize the time.

But, also like the town hall, the White House recently received criticism after an Obama news conference for suggesting ahead of time to a Huffington Post reporter that he would possibly get to ask the president a question about Iran.

The scripted, pre-screened interviews

Obama has given more interviews than any recent president at this point in his term, according to a tally kept by veteran White House historian Martha Joynt Kumar.

Obama does the obvious: doling out different types of exclusives to the three networks and bringing cable into the fold, as he did in Africa with a one-on-one with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

But he also regularly sits for round-table interviews with regional reporters. He often speaks to foreign news outlets before arriving abroad to set the tone, and he courts specialty media, such as the Hispanic and black press.

The interview-palooza works because Obama is the star and he does not go off message. Plus, regional and foreign news media tend to be softer interviews and give better play than members of the White House press corps.

“It’s more of a softball,” said Greg Jenkins, the Bush White House’s director of advance. “For anybody who doesn’t get a crack at the president every day of the week, you’re like, ‘Oh, wow, OK. I’ll ask my question and listen to what he says and move on.’ … You tend to get more traction out of those interviews.”

The personal note

Part of Obama’s broad appeal is his youth and perceived coolness. As president, he tries to maintain his street cred as a regular guy, husband and dad.

Obama usually infuses some type of pop culture element into his communications smorgasbord. The White House has leaned heavily on a variety of websites — streaming video of the Foo Fighters show on the South Lawn on whitehouse.gov and popping up websites for the recovery act, health reform and other specific initiatives.

During the stimulus debate, Obama paused to chat with ESPN and often peppers his interviews with tidbits about family life in the White House — both prompted and unprompted. He routinely ignores shouted questions when in earshot of his press corps but has responded to weigh in on the NBA finals and make a quip about the first dog, Bo.

Obama has also twice written intimate pieces for Parade magazine — no Professor Obama here, pitching policy prescriptions. The first was a letter to his daughters just before his Inauguration, and the second an essay for Father’s Day.

Obamacare for illegal aliens

Michelle Malkin 

Lead Story

Obamacare for illegal aliens

By Michelle Malkin  •  July 22, 2009 10:56 AM

Obamacare for illegal aliens
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2009

Big Nanny Democrats want to ration health care for everyone in America – except those who break our immigration laws. Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee defeated an amendment that would have prevented illegal aliens from using the so-called “public health insurance option.” Every Democrat on the panel voted against the measure.

Nevada GOP Rep. Dean Heller’s measure would have enforced income, eligibility, and immigration verification screening on all Obamacare patients. Unlike most everything else stuffed into the House Democrats’ plan, the citizenship vetting process would not have required building a new bureaucracy. Rep. Heller proposed using existing state and federal databases created years ago to root out entitlement fraud.

If the congressional majority were truly committed to President Obama’s quest to wring cost savings from the system, why won’t they adopt the same anti-fraud checks imposed on other government health and welfare beneficiaries? Maybe an intrepid reporter can ask the president at his next Obamacare show to explain.

The Democratic leadership denies that an estimated 12-20 million illegal immigrants will receive taxpayer-subsidized health insurance coverage. Senate Finance Committee Chair Sen. Max Baucus (D-Montana) calls the proposition “too politically explosive.”

But President Obama lit the fuse in February when he signed the massive expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). That law loosened eligibility requirements for legal immigrants and their children by watering down document and evidentiary standards – making it easy for individuals to use fake Social Security cards to apply for benefits with little to no chance of getting caught. In addition, Obama’s S-CHIP expansion revoked Medicaid application time limits that were part of the 1996 welfare reform law. Immigration activists see the provisions as first steps toward universal coverage for illegals.

“Explosive?” The applause certainly was. President Obama’s praise of the weakened immigrant eligibility rules drew the strongest claps and cheers from members of Congress at the SCHIP signing event.

Immigration analyst James R. Edwards, Jr. reported last week in National Review that “no health legislation on the table requires federal, state, or local agencies — or private institutions receiving federal funds — to check the immigration status of health-program applicants, so some of the money distributed via Medicaid and tax credits inevitably would go to illegal aliens.” Moreover, the Senate Finance Committee plan creates a new preference for illegal aliens by exempting them from the mandate to buy insurance.

