Thursday, November 18, 2010
by Jonathan V. Last
November 13, 2010
Why has Barack Obama failed so spectacularly? Is he too dogmatically liberal or too pragmatic? Is he a socialist, or an anticolonialist, or a philosopher-president? Or is it possible that Obama’s failures stem from something simpler: vanity. Politicians as a class are particularly susceptible to mirror-gazing. But Obama’s vanity is overwhelming. It defines him, his politics, and his presidency.
It’s revealed in lots of little stories. There was the time he bragged about how one of his campaign volunteers, who had tragically died of breast cancer, “insisted she’s going to be buried in an Obama T-shirt.” There was the Nobel acceptance speech where he conceded, “I do not bring with me today a definitive solution to the problems of war” (the emphasis is mine).
There was the moment during the 2008 campaign when Obama appeared with a seal that was a mash-up of the Great Seal of the United States and his own campaign logo (with its motto Vero Possumus, “Yes we Can” in Latin). Just a few weeks ago, Obama was giving a speech when the actual presidential seal fell from the rostrum. “That’s all right,” he quipped. “All of you know who I am.” Oh yes, Mr. President, we certainly do.
My favorite is this line from page 160 of The Audacity of Hope:
I find comfort in the fact that the longer I’m in politics the less nourishing popularity becomes, that a striving for power and rank and fame seems to betray a poverty of ambition, and that I am answerable mainly to the steady gaze of my own conscience.
So popularity and fame once nourished him, but now his ambition is richer and he’s answerable not, like some presidents, to the Almighty, but to the gaze of his personal conscience. Which is steady. The fact that this sentence appears in the second memoir of a man not yet 50 years old—and who had been in national politics for all of two years—is merely icing.
People have been noticing Obama’s vanity for a long time. In 2008, one of his Harvard Law classmates, the entertainment lawyer Jackie Fuchs, explained what Obama was like during his school days: “One of our classmates once famously noted that you could judge just how pretentious someone’s remarks in class were by how high they ranked on the ‘Obamanometer,’ a term that lasted far longer than our time at law school. Obama didn’t just share in class—he pontificated. He knew better than everyone else in the room, including the teachers. ”
The story of Obama’s writing career is an object lesson in how our president’s view of himself shapes his interactions with the world around him. In 1990, Obama was wrapping up his second year at Harvard Law when the New York Times ran a profile of him on the occasion of his becoming the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review. A book agent in New York named Jane Dystel read the story and called up the young man, asking if he’d be interested in writing a book. Like any 29-year-old, he wasn’t about to turn down money. He promptly accepted a deal with Simon & Schuster’s Poseidon imprint—reportedly in the low six-figures—to write a book about race relations.
Obama missed his deadline. No matter. His agent quickly secured him another contract, this time with Times Books. And a $40,000 advance. Not bad for an unknown author who had already blown one deal, writing about a noncommercial subject.
By this point Obama had left law school, and academia was courting him. The University of Chicago Law School approached him; although they didn’t have any specific needs, they wanted to be in the Barack Obama business. As Douglas Baird, the head of Chicago’s appointments committee, would later explain,
“You look at his background—Harvard Law Review president, magna cum laude, and he’s African American. This is a no-brainer hiring decision at the entry level of any law school in the country.” Chicago invited Obama to come in and teach just about anything he wanted. But Obama wasn’t interested in a professor’s life. Instead, he told them that he was writing a book—about voting rights. The university made him a fellow, giving him an office and a paycheck to keep him going while he worked on this important project.
In case you’re keeping score at home, there was some confusion as to what book young Obama was writing. His publisher thought he was writing about race relations. His employer thought he was writing about voting rights law. But Obama seems to have never seriously considered either subject. Instead, he decided that his subject would be himself. The 32-year-old was writing a memoir.
Obama came clean to the university first. He waited until his fellowship was halfway over—perhaps he was concerned that his employers might not like the bait-and-switch. He needn’t have worried. Baird still hoped that Obama would eventually join the university’s faculty (he had already begun teaching a small classload as a “senior lecturer”). “It was a good deal for us,” Baird explained, “because he was a good teaching prospect and we wanted him around.”
And it all worked out in the end. The book Obama eventually finished was Dreams from My Father. It didn’t do well initially, but nine years later, after his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention made him a star, it sold like gangbusters. Obama got rich. And famous. The book became the springboard for his career in national politics.
Only it didn’t quite work out for everybody. Obama left the University of Chicago, never succumbing to their offers of a permanent position in their hallowed halls. Simon & Schuster, which had taken a chance on an unproven young writer, got burned for a few thousand bucks. And Jane Dystel, who’d plucked him out of the pages of the New York Times and got him the deal to write the book that sped his political rise? As soon as Obama was ready to negotiate the contract for his second book—the big-money payday—he dumped her and replaced her with super-agent Robert Barnett.
We risk reading too much into these vignettes—after all, our president is a mansion with many rooms and it would be foolish to reduce him to pure ego. Yet the vignettes are so numerous. For instance, a few years ago Obama’s high school basketball coach told ABC News how, as a teenager, Obama always badgered him for more playing time, even though he wasn’t the best player on the team—or even as good as he thought he was. Everyone who has ever played team sports has encountered the kid with an inflated sense of self.
That’s common. What’s rare is the kid who feels entitled enough to nag the coach about his minutes. Obama was that kid. His enthusiasm about his abilities and his playing time extended into his political life. In 2004, Obama explained to author David Mendell how he saw his future as a national political figure: “I’m LeBron, baby. I can play on this level. I got some game.” After just a couple of months in the Senate, Obama jumped the Democratic line and started asking voters to make him president.
Yet you don’t have to delve deep into armchair psychology to see how Obama’s vanity has shaped his presidency. In January 2009 he met with congressional leaders to discuss the stimulus package. The meeting was supposed to foster bipartisanship. Senator Jon Kyl questioned the plan’s mixture of spending and tax cuts. Obama’s response to him was, “I won.” A year later Obama held another meeting to foster bipartisanship for his health care reform plan. There was some technical back-and-forth about Republicans not having the chance to properly respond within the constraints of the format because President Obama had done some pontificating, as is his wont. Obama explained, “There was an imbalance on the opening statements because”—here he paused, self-satisfiedly—“I’m the president. And so I made, uh, I don’t count my time in terms of dividing it evenly.”
There are lots of times when you get the sense that Obama views the powers of the presidency as little more than a shadow of his own person. When he journeyed to Copenhagen in October 2009 to pitch Chicago’s bid for the Olympics, his speech to the IOC was about—you guessed it: “Nearly one year ago, on a clear November night,” he told the committee, “people from every corner of the world gathered in the city of Chicago or in front of their televisions to watch the results of . . . ” and away he went.
A short while later he was back in Copenhagen for the climate change summit. When things looked darkest, he personally commandeered the meeting to broker a “deal.” Which turned out to be worthless. In January 2010, Obama met with nervous Democratic congressmen to assure them that he wasn’t driving the party off a cliff. Confronted with worries that 2010 could be a worse off-year election than 1994, Obama explained to the professional politicians, “Well, the big difference here and in ’94 was you’ve got me.”
In the midst of the BP oil spill last summer, Obama explained, “My job right now is just to make sure that everybody in the Gulf understands this is what I wake up to in the morning and this is what I go to bed at night thinking about: the spill.” Read that again: The president thinks that the job of the president is to make certain the citizens correctly understand what’s on the president’s mind.
Obama’s vanity is even more jarring when paraded in the foreign arena. In April, Poland suffered a national tragedy when its president, first lady, and a good portion of the government were killed in a plane crash. Obama decided not to go to the funeral. He played golf instead. Though maybe it’s best that he didn’t make the trip. When he journeyed to Great Britain to meet with the queen he gave her an amazing gift: an iPod loaded with recordings of his speeches and pictures from his inauguration.
On November 9, 2009, Europe celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was kind of a big deal. They may not mention the Cold War in schools much these days, but it pitted the Western liberal order against a totalitarian ideology in a global struggle. In this the United States was the guarantor of liberty and peace for the West; had we faltered, no corner of the world would have been safe from Soviet domination.
