Wednesday, February 29, 2012
From Town Hall:
During the practically endless series of Republican debates, we have heard almost every question imaginable asked to Republican candidates – if by every question imaginable, you mean horribly slanted, often irrelevant questions designed to make them look bad and help Obama. We've heard questions about contraceptives, religion, Newt's angry ex-wife, Gardasil, etc., etc., etc. So, what would happen if the mainstream media treated Barack Obama the exact same way that they treat Republicans? The questions might sound a little something like this.
1) Numerous Mexican citizens and an American citizen have been killed with weapons knowingly provided to criminals by our own government during Operation Fast and Furious. If Eric Holder was aware that was going on, do you think he should step down as Attorney General? Were you aware that was going on and if so, shouldn’t you resign?
2) In 2010 you said Solyndra, which gave your campaign a lot of money, was "leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future." Today, Solyndra is bankrupt and the taxpayers lost $500 million on loans that your administration was well aware might never be paid off when you made them. What do you say to people who say this is evidence of corruption in your administration?
3) Unions invested a lot of time and money in helping to get you elected. In return, they gained majority control of Chrysler, the taxpayers lost 14 billion dollars on General Motors, and General Motors received a special 45 billion dollar tax break. What do you say to people who view this as corruption on a scale never before seen in American history?
4) Through dubious means, you and your allies in Congress managed to push through an incredibly unpopular health care bill that helped lead to the worst election night for the Democratic Party in 50 years. Since the bill has passed, many of your claims about the bill have proven to be untrue. For example, we now know the bill won't lower costs and despite your assurances to the contrary, big companies like McDonald's say they may drop health care because of the health care reform. Since the American people have rejected your health care reform and it doesn't do what you said it would, shouldn't you work with the Republicans to repeal it?
5) When you took office, gas was $1.79 per gallon. Since then, you've demonized the oil industry, dramatically slowed offshore drilling, blocked ANWR, and killed the Keystone Pipeline. Now, gas is $3.34 per gallon. How much higher do you anticipate driving gas prices?
6) Occupy Wall Street has been protesting against Wall Street and the richest 1 percent in America. You are in the top 1 percent of income earners in America and you have collected more cash from Wall Street than any other President in history. So, aren't you exactly the sort of politician that Occupy Wall Street wants to get rid of?
7) How do you decide which foreign leaders to submissively bow towards and why do you think that's appropriate for an American President?
8) If they could, don't you think the Nobel Committee would take back the Nobel Peace Prize that you were awarded?
9) You made bipartisanship one of the central themes of your campaign in 2008. Yet, you've worked to push bills through Congress with almost no Republican support, spent much less time negotiating with Congress than George Bush, and you've said things like, "But, I don’t want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don’t mind cleaning up after them, but don’t do a lot of talking." Why did you decide to break your campaign promise to pursue bipartisanship?
10) America lost its AAA credit rating for the first time under your watch. What do you think you should have done differently to have prevented that historic failure?
11) You cut more than 500 billion dollars out of Medicare to fund your wildly unpopular health care reform bill. Given that Medicare is running in the red already, don't you think it's irresponsible to cut money out of one entitlement program, that millions of seniors depend on -- to put it into a risky new entitlement program?
12) Back in July, you said, "Nobody’s looking to raise taxes right now. We’re talking about potentially 2013 and the out years." Since you plan to raise taxes if you're elected and you've hadkind words for a value added tax, shouldn't every American expect a tax increase if you're reelected?
13) Why should the American people reelect you when your 10 year budget saddles America with more debt than all previous Presidents combined?
14) Your stimulus bill cost more in real dollars than the moon landing and the interstate highway system combined. What do we have to show for all of that money spent?
15) Members of your administration promised that the trillion dollar stimulus would keep unemployment under 8 percent. Instead, we've had 35+ months of 8% and above unemployment. Doesn't that mean we wasted a trillion dollars on nothing?
