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

Saturday, September 10, 2011

An Imperial Presidency Revealed

From The American Spectator:

An Imperial Presidency Revealed

By Ken Blackwell & Ken Klukowski on 9.7.11 @ 6:06AM

President Barack Obama's National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is on a job-killing rampage. It's claiming unprecedented powers far beyond what federal law allows. Taken with Obama's other agencies, these executive actions paint a picture of what has become an imperial presidency.

A federal appeal is certain once NLRB's shocking attack on Boeing Co. goes through the administrative process. In a free-market society, government bureaucrats cannot dictate to a private company where they can and cannot open factories or create jobs. Boeing -- whose general counsel was formerly one of the most brilliant federal judges in America, Michael Luttig -- should win this court battle.

NLRB's power grab is not limited to Boeing. It's also claiming authority over St. Xavier University, saying that the school doesn't qualify for the religious exemption to NLRB's authority because St. Xavier is not Catholic enough. NLRB even cites to a 1979 Supreme Court case as giving it this authority, when that case instead makes clear that this government agency would be running afoul of the First Amendment by presuming to rate the religiosity of bone fide church organizations.

Just recently NLRB came down with three other far-left decisions. One was repealing an earlier NLRB ruling, stripping workers of the right to promptly contest the results of a vote to form a union. Another was ruling that employers everywhere must post signs on forming a union, giving the appearance that unionizing was encouraged both by the government and even the employer. Even more disturbing, NLRB took this action on its own initiative, not in response to a group filing a petition with NLRB, which is how such ruling are supposed to originate.

The third and most damaging was ruling that even where unions do not exist, employees can form micro-unions in part of a company. This would make a mess of labor laws by creating countless possible entities with which business owners and management must constantly negotiate, seriously complicating efforts to have company policies that are stable, predictable, and profitable.

Nor will the president's handpicked appointees allow others to promote the free market. When Arizona and other states recently passed laws protecting workers' right to a secret ballot to decide whether to form unions, NLRB filed a lawsuit to undo the results of the democratic process. That lawsuit is ongoing today.

And NLRB isn't done. Even the Democrat-controlled Congress refused to pass President Obama's federal card-check legislation to abolish the secret ballot. Afterward Obama's appointees, such as hard-line labor activist Craig Becker, argued that NLRB could create this legislation through executive fiat without Congress. They may yet act on this shocking claim of lawmaking power.

Nor is this executive power grab confined to NLRB. The EPA is promulgating sweeping new regulations, imposing expensive mandates on everything from power plants to car mileage. The FCC has claimed power to control the Internet, in violation of a federal appeals court ruling. And Obamacare is proving a cornucopia of governmental controls, with HHS issuing reams of new regulations, further burdening employers and insurers.

And on immigration, President Obama has discovered a wondrous new power -- just don't enforce the law. If you don't like the statutes on the books, ignore your oath to ensure those laws are faithfully executed. Who needs the people's representatives in Congress to change the law, when you can just ignore it? Obama might even tout the efficiency of this lawless approach.

An imperial presidency is one in which the executive branch usurps Congress, which is the only branch with authority to make laws, and exercises power forbidden to it by the Constitution. President Obama is now claiming powers far beyond what any president has before, remaking America's economy even when Congress refuses to go along with him.

For the sake of restoring our constitutional order, each of these issues must be taken to court as soon as possible. And next year the American people must replace the current occupant of the White House with one who understands and adheres to his constitutional role of enforcing the laws as written, and unleashing the power of the private sector to create jobs and restore prosperity to our nation.

Messrs. Blackwell and Klukowski are the authors of Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America.

Letter to the Editor

Ken Blackwell, a board member of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, is a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and a senior fellow at the Family Research Council.

Flowers For ObamaCare

From The American Spectator:


The Right Prescription

Flowers for Obamacare

By David Catron on 9.7.11 @ 6:10AM

In Daniel Keyes' novel, Flowers for Algernon, a medical experiment nearly triples the IQ of the protagonist, Charlie Gordon. Apparently, the President's experiment with our health care system has produced a similar effect on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas​. For two decades, progressives have claimed that he is intellectually unfit to sit on the Court. They have repeatedly told us that Thomas is, as one commentator recently phrased it, "a dunce and a worm." However, as myriad constitutional challenges to Obamacare work their way through the courts toward an inevitable showdown before the Supreme Court, the dunce's intellectual powers have somehow improved. In fact, we are now advised that Thomas is not merely intelligent, but that he is an evil genius with an outsized influence on the rest of the Court.

This miraculous metamorphosis was recently described in a New Yorker profile of Justice Thomas and his wife titled "Partners." According to the author of this remarkable piece of instant revisionism, Jeffrey Toobin, "In several of the most important areas of constitutional law, Thomas has emerged as an intellectual leader of the Supreme Court … when it comes to the free-speech rights of corporations, the rights of gun owners, and, potentially, the powers of the federal government … the majority has followed where Thomas has been leading for a decade or more." Toobin's inclusion of Thomas' potential ability to influence the views of other justices on the powers of the federal government is, of course, a reflection of progressive fears concerning the Court's eventual ruling on the constitutionality of Obamacare's individual mandate.

And these fears are entirely justified. Justice Thomas is a fervent advocate of "originalism," the interpretive principle which holds that the Court should base its rulings on the original meaning of the Constitution. Thus, if Thomas truly does wield the kind of intellectual influence now attributed to him by Toobin and other progressives, the individual mandate is indeed in grave danger. Obviously, originalism includes the view that the powers of the federal government are limited to those enumerated to it by the Constitution. That list does not include the authority to order Americans to buy products or services sold by private enterprises. And it is a virtual certainty that Thomas will reject any argument suggesting that the Interstate Commerce Clause confers such power on Congress.

