OBAMA FAMILY'S 2015 HAWAII
VACATION COST TAXPAYERS $4,823,206.88
DECEMBER 05, 2016
DC)—Judicial Watch announced today that it obtained records from the U.S. Secret
Service revealing that its travel expenses for the First Family’s 2015 Hawaiian
vacation cost taxpayers $1.2 million, which bring the total cost of the vacation
trip to at least $4.8 million. This was the Obamas’ eighth Hawaiian family
vacation. The trip has become an annual event for the Obamas. To date, Obama’s
and his family’s travel expenses total at least $85,029,819.
The records obtained by Judicial Watch for Obama’s Secret Service travel to Hawaii reveal the following expenses totaling $1,234,316.67:
Hotel and lodging costs totaled $1,000,458.63
The Secret Service spent $165,893.88 on car rentals.
Air and rail expenses totaled $67,964.16.
Although the vacation officially lasted from
December 18, 2015, to January 3, 2016, the Secret Service rented several Kailua
homes for 19 nights, starting from December 16. The total for the rentals,
located near the Marine Corps base at Kaneohe Bay was $245,993.12. According to
bills obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA),
the Secret Service also paid for rooms at the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and
Golf Club. The Secret Service also reserved rooms at the Moana Surfrider resort
on Waikiki Beach, and the Ala Moana Hotel, which cost a total of $40,249.48 and
The Secret Service rented cars from Avis, Alamo, and Hertz – 103 cars for the two-week vacation, totaling $165,893.88 in taxpayer money.
Reportedly, the Obamas stayed at the Hale Reena Estate, which “rents for anywhere between $5,000 to $10,000 a night, depending on the season.”
According to other news sources, the Obamas dined out frequently (and were guarded) at Hawaii’s finest restaurants:
On Sunday, December 20, the Obamas had dinner at Morimoto, a celebrity chef-owned Asian-fusion restaurant,
On Christmas Eve, they dined at MW Restaurant in Honolulu,
On December 27, the first family took their dinner at “one of Hawaii’s finest restaurants,” Hoku’s at the Kahala Hotel and Resort,
The next day, the Obamas dined at Alan Wong’s with friends,
And on New Year’s Day, the Obamas dined at Halekulani, billed as one of the “top restaurants on Oahu.”
The president played seven rounds of golf, went
hiking and snorkeling.
Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request for these documents in January 2016. The records were released in response to a FOIA lawsuit filed on May 6, 2016, (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (No. 1:16-cv-00863)). The lawsuit was filed after the Secret Service ignored a series of separate FOIA requests for costs associated with the president’s travel.
“The Secret Service and the Air Force are being abused by unnecessary travel,” said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton. “Unnecessary presidential travel for fundraising and luxury vacations on the taxpayers’ dime would be a good target for reform for the incoming Trump administration.”
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ONE PICTURE TO SUM
UP OBAMA'S IDIOTIC ISIS POLICY
By Russ Vaughn, November 17, 2015
the Obama administration was crowing loudly about its success in vaporizing a
single, notoriously vicious jihadist with a well-placed Hellfire missile.
Mohammed Emwazi was a British citizen who not only joined the jihadist movement,
but became one of its leading public executioners, quickly dubbed by the media
Jihadi John. John had no qualms about publicly incriminating himself in widely
distributed videos showing him sawing off the heads of helpless kneeling
victims. His flair for such bloody publicity placed him at the very top of the
high-value targets list and resulted in his mission as a fervent executioner for
ISIS being abruptly truncated last week, according to U.S. authorities. Since
John earned his own execution by drone missile last week, the Obama
administration has been basking in the warm glow of his fiery demise, citing the
event as evidence that its strategy for combating ISIS is effective.
And therein lies the problem. In its article relating John's demise, the U.K.'s Daily Mail includes a photograph that pretty much sums up the slapdash aspects of Obama's strategy of going after newsworthy targets rather than those that are truly significant in terms of reducing the jihadis' ability to wage war. View for a moment this aerial photo from the Mail's article.
Note that the location of the drone strike on Jihadi John appears to be but a few city blocks from a large building marked "ISIS Main HQ." Does the question not immediately arise in your mind why we would target a specific human enemy and yet leave perhaps hundreds of them alive and well to continue to conduct their war against us?
Will you please explain this strategy, Mr. Commander-in Chief?
Reprinted with permission from the American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/11/one_picture_to_sum_up_obamas_foolish_isis_policy.html#ixzz3rm73k0ps
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BACHMANN SAYS HOUSE PREPARING
TO SUE OBAMA FOR OVERREACH:
'HE'S NOT A KING'
By Alex Pappas, 01/29/2014
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann says House conservatives are preparing to sue
President Barack Obama for executive overreach in response to his threats of
unilateral action on a host of issues.
“He’s the president of the United States — he’s not a king,” the Republican lawmaker told reporters after Obama’s State of the Union address. “He may think he’s a king, he may declare himself king, but that’s not what he is under our Constitution.”
Bachmann said an effort is underway in Congress to take back their “authority under the Constitution as the House of Representatives.” She said the plan is to introduce legislation allowing lawmakers to hire an attorney, so “we can force the president to act under the Constitution.”
“We’ll sue the president of the United States and force him to no longer act unilaterally,” she said.
In his address at the Capitol Tuesday night, Obama said he plans to take unilateral action on the minimum wage for federal workers. He suggested he might go solo on guns, for example.
“I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theaters, shopping malls, or schools like Sandy Hook,” he said.
Bachmann says Obama will have a fight ahead. “If he wants to go forward with his unilateral activity, he better be prepared for the lawsuit that the United States Congress will bring,” she said.
Asked by The Daily Caller for details about the legislation, a Bachmann aide pointed to the legislation introduced in December by South Carolina Republican Rep. Tom Rice. Text of that bill calls for “a civil action for declaratory or injunctive relief to challenge certain policies and actions taken by the executive branch.”
Bachmann said Obama has “acted unilaterally multiple times.”
“Obamacare is the passed law of the land and yet the president has changed Obamacare at least 17 times on his own, unilaterally, without going through the legislative action that he’s required to do under the United States Congress,” she said. “That’s just one. He also said that he would refuse to uphold the [Defense of Marriage Act], which he is required by law to uphold.”
“He’s done this multiple times and he’s also threatened — we can’t say we weren’t warned — he’s threatened us tonight that he’s going to act unilaterally,” Bachmann said after his speech.
Article reprinted with permission from The Daily Caller: http://dailycaller.com/2014/01/29/bachmann-says-house-preparing-to-sue-obama
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IT'S GOOD TO BE KING
By Tom Fitton, 08/16/2013
Barack Obama is
off on yet another vacation – his third this year and fifteenth since taking
office. And while Obama vacations, the American people are forced to cut back as
he, his family, and his cronies are living like royalty on the taxpayers’ tab.
With unemployment at 7.4 percent and the economy failing to create enough jobs to keep up with population growth, most Americans cannot even afford a night out – let alone a luxurious Obama-type vacation in what Politico calls “the playgrounds of the rich and famous.” According to a recent Reuters poll, 81 percent of Americans said they are cutting down on meals at restaurants, 73 percent are reducing entertainment costs such as movies and concerts, and 62 percent are spending less on travel and vacations.
And what is Barack Obama’s response to this downturn in the American people’s fortunes under his leadership? Why, fire up the jet and let’s head for the beach! Or the links. Or the slopes. Or the Costa del Sol.
We were reminded anew of the Obama regime’s icy indifference to the costs to the American people of government-funded travel just last week when Judicial Watch obtained the travel records of Obama Attorney General Eric Holder. According to the Justice Department documents, between March 27, 2009, and August 24, 2012, Holder accrued an astounding $4,263,704.01 in total travel expenses. This included $697,525.20 in taxpayer-funded personal travel expenses.