From Town Hall:
In a campaign pep rally/sermon billed as a "policy speech," Obama nearly broke his arm patting himself on the back for placing his "bets" (read: our money) on the $85 billion federal auto industry rescue. "Three years later," he crowed, "that bet is paying off for America." Big Labor brass cheered Obama's citation of GM's "highest profits in its 100-year history" as the room filled with militant UAW chants of "union made."
"Union made" -- but who paid? Scoffing at the criticism that his bailout was a massive union payoff, Obama countered that all workers sacrificed to save the auto industry. "Retirees saw a reduction in the health care benefits they had earned," Obama told the congregation, er, crowd. "Many of you saw hours reduced," he sympathized, "or pay and wages scaled back."
Let's clear the fumes (again), shall we? The bailout pain was not distributed equally. It was redistributed politically.
Bondholders standing up for their property and contractual rights got shortchanged and demonized personally by the president. Dealers and suppliers faced closures based on political connections and lobbying clout, rather than neutral efficiency evaluations. And as I first reported in September 2010, in the rush to nationalize the auto industry and avoid contested court termination proceedings, the White House auto team schemed with Big Labor bosses to preserve UAW members' costly pension funds by shafting their nonunion counterparts.
These forgotten nonunion pensioners (who worked for the Delphi/GM auto parts company) lost all of their health and life insurance benefits. Hailing from the economically devastated Rust Belt -- northeast Ohio, Michigan and neighboring states -- the Delphi workers had devoted decades of their lives as secretaries, technicians, engineers and sales employees. Some have watched up to 70 percent of their pensions vanish. They've banded together to seek justice in court and on Capitol Hill under the banner of the Delphi Salaried Retiree Association.
Through two costly years of litigation and investigation, the Delphi workers have exposed how the stacked White House Auto Task Force schemed with union bosses to "cherry pick" (one Obama official's own words) which financial obligations the new Government Motors company would assume and which they would abandon based on their political expedience. Obama's own former auto czar Steve Rattner admitted in his recent memoir that "attacking the union's sacred cow" could "jeopardize" the auto bailout deal.
Ohio Republican Rep. Michael Turner last month called attention to the glaring conflicts of interest that entangled Obama moneyman Tim Geithner's multiple meddling roles in screwing over the Delphi workers. Geithner served simultaneously as co-chair of the Auto Task Force, board member of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (the federal agency overseeing pension payments to bankrupt companies) and Treasury Secretary. The General Accounting Office raised eyebrows at Geithner's "multiple roles" in the deal-making.
Thanks to a separate Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, we already know that Geithner's department and General Motors closely coordinated their PR strategy and collaborated on making fraudulent claims about GM repaying all of its government loans. The cash-strapped Delphi retirees are suing the transparency-ducking PBGC in federal court to unearth documents that may yield key details of the improper Obama administration influence over Delphi's bankruptcy organization.
As ebullient UAW officials hooted and hollered on Tuesday, Obama smugly attacked Republicans for "anti-worker policies" and their "same old you're-on-your-own philosophy." The Delphi workers know better: One union's government-subsidized, government-manipulated "success story" is the rest of the workforce's nightmare.
Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is email@example.com.
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From Personal Liberty Digest:
The Not-So-Great Eight
February 29, 2012 by Ben Crystal
While the Republican Presidential candidates vie for top billing in Tampa, Fla., the Democrats have evidently convinced themselves that President Barack Obama is a shoo-in for another four-year occupation of the White House. Let me rephrase that: The Democrats are trying desperately to convince themselves that President Barack Obama is a shoo-in for another four-year occupation of the White House.
Isn’t it interesting, then, that their anointed savior can’t muster up approval ratings that consistently eclipse the 50 percent mark? Isn’t it more interesting that some polls show Obama packing his gear and clearing out in favor of — among other people — Congressman Ron Paul, a man about whom the media can hardly bring themselves to comment? Isn’t it even more interesting that the corporate media can’t (won’t) mention Obama’s anemic performance, but will offer fealty that borders on blasphemy?
