New Government Policy Imposes Strict Standards on Garage Sales Nationwide

New Government Policy Imposes Strict Standards on Garage Sales Nationwide

Friday , September 18, 2009

By Diane Macedo

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Americans who slap $1 pricetags on their used possessions at garage sales or bazaar events risk being slapped with fines of up to $15 million, thanks to a new government campaign.

The “Resale Round-up,” launched by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, enforces new limits on lead in children’s products and makes it illegal to sell any items that don’t meet those limits or have been recalled for any other reason.

The strict standards were set in the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act after a series of high-profile recalls of Chinese-made toys.

The standards were originally interpreted to apply only to new products, but now the CPSC says they apply to used items as well.

“Those who resell recalled children’s products are not only breaking the law, they are putting children’s lives at risk,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “Resale stores should make safety their business and check for recalled products and hazards to children.”

In order to comply, stores, flea markets, charities and individuals selling used goods — in person or online — are expected to consult the commission’s 24-page Handbook for Resale Stores and Product Resellers (pdf) and its Web site for a breakdown of what they can’t sell.

Violators caught selling anything on the enormous list face fines of up to $100,000 per infraction and up to $15 million for a related series of infractions.

CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson says the fines are intended for large companies with serious infractions.

“CPSC is an agency that has used its penalty powers over its 30-year history against companies,” Wolfson told FOXNews.com. “CPSC is not seeking to pursue penalties against individuals hosting a garage sale or yard sale, we are encouraging them to take the right steps to not resell recalled products.”

But FOX News Legal Analyst Bob Massi says the law makes no distinction for families and small resellers.

“Most people having garage sales at this point don’t have much anyway, so to have a fine levied against them is tantamount to harassment,” Massi told FOXNews.com. “And if you or I asked 100 people about this, they would never even know the law exists.”

Don Mays, senior director of product safety planning at the publisher of Consumer Reports, says the hefty penalties are necessary to have an impact.

“The former civil penalty limit of $1.87 million was too small to be an effective deterrent to large companies who flagrantly violated the law,” Mays told FOXNews.com. “Mattel and its subsidiary Fisher-Price, for example, recently paid a $2.3 million penalty for importing about 2 million toys that violated the CPSC 30-year-old lead paint ban — that amounts to just over one dollar per toy.”

When FOXNews.com came to his garage sale, vendor Ilan Broochian said the same was not the case for his household.

“You fine me in today’s economy $1000 dollars and that would hurt me,” Broochian said. “So, just make the fine bigger to them; don’t take their responsibility and put it on me.”

VIDEO: FOXNews.com Visits the Broochians’ Garage Sale

“It is scary to think that there could be such hefty fines imposed on unsuspecting households,” another garage sale organizer, Patti Lombardi, told FOXNews.com. “I think I speak for many people when I say that the government spends too much time interfering in the individual citizen’s personal life and this is almost bordering on the ridiculous … what if it opens up a Pandora’s box of litigation brought by the purchasers of items at garage sales?”

Wolfson says the law may be tough, but it’s necessary to keep consumers — and especially children — safe.

“Many children have choked and died on small parts that have broken off or been incorporated into toys,” Wolfson told FOXNews.com.

He noted that dozens of children have swallowed powerful magnets that fell out of magnetic toys and have needed open-chest surgery as result.

“We don’t make haphazard decisions about risks here at CPSC,” he said. “So much of what we do here and what this new law aims to achieve is looking at issues where children have been hurt previously.”

But critics say the Resale Round-up is just another example of the government overstepping its boundaries.

“It’s absurd when nanny-state bureaucrats want to regulate things we buy at mom-and-pop shops or second-hand stores,” Wes Benedict, executive director of the Libertarian National Committee, told FOXNews.com. “Consumer product safety is best left to a free market where suppliers can compete based on reputation and track records. American grown-ups aren’t stupid, and they know they need to be careful about what they buy for their children from complete strangers at no-name stores.”

Toy industry expert and TimetoPlayMag.com content director Chris Byrne says the law is well-intended, but it may be taking things too far.

“The overall law I think is awfully broad and doesn’t take all of the science into effect,” he told FOXNews.com. “You can’t consume lead by touching something and putting your finger in your mouth. That’s not how it happens. The lead has to be injested and has to be injested in particles small enough to enter the bloodstream or on a material in the stomach where it will be digested in the stomach acids and go into the bloodstream — and that’s never happened from toys.”