Why, then, would a "reform" advocate like Toobin suddenly pronounce Thomas the intellectual leader of the Court when he knows the man will want to strike down the President's "signature domestic achievement"? Michael Barone provides a plausible answer: "It's possible to read Toobin's article as a partisan hit job, echoing the demands of 74 Democratic House members that Justice Thomas recuse himself from sitting on a case challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare because of his wife's involvement in the Tea Party movement." If Thomas is a dunce, how big a threat could he be? But if he's actually a Machiavellian manipulator of Court opinion plotting Obamacare's destruction with the aid of his Tea Partier wife, then he cannot be trusted to pass judgment on the law's constitutionality.

This would explain why Toobin, in the fourth sentence of a 9,100-word essay, mentions that ridiculous demand by a group of far-left Democrats for Thomas to recuse himself. Never mind that no code of ethics or statute requires him to do so. The relevant section of the U.S. code states that a justice should recuse himself "in cases where he served in government employment and in such capacity participated as counsel, advisor or material witness concerning the proceedings or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy." Note the absence of any verbiage relating to the political opinions of a spouse. The only passage containing that word refers to a husband or wife with a financial interest in an entity that is itself before the court, not a spouse with an ideological interest in the outcome of a case.

It is worth noting that the leader of those 74 Democrats demanding Thomas' recusal was that paragon of ethical conduct, Anthony Weiner. This may be why Toobin urged his fellow journalists not "to make a federal case" of the New York congressman's … er …foibles. Oddly enough, Toobin feels no such reticence when it comes to Justice Thomas' wife. Much of his New Yorker profile is devoted to her connection with the Tea Party movement, which he insinuates is somehow improper. He portentously points out, for example, that she has spoken out against Obamacare: "[H]er particular target was the health-care-reform law, which was, in her view, clearly unconstitutional." The clear implication is, of course, that Justice Thomas has a conflict of interest pursuant to his wife's opposition to "reform."

Oddly, Toobin has never demonstrated any similar concern about a very real conflict of interest involving the newest Supreme Court appointee. As it happens, the language quoted above from the United States code (Section 455 of Title 28) so closely matches the pre-nomination activities of Justice Elena Kagan​ that it may as well have been included in her job description as U.S. Solicitor General. In fact, Neal Katyal, the acting Solicitor General who unsuccessfully defended the individual mandate in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, was assigned to the litigation team by Kagan herself. Toobin's lack of interest in this, combined with his reluctance to hold one of Justice Thomas' most vehement congressional critics accountable for behavior that was both unethical and disgusting, suggests that his main concern is saving Obamacare.

The irony of all this is that Toobin is probably right about the intellectual heft of Justice Thomas. Moreover, that the left has consistently underestimated him has been good for the country. There isn't the slightest possibility that he will recuse himself when Obamacare finally makes its way to the Supreme Court and he will assure that the individual mandate is ruled unconstitutional, and perhaps convince four additional justices to strike down the rest of the pernicious health care law as well. Once the Supreme Court has issued its ruling, however, we can expect Thomas's intellectual powers to recede just as Charlie Gordon's did in Flowers for Algernon. It won't be long before progressives are once again telling us that he is an idiot. But, in the interim, we can place a few flowers on Obamacare's grave.

Letter to the Editor

David Catron is a health care revenue cycle expert who has spent more than twenty years working for and consulting with hospitals and medical practices. He has an MBA from the University of Georgia and blogs at Health Care BS.

Letter To A Liberal Friend

From The American Spectator:


The Obama Watch

Letter to a Liberal Friend

By Green Lantern on 9.8.11 @ 6:09AM

I went to one of those prestigious Eastern colleges that turn out the bureaucrats who populate President Obama's administration so I have an unusual perspective on his supporters. I know these people very well, yet I can't figure out their motivation.

As class secretary, I spend quite a bit of time gathering news for the Alumni Notes. When I call to chat, nearly all my former classmates are staunchly liberal, enraged at the Tea Party and alarmed at the possibility that President Obama may not be re-elected. This is kind of strange. Forty years ago, many of these people were football jocks or party animals who had very little concern for politics. Yet they have someone "matured" into staunch liberals. All this was summed up by one alumnus who wrote in the class notes a few years ago, "I continue to prosper while moving rapidly toward the angry left."

One of the classmates I contacted this year is a Washington tort lawyer. He told me how he recently represented an entrepreneur who got a permit from the Department of Interior to develop a coal mine in Tennessee, spent $3 million developing infrastructure, and was then told by the bureaucrats that they had changed their mind -- the mine was too close to a national forest.

"I won a $300 million settlement before a federal administrative judge, working on contingency," he said. "But when it went up to the appeals level, the three-judge panel threw it out. They said the government can do anything it wants. It makes me sick."

"Isn't that the sort of thing the Tea Party is complaining about?" I asked.

"Tea Party!" He was astounded. "You're not one of those Tea Party people, are you? They're all crazy."

Another class member is now a prominent professor at the University of Wisconsin. I asked him what it was like in Madison during last summer's demonstrations and he said, "Heck, I was in them. We've got an absolutely insane governor in this state, Governor Walker. The man is crazy. He wants to gut the entire system. We were out there to stop him."

