The Rise and Fall of Hope and Change

The Rise and Fall of Hope and Change

Alexis de Toqueville

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.
Alexis de Tocqueville

The United States Capitol Building

The United States Capitol Building

The Constitutional Convention

The Constitutional Convention

The Continental Congress

The Continental Congress

George Washington at Valley Forge

George Washington at Valley Forge

Friday, December 31, 2010

The Obama's Kwanzaa Message

From The American Thinker:

December 31, 2010

The Obamas' Kwanzaa Message

Henry Percy

The President and First Lady have issued their Kwanzaa message:

Michelle and I extend our warmest thoughts and wishes to all those who are celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. Today [Dec. 26] is the first of a joyful seven-day celebration of African American culture and heritage.

The seven principles of Kwanzaa -- unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith -- are some of the very values that make us Americans.

As families across America and around the world light the Kinara today in the spirit of umoja, or unity, our family sends our well wishes and blessings for a happy and healthy new year.

As most readers here know, Kwanzaa was invented out of whole cloth in 1966 by Ron N. Everett, AKA Ron Karenga, founder of United Slaves, which fought with the Black Panthers over control of the African Studies Department at UCLA. One of Mr. Karenga's achievements was torturing two women who were members of his cult and living in his house:

The victims said they were living at Karenga's home when Karenga accused them of trying to kill him by placing crystals in his food and water and in various areas of his house. When they denied it, allegedly they were beaten with an electrical cord and a hot soldering iron was put in Miss Davis' mouth and against her face.

For that session Karenga spent four years in prison, after which he found a berth in the Department of Africana Studies, California State University, Long Beach, where he still holds forth, a committed Marxist. According to Karenga, "The sevenfold path of blackness is think black, talk black, act black, create black, buy black, vote black, and live black." What an inspiring figure to found a quasi-religious holiday. (For more on the specious holiday, see Ann Coulter's article here.)

But to return to the Obamas' Kwanzaa message. "The seven principles of Kwanzaa ... are some of the very values that make us Americans." If Mr. Obama had said "some of the seven principles ..." it would not be so offensive, but here he is accepting all seven principles without demurral. "Collective work and responsibility"? "Cooperative economics"? And the Left wonders why so many of us suspect - merely suspect - that our president is a Marxist.

Henry Percy is the nom de guerre for a technical writer living in Arizona. He may be reached at saler.50d[at sign]

Posted at 09:35 AM

The Top Ten Reasons Americans Won't Miss The 111th Congress

From The Heritage Foundation:

Top Ten Reasons America Won't Miss the 111th Congress

The 111th Congress is officially over, and according to Gallup, it’s also officially the worst Congress in the history of polling. Yet despite its 13% approval rating there are those who are hailing the 111th Congress for its myriad legislative "accomplishments." Not surprisingly, many of those touting those "accomplishments” are the very members of Congress who voted for the legislation in the first place. Starting at the top with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), you find a woman who is not at all ashamed of the legislation she has passed, despite the disastrous poll numbers. Pelosi says she is "very, very proud of the work that was accomplished by this Congress."

The American people, though, think differently, and they have already issued their verdict on the 111th Congress by way of an earthshaking election in November. If you take a look at some of Congress' big-ticket "accomplishments," you might understand where they're coming from. Here's a look at 10 major pieces of legislation coming out of Congress the last two years and why Americans might not be so pleased:

Obamacare: Billed as the panacea for America’s health care woes, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare,” is a 2,700-page behemoth that “portends a massive transfer of power, dollars and decision making to the federal government,” says Heritage’s Nina Owcharenko. Heritage also finds that under the law, workers and families will face increased costs, seniors will lose access to care, and American taxpayers will take the hit for a trillion dollars in new federal spending. (3/2010)

The Failed Stimulus (a.k.a., the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act): President Obama promised that his stimulus would save or create 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010. The result? America saw a bunch of orange and green “ARRA” signs sprout up like dandelions all over America, touting the slogan “Putting America to Work,” but here we are in December 2010 with a 9.8 percent unemployment rate, a national debt of $2.9 trillion, and 7.3 million jobs shy of President Obama’s promise. Some stimulus! (2/2009)

The 9,000-Earmark Omnibus Bill: Never mind the $1.4 trillion budget deficit facing America in 2009. Congress went ahead and passed an omnibus spending bill containing 9,287 pork project earmarks costing $13 billion. Included in the earmarks were a $200,000 tattoo removal program in Mission Hills, Calif., and more than a million dollars to combat Mormon Crickets in Utah. (3/2009)

Mountains of Debt: You can't pin it on one piece of legislation alone, but the 111th Congress has piled heaps upon heaps of new debt -- a massive $3.22 trillion. That comes out to $10,429.64 for every man, woman and child counted in the 2010 census. That's more debt racked-up than in the first 100 Congresses combined, according to The total national debt as of the 111th Congress' last day? $13.859 trillion.

The Government Union Bailout: As if one massive bailout weren’t enough, President Obama and the 111th Congress delivered another $26.1 billion bailout in the summer of 2010. The beneficiaries? Government unions and big-spending states that wouldn’t know a balanced budget if it smacked them in the face. The bill was supposed to “save” jobs, but the reality is that most jobs were never in jeopardy. (8/2010)

Wall Street Reform? Think Again: While President Obama touted the Dodd-Frank bill of 2010 as a reform of Wall Street and America’s financial rules, the resulting law is a boon for lawyers and lobbyists, thanks to its creation of 243 new formal rule-makings by 11 different federal agencies. What’s more, the bill “does nothing to stop future government bailouts,” makes a TARP-like bailout system permanent, and does nothing to reform two of the biggest culprits behind the financial crisis: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (7/2010)

The "Neighborhood Destabilization Act": Speaker Pelosi would refer to it as the “Helping Families Save Their Homes Act,” but in reality the law does the opposite by "putting millions of homeowners or potential buyers at greater risk of an unstable credit and housing market and creating high interest rates in the future." And if you're a responsible homeowner, you lose big time.

Cash for Clunkers: Stuck with an old car or truck? Under this plan, the U.S. government would have paid you $3,500 to $4,500 to trade it in for a new, more fuel efficient vehicle. Though the program boosted sales for the two months it was in place, a study showed the clunker program was a clinker. It didn’t bring new buyers into the market; it merely accelerated purchases. The cost to the taxpayers? $3 billion. (According to an Edmunds analysis, it came to $24,000 per car.) (6/2009)

New START: President Obama sold this nuclear arms treaty between the United States and Russia as an effort to reduce nuclear weapons. Conservatives, though, criticized it for being “useless in limiting proliferation, detrimental to missile defense, and counter to the purpose of defense treaties — defending and protecting America from her enemies.” (12/2010)

Cap-and-Trade: The Waxman-Markey climate bill that passed the House was intended to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions with the goal of curbing global warming. Were it enacted (which it wasn't), the plan would have increased gas prices by 58%, and average household electric rates would increase by 90% by 2035. (Passed House in 6/2009; stalled in Senate)

Americans should expect better results from the 112th Congress, that is, if the newly-elected representatives heed their electoral mandate: less spending, lower taxes and limited government. But Americans should also be aware that even if Congress stays in line, President Obama can still pursue a big government agenda with more regulations from unelected bureaucrats. As the president said when the Democrats lost the House and failed to enact cap-and-trade, "I'm going to be looking for other means to address this problem." America, look out.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Missing Link In The Evolution Of Barack Obama

From The American Thinker:

December 28, 2010

The Missing Link in the Evolution of Barack Obama

By Selwyn Duke

One of the problems with the idea of "American exceptionalism" is that it exacerbates a kind of complacency common to man. This is the phenomenon whereby people often view themselves as exceptions -- saying, after some tragedy, for instance, something such as "I never thought it could happen to me."

On a national level -- and this especially plagues great nations -- this manifests itself in the notion that "it" could never happen here. Oh, the "it" could be descent into tyranny, domination by a foreign power, or dissolution. Or maybe it could be the election of a leader who is a Manchurian candidate, a traitor within, someone bent on destroying the nation that gave him everything. That..."it"...couldn't happen here. In fact, the idea is so preposterous to many Americans that if such a threat loomed, they would never see it coming. And they would call a person who warned of it a nut.

So I want to present you with a hypothetical. Let's say a leader were elected who had, during his childhood, been mentored by an avowed Nazi. Let us further say that his guardians had chosen this mentor for him, indicating that they were likely sympathetic to the man's beliefs. Now, let us say that upon reaching college, this future leader gravitated toward Nazi professors. Moreover, we then find out that a man who knew the leader as an undergraduate and was, at the time, a Nazi himself, said that the leader was "in 100-percent total agreement" with his Nazi professors and was a flat-out Nazi who believed in old-style Brownshirt tactics.

Okay, we're almost done. After graduating, the leader-to-be spends twenty years sitting in a white-power church, has an alliance with a self-proclaimed Nazi and ex-terrorist, and, apparently, becomes a member of a National Socialist party for a while. And then, upon being elected, he appoints an avowed Nazi to his administration and also a woman who cites Adolf Hitler as one of her two favorite philosophers. Now here's the million-depreciated-dollar question:

What would be nuttier: to claim that this man was a Nazi or to claim that such an assertion is out-of-bounds?

