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Obama Jokes About Biden’s “Big F-ing Deal” Comment
Posted by Mark Knoller
President Obama at the groundbreaking for 10,000th Recovery Act-funded road project in Columbus, Ohio, June 18, 2010.
(Credit: CBS/Mark Knoller)
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Trumpeting the 10,000th road project funded by his Recovery Act, President Obama borrowed two of three words made famous in March by Vice President Biden.
This is a “big….deal,” said Mr. Obama, pausing for effect between the two words between which Biden had inserted an expletive in an overheard whisper three months ago.
“Today I return to Columbus to mark a milestone on the road to recovery,” the president said. “That’s worth a big round of applause.”
The White House staged the event here in the political battleground of Ohio, where Democrats face tough congressional races this fall, including a fight to win the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Republican George Voinovich.
Flanked by construction workers in helmets and yellow safety vests, Mr. Obama tried to score political points via the many jobs programs funded by the Recovery Act.
“More than 100,000 Ohioans are at work today as a result of these steps,” he said.
But even before Air Force One landed here, Republicans were trying to put their own spin on the president’s visit.
House GOP Leader John Boehner, who represents Ohio’s 8th Congressional District, said the administration’s stimulus program has fallen short of its promises. He cited new numbers from the Ohio’s Department of Job and Family Services that showed the state’s unemployment rate “remained above 10 percent for the 14th consecutive month in May:”
The White House yesterday launched a campaign called “Recovery Summer,” in conjunction with thousands of new jobs programs funded by the Recovery Act being initiated. But Boehner portrays the campaign as bogus.
“This will be no ‘recovery summer’ for the more than 100,000 Ohioans who have lost their jobs since the ‘stimulus’ was enacted,” he said in a written statement meant to undermine Mr. Obama’s visit.
In his brief remarks delivered in the middle of a street closed for his appearance, Mr. Obama asserted the recession is easing.
“Our economy, which was shrinking by six percent when I was sworn in, is now growing at a good clip, and we’ve added jobs for six out of the past seven months in this country,” he said.
But at the same time he said he was “under no illusion” that the recession was over.
“There are still too many people here in Ohio and across the country who can’t find work; many more can’t make ends meet,” he said.
The project he came to spotlight is funded by $15 milllion from the Recovery Act to rebuild roads in the area around Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The White House says the program will create over 300 construction jobs.
Mr. Obama spoke for just ten minutes and was on the ground in Ohio for just over an hour. And though his appearance was billed as official and not political, he did use his remarks to deliver attaboys to some of the Democratic politicians here including the Governor, who is up for re-election.
“You also got one of the best governors in the country in Ted Strickland,” the president said at the start of his remarks.
Strickland faces a challenge for his job in November from former GOP Congressman John Kasich, who was not at the Recovery Act event. Neither was Boehner.
The trip Columbus probably cost taxpayers between $500,000 and $1 million.
Air Force One alone bills out at $100,000 per hour, and the round trip is nearly two hours. Adding to the cost are military aircraft to carry limos and secret service vehicles, Marine One on standby, Secret Service, local police and other factors
By Steve McCann
May 7th, 2010
By Floyd and Mary Beth Brown, Western Journalist
Our Lecturer-in-Chief demands we do as he says, not as he does. During his University of Michigan commencement address, Barack Obama assumed the professorial role and began lecturing Americans on how to behave: “Now, the second way to keep our democracy healthy is to maintain a basic level of civility in our public debate. … But we can’t expect to solve our problems if all we do is tear each other down. You can disagree with a certain policy without demonizing the person who espouses it.”
While the idea of a civil debate is certainly appealing, Barack Obama has done more to damage civility in public discourse than any presidency in 40 years. Obama is the first president since Richard Nixon to personally launch verbal assaults on his enemies. His administration is willing to attack anyone who dares to stand up against them. They employ the shockingly un-presidential strategy of going after their critics by name. Robert Gibbs, the president’s acid tongue spokesman, attacked CNBC reporter Rick Santelli after less than a month in office.
Obama then joins Gibbs by personally lashing out at critics. Obama is even willing to go after his allies that don’t fall in line. “Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother,” Obama famously told Rep. Peter DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon.
Obama has issued scores of scathing personal attacks. He attacked Mitch McConnell as being in bed with Wall Street. He claimed John Boehner was a healthcare Chicken Little. He said Sarah Palin is “not exactly an expert on nuclear issues,” and called Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh a “troublesome” twosome spreading “vitriol.”
