FLOTUS: Chicago needs Olympics because American kids are fat; Plus: The Jarrett whitewash

FLOTUS: Chicago needs Olympics because American kids are fat; Plus: The Jarrett whitewash

By Michelle Malkin  •  September 30, 2009 10:16 PM

Michelle Obama wants you to know that the all-out Chicago Olympics bid is not for The Cronies.

It’s for…The Children!

Especially, says Mrs. O, the fat children:

We need all of our children to be exposed to the Olympic ideals that athletes from around the world represent, particularly this time in our nation’s history, where athletics is becoming more of a fleeting opportunity. Funds dry up so it becomes harder for kids to engage in sports, to learn how to swim, to even ride a bike. When we’re seeing rates of childhood obesity increase, it is so important for us to raise up the platform of fitness and competition and fair play; to teach kids to cheer on the victors and empathize with those in defeat, but most importantly, to recognize that all the hard work that is required to do something special.

Chicago can’t keep its children safe, let alone fit. How about letting another international city foot the massive bill and instead exposing hometown children to Olympic ideals by securing their neighborhoods first so they have somewhere to swim or ride bikes without fearing for their lives?


The White House blog has also posted a response to criticism of the crony Olympics bid on the Glenn Beck show.

Here’s the audacious Obama administration whitewash of Chicago’s fiscal ills:

RHETORIC: CHICAGO IS CLOSING THE GOVERNMENT SEVERAL DAYS A WEEK BECAUSE THEY CANNOT AFFORD TO BE OPEN. Beck’s guest Caddell said, “Chicago is closing the government several days a week because they cannot afford to be open. They are going to go and reward — this is the biggest scandal.” [Transcript, Glenn Beck Show, 9/29/09]

REALITY: CHICAGO HAS HAD ONE REDUCED-SERVICE DAY IN 2009, AND WILL HAVE TWO MORE ON THE FRIDAY AFTER THANKSGIVING AND ON CHRISTMAS EVE. On August 17, 2009, CBS Chicago reported, “If you planned to check out a library book, visit a city clinic or have your garbage picked up on Monday, you’re out of luck. The City of Chicago is basically closed for business on Aug. 17, a reduced-service day in which most city employees are off without pay. City Hall, public libraries, health clinics and most city offices will be closed. Emergency service providers including police, firefighters and paramedics are working at full strength, but most services not directly related to public safety, including street sweeping, will not be provided. That also includes garbage pickup. Residents who receive regular collection on Mondays should expect trash to be picked up on Tuesday. Some other customers may experience a one-day delay as collectors catch up. As part of the 2009 budget, three reduced-service days were planned for 2009, days which are unpaid for all affected employees — the Friday after Thanksgiving; Christmas Eve; and New Year’s Eve. The City Council recently approved moving the reduced-service day planned for New Year’s Eve to Monday. The 2009 budget anticipates saving $8.3 million due to the reduced-service days. In addition to reduced service days, all non-union employees were asked to take a series of furlough days and unpaid holidays, and most non-sworn union employees agreed to similar unpaid time off.” [CBS Chicago, 8/17/09]

The city has a budget hole of $700-$800 million (and rising). The Chicago public schools are $500 million in the hole. Hospitals are in cutback crisis mode. Daley leased out parking meters to raise $1 billion in cash. Furloughs have hit thousands of workers in city government and as well as the schools. And more can be expected if the Olympic bid is successful.

The White House also attempts to downplay both the appearance and reality of Jarrett’s conflicts of interest:

RHETORIC: VALERIE JARRETT WILL BENEFIT FINANCIALLY. Beck asked, “Is it possible that she is going to benefit if the Olympics come to Chicago?” Caddell responded, “Well, that’s the word. She has certainly had a lot of dealings going on in real estate.” [Transcript, Glenn Beck Show, 9/29/09]

REALITY: UPON ENTERING GOVERNMENT, VALERIE JARRETT DIVESTED ALL HER REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT HOLDINGS EXCEPT FOR A SINGLE INVESTMENT THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE OLYMPIC BID. Valerie Jarrett divested all her investment real estate holdings upon entering government except for a single real estate holding that she was unable to sell. This single real estate investment has been determined by White House Counsel and the independent Office of Government Ethics to present no conflict of interest in performing her duties as a White House advisor. It has nothing to do with the Olympic bid.