In cases where toys have injured children, Byrne said the injuries often resulted from misusing the product.

“In virtually all the cases of magnet swallowing these were things that were swallowed by kids that were below the age grade, or in the case of the older kids they were pretending to have tongue piercings. By banning magnets, you’re not going to stop that level of play,” Byrne said.

PHOTOS: Controversial Recalls

“When you bring something into your home there should be an assumption of risk,” he added. “And if you have a child under 3 and you bring in something age graded for 5 and up – who’s responsibility is that? I think it’s the parents’.”

And toys aren’t the only issue. Byrne said the biggest challenge now is for all school products.

“If I’ve got a wirebound notebook, the lead content in that wire binding is now under scrutiny, even though the chance of ingesting lead in any amount from something like that is virtually non-existent,” he said. “It’s a level of political grandstanding to say ‘we’re taking care of everything,’ but the science clearly demonstrates that the transference is not really possible — I mean, a child who eats the wire binding from a notebook is going to have significantly worse health problems than lead.”

The Resale Round-up has led some resale stores and charities to stop accepting children’s goods altogether, something President and CEO of Goodwill Industries Jim Gibbons said has some clients concerned.

“I saw on blogs, consumers saying, ‘Don’t take away my ability to shop at Goodwill for children’s clothing – this is how I clothe my kids and get them to school,'” Gibbons told FOXNews.com.

The problem, he said, is every not-for-profit and ‘mom and pop thrift shop’ has different capabilities and resources and a broad-brush approach may leave them unable to provide services.

Still, Gibson said, Goodwill generally has been able to continue serving its communities, and he believes CPSC is working hard to take a law “that was probably written in haste” and implement it in an effective manner.

“They’re really committed to common-sense approaches and working in good faith with at least the social services kind of thrift segment,” he said. “And we’ve been working very proactively with them to make sure that folks at Goodwill are educated, have access to the CPSC guidelines and are making themselves available for as much training as CPSC can provide as they try to figure out how to work with this legislation.”

For more information on the Resale Round-up go to www.cspc.gov.

Obama Says Financial Regulations Must Be Strengthened Globally– Supreme arrogence the man is power cazy

 
Obama Says Financial Regulations Must Be Strengthened Globally
dictionary
  • Main Entry: ar·ro·gance
  • Pronunciation: \ˈer-ə-gən(t)s, ˈa-rə-\
  • Function: noun
  • Date: 14th century

: an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions

By Nicholas Johnston

Sept. 19 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama said tougher financial regulations are needed worldwide to protect consumers, provide economic stability and prevent future crises.

With the leaders from the Group of 20 nations set to meet next week in Pittsburgh, Obama said in his weekly address on the radio and Internet that international cooperation has “stopped our economic freefall.”

“We know we still have a lot to do, in conjunction with nations around the world, to strengthen the rules governing financial markets and ensure that we never again find ourselves in the precarious situation we found ourselves in just one year ago,” Obama said.

The administration has proposed an overhaul of U.S. financial regulations including oversight of the systemic risk large financial institutions pose to the economy, new ways for the government to dismantle failed companies and a regulator to oversee financial products for consumers.

Obama reiterated his calls for Congress to act on his regulatory proposals, which he also made in a speech on Wall Street Sept. 13.

“As I told leaders of our financial community in New York City earlier this week, a return to normalcy can’t breed complacency,” Obama said in today’s address. “Our government needs to fundamentally reform the rules governing financial firms and markets to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

Oversight for Consumers

Obama said a central element to this regulatory overhaul is a new agency to oversee consumer products, including mortgages and credit cards.

“We need clear rules, clearly enforced. And that’s what this agency will do,” Obama said.

Obama said lobbyists for financial institutions are already fighting against new regulations.

“We cannot let the narrow interests of a few come before the interests of all of us,” Obama said. “We cannot forget how close we came to the brink, and perpetuate the broken system and breakdown of responsibility that made it possible.”

In the Republican address, North Carolina Representative Sue Myrick focused on Obama’s health-care proposals, which are being debated in Congress. She said the plan being offered by Obama and congressional Democrats would lead to government-run insurance and that would mean delays in care.