President Obama has a somewhat different reading. He explains: “The Cold War reached a conclusion because of the actions of many nations over many years, and because the people of Russia and Eastern Europe stood up and decided that its end would be peaceful.” Pretty magnanimous of the Soviets to let the long twilight struggle end peacefully like that, especially after all we did to provoke them.
So Obama doesn’t know much about the Cold War. Which is probably why he didn’t think the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall was all that important. When the leaders of Europe got together to commemorate it, he decided not to go to that, either. But he did find time to record a video message, which he graciously allowed the Europeans to air during the ceremony.
In his video, Obama ruminated for a few minutes on the grand events of the 20th century, the Cold War itself, and the great lesson we all should take from this historic passing: “Few would have foreseen . . . that a united Germany would be led by a woman from Brandenburg or that their American ally would be led by a man of African descent. But human destiny is what human beings make of it.” The fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Cold War, and the freedom of all humanity—it’s great stuff. Right up there with the election of Barack Obama.
All presidents are hostage to self-confidence. But not since Babe Ruth grabbed a bat and wagged his fat finger at Wrigley’s center-field wall has an American politician called his shot like Barack Obama. He announced his candidacy in Springfield, Illinois, on the steps where Abraham Lincoln gave his “house divided” speech. He mentioned Lincoln continually during the 2008 campaign. After he vanquished John McCain he passed out copies of Team of Rivals, a book about Lincoln’s cabinet, to his senior staff. At his inauguration, he chose to be sworn into office using Lincoln’s Bible. At the inaugural luncheon following the ceremony, he requested that the food—each dish of which was selected as a “tribute” to Lincoln—be served on replicas of Lincoln’s china. At some point in January 2009 you wanted to grab Obama by the lapels and tell him—We get it! You’re the Rail Splitter! If we promise to play along, will you keep the log cabin out of the Rose Garden?
It’s troubling that a fellow whose electoral rationale was that he edited the Harvard Law Review and wrote a couple of memoirs was comparing himself to the man who saved the Union. But it tells you all you need to know about what Obama thinks of his political gifts and why he’s unperturbed about having led his party into political disaster in the midterms. He assumes that he’ll be able to reverse the political tide once he becomes the issue, in the presidential race in 2012. As he said to Harry Reid after the majority leader congratulated him on one particularly fine oration, “I have a gift, Harry.”
But Obama’s faith in his abilities extends beyond mere vote-getting. Buried in a 2008 New Yorker piece by Ryan Lizza about the Obama campaign was this gob-smacking passage:
Obama said that he liked being surrounded by people who expressed strong opinions, but he also said, “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.” After Obama’s first debate with McCain, on September 26th, [campaign political director Patrick] Gaspard sent him an e-mail. “You are more clutch than Michael Jordan,” he wrote. Obama replied, “Just give me the ball.”
In fairness to Obama, maybe he is a better speechwriter than his speechwriters. After all, his speechwriter was a 27-year-old, and the most affecting part of Obama’s big 2008 stump speech was recycled from Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, with whom he shared a campaign strategist. But it’s instructive that Obama thinks he knows “more about policies on any particular issue” than his policy directors. The rate of growth of the mohair subsidy? The replacement schedule for servers at the NORAD command center? The relationship between annual rainfall in northeast Nevada and water prices in Las Vegas?
What Scott Fitzgerald once said about Hollywood is true of the American government: It can be understood only dimly and in flashes; there are no more than a handful of men who have ever been able to keep the entire equation in their heads. Barack Obama had worked in the federal government for all of four years. He was not one of those men. More important, however, is that as president he shouldn’t be the chief wonk, speechwriter, and political director.
David Remnick delivers a number of insights about Obama in his book The Bridge. For instance, Valerie Jarrett—think of her as the president’s Karen Hughes—tells Remnick that Obama is often bored with the world around him. “I think that he has never really been challenged intellectually,” Jarrett says. “So what I sensed in him was not just a restless spirit but somebody with such extraordinary talents that they had to be really taxed in order for him to be happy.” Jarrett concludes, “He’s been bored to death his whole life.”
With one or two possible exceptions, that is. Remnick reports that “Jarrett was quite sure that one of the few things that truly engaged him fully before going to the White House was writing Dreams from My Father.” So the only job Barack Obama ever had that didn’t bore him was writing about Barack Obama. But wait, there’s more.
David Axelrod—he’s Obama’s Karl Rove—told Remnick that “Barack hated being a senator.” Remnick went on:
Washington was a grander stage than Springfield, but the frustrations of being a rookie in a minority party were familiar. Obama could barely conceal his frustration with the torpid pace of the Senate. His aides could sense his frustration and so could his colleagues. “He was so bored being a senator,” one Senate aide said.
Obama’s friend and law firm colleague Judd Miner agreed. “The reality,” Miner told Remnick, “was that during his first two years in the U.S. Senate, I think, he was struggling; it wasn’t nearly as stimulating as he expected.” But even during his long, desolate exile as a senator, Obama was able to find a task that satisfied him. Here’s Remnick again: “The one project that did engage Obama fully was work on The Audacity of Hope. He procrastinated for a long time and then, facing his deadline, wrote nearly a chapter a week.” Your tax dollars at work.
Looking at this American Narcissus, it’s easy to be hammered into a stupor by the accumulated acts of vanity. Oh look, we think to ourselves, there’s our new president accepting his Nobel Peace Prize. There’s the president likening his election to the West’s victory in the Cold War. There’s the commander in chief bragging about his March Madness picks.
Yet it’s important to remember that our presidents aren’t always this way. When he accepted command of the Revolutionary forces, George Washington said,
I feel great distress, from a consciousness that my abilities and military experience may not be equal to the extensive and important Trust. . . . I beg it may be remembered, by every Gentleman in the room, that I, this day, declare with the utmost sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the Command I am honored with.
Accepting the presidency, Washington was even more reticent. Being chosen to be president, he said, “could not but overwhelm with despondence one who, inheriting inferior endowments from nature and unpracticed in the duties of civil administration, ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies.”
In his biography of John Quincy Adams, Robert Remini noted that Adams was not an especially popular fellow. Yet on one of the rare occasions when he was met with adoring fans, “he told crowds that gathered to see and hear him to go home and attend to their private duties.”
And Obama? In light of the present state of his presidency, let’s look back at his most famous oration:
The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. This was the moment—this was the time—when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals.
The speech was given on June 3, 2008, and the epoch-making historical event to which “this moment” refers throughout is Barack Obama’s victory over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries.
A senior writer at The Weekly Standard, Jonathan V. Last covered the Obama campaign in 2008.
Posted by Lady Patriot at 7:34 AM
Sunday, November 14, 2010
November 14, 2010
Every single great idea that has marked the 21st century, the 20th century, and the 19th century has required government vision and government incentive.
--Joe Biden, Oct. 26 WASHINGTON General Motors, an appendage of the government, which owns 61 percent of it, is spending some of your money, dear reader, on full-page newspaper ads praising a government brainstorm -- the Volt, Chevrolet's highly anticipated and prematurely celebrated (sort of) electric car. Although the situation is murky -- GM and its government masters probably prefer it that way -- it is unclear in what sense GM has any money that is truly its own. And the Volt is not quite an electric car, or not the sort GM deliberately misled Americans into expecting.
It is another hybrid. GM said the Volt would be an "all electrically driven vehicle" whose gas engine would be a mere range-extender, powering the Volt's generator, not its wheels: The engine just would maintain the charge as the battery ran down. Now GM says that at some point when the battery's charge declines, or when the car is moving near 70 mph, the gas engine will power the wheels.
The newspaper ads proclaim, "Chevrolet Runs Deep." Whatever that means, if anything, it does not mean the Volt runs deep into a commute or the countryside just on electricity. At the bottom of the ads, there is this, in microscopic print: "Volt available in CA, TX, MI, NY, NJ, CT and Washington, DC, at the end of 2010. Quantities limited." Well.
Quantities of everything -- except perhaps God's mercy, which is said to be infinite -- are limited. But quantities of the Volt are going to be so limited that 44 states can only pine for Volts from afar. Good, because the federal government, which evidently is feeling flush, will give tax credits of up to $7,500 to every Volt purchaser. The Volt was conceived to appease the automotive engineers in Congress, which knows that people will have to be bribed, with other people's money, to buy this $41,000 car that seats only four people (the 435-pound battery eats up space).
Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, said in a letter to The Wall Street Journal: "The early enthusiastic consumer response -- more than 120,000 potential Volt customers have already signaled interest in the car, and orders have flowed since the summer -- give us confidence that the Volt will succeed on its merits." Disregard the slipperiness ("signaled interest" how?) and telltale reticence (how many orders have "flowed"?). But "on its merits"? Why, then, the tax credits and other subsidies?
The Automotive-Engineer-in-Chief -- our polymathic president -- says there will be a million plug-in cars in America by 2015. This will require much higher gasoline prices (perhaps $9 a gallon) and much bigger bribes: GM, which originally was expected to produce as many as 60,000 next year, now says 10,000 for all of North America.
GM says that, battery powered, the Volt has a 40-mile range. Popular Mechanics says 33. Thomas R. Kuhn, president of the Edison Electric Institute, the trade association of the electric utility industry, is, understandably, a Volt enthusiast: This supposedly "green" vehicle will store electric energy -- 10 to 12 hours of charging on household current -- produced by coal and gas-fired power plants.
The federal government, although waist-deep in red ink, offers another bribe: Any purchaser can get a tax credit of up to 50 percent of the cost (up to $2,000) of an extra-powerful (240 volt) charger. California, although so strapped it recently issued IOUs to vendors, offers a $5,000 cash rebate for which Volt buyers are not eligible but purchasers of Nissan's electric Leaf are. Go figure.
In April, in a television commercial and a Wall Street Journal column headlined "The GM Bailout: Paid Back in Full," GM's then-CEO Ed Whitacre said, "we have repaid our government loan, in full, with interest, five years ahead of the original schedule." Rubbish.
GM, which has received almost $50 billion in government subventions, repaid a $6.7 billion loan using other federal funds, a TARP-funded escrow account. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, called this a "TARP money shuffle." A commentator compared it to "paying off your Visa credit card with your MasterCard."
Meretricious accounting and deceptive marketing are inevitable when government and its misnamed "private sector" accomplices foist state capitalism on an appalled country. But those who thought the ethanol debacle defined outer limits of government foolishness pertaining to automobiles were, alas, mistaken.
Contact George Will at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Lady Patriot at 7:32 AM
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
De Facto Shariah Law in America
Click Here for Article
By Janet Levy
November 9, 2010
Is the United States today a de facto shariah state? A close look at recent events points to some alarming conclusions about the tenets of shariah law taking hold in our once-proud constitutional republic and the unwitting, unequal application of existing U.S. laws. The result is that when it comes to religious expression, Muslims now enjoy more freedom of religion and speech under our Bill of Rights than non-Muslims. Equal protection under the laws of our country holds for Muslims far better than for non-Muslims. Several recent examples illustrate this point.
In October, students at a Chattanooga, Tennessee high school were told that their longtime tradition of praying at practice and before games would no longer be allowed. The school superintendent had called an end to prayer at all school functions following a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
In July, students visiting the Supreme Court from an Arizona Christian school were stopped by police as they bowed their heads and quietly prayed for the justices. The students were standing outside the court building to the side at the bottom of the building steps. They weren't blocking traffic, but an officer abruptly approached them and ordered them to stop praying immediately.
Four Christians were arrested in June for disorderly conduct at the Dearborn Arab International Festival after handing out copies of the Gospel of John. The four had stationed themselves five blocks from the festival and did not actively approach anyone, but instead waited for others to approach them. Still, police officers confiscated their video cameras and led the four Christians away in handcuffs to shouts of "Allah hu Akbar" from Muslim bystanders.
In June of 2006, an instrumental rendition of "Ave Maria" was banned at the Henry Jackson High School graduation in Everett, Washington. Despite Justice Samuel Alito's protests, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider whether the case was an example of censorship of student speech.
In direct contrast to the above incidents, which limit Christian prayer and expression, numerous examples exist of special accommodations for Muslim activities and religious practices. These indicate an adherence to a separate and distinct policy for Muslims that mirrors the supremacist requirements of shariah law.
In the State of California, 7th-grade students at Excelsior Middle School in Discovery Bay, California adopted Muslim names, prayed on prayer rugs, and celebrated Ramadan under a state-mandated curriculum that requires instruction about various religions. In 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court again declined to hear legal challenges by concerned Excelsior parents, who complained that the instruction was actually religious indoctrination and that Christianity and Judaism were not given equal time and exposure. The curriculum has been upheld as appropriate multicultural material.
After Carver Elementary School in San Diego absorbed Muslim students from a defunct charter school in September 2006, a special recess was provided for the students to pray, classes were segregated by gender, and pork was removed from the school menu. A teacher's aide at the school led children in prayer and was provided with a lesson plan allotting an hour of class time for Islamic prayer. In essence, Muslim students alone were privileged with public school time to practice their religion at an additional cost of $450,000 in public funds and a loss of instruction time. (Note: Looked this up also and revised it a bit as well.)
In May, students at a Wellesley, Massachusetts middle school visited a local radical mosque and participated in a prayer session. Parents, who gave signed permission for students to visit the mosque, were not informed in advance that students would also be bowing to Allah and listening to lectures on Islam. Surprisingly, teachers did nothing to intervene as students participated and a mosque spokesperson denigrated Western civilization while glorifying and misrepresenting Islam, even falsely referring to the greater rights of women under Islam. Astonishingly, this occurred in a state that has prohibited the sale of Christmas items, including red and green tissue paper, at a school store and forced firefighters to remove a "Merry Christmas" sign from their station.
Over the last few years, the University of Michigan, a taxpayer-funded school, has provided separate prayer rooms and ritual foot baths, requiring bathroom modifications costing over $100,000, for Muslim observances.
At Minneapolis Community and Technical College, where religious displays, including those for Christmas, have been strictly prohibited, foot-washing facilities are being installed using taxpayer dollars after one student slipped and injured herself washing her feet in a sink. Director of Legal Affairs and President Phil Davis justified the disparate treatment of Muslims, explaining, "The foot-washing facilities are not about religion; they are about public safety."
Muslims periodically block the streets of New York City, prostrating themselves in the middle of roadways and sidewalks undisturbed by police and other authorities. The resulting traffic jams are ignored, the double- and illegally parked vehicles are free of citations, and law enforcement officers are nowhere to be seen. Surely, practitioners of other religions or groups planning similar gatherings would be required to obtain permits for such an activity. Reportedly, the police have been ordered not to interfere with the Muslim prayer spectacle.
These special accommodations for Muslims effectively elevate the Islamic faith above that of Christians and Jews, reinforcing the message of the Koran -- "Allah proclaims Islam over all other religions" (48:28), "Islam will dominate other religions" (9:33), and "Islam does not coexist with other faiths" (5:51). Muslims are required by the teachings of their faith to conquer and subjugate non-Muslims and Ensure worldwide submission to Islam -- "The believers must make war on infidels around them and let the infidels find firmness in them" (9:123).
Under Islamic shariah law, Christians may not even speak to Muslims about Christianity nor provide them with any literature about Christianity. With the recent arrests of Christians in Dearborn juxtaposed with prostrate Muslim worshipers in Manhattan (where a mosque is planned at Ground Zero at the same location where a church will not be rebuilt), it appears that the principles of Islamic supremacy and prohibitions against Christian proselytizing have begun to gain traction in America.
Meanwhile, Christianity in America is withering as Bible study is eradicated in public schools, crosses are removed from the public square, and "winter holidays" replace Christmas celebrations. Remarkably, as Christianity is being dethroned and denied public expression, Islam is being unabashedly and openly promoted in what has been a Christian country for over two hundred years. It is truly remarkable that as American students chant prayers in Arabic in California's classrooms, Christmas music and graphics that refer to both Christmas and Chanukah are prohibited in New Jersey.
Censure of Non-Muslims
Further, the First Amendment, free-speech rights of non-Muslims are being curtailed amidst the demands of Muslims who operate under few constraints. While non-Muslims are self-censoring out of fear and being shut down by authorities, Muslims enjoy almost unfettered rights to speak out.