That’s right. Law-abiding, uninsured Americans would be fined if they didn’t submit to the Obamacare prescription. Law-breaking border-crossers, visa-overstayers, and deportation fugitives would be spared.

The solution is not to give them health insurance, but to turn off the magnets that draw them to enter illegally in the first place.

For years, advocates of uncontrolled immigration have argued that illegal aliens are not getting free health care and that even if they were, they are not draining government budgets. The fiscal crisis in California gives lie to those talking points. In March, the Associated Press reported that Sacramento and Contra Costa counties were slashing staff and closing clinics due to the prohibitive costs of providing non-emergency health services for illegal immigrants.

“The general situation there is being faced by nearly every health department across the country, and if not right now, shortly,” Robert M. Pestronk, executive director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, told the AP. Indeed. The Texas state comptroller put the price tag for illegal alien hospital care at $1.3 billion in 2006. USA Today reported that from 2001 to 2004, spending for emergency Medicaid for illegal immigrants rose by 28% in North Carolina alone. Clinics across the Midwest have also been shuttered under the weight of illegal immigrant care costs.

At a time when Democrat leaders are pushing rationed care in a world of limited resources, Americans might wonder where the call for shared sacrifice is from illegal immigrant patients like those in Los Angeles getting free liver and kidney transplants at UCLA Medical Center. “I’m just mad,” illegal alien Jose Lopez told the Los Angeles Times last year after receiving two taxpayer-subsidized liver transplants while impatiently awaiting approval for state health insurance.

Now, multiply that sense of entitlement by 12-20 million illegal immigrants. Welcome to the open-borders Obamacare nightmare.

Obama: ‘Shut up and pass health care’

Obama: ‘Shut up and pass health care’

Rick Moran
You will recall that President Obama did the same thing with the stim bill; told Congress in no uncertain terms that the situation with the economy was so dire that passage of the bill – even though no one had read it and that it hadn’t been debated in Congress – must be done immediately.

It worked with the stim bill. Why not Obamacare?

Bill Kristol writing in the Weekly Standard Blog:

“The time for talk is through.” — President Obama, talking to liberal bloggers on a conference call Monday night.

The Democratic bills in the House and Senate are a thousand pages long. They’re still changing as committees try to mark them up, or as they mark up other versions of health insurance legislation. There’s huge uncertainty about how lots of provisions in the bills and under consideration would work–OMB Director Orzsag and HHS Secretary Sibelius couldn’t answer straightforward questions on Fox News Sunday and Meet the Press. Nothing goes into effect in any case until 2013–except the tax provisions, which would begin in 2011. Yet President Obama wants everyone to stop debating and deliberating, and act now–because he and he alone has decided “now is the time to go ahead and act.”

Congress should assert itself, stand up for the deliberative and democratic process, and defy this presumptuous presidential diktat.

The time to debate is now. There’s plenty of time to act later.

I can’t recall President Bush ever urging Congress to just shut up and pass anything. The arrogance of this man is breathtaking. That he would demand that the Congress stop debating and pass what’s on the table might be the way that Mayor Daley gets things done in the City Council in Chicago but is a far cry from the historically deliberative nature of our Congress.

God knows what’s in the Obamacare bill because a final one hasn’t even been drafted yet. And we’re supposed to just take Obama’s word that this is the best option available to fix health care?

The Democrats are such lily livered cowards they will never say anything to dispute Obama’s diktats. But the GOP should oppose this hasty, ill advised bill to the last vote if only to maintain the integrity of the legislative branch.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/07/obama_shut_up_and_pass_health.html at July 22, 2009 – 12:34:34 PM EDT

ObamaCare is a sick joke

ObamaCare is a sick joke

By Jason Lee

As The New York Post has aptly pointed out, ObamaCare is a sick joke. Here are some facts that refuse to be ignored…

