Friday, May 29, 2009
There are consequences--good or bad-- to everything. This country and its citizens have been feeling the consequences of last year's presidential election. Presidential appointments to the Supreme Court are for life, so when an appointee makes judgements based not on the Constitution but on empathy and life experiences, the citizens have to deal with yet another consequence of the pathetic presidential choice that the majority voted in last November.
According to Title 28, Chapter I, Part 453 of the United States Code, each Supreme Court Justice takes the following oath:
"I, [NAME], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as [TITLE] under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God."
So now Obama wants to appoint Sonia Sotomayer to the Supreme Court. Critics have pointed to her comments at a conference at Duke University in 2005, in which she seemed to imply that the role of appellate courts is to set policy, and to a 2001 speech published in the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal.
"Justice (Sandra Day) O'Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases," Sotomayor is quoted in the journal as saying. "I am … not so sure that I agree with the statement. … I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life," she said.
The statement is offensive, and it is also highly revealing. Then there's her recent decision in which Judge Sotomayor sided with the city of New Haven, Conn., in denying promotions to one Hispanic and 17 white firefighters who scored highest on promotion exams. They were denied because no African-Americans qualified. Her decision not only showed precious little wisdom but also, more importantly, ignored both civil rights law and constitutional equal protection. In this case, Sotomayor's empathy turned out to be little more than bias toward the outcome she preferred.
We are only four months into the Obama presidency, but the hits just keep on coming.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Camille, the oldest, stood on the piano stool and sang a song for us from The Little Mermaid. She sang it perfectly. What cutie pies!
And now back to our regularly scheduled program.
How many of you believe anything that Nancy Pelosi says?
Is Sonia Sotomayor really the best Obama can come up with for an appointment to the Supreme Court? The good news is that the abortion activists are worried about whether or not she will further their agenda, but there's a lot of bad news to go with this pick.
We're happy that the California Supreme Court upheld the people's voices who voted for one man/one woman marriage. As we've stated before, when the courts of the land overturn the voice of the people, we've lost our Constitution.
Speaking of our Constitution, did you hear about the San Diego pastor and his wife who claim they were interrogated by a San Diego County official, who then threatened them with escalating fines if they continued to hold bible studies in their home?
There are still many who question Obama's citizenship.
Rumor has it that the Chrysler dealerships that are being forced to close have been connected to political contributions to the GOP.
Why is ACORN being allowed to participate as an information gathering entity in the 2010 Census?
What Were They Thinking
Jennifer Rubin of Pajamas Media writes that the Democrats will have to own the failing stimulus package since it hasn't stimulated anything but our contempt. What's frustrating is that the American people knew it would fail, but Washington went ahead and passed the package anyway. We don't mind being able to say "I-told-ya-so" except this one is really, really expensive. http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/democrats-must-face-the-music/
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
As if we don't pay enough taxes, a national sales tax is now being considered to help pay for universal healthcare. Huh? We were told by the president that universal healthcare would save us money, but it now appears that we will have to be taxed to pay for healthcare. Where's the savings? We were also told by candidate Obama that he wouldn't raise taxes on people who earned less than $250,000, but now there is talk of adding a sales tax. Isn't it time for us to stand up to Washington and tell them enough with the lies and double talk? The tea parties we see across the country are doing just that. Here's more information on the national sales tax issue:
Did you notice how the U.N. is really coming down hard on North Korea for creating nuclear weapons? Yeah, neither did we. The liberals argue that U.N. sanctions work and that peace and love with our enemies will turn them into our friends. And then all the wild animals will frolic in the forest together as the rest of the world lay down their weapons to embrace each other in peace. That might make a great Disney movie, but it doesn't work out well in reality where wicked people embrace evil and are willing to destroy anyone who stands in their way. Truthfully, we wouldn't have to worry about our enemies so much if liberal policies in this country didn't put us in more danger.
While on the subject of liberals, John Hawkins wrote another great article entitled 20 Hypocrisies Of Liberalism. He explains that everybody is guilty of being hypocritical sometimes. It’s just part of being human; however, modern liberalism has taken this concept to stunning extremes. The entire liberal belief system, from top to bottom, is a series of logical blind alleys, bottlenecks, and jaw-dropping contradictions.
Friday, May 22, 2009
"When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right." -- Victor Hugo
"Egalitarians create the most dangerous inequality of all -- inequality of power. Allowing politicians to determine what all other human beings will be allowed to earn is one of the most reckless gambles imaginable. Like the income tax, it may start off being applied only to the rich but it will inevitably reach us all." -- Thomas Sowell
"The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry." -- William F. Buckley
"There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster
"Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government." -- Daniel Webster
Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth. -- George Washington
It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it. -- George Washington
The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves. -- George Washington
The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance. -- Cicero, 55 BC Roman author, orator, & politician (106 BC - 43 BC)
"If America is destroyed, it may be by Americans who salute the flag, sing the national anthem, march in patriotic parades, cheer Fourth of July speakers - normally good Americans who fail to comprehend what is required to keep our country strong and free - Americans who have been lulled away into a false security." (April 1968, Ezra Taft Benson)
“I cannot help but think that there is a direct relationship between the present evil trends and the very marked tendency of the people of our country to pass on to the state the responsibility for their own moral and economic welfare. This trend to a welfare state in which people look to and worship government more than their God, is certain to sap the individual ambitions and moral fiber of our youth unless they are warned of the consequences. History is replete with the downfall of nations who, instead of assuming their own responsibility…mistakenly attempted to shift their individual responsibility to the government.” -- David O. McKay
Thursday, May 21, 2009
President Obama, the same president who said he didn't want to run the car companies, is getting closer and closer to running the car companies. It appears that we can look forward to driving cars the size of skateboards in the future. The emissions standards that he is putting in place for the future are going to make larger vehicles unaffordable: http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/45619522.html
Where do they find the time to do it all? You would think that Washington is so busy running the car companies and creating oppressive, useless healthcare that they wouldn't have time to create any other freedom-sucking, power-grabbing legislation. Yet, in another move towards socialism, Democrat Representative Alan Grayson is introducing legislation today that would require everyone to have one week of paid vacation. For the life of us, we cannot figure out how our vacation time is of any concern to the federal government. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0509/22794.html
And, last but certainly not least, we're getting closer to Obamacare. We're just wondering if his family is going to be subjected to the same care that will be imposed on us. Because we can't imagine someone intentionally imposing this plan on people they supposedly love. It's enough to make us sick -- oh, wait, we don't want to get sick. Better stock up on those antioxidants. This article outlines what we can expect from Obamacare: http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MzkwMmM4ZGU2MzljYjQzYTdiNzJhN2QyZTllOTI2M2I=
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
By Charlie Reese
Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?
Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?
You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does.
You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.
You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.
You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.
You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.
One hundred Senators, 435 Congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices, 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.
I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.
I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.
Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.
What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.
The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes.
Who is the speaker of the House? Nancy Pelosi. She is the leader of the majority party. She and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.
It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.
If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.
If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.
If the Army & Marines are in IRAQ , it's because they want them in IRAQ .
If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way. There are no insoluble government problems.
Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.
Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.
They, and they alone, have the power.
They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.
Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.
We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Callie still has great hair. It was extremely humid one morning this past week. Callie put her hair up in a clip or barrettes and it looked great. My hair looked as if someone sat on my head.
Scott belongs to the Simpson Village Building of the Month Club.
Wegman's sells an assorted cheesecake dessert tray, so we hear.
Evidently you can eat ice cream more than once a day.
I am very blessed with a wonderful family whether they live in the same house, around the corner, or on the other side of the country.
Callie thinks it's funny that in a town known for chicken wings, we haven't eaten chicken wings one time since I've been here.
I hate traveling by plane.
I have to travel by plane to get home tomorrow.
I may need a twelve-step program. Callie busted me on a political website last night, so I closed it and went to my room where I pulled up another political website on my cell phone.
I miss my three little grandsons.
I really miss my granddaughter who lives in North Carolina.
Below are pictures of Callie and Scott's dogs.
This is Jessie
And this is Harley
That's all for the travelogue for now.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
I was standing in the same place when I took both of the pictures above. The top picture was taken facing the back of the restaurant and the marina. To take the bottom picture, I turned to my left so I could capture the bottom of the marina as it leads into the Erie Canal.
After lunch and shopping we headed back to Callie's. Callie plugged in her address in her Magellan (we call her Maggie Ellen) and off we went. I thought that maybe now I could drive over bridges and not lose control of my bodily functions. However, when Callie said, with an ashen face, that she thought we would have to cross a bridge if we stayed on the road we were on, and I looked up ahead and sure enough, there was the bridge, we both thought we were going to hurl. The pictures below are of the bridge that loomed ahead.
I thought we were committed to the bridge, but there was an exit off the road we were on before we actually got to the bridge. Callie exited and pulled over to the side of the road. The road and maybe about 100 feet or so of grass was all that was between us and the Niagara River. After we quit dry heaving and got ourselves together, Callie called her husband, Scott, and he gave her directions to get home that would avoid the Grand Island Bridges. Callie explained to me that once you cross that bridge, you have to cross another bridge on the other side of the island. The Niagara River splits around Grand Island and there are bridges on both sides of it. I was really glad that Scott is from the Buffalo area and knows his way around. Edie--I guess I'll have to work on my phobias some more before we take that trip up the East Coast.
Speaking of Scott, he really likes the Simpsons, and his love of the Simpsons is displayed throughout their house.
This is the cake topper from Callie and Scott's wedding.
Simpson computer screen. All of the icons are characters from the Simpsons.
First half of the Simpson village in their family room.
Second half of the Simpson village in their family room.
Clock on the wall in their family room. I bought this for him for his birthday.
Simpson jigsaw puzzle that Scott put together.
And last but not least, Simpson postage stamps.
I have one day left to spend with Callie and Scott. My flight to Las Vegas leaves Monday morning.
Isaiah & Kobe ~ Thanks for taking such good care of my farm. I'll see you Monday.
Friday, May 15, 2009
My sister must be here with me in spirit.
These are just a few more of the quilts that were on display.
There's an awful lot of work and time that goes into these quilts. They are truly works of art.
After the quilt show we went to lunch at a cute little restaurant in Buffalo called Betty's. Good food again and this time it was even healthyish. We then went on to another quilt shop in Kenmore to see if we could find a couple of purse patterns that we saw at the show. No luck--I'll order them online. We didn't take the time to see the antiques--we left Callie's home this morning around 10:00 and didn't get home until 4:30 this afternoon, so it was a long day.
I just heard Callie on the phone ordering chicken finger pizza from Bozanna's for dinner tonight. Mmmmmm. I'll eat a slice for you, Edie.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The front of Murphy Orchards
Inside the first gift shop
In the back of the main house is a building that was probably used to be a barn in earlier days. Inside the barn is another, more rustic gift shop.