For example, leading up to the 9th anniversary of the Muslim attack on 9/11, Pastor Terry Jones of Florida announced that he would burn the Koran in protest of the proposed Ground Zero mosque. Not only was Jones's life threatened by Muslims, but an Obama administration official asked him to cancel his plans. New York Governor David A. Paterson commented in response to Jones' threat: "More and more, particularly this year, I feel that the memory of those who were lost is being disrespected." However, Paterson did not criticize the Muslim threat on Jones' life, nor the plan itself to build a mosque over the remains of the victims of Islamic terrorism killed on 9/11.
While Pastor Jones was punished by the loss of his mortgage and insurance and was presented with a bill for $180,000 for security by the City of Gainesville, Muslims avoided any public opprobrium even though twenty innocent people around the world died during Muslim protests against Jones. Like the response to the Danish Mohammed cartoons years earlier, the Koran-burning activity was suppressed and censured as disrespectful to Muslims. It was even compared to the burning of churches and synagogues. Yet Muslims who threatened violent reprisals against Jones were not warned that attempts to curtail First Amendment rights and even mayhem, assaults, or murder would not be tolerated and would be punished to the full extent of the law.
In another instance of free speech rights violations, when New Jersey Transit Authority (NJTA) worker Derek Fenton burned a Koran near Ground Zero on 9-11, he was promptly removed by authorities as much for the perceived insult to Islam as for his own safety. The very next day, he was fired from his job of eleven years.
In October, NPR reporter,Juan Williams was fired for expressing on Fox News a fear shared by the majority of Americans in a post-9/11 world -- his discomfort about being on a plane with people who dress as conservative Muslims. Thanks to pressure from CAIR, a Hamas-supporting, extremist-linked organization, Williams was punished for this thoughtcrime and, without first talking to Williams, an NPR spokesperson broke the news on Twitter. Ironically, CAIR spokespersons are regular guests on NPR programs.
Cartoonist Molly Norris was forced to disappear after declaring April 20 "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day." Norris ignited a religious firestorm with radical Islamic cleric Imam Anwar al-Awlaki publicly ordering her execution. Under FBI recommendations and at her own expense, Norris went underground, changing her name and identity. She is no longer publishing cartoons at the publication where she has been a regular contributor.
Freedom of Speech for Muslims
Whereas Norris was forced to enter a witness-protection program in response to a fatwa against her, Islamic leaders enjoy unlimited freedom to spread their messages of hate within the United States. Some even receive protection at taxpayer expense, as did Feisal Abdul Rauf, an Egyptian-American Sufi imam who plans to build a mosque at Ground Zero. Rauf is closely associated with the Muslim Brotherhood and Muslim Brotherhood organizations, endeavors to supplant U.S. law with shariah, and refuses to condemn jihadist groups and terrorism. In addition, he refused to sign a pledge revoking the mandatory death sentence for Muslim apostasy, has encouraged U.S. government officials to negotiate with the terrorist group Hamas, and blames the United States for 9/11. Imam Rauf, who created the Shariah Index Project, which rates countries around the world on shariah compliance, has said that he believes in shariah supremacy.
Tariq Ramadan, a highly controversial leader in the fundamentalist Muslim world and the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan Al-Banna, visited the United States in April. As a keynote speaker at the Hamas-supporting Council on American Islam Relations and as a speaker before another Muslim Brotherhood organization, the Muslim American Society, Ramadan refused to condemn the shariah law provision that calls for stoning women for alleged improprieties or to denounce suicide bombing. Ramadan is suspected by U.S. intelligence of having ties to al-Qaeda. He espouses amicable messages of peace and respect when speaking with Western audiences, while endorsing Wahhabism and spreading hatred of the West to Arabic-speaking audiences.
Even Muslims targeted by our own government for their crimes receive protection. Anwar al-Awlaki, dubbed the "bin Laden of the internet" and suspected of having prior knowledge of 9/11 by having met privately with two of the 9/11 hijackers, has been defended by the American Civil Liberties Union. After President Obama approved placing Awlaki on a government assassination list, the ACLU initiated a lawsuit against the U.S. government challenging the order to kill him. This despite Awlaki being on the FBI's Most Wanted List and his having met and corresponded with Major Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood assassin. He trained the Christmas underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and was the inspiration for Faisal Shahzad, the attempted Times Square car bomber. In a recent video delivered to CNN, Awlaki stated that Muslims are obligated to wage jihad against the United States.
Nine years after 9/11, in contrast to protections enjoyed by Muslims, individuals perceived by Muslims to have damaged Islam in some way have been threatened, fired, and publicly censured. This development indicates how far we have come down the road to dhimmitude, a subservient status in relation to Muslims. Clearly, if Norris had organized a Draw Jesus or Draw Moses Day, her life would be very much intact. If Juan Williams had talked about his fear of fundamentalist Christians, he would still be an NPR host in good standing. Had Jones burned the Old Testament, twenty people murdered by Muslims jihadists would still be alive, his reputation would be untarnished, and his financial situation would be undamaged. Had Derek Fenton burned a copy of the Old or New Testament, it is unlikely that the NJTA would have taken any action against him.
Islamization of America
We are witnessing a transformation of American society in which Islam enjoys a privileged place among the country's religions. The sensitivities of the country's 3 to 5 million Muslims are considered above those of non-Muslims. Non-Muslims even assist sensitive Muslims in the weeding out of potentially offensive statements or actions that could be remotely critical of Islam or Muslims. Since 9/11, Americans have been well-trained not to talk about Islam and terrorism or to use the word "jihad." Publicly criticizing, voicing concern about, or even expressing fear about Muslim behavior or activities is forbidden. While other religions may be freely criticized, lampooned in cartoons, and denigrated by artwork, Islam is sacred, supreme, and beyond reproach.
Every effort is made in the United States to accommodate Muslims and engage them in interfaith dialogue and community affairs. Muslims may pray openly in public -- on city streets and in airport terminals. Many U.S. government departments hold Iftar dinners to celebrate the end of Ramadan. The Ground Zero mosque will be built over the ashes of 9/11 victims, but the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church that was destroyed by Muslims will not. Non-Muslims enjoy no such privileges or special treatment in Muslim countries. They may not visit Mecca nor build churches or synagogues. U.S. forces stationed in Saudi Arabia are prohibited from wearing visible religious symbols.
The foregoing examples, not exhaustive by any means, point to the fact that we are living under a de facto shariah law system in the United States today that has compromised the freedoms we have enjoyed under our Constitution -- freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. Now, we no longer enjoy equal protection under the law. Our uniquely American virtues of tolerance and freedom have worked against us to produce intolerance and oppression. This has led to the stealthy introduction of shariah law and a climate in which criticisms of Mohammed and Islam are no longer possible without serious repercussions.
Instead, claims of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bias are rampant. Yet consider the following: the Muslim atrocity of 9/11, the attempt by the Nigerian Muslim Abdulmutallab to detonate plastic explosive in his underwear on a Northwest Airlines flight in 2009, the massacre of thirteen soldiers at Fort Hood by jihadist psychiatrist Nidal Hassan in 2009, the failed bombing of Times Square by Faisal Shahzad last May, the violent jihad plot in North Carolina planned by Daniel Patrick Boyd, the recent storming of a Baghdad church and murder of 58 Christians, the UPS plot to bomb synagogues in the Chicago area uncovered this past weekend, and countless other incidents over the past several years.
It is not irrational and biased to fear practitioners of a religion who are trying to kill non-Muslims based on teachings from their religion's doctrine. Apologists for Islam whitewash these events, but Islamic teachings (Reliance of the Traveller, o4.9, p. 590) specifically state that a Muslim's life is worth three times that of a Christian or Jew and fifteen times more than that of a Zoroastrian. (The Consulate General of India, Jeddah lists indemnities for Hindus and Buddhists at 1/15 that of Muslims). When non-Muslims so much as express any discomfort with Muslims and Islamic ideology, they risk public censure, financial ruin, loss of livelihood, and even death. he United States is truly under shariah law when it is forbidden and a punishable offense to call out Islamic doctrine for what it is.
Posted by Lady Patriot at 1:15 PM
Monty Pelerin blogs at http://www.economicnoise/
November 09, 2010
The day after the election, the Federal Reserve launched QE2, the second round of Quantitative Easing. This public relations euphemism attempts to hide the fact that the Fed is "printing money" (the Fed actually does it electronically these days). "Cheating, debasing and inflating," as in stealing from the public, is a more accurate description.