Altogether, Holder took 213 out-of-Washington trips during the 42 months for which we obtained records. His 31 personal trips during the time period included two trips to Martha’s Vineyard with a flight-only price tag of $95,185, as well as eight getaways to Farmingdale, New York, at a flight cost of $118,554.
And, remember, all of this occurred while 62 percent the average taxpayers – those forced to foot the bill for Holder’s flights on government-owned luxury jets – were spending less and less on travel and vacations. But, the truth is, even Holder’s $95,000 Martha’s Vineyard outings dim in comparison to what the Obama family forces the American taxpayer to spend when they decide to let the good times roll.
In 2010, when the Obama family spent their Christmas vacation at a luxury beachfront retreat in Kailua Bay, Hawaii, a local newspaper published some of the daunting numbers. They included $63,000 for the First Lady to take an early flight to the island, $1 million for the president’s round-trip flight, and hundreds of thousands for beachfront homes for Secret Service and military personnel as well as the White House entourage.
In October 2011, we ferreted out documents detailing the costs of a June 2011 trip taken by Michelle Obama, her staff, and her family to South Africa and Botswana. According to expense records and manifests for that trip, the cost for flight and crew alone was $424,142.
In April 2012, we exposed the costs associated with what the press described as Michelle Obama’s “whirlwind tour of Spain” in August 2010. According to a Judicial Watch analysis, the trip, which included visits to coastal towns, shopping and a lunch date with the country’s King and Queen, cost the taxpayers at least $467,585.
And yet, there’s more. In June 2013, we had to file FOIA lawsuit just to get basic information about the costs to taxpayers of Barack Obama’s February “boys’ weekend” in Palm Beach, Florida. Reporting on Obama’s retreat to the West Palm Beach “well-trod stomping ground of the rich,” WhiteHouseDossier.com observed, “While unemployment stands at nearly eight percent, Obama is taking his second vacation of 2013. The year is only six weeks old.”
Two vacations in just six weeks? But, that’s nothing new for the high-flying Obama. According to Breitbart.com: “Obama took 13 vacations in his first term, which spanned all or part of 83 days … His annual vacations to Hawaii alone have cost taxpayers at least $20 million during his first term. In 2011 alone, Michelle Obama may have cost taxpayers $10 million on vacations herself. Obama’s fantasy golf outing this year cost local law enforcement in Florida a reported $78, 205.”
And while Obama continues his shameless hijinks on the taxpayers’ tab, the American people are tightening their belts, living on less, and looking for jobs that are increasingly scarce. The Labor Department’s most recent employment report showed the economy adding a minuscule 162,000 jobs in July. Worse yet, as bestselling author Don Lambro reported, a large number of those jobs were in temporary, part-time, low-paying work, coming at a time when the government reduced its job creation estimates for the previous two months and said that workers not only earned less but worked fewer hours, as well.
But, not to worry. This past weekend, Barack Obama, Michelle, and the kids headed off to Martha’s Vineyard for yet another luxury vacation. The taxpayers will foot, again, a good part of the bill. All the criticism about his unnecessary luxury travel has not curtailed the Obama luxe tours one bit. It must be good to be king.
Tom Fitton is president of Judicial Watch. Article reprinted with permission from The Daily Caller: http://dailycaller.com
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OBAMA'S FUNDAMENTAL TRANSFORMATION OF A NATION HE DESPISES
By Jeffrey Folks, July 3, 2013
Is it just
incompetence, or is there something else going on here?
Obama's only real competence, it seems, lies in spying on Americans and imposing new restrictions on their liberty. This fact may be the key to understanding this president. He has shown himself sympathetic toward every anti-American dictator on the planet, warmly embracing Hugo Chávez, lifting travel restrictions to Castro's Cuba, and (when he thought no one could hear him) promising a cozy second term with President Putin.
Obama's love affair with Marxist tyrants has not earned him any favors -- not even the return of one globe-trotting traitor. The best he can do is issue a weak protest and direct his new secretary of state to remark that Hong Kong's and Russia's actions in regard to Snowden are really "disappointing." That kind of swagger should make the Chinese and Russian leadership wet their britches.
For his part, Obama has done nothing, perhaps because he is still in thrall of anyone who calls himself a Marxist. The only people he really distrusts are Americans, especially those patriotic Tea Party members who care about their country's future.
Does President Obama really hate the American people that much?
I think he does. He hates America as it is and as it has been, and, as he openly admits, he wants nothing less than to "fundamentally transform America." One does not completely transform a nation into the opposite of what it is unless one hates that nation as it is. That fact explains why Obama has done so little to protect America while doing so much to spy on, disparage, and attack ordinary Americans.
Obama seized on the financial crisis of 2008 as the pretext for passing a sweeping stimulus bill, the Dodd-Frank financial services regulation, and the seriously mislabeled "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." Now, with the help of "extreme weather" coverage on every mainstream news service, he has been ginning up another crisis as the pretext for sweeping regulation of the entire economy. And just last week, in a speech at Georgetown University, he has announced what that regulation will cover.
It will cover just about everything. Every activity that uses energy, or that used energy in its manufacture or requires energy for its maintenance, will be regulated -- not by Congress but by the president directly.
That is the strategy behind Obama's new pronouncements on the "social cost" of carbon emissions. As Obama put it in his Georgetown speech, "the costs of these [climate] events can be measured." Nothing could justify the actual cost of Obama's new emissions push, which will raise the cost of electricity along with everything else from cars to refrigerators to new homes. But if the "social cost" of carbon emissions is factored in, suddenly the new guidelines are made to seem affordable.
But what is the "social cost" of carbon? It is the cost of future climate events that "might result" from increased carbon emissions. In fact, no one knows whether there actually will be more extreme weather events -- or even what constitutes such an event. Is a cold winter such an event? An abnormally wet spring? An average year, with its share of tornados and wildfires? The truth is that the president is engaging in pure speculation as the basis for policies that will cost hundreds of billions in spending and millions of new jobs.
As Obama himself pointed out at Georgetown, America's carbon emissions are "at the lowest levels in nearly 20 years." Yet, according to the president, it is in precisely in this period ("the last 15 years") that scientists have recorded rising temperatures. The president's science seems a bit confused.
It is all too much like Stalin's fascination with the pseudo-science of Trofim Lysenko. Stalin's faith in Lysenkoism set Soviet agriculture back decades. Yet Lysenko's theories of the heritability of acquired traits became the basis of Soviet agricultural policy -- just as the unproven science of global warming has become the basis of American energy policy under Obama.
Lysenkoism ended in disaster for the Soviet Union, and the science of global warming is leading the U.S. and western Europe toward a similar economic disaster. This year, California's Central Valley, which supplies much of America's fresh fruits and vegetables, will receive only 20% of its normal water allocation for fear of harming the Delta smelt. A president with real leadership qualities would suspend the efforts to save the smelt and save the humans instead. But this president is terrified of offending the environmental lobby. In fact, he wants to go farther. Why should farmers have any water at all if the smelt's future is at stake?
It's not difficult to see where the pseudo-science of global warming is taking us. Obama has already declared that, in effect, there shall be no new coal-fired power plants and that at least one third of existing coal-fired plants are to be shuttered in the near future, and all of them eventually in the carbon-free future he dreams of. He is preparing regulations that will make it impossible to produce efficient and economical full-size trucks in the numbers now needed to run our economy. His next step will likely be an assault on our nation's ability to produce shale gas through the safe technology of hydraulic fracturing.
And that's just the beginning of the total makeover that Obama has in mind for America. Did I mention persecution of journalists? Forced unionization of workplaces? Abortion on demand, funded by every employer? Racial discrimination in perpetuity against non-minorities? And environmental regulations as far as the eye can see, affecting every aspect of life?
