You can’t fool Mother Nature, Flies know where B__ S___ comes from

You can’t fool Mother Nature

Flies know where B__ S___ comes from

Morning Bell: Obama’s Leadership Vacuum

Morning Bell: Obama’s Leadership Vacuum

Posted By Mike Brownfield On June 23, 2010 @ 9:16 am In Ongoing Priorities |

More than two years ago, then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton launched a campaign ad that took direct aim at Senator Barack Obama’s inexperience [1]. It painted the picture of a telephone ringing in the White House at 3 a.m. and asked the question, when there is a crisis in the world and your children are safe and asleep, “Who do you want answering the phone?”

Now, two years later, there are several crises confronting America, that telephone is ringing, and President Obama isn’t quite sure what to do about it.

The first crisis is the War in Afghanistan, a lynchpin in the War on Terror and a key to ensuring U.S. security. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, U.S. commander in Afghanistan, reportedly [2]tendered his resignation yesterday following a Rolling Stone article [3] that portrayed him and senior aides on his team as dismissive of top Obama administration officials. Apart for being an embarrassing moment for both President Obama and Gen. McChrystal, the story revealed a larger problem for the president – festering, internal dissension [4] regarding his administration’s Afghanistan strategy. As Politico reports [5], there are divisions among Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Vice President Biden, Gen. David Petraeus, Richard Holbrooke and others.

Those divisions are of Obama’s own making, stemming from his lack of leadership and failure to make a firm commitment to victory in Afghanistan. It took the president 10 months to decide on an Afghanistan strategy [6], he took a middle road in only committing 30,000 additional troops [7] to the mission, many fewer than Gen. McChrystal had requested, and he imposed an artificial timeline for withdrawal that sent mixed signals to the country [8], the military, our allies and our enemies about America’s resolve to win the war. Now, as the president contemplates Gen. McChrystal’s potential resignation, it appears he is reaping the bitter harvest of his failure to take decisive action.

There’s another crisis spewing from deep in the Gulf of Mexico, where the environmental and economic repercussions of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill continue to spread, 64 days later. Even after President Obama addressed the nation on the government’s oil spill response, 59 percent of Americans [9] do not believe he has a clear plan for tackling the crisis.

Is it any wonder? Yesterday, a federal judge struck down the president’s six-month ban on oil drilling, concluding that plaintiffs likely could show [10] “the Administration acted arbitrarily and capriciously in issuing the moratorium.”

The ruling followed protests from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and 19 Gulf lawmakers [11], including Democrat Rep. Charlie Melancon (LA), who complained that the ban would pile on even more economic hardship to the embattled Gulf region. Despite the ruling, the protests, the economic consequences, and a poll showing that 56 percent of Americans [12] believe offshore drilling is necessary for U.S. energy security, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he will issue a new order [13] re-imposing the moratorium on deepwater drilling.

The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky writes that the ban is just one example [10] of the Obama administration’s oil spill failures:

From the unjustified 24-hour ban imposed by the Coast Guard on the barges that were pumping oil out of the water to check on whether they had fire extinguishers and life vests on board to the Army Corps of Engineers’ delays in allowing Louisiana to build berms and sand barriers to protect its wetlands, the administration has acted more like the Keystone Cops than a competent and effective government.

And then there’s the budget. President Obama’s administration has been marked by a spend-now, cut-later (or never) mantra that has featured the largest single-year increase in domestic spending since World War II [14] and a trillion-dollar health care plan [15]. Recognizing that all that spending might cause a public relations problem, the president appointed the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform [16] to study ways to improve America’s fiscal future. Why make a decision when others can do it for you?

Taking a cue from their leader, House Democrats announced yesterday that they won’t pass a budget this year [17]. Even though that’s never been done [17] in the history of the modern budgetary process, they want to wait [17] until the president’s commission issues its report in December before making any moves.

Following President Obama’s Oval Office address on the oil spill last week, MSNBC commentators Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and Howard Fineman, three of the president’s most ardent media cheerleaders, roundly criticized the president’s speech [18]. Fineman said “Obama should be acting like a ‘commander-in-chief.’” Olbermann complained the president “wasn’t specific enough.” Matthews observed, “I don’t sense executive command.” Each of those observations comes down to one thing: leadership. And these days, the man picking up the White House phone at 3 a.m. doesn’t seem to have it.