Obama’s comedy also has a political bite to it. Rather than employing the strategy of most recent presidents of engaging in self-deprecating humor, Obama makes fun of others. He tells jokes mocking Sarah Palin, Scott Brown, John Boehner, Charlie Crist and Mitt Romney.
Landon Parvin, an author and speechwriter for Democrats and Republicans, and a joke writer for three Republican presidents (Reagan and both Bushes) says, “With these dinners you want the audience to like you more when you sit down than when you stood up. … Something in [Obama’s] humor didn’t do that.”
Even Nancy Pelosi has told Obama to cool his critiques of Washington, D.C. Pelosi and other Democrats in the House are concerned that he is throwing them under the bus to save his own reputation. Obama is more concerned about preserving his own image and re-election prospects than he is about supporting his party in 2010.
Even Obama’s most reliable allies, the formerly dominant mainstream media, are beginning to take notice. Josh Gerstein and Patrick Gavin of Politico report: “Reporters say the White House is thin-skinned, controlling, eager to go over their heads and stingy with even basic information.” When the friendly press takes notice, there must really be a big problem.
It’s easy for the president to lecture about the lack of civility in politics, but when his administration is one of the most vicious voices in modern history those lectures are hypocritical. If Obama really wants to raise the public discourse he ought to start the cleaning in his own White House.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was to form a more perfect Union.
I hold that in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express provisions of our National Constitution, and the Union will endure forever, it being impossible to destroy it except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself.Again: If the United States be not a government proper, but an association of States in the nature of contract merely, can it, as a contract, be peaceably unmade by less than all the parties who made it? One party to a contract may violate it — break it, so to speak — but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it?
Posted By Jamie Glazov On April 16, 2010 @ 1:03 am In FrontPage | 10 Comments
Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Ralph Peters, a retired Army officer and the author of 25 books, including best-selling, prize-winning novels and influential works on strategy. He is also an opinion columnist for the New York Post and a regular contributor to Armchair General Magazine. A popular media guest, he became Fox News’ first strategic analyst in 2009. He is the author of the new book, Endless War: Middle-Eastern Islam vs. Western Civilization. 
FP: Ralph Peters, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Tell us about your new book.
Peters: Thanks Jamie.
My new book focuses on cutting through the ideological nonsense perverting our national discussion of war, peace, terrorism and justice. My fight is to force people to deal with facts, rather than allowing them to make up cozy myths about humanity–or the inhuman creatures we call “terrorists.” Really, the key to the entire book lies in the introduction, which lays out the terrible price we’re paying for allowing the left to take over our education system and destroy (and virtually eliminate) the teaching of history. That means we get legislators who vote in an intellectual vacuum, journalists who can’t put the things they witness into context, and voters susceptible to wild lies. As the book says, those who do not know history will die of myth. And nowhere in the current yelling contest that passes for a national debate is myth more powerful than in the refusal to accept that Islamist terrorists really do exist and really do believe that they’re doing their god’s will. So I try to base my judgements and make my cases on historical facts–the sort that are not subject to dispute (except by the left’s myth-makers, of course).
Beyond that, the book’s a world tour of our problems–not merely recounting them, but trying to understand why the problems have emerged and why it’s so difficult for us to combat them. It may sound self-contradictory, but I’d describe the book as a work of “impassioned rationality.” And by the way: I don’t toe anybody’s line. I want to challenge independents and conservatives to think for themselves, too, since we’re so terribly susceptible, as a species, to group-think. The herd mentality is an even greater enemy than al-Qaeda. So I’m willing to risk unhappy readers–as long as I can spur them to think for themselves.
FP: Why your subtitle?
Peters: (He said with a laugh) Every non-fiction book has to have a sub-title these days, doesn’t it? For example, Nancy Pelosi’s forthcoming autobiography, NANCY! How I Turned a Bad Date With America into an Awful Marriage While Turning Men Into Mice on Capitol Hill…
Seriously, it’s an interesting question, since, in a sense, this book could have been written at any point since the seventh century, when Islam began its endless jihad. Of course, the details would have been different, but not the overall theme: That you have to fight Islamist fanatics to the death, there’s no alternative. That said, had the book been published at any time prior to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the sub-title would have been different, it would have been “Middle-Eastern Islam vs. Christian Civilization,” rather than “Western Civilization.” But the West, overall, is no longer Judeo-Christian, except in heritage. The USA excepted, we’re a secular civilization, with all the good and ill that brings along. So that’s one more asymmetry in the current struggle: We fight for values, our enemies fight for faith.