From the flow per second of your morning shower to the temperature at which you set your thermometer at night, from the car you drive to what you eat, from where and how your children are educated to how you fund your retirement, Obama wants government to control every moment of your existence. Long ago, in a glorious revolution, Americans rejected this sort of tyranny when it was imposed on them by the British Crown. Our only chance now is at the ballot box in 2014 and 2016.
Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books on American politics and culture, including Heartland of the Imagination (2013).
Page reprinted from the American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2013/07/obamas_fundamental_transformation_of_a_nation_he_despises.html
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THE ADMINISTRATION: SCARIER
THAN YOU COULD IMAGINE
By Lloyd Marcus, June 10, 2013
If a tree falls in
the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound? If the Obama administration
breaks the law at will, lies to the American people, uses every government
agency at its disposal to punish its conservative/Republican enemies and no one
does anything about it, does the administration make a sound? Yes it does --
resulting in devastating consequences for the American people.
Despite a trifecta of scandals, Obama and company continue to stonewall, lie, or refuse to answer questions -- in essence, giving Congress and the American people the finger. Pundits are shocked and taken aback by the unprecedented arrogance of the Obama administration.
Such pundits are a bit late coming to the dance, as we in the Tea Party have been well aware for years of the lawlessness and arrogance of this bunch of thugs from Chicago. Have these surprised pundits forgotten Obama's unprecedented overreaches into the private sector -- nationalizing General Motors, bullying banks, ignoring the ruling of federal judges, trashing the Constitution, and more?
Still, pundits are missing the much greater horrifying picture. My fellow Americans, we are in deep, deep trouble. The cold reality is that until someone steps forward in real opposition to Obama governing according to his will while ignoring all the laws, checks, and balances, we are defenseless, expendable supplicants of a tyrannical dictator.
Remarkably, the mainstream media is complaisant with Obama acting like our king rather than our president because he is liberal, he is black, and his presidency is historic. Obama's agenda fits neatly with the mainstream media's socialist/progressive agenda. So they are elated to have a Teflon liberal black guy in the White House furthering their cause.
Speaking of expendable supplicants, let us not forget Ambassador Chris Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty, and Sean Smith, who lost their lives -- left to die in our consulate in Benghazi.
The people in the Obama administration are emboldened to do whatever they please: bully conservative groups and individuals, secretly invade our privacy, target reporters, and thumb their noses when they get caught -- all without any real political push-back or consequences. We the American people are in deep excrement.
Ponder that, folks. As long as the mainstream media provides cover for Obama and keeps his poll numbers high by making sure no bad news is linked to Obama (Limbaugh Theorem), our president is empowered to function as a supreme ruler, free to do whatever he pleases to us. Dear God, help us!
Obama is the first black president. Okay, I get it. But neither Obama's black skin nor the mainstream media's rabid desire to protect his legacy should award him imperial dictator status, trumping the best interest of the American people.
The Republican party desperately needs leadership -- someone willing not just to say "no" to Obama's tyranny. We need someone who will walk tall and passionately proclaim, "H*** no!"
America needs a politician with backbone and fortitude willing to endure being called racist by Obama's subservient mainstream media; someone unafraid of being targeted by the IRS; someone willing to be hated by clueless poll participants; someone willing to endure EPA persecution if he is a business owner; someone willing to endure his phone and e-mail privacy illegally violated; and someone willing to endure attempts to criminalize their opposition to Obama's agenda.
Under Obama's IRS-controlled health care, any politician daring to oppose Obama's agenda will more than likely suffer delays and denial of medical care for his family and himself. Suddenly, his conservative Republican mom finds herself at the bottom of the list for that kidney.
Yes, it is going to take a politician with incredible stones to challenge the great all-powerful beast, the Obama administration.
I am confident that such a hero will step forward. Between you and me, I am keeping an eye on Rep. Trey Gowdy, House Oversight & Government Reform Committee.
Most people caught lying or with their pants down back off. When caught red-handed, Obama pokes his finger in our eye.
It has been exposed that the administration sent Susan Rice out to lie about Benghazi on five national TV shows. In response to getting caught, Obama promoted Rice. Lois Lerner was caught using the IRS to bully, intimidate, and suppress the conservative vote in the 2012 presidential election. Obama promoted Lerner. The latest in his growing list of offenses and scandals, Eric Holder was caught lying about targeting reporter James Rosen.
Naïve pundits say, "Eric Holder is toast. He has to go." My reply is, "Holder ain't goin' nowhere. You guys still do not get it. Holder is black and liberal, and Obama is arrogant beyond belief, with the media in his back pocket." Obama recently stated that he is behind Holder 100 percent.
Folks, do you see the horror of what we are dealing with in America today? We have an administration free to rule as it pleases, with no one -- I repeat: no one -- really holding its feet to the fire. Will someone please throw this out-of-control administration across their knee, spank its butt, and say no?
Meanwhile, I heard someone say on TV in response to Holder's stonewalling and lying, "Holder risks another contempt of Congress filed against him." I am sure Holder is quaking in his boots.
Page reprinted with permission from the American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2013/06/the_administration_scarier_than_you_could_imagine.html
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MR. PRESIDENT: INSTEAD OF HARMING THE TROOPS, CUT HERE INSTEAD
Dustin Siggins, March 12, 2013
In the political battle over
sequestration, President Obama is jumping full-tilt into a scorched-earth
tactic: eliminating tuition assistance for the Marines and Army. Instead of
using the troops for dishonorable political ends, the president should look to a
recent op-ed and interview by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), who outlined billions
in cuts the president could look at to eliminate wasteful spending.
First from the op-ed, options abound:
Federal dollars were spent to study "how cocaine affects the reproductive habits of Japanese quail" at a cost of $181,000.
Fourteen point eight million dollars is spent on unemployment checks sent to millionaires.
Senator Coburn says he sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood outlining $1.2 billion in savings that cover the alleged $600-million shortfall two-to-one -- a shortfall Secretary LaHood claims will cause flight delays.
Senator Coburn points out that the Transportation Department has $34 billion in funds lying around that have already been approved by Congress that could be spent, instead of just letting the money further waste away.
The senator also highlighted subsidies for airports serving fewer than ten passengers per day.
Over at Homeland Security, one $830-million grant program to protect a pumpkin festival in Keene, NH (my home state, and a good pumpkin festival, indeed...but not one deserving DHS protection) could be cut by one third to cover all TSA furloughs
According to Senator Coburn, his office did a report in 2008 showing that federal employees were AWOL for 3.5 million hours in 2007 -- enough to "screen 1.7 billion checked bags, or enough to avoid security delays for nearly four years."
The big area of waste Senator Coburn outlines is, of course, duplication:
Another source of potential savings is duplication of federal services, which accounts for $364 billion spent every year, according to the Government Accountability Office. Washington spends $30 million for 15 financial-literacy programs run by 13 separate agencies. Taxpayers also spend $3.1 billion on 209 separate science, technology, engineering and mathematics education programs across 13 agencies. Why not fund one good program in these areas instead of dozens that don't work and waste money?
Over at Fox & Friends last week, the senator outlined more wasteful spending:
$10,000 on dances to promote a trolley system in San Francisco
$386,000 for studying Tai Chi
According to the senator, elimination of just some of the duplication referenced above could save $100 billion annually across 1,500 programs -- and that's before examining defense spending.
$1.65 million for the Amazon Center of Excellence in Malaria
On his website, Senator Coburn has numerous examples of other inefficient spending that could be cut. He has sent letters to several agencies outlining these cuts. They include:
Not hiring federal employees for the following positions: "a social media manager at FDA; 23 openings related to recreation, painters at the Air Force, librarians, and public affairs specialists among others[.]"
The Department of Agriculture could cut "two upcoming conferences in California and Oregon set to feature 'guest chefs' and 'exceptional wines 'for tastings[.]"
