Monday, August 30, 2010

Our Summer of Despair

By Bradley Blakeman

Although the White House has been touting its "summer of recovery," 2010 will actually be known as the "summer of despair."

President Obama's serial vacationing and golfing while Rome is burning will come back to haunt him and fellow Democrats this November and beyond.

His behavior shows a lack of compassion, understanding and leadership. His constant rhetoric that the economy is improving is nonsense. The people know better. It is not.

This administration has ruled out of ideology instead of reality. They have manufactured a "crisis" on health care when we had an honest to goodness crisis on the economy that they have neglected and ignored.

Americans are asking themselves, what good is affordable health care in 2014 when I do not have a job to pay for it in 2010?

The president and his administration have been aloof to the economic problems of the everyday American. They have done what they have wanted to do instead of what the American people needed to be done. They passed 2,000 page bills that no could have possibly have read before voting on them. They have grown government and increased the national debt in record proportions and they made promises that have not been kept.

Remember the stimulus bill? The president promised that if the 1,500 page, $787 billion bill was passed, our national unemployment rate would not exceed 8 percent and that millions of jobs would be created. We now know that by the president's own standard of success, that bill was a complete failure. Unemployment topped 10 percent after the bill was enacted and still hovers around 9.5 percent nationally. Billions of stimulus money remains unspent and Americans are asking themselves, where are the jobs?

The numbers tell the tale. The U.S. Commerce Department is revising second quarter GDP figures from a 2.4% to 1.4% growth or lower. We now know that sales for existing single-family homes have dropped 27% to their lowest levels 11 years. Home foreclosures continue to mount at alarming rates as do personal and business bankruptcies and credit card defaults. Economists like Paul Krugman and Nouriel Roubini from NYU are admitting that the economy is not recovering and that there is a 40% chance America will experience a "double-dip recession."

The Democrats are the party in power. They control it all -- the House, the Senate and the White House. It is their watch. It is their record. It is their fault.

America don't despair, help is on the way. It's called the midterms. And it will be November before we know it.

Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of Politics and Public Policy at Georgetown University.

Monday, August 23, 2010

How Could an American President Be so Anti-American?

By Rusty Weiss

 After an initial grace period in which most Americans were willing to give a new president the benefit of the doubt, what this nation has steadily watched is a man and an administration almost exclusively governing against the will of the people. While the crux of his predecessor’s low approval ratings were in fighting an ‘unpopular war’, President Obama is watching his own approval rating plunge due to an unpopular, well, everything else. His record has been so blatantly in contrast to the will of this nation, that it could very nearly be defined as anti-American.

The latest example of this can be seen in the president’s decision to voice his support for the construction of the Ground Zero mosque. While CNN called his message regarding the mosque ‘incoherent’, Americans understood his initial comments quite clearly – and they’re not taking kindly to hearing their president express support for a project that they overwhelmingly oppose. Nearly 70 percent of Americans object to the mosque being built on hallowed ground. (Yes, the site was actively involved on 9/11 when the landing gear assembly of one of the planes used in the attack crashed through the roof of what was then a Burlington Coat Factory).

Why is there such opposition? Because the people aren’t buying into the administration’s talking points on this matter. What they understand, and what the administration fails to understand, is that this building has nothing to do with religious freedom. Muslims are not being prohibited from practicing their religion. They are simply being asked to display a sense of decency by building the mosque in an area not directly involved in such an emotional event for our nation; away from the site where thousands of lives ended in a declaration of war from radical Islam.

America understands common sense and decency. It appears our president does not.

The Ground Zero mosque certainly hasn’t been the only example of the Obama administration fighting hard to ignore the voice of the people. It is almost as if White House briefings indicate the mood of the country, and the president subsequently instructs his staff to move in the opposite direction.

 Observe…

The most obvious example of this has been the force-feeding of the health care reform bill down the collective throats of a nation. With the vote looming in mid-March, the measure was opposed by likely voters by a wide margin, 54-41 percent. Worse, the respondents who felt the most strongly about the bill were overwhelmingly in opposition. 45 percent strongly opposed, compared to 26 percent who strongly favored the plan.

The U.S. Justice Department’s decision to fight the Arizona immigration law through the courts; a law that 59 percent of U.S. voters would like to see in their very own state. Similar findings demonstrate that prior to last month’s ruling, 56 percent opposed the decision to challenge the legality of the law in the first place.

It is the first victory touted by the Obama administration, it is the topic of his current ‘summer of recovery’ tour, and it was (and remains) a big mistake according to most Americans. Just two weeks prior to signing his $787 billion stimulus bill into law, two separate polls showed citizens beginning to question the wasteful government spending plan. It was opposed 43-37 percent, but that didn’t stop the president and his cohorts from pursuing their economic agenda at the people’s expense. Fortunately for the unemployed, as Obama promised, the unemployment ratestayed below 8 percent and, er … well, never mind.

In response to the oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, Obama issued a ban on deepwater oil drilling, a policy that nearly three quarters of Americans opposed. Because the opposition to this was so massive, the administration apparently viewed it as a policy more-so in need of passage, issuing two moratoriums on deepwater drilling -- a move that fellow Democrat Mary Landrieu claimed could “cost more jobs than the spill itself." Perhaps the ‘summer of recovery’ doesn’t apply to the gulf coast.

Another result of the oil disaster has been the administration’s expressed desire to move forward on the so-called cap-and-trade legislation. The legislation, an attempt to limit the total carbon dioxide emissions allowed to be released into the environment, while also imposing a massive tax burden on the economy, is opposed by 70 percent of Americans.

Let’s not for a moment pretend that officials in the administration are not laying the groundwork for non-legislative blanket amnesty. You need only ask President Bush how Americans feel about the prospect of amnesty. On a side note, if there is any question as to their motives, heed the words of a former member of Obama’s National Latino Advisory Council, Eliseo Medina, who outlined what amnesty could do for the Democrats at the polls:

"We reform the immigration laws; it puts 12 million people on the path to citizenship and eventually voters. If we have eight million new voters who care about, and will be voting, we will be creating a governing coalition for the long term."

Despite what the media would have you believe, it was clear that a majority of the people supported the President in his initial efforts post-election. However, the descent into failure as an American leader has been steep and steady. And it isn’t just recent actions that are contributing to the drop in approval ratings. Lost in the more current list of unpopular moves are some of the early attempts at implementing policies which were equally unpopular. They include…

An early term executive order that gave federal funding to family planning organizations that provide abortions, opposed by 58 percent of Americans.

A subsequently embarrassing mark on the president’s record involving an executive order to close the prison in Guantanamo Bay. The goal was to shut down the prison within one year, and was opposed by a 50-44 percent margin. It remains open, but not due to a lack of effort on the President’s part.

On that same note, the DOJ’s decision to investigate the treatment and possible torture of terrorists during the Bush administration was considered wrong by a 49-36 percent tally.

The announcement that terrorists, including September 11th mastermind, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, would be tried in New York City, was roundly rejected by the American public 51-29 percent. Up until recent developments, this move may have been the hallmark of the anti-American presidency, granting rights afforded our citizens to a terrorist with single-minded designs on destroying those same citizens, speaks volumes.

Whether it was inexperienced decision making early on, or recent ignorance of what the constituency supports, isn’t it about time that the president of the United States started implementing pro-American policies? Isn’t it about time that he listen to the people that elected him?

Then again, that would require abandoning his liberal agenda and start accepting what America is – a predominantly conservative nation.

Rusty Weiss is a political writer for NewsBusters.com. He welcomes feedback at Weiss.Rusty@gmail.com.mailto:rustyweiss@verizon.net.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Qaddafi Cure

By Martin Sieff

Forget about the National Cancer Institute or the Mayo Clinic. Forget even the genuinely fine cancer therapy of Max and Charlotte Gerson. If you get inoperable cancer, buy a one-way ticket to Libya. Muammar al-Qaddafi will cure you.

After all, Qaddafi has just worked his miraculous wonders on Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi, the infamous Lockerbie bomber.

Two hundred seventy people died on that plane. It was cold-blooded mass murder. Al-Megrahi was convicted by due process of a disgusting crime, by a Scottish court of law and sentenced to life imprisonment. However, exactly one year ago today, he was freed by the government of Scotland.

There was a lot of skulduggery behind that story.

Then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, as shifty a pious hypocrite as you ever voted for, was reported to be pulling strings at the time to get Al-Megrahi freed. Al-Megrahi was to be released from prison and flown back to his native Libya on compassionate grounds. Why? Because he was so ill, so sick with prostate cancer that his doctors said he had only 3 months to live.

 At the same time our old friends at British Petroleum, the same folks who have just proven their all-American patriotism by ruining the Gulf of Mexico, were pressuring the government of Scotland to free the slug. Because BP (see I do know it's politically correct to call them BP these days) were desperate to get Qaddafi's okay to do more drilling in Libya.

Well, it turns out that Libya's state-owned, socialist, national health service has pulled off a miracle for Al-Megrahi after all. He's still alive today.

Maybe now, President Obama can use him as an example of how superior socialist state-owned health care can be.

But you can be sure of this. "The One" won't raise a finger to bring Al-Megrahi to justice. What truly Al-Megrahi deserves, is the gas chamber or the electric chair, but, of course in our civilized system of national and international jurisprudence, you can bet Obama won't raise a finger to get him extradited to be tried in an American court, either. Now every lawyer in America will condescendingly tell you that, that kind of legal proceeding is impossible. But the truth of the matter is, anything is possible if you have the moral will to do it. And, of course, Obama and Eric Holder do not.

Maybe, though, the president will just ask us all to give thanks for the miracle cancer cure instead.

Martin Sieff is a former senior foreign correspondent for The Washington Times and the former Managing Editor, International Affairs, for United Press International

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

US Appeals Court Panel: Law Against Faking Receipt of Military Medals is "Unconstitutional"

AP
PASADENA, Calif. – A three-year-old federal law that makes it a crime to falsely claim to have received a medal from the U.S. military is unconstitutional, an appeals court panel in California ruled Tuesday.

The decision involves the case of Xavier Alvarez of Pomona, Calif., a water district board member who said at a public meeting in 2007 that he was a retired Marine who received the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military decoration.


Alvarez was indicted in 2007. He pleaded guilty on condition that he be allowed to appeal on First Amendment grounds. He was sentenced under the Stolen Valor Act to more than 400 hours of community service at a veterans hospital and fined $5,000.

A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with him in a 2-1 decision Tuesday, agreeing that the law was a violation of his free-speech rights. The majority said there's no evidence that such lies harm anybody, and there's no compelling reason for the government to ban such lies.

The dissenting justice insisted that the majority refused to follow clear Supreme Court precedent that false statements of fact are not entitled to First Amendment protection.

The act revised and toughened a law that forbids anyone to wear a military medal that wasn't earned. The measure sailed through Congress in late 2006, receiving unanimous approval in the Senate.

Dozens of people have been arrested under the law at a time when veterans coming home from wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are being embraced as heroes. Many of the cases involve men who simply got caught living a lie without profiting from it. Almost all the impostors have been ordered to perform community service.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles said it was deciding whether to appeal Tuesday's ruling.

Why am I not surprised that the 9th "Circus" Court of Appeals ruled as they did? No evidence that it doesn't harm anyone??? How about the soldiers - living and dead - who gave their all and were awarded these medals? You don't think some scum lying about recieving a medal cheapens their sacrifice or that of their loved ones? How about that it robs from, and harms, the HONOR of this country? For God's sake, they even teach little school children it's wrong to lie, let alone that the Supreme Court ruled that a lie isn't protected under free speech. What a sad day for this country when judges - and I use the term loosely - like this are allowed to make these kind of rulings that fly in the face of not only legal precident but common sense and basic morality. They oughtta be taken outside, tied to a tree and beat soundly with a stick.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

3 Fundamental Questions About the Ground Zero Mosque

By KT McFarland

President Obama has weighed in the Ground Zero Mosque. If you believe in freedom of religion, you’re for the mosque. If you’re against the mosque, you’re obviously against one of America’s founding principles, the right to worship your own God, in your own way.

But that’s not the argument. The Ground Zero mosque controversy is not only about the First amendment or in which direction you face when you pray to God. People can have doubts about the mosque, and even oppose the mosque, and still be ardent supporters of religious freedom.

To some, especially those who lost friends and loves on September 11, the wounds are still so raw that they can’t tolerate anything near the site. They have never recovered the bodies of their children or wives or husbands. They were never able to bury them. The closest thing they had to the remains of their loved ones was the acrid dust that hung over Manhattan for days after September 11. For them, Ground Zero is the only cemetery they will ever have. Putting a shopping center up near there would be a sacrilege. Putting a mosque near there would be an abomination.

But, setting even setting aside objections based on what President Obama calls "emotional reasons," there are practical security reasons to question the wisdom of a mosque at near Ground Zero.

First, might it become a recruitment station for terrorists? In the Jewish and Christian traditions, we build churches and memorials at places where martyrs died, like St. Peter’s in Rome, or where great numbers of people sacrificed their lives for others, like Normandy or Gettysburg.

In the Islamic tradition they build monuments to commemorate their great victories. When Muslims swept through the Middle East and Europe they spared towns where people gave over their churches and temples to be converted into mosques. For them a mosque acknowledges the site of a great victory in the name of Allah.

So while some see a mosque near Ground Zero as a commemoration for innocents who died; others could claim it as the place where Islamic terrorists triumphed. The Ground Zero mosque will have an athletic facilities and youth outreach programs, What guarantees do we have that it will never be used, officially or secretly, as a recruitment station for terrorists; that jihadists won’t lurk in the background of its athletic facilities and youth center recruiting potential suicide bombers?

We know in Great Britain and Germany some mosques are used to recruit suicide bombers. How much more potent would a mosque near Ground Zero be for those bent on jihad against America? Even the head of the terrorist Palestinian group Hamas has come out publicly in favor of the mosque.

Second, where is the money coming from? I’ve known Imam Feisal for years and his rather small mosque in Tribeca shows no evidence of having access to the $100 million dollars needed to build the mosque.

Where the money comes from is important because with it comes a say on what goes on there. If the donors are rich Kuwaitis grateful that America saved their country in the 1990s, that’s one thing. If it comes from the same people who support Al Qaeda or Gaza-bound flotillas, that’s quite another.

Finally, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s goal is an Islamic Center to promote religious harmony among Christians, Muslims and Jews. It’s been a consistent theme of his since I met him shortly after September 11, at a course he taught at my church in Manhattan.

His Cordoba Initiative is named after a Spanish city, which in the 8th century was controlled by Muslims and in which the three religions flourished. If Imam Feisal really wants to promote harmony among religions, why not make it an interfaith center – where Christians and Jews as well as Muslims hold religious services? This would guarantee that the peaceful goals of the Cordoba Initiative prevail long after the current controversy subsides.

Imam Feisal needs to address these concerns. But President Obama should stop painting this as a choice between freedom of religion and close-minded bigotry.


Kathleen Troia "K.T." McFarland is a National Security Analyst. She attended a two semester course in Islam taught by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf at the Center for Religious Inquiry at St Bartholomew’s Church in Manhattan.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Muslims Clocking Out, Set Watches to 'Mecca Time'

MECCA, Saudi Arabia (AFP) – Muslims around the world could be setting their watches to a new time soon when the world's largest clock begins ticking atop a soaring skyscraper in Islam's holiest city of Mecca.


Saudi Arabia hopes the four faces of the new clock, which will loom over Mecca's Grand Mosque from what is expected to be the world's second tallest building, will establish Mecca as an alternate time standard to the Greenwich median.

The clock is targeted to enter service with a three-month trial period in the first week of the holy month of Ramadan on or about August 12, according to the Saudi state news agency SPA.

It boasts four glimmering 46 metre-across (151 feet) faces of high-tech composite tiles, some laced with gold, sitting more than 400 metres (1,320 feet) over the Holy Haram compound.

The tower's height will reach 601 metres (1,983 feet), SPA said. On its website, Premiere Composite, which is responsible for cladding the top section -- including a shimmering spire topped by a golden crescent moon -- puts the planned height at 590 metres (1,947 feet).

That would make it the world's second tallest building -- ahead of Taiwan's 509 metre (1,670 feet) Taipei 101, but well behind the Burj Khalifa, the 828 metre (2,717 feet) skyscraper inaugurated in Dubai in January.

Some 250 "highly qualified Muslim workers" were completing welding work on the clock's frame, SPA said.

Yeah, 250 is the sum total of ALL "highly qualified muslim workers" in the entire middle east. Now if we can just get the clock to run at 1000 times the speed of real time, so they can make up the 2000 year deficit in their evolutionary progress...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

We Need a Vacation From the Obama Family's Foolish Choices

By Bradley Blakeman

Just this past week, while appearing before an audience of automobile workers, President Obama said, again, that our nation continues to suffer through a recession not seen since the Great Depression.

The national unemployment rate still hovers at 9.5%, while our outstanding public debt as of August 7 at 11:30 p.m. is $13,319,405,507,272.33.

That's in trillions by the way.

Just a few months ago, the president, while sitting with local business owners in Florida during a visit to the state, urged Americans to come to the Gulf coast for their summer vacations. He stated how important it was that Americans support their fellow citizens at a time of crisis.

Well. Those words have fallen on deaf ears when you look at the actions of the president and our first lady.

When the president and first lady decided to take their family on their first summer vacation did they visit the Gulf? No. They visited Bar Harbor, Maine in July. I guess the Obamas thought it was better to cruise the pristine waters of Frenchman's Bay than the oil slicked waters in the Gulf.

If that was not insensitive enough, for the family's second summer vacation, First Lady Michelle decided to leave the country all together and trek through the countryside of Spain. The first lady left the president to blow out his own birthday candles and traveled to Spain with one of her daughters and some friends this past week.

It is being reported that Mrs. Obama's "personal visit" to Spain is costing U.S. taxpayers $85,000 a day.

The first lady flew to Spain on board a U.S. Air Force Special Missions 757 presidential aircraft.

In addition to that airplane, I can tell you from personal experience that there is also a back-up aircraft nearby and there must have been U.S. Air Force planes dedicated to transporting the limos and Secret Service vehicles for the first lady and her daughter as well as White House Communications personnel and equipment.

The unseen costs of moving around the first lady are staggering. The number of Secret Service working 3, 8 hour shifts, U.S. embassy personnel, military and White House staff is huge and costly. All these people need to be transported, fed and given per diem stipends for the time they are abroad. Advance teams travel at least week in advance of Mrs. Obama's arrival and stay throughout her stay. Many stay a few days after she departs to break down equipment.

The White House announced this past week that after Mrs. Obama returns from Spain the family in late August would vacation for 10 days on Martha's Vineyard -- a favorite haunt of the rich and famous Democrats like the Clintons. They are also expected to make a brief trip to the Gulf between vacations.

Presidents and their families are certainly entitled to time off and to experience a "family vacation." However, the president and first lady are role models and leaders. They must practice what they preach and lead by example.

At a time of deep recession, when millions of Americans are out of work and cannot find jobs and at a time when we are facing record deficits and economic uncertainty our leaders should not be traveling lavishly and to places that do not match their public statements.

Many American families have been forced to forego vacations this year all together. The fact that they are employed is a blessing. Even those families lucky enough to have work are still victims of the recession. High energy costs coupled with economic uncertainty have forced many to tighten their belts and ride out the storm.

The fact that the president and first lady chose NOT to vacation FIRST and modestly in the Gulf States shows a lack of leadership, judgment, compassion and common sense. By Labor Day weekend, the Obamas will have taken some 6 separate vacations.

It is disgraceful that our president and first lady are so out of touch with the plight of the average American. This "let them eat cake" attitude will come back to haunt them.

The people are going to seek their revenge at the ballot box and heads will roll.

Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of Politics and Public Policy at Georgetown University.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Amnesty Memo

Here is the 'Amnesty Memo' that Obama, and the Whitehouse, has yet to explain.

Click on a page to view a larger image.
































 



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