Access to Care

“Every family that confronts a serious illness should have access to the highest-quality care at the lowest possible cost, with no delays,” Myrick said.

Obama has said he favors a government-run insurance program to compete with private insurers. While he has suggested he wouldn’t make it a requirement as part of final legislation, other Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California have said it must be part of any bill.

“Replacing your current health care with a government-run system is not the answer,” Myrick said.

Myrick also said the health-care proposals would lead to tax increases on small businesses that would lead to the elimination of more than 1.6 million jobs.

“This is the worst possible time to be imposing new, job- killing taxes,” Myrick said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nicholas Johnston in Washington at Njohnston3@bloomberg.net

Last Updated: September 19, 2009 06:00 EDT 

 

 

Our security will now depend on the kindness of strangers.


September 19, 2009, 7:00 a.m.

The Long Retreat
Our security will now depend on the kindness of strangers.

By Mark Steyn

Was it only April? There was President Obama, speaking (as is his wont) in Prague, about the Iranian nuclear program and ballistic-missile capability, and saluting America’s plucky allies: “The Czech Republic and Poland have been courageous in agreeing to host a defense against these missiles,” he declared. “As long as the threat from Iran persists, we will go forward with a missile-defense system that is cost-effective and proven.”

On Thursday, the administration scrapped its missile-defense plans for Eastern Europe. The “courageous” Czechs and Poles will have to take their chances. Did the “threat from Iran” go away? Not so’s you’d notice. The dawn of the nuclear ayatollahs is perhaps only months away, and, just in case the Zionists or (please, no tittering) the formerly Great Satan is minded to take ’em out, Tehran will shortly be taking delivery of a bunch of S-300 anti-aircraft batteries from (ta-da!) Russia. Fancy that.

Joe Klein, the geostrategic thinker of Time magazine, concluded his analysis thus:

This is just speculation on my part. But I do hope that this anti-missile move has a Russian concession attached to it, perhaps not publicly (just as the US agreement to remove its nuclear missiles from Turkey was not make public during the Cuban Missile Crisis). The Obama Administration’s diplomatic strategy is, I believe, wise and comprehensive—but it needs to show more than public concessions over time. A few diplomatic victories wouldn’t hurt.

Golly. We know, thanks to Jimmy Carter, Joe Klein, and many others, that we critics of President Obama’s health-care policy are by definition racist. Has criticism of Obama’s foreign policy also been deemed racist? Because one can certainly detect the first faint seeds of doubt germinating in dear old Joe’s soon-to-be-racist breast: The Obama administration “needs to show more than public concessions over time” — because otherwise the entire planet may get the vague impression that that’s all there is.

Especially if your preemptive capitulations are as felicitously timed as the missile-defense announcement, stiffing the Poles on the 70th anniversary of their invasion by the Red Army. As for the Czechs, well, dust off your Neville Chamberlain’s Greatest Hits LP: Like he said, they’re a faraway country of which we know little. So who cares? Everything old is new again.

It is interesting to contrast the administration’s “wise” diplomacy abroad with its willingness to go nuclear at home. If you go to a town-hall meeting and express misgivings about the effectiveness of the stimulus, you’re a “racist” “angry” “Nazi” “evilmonger” “right-wing domestic terrorist.” It’s perhaps no surprise that that doesn’t leave a lot left over in the rhetorical arsenal for Putin, Chávez, and Ahmadinejad. But you’ve got to figure that by now the world’s strongmen are getting the measure of the new Washington. Diplomacy used to be, as Canada’s Lester Pearson liked to say, the art of letting the other fellow have your way. Today, it’s more of a discreet cover for letting the other fellow have his way with you. The Europeans “negotiate” with Iran over its nukes for years, and in the end Iran gets the nukes and Europe gets to feel good about itself for having sat across the table talking to no good purpose for the best part of a decade. In Moscow, there was a palpable triumphalism in the news that the Russians had succeeded in letting the Obama fellow have their way. “This is a recognition by the Americans of the rightness of our arguments about the reality of the threat, or rather the lack of one,” said Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Duma’s international-affairs committee. “Finally the Americans have agreed with us.”

There’ll be a lot more of that in the years ahead.