The senator sent a letter to the Pentagon "calling for DOD to cut waste like producing cooking shows and $5.2 million studies on how fish view democracy before furloughing essential personnel[.]"
A few more examples of waste "include a $212 million detection behavior program said to 'lack outcome-oriented goals' by the GAO, a $75 million chemical facilities program which has failed to accomplish its goals at a handful of locations, and $5.25 billion in unspent FEMA grant funds[.]"
And back in February, "Dr. Coburn called for the Administration to cancel their 100 city tour promoting federal spending as sequestration approaches" in a letter to the administration.
For all the administration's claims that federal spending shouldn't go down because every dollar is mission-critical, Senator Coburn has the real story in his WSJ op-ed:
The longer this fight drags on, the harder it will be for the administration to pretend it can't find savings. After all, what is dramatic isn't the size of the sequestration cuts but recent increases in government spending. Since 2002, total federal spending has increased nearly 89% while median household income has dropped 5% and median wealth has dropped 23%. In other words, while families have been doing more with less, government has been doing less with more.
In the op-ed, Senator Coburn outlines where furloughs can be replaced with cuts
in waste. The staff at Fox said the Amazon Malaria dollars should be cut before
TSA workers, and the Tai Chi study before Medicare. In the end, though,
furloughs will have to happen if the federal government is to downsize. Medicare
and Social Security cuts (or "reforms," in political language) will have to take
place. And eliminating the TSA is a good idea at any time, both for dollars and
reasons of constitutional limitations.
In the short run, though, the battle is sequestration. The administration has clearly decided that hurting the American people is more important than making government run well. Tea Party activists should make sure Congress knows we're watching, and won't wait long for members to stand up to the administration and point out that reducing federal spending by 2.5% has to hurt only if the administration wants it to.
Dustin Siggins is the principal blogger for Tea Party Patriots, a national grassroots coalition with more than 3,500 local chapters. He is the co-author of a forthcoming book on how the national debt will impact the lives of young Americans.
Page reprinted with permission from the American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/03/mr_president_instead_of_harming_the_troops_cut_here_instead.html
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THE AMAZING PRESIDENTIAL
By Kyle Stone, July 31, 2012
consternation or lasting opposition, the Obama administration has dramatically
usurped congressional power at the expense of popular will and the rule of law.
Numerous dastardly bureaucratic coups -- motivated by the president's
progressive and political agenda -- have amazingly failed to engender a serious
What began as a trickle of presidential power-grabs has turned into a cascade of executive roguery. A list of them is worth some review and reflection:
In June 2012, President Obama circumvented Congress's refusal to pass the DREAM Act by instituting a portion of it on his own. Through executive order, the administration has directed federal officers to no longer deport large swathes of younger illegal immigrants, with an inclusive net that could impact over a million. Conservative sage Charles Krauthammer summed it up pithily: "This is out-and-out lawlessness. You had a clip of the president himself say[ing] months ago, 'I cannot do this on my own because there are laws on the books.' Well, I have news for the president -- the laws remain on the books. They haven't changed."
Earlier this month, the Obama administration quietly stripped away a central component of the 1996 bipartisan welfare reform act -- the lynchpin work requirements -- passed by a Republican Congress and signed into law by President Clinton. The regulations allow states to substitute education programs as "work" for their residents to enjoy welfare benefits. Self-described "neo-liberal" pundit Mickey Kaus reacted to the "surprising (and possibly illegal) attempt to grant waivers of the work requirements" as follows:
A great deal of effort was put into defining what qualified as work, and making sure that work actually meant work and not the various BS activities (including BS training activities) the welfare bureaucracies often preferred to substitute for work[.] ... To the extent the administration's action erodes the actual and perceived toughness of the work requirements, which it does, it sends the opposite and wrong signal.
In effect, the administration is taking the teeth out of the reform. So long as states believe that new methods might achieve employment goals in the long run, the feds can approve the changes, and those not working can enjoy sustained welfare benefits. All this without consulting those charged with actually making law.
The so-called Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one mammoth legislative concession to executive-branch lawmaking. The Act is hardly a law at all, but rather a series of directives and mandates, providing the secretary of HHS (i.e., the Obama administration) immeasurable power in implementing the Act's policy aims. One example from earlier this year is the HHS religious mandate, requiring employers to include abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraception in their employee health insurance. The regulation applies to religious institutions like Catholic hospitals, schools, and charities -- regardless of whether these institutions object to such services on moral grounds. Want to find the portion of the 2,700-page bill that deals with this issue? Good luck. It's not there.
Less publicized examples are numerous. The Wall Street Journal's Kimberly Strassel, in a recent superb column, outlined a laundry list a few weeks ago:
o The president opposes a federal law criminalizing medical marijuana. No problem -- he merely instructed his Justice Department not to prosecute violators.
o He disapproves of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. No need to work with Congress on repealing it -- he merely stopped defending it in court.
o With no love for the federal No Child Left Behind Act, he ordered his Education Department to issue waivers "that are patently inconsistent with the statute."
o Congress falls short of passing cap-and-trade? The administration had the Environmental Protection Agency enforce something similar though unilateral regulations.
o Congress demurred in taking up "net neutrality" internet regulations, so the president's Federal Communications Commission did it instead.
This list could go on.
When presidents past overstepped constitutional or statutory boundaries, the Fourth Estate would lecture on "imperial" presidencies. For President Obama, however, the media's progressive core prompts compliments of bravery and perseverance, while journalistic duty turns a blind eye to procedural lawlessness. One wonders what their reaction would have been had President George W. Bush and his administration acted similarly.
Politically combatting this lawlessness is difficult, as a public debate about procedural malfeasance invariably morphs into disputes of the substantive policy itself. Attempts to highlight procedural strong-arming are blurred by political attacks -- "wars" on women, immigrants, the poor, and the like. It may also be said by political strategists that when one argues about procedure, he has already lost the policy debate.
Political challenges, however, are no excuse for allowing this administration to peel away constitutional checks and balances. A coordinated effort by conservative and Republican (big "R" and small) causes must be brought to bear to inform the voting public on these knavish executive end-runs. John Adam famously warned that our Constitution sought "a government of laws and not of men." Process matters. Our constitutional framework depends on it.
Kyle Stone is a practicing attorney in Chicago, co-chair of Maverick PAC Chicago, and board member for the Chicago Young Republicans. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page reprinted with permission from the American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2012/07/the_amazing_presidential_power-grab.html
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OBAMA LURCHING TOWARD TYRANNY
By Mark J. Fitzgibbons, June 16, 2012
As reported at The
Daily Caller, in one of President Obama's campaign speeches this week
he said that "Republicans are 'in favor of a no-holds barred,
government is the enemy, market is everything approach.'"
This comes from the man who in a speech to Latinos once referred to Republicans as "the enemy."
Constitutional conservatives, who decry big government more than establishment Republicans, consider tyranny as the enemy. Government that increasingly violates the Constitution under Republicans or Democrats is, in measure, increasingly tyrannical.
Obama's government is the biggest violator of law in our history. His very methods of governing, which include bypassing Congress's constitutional authority to make law, actually show contempt for the Constitution and the American rule of law.
By executive orders, Mr. Obama both violates the law against his own American-citizen "enemies," such as Catholic institutions when it comes to abortion and birth control, and grants unlawful privileges for his supporters or potential supporters, such as his immigration amnesty order this week.
HHS Secretary Janet Napolitano called the latter not amnesty but "deferred action," and "an exercise of discretion." Yes, that's the same Secretary Napolitano who put veterans and opponents of abortion and illegal immigration on her terrorist watch list in 2009. Yet they wonder why they're increasingly seen as the enemy?
Congress won't pass the DREAM Act? No problem. Who needs the consent of the governed or their elected representatives?
By the scope and consistency of their lawbreaking, the Obama administration is Public Enemy Number 1.