The first third of the book recounts the high points (and low points) of the long military struggle with Islam, as I try to arm the reader with facts to refute the utter nonsense that “Islam’s a religion of peace.” I document some of the most-important battles and campaigns–exciting to read about, but often grim in their results–over the centuries, looking at Islam’s centuries of military triumphs that almost destroyed our civilization, then the recent centuries in which the tide turned as Islam failed to compete as a civilization. Those tales from history are fun to read (God knows, the left hates the thought that history might offer interesting stories that teach us something), but they’re also essential to understanding the deep roots of today’s wars.
FP: What is wrong with the U.S. approach toward our enemy? How must we change it?
Peters: We refuse to recognize our enemy or call him by his name (I think, always, of Goethe’s line from Faust, “Wer darf das Kind beim rechten Namen nennen? “Who dares to call the child by its true name?”). Recently, President Obama promised a Muslim audience that he’d eliminate any reference to Islamist terrorists or the like from our national security documents. Good Lord! It’s as if, in World War II, we decided we couldn’t utter the word “Nazi,” since it might hurt our enemy’s feelings. Our mortal enemies are jumping up and down, screaming that they’re terrorists in the name of Islam. Our response? “Oh, they don’t really mean it…” Yeah, well, they do mean it. Not every Muslim is a problem, but some Muslims certainly are.
How can we effectively combat an enemy when we’re even afraid of the enemy’s name? This is political correctness beyond the bounds of sanity. So another thing the book does is to dissect the twisted language our government and even our military now uses to avoid acknowledging that fanatical religion is the crucial factor in our current struggles. It’s astonishing: We have generals who insist that Islam isn’t involved in any of this, and doctrinal manuals that ignore religion. We refuse to apply common sense: If you could subtract Islam from the problem, you just wouldn’t have al Qaeda or the Taliban. They’re fighting for other factors, too, of course. But Islam is the primary motivator, the primary sustainer, and the primary objective. Pretending otherwise just kills our troops for nothing…although, sadly, both political parties are fine with that, as long as we don’t offend anybody. (And this is a key point: While the Democrats are the worst offenders, plenty of Republicans in Washington are outright cowards on this issue.)
The book makes it clear that Islam was born by the sword, spread by the sword, and still reverts to the sword when under stress. And it makes the case using historical facts, not rhetoric.
All that said, I do want to make it perfectly clear: I don’t believe that each and every Muslim spends each and every day dreaming up ways to kill us. The problem lies among those who find their faith a spur to violence, the fanatics, the true believers who want to return the world to a “pure Islam” that never really existed (Wahhabism is an eighteenth century Bedouin heresy posing as the one true Islam). But we don’t understand them, either. For example, the book dissects our idiotic counterinsurgency doctrine–our guidebook for Afghanistan–which not only doesn’t mention Islam, but can’t tell the difference between ideological revolutionaries and religious reactionaries. In Afghanistan–which is discussed at length–we’re the revolutionaries, the ones trying to bring change. Our enemies are fighting for traditions, myths and darkness. We’re muddled, befuddled and failing.
FP: Obama appears to be bullying and abandoning Israel. Meanwhile, we have the horror of a nuclear Iran on our hands, and their first target will be Israel. What must Israel do, now that, it appears, it is alone?
Peters: On a recent Fox broadcast, I made the point that I don’t believe the Obama administration would respond militarily even if Iran popped a nuke on Israel. The situation’s hateful to me, but this administration will not defend Israel. Obama is already resigned to the advent of an Iranian nuclear-weapons capability. The sanctions nonsense is just window dressing, at this point. So what does that mean? At some point, Israel will feel compelled to act pre-emptively…but Israel only has the capability to set back, not to destroy, Iran’s nuke program (which is widely dispersed, buried deep and/or located in heavily populated areas).
The Israeli strike will be a bloody mess, the Iranians will respond asymmetrically by closing the Straits of Hormuz and hitting Gulf oil fields and infrastructure, and we’ll be stuck defending Arab autocracies–while avoiding resolute military action against Iran. At best, the situation would be catastrophic. Obama’s just hoping it doesn’t happen on his watch–and he’ll do all he can to discourage Israel from defending itself as long as he’s in the White House. At this point, it’s clear that Obama finds Israel distasteful and that his sympathies lie with the Arabs. The US now has a president with a Third-World outlook locked in the 1970s campus prejudices of his youth. But, then, at no time in his past has Obama had a pro-Israel friend I can identify. Throughout his lifetime, his public associates have been pro-Palestinian. He is who he is.
FP: Your thoughts on the Obama administration and how it is or isn’t dealing with the terror war and protecting U.S. national security.