In the next breath was telling me about his second home in the Caribbean. "We have a little compound down there," he said. "We got hit by a hurricane ten years ago and I had to go down to rebuild the place. There are only about 100 people on the island so we all helped each other out."

Somehow the incongruity of an affluent college professor with a hideaway home in the Caribbean who is also a member of the oppressed working masses who must demonstrate against an insane governor who is foolish enough to be upset because his state is going bankrupt did not register in his head.

I've had several conversations with liberals lately and they have one simple explanation for the President's current troubles -- "racism." "What's really going on is these Tea Party people can't stand the idea of being ruled by a black man, don't you think that's it?" Nine percent unemployment, 20 million people out of work, a 27-year-high in unemployment among African-Americans -- if George Bush were President, he would be being charged with racism.

So I've composed a letter to my liberal friends who are beginning to realize that Obama may be a one-term President. We've seen this before -- Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush both tripped over the economy and failed to get re-elected. Nobody argued it was because Carter was a Southern Baptist or Bush was Skull-and-Bones. So why should it be hard to fathom that 43rd President might face the same experience?

"Dear Liberal Friend,

"We are facing what could become a very ugly election. At this point it seems quite possible that Barack Obama may be voted out office. The charge will immediately be raised that all this represents 'racism' and America has reverted to type. That they elected Obama as the first African-American over an Old White Male in 2008 was just an accident.

"I think it should be clear to you now, before the election really picks up steam, how wrong this perspective is and how harmful it will be to the country to make such a charge. If Tea Party Republicans succeed in electing a President, it won't be about race. It will be about class. Specifically, it will have been a revolt of what might be called the lower reaches of the middle class against the upper-educated-going-on-aristocracy that you represent. Tea Party people are not rich. They are working people, small business owners, people who went to state schools and agricultural colleges where they learned to make a living rather than to collect law degrees and become "policymakers" telling other people what to do. Most of all they are people who are tired of having these "policymakers" interfering in their lives and telling them that they must therefore surrender larger and larger portions of their income so that the government can build a separate but equal economy.

"Rick Perry is prototypical. When asked to define the difference between himself and George Bush, Jr., he responded, 'George Bush went to Yale, I went to Texas A&M.' Conan O'Brien immediately picked up on this and announced, 'So his main qualification is that he's not as smart as George Bush.' That completely misses the point and only shows how parochial the precincts and Manhattan and late night television can be. There are places in this country, believe it or not, where having a Yale degree is not an automatic sign of superior intelligence. It often suggests something more like snobbishness. 'You can always tell a Harvard man but you can't tell him much.' Did you ever hear that expression?

"If Obama fails to win re-election, it will not be because all those poor folk in the hinterland who didn't go to Ivy League colleges are inherent racists and not properly respectful of an Ivy League degree. It will be because their Ivy League-educated President has proved a rather one-dimensional individual with a very constricted view of the world -- one about as broad as the view outside the faculty lounge.

"Or maybe it's because he's still fairly young and hasn't been around long enough to see the world 'from both sides now.' Our most successful Presidents have been those who have been sensible enough to realize that, even though your party's side is fixed and predictable, the other side often has a point. President Nixon was one of the world's most rabid anti-communists in his younger days but by the time he came to office he was smart enough to realize that his perspective was restricted and it made no sense to ignore a country of a billion people on the other side of the world. The result was the greatest diplomatic maneuver of the 20th century. President Clinton was a solid liberal but after three years in office he had seen enough to realize that conservative criticisms of the welfare system was valid and that it was one of the most destructive social programs ever invented. That made him a successful President.

"Even now, Obama could rescue his administration by doing one simple thing. He could admit that Keynesianism is wrong. The premise that you can cure the economy by coming down to Washington and spending as much money as you can on your favorite programs has to be one of the biggest academic frauds of all time.

"But he won't. He won't because everything he knows has been picked up in some graduate seminar. He has no idea that there's a big world out there of people who didn't go to Ivy League college but who know something about themselves and the world. Those are the people he most despises because those are the people academics most despise.

"Instead, the President is going to sound one note from now until next November -- 'Hate the rich.' Never mind that he has Jeff Immelt and Warren Buffet and Bill Gates and the entire board of directors of Goldman Sachs are kowtowing to him -- the enemy will be those amorphous 'millionaires and billionaires' who mysteriously retain the sinister power to will the economic devastation that Obama's faculty-approved policies have caused.

"I hope you take all this into account before the election next year.

"Sincerely, Green Lantern"

WHAT WORRIES ME about these people is that, if Obama loses next year, they will go off the deep end. They will never be able to accept the idea that their guy had two years in Washington when he could do whatever he wanted and still screwed it up by pursuing bad ideas. It will be all the Tea Party's fault. They sabotaged the economy so that Obama would lose. Environmentalists, now embarrassed about being arrested in front of the White House for opposing their favorite President's policies, will be right back where they want to be -- throwing their bodies at the juggernaut of the American economy. Young fanatics will be blowing up pipelines and power plants because they are unable persuade 300 million Americans to give up prosperity and live on wind and sunshine.

In the current of City Journal, Heather Mac Donald reports asking an Ivy League professor about his experience in recording one of the Great Courses with the Teaching Company. The professor was responsive until he realized she was with the Manhattan Institute​. Then he refused all further communication on the grounds that there is an "undeclared civil war" in this country.

Such a war exists now only in the fevered imagination of academics. With the un-election of Obama, however, it could become much more tangible.