Government, however, is supposed to protect us against lawbreakers in society. We need government. Conservatives understand that government per se is not the enemy.
There is no need to remind constitutional conservatives about James Madison's quote from Federalist 51: "If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."
Instead of controlling itself, however, government has become the biggest and most pervasive lawbreaker in America.
Nearly everything bad that government does seems to be exponentially worse than the bad done in the private sector. Think JP Morgan's losing $2 billion in private investments is bad? Fox Business uncovered a JP Morgan report disclosing that public pension plans are not under-funded by just $1 trillion, but by $3.9 trillion.
If one's definition of "enemy" is someone trying to do you harm, then of course government is perceived as the enemy. But whose fault is that? Government is harming our liberties and our economy. Is it the fault of those who state the case against government, or is it the fault of lawbreaking government? The further we get away from the Constitution as the law that governs government, the greater the sense that government is the enemy of the people. It need not be that way.
The fact is that government no longer treats the Constitution as law binding it. As a result, government not only violates the Constitution with greater frequency and even more contempt, but government bureaucrats violate the very laws they enforce that are subordinate to the Constitution.
The Environmental Protection Agency, for example, violates the Clean Water Act and other laws the agency is charged with enforcing. It's not just the EPA. In my experience, every government agency I've dealt with has violated laws that they are charged with enforcing.
The backlash by the Tea Party and constitutional conservative movements is not just about lawbreaking by the Obama administration. It's about defeating Republicans who are constitutional lawbreakers, or who through their passivity refuse to enforce the Constitution on government. The Obama administration's contempt for the Constitution highlights what passive and lawbreaking Republicans have wrought. Big-government Republicans were like the gateway drug to Obama.
Those in government who want Americans to stop thinking of the government as their enemy should focus on stopping government's violating the law.
Mark J. Fitzgibbons is co-author with Richard A. Viguerie of The Law That Governs Government: Reclaiming The Constitution From Usurpers And Society's Biggest Lawbreaker
Page reprinted with permission from the American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2012/06/obama_lurching_toward_tyranny.html
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TO SAVE AMERICA, WE
MUST DETHRONE KING OBAMA
By Lloyd Marcus, March 05, 2011
Incredibly, Obama continues to boldly go where no other president has gone before. Apparently, none of the rules apply to him. Without consequence, at will, Obama ignores laws and the Constitution to implement his progressive/socialist agenda.
America's first black president has morphed into America's first king. All hail King Obama, our supreme ruler. Think about this folks, King Obama has put together his royal court of an unprecedented 32 czars who only answer to him. His czars consist of people who have socialist and communist leanings, many simply do not like America. King Obama's czars, without congressional over sight, set new rules and regulations for our lives; boldly ignoring laws and the U.S. Constitution.
Given Obama's unprecedented government overreaches, when we vote him out in 2012, will His Royal Obamaness surrender the Oval Office? Just kidding. Such a concern is a bit over the top. Right? Right?
Meanwhile, displaying an amazing total disregard for the sanctity of freedom, guess who cheers on Obama's every unprecedented lawless "power grab" and dis of the Constitution; the despicable liberal media.
Most of the mainstream media are liberals promoting their progressive/socialist agenda while calling it journalism. A liberal black presidential candidate was their dream come true. Obama's skin color was a gift from the liberal gods; the ultimate political trump card.
The Left exploits Obama's black skin color as their "Weapon of Mass Intimidation"; a coat of armor insulating him from all opposition and reasonable critique.
Any supplicant daring to question or oppose His Royal Obamaness is forced to endure the liberal media's "shock and awe" battery of accusations of racism and violent intentions.
Is it unfair to say Obama governs more like our king rather than our president? You be the judge.
Obamacare was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge. King Obama basically said "screw that! I'm implementing it anyway".
DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) is the law. King Obama said in effect, "I don't like that law and we are not defending its constitutionality."
A federal ruling said King Obama's deep offshore drilling moratorium in Louisiana is illegal and ordered it lifted. Again, King Obama simply ignored the federal ruling.
Federal immigration law is much tougher than Arizona's new Law. The Arizona law says if someone is stopped for a traffic violation or suspected of a crime, they must show proper ID. Well duh! All Americans are required to show ID in such situations. King Obama wants members of a special ethnic group to be protected from such inquiry. Thus, King Obama has declared the Arizona law racist and is suing Arizona for enforcing "federal law". King Obama views illegals as potential future new Democrat voting supplicants.
King Obama wants to force health workers to perform abortions whether they like it or not. The "Conscience Rule" protects health workers who refuse to participate in abortions or other medical procedures that go against their moral and religious beliefs. King Obama is working on rescinding that law.
If we have learned nothing else from the passing of Obamacare against the will of 70% of the American people we learned, legal processes be damned, whatever King Obama wants, King Obama gets.
And, let us not forget that King Obama fired the CEO and took over a private sector auto company. Thus, the birth of King Obama Motors.
And what about King Obama's seige of the banking industry. After accepting TARP money, a bank chairman read the tea leaves of things to come; government running his business and dictating salaries. He requested to pay back the TARP money with interest. King Obama denied the bank chairman's request and threatened "adverse" consequences if he persisted.
The new Black Panther Party is guilty of voter intimidation in Philadelphia. King Obama refuses to press charges against the new Black Panthers; now get this folks, because they are black. His royal enforcer, Attorney General, Eric Holder, who is black, told the House Appropriations subcommittee that the New Black Panther voter intimidation case demeans "my people."
Holder went on to explain that the suffering of African Americans seeking the right to vote in the South in the 60s far surpass the intimidation white voters recently endured in Philadelphia. So much for any pretense of King Obama dispensing equal justice to all Americans. We're talkin' Affirmative Action justice.
King Obama is systematically taking control of every aspect of our lives. Cramming Obamacare down our throats was a huge step toward achieving his goal. Please read, "20 Ways ObamaCare Will Take Away Our Freedoms".
Exempting themselves, liberals are notorious for making rules for us supplicants. Queen Michelle Obama recently feasted on high calorie greasy bar-b-que spareribs while seeking to federally mandate/regulate menus and portion sizes in schools, restaurants and etc.
King Obama is out of control. In 2012, We The People MUST raise up with pitchforks of votes to end King Obama's tyrannous reign. American as we know and love it could be lost. Defeat is not an option.
As Vice Chair of The Campaign to Defeat Obama in 2012, I sincerely covet your support.
We are gathering "One Million People To Defeat Barack Obama 2012". Please join us!
Please sign and encourage your friends to sign this petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/1milliontodefeatbarackobama/
Lloyd Marcus, Proud Unhyphenated American, LloydMarcus.com, Spokesperson & Entertainer of Tea Party Movement & Tea Party Express. The American Tea Party Anthem cd/album. Confessions of a Black Conservative, written by Lloyd Marcus & foreword by Michelle Malkin. President, NAACPC (National Association for the Advancement of Conservative People of ALL Colors), Join Lloyd Marcus Facebook Page, Tea Are The World, "Taking Back America" The Making of Documentary... The MUST SEE Tea Party Historic Conservative Music Event !
Page reprinted with permission from the American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/03/to_save_america_we_must_dethro.html
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THE DOOMED PRESIDENT
By Bruce Walker, February 18, 2011
Pundits muse how Obama can save his presidency. He cannot. Obama, politically, is doomed. Republicans do not have a Reagan waiting in the wings, but that will not matter in 2012. All Republicans are attempting to don the mantle of Reagan, who has thoroughly captured in death what he could not in life, the heart of the Republican Party. This grand and overriding figure, like FDR and Lincoln, will dominate the rhetoric and policies of the Republican Party. Republicans will not commit hara-kiri in 2012.