Furthermore, if people appeared unconcerned about the leader's radical past, what would be the most likely explanation?

A. They're sympathetic to Nazism.

B. They're ignorant of his personal history.

C. They're rationalizing away a frightening reality.

D. Some combination of the above.

Let's now transition to the actual. Here is a fact: If you took the above description of my hypothetical leader and replaced "Nazi" with "communist," "flat-out Nazi" with "flat-out Marxist-Leninist," "Brownshirt tactics" with "communist revolution," "white-power" with "black-power," "National Socialist" with "socialist," and "Adolf Hitler" "with Mao Tse-tung," you would have an accurate description of a leader in power today.

His name is Barack Obama.

We'll start from the top. Obama's childhood mentor was chosen by his guardians, his grandparents, and was avowed communist Frank Marshall Davis. Obama did in fact gravitate toward communist professors in college; moreover, we now know about ex-communist John Drew, a contemporary of Obama's at Occidental College who verifies that Obama was "in 100-percent total agreement" with his communist professors and was a flat-out "Marxist-Leninist" who believed in old-style communist revolution.

We also know that upon graduating, Obama spent twenty years in a black-power church, Trinity United of Reverend Jeremiah Wright fame, and had an alliance with self-proclaimed communist and ex-terrorist Bill Ayers. It also appears -- and I have yet to see anyone address and disprove this association -- that Obama was a member of the socialist New Party in Chicago in the 1990s. Then, upon being elected, Obama appointed avowed communist Van Jones to his administration and also Anita Dunn, who cited mass-murderer Mao Tse-tung as one of her two favorite philosophers. There's more, too, but greater detail is hardly necessary.

It also shouldn't be necessary to ask the question, but I will:

What is nuttier: to claim that this man is a communist or to claim that such an assertion is out-of-bounds?

What is the obvious conclusion?

Now, some may say that a person can change markedly over a thirty-year period. This is true. Yet not only do we have the recent evidence of Obama's radical communist appointments, but there's something else as well. It hit me just the other night.

Just as we would demand that our leaders completely reject Nazi ideas, all good Americans should agree that complete rejection of communist ideas is a moral imperative. Losing a little youthful zeal or adding a dose of pragmatism just isn't enough. A pragmatic communist, in fact, could be more dangerous than an old-guard type.

Yet a transition from flat-out "Marxist-Leninist" to someone who rejects the red menace is a pretty big change, don't you think? In fact, wouldn't such a personal evolution -- some might say revolution -- be a kind of conversion? I think so.

Now, many people do experience conversions. I think here of erstwhile radical-leftist David Horowitz; ex-liberals Michael Savage and Robin of Berkeley; and President George W. Bush, who accepted Christ as an adult. And then there's me: I was never a liberal, but I did transition from being a scoffer at religion and an agnostic to a devout Catholic.

There's an interesting thing, however, about conversions.

You hear about them.

You see, a conversion is a sea change, a rebirth, a turning point in your existence. You may become, as Christians say, a new creation, and you're at least a reformed old one. And you reflect your new state of being and often want to voice it.

And those around you will know about it.

As for this writer, everyone who knows me would say that my religious conversion was a seminal point in my life. Horowitz has spoken of his rejection of the "loony left," Bush's conversion is well known, Savage has talked about his on the radio, and Robin of Berkeley can't stop talking about hers. A conversion becomes part of your life narrative.

Now consider something. Barack Obama is one of the most famous, most discussed individuals on the planet.

But we have not heard about any soul-changing conversion in his life.

Not a whisper.


Nothing that could reconcile the flat-out Marxist-Leninist Obama was in his college days with the man he supposedly is today. There's no one who says, "Yeah, he was a radical guy in his youth, and I just couldn't believe how he became disenchanted with his old ideas." There are no stories about a great epiphany, an overseas trip that opened his eyes, or a personal tragedy that inspired growth. There's nothing to explain how a radical Marxist became a reasonable politician. And if there is such an explanation, it's the most elusive of missing links.

So could "it" happen here? And is it really nutty to ask if, just maybe, it already has?

Contact Selwyn Duke

Is The Republican Party Finished?

From The American Thinker:

December 29, 2010

Is the Republican Party Finished?

By Michael Filozof

The lame-duck session of the 111th Congress proved one thing beyond a doubt: the Republican Party does not represent the interests of conservatives. Despite the midterm election tidal wave, in which the Republican Party gained 63 House seats (eclipsing its historic 1994 success against Clinton), congressional Republicans failed to leverage their victory into political clout and collapsed like a house of cards in the lame-duck session.

The last two weeks ought to sicken conservatives. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell spectacularly failed to hold his caucus together to even delay ratification of New START until the 112th Congress is seated in January. Republican leftists Olympia Snowe and Lisa Murkowski sided with Democrats to end the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, forcing the gay agenda from the streets of San Francisco right into the U.S. Marine Corps. Congressional Republicans agreed to cut FICA taxes for Social Security (which is underfunded already) and expand the Democratic Party's welfare state constituency by extending unemployment benefits -- in exchange for maintaining current tax rates for a paltry two years. The deal will add billions to the deficit. Tea Party darling Scott Brown, mocked by Obama for driving a truck in his insurgent 2009 campaign in which he stole "Ted Kennedy's seat" from the Democrats, voted for Obama's agenda on all of these issues.

Give the Democratic devils their due. They are astute students of Machiavelli. They know how to exercise power. The ink was barely dry on the DADT repeal when Obama cynically announced that he'd now "rethink" his (supposed) opposition to gay marriage, and Vice President Biden announced that gay marriage is "inevitable." Despite historically low congressional approval ratings, Speaker Pelosi rammed socialized medicine and cap-and-trade legislation through the House by one-vote margins and pursued the exercise of power right up to the eleventh hour of the lame-duck session. When's the last time Republicans pursued their agenda so ruthlessly? Maybe 1919, when Republican Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge held his caucus together to defeat the Treaty of Versailles by one vote -- unmoved by the plight of Democrat Woodrow Wilson, who lay crippled in the White House after having a stroke but still trying to rally public opinion in favor of the treaty.

The Republicans do not pursue their agenda ruthlessly because they do not have one -- at least not a conservative one that differs substantially from the Democratic agenda. The capitulation to the lame-duck Democrats is merely the latest in a decades-long series of episodes in which Republicans have actively colluded with Democrats to push the left-wing agenda of the 1960s forward.

The majority opinion in Roe v. Wade was written by Republican Harry Blackmun. Republican appointee Sandra Day O'Connor voted to uphold Roe in Casey v. Planned Parenthood. Republican justice Anthony Kennedy cited the European Court of Human Rights in Lawrence v. Texas, which declared that the Constitution guarantees a right to anal sodomy. Republican President George W. Bush expanded the already-bloated Federal bureaucracy with the hideous Department of Homeland Security, the TSA, "No Child Left Behind," and the Medicare prescription drug entitlement. Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger supports gay marriage and signed restrictive ammunition bans into law in California; former Republican Gov. George Pataki signed restrictive gun-control legislation in New York. Former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney can hardly campaign against ObamaCare after initiating mandatory health care insurance in Massachusetts. Republican Senators McCain and Graham support amnesty for illegal aliens; Graham and Snowe voted to put Sonia "A Wise Latina Can Make Better Decisions Than a White Man" Sotomayor on the Supreme Court. Republicans, who supposedly oppose affirmative action, named Colin Powell Secretary of State; Powell rewarded them by endorsing Barack Obama in 2008. The party that was founded as an anti-slavery party and appointed Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court cannot get more than ten percent of the black vote in a good year. After losing 96% of the black vote to a black Democrat in 2008, Republicans eagerly panted "Me too!" and named Michael Steele party chairman.

What a mess.

Conservatives today are in essentially the same position that the radical left was in back in the sixties. Then, every institution in American society -- the "Establishment" in sixties jargon -- was socially and temperamentally conservative. The radicals found themselves with nowhere to go but the streets. Today's "Establishment" is uniformly leftist, and conservatives are as unwelcome in the halls of power today as the radical left was 45 years ago. In order to move forward, conservatives are going to need to do what the left did in 1968: begin in the streets, capture a political party and convert it to its agenda, and follow up in the courts when they lose elections.

Even more important, conservatives are going to have to learn to exploit national crises to advance their agenda. And surely these crises are coming -- the national debt, currency valuation, inflation, Iranian nuclear weapons, illegal immigration, a day of reckoning in Afghanistan, and so on.

Voters will demand alternatives to leftist policies when these crises appear. If the Republicans do not present conservative alternatives, conservatives will have to form a party of their own.

Voters in November voted against the Democrats, not for the Republicans. Nothing in the last two weeks indicates that the Republicans are ready to give the nation any real alternative when the 112th Congress is seated. If the Republican Party fails to do more than ape the Democratic Party, it will be finished -- if it isn't already.