A History Lesson For The Racist Bob Beckel

From Town Hall:

Humberto Fontova

A History Lesson for the Racist Bob Beckel

Email Humberto Fontova
Columnist's Archive


“I still have my Che Guevara poster. Che Guevara was a freedom fighter.” (Bob Beckel on FoxNews’ “The Five” Sept. 5th)

If Bob Beckel’s “freedom-fighter” had been allowed his fondest bit of “freedom-fighting” Bob Beckel’s incinerated remains would fit in a gin bottle today. “America is the great enemy of mankind! Against those hyenas there is no option but extermination!...If the missiles had remained, we would have fired them against the very heart of the U.S., including New York City.”

For the record: Ernesto “Che” Guevara was second in command, chief executioner, and chief KGB liaison for a regime that jailed more political prisoners per capita than did Stalin’s during the Great Terror and murdered more people (out of a population of 6.4 million) in its first three years in power than Hitler’s murdered (out of a population of 70 million) in its first six. Many, perhaps most, of those murdered and jailed by the regime Che Guevara co-founded were Batista opponents.

The Stalinist regime Che Guevara imposed on Cuba also stole the savings and property of 6.4 million citizens, made refugees of 20 percent of the population from a nation formerly deluged with immigrants and whose citizens had achieved a higher standard of living than those residing in half of Europe. Many opponents of the regime Che Guevara co-founded qualify as the longest-suffering political prisoners in modern history, having suffered prison camps, forced labor and torture chambers for a period three times as long in Che Guevara’s Gulag as Alexander Solzhenitsyn suffered in Stalin’s Gulag. Most of these had been Batista opponents.

“Don't put him in a list of fascists. The fascists (Batista) were the ones he was trying to get rid of.” (Bob Beckel on FoxNews’ “The Five” Sept. 5th)

For the record: According to the Cuba Archive Project, the Castro regime – with firing squads, forced-labor camps, torture and drownings at sea – has caused an estimated 102,000 Cuban deaths. According to the Harper Collins Atlas of the Second World War, Nazi repression caused 172,260 French civilian deaths during the occupation. France was nation of 42 million in 1940. Cuba was a nation of 6.5 million in 1960. My calculator reveals that Beckel’s freedom-fighter caused an enormously higher percentage of deaths among the people he “freed” than the Nazis caused among the French they enslaved and tortured with the SS and Gestapo.

Beckel tells the “Fox Five” that the CIA killed many more people than Che and implies that in the 50’s the agency was Che’s enemy.

In fact during the late 1950’s the Castro brothers and Che Guevara had no better friends--and Fulgencio Batista few worse enemies--than the CIA. “Me and my staff were all Fidelistas,” (Robert Reynolds, the CIA’s “Caribbean Desk’s specialist on the Cuban Revolution” from 1957-1960.)

“Everyone in the CIA and everyone at State was pro-Castro, except (Republican) ambassador Earl Smith.” (CIA operative in Santiago Cuba, Robert Weicha.)

“Don’t worry. We’ve infiltrated Castro’s guerrilla group in the Sierra Mountains. The Castro brothers and Ernesto “Che” Guevara have no affiliations with any Communists whatsoever.” (crackerjack Havana CIA station chief Jim Noel 1958.)

“Listen, we (the U.S.) did not have the most stellar reputation in Latin America and South America during the 1950s and '60s….when the CIA was complicit in the assassination of Allende, that was killing a head of state.” (Bob Beckel)

Ground control to Major Bob: Allende died in the 70’s. But whatever. The leftist proverb that he was assassinated by the CIA was spun and spread only by the hardest of hard-left wackos. Not even Allende’s own family believed it. An investigation including an autopsy by Chilean authorities just last month confirmed that Salvador Allende committed suicide. Surely you read the New York Times, Bob?

“(Che) did help Fidel Castro get rid one of the biggest thugs and murdering bastards there ever was, and that was Batista in Cuba.” (Bob Beckel)

Batista was a mulatto grandson of slaves born on the dirt floor of a palm roofed shack in the Cuban countryside. As President (via honest elections 1940-44, bloodless coup 1952-58) he always enjoyed the support of Cuba’s labor unions. And under Batista, according to a study by the International Labor Organization, the Cuban workforce was more highly unionized than the U.S. work force, with Cuba’s Industrial laborers earning the 8th highest wages in the world.

“Cuba’s laborer’s always maintained a stony indifference to Fidel Castro’s movement,” admitted Cuba’s richest man and Fidel and Che bankroller Julio Lobo, who knew because he employed thousands of them.

So here’s Bob Beckel bashing a black politician of lowly origin who enjoyed overwhelming unionized labor support--while hailing the lily-white rich-boys, Fidel and Che, who outlawed labor unions and sent such as Richard Trumka and Jimmy Hoffa to the firing squad or prison. Where’s Trumka, Hoffa and Maxine Waters on this? Using liberals’ own standards Beckel sure sounds like an elitist--and a racist to boot.

No doubt Beckel picked up the leftist proverb about Batista as “one of the biggest murdering bastards there ever was” from a meme hatched in 1957 by a Fidelista Cuban magazine publisher named Miguel Angel Quevedo. The meme asserts that Batista’s police and army “murdered 20,000 Cubans” and is still parroted by the MSM/Academia axis.

For the record: Ten years after he hatched and spread the lie, Quevedo (from exile, he scooted out just ahead of a Fidelista firing squad) confessed to the lie and greatly regretted how the lie helped the propaganda campaign to put Fidel and Che in power. The regret for the calamity he helped bring upon Cuba was such that, that right after signing the letter, Miguel Angel Quevedo put a gun to his head and blew his brains out.

