Thursday, February 25, 2010

Polls: Americans More Concerned With Arrogant Politicians and Bad Bills than they are with Bickering and Gridlock

From CNS News:
According to a new Zogby poll, Americans are more concerned about seeing bad bills passed than getting nothing done, and more annoyed by politicians who think they are smarter than Americans than partisan bickering.

Zogby asked adults to choose which statement on “the problem with Washington” came closer to their own view.

The first choice was between, “The problem with Washington is that nothing ever gets done” and “the problem with Washington is that it passes too many bad bills.”

For those polled, 49 percent said too many bad bills were the main concern, and 37 percent said it was that nothing ever got done.

This poll comes at a time when Democrats are trying to brand Republicans as “the party of No," because of their opposition to the health care reform and economic stimulus bills negotiated in the House and Senate....

The poll results, however, seem to suggest adults would prefer obstructionism to a bill they do not like. Among Independents, widely viewed as important swing voters in national elections, the concern for bad bills vs. no bills is more decisive at 56-33 percent.

A second set of statements was, “What bothers me most about Washington is partisan bickering” or “What bothers me most about Washington is that people there think they are smarter than the rest of us.”

This time, 50 percent said they were most bothered by people in Washington who think they are smarter than the average American versus 41 percent who were more irked by partisan bickering. Again, Independents broke more decisively toward the “smarter” option, at 56-35.

Between those choices, Democrats were far more bothered by partisan bickering -- 74 percent were troubled by that, and just 15 percent were more concerned with intellectual elitism. Those numbers perhaps reflect a frustration among Democrats and liberals who see Republicans as obstructing their legislative agenda....
Joe Biden in 2008: Obama's detractors are "just not used to somebody really smart. They're just not used to somebody who's really well-educated. They just don't know quite how to handle it, because if he's as smart as Barack is, he musn't be from my neighbothood!":

President Obama Without a Teleprompter

Stupak: Obama's health care bill will not pass the House

From The Hill:
There are 15-20 House Democrats who are withholding their support for President Barack Obama's healthcare proposal, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) said Wednesday...

The Michigan Democrat has voiced unhappiness with the president's plan because it upholds the Senate's abortion language, which he says is too loose and could allow federal dollars to pay for abortion procedures.

But Stupak said that the group of 15-20 Democrats oppose it not just because of the abortion provisions.

Asked on Fox News if he thinks the president's fixes will pass the House, Stupak said, "Despite the abortion language, no, there are other problems with this bill...[I have spoken to] probably about 15 or 20 [Democratic Representatives] in the last 24 hours; they've said there are other problems with this bill."...
Related - Chris Matthews: Failure to pass health care reform in the Senate will be the Democratic Party's Waterloo [Ed. note: Matthews did not actually use the word Waterloo]

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Obama: Contrary to the claims of some of my CLIENTS, I am not a Socialist!

President Obama launched a vigorous defense of his economic agenda during a speech to business leaders on Wednesday and insisted that he was not a socialist.

However, the President made a Freudian slip while issuing the aforementioned disclaimer:

"Contrary to the claims of some of my CLIENTS - uh - some of my critics...," he asserted, "I am an ardent believer in the free market."

The President started saying the word "CLIENTS" before he caught himself and said the word "CRITICS". [Approximately 4 minutes and 51 seconds in to the speech - Video]

So, who are obama's clients, you ask?

During the Presidential campaign [Nov of 2007], Obama met with ACORN leaders and told them as follows:

"Since I've been in the U.S. Senate, I've been a partner with ACORN... I've been fighting alongside ACORN about issues you care about my entire career."

In a 2001 interview with Chicago Public Radio, Obama criticized the Supreme Court for not venturing "into the issues of redistribution of wealth."

ACORN and the beneficiaries of Obama's wealth redistribution policies are clearly the President's most valued clients.

Were they the "clients" that Obama was referring to on Wednesday when he said that, "contrary to the claims of some of" his "clients", he is not a Socialist, but rather "an ardent believer in the free market"?