Imagine The Carbon Footprint! Obama Has Four Bills Flown To Him From D.C. To hawaii For Signing

From Fire Andrea Mitchell:

Dec 29, 2010 (22 hours ago)Imagine the carbon footprint! Obama has four bills flown to him from DC to Hawaii for signaturefrom Fire Andrea Mitchell! by adminBecause either Obama couldn’t be bothered to sign these bills before he jetted off to Hawaii, or they can’t wait until he returns from his extended vacation, FOUR bills were flown into Hawaii from DC for Obama’s signature. According to Mark Knoller of CBS on twitter, these include:

-H.R. 6398, which provides for permanent Federal deposit insurance coverage for Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts,

-H.R. 6517, the “Omnibus Trade Act of 2010,” which extends the Andean Trade Preference Act Trade Adjustment Assistance;

-S. 3386, the “Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act,” which protects online consumers from unfair and deceptive sales tactics on the Internet

-S. 4058, “Helping Heroes Keep Their Homes Act of 2010,” which extends enhanced protections for service members relating to mortgages and mortgage foreclosures through December 31, 2012.

Where’s Al Gore when we need him bitching about the carbon footprint? I probably shouldn’t even ask how much tax payer money this cost.

Obama To Give U.S. Back To The Indians?

From The Audacity of Hypocrisy:

2:11 PM (7 hours ago)Obama to give Manhattan back to Native Americans?from Audacity Of Hypocrisy by adminPresident Obama is voicing support for a U.N. resolution that could accomplish something as radical as relinquishing some U.S. sovereignty and opening a path for the return of ancient tribal lands to American Indians, including even parts of Manhattan.

The issue is causing alarm among legal experts.

In recent remarks at the White House during a “tribal nations conference,” Obama endorsed the “United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People,” which includes a sweeping declaration that “indigenous peoples have a right to lands and resources they traditionally occupied or otherwise used” but that later were acquired by occupying forces.

Read the scoop on the United Nations, in “The Beast on the East River”

“U.N. resolutions like this claiming amorphous rights can be a stalking horse for future attempts to have international courts enforce broad interpretations of those rights at the expense of American sovereignty,” Theodore Frank, a fellow with the Center for Legal Policy at the Manhattan Institute, a leading public policy think tank in New York City, told WND.

Academic legal experts indicate that American Indians during the Carter era first drew up plans for reacquisition of lost tribal lands, setting the stage for the U.N. resolution that Obama is embracing. The feasibility study, eyeing 650 million acres of federally owned land in the U.S., was conducted by the Indian Education Institute at Eastern Oregon State, one expert recalled for WND.

“Re-purchase would restore land back to its original owners thus strengthening tribal sovereignty and jurisdiction over its people and land,” Julianne Jennings Nottoway, a professor of anthropology at Pima Community College in Tuscon, Ariz., said. “Also, it would allow tribes the opportunity to develop socially, politically and economically as competitors as nation-states within a global context under the act of self-determination.”

(Excerpt)

Obama Regime Pushing New Back-Door Cap And Trade Tax

From Fire Andrea Mitchell:

Obama regime pushing new backdoor Cap and Trade tax

Isn’t that how it’s always done with Obama and the rest of the progressive liberal Democrats? One thing that progressives have mastered is bribing, making deals behind closed doors, and finding ways of screwing the America people in the dark of night. According to Newsmax, the Obama regime is taking action on its own, despite the fact Cap and Trade didn’t pass in the 111th Congress, and certainly wouldn’t in the 112th Congress. Starting Jan. 2, authorities will consider greenhouse gases when approving emission levels for large new industrial plants.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency announced on Dec. 23 that it would go a step further starting in 2012 by setting greenhouse gas standards for power plants and petroleum refineries — which together account for nearly 40 percent of the emissions blamed for climate change.

But Obama can expect even more hostility to his climate agenda starting in January, when the rival Republican Party takes charge of the House of Representatives.

Representative Fred Upton of Michigan, the Republican who will head the new House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the United States should be “working to bring more power online, not shutting plants down” to protect jobs.

“We will not allow the administration to regulate what they have been unable to legislate,” Upton said.

Rep. King: Congress Will Investigate "Reparations"

From CBS News and Big Government:

December 30, 2010 2:23 PM

Steve King Says Congress will Investigate "Reparations"

Posted by Stephanie Condon

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa(Credit: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) President Obama earlier this month signed into law a measure to pay American Indians and black farmers a total of $4.6 billion to cover decades of government mistreatment. Now, a Republican congressman says the GOP-controlled House next year will hold hearings to investigate the settlement, which he says amounts to "reparations."

Conservative Rep. Steve King of Iowa told local radio station KCIM that the Pigford settlement, which was part of the legislation, "is full of fraud" and "amounts to paying reparations to black farmers in America. We don't do reparations in America."

King said he expects Republicans to examine this issue and other issues Democrats may be hesitant to investigate, such as the re-organization of the defunct group ACORN. This isn't the first time King has criticized the settlement, Talking Points Memo points out.

The Pigford class-action lawsuit (named for Timothy Pigford, a black farmer from North Carolina who was an original plaintiff) alleged that local offices of the U.S. Department of Agriculture practiced widespread discrimination against black farmers when awarding loans and other aid.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last month defended the settlement on's "Washington Unplugged", disputing suggestions that the suit is "full of fraud." Of the 17,000 or 18,000 cases that were adjudicated in the first Pigford settlement, only three were found to be marginally questionable, Vilsack said.

"It's a fair indication there were problems that needed to be addressed," he said. "We're going to try to turn this page and move onto a more positive chapter in civil rights in the USDA."

As the USDA adjudicates the new round of cases, it is also examining the way the department currently distributes loans, according to Vilsack. The USDA has hired an outside consultant to review its operation in the 16 states that led to these claims and will implement any necessary changes next year.


Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for

"Everyone Must Sacrifice"...Obama's Vacation Will Cost Tax-payers $1,474,200.00

From Gateway Pundit:

6:58 PM (58 minutes ago)Everyone Must Sacrifice… Obama’s Vacation Will Cost Taxpayers $1,474,200from Gateway Pundit by Jim HoftIn January 2009, before the president signed his failed $787 billion stimulus bill into law, Barack Obama lectured America saying,

“Everyone must sacrifice for the greater good… Everyone must have some skin in the game.”

Everyone but Barack and Michelle Obama.

The president’s latest vacation will cost taxpayers over a million dollars.

Via the Hawaii Reporter:

President Barack Obama and his family and friends are enjoying a seemingly quiet Christmas vacation.

They could have chosen a less expensive and more secure place to stay such as a beachfront home on the Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station – just a two-minute drive away from the Kailuana Place property where they are now. The president visits the military base daily to workout, bowl with his kids or enjoy the more private beach there. He also could have stayed at a home 15 minutes away on the beach fronting Bellows Air Force Base as President Bill Clinton did

Instead, Obama and his friends annually pool their money to pay for the rental of three luxury beachfront homes. The so-called “Winter White House” – or Kailua home that the president rents two weeks a year – can cost an estimated $3,500 a day or $75,000 a month, according to the web site The site describes the home where the President sleeps: “The 7,000 square foot home features 5 bedrooms, 5 ½ bathrooms, a media room with surround sound, a kitchen suited for a master chef, a dining room and great room, a secluded lagoon-style pool with tropical waterfalls and a lavish island spa. The ocean lanai and garden lanai showcase ornate landscaping and stunning views of Kailua Bay and Mount Olomana.”

…With estimates secured from a host of professionals, city officials and law enforcement, Hawaii Reporter estimates costs to taxpayers will at least include:

* Mrs. Obama’s early flight to Hawaii: $63,000 (White House Dossier)

* Obama’s round trip flight to Hawaii: $1 million (GAO estimates)

* Housing in beachfront homes for Secret Service and Seals in Kailua ($1,200 a day for 14 days): $16,800

* Costs for White House staff staying at Moana Hotel: $134,400 ($400 per day for 24 staff) – excluding meals and other room costs

* Police overtime: $250,000 (2009 costs reported by Honolulu Police Department)

* Ambulance: $10,000 (City Spokesperson)

* TOTAL COST: $1,474,200

Sacrifice is for the little people.

The Worst Of Obama In 2010

From The American Spectator:

Print Email The Obama Watch

The Worst of Obama in 2010

By Aaron Goldstein on 12.29.10 @ 6:08AM

With 2010 drawing to a close, President Obama appears to be ending the year on a positive note.

After passing the tax cut compromise with Republicans, Charles Krauthammer hailed Obama as "the new comeback kid." When you throw in the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the ratification of the new START Treaty with Russia into the equation one could make the case that Obama has made a remarkable comeback after the "shellacking" he and the Democratic Party took in the November mid-term elections which now seem like a lifetime ago. Could it be that President Obama's "mojo" has returned?

Well, perhaps it has returned. But as the old adage goes, "A week in politics is a lifetime." In seven days time, talk of President Obama having his "mojo" back or being bestowed as "the new comeback kid" could be as fleeting as a snowstorm in Boston.

To be fair, we don't know what the future holds for President Obama. However, if 2010 is any indication, he will invariably say and do things in 2011 that won't inspire the confidence of his fellow Americans. With this in mind, let us take a look back at a few of the most egregious things Obama said and did in 2010.

Publicly Dressing Down the Supreme Court at the State of the Union

Last January, while delivering the SOTU address, President Obama publicly rebuked the Supreme Court for its decision earlier the previous week in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission which struck down limits on donations made to political campaigns by corporations. Obama said the decision "reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests -- including foreign corporations -- to spend without limit in our elections."