There is no discreetly arranged “Russian concession.” Moscow has concluded that a nuclear Iran is in its national interest — especially if the remorseless nuclearization process itself is seen as a testament to Western weakness. Even if the Israelis are driven to bomb the thing to smithereens circa next spring, that too would only emphasize, by implicit comparison, American and European pusillanimity. Any private relief felt in the chancelleries of London and Paris would inevitably license a huge amount of public tut-tutting by this or that foreign minister about the Zionist Entity’s regrettable “disproportion.” The U.S. Defense Secretary is already on record as opposing an Israeli strike. If it happens, every thug state around the globe will understand the subtext — that, aside from a tiny strip of land on the east bank of the Jordan, every other advanced society on earth is content to depend for its security on the kindness of strangers.

Some of them very strange. Kim Jong-Il wouldn’t really let fly at South Korea or Japan, would he? Even if some quasi-Talibanny types wound up sitting on Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, they wouldn’t really do anything with them, would they? Okay, Putin can be a bit heavy-handed when dealing with Eastern Europe, and his definition of “Eastern” seems to stretch ever farther west, but he’s not going to be sending the tanks back into Prague and Budapest, is he? I mean, c’mon . . .

Vladimir Putin is no longer president but he is de facto tsar. And he thinks it’s past time to reconstitute the old empire — not formally (yet), but certainly as a sphere of influence from which the Yanks keep their distance. President Obama has just handed the Russians their biggest win since the collapse of the Iron Curtain. Indeed, in some ways it marks the restitching of the Iron Curtain. When the Czechs signed their end of the missile-defense deal in July, they found themselves afflicted by a sudden “technical difficulty” that halved their gas supply from Russia. The Europe Putin foresees will be one not only ever more energy-dependent on Moscow but security-dependent, too — in which every city is within range of missiles from Tehran and other crazies, and is in effect under the security umbrella of the new tsar. As to whether such a Continent will be amicable to American interests, well, good luck with that, hopeychangers.

In a sense, the health-care debate and the foreign-policy debacle are two sides of the same coin: For Britain and other great powers, the decision to build a hugely expensive welfare state at home entailed inevitably a long retreat from responsibilities abroad, with a thousand small betrayals of peripheral allies along the way. A few years ago, the great scholar Bernard Lewis warned, during the debate on withdrawal from Iraq, that America risked being seen as “harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend.” In Moscow and Tehran, on one hand, and Warsaw and Prague, on the other, they’re drawing their own conclusions.
Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is author of America Alone. © 2009 Mark Steyn


National Review Online – http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZDUxNmUwZmI3ZTQ5MDJjZWU1Y2M5MWFlYWY4M2YxMTg=

Obama promised Jewish homes to Palestinians

//


WND Exclusive


FROM WND’S JERUSALEM BUREAU

Obama promised Jewish homes to Palestinians?

Official says American president ‘fed up’ with Israel


Posted: September 19, 2009
12:40 am Eastern

By Aaron Klein
© 2009 WorldNetDaily


President Obama (White House photo)

JERUSALEM – President Obama is “fed up” with Israel while his administration has given the Palestinians guarantees they will eventually take over Jewish homes and buildings throughout most of the West Bank, a top Palestinian Authority official claimed to WND.

“We heard from the U.S. that no matter what Israel is building in the West Bank, it will not affect a final status agreement to create a Palestinian state,” said the PA official, who spoke on condition his name be withheld.

“The Americans told us (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu might construct in the West Bank for now but we (Palestinians) can enjoy these houses later. The evacuated homes will not be destroyed like some were when Israel pulled out of Gaza,” the official said.

The official said Obama has adopted the position of PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who presented a plan to create a Palestinian state within two years based largely on the 1967 borders, meaning Israel would retreat from the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem.

The official said the U.S. would back Israel retaining what are known as main settlement blocs, a reference to certain large Jewish West Bank communities such as Gush Etzion.

The official, however, said the U.S. does not support Israel retaining the E1 area in Jerusalem, referring to Maale Adumim, a Jewish community in eastern Jerusalem.

The issue of Jewish construction is contentious. Obama has demanded Israel halt all settlement activity, or Jewish building projects in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.