The White House has not identified which “single real estate investment” Jarrett has retained. Taxpayers have to take the White House at its word that the property “has nothing to do with the Olympic bid.” The other divestments do not absolve her of conflict of interest questions. She is involved directly in self-dealing — lobbying HUD with the Chicago 2016 bid chair Lori Healey to siphon federal funding for the $1 billion Olympic Village.

Jarrett’s former slum-breeding real estate firm, The Habitat Company, still stands to benefit from Olympic Village contracts:

The biggest building project by far would be the Olympic Village, to be constructed on land the city has agreed to buy for $86 million. The city will use an unspecified amount of property tax revenues to pay for infrastructure costs such as new streets and sewers for the development, which would be turned into a new residential community even if the city doesn’t win the Olympics.

Chicago hopes to sidestep Vancouver-type problems, Ryan said, by using multiple developers and lenders on the village development. “Vancouver selected a single long-term financial partner, and that’s where the problem came.”

Eleven developers have already expressed interest in the property, including Joseph Freed & Associates, Magellan Development Group, Related Midwest and a team made up of Enterprise Development, Fogelson Properties and Forest City Enterprises, of Cleveland. Another interested party is Habitat Co., whose former chief executive was Valerie Jarrett. Before becoming a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, Jarrett was a vice chairman of the Chicago bid team.

And, of course, she is the current de facto Olympics czar in the White House.

Jarrett presided over the gross deterioration of public housing. Many of the same city housing officials who stood watch over these failures are now on the 2016 bid committee with interest-conflicted developers like Michael Scott Jr. Martin Nesbitt, Jarrett’s old family friend and Obama’s finance chair, is currently on the panel and head of the Chicago Housing Authority.

The untold story is the “public-private partnership” racket between developers and Chicago government of which Jarrett was an integral part. As de facto Olympics czar, she has used White House authority, staffing, and budget to push for the mass redistribution of wealth from ordinary citizens to Chicago’s richest power brokers and real estate moguls.

Some “ideal.”

Sympathy for the Devil

Sympathy for the Devil

By Robin of Berkeley

How concerned should we be about Obama?  Is he a potential dictator with a weird cult following who could destroy this country?

To put it more bluntly, does Obama have the potential for inflicting evil on us?  Or, if he’s a puppet, are the ones holding the strings malevolent?


These may be the most crucial and urgent questions of our times.  Is Obamaphobia a legitimate reaction to an angry president with a vendetta, surrounded by psycho czars?  Or is the imagination running amok?


Given that I have a stack of books on my desk about evil, let’s take a look at how the experts define it.


Dante:  Evil is the “sins of the wolf;”  an inner black hole so vast that nothing will fill it.
Psychologist Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect:  “Evil consists in intentionally behaving in ways that harm, abuse, demean, dehumanize, and destroy innocent others — or using one’s authority and systemic  power to encourage or permit others to do so on your behavior.”
Philosopher Hannah Arendt:  She coined the term the “banality of evil,” after Nazi mastermind Adolf Eichmann was pronounced normal by psychiatrists.
Psychiatrist M. Scott Peck, People of the Lie: “Evil people are chronic scapegoaters.”
St. Augustine:  Evil is “an essential nothingness.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson:  “An absence of light; shade; no essence.”
Goethe:  Evil is “to render invisible another human consciousness.”
Baudelaire:  “The Devil’s cleverest wile is to convince us he doesn’t exist.”
John Milton:  “A tortured soul who makes others dance to the music of his own despair.”


But to discern evil, we need to go beyond the guidance of the experts.  We must decide with our own eyes, ears, and nose, whether a person passes the “stink test.”