The list of reasons why the thinking voter should eschew casting a ballot for Obama is nearly as long as a Russian novel, but you don’t have the time and we don’t have the bandwidth to enumerate them all here. Each week, I put together a video commentary for Personal Liberty Digest® entitled “The Great Eight.” Today, I offer you a print version. With apologies to David Letterman (and my production crew):
From our home office in Cullman, Ala., it’s the top eight reasons not to vote for Barack Obama this fall.
8. Permanent Vacation.
Spain, Hawaii, Martha’s Vineyard, more Hawaii, more Martha’s Vineyard, Aspen and even more Hawaii. Remember how much the liberals hated George W. Bush’s brush-clearing misadventures? At least he was pretending to work once in a while — at his own house. And don’t we all enjoy being lectured about our eating habits by the first lady — in between her 2,500-calorie fundraiser meals, of course. Hypocrisy is ugly. No wonder the Democrats are so damned hard on our eyes — even when they’re wearing diamonds from the Harry Winston Collection.
7. The Devil-May-Obamacare.
For a great socialist leap forward, the President’s reanimation of Hillarycare’s corpse has taken an oddly back-shelf position of late. It’s almost as if the Democrats don’t want us remembering that they ignored public sentiment, the rules of legislative engagement and one or two juicy parts of the Constitution as November rolls toward us. I suspect Obama may come to regret his decision to force churches to pay for abortions, but that’s presuming he develops a conscience and understanding of the 1st Amendment between now and Election Day. Knowing the liberal mindset, he’ll lose and blame the loss on us “God and guns” types. I’d say more, but it might move my name up on the death panel (yes, Virginia, they are real) list.
6. Gassed Out.
As much fun as the Democrats’ new sitcom “That was then; this is now” has been to watch, I just don’t see a real future for it. Their attempt to cut Obama loose from that $5 per gallon gas-price anchor he’s dragging around is sadder than Arianna Huffington’s wedding videos. When George W. Bush was President, exorbitant gas prices spurred Democrats including Senator Barbara Boxer and current Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to hold shrieking press events in which they blamed Bush for everything short of trapping people in their homes. The corporate media obligingly reported the liberal finger-pointing with breathless vigor. Now, gas prices are evidently rising in a vacuum, with the same people suggesting Obama has “little control” over them. That was then; this is now.
5. Hooray For Hollywood.
Obama leans heavily on financial and propaganda support from the left coast as much as he does on anyone outside the offices of Goldman Sachs. Hollywood’s hypocritical horde has hardly hidden their disdain for non-liberals. But they seem to forget: Only liberals are dumb enough to vote based on advice from renowned thinkers like Sean Penn and Rosie O’Donnell. Sean, go back to Venezuela. Maybe Hugo Chavez will let you be his court jester. Rosie, have another sundae. Oscar host Billy Crystal (no relation; I eat bacon) cracked a joke during the recent Academy Award yawnfest in which he compared Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich to a “dark knight, an American psycho and a charismatic crack addict.” The crowd roared with laughter. I noticed that a whole team of writers put their thinking caps on to produce a joke that wasn’t fit for amateur night at the Ha-Ha Hut. Of course, Romney, Santorum and Gingrich probably thought “I’m totally the dark knight in that one.” That’s actually pretty funny, when you think about it. Maybe Billy’s a distant cousin.
4. Crony Capitalism.
So, religious (read: Christian) organizations get stuck with the same onerous Obamacare mandates that the Democrats’ union thug cronies managed to escape? All those exemptions, and Obama couldn’t find one more for the people who believe abortion is murder? Meanwhile, General Motors is certainly heating things up since its bailout; those Chevy Volts are really hot — in a manner of speaking. And all those so-called “green jobs” projects have produced in spades, have they not? Granted, the “jobs” in question all went to bankruptcy lawyers; but at least someone benefited from Obama’s payoff to his cronies. It was certainly heartbreaking watching those poor attorneys wandering around outside the courthouse. “Will guide you through Chapter 7 for food.” A look at Obamanomics reveals the biggest beneficiaries are guys like Warren Buffett, George Soros and Jeff Immelt (not to mention Mark Rezko). When hypocritical billionaires are hurting, Obama is there for them. What a guy.