“The idea of picking Che Guevara and calling him a mass-murder is crazy.” (Bob Beckel)

“Certainly we execute!” boasted Che Guevara while addressing the hallowed halls of the U.N. General Assembly Dec. 9, 1964. “And we will continue executing as long as it is necessary! According to the “Black Book of Communism,” those firing-squad executions (murders, actually; execution implies a judicial process) had reached 14,000 by the end of the ’60s, the equivalent, given the relative populations, of almost a million executions in the U.S. “I don’t need proof to execute a man,” snapped Che to a judicial toady in 1959. “I only need proof that it’s necessary to execute him.”

Tags: Foreign Affairs , Media and Culture , Che Guevara , Bob Beckel

Humberto Fontova

Humberto Fontova is the author of four books including Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who idolize Him and Fidel; Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant. Visit

State Of The Unions

From Town Hall:

Bill O'Reilly

State of the Unions

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Lots of angst in the air after Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa called tea party people SOB's and urged voters to "take them out." Immediately, voter registration jumped among members of the Gambino family. Apparently, Hoffa is angry that some Americans want to put a lid on public sector pensions and perks that are bankrupting municipalities all over the country. Old Jimmy believes this is "taking the bread out of the mouths" of American workers.

For decades, union power has intimidated politicians in both parties. I mean, if you were running for office, would you want big union money flowing into your opponent's campaign? Would you want organized demonstrations at your rallies? How about work slowdowns, sudden mass worker illness or anti-you phone campaigns? Unions have power, and power rules.

Thus, many American unions have secured lucrative benefits for their members -- benefits that have drained treasuries. The United States Post Office, for example, is on the verge of bankruptcy, unable to repay $5.5 billion in loans from the Treasury Department. The huge cost of postal retirement benefits is one of the main reasons an American institution may collapse.

All of this is not the fault of the workers. They did their jobs and are entitled to what was negotiated. But public money has run out, and going forward, big changes will have to be made if the American economy is to expand. Hoffa can huff and puff all day long, but if he succeeds in blocking economic reform, he will indeed blow the entire house down.

President Obama needs union votes to win re-election. Therefore, he did not condemn Hoffa's over-the-top rhetoric even though he campaigned for verbal restraint in his Arizona speech. Obama also will not go up against the unions and demand fiscal reform. He will position himself as the champion of the working stiff even if it means more disasters like the USPS.

Previously in this space, I discussed my membership in AFTRA, a union that represents TV and radio people. When some greedy suits tried to con me and my colleagues at the syndicated program "Inside Edition" out of pension money, AFTRA fought them and won. So unions are needed, but they should be optional. No American worker should be forced to pay union dues. Employees must weigh self-reliance against union protections.

With union power in decline, Hoffa needs an enemy to rail against, and the tea party provides him that. But if he were honest, Hoffa would see that the tea party folks simply want financial responsibility and fairness in the public sector. Living within your means is a key to economic success. Gaming the system through intimidation and threats is not.

Hoffa's not looking out for his country on this one.

Tags: Budget and Government , Public Sector Unions , Barack Obama , teamsters , Jimmy Hoffa

Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor" and author of "Who's Looking Out For You?" and Pinheads and Patriots.

Hundreds of longshoremen storm grain terminal in Washington

Hundreds of longshoremen storm grain terminal in Washington

Charles Krauthammer: Obama Abused the Majesty of a Joint Address of Congress

Charles Krauthammer: Obama Abused the Majesty of a Joint Address of Congress

Ford’s Honest, Brutal Anti-Bailout Commercial

Ford’s Honest, Brutal Anti-Bailout Commercial

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Speech That Broke The Patience Of The Country

From Town Hall:

Hugh Hewitt

The Speech That Broke The Patience of the Country?

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President Obama’s speech on Thursday night bordered on parody. His repetition of long-overused talking points combined with his repeated attacks on job creators and his incessant demand to “pass it right now” produced a mixture of arrogance and absurdity so transparently political that it lacked any capacity to cause political movement or to change anyone’s opinion on any issue.

Guy Benson, the political director here at, tweeted “That was a shallow, callow campaign speech masquerading as something important. Truly awful.” That tweet was retweeted by friends and strangers across the county again and again as it so completely and accurately summed up the president’s remarks as to need no improvement or additional commentary.

(Guy’s twitter handle is @guypbenson, and if you aren’t following him, you should be. If you don’t know what that means, you should learn. Twitter has changed American politics and commentary thoroughly, and to refuse to join the communications revolution there is like refusing to listen to FDR on the radio in the ‘30s.)

The president’s speech was particularly jarring to me as an hour before he spoke I had taped an interview with Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, and one of the most thoughtful and knowledgeable observers of Islamist extremism in the country if not the world.

Wright is a man of the left, but serious and informed, eager to actually convey information and engage serious questions. The transcript of my interview with him is here. We talked about serious issues and the big decisions ahead of the country and the world when it came to the war on terror and the Arab Spring.

The day before the president’s speech I had been honored to have former Vice President Dick Cheney in my studio for a long conversation about his new, best-selling and fascinating memoir, In My Time. The transcript of that conversation is here.

Cheney is of course one of the most famous conservatives alive, as serious and as informed as anyone who has participated in politics over the past 40 years, and a fine writer as well. We spoke not just about some of the important events and controversies of his long, significant career, but also about the future of the war, the maintenance of the country’s defenses, and the choices facing the American people.