Peters: I do give the Obama administration credit for continuing and even expanding the Bush administration’s use of drones and other means to target terrorists on foreign soil. Obama knows he can’t afford–politically speaking–a major terrorist attack on the US during his presidency. He’s not protecting America, he’s protecting his career and the historical legacy his acolytes are already engraving in marble. Beyond that, Obama’s actions across the board amount to a negative for our national security. He’s a leftwing ideologue who prefers developing-world thugs to our traditional allies. And he’s a narcissistic fool. Obama’s most dangerous quality is his unbounded faith in his own charisma.
The next few years will be interesting.
FP: You’re a hardworking writer, every five seconds or so you have some new piece of work out. What’s your next book?
Peters: This one will be very different. I recently finished another novel, The Officers’ Club, set on an Army post in the early 1980s. It’s scheduled for publication next January. It’s R-rated, and it could as readily have been called Lieutenants Behaving Very, Very Badly. It’s set at a time when the Army was still recovering from Vietnam, our society was still reeling from the excesses of the 1970s, and Reagan had just taken the helm. That was the battered Army in which I grew up…strait-laced on duty, but wild after hours… On one level, the novel’s a murder mystery–it begins with the murder of a female lieutenant–but, really, it’s my memorial to a bygone Army, the good, the bad and the ugly. Today’s military is much, much better (and certainly better-behaved). But I’ve just never seen a well-written book about “my” Army. The book will surprise those who know me only through my writing on strategy and security–but, fair warning, the next book after that will be even more surprising. Writing’s an adventure. Just like life. When you become predictable, it’s time to pack it in.
FP: Well, I’m very much looking forward to reading this book for sure!
Ralph Peters, thank you for joining us.
April 15th, 2010
By Phil Kerpen, Fox News
While Congress considers sweeping new legislation to permanently institutionalize the bailouts and federal control of our financial system (right on the heels of their health care takeover, of course) several other sweeping power grabs are going on outside the spotlight of legislative debate. Indeed President Obama seems to believe that most of his sweeping agenda to transform the country can be accomplished without even a vote of Congress. The chart seen above and found here shows what the administration is up to.
As I’ve previously noted here in the Fox Forum, the the EPA is pursuing an aggressive global warming power grab under the direction of White House Climate czar Carol Browner (who was not subject to Senate confirmation), and the FCC is pursuing a regulatory takeover of the Internet.
Both of those efforts are now escalating. The EPA has now finalized its vehicle emissions rule, for the first time regulating global warming under the 1970 Clean Air Act. While EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is trying to calm a political backlash by promising the delay the onslaught of regulations (the overall blueprint is over 18,000 pages and regulates almost everything that moves and lots of things that stay put) she remains committed to them. The Senate will have a key vote on S.J. Res. 26, which would stop the EPA, some time in May.
The FCC was smacked down in court last week in Comcast v. FCC, which held that the Commission has no jurisdiction to regulate the Internet. Yet FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a close friend of Obama’s, is now considering Internet regulations of an even more extreme nature and by an even more dubious mechanism—reclassifying the Internet as a phone system to regulate it like an old-fashioned public utility.
Mr. Obama’s Nowhere Discussions
President Obama could rather easily restore his credibility. But to do so, he would have to stop talking and start making hard policy decisions.
Barack Obama has a marvelous way of sounding innovative, fresh, and novel while offering stale, predictable bromides. His policies at home are an extension of LBJ’s old Great Society. Abroad we’ve been getting a more sonorous version of Jimmy Carter’s global self-righteous sermonizing.
The public wanted a racially transcendent figure and got instead a Chicago ward boss. The problem now for Mr. Obama — reflected in growing popular discontent — is that on matters of debt, taxes, energy, jobs, and race, he apparently has very little new to offer. He just serves up in new wording the them/us divides of the past.
We are at a point where each new proposed federal initiative — health care, cap-and-trade, a “jobs bill,” stimulus, education — is synonymous with more debt. Mr. Obama has exhausted the time-honored Beltway gimmicks of promising to root out “fraud and abuse,” of “streaming” or “reinventing” government, of “freezing” discretionary spending.
His proposed restoration of the Clinton income-tax rates does not come in a vacuum, but coincides with massive new taxes imposed by the states, health-care surcharges, and proposed raising of the caps on income subject to payroll taxes. As the deficit still grows, talk of a new federal value-added tax spreads.
In other words, when one piles up over $3 trillion in debt in less than two years of governance, all the soaring rhetoric in the world, all the borrowing from Japan and China, and all the new taxes cannot change the fact that the money is running out. There really is a finite sum that we can continue to borrow at low interest or to collect in taxes from “them.” End of discussion.