  • By 52 percent to 40 percent, voters are opposed to the healthcare bill introduced on July 14 to the House of Representatives.
  • Independents now oppose ObamaCare by a ratio of almost 2:1.
  • The World Health Organization ranked the United States No. 1 out of 191 countries for being responsive to patients’ needs, including providing timely treatments and a choice of doctors. Among those currently insured, 84% are satisfied with their healthcare. But if you’re happy, don’t get too comfortable: ObamaCare will force people to change their insurance.
  • The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that the bill proposed by House Democrats would increase the federal deficit by $239 billion.
  • Team Obama says the CBO has failed to account for plans to reduce waste and cut services. Unfortunately, reducing waste would account for only about 1% of ObamaCare “savings.” Any other potential savings would have to come from reductions in patient care services.
  • In its “keep the plan deficit-neutral” charade, the Obama Administration indicates that it is counting on reductions in patient care in the form of cuts to the Medicare health program for the elderly. However, the American Medical Association, in its controversial letter of support for the Democrats’ plan, thanks House leaders for repealing $230 billion of Medicare cuts.
  • Team Obama is also counting on savings from prevention initiatives. Legislation pushed by Senate Democrats mentions “prevention” repeatedly. But as the CBO has repeatedly pointed out, prevention doesn’t generally save money.
  • Obama tells us he wants a public plan comparable to the Federal Employees’ Health Benefits Plan Congress enjoys. This notion is a farce. Congress has a high-choice cafeteria plan that is indeed paid for by the public, but it is not run by the government.
  • Congress enjoys very special perks the rest of us can only dream about. There is an attending physician on call exclusively for members of Congress, and Congress enjoys VIP access and admission to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Medical Center. Is Congress going to provide us with VIP treatment?
  • ObamaCare will implement an oppressive health care bureaucracy with eye-popping complexity that would make Rube Goldberg’s head spin.
When Obama was in pre-election campaign mode, he made some reasonable statements about healthcare. He wanted you to keep your insurance if you were happy with it. He told us that government-run healthcare with higher taxes was a bad idea. And he didn’t think anyone should be forced to purchase insurance. Only the most naive among us believed Obama’s sweet little promises, but at least they sounded nice.

 

The halcyon days of the 2008 campaign are long gone. Elections have consequences - broken promises, for example. But at least we can take comfort in knowing that Obama and friends will have to play by the rules they implement, right?

 

Wrong!

 

“Under the current draft of the Democrat healthcare legislation, members of Congress are curiously exempt from the government-run health care option, keeping their existing health plans and services on Capitol Hill.”

 

Congressman John Fleming has offered a resolution that will give members of Congress “an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is, and urge their colleagues who vote for legislation creating a government-run health care plan to lead by example and enroll themselves in the same public plan.” Fleming’s resolution has over 40 cosponsors- but not a single one of the cosponsors is a Democrat.

 

Similarly, Obama has flatly refused to participate in the public health insurance program. I can’t blame Obama for wanting the very best health care for his own family, but I can blame him for being a hypocrite.

 

Americans have lost their appetite for hypocrisy, reckless spending, and the intrusion of incompetent government into every aspect of their lives. Obama is trying to address one of these concerns by promising that he “won’t sign any health-care bill that adds to the deficit”, but it’s apparently too little and too late. Support for ObamaCare is crumbling. Consider some of the most recent observations:

 

  • The Washington Post: “Months of relative cooperation among disparate interest groups in the heath-care reform debate appear to be coming to an end…”
  • Reuters: “Reforming the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare industry is Obama’s signature domestic issue and a major test of his presidency, but he is running out of time…”
  • CNN: Six key senators – three Democrats, one independent and two moderate Republicans – sent a letter to Senate leaders calling for a slowdown in the push for a health care overhaul, in light of the Congressional Budget Office’s assessment that the Democratic plan currently being considered would not cut medical costs.
  • WSB: “Last week saw a rollercoaster of events that seemingly gave momentum to the controversial health reform initiative and then saw it slowed down…”
  • Politico: Jim DeMint apparently smells the possibility of victory. “If we’re able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.”
  • The Associated Press: “Could it be that President Barack Obama’s Midas touch is starting to dull a bit, even among members of his own party?”
Obama spent vast quantities of political capital and strained his credibility to the breaking point with the Chicken Little schtick he put on to sell the stimulus package. When it comes to healthcare, perhaps the sky is falling, but Americans don’t seem to be listening anymore.

 

Obama’s popularity is sagging, the tone is changing, and even his cheerleaders are losing enthusiasm. “What’s in it for you? Pain and discipline!”, they exclaim. “Who knew we were electing a national mother-in-law?”