These two interviews with serious, accomplished and significant individuals –one from the left and one from the right—provided a sharp contrast to the president’s almost juvenile rhetoric. The president’s speech was so tendentious, so simplistic and so over the top that I almost immediately dispensed with playing it uninterrupted for my radio audience, choosing instead to leaven it with the NFL feed and sound clips from various movies, like “Squirrel!” from the film “Up.”

If the president refuses to engage the country or his political opposition seriously, then the country should revoke the presumption that the president deserves a serious hearing.

The speech was a joke, and the man who gave it is perilously close to becoming one as well. NBC’s Chuck Todd sounded the alarm for the president the day before the big speech. Only “44 percent approve of the job he’s doing,” Todd reported, “an all time low of his presidency.” “But a more important number that our pollsters say is in there is this idea that this is a long-term setback for him or a short-term one,” Todd continued. “54% said long-term,” Todd concluded. “Our pollsters are concerned that’s [the] kind of numbers you have when the public starts to give up on a president as a problem solver.” Put aside Todd’s slip of the tongue which some on the right have hit him on for suggesting that NBC’s pollsters are worried that the president’s appeal has faded. What matters is what those pollsters detected, which is that the public has tuned Obama out, turned him off, and having done so will simply refuse to believe that anything he says is backed up by seriousness of purpose or considered economic theory. Thursday’s night speech was a desperate attempt to stop the political bleeding, but to have accomplished that mission it would have had to be serious in tone and substance. Instead it was the sort of 7th-grade rhetoric that diminishes the president and the Congress that had to pretend it was other than a campaign speech set-up. Serious people exist on the left and the right in this country, but none of them appear to have the president’s ear, or control of his teleprompter. As we approach the tenth anniversary of the most serious day in the country’s recent history, it is troubling that the president seems incapable of thinking about anything except slogans, and those of the most hackneyed sort.

Hugh Hewitt

Hugh Hewitt is host of a nationally syndicated radio talk show. Hugh Hewitt's new book is The War On The West.

The Democratic Wipe-Out In Louisiana Is Of Epic Proportions

From Red State:

The Democratic Wipeout in Louisiana is of Biblical Proportions

Washington Dems have killed the brand in Louisiana.

Posted by Steve Maley (Profile)

Thursday, September 8th at 11:15PM EDT


Huey Long must be turning over in his grave. Qualifying closed today for Louisiana’s Fall 2011 statewide elections, and the once super-dominant Democratic Party has failed to field a single credible candidate for statewide office.

Not a single one.

Louisiana’s citizens have common sense. They understand that the policies favored by Washington Dems (on energy in particular) seem expressly designed to cripple Louisiana’s economy and kill Louisiana’s best jobs. They realize that there’s no real national role to play for a pro-life Democrat.

Just recently, Democratic registration fell below 50% for the first time in, well, ever.

Governor – Bobby Jindal will run against a field of nine opponents: four independents, four Democrats and one Libertarian. Two of the Dems are schoolteachers, and one of those is a self-described “Tea Party Democrat” who will try to outflank Jindal on the right.

Other than Jindal, the Governor’s race features a field of political neophytes and perennial also-rans. None of the challengers currently holds elective office. John Georges, who finished #3 in the 2007 Governor’s race, has decided to take his $10 million & go home rather than run again.

In other races:

Lieutenant Governor – Incumbent Jay Dardenne (R, elected last year in a special election) will face the challenge of Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser (R), who garnered plenty of press coverage during last year’s BP oil spill.

Dem Caroline Fayard declined to run for any office after mounting a well-funded effort against Dardenne in last year’s special election.

Attorney General – Incumbent Buddy Caldwell (R, a recent party switcher) will be challenged by former U.S. Rep. Joseph Cao (R), who was defeated for reelection last November. Cao plans to make a case of Caldwell’s handling of the State’s claim against BP. Caldwell, you may remember, filed suit agasint Obamacare as a Democratic AG, while Cao was the sole House Republican to vote for Obamacare.

State Treasurer – John Kennedy (R) will be unopposed.

Secretary of State – John Schedler (R) drew a single opponent, House Speaker Jim Guy Tucker (R).

Insurance Commissioner – Incumbent Jim Donelon (R) gained a last-minute opponent in Donald Hodge (D), a political newcomer.

Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry – Mike Strain (R) drew two opponents, a Reform Party candidate and a novice Democrat.

U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu remains the only statewide elected Democrat. Rep. Cedric Richmond, the New Orleans freshman, is the only Dem in the House delegation.

Defections have caused the power balances in both state legislatives bodies to flip to R.

And the state’s most popular and recognizable Democratic politician is 80 year-old four-term Governor Edwin Edwards, recently released from Federal prison after serving eight years of a ten year sentence for racketeering.

Cross-posted at

All You Need To Know About The President's Speech

From Red State:

All You Need To Know About the President’s Speech

Posted by Erick Erickson (Profile)

Thursday, September 8th at 6:50PM EDT


(1) The President will take Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO with him to Congress tonight. Trumka’s union saw 500 of its members storm a business last night, take hostages, and destroy property. The President will also take Jeffrey Immelt of GE with him. General Electric is a prime example of a business that has profited lately not through the free market, but through the government picking winners and losers.

(2) Solydra, which got millions from Barack Obama in his last stimulus and had the President champion its cause, got raided by the FBi today.

(3) We would not have to be subjected to this tonight if President Obama’s last attempts had worked — including attempts from when the the Democrats controlled both the White House and Congress.

Tonight we will hear nothing new — just repackaged, failed ideas.

February 24, 2009:

Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs. More than 90% of these jobs will be in the private sector – jobs rebuilding our roads and bridges; constructing wind turbines and solar panels; laying broadband and expanding mass transit.