Quick Hits:

Obama is Failing Alinksy and Dukakis

Obama is Failing Alinksy and Dukakis

by Thomas Del Beccaro

The longest days of summer are proving to be even longer days for Obama.  His approval ratings are mired in the mid 40s, primaries herald losses for Democrats and the Gulf Oil spill is turning out to be more slippery for Obama than BP.  All in all, Obama is failing both Alinsky and Michael Dukakis and the Democrats are headed toward losing the House.

obamamirror-1

In 2009, Obama chose confrontational politics.  He appointed Rahm Emanuel, known more for his hard ball tactics than his diplomacy, for his Chief of Staff.  Out of the gate, he pushed through a “stimulus” bill along partisan lines instead of seeking a bi-partisan solution, i.e. a mixture of tax cuts, regulatory relief and federal spending in lieu of pure deficit spending.  Obama then proceeded to push Cap and Trade and Health Care – again along strictly partisan lines.  In doing so, his administration spoke more than disparagingly of those opposing his policies.  To many, Obama was outright demonizing his opponents much like Saul Alinksy would advocate.

As the calendar turned onward, and the economy predictably failed to turn upward, the Democrats and the Obama Administration received the shock of a Kennedy lifetime when the otherwise barely known Scott Brown pulled off a stunning victory by taking the “Kennedy seat” away from the Democrats and giving it back to the people.  Unbowed by such political tea leaves, and warnings from prognosticators, Obama pushed the Health Care Bill through along partisan lines and with the promise that people will be able to keep their existing health care.  Now nearly 60% of Americans want that bill repealed and that is before the emerging stories about not being able to keep their existing health care, based on the regulations being written, have begun to take hold.

Then came the Gulf Oil spill.  At first, Obama nearly ignored the emerging problem.  Since then, he “sued” BP and alternatively claimed he was in control but that there was nothing he could really do.  It is rather known, at this point however, that he could have easily waived the Jones Act to allow non-union remediation efforts and he could have accepted foreign help that would have reduced to scope of the spill.  So bad is his performance that even his most staunch supporters on the far Left have questioned his ability to command.

All of which bring us back to Alinksy and Dukakis.

Alinksy’s methodology is meant for an insurgency and is dependent on ideological confrontation.  It is not one that fares well with half measures.  Yet over the last year Obama has drawn derision on the Left for being able to achieve only half measures even though the Democrats control the House, the Senate and the White House.

As for Dukakis, he famously campaigned for the Presidency asserting that that election was about “competency not ideology.”  While the Country never had to endure Dukakis’ brand of competency back in the late 1980s, they have seen Obama’s failures first hand.

The Presidency, however, is not about an insurgency, it is about building consensus.  It is also non-ideological to the extent that it requires its Commander in Chief to effectively deal to crises and day-today problems – competently.  Obama is demonstrating his lack of experience and ability along with his lack of historical understanding and ability to learn about the Presidency.  In the final analysis, likely to be made this fall and in 2012, it is those failures that will define Obama and the Democrats.

Federal Gov’t Halts Sand Berm Dredging

Federal Gov’t Halts Sand Berm Dredging

Nungesser Pleads With President To Allow Work To Continue

 

POSTED: 5:37 pm CDT June 22, 2010
UPDATED: 9:21 am CDT June 23, 2010

 

NEW ORLEANS — The federal government is shutting down the dredging that was being done to create protective sand berms in the Gulf of Mexico. 

The berms are meant to protect the Louisiana coastline from oil. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department has concerns about where the dredging is being done. 

Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, who was one of the most vocal advocates of the dredging plan, has sent a letter to President Barack Obama, pleading for the work to continue. 

Nungesser said the government has asked crews to move the dredging site two more miles farther off the coastline. 

“Once again, our government resource agencies, which are intended to protect us, are now leaving us vulnerable to the destruction of our coastline and marshes by the impending oil,” Nungesser wrote to Obama. “Furthermore, with the threat of hurricanes or tropical storms, we are being put at an increased risk for devastation to our area from the intrusion of oil. 