Humans possess an extraordinary sixth sense — our intuition.  St. Jerome called intuition, “synderesis:” an infallible God-given ability to distinguish between good and evil. 


Yet, we’re told not to trust our gut because it’s not nice to be judgmental.  In these politically correct days, where everybody is good, even terrorists, we’re supposed to dismiss our intuition, shove it underground, lest we offend anyone.


Thus, if Obamaphobia gives us insomnia, headaches, or the heebie jeebies, it’s all in our heads.  We’re being paranoid.  


But isn’t this how the Soviets dealt with dissidents?  The leaders labeled them paranoid, and then had their fiendish psychiatrists forcibly drug, shock, and hospitalize them.


As the expression goes:  you’re not paranoid if someone is following you.


Criminologist Gavin De Becker, in his seminal work, The Gift of Fear, urges us to never ignore our intuition.  Most of the time, victims sense that their attacker is a threat but ignore this inner knowing.


De Becker’s wise words:


Can you imagine an animal reacting to the gift of fear the way some people do, with annoyance and disdain instead of attention?  No animal in the wild, suddenly overcome with fear, would expend any of its mental energy thinking, “It’s probably nothing.” . . . We, in contrast to every other creature in nature, choose not to explore — and even ignore — survival signals.


I think that deep down most of us know who is good and who is evil — who will bring joy and who will usher in disaster.   


Because many of us have been touched by evil at some point in our lives.  And it changes you; it pierces your soul.   Because you behold something so startling it leaves you breathless: that there are people, sometimes in your own family, who wish you harm.  


People ask me how I could go from Left to Right so quickly, and I’ve written about the main factors.  But, now that I contemplate evil, I realize I left out the pivotal reason.  


It’s because I saw evil up close and personal starting from a young age.  And when you’re exposed to danger when you’re little, and you don’t push it away or blame yourself, something essential in you is altered;  you’re able to see what many others conceal.


I saw this darkness first in the devilish laughter of my brother when he realized we were alone in the house and he could terrorize me. 


And I saw it again in my middle school, where the liberal experiment of forced busing unleashed a torrent of hate and mayhem.  When roars of “f—cking white bitch,” and assaults and fondling were as commonplace as English class.


And when I moved to squalid New York City in the late 70’s, during the reign of Mayor Dinkins, I saw it in the uncontrolled assaults on the citizen’s bodies and souls.  


I saw it on the streets of Berkeley when, on a perfect, blue sky day, a man smiled that same devilish grin before he mugged me, breaking my nose and blackening my eyes. 


And when a friend glossed over my mugging because the assailant was black (“He’s a victim too,”), I saw evil there.


I’ve seen it professionally in the face of the man who molested all five of his children; and in the visage of his wife, who chose to stay with him and was pregnant once again. 


And now that I’m writing for American Thinker, I see it in some of the trolls, although not all of them.  Some are just jerky people who write drivel like, “I just wasted five minutes of my life,” and “You’re a fake.”


No, I’m talking about the people who post comments aimed not at disagreeing or offering an alternative viewpoint.  They’re designed to destroy my humanity. 


They can’t defend Obama, so they go after me.  They call me paranoid or narcissist.  They accuse me of throwing my dead parents under the bus.  Or of betraying my Jewish ancestors by embracing other religions, like Christianity.


Or this bile: the person who wrote that she/he’s glad I’m writing because it’s therapeutic, since obviously I’m psychologically disturbed and could be a danger to society.


Fortunately I’m a therapist so I know who these people are.  I can diagnose them a mile away.  I’ve worked with them before, although each time, they chill me to the bone.  


Having some hate spewed in my direction, I think of Sarah Palin and the wilding she endured


And I think she resigned because, when her church was torched, her body ogled and threatened, and her children debased, she looked into the face of evil.   


She saw something so dark and blood curdling that she did what any God fearing, God loving person would do:  she put up her hands, yelled “Stop,” and got out of there as fast as she could.