So why is Obama certain to lose, even against very ordinary Republican nominees? Food, fuel and clothing are rising in price at dramatic rates. Food, especially, is critical. Every shopping cart in every grocery is pushed by an American who finds prices for ordinary things, like bread, milk, and cereal jumping higher and higher. At the checkout counter, the total keeps rising higher and higher. In the last six months, food prices have risen by over 27%. The size of the beef herds in America is at a fifty year low and the impact upon consumers will, inevitably, be sharp. Obama and his Kobe beef-eating friends, invariably rich, do not feel the pinch. All the rest of us do. Government could do a lot to lower food prices, from ending the Ethanol scam to overriding environmentalists who are turning some of the richest farmland on earth in California into a dust bowl.
How expensive will food be in 20 months, when Obama seeks re-election? Fuel costs are rising, and that will push food prices higher no matter what else happens. Retailers who are currently restocking their food supplies will have to recover the higher costs they are paying now by passing that on to the consumer later. Environmental regulators are making policy each day that will have its sting to the consumer months or years later. If Obama acted now, he could slow the rise in food costs, but not before November 2012.
Compounding the picture of Americans who get angrier with Obama each time they go shopping (or, for that matter, eat out at a fast food restaurant) is the fact that rising food costs are already creating turmoil in the rest of the world. A planet full of enraged people rioting for more food and for cheaper food creates a domino series of problems for Obama. Who do the unhappy people of the world blame for their problems? Us, no matter what, only this time these miserable folk will be partly right. Farmers, who along with oilmen are our most productive citizens, feed much of the planet. When the left acts on its fetish with ethanol and imposes environmentally caused droughts in California farmland, it hits our pockets, but in those parts of the world where malnutrition is reality, hunger turns to violence. Obama cannot quell this rage by symbolic gestures. The more he tries to finesse the real hunger of nations with conferences and rhetoric, the more the streets of these nations will turn against him.
The flamboyant traveling of Obama and his wife will also be a counterpoint to the struggling of ordinary people. Once, many Americans indulgently absorbed his costly trips to fancy places as the giddy toys of a newly elected leader who grew up in uncertain conditions. Now each trip will remind Americans that he is feasted while they furtively seek the best prices for basic commodities at discount groceries -- knowing that Obama himself is not pushing a shopping cart anywhere or paying any checkout clerk.
Worse still, Michelle Obama has adopted as her signature program the obesity of our children and healthy diets for all Americans. This will make millions of Americans simmer. The overweight are not the rich of America, who can afford watercress sandwiches, organic arugula and then a deep massage. The poor and the middle class can only afford to buy cheap foods, the foods on which the economically pressed throughout human history have eaten of necessity. What are these foods? The food of poor folk consists of pasta, bread, potatoes and other starchy foods. The last thing that the mothers of poor and middle class America need, while rushing to fix dinner for their family, are lectures from someone who can have, literally, any meal she fancies prepared for her at the taxpayers' expense instructing us on how to be better cooks.
Barack Obama will be a one-term president, a failure along the lines of Jimmy Carter, and for the same general reason. Carter went on television, donned his Cardigan sweater and urged us to lower our expectations for the future: if you are cold, wear warmer clothes in the house; if you need to drive, get a smaller car. We all knew, of course, that Jimmy Carter turned the thermostat up as high as he wanted and that the limousines, which chauffeured him around, were spacious and elegant. These sorts of politicians have much more important things to think about than their constituents and the needs of our daily lives, and they show it.
Bruce Walker is the author of a new book: Poor Lenin's Almanac: Perverse Leftists Proverbs for Modern Life
Page reprinted with permission from the American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/02/the_doomed_president.html
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OPTING OUT ON OBAMA
Tony Gallardo, January 04, 2011
There is something encouraging happening in Obama's America: opting out. Barack Obama was swept into office on the promise that he would "transform America for the 21st century", usher in a new era of prosperity, be careful stewards of taxpayer money, end earmarks, provide transparency so that Americans would know how every dime was spent, make the world love us, lower the sea levels, and ... blah, blah, blah.
Now that he is half way through his four year term, millions of Americans are opting out of this self proclaimed god's Garden of Eden (We are the ones we have been waiting for...).
Congress set the tone, bless their hearts, by opting out of ObamaCare right from the get go. They let it be known that ... "no, no, we are going to keep our healthcare benefits; ObamaCare is for all you little people out there; you doofuses that are too inept and stupid to make your own decisions."
At least fourteen states are suing the federal government over Obamacare; they are opting out.
At last count, HHS has issued 222 waivers to unions and companies who have also opted out. Mandated coverage is so expensive that without waivers they will be forced to go without insurance altogether (If you like your health plan, you will be able to keep it)
And 22 states have joined Arizona in opting out of Obama's weak-kneed approach to border security and immigration enforcement.
Millions of Americans are opting out of Generalissimo Janet Napolitano's TSA groping and fondling ...er...security procedures, and many airports are considering replacing TSA with private security companies.
Even Obama is getting caught up in this movement. Despite making umpteen campaign promises to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, and signing an executive order on his first day in office announcing that it would be closed by the end of 2009, he has decided to ... well...opt out of his own executive order.
Can we all just resolve for 2011 to opt out of the Obama administration for the next two, or heaven forbid, six years?
Page reprinted by permission from the American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/01/opting_out_on_obama.html
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Eileen F. Toplansky, June 29, 2010
Our 44th president did it again. He suckered another group into his spider's web, promised them that they would be immune to any adverse results to their respective interests and then Obama turned on them with a pointed viciousness.
So it happened this time with the Business Roundtable. Though the Business Roundtable executives had agreed to support a pro-tax, pro-regulation Obama program, this did not save them any taxes and only engendered more governmental regulation.
Mr. Seidenberg, chairman of the influential Business Roundtable, was shocked that even though he and his fellow CEOs had worked closely with the Obama administration to push Obamacare, the reward for their capitulation was more regulations and policies that have now created a "hostile environment" for job creation.
They held up their part of the deal but the government punished them with anti-business regulations designed to damage the economy. Now the Roundtable finds itself in the same quagmire as other groups who thought that if they just went along with Obama, they would be spared his scimitar.
Thus, another Faustian deal has been made. This evil regime arrogantly promises various groups that they will benefit as long as they toe the Obama line. Perhaps the American public should reread the legend about Faust ~ how many more groups will Obama trick as they sign a pact with the devil?
Lest one think this is merely an exception to the rule, check out the article "The Lies of Obama" at FrontPage. Dated January 2010 the piece contains twenty-nine lies of Obama up to that time. The continuing lies are making a mound that could be used to plug the BP hole. And because he gets little to no resistance, Obama brazenly continues with these prevarications. A few of the deceptions in January included
In order to pass the first stimulus bill, Obama said Medicare would not be cut. In fact, cuts will be made.
Although Obama promised growth in the private sector, the increase of jobs is in the public sector.
Obama claimed he would limit earmarks but, in fact, there have been larger and more earmarks than ever before.
Obama was adamant that he would appoint no lobbyists to his administration. He appointed more lobbyists than his predecessors.
Obama criticized the size of George Bush's deficit ~ yet he has quadrupled the size of the deficit.
When campaigning, he was critical of bills that were too long for anyone to read and properly analyze; his bills are incredibly longer (2000+ pages) than the ones he originally criticized.
Though he claimed his administration would be transparent, Obama has maintained an unprecedented level of secrecy towards the American public. Requests for Obama to honor the promise of C-Span cameras during the final stages of Obamacare were ignored.
Obama coerced Congress into passing his stimulus bill by promising that unemployment could go no higher than 8%. Unemployment is now at 10% and Vice President Biden recently stated that eight million jobs are irretrievably lost.
But can one really blame Obama? Being deceitful is part of his being. Obviously he will never honor any promises that he makes that do not accrue to his long range desires. But why do people delude themselves and think they will not find themselves on the short end of the stick when they deal with him? Perhaps they should dust off their elementary school reader and study Mary Howitt's poem.