As Obama was dressing down the Supremes, Justice Samuel Alito mouthed the phrase "not true." While Obama is not the first President to take the Supreme Court to task and it can be argued it was within his right to do so, it is nonetheless his obligation to ensure his criticisms are steeped in fact and in law. Even Jeffrey Toobin, a noted critic of Alito, takes Obama to task for his command of the facts. Toobin, a legal analyst for CNN, said the decision did not apply to foreign corporations. But why would Obama let the facts get in the way of a good argument? Yet his posturing might do damage for years to come. Last October, Alito indicated he would not likely be in attendance during President Obama's 2011 SOTU address. Chief Justice John Roberts has also indicated he might also be absent. Of course, Obama could remedy the situation with an apology. But don't count on it.

We Say Corpsman, Obama Says Corpseman

For that matter, don't count on President Obama apologizing to the U.S. military either. Last February, during his speech before the National Prayer Breakfast, Obama pronounced corpsman as "corpseman" -- twice. Now one could argue that such a transgression was unintentional and thus insignificant. Yet the last I checked President Obama is the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces. Pronouncing the rank of our men and women in uniform correctly is the very least he can do.

How Obama Treats His Guests

Being invited to the White House to have an audience with the President is considered an honor. However, in the case of this President, even invited guests sometimes find themselves unwelcome.

In late February, President Obama had a White House meeting with the Dalai Lama. At first, it was seen as a good move after Obama had snubbed the Tibetan spiritual leader during his previous visit to Washington in October 2009. Obama's snub was correctly viewed as a means to placate China before his visit to Beijing the following month. The problem was that Obama treated the Dalai Lama like garbage -- figuratively and literally. Their meeting was neither open to the press nor were official White House photographs taken to document the event. Then, to make matters worse, Obama showed the Dalai Lama the door. It was a door which led to a large pile of refuse.

Let's just say the Dalai Lama was afforded considerably more respect by Obama's predecessor. When the Dalai Lama visited Washington in October 2007, President Bush presented him with the Congressional Gold Medal.

It should then come as no surprise to anyone that President Bush treated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with considerably more courtesy than has President Obama. Unlike Obama, Bush never walked out of a White House meeting with Netanyahu telling him to let himself out. But this is precisely what Obama did when the entire force of his Administration came down on Netanyahu for building housing in East Jerusalem back in late March. If only Obama had shown this kind of passion against Iran's nuclear program.

The 2010 Sgt. James Crowley Award For Casting Aspersions Against Law Enforcement

This year's award goes to every state, county and local law enforcement official in Arizona. Last April, after Arizona had introduced tough new measures to combat illegal immigration in the state, President Obama wasted little time in telling police officers in Arizona what he thought of them. During a speech at a townhall meeting in Ottumwa, Iowa, the President said, "But now, suddenly, if you don't have your papers and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you're going to be harassed." The President said that as if Arizona state troopers were planning to stake out every Baskin-Robbins along I-17. What would they call such a mission? Operation Rocky Road?

President Obama might have regained some good will, but it will come as no surprise to me if he squanders it all by this time next year.

Letter to the Editor

Aaron Goldstein writes from Boston, Massachusetts.

The 100 Worst Cases Of Government Waste In 2010

From Floyd Reports:

The 100 Worst Cases of Government Waste in 2010

Posted on December 30, 2010 by Ben Johnson

by Ben Johnson

Although the United States is $13 trillion in debt, mandatory spending alone exceeds tax revenues, and the Congressional Budget Office is warning of a coming U.S. “fiscal crisis,” Congress felt no need to trim spending. The just-adjourned 111th Congress headed by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi added more to the national debt than the first 100 U.S. Congresses combined. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, has published his collection of the 100 most wasteful projects his colleagues deemed worthy of your hard-earned tax dollars this year. Among the most offensive, ridiculous, and startling examples of pork in the Year of our Lord 2010, he found:

■Nearly $5,000 of stimulus money to hire goats to graze the weeds at Idaho’s Heyburn State Park;

■$6 billion for ethanol subsidies, which raise food costs;

■$177,000 for Ohio teachers to travel to China to learn about the Chinese “education” system;

■$137,530 for a Dartmouth professor to develop “Layoff,” a video game that encourages its players to fire as many people as quickly as possible;

■$700,000 for New Hampshire researchers to examine “greenhouse gas emission from organic dairies,” which are cause by “cow burps, among other things”;

■$442,340 to study male prostitutes in Vietnam;

■$823,000 to teach South African men how to wash their genitals after sex. (We reported this one earlier this year);

■$55,000 to celebrate HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. Of course, there is no anti-AIDS vaccine, but the “observance is a day to recognize and thank” the professionals “who are working together to find” a cure;

■$571 million — more than half-a-billion dollars — diverted from building roads and infrastructure to plant flowers on the roadsides;

■$2.9 million to study how players of the online game World of Warcraft collaborate;

■$5,000 for the Murfreesboro, Tennessee public library to host video game nights, featuring Rock Band, Wii Bowling, and Mario Kart;

■$609,160 to develop a video game based on the life of a wolf;

■$615,000 for the University of California-Santa Cruz to digitize Grateful Dead memorabilia;

■$10,000 for the Woodstock Film Festival, attended by such elites as Kevin Bacon, Tim Robbins, and Uma Thurman;

■$150,000 for signs alerting drivers of crossing salamanders in Monkton, Vermont;

■Nearly $1 million to post snippets of poetry at zoos;

■$175 million for unused buildings, including an octagonal monkey house in Dayton, Ohio;

■$239,100 to study how singles use online dating sites while they are lookin’ for love;

■$31,350 for a comic book mouse who teaches children the history of printing;

■$112 million in fraudulent tax refunds for prisoners;

■$1.5 million for a museum in Shelby, North Carolina, to honor bluegrass banjo picker Earl Scruggs;

■$60,000 to renovate a pizzeria in Waterloo, Iowa; and

■$212,735 to study the state of “civility” in U.S. politics in Pullman, Washington. Liberals rediscover the virtues of “civility” every time a conservative criticizes a Democratic president.

These synopses hardly give their projects their proper due. Read about them, and 77 others, in the senator’s report. Download Sen. Coburn’s entire Wastebook 2010: A Guide to Some of the Most Wasteful Government Spending of 2010 here:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Obama Wishes The Nation A Phony, Racist Holiday

From Floyd Reports:

Obama Wishes You a Phony, Racist Holiday

Posted on December 28, 2010 by Ben Johnson

by Ben Johnson

The day after Christmas, President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama wanted all Americans to share in their overflowing holiday spirit, so they wished everyone a Happy Kwanzaa. On the second day of Christmas the First Family gave to us an official statement celebrating a “holiday” invented by an ex-con turned Marxist professor whose fanatical followers killed two men. (They issued a similar proclamation last year; Presidents Bush and Clinton have also praised Kwanzaa.) The Obamas’ Kwanzaa message praised the holiday’s notion of black ethnic solidarity and collectivism. The president wrote:

Michelle and I extend our warmest thoughts and wishes to all those who are celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. Today [Dec. 26] is the first of a joyful seven-day celebration of African American culture and heritage.

The seven principles of Kwanzaa — unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith — are some of the very values that make us Americans.

As families across America and around the world light the Kinara today in the spirit of umoja, or unity, our family sends our well wishes and blessings for a happy and healthy new year.

The terse announcement induces boredom unless one knows the history of Kwanzaa, its Marxist creator, and its racially focused teachings.

Kwanzaa: A Made-Up Holiday for Black Marxists

Kwanzaa was created by Ron Everett, who in the fashion of Malcolm X dropped his “slave name” and dubbed himself Maulana Karenga; Maulana means “master-teacher” in Swahili, and Karenga means “nationalist.” He founded The Organization US, and once again the name possessed hidden significance: US stood not for United States but for “United Slaves.”

He invented Kwanzaa in 1966 as a pan-African holiday of black liberation and racial solidarity. He pretended the week-long celebration that begins on December 26 was invented in Africa and even gave its seven precepts, which he invented, Swahili names. He later admitted to The Washington Post:

People think it’s African. But it’s not. I wanted to give black people a holiday of their own. So I came up with Kwanzaa. I said it was African because you know black people in this country wouldn’t celebrate it if they knew it was American. I put it around Christmas because I knew that’s when a lot of ‘bloods’ [Blacks] would be partying.

But he and his “Slaves” had loftier ambitions. They intended to take over UCLA’s Black Studies department. Unfortunately, the Black Panthers had the same idea, and the two groups clashed on campus, often violently. In 1969, two of Karenga’s followers murdered Black Panthers John Higgins and Al “Bunchy” Carter.

Convicted of Torture

One year later, Karenga would dish out the violence against his fellow black nationalists, this time against his own faithful. He was convicted and served time in prison for imprisoning and torturing two women, Gail Davis and Deborah Jones, inside his Inglewood, California, home in May 1970. Karenga accused the two women, who were living in his house, of attempting to assassinate him by placing “crystals” in his food and clothing. A reporter recently summarized the Los Angeles Times‘ coverage of Karenga’s 1971 trial:

Karenga and the other [three] men forced the women to remove their clothes, and beat them with an electrical cord and a karate baton. The men put a hot soldering iron in one woman’s mouth and against her face, and they squeezed one woman’s big toe in a vise, the Times reported. Karenga’s former wife, Brenda Lorraine Karenga, testified he sat on one woman’s stomach while another man forced water into her mouth through a hose.