Because evil is the most dangerous of the toxins.  It can harden, and infect, and change a person before he or she knows it.  Evil desecrates the places inside that are holy and sacred.  


More and more, each day, I smell the stench of wickedness.  It’s omnipresent in our government, and it’s spreading like wildfire throughout the land, threatening everyone in its path.


M. Scott Peck so eloquently captures the consequences of evil in high places: “The evil create for those under their dominion a miniature sick society.”


We have a man who has been privileged with the greatest honor, the Presidency, and what does he do?  Does he demonstrate an ounce of gratitude or humility?


No, he betrays us in the most profound way possible: by not protecting and defending us. 


Obama is doing to the American people just what his caregivers did to him when they dragged him around like a rag doll, and exposed him to a pervert like Frank Marshall Davis.  Now Obama’s a rage doll who’s throwing us to the wolves.


People claim Obama isn’t a serious threat because his personality is not like Mussolini or Che.   He doesn’t have the fire in his belly to be a true dictator. 


But I will share with you a surprising truth I learned after working in the child abuse field:  severe neglect is even more traumatic than serious physical abuse (not sexual abuse, though).   People can be mortally wounded by crimes of omission.


Abuse is terrible but at least the abuser cares enough to pay attention, to know the child is alive.   With neglect, the people who should care, don’t give a damn;  leaving the child abandoned and unguarded in a perilous world.


What worries me the most about Obama is this:  the part of him that should want to shield us from harm seems chillingly absent.  


The economy is tanking — Obama laughs.  We are accumulating crippling debt — he and the other Democrats go on a spending spree.  


Millions take to the street for a peaceful 9/12 march.  He doesn’t notice.  We oppose the government controlling our lives, especially health care, but he rams legislation down our throats anyway.  


Our allies have started to realize that Obama doesn’t care about them either. He snubs Gordon Brown, returns a statue of Winston Churchill (how disturbing is this?), and insults the Brits with DVDs and iPods.  He betrays the Poles and the Czechs, and leaves Israel hanging from a limb.


Obama does have sympathy for the devils, though, the Chavez’s and Castro’s of the world.  Maybe he views them as brothers, fellow victims of the monstrous United States.  Perhaps Obama is all Vive le Revolucion.


There are endless red flags, aren’t there? The covert government of antisocial Czars; the cozy ties to Bill Ayers, maybe George Soros.  And who knows what else, because Obama’s private world has been hermetically sealed.


So is this what am I saying: that President Bare Heart is at the helm, with a bunch of loose cannons possibly running the show?  That he’s giving a wink-wink to miscreants both here and abroad?


That the New Weird Order is starting to unhinge the already unbalanced, and bring new, vulnerable people, into its fold?


That Obamaphobia is real, and we ignore it at our peril?




But don’t listen to me. Don’t listen to anyone: not the mental midgets who call you “racist;”   not your brother in law who says you’re nuts; not the Talking Heads who paint you as stupid trash.


Pay attention to no one, to nothing, except the light of truth revealing itself to you.


“Truth crushed to the earth will rise again:”  William Cullen Bryant


A frequent AT contributor, Robin is a recovering liberal and a psychotherapist in Berkeley.

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Michelle Obama: It’s a ‘sacrifice’ to travel to Europe to pitch for the Olympics. But I’m doing it for the kids.– What a load of crap

Michelle Obama: It’s a ‘sacrifice’ to travel to Europe to

 pitch for the Olympics. But I’m doing it for the kids.

By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
09/30/09 5:12 PM EDT

In her speech in Copenhagen today, First Lady Michelle Obama said her trip to Denmark, along with the travel of her “dear friend” and “chit-chat buddy” Oprah Winfrey, as well as tomorrow’s visit by President Obama, is a “sacrifice” on behalf of the children of Chicago and the United States. “As much of a sacrifice as people say this is for me or Oprah or the president to come for these few days,” the first lady told a crowd of people involved in the Chicago project, “so many of you in this room have been working for years to bring this bid home.”