Obama’s Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, is in the region attempting to negotiate a settlement freeze. Talks between Netanyahu and Mitchell, which continued today, failed to reach an agreement. A deal could allow for a tripartite meeting between Obama, Netanyahu, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly ne

Stupid Defenselessness Initiative

Stupid Defenselessness Initiative
By: Ben Johnson
Friday, September 18, 2009


The Obama administration’s nuclear disarmament zealotry strains our alliances, rewards our enemies, and puts our safety in peril.

MANY COMMENTATORS HAVE WONDERED WHAT CONCESSIONS BARACK OBAMA WRUNG out of the Russian leadership in exchange for canceling a major missile defense initiative in Eastern Europe this week. Some have speculated he attained, or at least sought, cooperation in stifling Iran’s nuclear program. Unfortunately, it appears the president sold out two close allies, rewarded Moscow’s belligerence, and sidetracked technology that could safeguard the free world from Islamic nuclear blackmail in order to curtail, not Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but our own. Obama, a passionate believer in universal disarmament, may have made this concession to draw Russia into negotiations that will further weaken the United States.

Dubious Rationale, Disastrous Results

The president announced Thursday he was abandoning the Third Site promised by the Bush administration: 10 long-range missile interceptor sites in Poland and radar facilities in the Czech Republic. He will instead deploy smaller, naval-based SM-3 missiles. (The Czechs are left empty-handed.) Obama insisted since Tehran’s threat is currently believed to be short- or intermediate-range missiles, interceptors for long-range missiles are unnecessary – and, some intimate, untested. In reality, long-range interceptors have been thoroughly tested, and it may be wise not to wait to counter long-range missiles until they exist – or, at least, until they are known to exist.

Obama claims the Iranian nuclear program is not as advanced as once believed. This seems dubious, as Adm. Mike Mullen announced in March that Iran has enough uranium for a nuclear weapon. Glyn Davis, the U.S. ambassador to the IAEA, added Wednesday that Iran has reached “possible breakout capacity” to build a weapon rapidly. Assuming the best and brightest actually hold this conclusion, we have little means of evaluating it, because we have virtually no human intelligence (HUMINT) penetration of this society. Human intelligence is nearly impossible in a totalitarian state like modern Islamic Iran. We had little ground intelligence in Iraq before Operation Desert Storm, and although “the best intelligence estimates” said Saddam was “at least 5-7 years away from having nuclear weapons,” U.S. soldiers found he was perhaps within months of developing a weapon. Iran may be more or less advanced; there is no way to know.

Meanwhile, breaking an agreement with our allies Poland and the Czech Republic, both of whom are close allies with troops on the line in the worsening Afghan theater, damages our relationship and image around the world. The world knows America won’t – or can’t – keep its allies safe from aggression. The former deputy prime minister of the Czech Republic, Alexandr Vondra, called this “a U-turn in the U.S. policy,” a further sign of an erratic administration. “This decision calls into question the security and diplomatic commitments the United States has made to Poland and the Czech Republic, and has the potential to undermine perceived American leadership in Eastern Europe,” John McCain rightly observed. But it may have more practical consequences and broader implications. Vondra warned “the United States may have a problem in generating support for out-of-area missions in this region.” Already, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk begun rejecting U.S. diplomatic phone calls. South Korea and Japan are undoubtedly watching closely. And anytime an innocent party is screwed over, it frays the relationship, possibly to the breaking point. The New York Times editorialized in a “news” story U.S. backtracking would make Europeans “become more realistic and less idealistic about United States foreign policy in the future, not to mention a lot less likely to fall in line behind the United States.” Only in its pages is this considered a positive outcome.

Back to the START

Why, then, would the administration push forward with this maneuver? In an ideal world, it would have secured guarantees to end all Russian support for the Iranian nuclear program and concrete agreements to impose crippling economic sanctions. That world would not be this one. It appears this was fueled by the president’s passion for universal nuclear disarmament. Sources reveal at least part of the consideration is bringing Russia back to negotiate START follow-on talks, which resume next week in New York. Circumstances bear this out.

One of those who delivered the U-turn news to Poland is Undersecretary of State for Arms Control Ellen Tauscher, an implacable foe of Strategic Missile Defense (SDI) and a proponent of universal disarmament. Unfortunately, she has longstanding, naïve view of impending nuclear threats. In March, she excoriated advocates of missile defense for “warning about a long range threat from Iran that does not exist.” There is no need to fret, because “Iran has not developed a long-range missile capable of reaching the United States. Yet.” Similarly, Tauscher told the Progressive Policy Institute “we miscalculate if we confuse intent with capability.  Al-Qaeda may want nuclear weapons but likely does not have them – at least not yet.” Phew! She was on board for the Bush administration’s premature rehabilitation of North Korea. (See my full profile of Tauscher, “Undersecretary of Naievete.”)