All the while, Karenga verbally terrorized the women, saying, “Vietnamese torture is nothing compared to what I know.” The Times added the next day “Karenga, holding a gun, threatened to shoot both of them.” His own wife testified against him in his 1971 trial.

After being sentenced to between one and ten years in prison, he served four or five. While in the big house, Karenga is widely suspected of turning stool pigeon for the FBI.

After getting out of prison, Karenga recycled his nonsensical theories into a Ph.D. thesis and in time became head of the Department of Black (now Africana) Studies at California State University at Long Beach. According to Jesse Lee Peterson’s book Scam, Karenga headed the department for 13 years, using it as a platform to teach racism and political radicalism. That extremism pervades the holiday that our president has celebrated.

How Barack Got His Umoja Back

In this year’s Kwanzaa proclamation, Barack and Michelle Obama specifically praise Karenga’s seven principles of Kwaznaa as the quintessence of American public life, “the very values that make us Americans.” They specifically mentioned “umoja,” or unity. However, Kwanzaa’s unity is a racial unity of all black people — in a struggle against others. In his 1988 book The African American Holiday of Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family Community and Culture, Karenga wrote that umoja “means a oneness, a similarity and sameness that gives us an identity as a people, an African people. And inherent in the identity as a people is the ethical and political imperative to self-consciously unite in order to define, defend and develop our interests.”

The post-racial president and his wife just saluted black racial solidarity.

One thing is clear: whatever pan-African umoja is, it is not one “of the very values that make us Americans.”

The remaining six principles are, if anything, less subtle. Kathy Shaidle pointed out, “Ujamaa, or ‘cooperative economics’—one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa—is the term the socialist leader of Tanzania, Julius Nyerere, used for his disastrous policy of putting tens of thousands of Tanzanians on collective farms.” (Emphasis in original.)

All of Karenga’s “collective” actions and racial focus sound as though they were plucked from Jeremiah Wright’s church, with its “African values” and racialist focus. Obama, who spent a few decades imbibing Wright’s poison, now encourages the world to celebrate Karenga’s black nationalist festival, claiming its values embody the American way as he sees it. Is Obama a racially obsessed collectivist? At some point, the American people must accept his words at face value.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Kentucky McConnell And The Temple Of Pork

From The American Thinker:

December 26, 2010

Clarice's Pieces: Kentucky McConnell and the Temple of Pork

By Clarice Feldman

I was really happy when I read in the Washington Post that soon-to-be demoted to Minority Leader of the House Nancy Pelosi has turned to director Steven Spielberg to "rebrand" the House Democrats.

The story offered me a way out of my quandary -- what to title this column today. The Tea Party and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls, The Sugardaddy Express, Pelosi Park. Anyway, just as I selected the present title, the NY Daily News said the Spielberg story was false. I suppose after fawning all over Castro and making a video montage for Kerry, Spielberg's decided to limit his creative political work to raising money and endorsing checks.

But I'm keeping the title anyway because it reflects my respect to the fantastic job Mitch McConnell did in the lame duck session of the Senate. I know some conservatives have been apoplectic that he was unable to turn back all of Obama's initiatives. Some are furious about the passage of DADT's repeal and New START, and their disappointment is made all the stronger by the latest media meme that Obama is a "comeback kid" and that the now-ended session of Congress was the "most productive" ever.

Undoubtedly the Democrat crowing will persuade some that the party and its leader are back in the groove. Get real. The DREAM Act, the tax deal, and the Omnibus Spending Bill were their highest priority, and they lost all of those even though they held the majority. And then there was the less heralded but also significant addition of accountability and fraud prevention provisions in the 9-11 Health and Compensation Act for which Senator Coburn must be credited. In Coburn's case, a special note should be made that he checked the attempt by Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to legislate by anecdote, making an observation so good it should be engraved on the walls of the Capitol:

I'm pleased the sponsors of this bill agreed to lower costs dramatically, offset the bill, sunset key provisions, and take steps to prevent fraud. Every American recognizes the heroism of the 9/11 first responders, but it is not compassionate to help one group while robbing future generations of opportunity. I'm pleased this agreement strikes a fair balance and improves the bill the majority attempted to rush through at the last minute. [Emphasis supplied.]

I agree absolutely with Jennifer Rubin, who said that to stage a comeback, Obama will have to "do what the left loathes -- cut domestic programs, rework entitlement programs, stand up to foreign adversaries (Obama's legacy is irretrievably ruined if Iran gets the bomb on his watch), cut back on growth-restricting regulations and keep tax rates low. And so long as unemployment remains at historic highs, Obama's chances of re-election remain poor."

Another one of my favorite commentators, the Telegraph's Toby Harnden -- who was more pessimistic last weekend, suggesting that Obama is more likely than not to be re-elected -- was a bit more gimlet-eyed as the week ended.

Throw into the mix the start in earnest of the 2012 election campaign and you don't need to be a dyed-in-the-wool cynic to predict that bipartisanship in Washington will be short-lived -- and Obama's "comeback" is unlikely to extend into February.

In any event, many of those offering up opinions on the two pieces of legislation the Republicans could not stop didn't notice that the victories for the Dems were neither as sweeping nor as momentous as press accounts suggested.

The Weekly Standard reports this GOP memo, proving again that the devil is in the details -- or to put it another way, Obama cannot put the New START into effect without meeting a lot of Republican demands:

With the adoption of amendment 4904 to the New START Resolution of Ratification, the President must certify prior to entry into force of the treaty that it is the policy of the United States to qualitatively and quantitatively improve the US missile defense system. This includes deployment of all four phases of his own Phased Adaptive Approach, with the last phase having a capability against ICBMs that could hold at risk the US homeland, as well as the continued development of the two-stage ground-based interceptors as a technological and strategic hedge to the PAA. The amendment further expressed the position of the United States that the deployment of these systems does not constitute a basis for questioning the effectiveness and viability of the treaty, and therefore would not give rise to circumstances justifying Russian withdrawal from the Treaty. This much more directly confronts the Russian position on the matter, when compared to the feckless unilateral statement issued by the United States at the signing of the treaty. The amendment requires the President to communicate all of this to Russia at the time of the exchange of the instruments of ratification. The amendment also provided an Understanding that the treaty preamble does not impose a legal obligation on the parties, which will be included in the instrument of ratification.

Amendment 4864 was adopted by consent to the Resolution of Ratification, which requires the President to certify prior to entry into force of the treaty that he intends to modernize or replace the triad of strategic nuclear delivery systems, namely a heavy bomber and air-launched cruise missile, an ICBM, and an SSBN and SLBM.

Amendment 4892 was adopted by consent to the Resolution of Ratification, which requires the President to certify prior to entry into force of the treaty that he intends to accelerate to the extent possible the design and engineering phase of the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) building and the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF); and request full funding, including on a multi-year basis as appropriate, for these facilities upon completion of the design and engineering phase for such facilities.

When those two amendments are combined with the President's commitment to provide annual updates to the 1251 report concerning the budget plan to modernize the US nuclear complex, the Congress will have a substantial basis to provide the resources necessary for the President's own plan to modernize the entire US nuclear complex. Secretary Gates has made clear that this modernization is a prerequisite to any nuclear reductions.

After jamming New START through the Senate in a lame duck session where the Senate was concomitantly attending to a variety of other duties, and consequently achieving the lowest vote count ever for a ratified major arms control treaty, the Obama Administration is probably looking around wondering what is next for its nonproliferation agenda, now that CTBT is effectively off the table. It would appear incumbent upon Republicans to provide the Administration with that agenda, beginning with a focus on the true nonproliferation threats of Iran and North Korea.

As for DADT's repeal, it doesn't mean that openly gay men and women will automatically be admitted to the service.

As Legal Insurrection observes, there's a lot in the details to be resolved first:

Contrary to popular media hype, repeal of the law does not itself require the military to allow open service by gays: (b) EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendments made by subsection (f) shall take effect only on the date on which the last of the following occurs:

(1) The Secretary of Defense has received the report required by the memorandum of the Secretary referred to in subsection (a).

(2) The President transmits to the congressional defense committees a written certification, signed by the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stating each of the following:

(A) That the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered the recommendations contained in the report and the report's proposed plan of action.

(B) That the Department of Defense has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to exercise the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection (f).

(C) That the implementation of necessary policies and regulations pursuant to the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection (f) is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.

In any event, on March 25 of this year, Secretary of Defense Gates issued a memo tightening substantially the forms of evidence which might be used to establish a DADT violation and requiring that separation from service of men and women for violating the act have to be approved by generals or flag offices. This means that in effect, DADT was of very limited application already.

The new Congress will be challenged to repeal ObamaCare and to substantially reduce the funds flowing to agencies to carry out its mandates prior to repeal. The president and the last Congress put unprecedented power in the hands of the bureaucracy to act. Doubtless they anticipated the loss of legislative power which would have allowed them to continue to run roughshod over us. We have to keep an eagle eye out to see that congressmen do their job. But when they do, as McConnell did with a poor hand -- a Democrat majority aided by a number of leftover squishes -- they deserve our praise and support.