Nungesser has asked for the dredging to continue for the next seven days, the amount of time it would take to move the dredging operations two miles and out resume work. 

Work is scheduled to halt at midnight Wednesday. 

The California dredge located off the Chandelier Islands has pumped more than 50,000 cubic yards of material daily to create a sand berm, according to Plaquemines Parish officials. 

Nungesser’s letter includes an emotional plea to the president. 

“Please don’t let them shut this dredge down,” he wrote. “This requires your immediate attention!” 

 

The Next Big Crisis: State Bankruptcies

The Next Big Crisis: State Bankruptcies

Posted By Dick Morris On June 23, 2010 @ 12:01 am In FrontPage | 7 Comments

Many say that the situation in Greece is a harbinger of what is coming to the United States. They are right. But first it will come to states like New York, California and Michigan, which are stretched way beyond their means and deeply in debt.

Until now, the problems in these states have been papered over by federal aid. Essentially, Washington has relieved these states (and the local governments they fund) of their constitutional obligations to balance their budgets by giving them welfare checks in the nick of time. Barack Obama now seeks to pass $50 billion in additional welfare to the states.

But, since these federal funds are not necessarily recurring — and the jobs and obligations they fund are — they simply enlarge each year’s deficit hole and enable the states to go more deeply into the red.

As these deficits mount — particularly if a newly elected Republican House and/or Senate refuse to fund them — bondholders will get more and more nervous. Eventually, they will realize that the less solvent states are bankrupt and will refuse to buy their debt. Eyes in Sacramento, Lansing and Albany will turn helplessly to Washington to guarantee their debt, just as Athens turns to Berlin.

Republicans, if they control either or both Houses, should stand firm and insist that these states sink or swim on their own. America’s taxpayers will not take kindly to having to bail out other states — or even their own — to pay for years of reckless spending. Americans will swarm to the GOP and will hail its stand.

The time is long passed when a local newspaper can generate sympathy — even from its own readers and the state’s own citizens — with a headline like “Ford to New York: Drop Dead.” Now, people in other states (and even in the affected state) would stand up and cheer should the Republicans take so strong a position.

There is currently no legal procedure for a state government to go bankrupt.

Congress, especially if it is Republican in 2011, should pass a mechanism that permits states to discharge in bankruptcy their collective bargaining agreements and contracts with their municipal unions. Of course, this procedure would have to let school boards and local governments do likewise.

Obama will veto this bill, and a stalemate will ensue.

On the left will stand Obama, the unions and the Democrats demanding bailouts for the states and, truly, an end to our federal system of government. Once Washington guarantees state debt and spending, there will be no more state governance, only national rule.

On the right will stand a Republican Congress refusing to do so unless the states declare bankruptcy and cleanse themselves of the union agreements that got them into trouble in the first place. The GOP will point out that state funding is leaking as surely as the Deepwater Horizon oil well and polluting our nation’s balance sheet as badly in the process.

The money will run out. States, school boards and localities will stop sending out checks. Emergency state funding may keep schools open, prisons locked, and police and fire services running, but otherwise all hell will break loose.

Something will give in this national game of chicken. If it is the states and Obama that blink first, we will free our local governments of the grip of municipal unions, their rigid work rules and their unaffordable pensions. If the Republicans blink first, they will forfeit their right to represent the American people, having backed down from the challenge of our times.

This Armageddon looms in 2011, presenting us with either an opportunity to reform our government in fundamental ways or to set in stone our path to an Athens-esque meltdown.

Planned Parenthood Missing Over $1 Billion Taxpayer Dollars

Planned Parenthood Missing Over $1 Billion Taxpayer Dollars

2010 June 23

What is Planned Parenthood Doing With Our Money? 

Ever misplace over a billion dollars?  What do you think would happen to you if you did?  How long would your prison sentence be?  Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is missing around $1.3 billion of government assistance.  Where’s the outrage?  Where are the investigations?  Where is the congressional hearing?