“As first lady, as many of you know, I’ve made it a priority to bridge the gap between the White House and communities across D.C. and across the country,” Mrs. Obama continued. “I’ve spent much of my first nine months trying to open the doors to the White House to kids who might not otherwise see themselves having access to these institutions, because that’s where I came from – communities like that where kids never dreamed that they could set foot in the White House, let alone live there&hellipAnd Barack and I made a point of doing the same thing when we lived in Chicago – making the concerns of kids in all sorts of communities our own.”

Mrs. Obama said bringing the Olympics to Chicago is especially important right now because “athletics is becoming more of a fleeting opportunity.” “Funds dry up so it becomes harder for kids to engage in sports, to learn how to swim, to even ride a bike,” she said. In addition, with childhood obesity on the rise, “it is so important for us to raise up the platform of fitness and competition and fair play,” the first lady said.

Finally, having the Olympics in Chicago would be important to “let people know that we understand that sports saves lives, that it makes dreams come true, that it creates visions in kids’ heads to make them think they can be the next David Robinson, the next Barack Obama, the next Nadia Comaneci, the next Oprah Winfrey,” Mrs. Obama said.

Pawlenty preps 2012 campaign team

Pawlenty preps 2012 campaign team
By: Jonathan Martin
October 1, 2009 05:08 AM EST

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been quietly assembling the blueprint of a presidential campaign and will announce Thursday the support of a group of high-level political strategists and donors, complemented by a handful of top new media consultants, POLITICO has learned.

Pawlenty, under the radar of D.C.’s political community, has locked up some of the key operatives who engineered then-President George W. Bush’s reelection campaign — a significant feat for a little-known Midwestern politician.

The moves underscore, and will lend credence to, the emerging belief among many establishment Republicans that Pawlenty is becoming the sole viable alternative to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a potential Republican primary rival. The Minnesota governor has even gone so far as to contact some of Romney’s former supporters.

Pawlenty, who previously has had little political infrastructure, is now being advised by a trio of GOP consultants with presidential experience: Terry Nelson, Sara Taylor and Phil Musser.

And in formally opening his political action committee, Freedom First, Thursday, Pawlenty will also announce two co-chairmen, William Strong, a Morgan Stanley vice chairman, and former Rep. Vin Weber (R-Minn.), both of whom are heavyweight GOP figures, along with a list of prominent Minnesota donors.

In addition to a high-dollar gala launch for the PAC in Minneapolis in November, Pawlenty is planning a Washington fundraiser for late October designed to acquaint the governor with the Beltway’s most influential Republicans. Helping to coordinate the governor’s GOP outreach in the nation’s capital is Sam Geduldig, a well-connected lobbyist and former senior aide to Reps. John Boehner and Roy Blunt.

Serving as the PAC’s counsel is Michael Toner, a veteran campaign lawyer in Washington. Alex Conant, a native Minnesotan and former Republican National Committee spokesman, will serve as communications director.

The governor has also inked political technology consultants Patrick Ruffini, Mindy Finn, Patrick Hynes and Liz Mair to develop what Pawlenty advisers hope will be the most sophisticated new-media presence of any Republican in the nation. Pawlenty launches a new website, http://www.timpawlenty.com, Thursday.

The second-term Minnesota governor, who is not seeking reelection next year, is focused on twin political goals, his advisers say: helping elect two Republican governors this fall from his perch as Republican Governors Association vice chairman and using his PAC to aid like-minded candidates running in next year’s midterm elections.

But Pawlenty is doing far more than that to establish his presence in the minds of Republican voters.

He is also traveling the country at a fevered clip, appearing at scores of GOP and conservative events to speak to the party faithful, and becoming a frequent national TV presence, especially on cable television, where he’s able to offer sharp critiques of President Barack Obama’s latest moves.

And behind the scenes, he’s engaged in a far more subtle campaign against another possible presidential rival.

Pawlenty has been phoning aides and advisers to Romney’s 2008 campaign, ostensibly to introduce himself and solicit their advice.

