Transparency and openness, finally: The GOP & Obama Q&A show

Transparency and openness, finally: The GOP & Obama Q&A show

By Michelle Malkin  •  January 29, 2010 01:21 PM

It’s our own version of Britain’s Prime Minister’s questions and it’s been happening for nearly an hour live.

Hurry and tune in now on C-SPAN online if you aren’t near a TV.

Yes, Obama has shown some of his finger-wagging tendencies, ignored GOP Rep. Tom Price’s question, complained that health care critics likened Demcare to a “bolshevik” plan, and complained when some questioners went long (chutzpah).

But the session has been most compelling — the most transparency and openness we’ve seen since the start of his term.

Good on the House Republicans for throwing the doors open.

And, yes, I’m going to compliment the president: Good on him for taking part.

Yet another dividend of the Massachusetts Miracle.

Forget the staged dog-and-pony campaign rallies and stacked town halls.

Do this every week.

***

In response to readers: Yes, we got to see how thin-skinned and peevish he is in a sustained engagement/non-engagement with Republicans.

That’s a good thing, isn’t it?

Best takeaway, lecture-y line from Obama: “We’ve got to be careful about what we say about each other.”

Says the man whose operatives have smeared conservatives and Tea Party activists as racists, terrorists, and Neanderthals non-stop over the last year

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“Her Arrogance… Breathtaking:” CNN’s Jack Cafferty Takes A Second Crack At Pelosi’s Runaway Spending

“Her Arrogance… Breathtaking:” CNN’s Jack Cafferty Takes A Second Crack At Pelosi’s Runaway Spending

January 27th, 2010 Posted By Erik Wong.

cafferty

News Busters:

Two weeks after calling Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) a horrible woman, CNN’s Jack Cafferty said the House Speaker’s arrogance was breathtaking.

During Tuesday’s “Situation Room,” Cafferty addressed the report the CBS “Evening News” did the previous day on the out of control spending by members of Congress at last month’s United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen.

“Her arrogance on this subject: breathtaking,” said Cafferty of the Speaker’s failure to “explain why it was necessary for her and her colleagues to make the trip to Copenhagen in the first place.”

He marvelously continued, “I’d be curious to know where Nancy Pelosi gets her sense of entitlement to simply blow hundreds of thousands of dollars of our money at Christmas time so she and her pals can take a little trip to Copenhagen” (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t Story Balloon):

seee video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIa1GQTDBPQ&feature=player_embedded

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Wolf, hundreds of thousands of dollars, that’s how much it cost for a delegation of 59 people led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi along with members of Congress, staff, and in some cases, spouses and kids to go to Copenhagen, site of the climate summit just before Christmas.

CBS News reports that for 21 congressmen, food and rooms for two nights cost $4,400, and the total hotel bill including meeting rooms came to more than $400,000. Pelosi used to military jets for herself and her party at a cost of more than $100,000 in flight time alone. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money — has nothing to do with the Obama administration officials, who went to Denmark to actually attend and work at the summit.

Pelosi filed the required expense reports, but so far she has failed to explain why it was necessary for her and her colleagues to make the trip to Copenhagen in the first place. Her arrogance on this subject: breathtaking. As for the high hotel charges Pelosi’s office says those who stayed two nights were charged a six-night minimum at the five-star Marriott, information that likely was available before Pelosi and her freeloaders made their vacation plans.

Note to the House Speaker: we have skyrocketing deficits, a trillion plus dollars a year, a national debt north of $12 trillion in this country. The president is talking about reining in discretionary spending. I wonder if that would have included this junket by Pelosi and her colleagues. I’d be curious to know where Nancy Pelosi gets her sense of entitlement to simply blow hundreds of thousands of dollars of our money at Christmas time so she and her pals can take a little trip to Copenhagen.

Here’s the question. Should House Speaker Nancy Pelosi be required to explain her trip to Copenhagen? Go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile and post a comment on my blog. Here’s a hint — yes.