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) just released a new report on Planned Parenthood’s handling of money given through federal grants and programs.  Between 2002 and 2008 the government funneled 2 billion dollars to PPFA.  But the GAO audit on the organization shows only $657.1 million of that money has been spent during that time.

That leaves over $1.3 billion taxpayer dollars unaccounted for!  Where is it? Just under 33 percent of the money given to PPFA by the federal government has been spent.  And as of right now there is no account of where the rest of the money is.

“Why the discrepancy? These numbers don’t add up and from an organization with a track record like Planned Parenthood’s, the American people deserve an explanation.” – Rita Diller, American Life League

This report was done after 31 U.S. senators and representatives asked for it.  In the last year many reports have come out in the press of various local Planned Parenthoods being involved with illegal abortions, covering up rape cases, and lying about what an abortion does to the fetus.  Just today a news story came out about a Planned Parenthood in Iowa teaching 8th graders how to do graphic sex acts.

Such a report should shock Americans when you realize what ObamaCare will fund.  Obama’s health care overhaul will give “health centers” like Planned Parenthood over $11 billion.  So you are going to give a lot more money to a group that can’t account for 70 percent of its funding.  Most of that funding that PPFA did spend was to woo women into their facilities for free health care, then they give them free birth control, and when that fails they are ready to provide abortions.  How many abortions?  PPFA admits that between 2002-2008 they aborted over 1.8 million unborn babies.

“At a time when the majority of Americans consider themselves pro-life, Planned Parenthood rakes in over two billion of our tax dollars, inconsistently reports how they spent our tax money and then admits to killing 1,803,302 preborn babies between 2002 and 2008 alone.  A growing number of Americans are fed up. It’s time to defund Planned Parenthood.” – Diller

I agree with Diller (who wrote an op-ed on this issue in the Washington Times).  Recent polls over the last couple of years have consistently shown that most Americans are pro-life and are definitely against government funding of abortion and abortion clinics.  How in the world can we continue to fund Planned Parenthood with the American tax dollars?  If we thought ACORN was bad then we should unite together as citizens and demand that government support for PPFA stops today!

The Appeaser-In-Chief

The Appeaser-In-Chief

Posted By Rich Trzupek On June 23, 2010 @ 12:05 am In FrontPage | 14 Comments

The Islamist movement that threatens Judeo-Christian western culture can be viewed in one of two ways: as a fundamentalist, misguidedly pious religious phenomenon that appeals to a wide swath of the Muslim masses, or as a calculated, cynical attempt to grab both the power and wealth that the West holds — orchestrated by an Islamic elite who don’t actually care about the finer points of the Quran or Sharia law, except when either might serve to further their overall purpose. The important difference between the way that George W. Bush approached the problem of radical Islam and the manner in which Barack Obama deals with the issue – or claims to be trying to deal it – involves these two different points of view.

At various instances during his terms in office Bush tried, mostly in vain, to find and deal with moderates among Islamic leadership, hoping to thus isolate extremist leaders and their radical, fundamentalist followers. It was a flawed vision, but an appealing one, for it attacked the problem at a grass roots level. If radical Islam is primarily a political phenomenon then it should be possible to separate radical organizations like the Taliban, al Qaeda and Hamas from ordinary moderate Muslims who reject fundamentalist dogma and instead blend secular values in with their theology in the western style. That’s a tough road to take, especially given the lack of any meaningful educational system in the modern sense in the Muslim world. Yet, in Iraq the majority of a relatively educated populace (by Islamic-state standards anyway) did indeed reject the radicals in their midst once coalition forces provided the kind of security needed to allow the Iraqi people to take charge of their lives in safety.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, has effectively abandoned any hope of cultivating a moderate, secularlist Islam that might counterbalance the fundamentalist, radical variety. Given the ever-increasing power and influence of the extremists, even in a nation like Turkey that we once thought of as the model of a “moderate Muslim” state, the president’s approach is more realistic than Bush’s utopian visions. Moderate Muslims, cowed by the murderous fanatics who infect Islam throughout the globe, were never of much use in the war on terror anyway and aren’t likely to be in the future. In a practical sense, Obama’s policies reflect the reality that Islam cannot be reformed in any meaningful sense. But his reaction to that reality has been to try to appease the extremists rather than rendering them harmless. It’s a strategy that merely emboldens radical Muslims, who are thus convinced more than ever that the West lacks the stomach to see this war through.