Tauscher advocates a quiet disarmament, in which aging and increasingly unstable missiles are not replaced. Obama enshrined this in his first budget, vetoing Reliable Replacement Warhead development against the wishes of Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Obama has been dreaming of disarmament since at least 1983, when he wrote an article profiling far-Left campus groups at Columbia. Obama favorably quoted one spokesperson who wanted to “get rid of the military” and seemed to share the organizer’s opposition to the Solomon Amendment. The article showcased the conspiracy-tinged insights that would later endear him to the Democratic Party’s antiwar base, as Obama claimed the anti-nuclear movement tactics “suit the military-industrial interests, as they continue adding to their billion dollar erector sets.”

The Democratic Party has argued for at least 30 years that if the United States would but set a “good example,” the rest of the world would respond by beating their warheads into plowshares. Unilateral disarmament and Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) became the cornerstone of diminished U.S. power. Then, at least the terror was offset by the knowledge the United States could launch a nuclear counterstrike and decimate the world’s population. Iran’s messianic fanatic has no qualms meeting the Mahdi.

Yet the Democrats continue to believe U.S. weapons cause others to weaponize. From its perspective, the administration did not “retreat” on producing missile defense systems. For Obama, Tauscher, et. al., destroying missile defense is not a concession; it is a positive good, because it downgrades our “provocative” defense arsenal. In this, they follow a long line of their intellectual forebears.

Three Presidents

The current Iranian nuclear crisis is the fruit of the last three Democratic presidents’s foreign policies. As David Horowitz and I outline in our book, Party of Defeat, it was Jimmy Carter’s decision to withdraw his support from the Shah that paved the way for the repression of the Ayatollah Khomeini and his modern followers. If an Iran run by the Pahlavi dynasty announced it had the nuclear bomb, no world leader would view it as an existential threat. Carter’s installation, recognition, and bribery of the Iranian regime renders this current situation perilous.

Our human intelligence deficit in the nation owes in part to Carter. Recruiting HUMINT is virtually impossible in a closed society, but we have no human intel partly because Carter did not recruit any while the Iran was still open and friendly. Instead, he and his CIA chief Adm. Stansfield Turner gutted the CIA, cutting 820 human intelligence positions. Without assets of its own, the Islamic revolution blindsided Carter. Thus, on New Year’s Eve 1977, he would toast the Shah’s Iran as “an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world.” Eight months later, the CIA issued the report Iran in the 1980s, in which the broken Carter intelligence apparatus assessed, “Iran is not in a revolutionary or even a ‘prerevolutionary’ situation.” The Islamic revolution broke out the next month in the city of Qom. Carter recognized the government, bargained with it and ultimately paid it a ransom of $8 billion (the mullahs netted $3 billion in seed money for its current status as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism).

Iran is but one part of an axis empowered by leftist ideology. Much of “Iran’s” rocketry is imported from North Korea. Pyongyang’s nuclear stockpile would have been unthinkable without Bill Clinton’s decision (made at Al Gore’s behest) to allow Jimmy Carter to negotiate a sweetheart deal for the DPRK. The regime received oil, food, and a “civilian” nuclear reactor in exchange for promises. Kim Jong-il proceeded to quietly build a half-dozen nuclear bombs. President Bush’s commitment to the six-party talks did not advance the cause of disarmament, but his movement had been circumscribed by the Left, which had already destroyed his credibility as commander-in-chief, sent groups of pilgrims to tour Potemkin villages, and mobilized protests against any potential U.S. “aggression.”

Unlike his predecessor, though, Bush recognized the dangers of the nuclear proliferation. Bill Clinton announced his theoretical support for SDI during the 1996 campaign but withheld critical funding and deployment, kicking the can into the Bush administration. Bush moved forward, and the current limited system is proving effective, but Obama and his House allies under Speaker Pelosi’s watch threaten to strangle the program. A government that has money for every endeavor from chunking clunkers to posting roadside PR for its stimulus bill consistently underfunds the one constitutionally mandated function of Congress: national defense.