3. Let’s Hear It For The Girls!
Tell you what, liberals. You keep Janeane Garofalo, Barbra Streisand, Sheila Jackson-Lee and — I’m guessing here — Janet Napolitano. We’ll keep Bo Derek, Anne Coulter, Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin. Besides the fact that the combined IQs of the former group don’t equal any one of the latter, our women look like women. The best part is, none of five conservative women I mentioned would disagree with me. The former group would slap you with some kind of injunction for making a remark like that at the next Moveon.org meeting. At least our girls know where Mars is. For that matter, at least our girls know what Mars is.
2. On The Job.
Unemployment has remained a thorn in the American economic side for the better part of Obama’s term. Factor in the number of people who are so discouraged by Obamanomics, and the number rises to close to 15 percent. That’s 15 percent of a workforce that easily exceeds 100 million people. Imagine everyone in the New York metropolitan area updating their resumes at the same time. Add the illegal aliens who the Democrats — and a fair number of the Republicans — won’t address in a meaningful manner, and the math gets even more muy malo. Of course, the Democrats will suggest that the illegals are doing only the jobs that no one else wants. I’ll admit, mowing Nancy Pelosi’s lawn doesn’t sound like a day at the beach, but where are these Americans who are happily living off the dole? I mean, outside Detroit.
1. It’s The Constitution.
Four words: Attorney General Eric Holder.
Of course, I left off more than a few good reasons to avoid voting for Obama and/or his fellow clown car riders. Hell, trying to pin down only eight was tougher than figuring out who the 10 biggest douchebags are at a personal injury lawyers’ convention.
This November’s Presidential election will indeed be a landmark event in American politics. Will we choose to play Horatio at the bridge, standing tall against the march of liberal statism? Or will we dive into the river, in which we will surely drown?
From National Review:
FEBRUARY 29, 2012 4:00 A.M.Obama’s Infanticide Votes
Newt wasn’t 100 percent right — but he was about 95 percent right.
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In last Wednesday’s debate, when the Republican candidates were asked about their positions on birth control, Newt Gingrich parried with one of his usual tactics, a fusillade against the mainstream media. He told CNN’s John King, “You did not once in the 2008 campaign, not once did anybody in the elite media ask why Barack Obama voted in favor of legalizing infanticide. If we’re going to have a debate about who is the extremist on these issues, it is President Obama, who, as a state senator, voted to protect doctors who killed babies who survived the abortion.”Two points of Gingrich’s barrage warrant assessment. First, did Barack Obama, as a state senator, vote “in favor of legalizing infanticide,” by voting “to protect doctors who killed babies who survived the abortion”? And second, has no one in the elite media ever discussed his record on the issue? Yes; and no, but essentially yes.
Gingrich’s assertion rests on then–State Senator Obama’s opposition, in 2001, 2002, and 2003, to successive versions of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, an Illinois bill that was meant to provide protection for babies born alive after attempted abortions. The bill gave them protection as legal persons and required physicians to provide them with care, rather than allowing doctors to deal with them as they would, literally, with medical waste. In 2008, Obama’s campaign repeatedly claimed that he opposed the bill because it was unnecessary, since Illinois law already provided protection for infants born alive. However, as Ramesh Ponnuru pointed out on NRO at the time, this extended only to babies whom physicians deemed to have “sustainable survivability.” Thus infants who were not expected to survive could be killed or left unattended to die. Obama, Ponnuru wrote, “did not want the gap filled.” (The National Right to Life Committee has a report on Obama, Illinois’s legal loophole, and its horrific consequences here.)