One midlevel Romney aide who got a call suggested the Minnesotan was targeting younger operatives who may be open to another candidate in 2012 should the former Massachusetts governor stock the senior levels of his next potential run with the same cast as last time.

Pawlenty also recently reached out to another well-known Romney supporter from a key early-primary state, asking questions about the state’s political dynamics.

“Not a lot of people outside of Minnesota know Gov. Pawlenty very well, and as he tries to help Republicans around the country, it makes sense for him to reach out to a lot of people,” said Conant, when asked about the forward-leaning tactics. “As he puts together a team to run the PAC with a focus on 2010, he wants the best people available.”

But such conversations have another effect, as Pawlenty and his team are well aware — they serve notice to the small community of political insiders that the governor is serious about a White House run.


The same can be said about the selection of Weber as co-chairman of his PAC. The former Minnesota congressman-turned-GOP lobbyist and strategist was an early backer of Romney’s primary run, serving as campaign policy chairman and a close adviser.

“I’m a free agent,” Weber said when asked about his 2012 loyalties, noting he had told senior Romney officials about his decision to help lead Pawlenty’s PAC. He was emphatic that his efforts for Pawlenty are about 2010 — “doing something positive for the Republican Party” — and not the next presidential race.

Pawlenty is holding one-on-one meetings with Republicans nearly everywhere he goes and is going to some lengths to make sure his message is correctly calibrated. Before the recent Family Research Council’s Value Voters Summit, for example, he held a conference call with a team of advisers, including pollster Tony Fabrizio and longtime conservative strategist Greg Mueller, to help shape his speech and general approach at an event where he got rave reviews and finished a surprising third in the straw poll.

Further, Pawlenty has used public appearances and op-eds to criticize the health care plan Romney put in place in Massachusetts.

Taken together, Pawlenty’s efforts reflect a Republican trying to carve out a niche for himself in the very early 2012 jockeying. Before anyone else enters the arena, he’s seeking to win over Republicans who are reluctant, or downright unwilling, to embrace Romney and who think that other potential candidates — notably former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Alaska Gov. and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin — are nonstarters in a general election.

“Who else is a credible alternative that’s going to have a national campaign infrastructure?” asked one Republican operative, listing only Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) as another potential entrant, before noting that the senator has done little to suggest he’s interested in challenging Obama.

“There are basically two guys who are electable conservatives,” said another plugged-in Republican, assessing a field that right now seems notably thin.

Yet Pawlenty lacks a few important strengths that some of his possible opponents enjoy. He doesn’t have the ability to finance his own campaign as Romney does, nor does he maintain anything close to the former presidential hopeful’s donor and grass-roots base. He lacks Huckabee’s natural hold on social conservatives. And he’s never going to enjoy a fervent following like the one Palin can point to.

It’s also not entirely clear what Pawlenty’s signature issues will be, since there is no overarching accomplishment in St. Paul that he could clearly run on.

Pawlenty’s early maneuvering, however, could address one of the political class’s early raps against him: that, while he may be a young and appealing conservative from a blue state, he lacks the organization or capacity to raise the kind of money needed to win the presidential nomination.

Nelson initially ran Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2007 and was the national political director on the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign in 2004. Taylor was also a senior official on the Bush campaign and did a stint as White House political director at the start of his second term. Musser ran the Republican Governors Association in 2006 and advised Romney at the outset of his 2008 White House run. Fabrizio and Mueller have also worked on GOP presidential campaigns.

Strong was a Ranger, or top Bush fundraising bundler, in 2004 and for McCain. He’s joined by a group of Minnesotans, including former Target CEO Bob Ulrich, GOP strategist Jeff Larson and TCF Financial Corp. CEO Bill Cooper.

Pawlenty’s team also includes a number of operatives who worked for different candidates in the last GOP primary. On the Web team alone are individuals from the campaigns of McCain, Romney and Rudy Giuliani.

A group of Pawlenty loyalists in Minnesota, Trisha Hamm, Annie Kelly and Don Stiles, will help run the business side of the St. Paul-based PAC.