News to Peruse

New government logo: Can you say 'crescent'? - World Net Daily

Obama readies a fallback health-care proposal; Scaled-down plan would expand insurance to about half as many people as pending bill envisions - Wall Street Journal

DOJ: Department Of Jihad? The Justice Department employs nine lawyers previously involved in the defense of terrorist detainees. It's like they're bringing al-Qaeda lawyers inside the Department of Justice! From the dropping of a voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party to the decision to try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Muhammed in a civilian court..., the actions and attitudes of the Justice Department and Attorney General Eric Holder toward the thugs and terrorists who threaten us has grown curiouser and curiouser - Investor's Business Daily

Nearly Every Major Opinion Poll Has A Majority Of Americans Opposing Obamacare - Rasmussen: 41/56; Newsweek: 40/49; Public Policy Polling: 39/50; Pew: 38/50; Quinnipiac: 35/54; Ipsos/McClatchy: 37/51; NBC/WSJ: 31/46; CNN: 38/58; NPR: 39/55 - Say Anything Blog

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

WH tried to bribe Mel Martinez into supporting Obamacare

You can add former Sen. Mel Martinez to the list of people that the White House tried to bribe into supporting Obama's health care bill:
Ex-Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) could have named his price for his vote on last year's stimulus bill, but he told the Obama administration there was nothing he wanted.

Martinez said he could have had his own "Cornhusker kickback", the derisive name GOPers have given to a deal cut with Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) in exchange for Nelson's vote on health reform legislation.

During negotiations over the stimulus bill, Martinez said the White House asked him, "What do you have to have?"

"But I didn't have to have anything," he said he responded. "I didn't want anything. I wanted a better bill."

Martinez said the talks were disillusioning when it came down to "how can we bribe you" for a vote. "So I walked away from the table." he said...

A spokesman for the WH acknowledged an inquiry but did not comment, as did a spokesman for Senate Maj. Leader Harry Reid.
In an interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer last month, the President denied any involvement with the various sweetheart deals that were offered in exchange for support of his health care reform bill:

"Let's just clarify"," Obama proclaimed, "I didn't make a bunch of deals. There is a legislative process that is taking place in Congress and I am happy to own up to the fact that I have not changed Congress and how it operates the way I would have liked."

But of course - as I noted last month - Obama wasn't telling the truth, for indeed, the White House was clearly behind several of those deals.

Nevertheless, feel free to add one more sweetheart deal [albeit, a sweetheart deal that went awry] to the list.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Obama administration bungling Baradar's interrogation?

From the Enterprise blog - by Marc Thiessen:
In today’s Washington Post, I briefly cite a remarkable, but little-noticed story this weekend in the Los Angeles Times, which reports that Mullah Baradar, the “Taliban military commander captured last month in Pakistan, has refused to provide information that could be used against his insurgent network, prompting the CIA to push for his transfer to an American-run prison in Afghanistan.”

Here are some of the other revelations from the Times story, which have thus far floated under the radar screen:

• “The CIA was denied direct access to Baradar for about two weeks after his arrest, and has since worked alongside Pakistani interrogators who continue to control the questioning. But officials said they have learned nothing from Baradar that could be used to track down other Taliban leaders, or inform the planning of U.S. military operations.”

• “Pakistani and CIA operatives did not know they had captured Baradar until after they began sorting through a group of suspects arrested in a raid on the outskirts of Karachi on Jan. 26. The house was targeted based on U.S. intelligence that ‘pointed to a meeting of his people,’ a U.S. official said. But there was no expectation that Baradar would be there. Only after Pakistani authorities began showing their CIA counterparts photographs of the prisoners did operatives realize they were holding the most high-ranking Taliban leader captured in the eight-year war.”

If accurate, this would mean that the Obama administration did not actually target Baradar for capture. Like Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Christmas bomber, he simply fell into their laps like manna from heaven.

And if true, then it means that, like the Christmas bomber, the Obama administration has bungled this interrogation—this time by outsourcing the questioning to Pakistani intelligence, which in turn blocked the CIA from getting access to Baradar for weeks and then failed to get him to talk.

Many commentators (including me) initially called Baradar’s capture and interrogation a “major success in the war on terror.” Turns out it may be anything but.

Scott Brown joins Dems and votes to move jobs bill forward - UPDATE: Did Sen. Brown capitulate to Liberal group's TV ad?

From The Hill:

Newly-seated Republican Sen. Scott Brown (Mass.) on Monday joined Democrats in voting to move forward on their $15 billion jobs bill...