Obama Destined To Be A Foot-Note In Presidential History

From The American Thinker:

December 27, 2010

Obama Destined to Be a Footnote in Presidential History

By Rusty Weiss

Barack Obama has set a course that will leave his legacy as no more than a footnote in American presidential history. For all of the bluster and glory, for all of the pomp and circumstance, and yes, for all of the anticipated hope and the promised change, the whirlwind of hype and expectation surrounding the president a mere two years earlier has virtually dissolved.

He was the man destined to save this country from his predecessor's failures. He was the man who would end the war in Iraq, finish the war in Afghanistan, and shut down the prison at Guantánamo Bay. He was the man charged with rescuing the faltering American economy. He was the man who would usher in a post-racial era in an allegedly inherently racist American society. And he was the man who had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize based not on tangible accomplishment, but simply upon these very expectations.

On all of these accounts, President Obama has been a striking failure.

He has not saved this country from the Bush-era failures; rather, he has done the impossible in making Americans pine for the days that Bush was in office, with Obama's job approval rating recently falling below that of the former president.

Obama did not end the war in Iraq; he merely claimed credit for a deal negotiated under the Bush administration. The Status of Forces Agreement, signed by U.S. and Iraqi officials on November 16, 2008, already laid the groundwork for an end to combat missions in Iraq.

He has not brought an end to the war in Afghanistan, instead emulating a military strategy that was a basis for success in Iraq, the surge. What was once heavily criticized by President Obama as a failed strategy has since been hailed as a path to victory in a war that recently sparked Bush-like protests from the antiwar crowd.

Obama has failed to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, an alleged symbol of American tyranny and torture, and a top priority of Obama during his campaign. Shortly after his inauguration, executive orders were issued for the closure of the prison within a year. The thinking was that such a facility was not "consistent with our values and our ideals." Gitmo remains open nearly two years later, an apparent admission that the president is not consistent with his own values and ideals.

He has failed in every manner to resuscitate the stumbling economy. The unemployment rate has continued its upward trend under Obama, going from 7.7% in January of 2009 to the current rate of 9.8%. Meanwhile, attempts to convince the American people of the success of the stimulus bill were manufactured in deceitful ways despite clear signs of turbulence in the economy. Personal incomes continue to trend downward, as does private-sector job creation, and the national deficit is projected to balloon to a staggering $1.5 trillion in 2011.

Obama's election has been anything but post-racial, with heightened racial rhetoric and actions coming from the administration itself. Setbacks for the post-racial presidency include the firing and subsequent apology to a black official, Shirley Sherrod, at the Agriculture Department; the president himself, without knowing the facts of the case, labeling police as having "acted stupidly" following the arrest of a black Harvard professor; and the Justice Department's dismissal of voter intimidation charges against members of the New Black Panther Party during the 2008 elections.

Worse, Obama has been governing by putting policy over process, inviting unprecedented backroom deals for health care reform...and now, apparently, tax compromise solutions.

With both sides of the aisle enraged by the process, the recent tax compromise is simply the nail in the coffin. Obama himself once declared that "[a] good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it." Complaints from both sides of the aisle indeed indicate that everyone recognizes this -- as a bad compromise.

And unlike former President Bill Clinton's shift to the center during his tenure, Obama's backroom successes and polarizing failures will only result in a perpetual downturn in his approval rating. His recent ceding of the podium to Clinton seems to indicate an acceptance of this fate.

The president has gone from being "a big f'n deal" to eliciting utter contempt and disrespect for the highest office in the land. His liberal colleagues angrily mutter, "F the president."

Like a good compromise, a good president, too, is something that everybody can recognize. Years from now, recognition of Obama as a transcendent president will long be forgotten, and the era of the man who was to save America will be nothing more than a footnote in history.

Rusty can be reached at The Mental Recession or via Twitter @rustyweiss74.

Obama Regime To Bring Back End-Of-Life Planning By Stealth

From The American Thinker:

December 26, 2010

Obama to bring "end of life" planning in through the back door

Rick Moran

The idea that "end of life planning" paid for once every 5 years by Medicare will morph into euthanasia counseling was one of the more bizarre arguments against Obamacare when it was proposed two years ago. People have to make informed decisions about how they want their doctor to treat them if they sicken and are unable to make choices about resuscitation and other important end of life issues.

Everyone should have a Living Will that spells out for their family where to draw the line about extraordinary measures that could keep one alive. If you wish to remain in a vegetative state, that should be your choice and should be reflected in the body of the Living Will. With the force of law, no one - not family or government - can alter that decision. As long as it is clear you were of sound mind when you made that decision, your wishes must be respected.

The question isn't whether Living Wills are necessary. The question is should Medicare be paying for such consultations?

Conflating euthanasia with Living Wills is silly, but Obama has decided to bring the issue through the back door through regulation - a dangerous precedent that the president apparently feels will be necessary with other Obamacare issues that never made it past the finish line in Congress:

Under the new policy, outlined in a Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.

Congressional supporters of the new policy, though pleased, have kept quiet. They fear provoking another furor like the one in 2009 when Republicans seized on the idea of end-of-life counseling to argue that the Democrats' bill would allow the government to cut off care for the critically ill.

The final version of the health care legislation, signed into law by President Obama in March, authorized Medicare coverage of yearly physical examinations, or wellness visits. The new rule says Medicare will cover "voluntary advance care planning," to discuss end-of-life treatment, as part of the annual visit.

Under the rule, doctors can provide information to patients on how to prepare an "advance directive," stating how aggressively they wish to be treated if they are so sick that they cannot make health care decisions for themselves.

While the new law does not mention advance care planning, the Obama administration has been able to achieve its policy goal through the regulation-writing process, a strategy that could become more prevalent in the next two years as the president deals with a strengthened Republican opposition in Congress.

It would probably be better if the government was totally out of the loop on making these decisions but most people who take advantage of such counseling will be seeing their family doctor - someone they trust to advise them with their interests at heart. I doubt whether a family physician will be pushing old people to end their own lives rather than receive critical care according to their wishes.

However, the principle of bringing this in by stealth, through back door regulation is abhorrent and should be stopped in its tracks. The issue was withdrawn because it was politically impossible to leave in the original legislation. To sneak it in by this manner just shows how little respect Obama has for constitutional niceties.

Posted at 09:50 AM

Obama's Insular White House Worries His Allies

From The Audacity of Hypocrisy:

2:25 PM (10 hours ago)Obama’s insular White House worries his allies (The rookie Hussein doesn’t know what to do)from Audacity Of Hypocrisy by adminObama’s insular White House worries his allies

The president famously relies on a tight circle of advisors. But with Republicans running the House next year, many say Obama will need some new faces to convey a new message.

Reporting from Washington — In the West Wing it had become a pretty common sight: two national security aides with close ties to the president, Thomas Donilon and Denis McDonough, hurrying into the Oval Office to show him the latest piece of hot intelligence.

Some administration officials who watched the scene unfold worried that James L. Jones, the national security advisor at the time, was being left out of the loop and that Obama was being given raw reports before their meaning and import were clear.

A strong national security advisor might weed out what the president doesn’t need to see. Yet Obama never quite clicked with Jones — and the absence of a personal connection with the commander in chief turned out to be a handicap.


With Republicans in charge in the House next year, the Democrats contend, Obama needs new faces who might be better suited to negotiate with a resurgent GOP and come up with a fresh alternative to the now-dated 2008 campaign message of “hope and change.” Some names being tossed around: former Secretary of State Colin Powell; outgoing Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell; and Erskine Bowles, a former chief of staff to Bill Clinton and co-chairman of Obama’s deficit reduction panel.

“He’s dealing with a new reality,” Douglas Schoen, a pollster who advised Clinton, said in an interview.

(Excerpt) Read more at …

Obama Girds His Loins In Anticipation Of 112th Congress

From Gateway Pundit:

Obama “Girds His Loins” In Anticipation Of New Congress

Posted by Lady Liberty on Sunday, December 26, 2010, 3:04 PM

Remember when nominee for vice president, Senator Joe Biden, warned supporters that, if elected, Barack Obama will be tested by “an international crisis” early on in his first term? He also advised the crowd to “gird your loins,” since the tasks ahead for the next president will be “like cleaning the Augean stables man.”

President Obama is “Girding His Loins” in anticipation of Oversight investigations from the new Congress.


Apparently President Obama is shuffling staff (and hiring lots of lawyers) in order to prepare his administration to cope with the changes (and investigations) he anticipates he will be dealing with in the last two years of his term.

The The New York Times reported:

President Obama is planning the first major reorganization of his administration, preparing to shuffle several positions in the West Wing as he tries to fortify his political team for the realities of divided government and his own re-election.

The president is studying how to maximize the power of the executive branch, advisers said, seeking insight from veterans of previous administrations and fresh advice from business leaders to guide the second half of his term.

He is reviewing the restructuring plan during the holidays, aides said, and intends to make the first announcements in the opening days of January.

A reshaping of the economic team, beginning by naming a new director of the National Economic Council, is among the most urgent priorities of the new year. Gene Sperling, a counselor to the Treasury secretary who held the position in the Clinton administration, is among the final contenders to succeed Lawrence H. Summers in the job, along with Roger C. Altman, a Wall Street investment banker who also served in the Clinton administration.