It is appropriate the missile defense retreat was sounded on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland. Vladimir Putin and Russian “president” Dmitry Medvedev smile with iron teeth, longing to restore the imperial dignity of the fallen superpower. Medvedev greeted the news by calling it “responsible” and adding, “I am prepared to continue this dialogue.” Indeed, few walk away from the blackjack table when they’re winning. Medvedev is perfectly content to allow the United States to negotiate away its nuclear stockpiles, especially if it will lead to a multipolar world and its own Eastern European sphere of influence. As negotiations progressively dismantle our existing, disintegrating warheads, a retreat from missile defense leaves our nation vulnerable to the long-range weapons Kim Jong-il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will pursue regardless of our “good example.” Obama has chosen to believe the doomsday threat will develop according to the most optimistic intelligence assessments.

A prudent statesman does not bet on the most benign outcome of a confluence of madmen.


Ben Johnson is Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine and co-author, with David Horowitz, of the book Party of Defeat. He is also the author of the books Teresa Heinz Kerry’s Radical Gifts (2009) and 57 Varieties of Radical Causes: Teresa Heinz Kerry’s Charitable Giving (2004).

Who taught you to lie, call people names, and accuse people of racism?

Who taught you to lie, call people names, and accuse people of racism?

By Scott Strzelczyk

Where did the Democratic Congress, the Obama administration, and the main stream media learn to act so rudely, obnoxiously, and disingenuously; to call people names, treat others without any common courtesy or manners, and above all else to be deceptive and lie to citizens of the United States?
Politicians and main stream media types learned this behavior at some point in their lives.  Did it start at home in early childhood?  Did their mothers teach them to blame others for their mistakes, to call people names if they disagree with you, and to cover their backsides at all costs using any number of lies and false accusations?  What explains a systemic failure of this magnitude in so many politicians and main stream media types?   I presume they all were raised by mothers who taught them basic lessons in civility.  Were they raised to act as they do today or did they choose this behavior?
Let’s briefly review some basic lessons mothers teach their children.
  1. Treat other people the way you want to be treated.
  2. Tell the truth.
  3. Don’t call people names.
  4. Be respectful and considerate to others.
  5. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
Your list may vary slightly from mine, however these five items summarize basic civility, taught to us by our mothers at a young age and reinforced throughout childhood, so we may become responsible civil adults.  Not too complicated … I think.
Along the way the wiring got crossed and the lessons were forgotten by our elected officials and the main-stream media.  Let’s examine the “Tell the truth” lesson.  First, there is the blatant lie.  Second, there is the lie that is interwoven with half-truths and disguised with clever language to mislead someone into believing what is truly not believable.  Both violate the lesson “Tell the truth”.  President Obama is an equal opportunistic liar as he utilizes both the blatant lie and the chimerical lie.
Obama said at a health care town hall in New Hampshire that he never claimed to be an advocate of single-payer health care.  In stark contrast, during the Presidential campaign
Obama touted a single-payer health care system and in a speech to the SEIU in 2003 he supported single-payer health care.  Obama pledged during his campaign not to raise taxes on anyone earning less than $250,000 per year.  However, Obama signed into law the single largest federal excise tax increase on tobacco products.  The tax on a pack of cigarettes was raised from 39 cents a pack to 101 cents per pack, or a 159% increase.  Two simple examples of the blatant lie.
An article by syndicated columnist and political commentator Charles Krauthammer in yesterday’s Washington Post provides the perfect example of the chimerical lie.  This is just one of three examples Mr. Krauthammer provides in his article.
(1) “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future” he solemnly pledged. I will not sign it if it adds one dime to our deficit, now or in the future. Period”
Wonderful.  The president seems serious, veto-ready, determined to hold the line.   Until, notes Harvard economist Greg Mankiw, you get to Obama’s very next sentence:  “And to prove that I’m serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don’t materialize.”
This apparent strengthening of the pledge brilliantly and deceptively undermines it.  What Obama suggests is that his plan will require mandatory spending cuts if the current rosy projections prove false.  But there’s absolutely nothing automatic about such cuts.  Every Congress is sovereign.  Nothing enacted today will force a future Congress or a future president to make any cuts in any spending, mandatory or not.
Just look at the supposedly automatic Medicare cuts contained in the Sustainable Growth Rate formula enacted to constrain out-of-control Medicare spending.  Every year since 2003, Congress has waived the cuts.