"Will you walk into my parlor?" said the spider to the fly;
"'Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy...
"O no, no," said the little fly, "To ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."
Eileen can be reached at Middlemarch18@gmail.com
Page Reprinted by permission from the American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/06/the_serial_doublecrosser.html
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THE OBAMA PLEDGE
By Thomas Lifson, March 16, 2009
Another polarizing move from Barack Obama. His permanent campaign is organizing a political organization loyal to him, bound by a pledge, outside the government and existing party apparatus. The historical precedents are ominous. Only this time around the Obama organization supplies YouTube videos on how to organize, and social networking software connects them.
Steve Gilbert was among the first to point it out: Anyone who is a student of totalitarian regimes, especially Nazi Germany, should recognize this tactic. Mr. Obama has organized his own cadre of Brown Shirts (or, if you prefer, Red Shirts) to agitate for his agenda.
Mr. Alinsky would be proud. And rightly so. For this is simply the continuation of Mr. Obama's perpetual campaign. A campaign, as we noted at the time, that was modeled on Saul Alinsky's organizing principles.
Notice that by taking the pledge, Obama believers foreclose any discussion of any issues. Barack Obama by definition is always right, once they have pledged personal loyalty.
This is not the way a democracy is supposed to operate.
Page Reprinted by permission from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/03/the_obama_pledge.html
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AND THE ART OF THE CON
By James Lewis, January 05, 2009
What kind of sucker do you have to be to fall for the lovable pretensions of a really high-class hustler? Well, apparently exactly the same kind of sucker who falls for a really high-class Ponzi artist. In fact, you might be the very same person in the flesh, just begging to be relieved of your excess cash. (Or maybe just your rights and freedoms.)
It might also help to be a fatuous liberal of great wealth --- and even greater moral pretensions --- and shazzam! you're shark bait.
Such is the history lesson of 2008.
(Take it to heart, kids, or you'll be sorry some day.)
The similarities between Bernie Madoff -- now famed in song and story as one of the great Ponzi artists of all time -- and our new elite pols are just amazing. The difference is that Bernie is on his way to jail. Maybe he just didn't aim high enough.
But let me not take our new president's name in vain. After all, he will need our sympathy soon enough. That White House job only looks good from the outside.
No, let me just tell you the story of Hillary and Bill, two fantasy characters straight out of Huckleberry Finn. Mark Twain called his pair of con artists ‘the Duke' and ‘the Dauphin,' because that's how they introduced themselves to their marks. Both of them just happened to be European nobility, wandering around by the ole' Mississippi, cause they were down on their luck.
But Mark Twain thought he was telling a long and elaborate joke. His readers were expected to laugh at the punchlines.
Little did he know his own prophetic powers.
Now life imitates comedy.
In the 1990s all the liberals got taken by the Clintons, who invited an endless stream of well-known crooks to the White House, thereby practically putting out a flashing neon billboard sign to advertise their modus operandi. By the time Monica rose to fame, even the most diehard liberals were ready to admit that Yes, They Were Terribly Disappointed With Bill.
(So all the Upper West Side liberals voted for Hillary instead! Can you dig it?)
Having been taken in by the Clintons, time, and time, and wearisome time again, and having finally admitted that they were powerless over their addiction to Faith and Belief in professional liars, what did they learn?
Or maybe they just learned how good it felt while the kick lasted.
Because here comes the next historic opportunity to be taken in by a truly talented team of performance artists, and what do our eager friends on the Left do?
This is not the Best and the Brightest. It's not the cream of the crop in street smarts. This is 52% of the voters suffering from a really nasty repetition compulsion.
So can you actually blame Bernie Madoff for getting itchy palms when faced with this crowd of goo-goos? I mean, it's a challenge for a true artist. His professional ego is on the line. All the money in those Caribbean bank accounts is just icing on the cake. The real question is can you pull it off?
I mean, why do you rob banks? ‘Cause that where the money is, according to that other pro, Willey Sutton.
Why do you promise twelve percent annual compounding returns -- guaranteed -- to billionaire liberals? Even to their professional accountants?
In their free time the same folks respond to real estate ads for Okeefenokee Estates, and invest in Green Perpetual Motion Machines that promise to make millions out of ... nothing. Come to think of it, that's Al Gore's new company right there.
Now all this might be funny enough in a comic novel set in rural Arkansas ‘way back when. But when it comes to electing the Leader of the Free World?
I've got an idea! Let's elect the next national savior from the South Side of Chicago! We know how clean and pure their political habits are!
You gotta be kidding.
Tell me you're kidding.
Page reprinted by permission from The American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/01/bernie_barry_and_the_art_of_th.html
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OBAMA THE FACILITATOR
By Joseph Rosenberger, October 08, 2008
How anyone can seriously consider this exasperatingly unqualified Candidate Obama for President of the United States has confounded me. Until now. Now I get it. And now I know why he scares the wits out of me. The reason is a little nuanced - small but powerful, in the way a tiny rudder can control a supertanker.
Candidate Barack Obama is not an executive, by profession, but a facilitator. And therefore, he is not fit to be Commander-in-Chief.
We must insist our Presidents be executives, not facilitators. The differences between the two are subtle, yet profound. I know of which I speak: I have personally facilitated hundreds of problem solving teams and staff studies toward successful and sometimes less successful objectives in a Fortune 50® company and internationally for over fifteen years. Yet I'm not an executive (not counting the care of my personal reputation) and I know why I should not be one. I'm delightfully confident at the craft of facilitation; satisfied with a humble amount of influence it brings over time, but I am not made of that executive mettle. And neither is Candidate Obama.
A great facilitator is one who influences a group from the outside, not the inside. Facilitators shepherd and guide the process of completing a task, but are never accountable for the work itself; something like a consultant, if you like. They are never personally accountable for work and deliverables produced by those actually accountable, where executives stake their lives every day. This is where Candidate Obama's "It's not about me!" nonsense comes from. Candidate Obama has never held an executive position over anything much grander than a Senate staff (and that only recently), until this campaign. But he is never at a loss for words about process and direction and potential and hope and change and facilitator-speak.
Make no mistake; Candidate Obama is a compelling facilitator. While articulate and sure of which he speaks, he does not speak with an owner's voice, with that executive timbre; he merely pretends at it. Like a good facilitator, he's quick to suggest what might be done, yet he will not direct who shall do what -- unless it is essentially riskless; until the tough decisions have been floated and settled.
This is exactly what a facilitator must do. As soon as the facilitator inserts himself or herself into the give-and-take of the group, the facilitator's objectivity and neutrality is compromised, and his influence collapses. By joining the group, he would create a conflict of interest with the role of objective facilitator.
This is why Candidate Obama will be seen with problem solvers, but never within the struggle itself, as happened in the famous melt-down meeting over the credit crisis bail-out in the Oval Office. There are, essentially, no executives in the Senate, and that may be why so few make good Presidents, and why Governor Palin, an excellent journeyman executive, outshines the three senators on the major party tickets.
A facilitator fails if his or her methods do not show progress. An executive loses everything if promises are not kept, work is not completed, and customers and markets are not satisfied. Hear the echo of this in Candidate McCain, who led a flight squadron in the Navy: "I would rather lose an election than lose a war."
Despite long experience as a governor, President Clinton personified the facilitator. His ability to triangulate an issue by offering his understanding of both sides, while placing himself as a facilitator, above both. He would usually seize command of a problem's story line as a compassionate commentator or pundit. Yet, as a commander-in-chief executive, he was an absolute, unqualified disaster - leaving us a broken military, a footloose Bin Laden, a sexually preyed upon subordinate employee, and a profoundly compromised Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (whose chickens have come home to roost!).