All those in favor say “Aye.”

KSM Circus Trial To Be Moved From NYC: “Turning Tide” Strikes Down Holder’s Attempt At Sick Joke

KSM Circus Trial To Be Moved From NYC: “Turning Tide” Strikes Down Holder’s Attempt At Sick Joke

January 28th, 2010 Posted By Erik Wong.

ksm.jpg

NY Daily News:

The White House ordered the Justice Department Thursday night to consider other places to try the 9/11 terror suspects after a wave of opposition to holding the trial in lower Manhattan.

The dramatic turnabout came hours after Mayor Bloomberg said he would “prefer that they did it elsewhere” and then spoke to Attorney General Eric Holder.

“It would be an inconvenience at the least, and probably that’s too mild a word for people that live in the neighborhood and businesses in the neighborhood,” Bloomberg told reporters.

“There are places that would be less expensive for the taxpayers and less disruptive for New York City.”

State and city leaders have increasingly railed against a plan to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in Manhattan federal court since Holder proposed it last month.

Sen. Chuck Schumer said he was “pleased” that the administration is reconsidering the location of the trial.

Earlier in the day, Schumer spoke “with high-level members of the administration and urged them to find alternatives,” said the senator’s spokesman, Josh Vlasto.

The order to consider new venues does not change the White House’s position that Mohammed should be tried in civilian court.

“President Obama is still committed to trying Mohammed and four other terrorist detainees in federal court,” spokesman Bill Burton said yesterday.

“He agrees with the attorney general’s opinion that . . . he and others can be litigated successfully and securely in the United States of America, just like others have,” Burton said.

Burton referred questions about the location debate to the Justice Department. While not commenting publicly, a department official disputed the characterization that the White House ordered the possible move.

ksm-trial-alternate-locations

But another insider told The News that Justice officials have been caught off guard by the fiery opposition in New York.

“They’re in a tizzy at Justice over Bloomberg,” a federal law enforcement official said. “It’s like a half-baked souffle – the plan is collapsing.”

Julie Menin, the chairwoman of Community Board 1 who helped rally opposition to the plan, called the shift “a step in the right direction.”

“I’m thrilled the White House is reconsidering,” Menin said. “The trial has to be moved out of New York City.”

Meanwhile, a source told The News that Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly was the driving force behind the push by Manhattan business leaders to change the mayor’s mind on the trial.

Kelly made an “extremely powerful” speech to a roomful of 150 prominent business leaders about how disruptive and costly the trial would be for lower Manhattan at an annual police charity event on Jan. 13, the source said.

“What turned this around was when Ray made a presentation to the Police Foundation,” the source said. “Everyone went from thinking, ‘Justice will be served’ to thinking ‘We are screwed.’ ”

What followed was a barrage of complaints to the mayor from some of New York’s most powerful tycoons – part of a tide of pressure that led Bloomberg to turn against hosting the trial.

Estimates put the cost of a multiyear terror trial in lower Manhattan at about $200 million a year. Leaders have suggested other venues for the trial, such as the Military Academy at West Point or Stewart Air National Guard Base in upstate Newburgh.

The federal government has said they would reimburse the city for the costs, most of which cover overtime for increased security, but they won’t reimburse business owners for lost revenue during the chaos, said Steven Spinola, president of the heavyweight business group Real Estate Board of New York.

“Is the federal government going to give the city $1 billion plus the cost of propping up businesses? I don’t think so,” Spinola said.

“The mayor clearly has been thinking about this. The tide is turning,” He said.

With Kenneth Lovett, James Gordon Meek and Rocco Parascandola

AP: Points out Ten Obama Lies

AP: Points out Ten Obama Lies

January 29th, 2010

AP

 Raise your hand if you are telling a lie…

President Barack Obama told Americans the bipartisan deficit commission he will appoint won’t just be “one of those Washington gimmicks.” Left unspoken in that assurance was the fact that the commission won’t have any teeth.