Obama’s counter-terrorism czar, John Brennan provided an example of the Obama administration’s approach in a speech he gave a few weeks ago [1]. Utilizing the kind of Orwellian newspeak that has become a hallmark of this administration, Brennan said that “…we need to try to build up the more moderate elements” within Hezbollah. It’s at least the second time that Brennan has referred to “moderate elements” within the radical Shia militia, but Brennan surely knows that there are no moderate elements within Hezbollah, just as though there are no moderates within Hamas, the Taliban or al Qaeda. So, why use such a term? There’s only one rational answer: if this administration is going to negotiate with terrorists – in effect trying to find a way to buy them off – it cannot appear to be doing so. While America remains a house divided when it comes to pressing forward war against the jihadis, the “millions for defense, but not a penny for tribute” spirit still resonates among Americans of every political stripe. Obama would face intense criticism on both sides of the aisle if he announced that he was going to negotiate a settlement with terrorists, but when the administration packages that strategy as an attempt to nurture so-called moderates, it sounds much more palatable, so that’s how his counter-terrorism czar is going to sell it.

This is of course the same John Brennan [2] who said: “Nor do we describe our enemy as ‘jihadists’ or ‘Islamists’ because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children.” Unfortunately, to the radicals that this administration is trying to court, it is both legitimate and Islamic to murder innocent men, women and children in the course of this “holy struggle.” Again, Brennan knows that. He was in the CIA [3] long enough to understand the realities of Islam, but his current assignment involves papering-over those inconvenient facts, not confronting the cold truth.

Some commentators have accused Obama of sympathizing with the radicals, or possibly being a “closet Muslim” himself. That kind of reaction is understandable, given the president’s poorly-concealed hostility towards Israel and his attempts to curry favor from Islamic states. Yet, the more likely reason that Obama chooses to trod down this dangerous path is because he’s an academic and, like most academics, believes that the right combination of words and concessions can soothe the most savage beasts. It’s a naïve strategy, of the sort that only a smug intellectual can embrace. Appeasement is also a forlorn hope, one that delays an inevitable conflict rather than preventing it, as western leaders from Jefferson [4] through Chamberlain [5] painfully learned. Barack Obama seems determined to take America down that doomed path once more. The inevitable consequences of the president’s policy are obvious to even casual students of history and Islam: America and Israel will surely pay for Obama’s naiveté in blood. The only real questions are when and how much.

The threat of illegal alien amnesty-by-executive order

The threat of illegal alien amnesty-by-executive order

By Michelle Malkin  •  June 23, 2010 10:07 AM

NumbersUSA posted a letter on Monday from GOP Sen. Grassley and seven other Republican Senators challenging the White House on rumors of illegal alien-amnesty-by-executive order. The gist of it:

We understand that there’s a push for your Administration to develop a plan to unilaterally extend either deferred action or parole to millions of illegal aliens in the United States. We understand that the Administration may include aliens who have willfully overstayed their visas or filed for benefits knowing that they will not be eligible for a status for years to come. We understand that deferred action and parole are discretionary actions reserved for individual cases that present unusual, emergent or humanitarian circumstances. Deferred action and parole were not intended to be used to confer a status or offer protection to large groups of illegal aliens, even if the agency claims that they look at each case on a “case-by-case” basis.

While we agree our immigration laws need to be fixed, we are deeply concerned about the potential expansion of deferred action or parole for a large illegal alien population. While deferred action and parole are Executive Branch authorities, they should not be used to circumvent Congress’ constitutional authority to legislate immigration policy, particularly as it relates to the illegal population in the United States.

This administration has accomplished its major policy agenda items through force, fiat, and fraud. Immigration will be no different.

More to the point, as I’ve reported many times and in-depth in my blog posts, colum ns, and books, open-borders activists and open-borders politicians have accomplished illegal alien amnesty-by-special order with almost no grass-roots resistance for years.