Bernanke indicated from 600 to 850 billion additional dollars would be created. To put this in perspective, the Tarp package was in this range. The total Federal Reserve balance sheet was $829 billion at the end of 2004 and only $869 billion in August 2007. At the end of 2009 it had ballooned to over $2,200 billion. This announcement means it is headed to $3,000 billion (3 trillion).
Ben Bernanke weakly defended his action with the following justifications:
•... further support to the economy is needed
•Easier financial conditions will promote economic growth.
•higher stock prices will boost consumer wealth and help increase confidence, which can also spur spending.
The first two statements are true as stated, but unlikely to be affected by additional QE. The third is partially true, although it is unclear that his action will raise stock prices. Furthermore, empirical data is not supportive of the alleged relationship between stock prices and spending (see the Kass reference below).
Many economists and analysts believe that the Fed actions will not help. Several believe they will actually make conditions worse (two examples are Doug Kass and Pimco's El Erian).
The Real Reason for QE2
Mr. Bernanke's justification for committing nearly another trillion dollars does not meet the "smell" test. In prior life, Professor Bernanke would flunk an Econ 101 student for such weak justification (of course we know no one really gets an F at Princeton, no matter how deserved).
Mr. Bernanke's performance was a charade meant to hide the fact that the government is now illiquid! Mr. Bernanke instituted QE2 because the Federal Government has reached the point where it cannot pay its bills.
If the Fed does not buy government bonds (print money), checks will stop for programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, military pay, etc.
The Madoff Model of government just ended. There are no longer enough bond buyers or taxpayers to pay for the profligate spending of the US government.
For more than a decade, responsible economists and analysts warned how this situation had to end. That point has apparently just been reached as a result of some of these reasons:
•We are increasingly viewed overseas as a profligate, fiscally irresponsible country with no willingness to change.
•Our debt levels have become dangerously high, raising the probability of sovereign default.
•Our annual deficit is 3 to 4 times larger than ever before and looks like there is no political will to address it. Interest rates are too low to compensate for the perceived risk.
•Foreign countries that supported us are now either unwilling or unable to purchase our debt.
The root cause of the liquidity problem is insolvency. Insolvency is a condition where eventually obligations cannot be met. Illiquidity then results. QE2 provides liquidity, but does nothing to solve the insolvency issue.
Unless the insolvency problem is solved, illiquidity will continue. From a mathematical standpoint, it is possible to solve the insolvency problem. From a practical or political standpoint, it is likely impossible.
Our funded Federal Debt is almost 100% of GDP. Our unfunded social obligations are about another $100 trillion. The total net worth of the country is about $55 trillion. Government has promised benefits that are twice what everything in the country is worth. To understand the math, see Spiraling to Bankruptcy.
Laurence Kotlikoff referred to a recent International Monetary Fund assessment of the US financial condition:
... the IMF has effectively pronounced the U.S. bankrupt. Section 6 of the July 2010 Selected Issues Paper says: "The U.S. fiscal gap associated with today's federal fiscal policy is huge for plausible discount rates." It adds that "closing the fiscal gap requires a permanent annual fiscal adjustment equal to about 14 percent of U.S. GDP."
The government would have to double every tax it collects (including payroll taxes) to run 5% surpluses for decades in order to bring government obligations into manageable range. Such tax increases would plunge the US and probably the world into an economic Dark Ages.
Alternatively, current government spending could be cut by about 50%. Managing spending forward so that a 5% surplus was maintained would also work.
Bernanke's Morton's Fork
Mr. Bernanke was faced with two choices, neither of which were good. He could have refused to initiate another round of QE, which would have forced the government to make tough decisions. Such action might have put the economy into another Great Depression. He likely would have lost his job and been blamed for any economic difficulties that followed.
He chose the other option -- provide the needed funds. As such, he chose to be the Enabler-in-Chief, reinforcing the out-of-control government fiscal policies. This choice likely enabled him to keep his job (for the time being) and made him appear to be the White Knight responsive to economic needs.
Unfortunately for the country, his choice makes matters worse, much worse.
The Road Ahead
With QE2, the government will be able to pay its bills. If the shortfall were temporary, Bernanke's actions might be considered prudent. Of course if the shortfall were temporary, the government would be able to borrow in the marketplace.
Without a solution to spending excesses and social commitments that cannot be met, there is no end to our shortfalls. Welcome to QE2, soon to be followed by QE3, QE4 ... and hyperinflation.
QE2 is just another step toward "banana republic" status. We are on the same road travelled by Argentina, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Weimar Germany and many others who destroyed their currencies.
These countries did not intend that result. Each step was justified based on the expediency of keeping the government going. As Hayek pointed out:
I do not think it is an exaggeration to say history is largely a history of inflation, usually inflations engineered by governments for the gain of governments.
In every case, including our own, the government had already failed. Its attempt to survive made matters much worse for its citizens.
QE2 may only represent the first step, but its effects alone are apt to be profound. Pimco's Bill Gross anticipates it will produce a 20% decline in the value of the dollar. If you were China or Japan, would you want to buy Treasury Bonds? Would you continue to hold dollar-denominated assets? These types of considerations trigger currency runs.
Mr. Bernanke has deferred the day of reckoning. His action will not prevent government collapse, it will ensure it, along with collapses in the currency, economy and likely society itself. This little man, unelected and accountable to no one, has just sentenced the country to an Economic Apocalypse.
Milton Friedman's concern seems especially appropriate:
The power to determine the quantity of money... is too important, too pervasive, to be exercised by a few people, however public-spirited, if there is any feasible alternative. There is no need for such arbitrary power... Any system which gives so much power and so much discretion to a few men, [so] that mistakes - excusable or not - can have such far reaching effects, is a bad system. It is a bad system to believers in freedom just because it gives a few men such power without any effective check by the body politic - this is the key political argument against an independent central bank.
How Will This End?
There is no pleasant ending. Political activity over the past fifty years guaranteed that. As Ludwig von Mises observed:
Credit expansion can bring about a temporary boom. But such a fictitious prosperity must end in a general depression of trade, a slump.
The best solution is for Mr. Bernanke to cease and desist from his QE policy. That would require the political class to face up to its problems. It would require a massive roll-back of the welfare state and government. It would require resizing government to a level that productive citizens would support. Transitional hardships would occur, including civil unrest and possibly a Depression.
The worst solution is the one that Mr. Bernanke has selected. If he stays on this course, fiat money will become worthless. So will Social Security checks, because they will have no purchasing power. All fixed income and savings will be wiped out. The middle class will be financially destroyed.
Markets will cease to function except on a barter system. Food and other necessities will be in short supply, possibly to the extent of health risks developing. Unimaginable civil unrest is likely.
A Greater Depression is assured. Unlike the first Great Depression, citizens would be without any financial wherewithal. Their savings and fixed income will have been stolen from them via hyperinflation. In short, it would be the worst Economic Hell imaginable.
Mr. Bernanke was unwilling to tell you what is happening. His action has moved us into the eye of a massive storm. Do not be lulled into complacency for as von Mises stated:
A fiat-money inflation can be carried on only as long as the masses do not become aware of the fact that the government is committed to such a policy.
Now you know and others will pick up on this quickly. Make like the political elite and protect yourselves from the Level Six economic hurricane that Mr. Bernanke is stoking.
The history of government management of money has, except for a few short happy periods, been one of incessant fraud and deception.
Posted by Lady Patriot at 12:54 PM
Thursday, October 28, 2010
An Open Letter to Rush Limbaugh and His Listeners [From a Democrat]— With Notes on the Democrat Civil War Already In Progress
October 27, 2010
Kevin DuJan, Editor in Chief
When Obama and the DNC attacked Hillary and her supporters, they permanently alienated tens of millions of us from the party. I know for a fact I am not the only guy with a picture like this on his wall who is working every day to bring down the Obama White House and Democrat Party. Not for Hillary, though I love the woman, but for America...because I love this country even more.