Obama confronted some tough realities in his State of the Union speech Wednesday night, chief among them that Americans are continuing to lose their health insurance as Congress struggles to pass an overhaul.

Yet some of his ideas for moving ahead skirted the complex political circumstances standing in his way.
A look at some of Obama’s claims and how they compare with the facts:

OBAMA: “Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. Spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be affected. But all other discretionary government programs will. Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don’t.”

THE FACTS: The anticipated savings from this proposal would amount to less than 1 percent of the deficit — and that’s if the president can persuade Congress to go along.

Read More:

State of the Union: Barack Obama gets an F for world leadership

State of the Union: Barack Obama gets an F for world leadership

January 29th, 2010

By Nile Gardiner, Telegraph UK

As expected, Barack Obama’s 70 minute State of the Union address focused heavily on the economy and the domestic political agenda. This was hardly surprising in the aftermath of last week’s catastrophic defeat for his party in the Massachusetts special Senate election, where the Republicans scored an historic victory. American voters are turning strongly against the president’s health care reform package as well as his big government vision for the economy, which has contributed to spiraling public debt and mounting unemployment, now standing at over 10 percent.

But the scant attention paid in the State of the Union speech to US leadership was pitiful and frankly rather pathetic. The war in Afghanistan, which will soon involve a hundred thousand American troops, merited barely a paragraph. There was no mention of victory over the enemy, just a reiteration of the president’s pledge to begin a withdrawal in July 2011. Needless to say there was nothing in the speech about the importance of international alliances, and no recognition whatsoever of the sacrifices made by Great Britain and other NATO allies alongside the United States on the battlefields of Afghanistan. For Barack Obama the Special Relationship means nothing, and tonight’s address further confirmed this.

Significantly, the global war against al-Qaeda was hardly mentioned, and there were no measures outlined to enhance US security at a time of mounting threats from Islamist terrorists. Terrorism is a top issue for American voters, but President Obama displayed what can only be described as a stunning indifference towards the defence of the homeland.

Read More:

The State of the Union Is No ‘Reset’ Button

The State of the Union Is No ‘Reset’ Button

January 29th, 2010

By KARL ROVE, WSJ

 Obama is clearly out of touch with Americans

It was a tense moment in the West Wing. Less than a year into a new president’s term, a Senate seat was slipping to the opposition and taking with it the balance of power in the upper chamber. The president’s agenda was suddenly at risk.

If this sounds like Republican Scott Brown’s upset victory in Massachusetts last week, it was actually Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords’s defection in 2001. Mr. Jeffords’s decision to bolt the party cost the GOP not the 60th vote, but a razor-thin majority. Yet following the defection, George W. Bush passed his signature tax-cut package, No Child Left Behind education reform, and a budget that cut in half the growth of discretionary domestic spending from the sizzling 16% rate of President Bill Clinton’s last budget.

As congressional Democrats back away—for now—from Mr. Obama’s health-care agenda, it is worth asking if this president’s agenda is really aligned with what Americans want. This was supposed to be a historic presidency. But if it’s undone by the loss of the 60th Senate Democrat, was Mr. Obama actually prepared for the challenges of governing?

The Massachusetts defeat, Mr. Obama said on Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” caused him “to try to reset the tone” in his State of the Union address because “we had lost some of that sense of common cause that existed a year ago.

Read More

Zzzzz: Two not-so-sharp responses to Obama’s SOTU

Zzzzz: Two not-so-sharp responses to Obama’s SOTU

By Michelle Malkin  •  January 27, 2010 11:50 PM

Obama was supposed to set a “new tone” in Washington tonight. Don’t think he meant the tone to sound like snoring.

Janet Napolitano should have brought her Snuggie to the State of the Union Address. Here she is putting the “nap” in Napolitano:

(hat tip: Cristy Li)

Harry Reid forgot to drink his Red Bull, too: Zzzzzzz.