Gift shop in the barn
Another view of the gift shop in the barn
We continued through this gift shop to the back of the barn area. This barn was used as a stop on the underground railroad during the slave days. A video was playing on a TV in the corner of this room explaining the history of the underground railroad. Initially, once the slaves made it to New York they were considered free. The southerners who owned the slaves weren't happy about that, so a law was passed that made it a federal offense if you knew there whereabouts of a slave and did not report it. The slaves were then forced to travel all the way to Canada to ensure their freedom and safety.
The cage on the right side of the picture is around the tunnel. It was probably put there to keep me from falling in, which I can't swear that I wouldn't have done, because I leaned over the cage to take the next picture.
Looking down the underground railroad tunnel
Being in that room and experiencing a part of history was amazing. Another treat, however, was meeting the gentleman in the next picture.
Lighthouse on Lake Ontario
Another view of Lake Ontario
We then headed back toward Callie's house and on the way stopped at a couple of quilt shops (yippee!). Edie would have slit her wrists had she been with me, because looking at fabric is not her idea of a good day. Looking at yarn, however, would have made her happy. Then off we went to lunch. Last week, Callie met the owner of a Cajun restaurant. She gave Callie a card for a free appetizer at the restaurant, so that's where we decided to go. The restaurant is called Chester's, and it looked like a hole-in-the-wall, but talk about delicious food!
We only ate half of our lunch, so we could get dessert. We chose the apple pie skillet...Mmmmmm!
That's French vanilla ice cream on top of the pie and whipped cream on the sides. It was drizzled with caramel sauce. The Buffalo area is known for its good food, and so far I haven't been disappointed.
Tomorrow's another day--we'll see where it takes us.
Universal healthcare is coming. In an interview earlier today, Arizona senator, Jon Kyl, stated that the only way Americans will not see reformed healthcare is if they ring the phones off the walls in Washington, D.C. Otherwise, the Democrats are dead-set on passing healthcare reform legislation. Just when you thought the wait at your doctor's office was too long, it looks like it will soon be getting longer.
States are taking a stand against the federal government by using the tenth amendment as their foundation. The tenth amendment states: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Obviously, the feds have way overstepped their bounds. Louisiana is the most recent state to pass legislation declaring their sovereignty. http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2009/05/13/louisiana-senate-unanimously-affirms-10th-amendment/
Here's another article regarding the several states considering sovereignty legislation:
92. Giving the Queen of England an iPod full of his own speeches.
93. Three prime-time briefings in his first 100 days, eating into television revenues and this Wednesday pre-empting "American Idol."
94. "The United States government has no interest in running GM. Your [GM] warranty will be safe. In fact, it will be safer than it's ever been, because starting today, the United States government will stand behind your warranty." -- Obama
95. GM is given $15.4 billion in loans from the government.
96. The Obama Administration is trying to scuttle a lawsuit filed in federal court against Iran by former US embassy hostages. The lawsuit alleges that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was one of the hostage-takers who interrogated the captives.
97. GLENN BECK ON: BAD ECONOMIC PREDICTIONS
"Ten days before his inauguration, the President's chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, Christina Rohmer, released a report describing what to expect economically during the first 100 days and beyond. It presented two starkly different scenarios: one good (if the stimulus were to be passed), and one terrifyingly bad (if we did nothing). Amazingly, the report estimated that if the stimulus package were to pass, the unemployment rate would not go above 8% at any time until at least 2014.
"It's already at 8.5%.
"In fact, while there is an acknowledged level of uncertainty, the projections estimated that the unemployment rate would be lower today if we had done nothing at all. This suggests one of two things: either the administration misjudged the seriousness of our economic problems, or the stimulus plan is actually making things worse. I suspect it's a little of both.
"Remember, when the President's budget was released, he was roundly criticized for his never ending deficits, even under his own optimistic scenarios for growth. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected deficits that were even uglier. But, if the President and his economic planners were this far off, this soon, how much worse does the future look now?
"The election was supposed to bring 'change,' but I was hoping for more than the letter after the President's name, the positivity of the media coverage, and the hypoallergenic qualities of the White House puppy. President Obama didn't get us into this situation, but so far he's doubling down on the same spending philosophy that did. Common sense tells us that new debt is not the cure for old debt. No matter what the slogans say, that won't change in 100 days or 100 years."
-- Glenn Beck is the host of the "Glenn Beck" show, weekdays at 5 p.m. on Fox News.
98. "Education Secretary Arne Duncan has decided not to admit any new students to the D.C. voucher program, which allows low-income children to attend private schools ... For all the talk about putting children first, it's clear that the special interests that have long opposed vouchers are getting their way." -- Washington Post, 4/11
99. Obama enrolled his daughters in a DC private school.
100. "Don't think we're not keeping score, brother." -- Obama to Rep. Peter DeFazio, after the Democratic congressman voted against the stimulus bill.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
SARAH PALIN, GLENN BECK AND OTHERS ON OBAMA'S SHORT, ERROR-PRONE TIME IN OFFICE
81. "More than 90% of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States," Obama said in Mexico, yet factcheck.org says, "The figure represents only the percentage of crime guns that have been submitted by Mexican officials and traced by U.S. officials. We can find no hard data on the total number of guns actually 'recovered in Mexico,' but US and Mexican officials both say that Mexico recovers more guns that it submits for tracing. Therefore, the percentage of guns 'recovered' and traced to US sources necessarily is less than 90%."
82. Obama: "[Jim Owens, the CEO of Caterpillar, Inc.], said that if Congress passes our plan, this company will be able to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off." Jim Owens: "I think realistically no. The truth is we're going to have more layoffs before we start hiring again."
83. "In America, there is a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive." -- Obama in Strasbourg, France
84. Joe Biden: "If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, if we stand up there and we really make the tough decisions, there's still a 30% chance we're going to get it wrong."
85. Joe Biden: "You all worked for change. You wanted to see change. Well, that wasn't a hard thing to try to communicate to the American people. Obviously, obviously, we needed a change almost no matter who was running."
86. Joe Biden: "You know, I'm embarrassed. Do you know the Web site number? I should have it in front of me and I don't. I'm actually embarrassed."
87. "There are more than 6.5 million trucks in the United States. The program Congress terminated allowed 97 Mexican trucks to roam among them. Ninety-seven! Shutting them out not only undermines NAFTA. It caused Mexico to retaliate with tariffs on 90 goods affecting $2.4 billion in U.S. trade coming out of 40 states." -- Charles Krauthammer, 3/20
88. DAVID M. DRUCKER ON: BOWING TO CONGRESS
"Although the president possesses enormous political capital -- both because of high approval ratings and because his administration is still in its infancy -- he has generally declined to exercise it with Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, including when it comes to crafting legislation key to moving his agenda forward.
"Rather he has allowed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) to craft legislation as they see fit -- even though the very bills in question were proposed by the president and involve key planks in his agenda. Among them were Obama's signature $787 billion economic stimulus bill, his first major piece of legislation that was signed into law in February; and now health care reform, currently being negotiated on Capitol Hill with minimal input from the White House.
"This soft-pedal style of leadership runs the risk of forcing Obama to embrace legislation constructed for narrow partisan interests rather than in a manner capable of garnering broad bipartisan support. Over time, the public might come to see Obama's deference to Pelosi and Reid as a weakness of leadership not befitting a president in tough times."
-- David M. Drucker is a staff writer for Roll Call
89. "It has become apparent during this process that this will not work for me as I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census, there are irresolvable conflicts for me." -- Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), who became the second failed Commerce Secretary nominee
90. In the third sentence of his first speech as president, Obama said, "44 Americans have now taken the presidential oath." The correct number is 43, as Grover Cleveland served twice.
Monday, May 11, 2009
I'm not a mom, and my mom has been dead for eight years, so Mother's Day doesn't usually have extra meaning for me. But I must comment on how nice Paul, Ines, and their three sons were to me yesterday morning by making sure that I also had a little gift. So thanks to them.
The men in our ward gave the women the day off. They took charge of Primary and Young Women's while the women all went to Sunday School and Relief Society. I have to say that it was wonderful. I know that we all need to have callings and do our part in the church, but I really miss attending the adult classes. Every thing has a season and right now my season is being a Primary teacher -- which really means that in a 40 minute class time you get to hear yourself repeatedly say things like "please turn your chair around so that it faces the class", "please put that away", "please stop talking", "I'm going to have to separate you two", well, you get the picture. Did I mention that I don't have any kids? All I'm saying is that if you don't have children then the payoff should be that you don't have to be in a situation where you find yourself uttering parent-like statements.
Kudos to Ines for her part in Relief Society yesterday. There are several mother/daughter, and mother-in-law/daughter-in-law situations in our ward. Several of the daughters/daughters-in-law were asked to speak about their mothers. Ines did a wonderful job talking about Sandy.
And kudos to our own mother who spent her life trying to serve others, who loved her children and husband unconditionally, and who taught us that it's better to "be the butt of a joke than not have one at all" (her exact words).
Sandy usually posts the 100 days, 100 mistakes so, hopefully, I will do this right. Here's the next installment:
JOE SCARBOROUGH, GLENN BECK AND OTHERS ON OBAMA'S SHORT, ERROR-PRONE TIME IN OFFICE
72. On Earth Day, Obama took two flights on Air Force One and four on Marine One to get to Iowa, burning more than 9,000 gallons of fuel.
73. "President Obama's plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs for the treatment of troops injured in service has infuriated veterans groups who say the government is morally obligated to pay for service-related medical care." -- Fox News, 3/17
74. "And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it." -- Obama during his first State Of The Union address. A German invented the automobile
75. RALPH PETERS ON: FUMBLING IN AFGHANISTAN, FAKING IT IN PAKISTAN
"We're squandering blood and treasure in Afghanistan. Instead of concentrating fiercely on the vital task of destroying al Qaeda and its friends, the Obama administration's determined to erect a modern nation where no nation exists. Afghanistan isn't a country. It's a dysfunctional reservation inhabited by tribes that hate each other. There's no 'Afghan' identity. And even if our blind-to-reality efforts succeeded perfectly, the result would be meaningless.
"Except as a target range where we can gun down terrorists, Afghanistan doesn't matter. Next door, Pakistan matters immensely. But we don't know what to do about it. With 170 million anti-American Muslims descending into chaos as Pashtuns, Baluchis, Punjabis, Sindhis and others claw each other over the country's shabby remains, Pakistan's corrupt president shrugs, its military cowers, its loathsome intelligence services collude with Islamist extremists, and the safety of its nuclear weapons grows doubtful.
"Pakistan may be this generation's chamber of horrors.
"The Obama administration's response? Drill more wells in the Afghan countryside. Dramatically reinforce our troops in Afghanistan, sticking them with an impossible mission of modernizing a pre-medieval landscape while exposing them at the end of an insecure 1,500-mile supply line through, of all places, Pakistan.
"As for Pakistan itself, the Obama administration wants to send billions of dollars to a thieving government that makes Nigeria's look like a Quaker meeting and to hand Pakistan's military more arms -- weapons that might soon be used against us.
"Pakistan was a bad idea when it was created in 1947. It's a worse one now. Afghanistan wasn't even an idea, just an accident of where other borders ended. We can't 'save' either one -- because neither wants to be saved on our terms.
"Obama said the right things -- that Afghanistan isn't Iraq and that our goal should be the destruction of al Qaeda. But his policies just regurgitate our Iraq strategy (one he opposed) in a profoundly different context, while ambitious generals echo Vietnam-era calls for more forces.
"Our troops will do whatever we ask, to the best of their magnificent abilities. But we should ask them to do things that make sense. We need creative strategic thought, but we're succumbing to sheer inertia. And the president's supporters who howled that we should abandon Iraq to concentrate on their candidate's 'good war' don't seem to be volunteering to do any fighting. Meanwhile, our president's trapped himself inside his own campaign promiseing, Vietnam!"
-- Ralph Peters is the author of "Looking for Trouble: Adventures in a Boken World"
77. "President Obama failed to consult Congress, as promised, before carving out exceptions to the omnibus spending bill he signed into law -- breaking his own signing-statement rules two days after issuing them -- and raised questions among lawmakers and committees who say the president's objections are unclear at best and a power grab at worst." -- Washington Times, 3/24
78. Adolfo Carrion was confirmed as Director of White House Office of Urban Affairs, but is serving under a cloud after allegations that he accepted thousands of dollars in cash from developers whose projects he approved.
79. KYLE SMITH ON: GOING AFTER RUSH LIMBAUGH
"Every so often an unfocused athlete forgets about the field of play and climbs into the stands. Ty Cobb did it. Ron Artest did it. Maybe no one did it with more sick flir than the greasy, furious Hanson Brothers who, in 'Slap Shot,' climbed into the stands to give a beatdown to a fan.
"In March, Barack Obama sent his own personal Hanson Brothers, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and spokesman Robert Gibbs, out to attack a non-politician -- Rush Limbaugh -- who was sitting innocently in the stands jeering the action. Limbaugh didn't even throw a cup of beer.
"Senior White House staffers, who have already fallen into the classic trap of paying more attention to polls than fixing the country's problems, had become obsessed with surveys showing that Limbaugh was an unpopular figure with swing voters. Pretty soon Emanuel and Gibbs developed Limbaugh Tourette's. To paraphrase Joe Biden's witty putdown of Rudy Giuliani, for a few days every sentence they uttered contained three things: a subject, a verb and Rush Limbaugh.
"El Rushbo, chuckling over his cigar as his ratings skyrocketed, could not have been more pleased if a picture had emerged of Obama wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt and burning the American flag on Harvard Square. Even that portion of the public that doesn't like Rush squirmed at the embarrassing spectacle of the president's men going all Mean Girls on an entertainer. George W. Bush's spokesmen maintained a dignified silence about Michael Moore. Picture them fanning out over the Sunday talk shows to denounce, and drive up the box-office receipts of, 'Fahrenheit 9/11.' Wouldn't you have loved that, Michael?"
-- Kyle Smith is a Post columnist
80. Forced banks that didn't want TARP money to take it, then added on stipulations about pay and government control after the fact. Secretly forced Bank of America to buy Merrill Lynch, then allowed the bank to be criticized for overpaying.
Friday, May 8, 2009
"I am writing to inform you of my absolute opposition to any form of a fairness doctrine censoring talk radio. It is becoming more and more obvious that this federal government intends to sneak through that kind of legislation in other ways. It may not be called fairness doctrine, but will probably show up as localism or some kind of FCC monitoring committee. I expect you to protect my right to listen to whatever I choose. The federal government will have stepped way beyond its bounds if any type of legislation or monitoring/censorship committees are enacted.
"It is not the job of the government to decide what's fair for the American people. It's your job to keep us safe and then get out of the way so that we can pursue happiness. Well, I'm not real happy right now with what's going on with my government; probably because Washington keeps getting in the way.
"And I don't want to hear back about how the airwaves are public and congress needs to monitor them. We both know that the airwaves were only made public so that a system would be devised to prevent stations from leeching each others call signs. It was never intended for government abuse of American citizens' rights.
"If censoring of talk radio is pursued, I will assume that it's because we are hearing the truth from them and that you and your colleagues are scared to death of the people finding out what's really happening in Washington.
"It's rather ironic that any liberal in Washington would be interested in a fairness doctrine by any name since Democrats control everything. It would seem that the people make their own decisions regardless of what's coming across the airwaves."
100 DAYS, 100 MISTAKES
Mistakes 61 through 70
62. Not adopting a dog from a shelter.
63. "The GAO study asserts that officials from most of the states surveyed 'expressed concerns regarding the lack of Recovery Act funding provided for accountability and oversight. Due to fiscal constraints, many states reported significant declines in the number of oversight staff -- limiting their ability to ensure proper implementation and management of Recovery Act funds.' " -- ABC News, 4/23
64. "The National Newspaper Publishers Association named Obama 'Newsmaker of the Year.' The president is to receive the award from the federation of black community newspapers in a White House ceremony this afternoon. The Obama White House has closed the press award ceremony to the press." -- Los Angeles Times, 3/20
65. "Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards." -- Attorney General Eric Holder
66. "I didn't want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about, you know, doing any seances." -- Obama, on consulting with only "living" presidents
67. Obama quietly announced that he would not press for new labor and environmental regulations in the North American Free Trade Agreement, going back on a campaign promise.
68. NICOLE GELINAS ON: MISSPENT STIMULUS
"One of Obama's most poignant missed opportunities was in not using the historic $787 million stimulus package to reorder state and local government's spending priorities. As states and cities continue to spend ceaselessly and without results on education and healthcare, they're crowding out investments in the physical infrastructure that the private sector needs to rebuild the economy.
"In the stimulus, of the more than $200 billion that went directly to states and cities, nearly 70% went to education and healthcare spending. Only 24% went to infrastructure spending.
"But the states and cities in the most trouble already spend way too much on education and healthcare, pushing taxes up and sending private industry away. They don't spend nearly enough on infrastructure, which attracts the private sector and builds the real economy.
"As David Walker, former comptroller general of the US, said at the Regional Plan Association's annual meeting a week ago, nationwide, we are the 'highest in the world' on education. We are 'the highest in the world' on healthcare. 'Nobody comes even close.' On infrastructure, by contrast, we are 'below average' in both critical new investments and in much-needed maintenance spending.
"And, as Democratic governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell said at the same conference, when President Dwight Eisenhower left office, infrastructure spending was about 12.5% of non-military domestic spending. Today, it's about 2.5%.
"This shortfall is obvious to anyone who's ridden on an "express train" to the outer boroughs or driven on the Cross Bronx Expressway recently. But in New York, as elsewhere, the stimulus money has just allowed the state to ramp up spending on its wasteful, inhumane Medicaid program and its nosebleed public-school spending.
"Meanwhile, the subways are about to crumble into oblivion -- taking the economy with them. The same is true of decaying infrastructure in California and in aging states across the nation.
"The stimulus was a once-in-a-generation chance to change this. Instead, it made the situation worse." -- Nicole Gelinas is a contributing editor to City Journal
69. "The Justice Department is asking the Supreme Court to overrule Michigan v. Jackson, the 1986 Supreme Court decision that held that if police may not interrogate a defendant after the right to counsel has attached, if the defendant has a lawyer or has requested a lawyer. This isn't the first time the Justice Department, under President Obama, has sought to limit defendants' rights." -- TalkLeft blog
70. "By any measure, my administration has inherited a fiscal disaster." -- Obama
Thursday, May 7, 2009
100 DAYS, 100 MISTAKES
JOE SCARBOROUGH, GLENN BECK AND OTHERS ON OBAMA'S SHORT, ERROR-PRONE TIME IN OFFICE
Mistakes 51 through 60
51. DANA PERINO ON: REMAINING IN CAMPAIGN MODE
"Has it really only been 100 days? In many ways it feels like a lot longer.
"That's partly because the new administration remains in campaign mode most of the time. Now that's not in itself a bad thing if you can do that and accomplish your agenda. But what's happened is that a popular new president has laid out a very bold agenda in the midst of an economic crisis, and I don't think Congress is going to get a lot of work done on those big ticket items this year. They'll eke out a couple of small wins on issues like healthcare and maybe energy, but the Democrats will hail them as big victories. The Republicans have been working like a cohesive and loyal opposition party, and they need to continue to outline positive new ideas like the recent one to help grow American's savings.
"The early stumbles on the administration's high profile nominations -- Daschle and Richardson for just to examples -- acted like weights around their ankles. In addition, the partisan shots from the White House were unbecoming and I don't think we'll see more of that. Our allies and our enemies -- heck, even we ourselves -- are trying to understand the new foreign policy direction, which in some ways seems to be change just for the sake of change. The next moves by the leaders of other countries -- like Iran, North Korea and Venezuela -- probably will prove that really not much will change just because America has a new president.
"In many ways, it's the next 100 days that will tell us more about our new president and what he'll be able to accomplish than we can forecast based on the first 100 days."
-- Dana Perino was White House press secretary in the Bush Administration
52. "We can't afford to make perfect the enemy of the absolutely necessary." -- Obama, describing the stimulus bill
53. Three candidates for ambassador to the Vatican -- including Caroline Kennedy -- were turned down by the Holy See because they supported abortion, according to reports.
54. After saying he wouldn't have lobbyists in his administration, Obama made 17 exceptions in the first two weeks in office.
55. . . . including Tom Daschle, who worked as a top lobbyist yet was going to be appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services -- until his failure to pay income taxes derailed his nomination.
56. For an April 14 speech at Georgetown, the administration asked the university to cover up all signs and symbols -- including the letters "IHS" in gold, a symbol for Jesus.
57. Samantha Power, who resigned from the Obama campaign after calling Hillary Rodham Clinton a "monster," was hired to a position on the National Security Council.
58. "Chicago has yet to recoup the $1.74 million cost of President Obama's victory celebration in Grant Park -- despite a burgeoning $50.5 million budget shortfall that threatens more layoffs and union concessions." -- Chicago Sun-Times, 2/20
59. Firing Rick Wagoner as president of GM.
60. Threatening to fire Vikram Pandit as CEO of Citigroup.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
JOE SCARBOROUGH, GLENN BECK AND OTHERS ON OBAMA'S SHORT, ERROR-PRONE TIME IN OFFICE
Mistakes 41 through 50
41. Obama considers dropping the embargo on Cuba.
42. After warming signs from Raul Castro, Fidel Castro says Obama "misinterpreted" his brother's words, and that Cuba would not be willing to negotiate about human rights.
43. Obama is considering dropping a key demand to Iran, allowing it to keep nuclear facilities open during negotiations.
44. In a letter to Dmitri Medvedev, Obama offered to drop plans for a missile shield in Europe in exchange for Russia's help in resolving the nuclear weapons issue in Iran.
45. Medvedev said he would not "haggle" on Iran and the missile shield.
46. Obama asked Congress for an extra $83.4 billion to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, a special funding measure of the kind he opposed while in the senate. As a candidate, Obama promised to cut the cost of military operations.
47. After trying to woo Europe as the "anti-Bush," Obama made an impassioned plea for more troops in Afghanistan. "Europe should not simply expect the United States to shoulder that burden alone," he said. "This is a joint problem it requires a joint effort." Only the UK offered substantial help, most others refused.
48. "While the online question portion of the White House town hall was open to any member of the public with an Internet connection, the five fully identified questioners called on randomly by the president in the East Room were anything but a diverse lot. They included: a member of the pro-Obama Service Employees International Union, a member of the Democratic National Committee who campaigned for Obama among Hispanics during the primary; a former Democratic candidate for Virginia state delegate who endorsed Obama last fall in an op-ed in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star; and a Virginia businessman who was a donor to Obama's campaign in 2008." -- Washington Post, 3/27
49. Obama bows to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at a G-20 meeting in London.
50. "It wasn't a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he's taller than King Abdullah." -- An Obama aide
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Mistakes 31 through 40
32. . . . or Caroline Atkinson, who withdrew as nominee for Undersecretary of International Affairs in Treasury Department, with a source blaming the long vetting process. Geithner still has a skeleton crew at Treasury, with no one qualified -- or willing -- to take jobs there.
33. "Barack Obama has been embroiled in a cronyism row after reports that he intends to make Louis Susman, one of his biggest fundraisers, the new US ambassador in London. The selection of Mr. Susman, a lawyer and banker from the president's hometown of Chicago, rather than an experienced diplomat, raises new questions about Mr Obama's commitment to the special relationship with Britain." -- Telegraph, 2/22
34. Obama's doom-and-gloom comments and budget bill push the Dow below 7,000, from which it's only recently recovered.
35. "You're sitting here. And you're -- you are laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people going to look at this and say, 'I mean, he's sitting there just making jokes about money--' How do you deal with -- I mean: Explain. Are you punch-drunk?" -- Steve Kroft, "60 Minutes," 3/22
36. "We have begun to modernize 75% of all federal building space, which has the potential to reduce long-term energy costs by billions of dollars on behalf of taxpayers. We are providing grants to states to help weatherize hundreds of thousands of homes, which will save the families that benefit about $350 each year. That's like a $350 tax cut." -- Obama, describing something that doesn't cut taxes.
37. "The Obama administration has directed defense officials to sign a pledge stating they will not share 2010 budget data with individuals outside the federal government." -- Defense News, 2/19
38. Backtracking on a campaign promise he made to black farmers, Obama significantly lowered the amount of money they could claim in a discrimination settlement against the Agricultural Department. "I can't figure out for the life of me why the president wouldn't want to implement a bill that he fought for as a US senator," said John Boyd, head of the National Black Farmers Association.
39. "I've been practicing bowling. I bowled a 129. It was like the Special Olympics or something." -- Obama on "The Tonight Show"
40. Obama lifts travel and remittance restrictions on Cuba.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Is this the change people voted for?
JOE SCARBOROUGH, GLENN BECK AND OTHERS ON OBAMA'S SHORT, ERROR-PRONE TIME IN OFFICE
Mistakes 21 through 30
21. "The Obama administration is signaling to Congress that the president could support taxing some employee health benefits, as several influential lawmakers and many economists favor, to help pay for overhauling the health care system. The proposal is politically problematic for President Obama, however, since it is similar to one he denounced in the presidential campaign as 'the largest middle-class tax increase in history.' " -- New York Times, 3/14
22. JOE SCARBOROUGH ON: PROMOTING FEAR
"During his historic inaugural speech, Barack Obama promised to usher in a transformational age where hope would replace fear, unity would overtake partisanship, and change would sweep aside the status quo. But early in President Obama's first 100 days it is obvious that the only thing that is changing is the Candidate of Change, himself.
"The same politician who proclaimed during his inauguration that 'on this day we have chosen hope over fear' soon warned Americans that the US economy would be forever destroyed if the stimulus bill was voted down.
"Why was it that same man who promised to put Americans' interests ahead of his own political ambitions chose instead to use the suffering of citizens to advance his agenda?
"Maybe he was following the guidance of Rahm Emanuel, who famously said, 'You never want to waste a good crisis.'
"The White House's warnings were so over-the-top that Bill Clinton felt compelled to warn the new president against making such grim pronouncements. Americans would quickly warn that the White House would not channel FDR's eternal optimism but rather embrace the gloomy worldview of Edgar Allen Poe.
"The Candidate of Hope also quickly adopted the Nixonian worldview that Americans voted their fears rather than their hopes. Over Mr. Obama's first 100 days, that cynical calculation paid off politically for a White House that seemed most interested in appeasing the most liberal members of his Democratic Party.
"I expected more from Barack Obama. For the sake of my country, I hope I get it from the new president over the next 100 days." -- Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and author of "The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America's Promise" (Crown Forum), due out June 9.
23. Sanjay Gupta was in discussions to become Surgeon General, but the TV personality withdrew after he was criticized for his flimsy political record.
24. Rasmussen finds 58% of Americans believe the Obama administration's release of CIA memos endangers the national security of the United States.
25. Only 28% think the Obama administration should do any further investigating of how the Bush administration treated terrorism suspects.
26. "Obama thanked CIA employees for their work and said they're invaluable to national security. He explained his decision to release the memos, then told everyone not to feel bad because he was now acknowledging potential mistakes. Theirs, not his. 'That's how we learn,' Obama said, as though soothing a room full of fourth-graders." -- The Oklahoman, 4/23
27. By releasing the torture memos, Obama opened American citizens up to international tribunals. A UN lawyer said the US is obliged to prosecute lawyers who drafted the memos or else violate the Geneva Conventions.
28. In their first meeting, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave Obama a carved ornamental penholder from the timbers of the anti-slavery ship HMS Gannet. Obama gave him 25 DVDs that don't work in Europe.
29. TIM CARNEY ON: PICKING BILL RICHARDSON AS SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
"Richardson's value in Obama's Cabinet had everything to do with appearances. First, he was the Hispanic pick. Second, because Richardson had run against Obama for President, tapping him for the Cabinet helped the media write the Obama-Lincoln comparisons by burnishing the 'Team of Rivals' image.
"But Richardson withdrew before Obama was even inaugurated when news came out about a criminal investigation involving David Rubin, president of a firm named Chambers, Dunhill, Rubin & Co. (although there was no Chambers or Dunhill), who had donated at least $110,000 to Richardson's campaign committees and had also profited from $1.5 million in contracts from the state government.
"This was an early warning sign about Obama's vetting process (various tax problems and the Daschle problem would reveal this as a theme), but picking Richardson to run Commerce also highlighted that Obama and Richardson's promise of 'public-private partnerships' -- such as Detroit bailouts, Wall Street bailouts, and green energy--was an open door for corruption and was at odds with Obama's promise to diminish the influence of lobbyists.
"The Richardson mistake was one of Obama's first, and it was emblematic. Richardson embodied Obama's attention to self-image and the problems inherent in his vision of an intimate business-government connection." -- Tim Carney is a Washington Examiner columnist
30. Timothy Geithner nomination as Secretary of Treasury was almost torpedoed when it was discovered he had failed to pay $34,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes. He also employed an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper. He was confirmed anyway.
Friday, May 1, 2009
12. Hugo Chavez gave him the anti-American screed "The Open Veins of Latin America." Obama didn't remark upon it. At least it wasn't DVDs.
13. Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega went on a 50-minute anti-American rant, calling Obama "president of an empire." Obama didn't leave the room. "I thought it was 50 minutes long. That's what I thought," he said.
14. Executives at AIG get $165 million in bonuses, despite receiving an $173 billion taxpayer bailout.
15. "For months, the Obama administration and members of Congress have known that insurance giant AIG was getting ready to pay huge bonuses while living off government bailouts. It wasn't until the money was flowing and news was trickling out to the public that official Washington rose up in anger and vowed to yank the money back." -- Associated Press, 3/18
16. "After pushing Congress for weeks to hurry up and pass the massive $787 billion stimulus bill, President Obama promptly took off for a three-day holiday getaway." -- New York Post, 2/15
17. MEGHAN CLYNE ON: "I WON" AND THE DEATH OF BIPARTISANSHIP
"Obama soared to victory on the hopeful promise of a new era of bipartisanship. During his inaugural address he even promised an 'end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.'
"Too bad it took all of three days for the promise to ring hollow.
"Start with Obama's big meeting with top congressional leaders on his signature legislation -- the stimulus -- on the Friday after his inauguration. Listening to Republican concerns about overspending was a nice gesture -- until he shut down any hopes of real dialogue by crassly telling Republican leaders: 'I won.' Even the White House's leaking of the comment was a slap at the Republican leadership, who'd expected Obama to adhere to the custom of keeping private meetings with congressional leadership, well, private.
"It's only gone downhill from there. The stimulus included zero Republican recommendations, and failed to get a single House Republican vote.
"It's not just the tactic of using Republicans for bipartisan photo-ops, and then cutting them loose before partisan decisions, that irks Obama's opponents. The new president wasted no time rushing forward with policies and legislation guaranteed to drive Republicans nuts. The first bill he signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act -- a partisan hot-button that drew all of eight Republican supporters in the entire Congress. Then there was the swift reversal of Bush policies on abortion and embryonic-stem-cell research -- issues dear to the Republican base.
"And when Obama and the Democrats in Congress took up SCHIP -- the children's health-insurance bill that Republicans say vastly expands government's role in health care -- they had an easy chance for real bipartisanship. After all, the bill had been hashed out in the previous Congress, and a bipartisan accord was reached before President Bush responded with a veto. Did the Obama team push for the compromise version in the 111th Congress? Nope. They went back to the drawing board, ramming through the Democrats' dream version.
"Of course, the lack of bipartisanship isn't limited to Capitol Hill. Obama has taken gratuitous swipes at the Republicans who recently decamped Washington, blaming President Bush for everything from the economy and the war to the lack of sufficient puppies and rainbows. And who could forget the Rush Limbaugh flap -- in which Obama's top advisers, including chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, orchestrated a public relations campaign meant to undermine the Republican National Committee chairman, Michael Steele, by framing talk-radio personality Limbaugh as the real head of the Republican Party.
"For now, Obama's back-pedal on the bipartisanship promise just makes him look insincere. But the real consequences of the mistake will be felt soon enough. As Presidents Bush and Clinton could tell him, congressional majorities do change -- and at some point, Obama will need Republicans on his side. He'd be smart to spend his second 100 days making up for the serious snubs of his first." -- Meghan Clyne is a DC-based writer.
18. "The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today." -- Department of Homeland Security intelligence report
19. Nixes a "buy American" provision in the stimulus bill.
20. "Yes, Canada is not Mexico, it doesn't have a drug war going on. Nonetheless, to the extent that terrorists have come into our country or suspected or known terrorists have entered our country across a border, it's been across the Canadian border. There are real issues there." -- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The 9/11 hijackers did not come across the Canada border