A facilitator talks of how the buck should stop somewhere, and may cajole someone to step up; the executive looks you in the eye and says, as President Truman decisively declared, speaking of himself, personally -- "The buck stops here." Has Candidate Obama ever taken responsibility for the failure of the $150 million dollar Chicago Annenberg Challenge to improve Chicago Schools, and effort he led as Chairman of the Board.
Candidate Obama's behavior is that of classic facilitation, such as voting present hundreds of times in the Illinois state house, instead of yea or nay. An American executive, comfortable in the shoes of personal accountability, would never even think of voting present.
This is why Candidate Obama is so dangerous as an executive in charge of foreign policy; it is just like a facilitator to be willing to talk to this madman Ahmadinejad without preconditions (noting here words matter). A facilitator cannot take sides; an executive is a side -- the embodiment of the side that pursues their objectives without distraction.
This ingratiating, facilitative behavior is exactly what Candidate Obama did in his first debate with Candidate McCain, when he quickly agreed with the his winner-take-all opponent, Candidate McCain, some eight times. The executive, Candidate McCain looked and focused on us -- behind the camera, and gave his opponent no quarter. Because the McCain campaign made a TV ad mocking Obama's repeated statements that he agreed with McCain, the second debate saw no such statements.
One does not facilitate peace with an enemy; one contains the enemy by threatening its survival, by all means necessary, until they stay cooped up, unconditionally surrender or get replaced. One does not facilitate a pointless diplomacy with those who mean to bury us; one chooses the best terrain to fight and destroy them.
If you want executive leadership, look for someone who has experience running things, like mayors, governors, and entrepreneurs. They direct. They demand completed staff work. They surround themselves with people who have a proven record of getting things done. This is precisely why Governor Palin has sparked our excitement -- a true executive voice, adored by her state.
Sadly, Candidate Obama is categorically unqualified by this measure, and Candidate McCain can't make up his mind about it.
Page reprinted with permission from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/10/obama_the_facilitator_1.html at October 22, 2008
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ARCHIVES PROVE OBAMA WAS A
NEW PARTY MEMBER
Thomas Lifson, October 8, 2008
Another piece in the puzzle of Barack Obama has been revealed, greatly strengthening the picture of a man groomed by an older generation of radical leftists for insertion into the American political process, trading on good looks, brains, educational pedigree, and the desire of the vast majority of the voting public to right the historical racial wrongs of the land.
The New Party was a radical left organization, established in 1992, to amalgamate far left groups and push the United States into socialism by forcing the Democratic Party to the left. It was an attempt to regroup the forces on the left in a new strategy to take power, burrowing from within. The party only lasted until 1998, when its strategy of "fusion" failed to withstand a Supreme Court ruling, but the membership, including Barack Obama, continued to move the Democrats leftward with spectacular success.
Erick Erickson, editor of RedState, explained fusion in a Human Events
Fusion is a pretty simple concept. A candidate could run as both a Democrat and a New Party member to signal the candidate was, in fact, a left-leaning candidate, or at least not a center-left DLC type candidate. If the candidate -- let's call him Barack Obama -- received only 500 votes in the Democratic Party against another candidate who received 1000 votes, Obama would clearly not be the nominee. But, if Obama also received 600 votes from the New Party, Obama's New Party votes and Democratic votes would be fused. He would be the Democratic nominee with 1100 votes.
The fusion idea set off a number of third parties, but the New Party was probably the most successful. A March 22, 1998 In These Times article by John Nichols showed just how successful. "After six years, the party has built what is arguably the most sophisticated left-leaning political operation the country has seen since the decline of the Farmer-Labor, Progressive and Non-Partisan League groupings of the early part of the century .... In 1996, it helped Chicago's Danny Davis, a New Party member, win a Democratic congressional primary, thereby assuring his election in the majority-black district .... The threat of losing New Party support, or of the New Party running its own candidates against conservative Democrats, would begin a process of forcing the political process to the left, [Joel] Rogers argued."
Fusion, fortunately for the country, died in 1997. William Rehnquist, writing
for a 6-3 Supreme Court, found the concept was not a protected constitutional
right. It was two years too late to stop Obama.
J. Brown of Politically Drunk on Power has dug up multiple documentary sources (with hyperlinks) proving that Barack Obama was a member of the New Party, despite alleged attempts to cover up his tracks by scrubbing evidence. He or she deserves tremendous praise for doing this detective work.
Obama's career bears many signs of being helped along by the radical left. At
the critical moment when he entered electoral politics, he was part of a
movement to take over an established political party and direct it to the task of
building a socialist America.
Page reprinted with permission from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2008/10/archives_prove_obama_was_a_new.html at October 08, 2008
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CONSERVATIVES FOR OBAMA?
By Thomas Sowell, July 8, 2008
A number of friends of mine have commented on an odd phenomenon that they have observed-- conservative Republicans they know who are saying that they are going to vote for Barack Obama. It seemed at first to be an isolated fluke, perhaps signifying only that my friends know some strange conservatives. But apparently columnist Robert Novak has encountered the same phenomenon and has coined the term "Obamacons" to describe the conservatives for Senator Obama.
Now the San Francisco Chronicle has run a feature article, titled "Some Influential Conservatives Spurn GOP and Endorse Obama." In it they quote various conservatives on why they are ready to take a chance on Barack Obama, rather than on John McCain.
What is going on?
Partly what is going on is that, in recent years, the Congressional Republicans in general-- and Senator John McCain in particular-- have so alienated so many conservatives that some of these conservatives are like a drowning man grasping at a straw.
The straw in this case is Obama's recent "refining" of his position on a number of issues, as he edges toward the center, in order to try to pick up more votes in November's general election.
Understandable as the reactions of some conservatives may be, a straw is a very unreliable flotation device.
If all that was involved was Democrats versus Republicans, the Republicans would deserve the condemnation they are getting, after their years of wild spending and their multiple betrayals of the principles and the people who got them elected. Amnesty for illegal aliens was perhaps the worst betrayal.
But, while the media may treat the elections as being about Democrats and Republicans-- the "horse race" approach-- elections were not set up by the Constitution of the United States in order to enable party politicians to get jobs.
Nor were elections set up in order to enable voters to vent their emotions or indulge their fantasies.
Voting is a right but it is also a duty-- a duty not just to show up on election day, but a duty to give serious thought to the alternatives on the table and what those alternatives mean for the future of the nation.
What is becoming ever more painfully apparent is that too many people this year-- whether conservative, liberals or whatever-- are all too willing to judge Barack Obama on the basis of his election-year rhetoric, rather than on the record of what he has advocated and done during the past two decades.
Many are for him for no more serious reasons than his mouth and his complexion. The man has become a Rorschach test for the feelings and hopes, not only of those on the left, but also for some on the right as well.
Here is a man who has consistently aided and abetted people who have openly expressed their contempt for this country, both in words and in such deeds as planting bombs to advance their left-wing agenda.
Despite the spin that judging Obama by what was said or done by such people would be "guilt by association," he has not just associated with such people. He has in some cases donated some serious money of his own and even more of the taxpayers' money, as both a state senator in Illinois and a member of the Senate of the United States.
Barack Obama is on record as favoring the kinds of justices who make policy, not just carry out laws. No matter how he may "refine" his position on this issue, he voted against the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts, who was easily confirmed by more than three-quarters of the Senators.
Like people on the far left for literally centuries, Barack Obama plays down the dangers to the nation, and calls talk about such dangers "the politics of fear."
Back in the 18th century, Helvetius said, "When I speak I put on a mask. When I act, I am forced to take it off." Too many voters still have not learned that lesson. They need to look at the track record of Obama's actions.
Back in the days of "The Lone Ranger" program, someone would ask, "Who is that masked man?" People need to start asking that question about Barack Obama.
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His Web site is www.tsowell.com.
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