 

When Obama took the White House, giving Democrats solid control of Washington, government-dominated healthcare seemed to be an inevitability. Now the picture isn’t so clear. Conservatives have many reasons to be optimistic about their opportunity to defeat ObamaCare.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/07/obamacare_is_a_sick_joke.html at July 22, 2009 – 12:31:57 PM EDT

Obama’s Settlements Delusion

Obama’s Settlements Delusion
By: Benny Avni / New York Post
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

 


The road to peace does not lie through Jerusalem.
In insisting that Israel reverse its settlement policies, President Obama has clearly decided to raise a marginal Middle East issue above all others, at least for now: The policy is a likely loser — abroad and at home.

State Department officials last week told the new Israeli ambassador in Washington, Michael Oren, that they were concerned about Israeli construction of a 20-unit apartment complex, designed to house Jews in East Jerusalem.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu on Sunday declared that he couldn’t accept the American diktat — indeed, he stated firmly that Jews should be able to live anywhere in their ancient capital.

But that may not be the final word. After all, “freezing” Israeli settlements is the only Mideast position that the administration states clearly and in detail, even as all its other regional policies remain ill-defined and at times self-contradictory.

For example, Washington has yet to clarify how it plans to disarm Hezbollah. On Sunday, the terrorist group injured several members of a UN peacekeeping force that was trying to inspect an illicit weapons cache in Southern Lebanon.

True, there are many internal Lebanese political considerations involved in disarming Hezbollah, including the need to bolster our allies in Lebanon. But there are similarly internal Israeli political sensitivities to consider before confronting Bibi on municipal issues in Jerusalem.

Obama seems to think that pressuring Israel will yield dividends in the form of greater Arab cooperation with America. He also seems to assume he’ll pay no price in domestic politics because US supporters of Israel, especially among his voters, don’t like Israeli settlements anyway.

Both assumptions may be wrong.

A new book on the Middle East, “Myths, Illusions and Peace,” deftly skewers the first idea: “US action has often been predicated upon expected Arab responses to favorable US policy” — but time and again, when America did as the Arabs asked, a “favorable Arab response” failed to materialize.

Dennis Ross, Obama’s National Security Agency point man on the Middle East, co-authored that book. The president either isn’t getting Ross’ advice, or is ignoring it.

Obama continues to act as if settlements are the most important stumbling block to a peace agreement in the Arab-Israeli dispute, and as if settling the Arab-Israeli dispute will force all other regional dominoes to fall in place.

Yet, as “Myths” explains, such a regional “linkage theory,” stressing Israel’s must-do’s above all else, is “the mother of all myths” about the Middle East. For starters, a Paletstinian-Israeli peace won’t change the current situations in Iraq and Afghanistan, while Osama bin Laden‘s beef with us started when we based troops in Saudi Arabia.

Then there’s the assumption that most Obama voters, including strong supporters of Israel, won’t consider the president “anti-Israel” for leaning on the Netanyahu government over settlements.

Early last week, Obama had his first White House meeting with a group of American Jewish leaders, including the Anti-Defamation League’s Abe Foxman. Foxman, a veteran leading figure in Jewish-American politics, says no one demanded that Obama stopped pressuring Israel, but some told the president that “we were disturbed by this perception that his government is leaning only on Israel.”

Then, just a couple of days later, the State Department hit the new Israeli ambassador with its complaint about the East Jerusalem project. Netanyahu, sensing a “red line has been crossed” (as one Israeli official told me), decided to publicly defy Washington.

What will American Jews think? Obama may have been misled by the White House group. Many of the Jewish leaders he invited in are heads of groups, like Americans for Peace Now and J-Street, that act as if the only way to support Israel is to oppose its government.

Whoever set the guest list “stacked the deck,” as Foxman explains it.

While the administration emerged from the meeting believing that it can continue pressuring Israel unharmed, “I think they are miscalculating,” Foxman says. “In the Jewish community, even those who are opposed to settlements are now supporting Israel” in the growing dispute with the administration.

Indeed, Foxman warns, Obama may lose even more credibility once American Jews realize that “in the administration’s jargon, ‘settlements’ means ‘Jerusalem’.”

All of which applies to non-Jewish supporters of Israel as well.

To avert such political erosion over his foreign policy, Obama may want to soon directly address Israelis, as he did Arabs and Muslims. He should also start tending to some of Israel’s concerns with as much sensitivity as he does those of others in the region.


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