It’s my great hope that some of your listeners find a way to get this letter to you, or that it makes it to “Snerdley” and finds its way into your hands. I don’t think even you understand just how much damage Obama has done to the Democrat Party — to the point where formerly lifelong Democrats like myself, and everyone here at HillBuzz.org, are actively working to expose the party and literally burn it to the ground for the good of the country.
None of this is being reported in the media, but a Civil War in the Democrat ranks has been raging since May 31st, 2008…a date every Hillary Clinton supporter knows well, because that was the date of the Democrat Rules & Bylaws Committee Meeting where Howard Dean (then-DNC Chair), Donna Brazile, and scores of other Kool-Aid slurping Obama flunkies took off their masks and revealed the full extent of the Leftist coup that had taken over the party. This was the day when the DNC took delegates Hillary Clinton won in Michigan away from her and handed them to Obama (despite the fact he wasn’t even on the primary ballot in that state, because he removed his name when his campaign realized he’d come in third in that race).
May 31st, 2008 was a day when Hillary “babes” (as you call us sometimes) like us flew to Washington in large numbers to stand outside the Marriott near the National Zoo, where this Rules & Bylaws Committee Meeting was held, to shout for the DNC to count all the votes and operate the nominating process fairly — but they refused. The anger over that day has never abated. In fact, it’s grown considerably since then.
This was the determining factor in millions of us leaving the Democrat Party for good. This was the day when the P.U.M.A. movement began — in response to Donna Brazile’s calls for “party unity” following the Rules & Bylaws Committee Meeting, we “Hillary babes” said “Party Unity My A$$” (or People United Means Action, depending on how you want to phrase it). Exit polls showed 8 million PUMA voted Republican for the first time in our lives in the fall of 2008…casting ballots for McCain/Palin (and in truth, mainly for Palin, whom we support, and not to a small degree because she receives many of the same attacks lobbed at Hillary Clinton all these years).
You seem to know most of all this, so I’ll end the history lesson by noting the people alienated by the Democrat Party during the primaries in 2008 — where it was clear the party and the media colluded at great lengths to push Obama while hammering Hillary Clinton into the ground — never came back to the Democrat Party.
This is also when most of us stopped using the term “Democratic Party”, since there’s nothing “democratic” about these people. They are the “Democrat Party”, and even that is hard to acknowledge because they really and truly have proved themselves to be enemies of real democracy.
I’m still registered as a Democrat here in Chicago (because the Cocktail Party GOP establishment so disgusts me I can’t will myself to party-ID Republican, and there’s no Independent option here in Illinois) but I can’t imagine ever voting for another Democrat again, as long as I live. To Hell with Democrats. This was solidified for me on Christmas Eve of last year, when Democrats rushed Obamacare through the Senate in the dead of night, through various secret channels, and every single Democrat voted for its passage (even supposed moderates like Evan Bayh in Indiana, who quickly realized his vote would cost him re-election…so the coward retired rather then face angry voters over what he did). I just don’t believe Democrats should be given elected office by voters because they cannot be trusted to even read bills before they vote on them, not even when said bills seek to permanently alter the entire American economy. This is reckless and reprehensible to the point of treason.
I was a Democrat for 32 years before the heavy-handed push for Obama alienated me from the party…and I borrow what Hillary Clinton said about Republicans once, back when she was a Goldwater Girl, and will paraphrase by saying that I didn’t leave the Democrat Party, the Democrat Party left me.
AFTER it beat me to a pulp, called me a racist, berated and insulted me, and used Alinsky Rules to hit me with everything it had. Not just me, but all Hillary supporters.
This is the part I don’t think you understand because I don’t know if you and your listeners paid much attention to what the Obama campaign and DNC did to malign and assault Hillary Clinton’s supporters during the 2008 campaign. None of this has been forgotten by any of us.
If you have not seen it already, Rush, you need to watch Gigi Gaston’s documentary “We Will Not Be Silenced 2008″. I’m featured in a segment on the voter fraud that was committed in the Iowa Caucus back in January of 2008. While I was always aware Democrats use unions and other means to cheat in elections, I never knew the Democrat Party was capable of the large-scale, aggressive, unapologetic fraud it committed on Obama’s behalf all through 2008. In Iowa, I watched Obama’s ACORN and SEIU goons push and shove old people, bully them, and intimidate them when they wanted to vote for Hillary Clinton. I saw scores of Illinois license plates fill the parking lots outside caucus locations, with Chicagoland Obama supporters illegally entering the Caucus sites to vote for Obama and game Iowa for him. Having planned ahead, Obama supporters actually RAN those caucus sites, and held the doors open for all these fraudulent voters to walk right in, without being asked for IDs, where they then took control of the caucuses and bullied the Iowa residents into supporting Obama — lest they be called RAAACISTS! out in the open in front of their friends and neighbors in those open-air caucuses.
The media has never talked about this. I don’t remember ever hearing you talk about it. But one of the biggest reasons the Democrats are in the trouble they’re in right now is because of how frequently the Left and the media (one and the same, really) called anyone who opposed Obama a RAAACIST. If you supported Hillary Clinton in the primaries instead of Obama, you were called a RAAACIST. If you were someone like me who fundraised for Hillary, who hosted events for her, who put yourself out there and wrote columns advocating her or did media spots talking up her candidacy, you were aggressively targeted by the Obama campaign and his supporters…relentlessly attacked as a RAAACIST! and assaulted with the Alinksy Rules for Radicals in hopes of breaking your spirit, terrorizing you, and making you abandon Clinton for fear of having these people destroy your life, ruin your business, and make you an absolute pariah in your community.
This is what the Obama campaign, the media, and the DNC did to DEMOCRATS.
For almost a year, the Obama zealots and the Left waged all-out-war not just on Hillary Clinton, but on lifelong, loyal, dyed-in-the-wool Democrat voters like me. This came straight from the top, from Obama himself. Both he and his wife Michelle called the Clintons racists. Obama’s surrogates like James Clyburne, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, and others called Geraldine Ferraro, Madeline Albright, and others racists. The Obamas toxified the South Carolina primary, in particular, with foul race-baiting and turned North Carolina and Indiana into racial powder kegs by ramping up accusations that anyone not supporting Obama was a vile racist that needed to be pounded into the ground.
Stephanie Tubbs Jones, my former Congresswoman back home in Cleveland, was a black Hillary Clinton supporter to the very end — and she was called a “race-traitor”, an “Aunt Jane”, and all manner of worse names as she was bullied, berated, and verbally assaulted by the Obama team…because she was black and dared to stand with her friend Hillary Clinton, the person Tubbs Jones knew would make a better president than “The One”. To her dying day in August of 2008, Tubbs Jones was threatened by the Obama campaign and told she’d be primaried in 2010 and kicked to the curb for being a “race-traitor”. She died of a brain aneurysm while driving her car, and Obama supporters filled Daily Kos, DemocratUnderground, and other George Soros-supported sites with lies about her drunk driving, doing drugs, and other slurs because even after she died these people wouldn’t stop hating her for daring to be an outspoken black woman who would never abandon Hillary for Obama.
This is similar to the grief that I’ve received here in Chicago for being a gay Hillary former Democrat in Boystown who never drank any Kool-Aid, never stopped speaking out against Obama, and who recently fully came out as a conservative — in the face of the same kind of Alinsky-grade, identity-based, “traitor” hectoring that Tubbs Jones got for being a black woman who didn’t kneel before the Obama altar.
Well, Rush, let me just tell you, from personal experience, that the tens of millions of people relentlessly abused and hounded by Obama supporters (remember that back in 2008 he urged his followers to “get in their faces” and “confront their neighbors” if they weren’t drinking his unicorn-pumped sparkly Kool-Aid ) will NEVER EVER FORGET what the Obama campaign directed at them, in terms of all this Alinsky bullying.
To quote Jeremiah Wright, the man Obama spent twenty years eagerly listening to at Trinity United Church of Christ: somebody’s chickens have now come back to roost.
During the campaign, Donna Brazile famously said that the Democrat Party no longer needed the people Obama once described as “bitter, religion-and-guns-clinging, Midwesterners”. Brazile took this further and said, outright, that the Democrat party did not need blue-collar white voters, the Jacksonian voters, the Hillary voters, because the party was “Obamafied” and would win elections for generations with the Obama coalition of blacks, Leftist elites, Hispanics, low information gay voters, and self-hating Jews.
This is all the Democrats have left, Rush.
Speaking from personal experience, as someone who has worked in fundraising for over 10 years and who has been a part of every presidential campaign since 1992, the Democrats have permanently alienated tens of millions of people who normally turned out reliably every year not just to vote Democrat, but also to write checks and otherwise participate in campaigns.
No more. Never again.
Here in Chicago, just about everyone who was part of Team Hillary efforts with me on the ground has completely divorced themselves from the Democrat Party. Being called a racist repeatedly and hearing from Donna Brazile that we are not needed will do that to a person.
But in a bigger sense, Democrats, by being so shameless and aggressive with the voter fraud in 2008 have opened too many eyes for us to ever go back to pretending that fraud and corrupt practices aren’t the hallmark of the Democrat Party.
There was a show on ABC a few years ago called Alias starring Jennifer Garner in which she played a woman working for a company called Credit Dauphine…which she was told was a front for a CIA organization called SD6. Garner’s character, Sidney Bristow, carried out her missions for SD6, overlooking different things the organization did that she might not have liked, because she thought she was doing what was best for the country. And then, one day, Sidney learned SD6 was actually an enemy of America…that it’s real mission was to destroy the country…that everything Sidney was told about SD6 was a lie. The mask came off SD6, and Sidney Bristow realized she had to work aggressively to take the whole enterprise down.
Rush (and his listeners), please hear me on this because you will not read this in the media — but just about every one of us from the Hillary 2008 campaign is a Sidney Bristow today.
Those of us who worked Democrat campaigns in the past put up with union associations and the other unsavory aspects of being a Democrat because we were told this was the only way Democrats could win…with union muscle. But, in 2008 the Democrats revealed themselves to be an SD6 conglomeration of every force in this country that wants to bring America down, tank our economy, usurp our Constitution, and lay waste to the American way of life.
Democrats took off the mask. The DNC reveled in being fully Leftist-controlled. Crazy people unapologetic in their Communist admiration took over positions of great influence not just in the DNC, but in our state and federal governments as well.
I’m horrified by that.
Hillary supporters are horrified by that.
And we have not sat back quietly to allow this to happen without a fight.
I know for a fact that people I worked with on the Hillary 2008 campaign have been actively working against every single Democrat who supported Obama’s nomination. Everyone who backstabbed Hillary Clinton is being undermined and sabotaged by people who might still be registered as Democrats but have no more loyalty to the party. Sometimes, conservative sites try to make this into a “sour grapes” sort of “Hillary’s revenge” meme — and there might be a taste of this in what’s going on — but the real driving force is that we former Democrats saw just how insane these people really are and we are now doing everything we can, behind the scenes, to use everything we know about the Democrat Party to collapse it from within.
If you think about it logically, there is not enough energy to sustain a years-long drive to remove Obama supporters from office just because people are still upset Hillary Clinton was not the 2008 nominee and is not president today. Sometimes, I think even you believe this is what this is all about. Your “Reverse Operation Chaos” initiative seems predicated on this, but that belief is apocryphal in that it misses a few big marks.
This is and it isn’t about Hillary.
What it’s really about is what the Democrat Party did to Hillary that alienated tens of millions of Jacksonian/Clintonian/middleclass Americans from the party permanently — and this includes what the party and Obama campaign did to Hillary’s supporters themselves (ie, calling them racists, telling them they weren’t wanted, calling them bitter clingers, etc.).
For the first time in our lives, so many of us former Democrats were given an Alinsky taste of what the Democrat Party really stand for…what it really believes…and how it really feels about America, our Constitution, our economy, and our way of life.
Howard Dean, Donna Brazile, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Obama took the mask off the Democrat Party…and the Leftist gorgon that lurked beneath is something America-loving, middleclass, Jacksonian/Clintonian Democrats want nothing to do with.
As part of your “Reverse Operation Chaos”, you really need to emphasize something the media just won’t talk about — and that’s the simple fact that even if you called yourself a Democrat for 32 years, the way I did, because everyone you grew up with and everyone in your family was a Democrat, that in 2010 it’s time to ask yourselves what that really means.
Do you want to be in a party that calls people racists for stepping out of line and voicing opposition to the socialist lurch of the current administration?
Do you condone voter fraud and the shameless, undemocratic tactics employed by Democrats?
Do you wish to associate with the likes of ACORN, the SEIU, the Black Panthers, and all the other thugs, goons, and degenerates the Obama campaign and White House employ as the DNC’s muscle on the ground?
It is crystal clear that being a patriotic American who loves this country is intellectually incompatible with being a Democrat. If you love America and want it to prosper, the Democrat Party is at absolute odds with everything we need for a thriving, successful economy.
Hillary supporters realize this.
We received a heaping helping of Alinsky assaults to wake us up to this reality.
The reason so many of us support Governor Palin is not just because we see the same Alinksy assaults being waged upon her…but the woman is pitch-perfect in outlining exactly why Obama and the Left are wrong, and why Democrats under Obama are dangerous to have in elected office.
I know you talk about a “Hillary 2012″ but Rush, as much as I love Hillary Clinton, and as much as I worked my heart out for her in 2008, there’s no way that even she can repair the damage Obama has done to the party. Certainly not by 2012. MAYBE the Clintons and their supporters can purge the Obama lunatics from the party by 2016…but I doubt even that will happen. Just like with the Leftists Carter infected the Democrat Party with, Obama legacy hires will be in the DNC for a generation to come…and it might not be until the 2030s before the Democrats can remove the taint Obama and his Leftist agenda have put on the party.
Democrats have made themselves synonymous with anti-Americanism, anti-capitalism, and anti-democracy. Obama and his acolytes decidedly upped the ante when it came to their aggressive push towards socialism…and this Center-Right nation is resisting it in what I am certain will be an epic refudiation (to borrow the Governor’s term) next week.
On November 3rd, no one I know will be resting on any laurels. November 3rd starts the 2012 campaign…and not just the presidential race (where we’ll back Governor Palin) but the drive to knock people like Claire McCaskill out of office, continuing our work to take down every last one of the Obama supporters who backstabbed Hillary Clinton and helped install this socialist into the White House back in 2008. When you hear talk of a Hillary “enemies’ list”, or just “The List” as we call it in HRC supporter circles, this is very much real…and we are truly committed to making sure the Claire McCaskills out there get everything that is coming to them for all their service to Obama and his agenda.
Hear that, Ben Nelson…voters will be coming for you.
You and everyone like you.
Every last one of you.
If you voted for Obamacare, you are politically dead but may not know it…and it is your own fault. Being intensely stupid is no defense. If you were a YES vote on anything related to Obamacare you are going to be defeated…if not in 2010, then in the primaries in 2012. If you survive those, you will be taken down in the 2012 general election. Your political career is over…dummy.
Hope your time on the Obama Kool-Aid bandwagon was worth ruining your life over.
We will not forget those Obamacare votes. We will not forgive being called a racist because we don’t support this terrible man and his awful agenda. We will not be silenced.
We will not give up.
It’s going to be years, if ever, before the lamestream media ever catches up to any of this, and realizes that a large swath of people who used to be Democrat loyalists are now doing everything they can to destroy the party. Some of them are out and open, like me and my friends here at HillBuzz, but many are doing their part quietly. They just stop writing checks. Or maybe now they write checks to Democrat opponents. They might continue to attend events and fundraisers, but now they call up Republican sites and give them all the dirt on what they heard in those meetings. The Democrat Party alienated so many people who are now working to bring it down that I could go on for pages and pages more on this topic.
It’s very Sidney Bristow, Rush. And if you watched that show Alias, you’d know she not only won in the end, but looked damn good kicking ass while doing it.
THAT, El Rushbo, is what your “Hillary babes” are up to.
Here in Boystown, and in every town, because the Civil War Howard Dean, Donna Brazile, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Obama started on May 31st, 2008 is raging without end until the Democrat Party is no more.
Tell your listeners to count on that.