Obama has never addressed our dependence on imported oil, other than by borrowing billions to subsidize wind and solar power, alternative energy sources that so far have been more inspirational than concrete in easing the immediate energy crunch. When the worldwide economy rebounds (and it will, regardless of the degree of American “stimulus”), the price of gas at the pump will soar. It is well over $3 a gallon right now in California.
Again, all the gimmicks in the world will not change our immediate need for foreign fuel. Loud but disingenuous pledges to drill offshore and tap new gas fields do not actually equate to pumping more oil and tapping more natural gas in places like Alaska and off the California and Florida coasts. Bold new statements about nuclear power matter little; that we haven’t built a plant in three decades matters a lot.
So Mr. Obama can once again soar with “millions of new green jobs” and point to all sorts of innovative new energy sources; but for the next five years rising gas and power prices will crush the American public unless he is serious about developing the energy sources we have that could carry us through the crisis until private enterprise creates viable alternatively fueled transportation and electrical production. End of discussion.
Unemployment seems stuck at right under 10 percent. When it was under 6 percent during the 2004 campaign, the media tore George Bush apart with the charge of a “jobless recovery.” That’s not what they’re saying now. Instead we hear of an ongoing recovery from the downturn. But we won’t get robust job growth until Mr. Obama comes clean with the private sector and honestly lists how much additional revenue it will need to generate to pay his higher taxes.
The psychology of uncertainty really does matter. As long as those in industry and commerce hear that the government is the solution to the problems that they supposedly created, browbeaten individuals will not take risks and begin hiring. All the populist rhetoric, all the sympathetic statistical gymnastics from the liberal pundits, all the euphemisms of “jobs saved,” still won’t change the fact that American business believes Mr. Obama wants to take more of their money to redistribute rather than empowering them to hire and make a profit. Again, end of discussion.
Mr. Obama is also at an impasse in matters of race. His promise of a postracial era was wounded by the revelations about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his own racialist quips about “typical” white people, those who “cling” to guns and religion, and police who indulge in racial stereotyping and who act “stupidly.” His pledge was put into a coma with Van Jones’s racist remarks, Eric Holder’s “cowards” smear, and Justice Sotomayor’s lectures about the superiority of a “wise Latina.”
Fairly or not, the president has lost all credibility as a racial uniter. The public now expects an elite to mine any trace of racial insensitivity in order to create grievances, bank sympathy, and translate that into political capital — while avoiding the promised honest discussion about race.
That taboo debate would inevitably address the degree to which the depressing per capita statistics on incarceration, illegitimacy, violent crime, gangs, entitlement dependency, and lack of education within the African-American community are due to residual racism, and to what degree they stem from a failure of the black leadership to address personal responsibility, or the disastrous entitlement policies of the federal government. Giving preference to the children of a Valerie Jarrett, an Eric Holder, or a Barack Obama to enter Harvard or Yale, or wading out into a crowd of tea-partiers in hopes of snagging a racial slur for political purposes, does nothing to alleviate the tragedy in the D.C. school system or the implosion of Detroit.
So we know what lies ahead for the next two years. Sympathetic observers in the media will detect racism in the tea parties and in non-mainstream-media coverage of Mr. Obama’s disappointing performance. As never before, any African-American politician mired in ethics problems (e.g., Charles Rangel) or facing political oblivion (e.g., David Paterson) will claim he is a victim of racial intolerance.
Privately, a majority of Americans accepts that the African-American elite enjoys a particular leeway in promiscuously leveling accusations of racism — and that such exemption from criticism ultimately derives from the fact that on a percentage basis much of the African-American community is not doing as well as the rest of America, and the culprit must be either racism or a lack of government financial assistance. End of discussion.
In short, we are witnessing a public soon asked to pay higher taxes as the debt grows and jobs remain scarce, while its energy costs spike — and popular protests over any and all of that earn charges of racism.
Mr. Obama could rather easily restore his credibility by offering a plan to balance the budget that matched his tax hikes with tough budget cuts. He could offer a jobs plan centered on incentives for business and psychological support for entrepreneurs. He could offer a landmark new tax code that rewards income and savings, and taxes consumption. A multifaceted energy program might tap all the oil, coal, gas, and nuclear power we could produce as a bridge to next-generation fuels without bankrupting the Treasury or endangering our autonomy. And a fair-minded discussion of race would explore how obsession with elite racial grievances has little to do with the causes of a too-large African-American underclass.
Until then, the more mellifluously the president lectures, the more he will exhaust the voters.
— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, the editor of Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome, and the author of The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern.