Huffington on Obama

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Arianna Huffington Arianna Huffington, the Ann Coulter of the far-Left, expresses an enormous amount of dissatisfaction with the way her far-Left wing president does his job in her article this week on her website: “The Huffington Post”.

Huffington’s article, titled: “Barack Obama Is Doing My Job; Why America Needs Him to Do His,” openly wonders why the president is acting so unpresidential when it comes to Wall Street and the banking system, i.e.; he has the authority and power to make things happen but he seems to be satisfied with “urging, advocating, recommending, strongly suggesting, and cajoling.”

She continues:

“During his weekly radio address, which focused on the need to get America’s banks lending to small businesses again (wasn’t that the reason we bailed out the banks in the first place?), the president declared that “it’s time for those banks to fulfill their responsibility to help ensure a wider recovery, a more secure system, and more broadly shared prosperity.” But “it’s time for” is the kind of thing we pundits say: “It’s time for the banks to do this and that… It’s time for Congress to do this and that… It’s time for the president to do this and that.

“Then the president laid out his plan of action: “We’re going to take every appropriate step to encourage them to meet those responsibilities.

“Encourage them? How about make them? Columnists and bloggers encourage. Presidents execute. It’s in the job description. Hence: the executive branch.”

I have to give Ms. Huffington credit — she has her principles and they will not be corrupted by party loyalty.

So what does she want the president to do?

“For starters, the president controls who runs the Fed. Instead of just giving Ben Bernanke the green light for a second term, he could have made it contingent on forcing Bernanke to open up the Fed to full transparency. In fact, there is a proposal for an audit of the Fed in the House now. It is, not surprisingly, being fought by the Fed. And the White House is silent on the subject.

“The president also has the power to make other key appointments, including the head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (who supervises the nation’s commercial banks); the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; the head of the Office of Thrift Supervision (the primary regulator of savings and loans); the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission; and the head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (which oversees derivatives).

Huffington then sharpens her virtual tongue for another attack:

“He also controls who runs the Treasury Department — which, believe it or not, is not legally mandated to be overseen and staffed by former Goldman Sachs executives and their friends. And there is nothing in the Constitution that says the Treasury Secretary has to be in near-constant contact with the heads of Goldman, Citigroup, and JP Morgan, often taking their calls late at night.”

Its fun to read a far-left Lib dissing another far-Left Lib for not being far left enough but hopefully President Obama pays no attention to either Arianna or her “Post.”

Obama does, as Huffington suggests, need to get all the crooks and other rubbish out of the White House and out of his cabinet and needs far more transparency — he hasn’t even begun to keep his campaign promises in those regards –but he does NOT need to exercise more control over any aspect of the private sector.

My suggestions for President Obama are far simpler than Arianna Huffington’s: 1) Do everything you can to get the government out of the way of the free market; 2) Provide whatever incentives you can for growth (not mandates but incentives), and 3) Stand back and watch the economy return to health.

Krauthammer Interview in Der Spiegel

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Charles Krauthammer Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer prizewinning political columnist and Conservative commentator was interviewed by Der Spiegel on a variety of political topics — the interview was published today.

On Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize:

Charles Krauthammer: It is so comical. Absurd. Any prize that goes to Kellogg and Briand, Le Duc Tho and Arafat, and Rigoberta Menchú, and ends up with Obama, tells you all you need to know. For Obama it’s not very good because it reaffirms the stereotypes about him as the empty celebrity.

SPIEGEL: Why does it?

Krauthammer: He is a man of perpetual promise. There used to be a cruel joke that said Brazil is the country of the future, and always will be; Obama is the Brazil of today’s politicians. He has obviously achieved nothing. And in the American context, to be the hero of five Norwegian leftists, is not exactly politically positive.

On Obama and the UN:

SPIEGEL: Do you really believe that Obama deliberately wants to weaken the US?

Krauthammer: The liberal vision of America is that it should be less arrogant, less unilateral, more internationalist. In Obama’s view, America would subsume itself under a fuzzy internationalism in which the international community, which I think is a fiction, governs itself through the UN.

SPIEGEL: A nightmare?

Krauthammer: Worse than that: an absurdity. I can’t even imagine serious people would believe it, but I think Obama does. There is a way America will decline — if we choose first to wreck our economy and then to constrain our freedom of action through subordinating ourselves to international institutions which are 90 percent worthless and 10 percent harmful.

SPIEGEL: And there is not even 1 percent that is constructive?

Krauthammer: No. The UN is worse than disaster. The UN creates conflicts. Look at the disgraceful UN Human Rights Council: It transmits norms which are harmful, anti-liberty, and anti-Semitic among other things. The world would be better off in its absence.

On Obama:

SPIEGEL: And Obama is, in your eyes,

Krauthammer: He’s becoming ordinary. In the course of his presidency, Obama has gone from an almost magical charismatic figure to an ordinary politician. Ordinary. Average. His approval ratings are roughly equal to what the last five presidents’ were at the same time in their first term. Other people have already said he’s done and finished because his health care plans ran into trouble; but I say they’re wrong. He’s going to come back, he will pass something on health care, there’s no question. He will have a blip, be somewhat rehabilitated politically, but he won’t be able to pass anything on climate change. He will not be the great transformer he imagines himself to be. A president like others — with successes and failures.

On Healthcare Reform:

SPIEGEL: How could Obama still win Republican support for healthcare reform?

Krauthammer: He should finally realize that we need to reform our insane malpractice system. The US is spending between $60 and $200 billion a year on protection against lawsuits. I used to be a doctor, I know how much is wasted on defensive medicine. Everybody I practiced with spends hours and enormous amounts of money on wasted tests, diagnostic and procedures — all to avoid lawsuits. The Democrats will not touch it. When Howard Dean was asked why, he said honestly and explicitly that Democrats don’t want to antagonize the trial lawyers who donate huge amounts of money to the Democrats.

SPIEGEL: What would be your solution?

Krauthammer: I would make Americans pay half a percent tax on their health insurance and create a pool to socialize the cost of medical errors. That would save hundreds of billions of dollars that could be used to insure the uninsured. And second, I would abolish the absurd prohibition against buying health insurance in another state — that reduces competition and keeps health insurance rates artificially high.

The preceeding excerpts provided with the hope that you will read the entire article — it is well worth your time.

About Charles Krauthammer:

Krauthammer has spent most of his life in a wheelchair due to a diving accident during his first year at Harvard Medical school but he would not quit; he graduated with the rest of his class in spite of a year of hospitalization. He then went on to specialize in Phychiatry and eventually became a Resident and then a Chief Resident in Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He gave up medicine to enter politics and then journalism.

Rescuing The Children

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Major kudos go to the Federal Agents and members of the Center for Missing and Exploited Children for their major success on Operation Cross Country. In just the past three days, almost 1,600 FBI agents and police officers have arrested 700 people who operated and patronized child sex rings in 36 cities around the country. Fifty-two children were rescued from their situations (the youngest 10 y/o) where they were either forced or otherwise convinced to provide for the sexual needs of the perverts who frequented the houses, buildings and rooms where they were kept virtual prisoners.

Operation Cross Country is part of a larger initiative called the Innocence Lost National Initiative which has been saving kids from child prostitution since 2003. So far Innocence Lost has rescued 900 children from prostitution and has sent 510 of the operators and front-line pimps to jail.

There are estimated to be hundreds of thousands of children still engaged in prostitution here in the United States. Some have been kidnapped and forced into prostitution but the majority of them are runaways who were seduced into the child sex trade by promises of food, shelter, clothes and protection.

According to an article in the UK Guardian:

“Child welfare groups estimate that around 2 million children a year run away from home in the US, and that many of them are lured into prostitution or pornography to survive.

The justice department says there is an “epidemic” of commercial sex activity among children living on the streets. It says more than half of street girls are engaged in prostitution, many of them beginning between 12 and 14 years old.

“Pimp-controlled commercial sexual exploitation of children is linked to escort and massage services, private dancing, drinking and photographic clubs, major sporting and recreational events, major cultural events, conventions, and tourist destinations,” the department says.

“About one-fifth of these children become entangled in nationally organised crime networks and are trafficked nationally. They are transported around the United States by a variety of means: cars, buses, vans, trucks or planes, and are often provided counterfeit identification to use in the event of arrest.”

The U.S Department of Justice confirms this in their Child Prostitution information page; an excerpt:

“The majority of American victims of commercial sexual exploitation tend to be runaway or thrown away youth who live on the streets who become victims of prostitution. These children generally come from homes where they have been abused, or from families that have abandoned them, and often become involved in prostitution as a way to support themselves financially or to get the things they want or need.

Other young people are recruited into prostitution through forced abduction, pressure from parents, or through deceptive agreements between parents and traffickers. Once these children become involved in prostitution they are often forced to travel far from their homes and as a result are isolated from their friends and family. Few children in this situation are able to develop new relationships with peers or adults other than the person who is victimizing them.

Sadly, of the 700 people who were arrested in this latest sweep, only a minority of them will, in the end, be incarcerated. Many of the rescued children will refuse to testify against the men and women who functioned as their handlers because of pressure from their families or because they feel attached to them in a Stockholm Syndrome type of effect. Others will find legal loopholes or lenient judges and will be back out on the street plying their trade in just a short time. Our justice system is, on the whole, fair — even to those who don’t deserve a fair justice system; and it’s even more “fair” to those who can afford the best lawyers.

News Links:

L.A. Times: 52 children rescued in nationwide sex-trafficking raids

UK Guardian: 700 arrests across country as FBI rescues children from sex trade

Also of interest:

The Child Abuse Monument Project

A Growing Republican Rift in New York

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The Candidates

November 3, 2009 is a vitally important day in American politics — its the day the voters in New York’s 23rd Congressional district will decide between three candidates vying to replace Congressman John McHugh who was tagged to become the new Secretary of the Army in the Obama Pentagon. Why is this election so important? Here are the main reasons: It’s the only Congressional race this fall; it will test the strength of the Democratic party’s base in ther midst of Obama’s
declining popularity; and perhaps the most interesting aspect of this race, it features a rebellion against the mainstream Republican Party by Conservative Republicans.

The Democratic candidate is Bill Owens, a lifelong Independent who claims he was so inspired by Barack Obama that he became a Democrat. He has raised more campaign money than either (or possibly both) of his opponents because the Democratic party is fully behind him and all of the traditional Democratic funding sources are in full swing. The district is primarily populated by Moderate voters and, because of that, it’s a good possibility that he may, in the end, win the race.

The Republican Party, considering they were not in Conservative-leaning territory, decided to be pragmatic and throw their support behind Dede Scozzafava, a well-known (in the area) Moderate-to-Liberal Republican. What they didn’t forsee was a severe backlash by the Conservative wing of the Republican Party. Conservative Republicans have felt for some time that the Republican Party has drifted too far to the center . . . that the Republican Party has been hijacked by Moderate Republicans who don’t support Conservative values; then, when the party gave the spot on the ticket to a Moderate with Liberal values such as Dede Scozzafava, the outrage was tangible.

The Conservative Party candidate is Doug Hoffman, a rock-solid Conservative who has, because of the GOP selection of Scozzafava, become a “rock-star” in Conservative circles. Because of Conservative discontent over Scozzafava and over the direction the Republican Party is moving, Doug Hoffman has gained growing support from important Republicans, politicians and non-politicians alike.

According to an article in the Christian Science Monitor (linked below),

“Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, former Senator Rick Santorum, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, current Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann, former Tennessee Senator and presidential candidate Fred Thompson, and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes have all backed Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman over Republican Dede Scozzafava.

“Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a potential presidential candidate in 2012, suggested Friday on ABC News that he’s strongly considering backing Hoffman, as well.”

Conservative Talk Radio has also loudly spoken out in favor of Hoffman over the Republican candidate Scozzafava: Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin and Ingram are just a few of the many radio personalities who are chastizing the Republican party for backing a Liberal over a Conservative and are actively raising campaign funds for Hoffman. Naturally Internet Blogs are speaking out for or against the candidates in this race but Hoffman has gained “troops on the ground” since the rift began: the people who were active at Tea Parties across the nation are volunteering in droves to canvas the district for their favorite candidate: Doug Hoffman.

News Links:

North Country Public Radio: Campaign News

Christian Science Monitor: Republicans Going Rogue in Upstate New York

Blog Posts:

Hot Air: Video: Gingrich answers Hoffman supporter at book signing

Maggie’s Notebook: Doug Hoffman Sarah Palin: Palins Hoffman Endorsement: (video)

You’d think it’s October 2008

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ALT TITLE The title is a line from an article by Steve Huntley in the Oct. 20th Chicago Sun Times titled: “Excuses wearing thin for Obama, media pals”. Here’s the full quote:

“You’d think it’s October 2008, the final month in the Obama presidential candidacy, rather than October 2009, nine months into the Obama presidency. Yet the Obama White House is in full campaign mode — maybe because it needs to mask the shortcomings of the Obama presidency.”

How True! How True!

Huntly goes on to jibe the Obama administration and the “Obama acolytes” at MSNBC and CNN and others who continually prostrate themselves at the feet of their spiritual leader in the White House and continually attack anyone who speaks out against Obama. The cries of racist are continually echoed from the speakers and pages of Obama’s media organizations along with excuses for Obama’s failure to meet his promises.

Not only is the Obama administration still in campaign mode after nine months and not only are they continually pointing fingers of blame at others they are not even focused on the major problem in the United States an economy that is suffering and causing massive unemployment.

How can they ignore that? Or the better question is: Why are they ignoring that while working like they are possessed toward legislation that will further devistate the general economy, create more unemployment, increase home foreclosures, increase bankruptcies and, eventually, grind our economy to a halt?

The answer is frightening but its the only answer I can concieve of: Obama doesn’t care about the economy; all he cares about is government control and he knows that he cannot control a free market so he is determined to destroy the free market.

But what about or country’s economy as it competes in the International marketplace? Our dollar will soon be worthless anywhere except at home and, I’d bet every dollar I own that in Obama’s heart he doesn’t mind that a bit. He’s getting even!

That’s right, the President of the United States is getting even with this country that he regards as greedy and oppressive; and to get even he is going to intentionally and willfully try to destroy the United States by taking away its wealth and power.

OK! I know that sounds completely paranoid but how else can his actions be justified?

Put yourself in the Oval Office. You’ve inherited a screwed up economy. What do you do? Do you focus on things like healthcare and the environment or do you take actions to get businesses back in business and growing again so they have a need for more workers?

The answer should be obvious and if Obama had really intended to fulfill his campaign promises, now, nine months later, our economy would be growing (or at least not shrinking) and the government would be shrinking — not the other way around.

What should he have done? Here’s my list: lowered corporate taxes (or even eliminated them for a period of time); provided other incentives to business to hire more employees; ensured that only American citizens or those here legally are on employment roles; given some money directly to consumers so they themselves can buy products and services to help get businesses back on track; divested the Federal government from any and all but the most essential (for National Security) ventures; cut foreign aid to any country that does not support us and work with us in the United Nations (as a practical matter you don’t enrich your enemies); insisted on a line-item veto and lined out all tag-on legislation that cannot pass on its own; and put healthcare legislation and environmental legislation on the “back burner” until we are in a stable economy and it can be addressed intelligently.

Hardly an all-inclusive list but you get the picture I’m trying to paint; Obama had sone NONE of that and will probably never do any of that until he understands that the American People are fed up with his anti-business, anti-American attitude == and maybe not even then! He is a man possessed!

Annoying Voices on the Right

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ALT TITLE The news media today contains very little straight news; the Wall Street Journal and the Christian Science Monitor are two possible exceptions. If you, dear reader, know of any better sources of straight news, please leave a comment.

Many if not most reporters today seem to take on the role of commentator and/or news analyst; they no longer report — they either quote selectively or supply their own slant to stories. I admit that I do some of that but I’ve never claimed to be a reporter, I just attempt to be an “influencer” and sometimes try to stir up passions through occasionally outrageous rhetoric that reflects my personal, mostly Conservative world view.

Speaking of influencers, Conservative radio talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingram and Mark Levin make me look like the amateur I am; these are professional influencers! Many people (millions) listen to them every day and most of them probably take every word they say as gospel even though its obvious that they often tweak facts and omit other facts to make their arguments more persuasive . . . then again, maybe its not that obvious to the majority of their listeners. The twisted reality is that Conservative leaning people like most of their listeners (and me) will readily overlook their prevarications because in the end their message may be the ‘Right’ one, but it is also, in our opinion, the right one for America.