Because of this plan, there are teachers who can now keep their jobs and educate our kids. Health care professionals can continue caring for our sick. There are 57 police officers who are still on the streets of Minneapolis tonight because this plan prevented the layoffs their department was about to make.

Because of this plan, 95% of the working households in America will receive a tax cut – a tax cut that you will see in your paychecks beginning on April 1st.

Because of this plan, families who are struggling to pay tuition costs will receive a $2,500 tax credit for all four years of college. And Americans who have lost their jobs in this recession will be able to receive extended unemployment benefits and continued health care coverage to help them weather this storm.

January 27, 2010:

As a result, millions of Americans had more to spend on gas and food and other necessities, all of which helped businesses keep more workers. And we haven’t raised income taxes by a single dime on a single person. Not a single dime. (Applause.)

Because of the steps we took, there are about two million Americans working right now who would otherwise be unemployed. (Applause.) Two hundred thousand work in construction and clean energy; 300,000 are teachers and other education workers. Tens of thousands are cops, firefighters, correctional officers, first responders. (Applause.) And we’re on track to add another one and a half million jobs to this total by the end of the year.

The plan that has made all of this possible, from the tax cuts to the jobs, is the Recovery Act. (Applause.) That’s right -– the Recovery Act, also known as the stimulus bill.

January 25, 2011:

Over the last two years, we have begun rebuilding for the 21st century, a project that has meant thousands of good jobs for the hard-hit construction industry. Tonight, I’m proposing that we redouble these efforts.

We will put more Americans to work repairing crumbling roads and bridges. We will make sure this is fully paid for, attract private investment, and pick projects based on what’s best for the economy, not politicians.

Just words and status quo.

Obama's Fuzzy Stimulus Math

From Red State:

Obama’s Fuzzy Stimulus Math

Obama proposes 36% cut to Social Security revenue

Posted by Daniel Horowitz (Profile)

Thursday, September 8th at 8:50PM EDT


Let’s forget the fact that Obama’s entire Stimulus 10.0 is a counterintuitive proposal that doubles down on the very failures that precipitated this speech. Let’s also disregard the fact that enshrining unemployment insurance as a permanent handout will perpetuate unemployment. And more union-induced, short-term money drops on infrastructure will do nothing but stimulate traffic jams. Let’s focus purely on the very numbers that the administration has offered –numbers that would undoubtedly be revised upward, if the plan is passed.

Total package – $447 billion

- 50% payroll tax cut for every employee, dropping the rate from 6.2% to 3.1%= $175 billion

-Obama also proposed cutting the employer payroll tax in half on the first $5 million of a firm’s payroll in 2012. About 98% of firms have payrolls of $5 million or less.= $70 billion

-National infrastructure bank = $10 billion

- Pork project handouts to unions for roads, rails and bridges= $50 billion

-An unprecedented extension of unemployment insurance benefits to be extended for another year, beyond the 99 weeks= $62 billion.

-Handouts to public school teacher unions, even though we already spend more per capita on education than any other country=$35 billion

-Refurbishing schools, a responsibility of local government=$25 billion

-Handouts to community colleges=$5 billion

-Rehabilitate vacant property=$15 billion

Despite the steep cost, Obama claims that it will all be paid for. How will he pay for it?

While he has failed to account for the source of revenue, he hinted to tax increases on rich people and closing oil company tax loopholes. But here is the kicker. As we’ve pointed out previously, the revenue from removing those oil company tax deductions would be a paltry $2 billion. The revenue from eliminating the so-called corporate tax deduction would be a miniscule $300 million!

To put this mathematical farce in another perspective; the entire revenue from corporate taxes in 2011 is estimated to be $192 billion. Yet, Obama plans to offset $447 billion worth of stimulus! He would need to drastically raise personal income rates to a crippling level, in order to accomplish that. Or, more likely, he will just increase the deficit.

Here’s another point: We all love tax cuts, but the payroll taxes are different because they are needed to pay for Social Security. Yet, Obama plans to cut revenues by $245 billion, or 36%, of the entire annual revenue (projected at $687 billion) of the so-called trust fund. Being that he will ostensibly slash half of payroll taxes, that number is surely too low (as is the estimate for unemployment benefits). So, Mr. President, if Social Security is really a pay-as-you-go system, how can you blithely raid the trust fund? Answer: #PonziScheme. Look who wants to get rid of Social Security now.

Meanwhile, Obama has blown through the entire $400 billion increase in the debt ceiling – in just one month. The debt now stands at $14.7 trillion. The Senate voted down a resolution of disapproval tonight, paving the road for another $500 debt increase. Hey, what’s another $447 billion among fellow socialists?

Last Night, Obama Sowed The Seeds Of His Own Destruction

From Red State:

Last Night, President Obama Sowed the Seeds of His Own Destruction

Posted by Erick Erickson (Profile)

Friday, September 9th at 4:45AM EDT


Consider, objectively, some of the points of Barack Obama’s plan.

He wants to extend unemployment benefits again. He wants to extend a payroll tax holiday. He wants to give tax credits to small businesses to hire people. He wants more government pork for more roads and bridges.

These are all things Republicans have gone along with in the past. These are all things Republicans will probably go along with this time.

Some of these things just preserve the status quo. The status quo last month created zero jobs.

In other words, Barack Obama has largely proposed a plan key portions of which can pass with bipartisan support. And they will pass with bipartisan support. And there will be a grand bipartisan signing ceremony. Lots of pictures will be taken.