Both the Bush and Obama administrations support non-enforcement orders on deportation.

Both Republicans and Democrats have sponsored “special relief” bills to grant amnesty to illegal alien criminals. Remember:

How Congress gives special relief to convicted murderers, smugglers, and other alien law-breakers
By Michelle Malkin • June 11, 2007 01:00 PM

Are you aware that deportable aliens can circumvent immigration laws with the help of your member of Congress? Are you aware that more than 50 bills have been introduced in Congress this year that would grant special, private relief to individual immigrants fighting deportation? It’s instant amnesty through special legislation. And it’s been happening for years under the radar. Past and present beneficiaries have included smugglers, illegal aliens, and now a convicted murderer wanted in his home country for engaging in terrorist activity and participating in an assassination plot that left a prime minister and dozens of his family members dead.

Both political parties remain clueless or indifferent to the deportation abyss that affords illegal aliens countless appeals and de facto, endless amnesty.

As I first pointed out in Invasion eight years ago, comprehensive immigration ENFORCEMENT reform won’t come from Washington until Americans outside the Beltway start doing it themselves.

The revolt is well underway.

***

Send the White House your two cents on illegal alien amnesty-by-executive order here.

***

Related:

As Naked Emperor News highlights in 2004 video, Obama has openly advocated trading border security for amnesty. He’s not the only one in Washington to embrace this feckless trade-off:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMD7rjlHKFQ&feature=player_embedded

Obama going after insurance companies – again

Obama going after insurance companies – again

Rick Moran

What makes Obama’s bullying of the insurance industry so arrogant in this instance is the hubris it takes to jawbone executives not to raise rates when it is his own “reform” plan that is driving costs up in the first place.

In other words, Obama wants the insurance corporations to cover for his lies and incompetence:

Even The New York Times now takes for granted the President’s “vilification of insurers helped push a landmark health care overhaul through Congress.” Hmmm. Where were they during the health care debate?:

President Obama, whose vilification of insurers helped push a landmark health care overhaul through Congress, plans to sternly warn industry executives at a White House meeting on Tuesday against imposing hefty rate increases in anticipation of tightening regulation under the new law, administration officials said Monday.

The White House is concerned that health insurers will blame the new law for increases in premiums that are intended to maximize profits rather than covering claims. The administration is also closely watching investigations by a number of states into the actuarial soundness of double-digit rate increases.

Insurance companies blaming Obamacare for rate increases? Who could have possibly seen that coming!

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

More misdirection from the White House

More misdirection from the White House

Aaron Gee

The headlines this morning are all about General McChrystal and an article in Rolling Stone.  My prediction is that this episode will extend far longer than it should, and will be used as much and as often as possible to separate Obama from his failures in Afghanistan.  It also serves to remove the oil soaked pelicans from the front pages of the major news site this morning.  

This mornings headlines follow this Administration’s pattern of continually moving from “crisis” to “crisis”, real or imagined, in an effort to stay ahead of the perception that our President views his time in office as just an extended golf getaway from teaching in Chicago.

For those of you that think my criticism is unfair, I would remind you that the President didn’t take any interest in the gulf oil crisis until commentators started asking too many  questions on the White House’s role in offering Federal jobs to primary candidates.  Obama suddenly had to take charge of the gulf oil spill.  The problem was that Obama simply seems incapable of taking charge of anything more strenuous than a tongue lashing or an apology. 

To date the US administration has turned down offers from 13 countries to help with the clean up.  The Administration has refused to wave environmental regulations or streamline the process to allow building protective barriers.  The reliance on a bureaucratic apparatus has halted clean up efforts, and forced BP at great expense in time and money to modify clean up ships to not run afoul of the protectionist twenties era legislation known as the ‘Jones Act‘. 

With this kind of action, it’s no wonder that General McChrystal was called to Washington.  Obama can use the distraction for the next few news cycles to keep people’s eyes off from the disaster in the Gulf and a corrupt Congress.  Talking to McChrystal plays to Obama’s one strength, and we will know if Obama’s really on top of his game if he dresses down the General without a teleprompter.