After all, when your Right, your right! 😉

Aside from twisting facts to suit their needs, these Right-wing radio hosts have other annoying on-air habits. Rush Limbaugh has the largest audience and is without a doubt the most influential radio host today but his constant bragging and his well-fed ego has the effect of making me switch channels. The other three I mentioned have the annoying habit of constantly interrupting or talking over their guests and their callers; especially guests and callers that disagree with them — Laura Ingram however, talks over everyone, even those who share her point-of-view and her voice is so shrill that I don’t last long there either. Sean Hannity will subtly change the subject when a caller makes a point and then will badger the caller about some inconsequential point or insist on a yes or no answer to a leading question until its time for a commercial or a hard break. Mark Levin is simply caustic! Levin may be the most Constitutionally literate of all the radio hosts but he is a short-tempered name caller; “jerk,” “putz,” and “idiot” are his favorites but they are just three of many he uses to describe people who disagree with him.

I can’t say much about Liberal radio hosts because the only Libs on the radio in the Dallas area seem to be on NPR (National Public Radio) and when I tune in I always manage to catch some Brit talking about some rebellion in some Commonwealth. I’m sure however that there are plenty of Left-wing talk shows out there in radio land and I would wager that the avid listeners of Left-wing radio hosts exhibit the same blind spots for non-factual facts and half-truths as we on the Right do. I’m not sure how that works but it seems that when you’re Left you are also right!

It’s an interesting enigma isn’t it? When someone is saying or doing things that support your world view, little things like twisted facts, partial truths, out-of-context quotes and annoying mannerisms are as inconsequential as sunshine in July.

Milestone Moments in Our Age of Stupidity

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ALT TITLE Zachary Christie, A six y/o “A” student at John R. Downes Elementary School in Delaware, brought his favorite Cub Scout camping utensil (a combination knife, fork and spoon) to school to eat lunch with it — he eats all his meals at home with it and saw no problem with taking it to school.

That afternoon, Zachary was suspended from school and, according to the rules of the Christina School District’s zero-tolerance policy toward weapons in school, he faces a mandatory “45-day sentence” in the school district’s alternative school — that’s where all the “bad” kids go.

Ever since Columbine, this is a scenario that has been repeated throughout the country because school districts across the country have adopted a ‘one-strike you’re out’ zero tolerance policy. “The idea was to avoid discriminating against any student and to treat all students the same,” George Evans, the president of the Christina school board, told NBC News.

“Treat all students the same!” That’s the mantra of educators who have given up being educators because they are stuck in a system that refuses to even consider the implications of dealing with each student as an individual.

Throwing Down The Race Card

Here’s a quote from the MSNBC article that explains the school district’s rationale for their zero-tolerance (‘one-strike and your out’) policy:

“Christina, which, according to its Web site, is the largest school district in Delaware with some 17,000 students, adopted made their policy zero-tolerance because of concerns over racial discrimination. Studies have shown in other districts that when school officials are given discretion over such cases, African-American students are disciplined at a disproportionately high rate.”

In plain English what they’re saying is: all teachers are racists that can’t be trusted to control their hatred of blacks long enough to judge disciplinary situations fairly.” Is there anyone out there who really believes that? Isn’t it much more likely that black students really do break the rules more often but the system has once again “folded” when CORE or the NAACP threw down the race card?

I’m not a sociologist or a community activist and I’m certainly not a racist but I have lived long, have gone through Chicago’s mixed-race public school system (way back when people were still treated as individuals) and have seen the best and worst of behaviors from every racial group. Back then they realized that there were good kids, kids who tried to be good but easily got suckered into behaving badly by the bad kids and then there were troublemakers who actively sought out rules to break or, usually, actively sought out smaller, weaker kids to bully or otherwise misuse. The good kids usually got a “pass” when they broke some small rule and the troublemakers got treated appropriately. What happened there and everywhere else was the same thing that happened in Christina; the school districts got tired of fighting the charges of racism and adopted the stupid philosophy that every kid is the same and every kid should be treated as an amorphous “child,” subject to rules and discipline that, logically, should be reserved for the hard-case students.

Welcome to the ‘Age of Stupidity!’ It began in the Federal government and has filtered down through the states, counties and cities to infect even the youngest of us; 6-year-old Zachary Christie is just one of the most recent victims.