Posted by Lady Patriot at 7:14 AM
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Oct. 12, 2010
Warner Todd Huston
Some of Obamacare’s most destructive forces are quickly becoming common knowledge. We have, for instance, become painfully aware that Obama’s claim that we all could keep our plans and doctors “if you like them” is an outright falsehood as some people are already losing their coverage. It is also becoming clear that companies will be dropping plans all over the place making a lie of the idea that plans will be cheaper and easier to get once Obamacre comes into force. Another aspect of the destructive nature of this top down-style of “healthcare” is that once government takes over the system Democrats will assume they have the power to force religious-based healthcare providers to perform abortions and this will cause thousands of facilities to close down. This will, of course, make care even harder to get in many cities across the nation as hospital beds are lost in great numbers.
In fact, we are already seeing this disastrous situation of closing hospitals playing out in Scranton, Pennsylvania where three Catholic-operated hospitals are likely going to be shut down and/or sold off because of the negative affects Obamacare will have on these facilities.
Kevin Cook, the CEO of Mercy Health Partners, the company that operates these three hospitals, told WNEP TV News that Obamacare “absolutely” playing a role in the decision to sell off the facilities.
“Health care reform is absolutely playing a role.” Cook said. “Was it the precipitating factor in this decision? No, but was it a factor in our planning over the next five years? Absolutely.”
Almost immediately Obama associate Carol Keehan of the Catholic Health Association came out to slam Mr. Cook.
Keehan’s press release says in part: “Reports that health reform is the primary motive behind the sale are completely false, misleading and politically motivated. Deliberations to sell the facilities began well before the Affordable Care Act became law and did not hinge on enactment of the legislation.”
The CHA is a for profit company that works for some Catholic hospitals as a sort of trade association and Keehan is a close associate of the president and a prominent supporter of Obamacare. Keehan was even a recipient of one of the 21 pens that Obama used to sign the Orwellian named Affordable Care Act — much to the chagrin of Catholic Bishops.
This Keehan apostate is constantly put forth by the Old Media as some representative of Catholic hospitals. Worse few Old Media outlets note that she is an Obamacare activist and Obama associate.
As Jeffery Lord of the Spectator says, “In other words, Sister Carol is not just some kindly nun who reminds you of the nun whacking your knuckles in grade school for this or that offense. No, in the world of Washington Sister Carol is a powerhouse lobbyist — make that a liberal social justice lobbyist — with a clear set of political skills and a very, very high-powered set of very elite friends.”
For instance, back in March the AP passed off a false news story attempting to mislead the public into thinking that Catholic hospitals supported Obama’s healthcare bill. AP then reported the support of Obamacare announced by the CHA, an independent group that does not represent the Catholic Church nor Catholic hospitals per se, and conflated that announcement to a claim as if all Catholic hospitals and therefore the Church itself were standing behind Obama’s take over of the nation’s healthcare system.
AP reported the announcement by the CHA and made as if it somehow represented “Catholics,” but this group has no official relationship with the Catholic Church, nor does it represent any groups of religious Catholics, nor serve as a source for Catholic teaching or doctrine. Needless to say the CHA also does not represent all Catholic hospitals but only the few that have paid to join her association.
The costs that Obamacare will force upon hospitals isn’t the only problem for Catholic-based healthcare. Obama, his party, and their pro-infanticide supporting associates also intend to force Catholic and other religious based healthcare facilities to perform abortions whether it violates their consciences or not.
Recently former Senator Rick Santorum (R, Penn) raised this point in an editorial for Philly.com. Santorum cites a new effort by the ACLU to get Dr. Donald Berwick, Obama’s controversial abortion supporting recess appointment to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, to force all healthcare providers to perform abortion procedures.
Santorum rails against this effort saying: “This abuse of conscience betrays American principles that go back at least to the country’s founding, when George Washington respected the pacifist consciences of Quakers. Similarly, since Roe v. Wade and under both political parties, Congress has passed laws that respect the consciences of health-care workers.”
This effort to force all healthcare providers to provide abortion is a serious threat to the nation’s healthcare system.
By 2005 there were over 615 Catholic hospitals, some 400 healthcare centers, and over 1,500 specialized healthcare homes. These facilities employ almost 600,000 employees and accounted for more than 20% of all hospital admissions. And this is just the Catholic oriented healthcare facilities.
As the realities of the strict, anti-religious qualities of Obamacare dawns on people and as the government begins to crack down on religious organizations forcing them to obviate their consciences the eventual result will be the end of religious-based healthcare institutions. This will leave millions of Americans underserved and will also leave their health in danger.
Posted by Lady Patriot at 7:12 AM
Monday, October 11, 2010
by Lurita Doan
Pity the poor entrepreneur and small business owner in America now getting socked, with the mother of all taxes, by a government that has become either hostile, or indifferent, to understanding what it takes to build a business, grow a company and hire more workers. I'm not talking about new fees, but about a much greater confiscatory tax, imposed without any real debate or consideration--the confiscation of time.
Nearly every Obama administration initiative demands new, more complicated reporting and compliance filings on small businesses and entrepreneurs that are already overburdened with a mish-mash of reporting requirements that suck away an entrepreneur's time and energy. 2008 compliance costs for a small business, according to a recent SBA Report, was approximately $10,000 per employee. But, the Obama Administration has added new, and far more onerous, reporting demands that are likely to treble those costs to $30,000 per employee. Facing such huge, and hidden, costs of compliance, is there any wonder small businesses are not hiring as they have in the past?
Consider, for example, one of the new reporting requirements contained in Section 9006 of the disastrous Obama healthcare bill which requires all small companies to file 1099s for any purchase over $600, to include anything from office supplies to electricity to independent contractors. As a result, small businesses may need to hire a full-time compliance officer that does nothing but file these new forms and reports.
But that is just the start. For example, Section 1512 of the Recovery Act (ARRA) requires that a report with a minimum of 12 data points be submitted quarterly for each Recovery Act project over $25,000. A separate report has to be submitted if the business worked as a subcontractor on any ARRA project. This report is separate from and in addition to the mandatory, contractual reports submitted monthly to the government contracting officer on each project and, separate from and in addition to, the quarterly program reviews provided for agency leaders. Of course, if the business performs ARRA work at the State level, many of those states have additional reporting requirements for businesses who are working on federally funded stimulus projects within the state.
Small business already struggles because the federal government’s reporting requirements are a moving target. Businesses must track the unusually frequent changes in government-issued guidance regarding reporting requirements. For example, since issuing the first reporting requirements for ARRA in February 2009, these requirements have changed nine times in the past 19 months, in March 2009, April 2009, June 2009, September 2009, November 2009, December 2009, April 2010, May 2010 and most recently in September 2010.
Each “update” to the reporting requirements issued by OMB is followed by an ancillary memo issued within each federal agency by each agency’s Chief Acquisition Officer.
Businesses, especially small businesses, may spend large segments of the workday tracking reporting requirement changes. Businesses must do this because a clerical error, which could be interpreted by the oversight community as fraud, carries severe penalties, and the burden of proof of innocence falls on the business.
Taxes take many forms. More damaging, than canceling the Bush tax cuts, more damaging than the changing definition of who is considered “rich”, more disturbing than Obama Administration's complete lack of understand of what it takes to grow a business and an economy, is the fact that time is money, so the new, burdensome and intrusive reporting requirements demanded by Obama's flawed policies puts a tax burden of time on all businesses.
Under the guise of “accountability” and the lure of “transparency”, the Obama Administration continues to bombard businesses with additional, ill-thought reporting requirements. Few legislators and few members of the Obama Administration have ever experienced first-hand, the struggles of entrepreneurship--what Jerry McGuire calls "an up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege," of trying to win a customer's business, be competitive and succeed. The Administration, clearly, does not understand or does not care about the true cost to business of their self-serving actions.
Peter Drucker, the management guru once said: “if you’re meeting, you’re not working”. Perhaps the corollary is that when a business is “reporting”, then they aren’t really working either.
Make no mistake: well-reasoned reports aid in accountability and transparency and are essential to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely by the government. But this is not happening in the Obama Administration. The President Obama once promised he would not raise taxes on the middle class. Yet, fees, fines and mandatory purchases are “onerous, rigorous demands” which, according to Webster, qualify as taxes.
Obama has demanded the one commodity which is in limited supply, and which can never be reproduced once spent—time. Obama wastes our time--and that tax is the greatest of all.
Posted by Lady Patriot at 8:17 PM