Mankiw puts the Obama bait-and-switch in plain language.  “Translation:  I promise to fix the problem.  And if I do not fix the problem now, I will fix it later, or some future president will, after I am long gone.  I promise he will.  Absolutely, positively, I am committed to that future president fixing the problem.  You can count on it.  Would I lie to you?”
The next lesson is on name calling and is closely tied to treat other people the way you want to be treated.  I bet every one of you heard you mother tell you not to call other children names. To reply to a name caller with, sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.  Our mothers were teaching us a simple lesson in civility, not to call other people names.  To treat people the way you want to be treated.  Unfortunately, many of the most powerful, elected officials in the country don’t abide by this simple lesson.
Nancy Pelosi is the undisputed leader of the pack when it comes to name calling.  She, along with House majority leader Steny Hoyer, called people opposing health care reform un-American in their op-ed piece published in USA Today.  Pelosi continued her name calling campaign by referring to health care protestors as astroturfers.  Pelosi didn’t stop until she insinuated health care protestors were Nazi’s because she saw someone with a swastika at a health care town hall meeting.  Anyone with any common sense understands the protestors are not Nazis, rather they were comparing out-of-control government spending and government takeover of private industry to nationalized socialism, which is where the term Nazi is derived.  Pelosi’s reference to a person with a swastika is an attempt to conjure up images of Adolph Hitler and the slaughter of six million Jewish people while convincing people the protesters are like Hitler.   Pelosi’s effort to invoke this image is contemptible.  The name calling is merely childish and immature.
Unfortunately, the Democrats and main stream media sank to a new low by castigating anyone that opposes health care reform or Obama administration policies as a racist.  In context of the recent Joe Wilson “You lie!” outburst, former President Jimmy Carter recently stated those opposing Obama administration policies are guilty of racism.  Congresswomen Maxine Waters said its not enough to levy allegations of racism against the right-leaning protestors, she wants them talked to and interviewed.  Liberal activist Janeane Garofalo appeared on MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann show and, without equivocation, called all tea party protestors racists and teabagging rednecks.  Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball program says health care reform protesters are upset because we have a black president.  In the cowardly way, Matthews refers to the protesters as racists.
Just over forty-six years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his I Have a Dream speech on the mall in Washington, D.C.  King said “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  Those Americans protesting President Obama’s policies are judging Obama by his character, not the color of his skin.  Those Americans protesting the size of the national debt, excessive spending and taxation, excessive waste and fraud are judging all officials in Washington that support those policies, past and present.
The reactions to and accusations levied upon Americans with legitimate concerns regarding the Obama administration’s policies deflect attention from the real issue.  Instead of open, honest debate on substantial issues the Democrats and mainstream media attack the messengers and subject them to childish name calling.  Many Americans oppose Obama’s policies because they believe in the individual, self-reliance, family, community and faith, a small limited federal government, according to the Constitution and free-market capitalism.  Our beliefs are in concert with the beliefs of the founding fathers and framers of the Constitution.
Is it too much for the hard-working American to expect our elected officials to conduct themselves as adults, to not lie and deceive us, to be respectful and considerate of others?  Is it too difficult to understand that Americans expect to have discourse and grievances with our elected leaders and the federal government?  Really, is it too much to ask and expect of you?  If so, perhaps you are unfit to govern.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/09/who_taught_you_to_lie_call_peo.html at September 19, 2009 – 12:31:06 PM EDT

Does He Lie?

Does He Lie?

September 19th, 2009

By Charles Krauthammer, Townhall.com

Obama is taking his half truths to TV on Sunday

You lie? No. Barack Obama doesn’t lie. He’s too subtle for that. He … well, you judge.

Herewith three examples within a single speech — the now-famous Obama-Wilson “you lie” address to Congress on health care — of Obama’s relationship with truth.

(1) “I will not sign (a plan),” he solemnly pledged, “if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future. Period.”

Wonderful. The president seems serious, veto-ready, determined to hold the line. Until, notes Harvard economist Greg Mankiw, you get to Obama’s very next sentence: “And to prove that I’m serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don’t materialize.”

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