When Republicans assume control of the House on Jan. 5, ending four years of a full Democratic majority in Congress, the president’s approach to policy and politics is poised to change on several fronts.

The White House is hiring more lawyers to handle oversight investigations from the new Congress, even as the president sets up a re-election headquarters in Chicago and considers ways to streamline operations inside the West Wing.


Mr. Obama is reading the biography “President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime,” by Lou Cannon, aides said, and recently completed “The Clinton Tapes,” by Taylor Branch, who chronicled the 42nd president through a series of private interviews.

Despite all his time studying the Clinton administration, Mr. Obama told his aides that he had no intention of following the precise path of Mr. Clinton, who after the Democratic midterm election defeats of 1994 ordered a clearing of the decks inside the White House, installed competing teams of advisers and employed a centrist policy of triangulation. In fact, several advisers confirmed, the word “triangulation” has been banned by Mr. Obama because he does not believe it accurately describes his approach.

On Wednesday afternoon, even as lawmakers were approving a burst of Mr. Obama’s legislative priorities in the waning hours of the Congressional session, the president and a small circle of advisers convened to sketch out the next two months. Mr. Obama intends not only to extend a hand to Republicans but also to begin detaching himself more from Congress and spending more time making his case directly to the American people.

“In a world of divided government, getting things done requires a mix of compromise and confrontation,” said Dan Peiffer, the White House communications director. “What are the things you can do without Congress? In some cases, that involves executive orders, but it also involves using the bully pulpit of the presidency to make a political argument about the direction of the country.”

So, the tasks ahead for the next president will be “like cleaning the Augean stables man.”

I wonder if the 112th Congress will feel the same way about their tasks?

Republicans Showed Serious Errors In Judgement Compromising On The Omnibus Budget bill

From A Charging Elephant:

Republicans showed serious errors in judgement compromising on Omnibus budget bill

Posted on December 26, 2010

by dancingczars
Leave a comment

by Jim Campbell

In the good ole days it was called ‘horse trading,’ after all, politics is the art of compromise.

Ostensibly, Republicans caved in to assure that most of the Bush era tax cuts would be kept in place. On the face what’s not to like? Perhaps an analysis is due.

This is certainly a law that would have fallen under the ‘read it before you sign it to find out what’s in it,’ thank you Nancy Pelsoi.

Had lawmakers done so they would have found some very interesting, o.k. disgusting sausage making.

Just little things of minor import like tax breaks for people who buy racehorses, while homeowners filing the short form on their income taxes lost their local property exemption. Two thirds of tax filers use the short form.

Nicely embedded in the bill was an exemption that allows banks, insurance companies and other financial firms to shield foreign profits from being taxed by the U.S. through 2011. Cost: $9.2 billion.

Last and to keep you honest you will need to click here to see the nice little Christmas gifts provided to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in tax rebates from a tax on rum imported into the United States. The U.S. imposes a $13.50 per proof-gallon tax on imported rum, and sends most of the proceeds to the two U.S. territories.

The bill also provides a number of pro-business initiatives that will allow for rapid deduction on capital expenditures, and another 50tax deductions to spur on economic growth. Why now? Is the Obama administration finally beginning to understand the job killing effects of taxation?

1. The 111th Pelosi led congress failed to address this situation before leaving to campaign in October.

2. For the Bush tax cuts to have had a positive effect on the economy, allowing business’ large and small to plan ahead, making investments in their company infrastructure setting the paths for new job creation, reducing the woeful unemployment rate; the current administration’s lack of action on this item required that keeping the tax cuts in place would have been a first orders of business.

3. President Obama on December 16,2010 signed into law a H.R. 3082 to keep the federal government operating at 2010 levels until March 4th 2011.

4. To be certain the bill was filled with pork-laden earmarks from both sides of the aisle.

Clear thinking Republicans would have not been so hasty, particularly in light of one member of a minority senator happily calling out on the Senate floor, “ We won.”

What exactly was won for those that matter, the American people? Not much, it was pure abdication of their congressional mandate to protect and defend the Constitution and the people of America. Merely a rubber stamp of the past while not considering the real priorities of an ever disintegrating economy with unemployment above 9.4% for twenty consecutive months, world wide economic chaos, and the very real threat of global terrorism.

What might have been accomplished had Republicans taken a long-term view?

1. Let the entire bill expire. Throw it back in the face of the Democrats in power and question why the lack of leadership in these areas?

2. Would only a few weeks between the charade of victory between December 17, 2010 and January 6 when the Republican Congress once again takes charges made any difference toward job creation? Hardly!

3. On January 6th, the new congress would put the Bush Tax cuts retroactively back in place.

4. Would President Obama refuse to sign a new Omnibus bill, stripping pork, while putting President George W. Bush’s tax cuts back in place? Much has been said about the current president. He’s an ideologue he would not triangulate like former President William Jefferson. That would be a good thing, as it would mean the premature end of his economic terrorism and career.

5. Will he sign the new permanent bill cutting spending levels back to 2008 levels? As Sarah Palin would say, “you betcha” President Barack Hussein Obama puts many things above his sworn oath to protect and defend the Constitution and Americans. Never forget, his primary interest is “Looking Out For Number One,” a classic book by Robert Ringer.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, I’m J.C

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Liberal Carol, Part II

From The American Spectator:

A Liberal Carol, Part II

By Lisa Fabrizio on 12.23.10 @ 6:05AM

(A Ghostly Story in Two Parts)

Sometime during the night -- he was never sure when, since the clock in his office ever-after remained at twelve midnight -- he was awakened by what sounded like music from a tinkling piano. "What were the words again?" he wondered. Something about happy times, or happy days. No matter, he had work to do.

Suddenly, the music stopped and the room was filled with light! Wiping the sleep from his eyes, he now beheld the figure of a saintly-looking man. A wreath of smoke that ethereally circled the fedora on his head gave the appearance of a halo, thought Obama, until he realized that it was simply the output of a cigarette in an exquisite holder which protruded jauntily from between his clenched teeth.

"Who are you?" stammered Obama, "And what do you want?"

"I am the Ghost of Liberals Past. I and my brethren have walked the Earth for decades seeking, as have you, to bring the redemptive truth of socialism to a resistant world. But unlike you, we didn't do it with blind arrogance, but fed it bit by bit to the American people under the guise of compassion. Whenever our goals are out in the open, we are defeated...a lesson you must learn! Take heed; rise and walk with me."

In an instant, Obama and the Ghost were borne on the wings of the wind where they landed on a sun-splashed beach in Indonesia, where a young boy and his mother sat listening to a portable radio.

"Mom!" cried the president, his eyes tearing up in remembrance.

"Quiet!" demanded the ghost, adjusting his pince-nez glasses more comfortably on his nose.

"But Mommy," asked little Barry, "why won't President Johnson run for re-election? You told me he is a great, great man who always tries to help people."

As his mother tried her best to console her son, the Ghost interrupted, "Many tried to blame the Vietnam War for the defeat of the author of The Great Society, but it was really the rejection of his blatant socialism by the Silent Majority." At the mere mention of this phrase, both Obama and his eerie guide shivered with disgust.

Next, the pair was transported to a parking lot on a side street in Honolulu, where some high school students were partying in a car. "Damn the man!" hissed the teen-aged Barack, as they discussed the increasing probability of a Ronald Reagan presidency. "Instead of putting on sweaters, Jimmy Carter should have asserted his executive power! I can't believe some of the things he's done. Imagine a Democrat advocating for the draft!"

Next, the president saw himself as a upcoming community organizer sitting in his pew in the Trinity United Church in Chicago, listening with rapt attention to his spiritual advisor, who thundered from the pulpit: "No, no, no! Not God bless America..."

Suddenly, the ghost thrust his hands over Obama's ears and whispered, "God bless the United States of America, God bless them; every one." This phrase he repeated over and over until Barack was lulled into an uneasy sleep.

After absorbing the ghost's message, Obama sat up wide awake and once again found himself shivering and alone on the Oval Office sofa. Seeking relief, he hurried into a nearby bathroom and splashed water on his face.

No sooner had he started to towel off, than he heard a soft voice calling his name; but looking in the mirror he saw nothing but his own ashen reflection. Turning around and looking down, he spied a queer, waiflike creature peering up at him. Why, it was the very image of a certain ultra-liberal congressman from Ohio!

"Barack, Barack Obama," came the plaintive wail from the elfin Ghost of Liberals Present. "Come with me and see the scenes of the wreckage you have wrought on our brethren by consorting with the GOP."

"Lead on, good Spirit," gulped the President, strangely bowing low to the waiflike ghost.

Countless scenes of progressive carnage filled the next few hours, as the little spirit took Barack to union halls, coffee houses and college dorms to witness the angst of liberals across the nation.

"Look here," ordered the ghost, pointing to a computer monitor with a Daily Kos post on it. "They are claiming that you are a...a Reaganite! Worse yet, you have split our coalition to the point that black columnists in the Washington Post have taken notice."

"Bah, humbug!" stammered Obama, "I'm the agent of hope and change who has pledged to give minorities their shot at the American dream!"