Obama maintained at the time, with support from Planned Parenthood of Illinois, that the bill wasn’t really about protecting infants’ lives or mitigating their suffering, but was in fact a backdoor attempt to restrict abortion. The argument (which is constitutionally dubious, anyway) goes that, by providing legal protection and “recognition as a human person” for a pre-viable infant, the law could be used to threaten Roe v. Wade. Thus, in his 2004 Senate campaign, and then during the course of the 2008 campaign, Obama claimed that he would have supported a law like the 2002 federal born-alive statute, which stated explicitly that it could not be used to dispute the legal status of fetuses prior to their birth.
In committee in 2003, however, Obama voted against a version of the Illinois bill that contained the same protection included in the federal bill (which passed 98–0 in the U.S. Senate). Thus, Obama’s tenuous constitutional argument doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
One other excuse for Obama’s opposition to the Illinois bill has been proffered: that the final version of the bill was coupled with another piece of legislation that imposed criminal or civil consequences for doctors who did not properly treat infants who were covered by the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. Obama and others deemed this second bill unacceptable. However, this doesn’t begin to defend Obama’s vote on the first bill.
As Ponnuru pointed out back in 2008, FactCheck.org and PolitiFact admitted the above facts as such, but have disputed whether they constitute “legalizing infanticide”; FactCheck argued that that question remains a value judgment. Since the Illinois bill would have provided legal protection for born-alive infants who had not been protected before, by opposing it, Obama voted to continue to make it legal to kill them. Thus, the only question remaining in order to determine whether it was “infanticide” is: Were the subjects of the bill fetuses or were they infants? In order for them not to be considered infants, one would have to contend that an unviable prematurely born baby is not an infant — a claim few would be willing to make. And yet, Obama’s votes, three times over the course of three years, indicate that he believes that fetuses who have been born alive, but have not yet reached the age of viability, are not human persons worthy of protection by our laws. Such a position on abortion is, to say the least, extreme, and deserves attention.
Which leads to the second question Gingrich raised: Have the media questioned Obama’s position on the Illinois infanticide bill? Washington Post blogger Erik Wemple has turned up a few media references to President Obama’s extreme abortion stances from the 2008 campaign: two CNN segments discussing his record, including the Illinois legislation specifically; one instance in a debate, where John McCain raised the question of Obama’s record, and he defended his position on the Illinois bill; and one interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News, in which Obama was queried on partial-birth abortion, though not the Illinois legislation specifically.
The attention was most intense in August of 2008, after the NRLC managed to generate national debate about Obama’s position on the Illinois bill. Obama was asked about it during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, where he offered a thoroughly deceptive response to the question, saying, “Here’s a situation where folks are lying” about his position. However, Obama was the one lying: He told the interviewer, David Brody, that he opposed the bill because of its threat to Roe v. Wade, and that existing Illinois law already protected infants who were born alive. As we have seen, the first assertion is implausible; the second is just plain false.
This seems to be the one instance in which a journalist asked candidate Obama directly about his support for the bill, and he was unfortunately let off, even by a conservative reporter, with his mendacious explanation.
Both the Washington Post and the New York Times reported on the controversy, noting the points the NRLC had raised about Obama’s inconsistent and extreme positions. The Times, citing sources on both sides, explored Obama’s claim that he opposed the final Illinois bill because of its unacceptable companion bill. However, Obama’s claim has no solid legal basis: Two different bills are two different bills.
Thus, while one cannot say, as Gingrich did, that the media have literally never questioned Obama’s extreme record on abortion, we can certainly say that there has not been a sufficiently revealing discussion of his views. An honest appraisal would depict him as having voted repeatedly to protect a form of infanticide. Instead, the media have willingly accepted explanations that don’t stand up to scrutiny.
And they deserve scrutiny, for two reasons. First, as explained above, Obama has offered deceptive explanations of his own pro-abortion legislative work, while simultaneously accusing his pro-life opponents of being dishonest. More important, Obama’s record as a state senator was not merely pro-choice, but radically pro-abortion. His voting record indicates that he does not believe infants deserve protection even once they have emerged from the womb if they are deemed to be below the age of viability, and he did in fact, three times, vote to keep a form of infanticide legal.
— Patrick Brennan is the 2011 William F. Buckley Fellow at National Review.