No jobs will actually be created. The recession will double dip. But Barack Obama will have gotten his bipartisan jobs plan. So he will not be able to blame the GOP. He’ll have to blame mother nature again.

By then, voters will have had enough. They will blame Barack Obama. They will see his ideas are failures. Barack Obama sowed the seeds of his own destruction by offering up just enough acceptable bipartisan compromises to make himself look leadenly, but those compromises are not what will create jobs. Obama will get blamed.

And the kicker?

Well, the jobs plan will get passed soon. Then the “super committee” will start tinkering with all of it and there is no guarantee his tax credits and other ideas will survive. But then the super committee was a bipartisan idea too.

The Hard Work of Holding Obama Accountable

The Hard Work of Holding Obama Accountable

New, Updated “There’s A Communist Living in the White House” (with Aaron Klein)

New, Updated “There’s A Communist Living in the White House” (with Aaron Klein)

Obama’s $450 billion ‘jab, tax and spend’ speech – Patriot Update

Obama’s $450 billion ‘jab, tax and spend’ speech – Patriot Update

Bob Turner in Shockingly Close Race for Weiner's N.Y. House Seat - HUMAN EVENTS

Bob Turner in Shockingly Close Race for Weiner's N.Y. House Seat - HUMAN EVENTS

Republicans Roundly Rip Obama’s Jobs Speech - HUMAN EVENTS

Republicans Roundly Rip Obama’s Jobs Speech - HUMAN EVENTS

ObamaCare Consultant Finds ObamaCare Makes Health Insurance More Expensive

From The Heritage Foundation:

InsiderOnline Blog: September 2011

Obamacare Consultant Finds Obamacare Makes Health Insurance More Expensive

Jonathon Gruber, a health policy expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, helped design the plan that we all know today as Obamacare. The state of Wisconsin recently employed Gruber to produce a report on how Obamacare will affect insurance coverage in the state. Reason’s Peter Suderman summarizes his findings, which are probably surprising only to those who asked Gruber to write the report:

Gruber projects that the average individual market health insurance premium will cost about 30 percent more than if ObamaCare had never passed. For most individual market enrollees, the average premium increase will be even higher: 87 percent of the individual market is projected to see a premium price increase of 41 percent.

Defenders of the law might note that more than half—about 57 percent—of those who get their insurance through the individual market will benefit from the law’s generous health insurance subsidies. But even discounting the enormous public cost of financing those subsidies (which account for roughly half of the law’s $950 billion price tag over the next decade), it’s still not much consolation for the majority of individual market enrollees.

That’s because more than half the individual market will still end up paying more: “After the application of tax subsidies,” the report projects, “59 percent of the individual market will experience an average premium increase of 31 percent.”

One factor in the price increase is the addition of new coverage mandates that will make health insurance more expensive: An estimated 40 percent of the Wisconsin’s current individual market enrollees don’t carry coverage that meets ObamaCare’s minimum coverage standards. Thanks to the law, they’ll be required to purchase more expensive coverage.

Posted on 09/09/11 03:33 PM by Alex Adrianson
Blog Archive

Another Half A Million For "Environmental Justice"

From Judicial Watch:

Another Half A Mil For “Environmental Justice”

Last Updated: Tue, 09/06/2011 - 10:23am

Though it has raked in upwards of $10 million in just a few months, a program that works to bring “environmental justice” to poor and minority communities keeps receiving a steady flow of taxpayer dollars even as the federal debt sits at historically high levels.

It’s all part of the Obama Administration’s effort to help low-income populations obtain the same degree of protection from health and environmental hazards as wealthy communities. In less than a year the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has doled out millions of dollars to leftwing groups— including some dedicated to helping illegal immigrants—that teach black, Latino and indigenous folks how to recycle, reduce carbon emissions through “weatherization” and participate in “green jobs” training.

A few days ago the agency gave New Orleans-area groups $487,500 in “environmental justice, job training and education grants” to recruit and train candidates for “environmental jobs.” Candidates will learn how to “provide air quality sampling,” according to the EPA’s announcement. This shows the agency is committed to creating “green jobs and reaching out to low-income and minority communities that often bear the brunt of environmental degradation,” says the area’s regional administrator.

The allocation comes just weeks after the EPA dropped $6.2 million to train low-income residents for “green jobs” in Atlanta. That chunk of taxpayer money went to “community groups” that promised to “recruit, train and place unemployed, predominately low-income residents in polluted areas.” The Obama Administration promises that the investment will “create good, green jobs that protect the health of local families and residents…”

Shortly before that brilliant investment, the EPA financed a $7 million study to determine how pollution, combined with stress and other social factors, affects people in “poor and underserved communities.” The goal is to rid underserved communities of extensive pollution-based problems. EPA Chief Lisa Jackson launched the costly justice campaign because she claims poor and minority communities have little voice in environmental decisions while they suffer living in the shadow of the worst pollution.

In Jackson’s short tenure the EPA, which was created 40 years ago to protect the environment and human health, has become a bastion of costly leftwing programs and a symbol of Obama’s big government crusade. The agency’s budget has surged 34% (to $10.3 billion) since Jackson took over and nearly half of it goes to grants that fund state environmental programs, nonprofits and educational institutions that help promote Jackson’s agenda.

Earlier this year a House committee revealed that Jackson’s EPA has sent nearly $30 million to environmental causes overseas, including China, Russia and India. Among the “foreign handouts” were $1.2 million for the United Nations to promote clean fuels, $718,000 to help China comply with two initiatives and $700,000 for Thailand to recover methane gas at pig farms.