"Are there no food stamps?" sneered the ghost, parroting Obama's very words earlier that evening. "And the state and federal welfare programs? Are they still in operation?"

"Oh, cruel Spirit," said Barack, with an interest he had never felt before, "Tell me if liberalism will survive."

"I see vacant seats on the Democrat sides of the House and Senate chambers," replied the Ghost, "and a gavel with a Republican owner, perpetually preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the refutation of your desire to compromise with the forces of evil, the movement will die."

"No, no, no!" cried the president, as he sobbed himself to sleep.

Waking this time in a pool of cold sweat, Obama struggled to reconcile the conflicting messages of the two prior spirits while waiting for the last in stark terror. Clearly, his mission was to save liberalism; but by which method?

As if in answer, the beeper on his Rolex tolled midnight; for the third time that night! Standing before him now was the most feared specter of them all: the Ghost of Liberals Yet to Come; a solemn phantom, draped and hooded, coming like a mist along the ground towards him. He thought he caught a glimpse of its face; with the squinty eyes of a burglar and a nose like W.C. Fields!

"You are about to show me shadows of the things that have not happened, but will happen in the time before us," Obama pursued. "Is that so?"

The Spirit answered not, but pointed onward with its hand. In an instant, they were transported to the middle of Washington, D.C. on a sparkling winter morning. Picking up a newspaper that was blown into their path by a crackle of wind, Obama noticed its date: Sunday, January 20, 2013. Its front page revealed a huge photo of a smiling, attractive woman with perky bangs, under the headline: "Hockey Mom Makes History!"

Reeling with despair and disbelief, Obama was then propelled to the threshold of the Oval Office where his furniture was already being hauled away. Nailed to the door was a sign painted in blood red ink: SIC SEMPER HYPOCRITAE! (Thus always to the sanctimonious!)

"Spirit!" wailed the future former president, "How can I avoid coming to this horrible end?"

The specter said nothing, but held up both ghostly hands with its index fingers and thumbs joined together in a deltoid shape. Staring closely and trying to delve the meaning of this mysterious sign, he saw an alteration in the phantom's hood and dress. It shrunk, collapsed, and dwindled down into a basketball trophy on his desk.

"I've got it!" he yelled triumphantly; now wide awake and thrusting the trophy into the air. "I know how I can get both sides to play ball. I will be the savior you all thought I could be, and I will save my party and the nation. Oh thank you, wondrous spirits, for you three have taught me the third way!"

Obama was better than his word. In order to sneak through his socialist agenda, he promoted, and even embraced some conservative views: "I'm not willing to let working families across this country become collateral damage for political warfare here in Washington," he cheerfully chirped, extending the Bush tax cuts for all.

He had no further intercourse with spirits, but lived upon the Triangulation Principle ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep socialism alive better than anyone, save the ghost in the fedora. And so, from then on, he smoked his Marlboros in a long cigarette holder, ever proclaiming, "God bless the United States of America! God bless them; all 57."

Letter to the Editor

Lisa Fabrizio is a columnist who hails from Connecticut (

States Taxing Themselves To Death

From Dick Morris:



Published in the New York Post on December 23, 2010

Printer-Friendly Version

High taxes kill states. There can be no better evidence than the 2010 Census. The states that lost House seats -- because they're shrinking, relative to the nation -- had taxes 27 percent higher than the ones that gained seats.

Of the seven states that don't have a personal income tax, four (Texas, Florida, Nevada and Washington) account for eight of the 12 seats apportioned to the fastest-growing states.

New York and Ohio lost two more seats. Other losers -- down one each -- are Massachusetts, Missouri, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Louisiana and Iowa. What do they all have in common? High taxes.

Texas, with the second lowest taxes in the nation, gained four seats, Florida picked up two and Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah, and Washington state each gained one. All have low taxes.

The states that lost seats ranked an average of 24th in taxes and had an average tax burden of $2,267 per capita (weighted more toward the states that lost more than one seat).

The states that gained seats ranked an average of 39th in taxes and had an average tax burden (weighted) of $1,788 -- 27 percent lower than the losing states.

People vote with their feet and flee to low-tax states. It's not the climate; it's the taxes.

In New York, the city grew from 7.3 million in 1990 to 8 million in 2000 to 8.4 million in 2010 -- but population upstate shrank dramatically. Some 1.7 million people left New York state in the last decade, the largest exodus any state experienced. Upstate New York is dying, killed by high taxes.

The New York City metro area can grow despite high taxes. It's the historical center for immigration from overseas, a glittering attraction for migration from within the country and the foremost global city. But upstate has no such offsetting attractions.

Consider Buffalo. From half a million people in 1960, it has fallen to a quarter of a million. It's lost half its population in 50 years.

The trend is unmistakable: The "losing" states drove out their high-income citizens (and middle-income jobs) with heavier tax burdens. As New York and other high-tax states confront their budget difficulties, they need to be mindful of this trend -- lest they wind up taxing their states into oblivion.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Christian Rout In The Culture War

From Human Events:

Christian Rout in the Culture War

by Patrick J. Buchanan

12/21/2010Trackback Link

A Democratic Congress, discharged by the voters on Nov. 2, has as one of its last official acts, imposed its San Francisco values on the armed forces of the United States.

"Don't ask, don't tell" is to be repealed. Open homosexuals are to be welcomed with open arms in all branches of the armed services.

Let us hope this works out better for the Marine Corps than it did for the Catholic Church.

Remarkable. The least respected of American institutions, Congress, with an approval rating of 13 percent, is imposing its cultural and moral values on the most respected of American institutions, the U.S. military.

Why are we undertaking this social experiment with the finest military on earth? Does justice demand it? Was there a national clamor for it?

No. It is being imposed from above by people, few of whom have ever served or seen combat, but all of whom are aware of the power of the homosexual rights lobby. This is a political payoff, at the expense of our military, to a militant minority inside the Democratic Party that is demanding this as the price of that special interest's financial and political support.

Among the soldiers most opposed to bringing open homosexuals into the ranks are combat veterans, who warn that this will create grave problems of unit cohesion and morale.

One Marine commandant after another asked Congress to consider the issue from a single standpoint:

Will the admission of gay men into barracks at Pendleton and Parris Island enhance the fighting effectiveness of the Corps?

Common sense suggests that the opposite is the almost certain result.

Can anyone believe that mixing small-town and rural 18-, 19- and 20-year-old Christian kids, aspiring Marines, in with men sexually attracted to them is not going to cause hellish problems?

The Marines have been sacrificed by the Democratic Party and Barack Obama to the homosexual lobby, with the collusion of no fewer than eight Republican senators.

This is a victory in the culture war for the new morality of the social revolution of the 1960s and a defeat for traditional Judeo-Christian values. For only in secularist ideology is it an article of faith that all sexual relations are morally equal and that to declare homosexual acts immoral is bigotry.

But while this new morality may be orthodoxy among our elites in the academy, media, culture and the arts, Middle America has never signed on and still regards homosexuality as an aberrant lifestyle, both socially and spiritually ruinous.

To these folks, homosexuality is associated with a high incidence of disease, HIV/AIDS, early death, cultural decadence and civilizational decline. And no sensitivity training at Camp Lejeune is going to change that.

Behind these traditionalist beliefs lie the primary sources of moral authority for traditionalist America: the Old and New Testaments, Christian doctrine, natural law. Thomas Jefferson believed homosexuality should be treated with the same severity as rape.

And 31 consecutive defeats for same-sex marriage in state referenda testifies that Middle America sees the new morality as the artificial invention of pseudo-intellectuals to put a high gloss on a low lifestyle.

Not until recent decades have many in America or the West argued that homosexuality is natural and normal. As late as 1973, the American Psychiatric Association listed homosexuality as a mental disorder.

Today, anyone who agrees with that original APA assessment is himself or herself said to be afflicted with a mental disorder: homophobia.

The world has turned upside down. What was criminal vice in the 1950s -- homosexuality and abortion -- is not only constitutionally protected, but a mark of social progress.

Yet, just as busing for racial balance led to violence, white flight and the ruin of urban schools, this social experiment is not going to be without consequences. And it is the military that will endure those consequences.

Yet, again, if we believe our armed forces to be the best in the world, why are we doing this, against the advice of countless senior officers and NCOs? What is the motivation other than the payoff of a campaign debt?

What happens now to Evangelical Christian and conservative Catholic chaplains who preach that homosexuality is a sinful and shameful practice? Will they be severed from the service as homophobes?

That cannot be far behind when the Family Research Council, a respected organization of religious and social conservatives that has fought the homosexual agenda from same-sex marriage to gay adoptions, has now been declared by the Southern Poverty Law Center to be a "hate group."

The advance of what was once a radical agenda has accelerated.

In 2004, John Kerry may have lost Ohio and the presidency because same-sex marriage was on the ballot in almost a dozen states, bringing out committed social conservatives to the polls. Six years later, the gay rights agenda is imposed by Congress and Obama on the 82nd and 101st.

Let the reader decide if the direction America is headed in is toward those "sunny uplands," or straight downhill.


Mr. Buchanan is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World, "The Death of the West,", "The Great Betrayal," "A Republic, Not an Empire" and "Where the Right Went Wrong."