Democrats needed to poach Brown and and least one other Republican to reach the 60 votes necessary. Centrist Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Olympia Snowe (Maine) also voted for cloture on the proposal.
From My News:

Passage of the bill had been in doubt after [Sen. Harry] Reid angered many lawmakers by scuppering a larger bipartisan package that was agreed to by leading Democrats and Republicans. Instead, he proposed a more incremental approach and promised that other elements of the bipartisan bill will be taken up at a later date. But his move prompted most conservatives to oppose the smaller package.
Update: From The Hill:

A liberal group went on the offensive against new Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) on Monday, seeking to pressure him into supporting a jobs bill before the Senate.

Americans United for Change released a television ad in the Boston area this morning featuring clips of Brown stressing his independence, saying that the newly-sworn-in senator should keep that promise by independence by voting for the $15 billion jobs bill facing a procedural vote today.

The ad follows a formula that many groups may pursue against Brown over the next two years, until he has to seek reelection in 2012.
Read the rest

Question: Did Scott Brown capitulate on the jobs bill because of the television ad?

Watch the television ad here

Related Post: Is the Scott Brown Euphoria a little premature?

Dick Cheney hospitalized with chest pains, but resting comfortably

From KTLA News:
Former Vice President Dick Cheney has been hospitalized at George Washington University Hospital with chest pains.

A family member told NBC News he was resting comfortably while doctors evaluated his condition. Doctors say Cheney is stable but may have additional treatment Tuesday.

Weiner on Obama's health care plan: "This is a 51 Vote Senate Plan, Not 60 – That’s Great News”

Representative Anthony Weiner on Monday released a statement on the President's health care plan. In his statement, Weiner criticized certain elements of the plan, contending, among other things, that there was no public option in the plan. Nevertheless, despite these reservations, Weiner conceded that Obama, the self-proclaimed bipartisan President, had indeed crafted a plan that was undeniably "a 51 Vote Senate Plan and not a 60 vote plan." In other words, Obama's proposed bill is, in essence, a reconciliation bill:

"I am glad the President has put his finger on the scale at long last," Weiner said. "For months I have been saying that the American people need to hear directly from the President what he believes and wants from health care reform... To be clear, this bill is a 51 vote plan and not a 60 vote plan – that is great news. Democrats wasted a year bowing to the altar of Olympia Snowe, Joe Lieberman... and it got us nowhere.”

Rasmussen: Obama's poll numbers seem to plummet whenever the health care debate heats up

Michelle Obama: "You know?"

Barack Obama is well-renowned for his inordinate use of the "I" word [and the "uh" word]. However, a poster on YouTube couldn't help but notice how often Michelle Obama uses the words, "You know?":

Nidal Hasan's extremism overlooked by the Army in favor of diversity

From the Boston Globe:
Army superiors were warned about the radicalization of Major Nidal Malik Hasan years before he allegedly massacred 13 soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, but did not act in part because they valued the rare diversity of having a Muslim psychiatrist, military investigators wrote in previously undisclosed reports.

An obvious “problem child’’ spouting extremist views, Hasan made numerous statements that were not protected by the First Amendment and were grounds for discharge by violating his military oath, investigators found.

Examples of Hasan’s radical behavior have previously been disclosed in press accounts based on interviews with unnamed Army officials..., but the Pentagon’s careful documentation of individual episodes dating back to 2005 and the subsequent inaction of his superiors have not been made public before...

The report concludes that because the Army had attracted only one Muslim psychiatrist in addition to Hasan since 2001, “it is possible some were afraid’’ of losing such diversity “and thus were willing to overlook Hasan’s deficiencies as an officer.’’...

In one classroom incident not previously described by the Army..., Hasan appeared to be defending terrorism...

Hasan’s views and behavior were so well known that before he was transferred to Fort Hood in July 2009 a senior health official at Walter Reed informed a counterpart at the Texas base, the investigation found.

In fact, the report says Hasan was assigned in July 2009 to the medical center at Fort Hood in the first place because at least two superiors expressed concern that he “should not be sent to an assignment where he would be the sole provider.’’
Read the full article

Obama gets bad numbers from Congressional Budget Office

From the USA Today:
Jobs and the deficits are going to be big themes of President Obama's big speech tomorrow -- and he got some bad numbers on both topics today from the Congressional Budget Office...

A new report by the Congressional Budget Office says the nation's $1.4 trillion deficit is likely to stay in that range for the next two years...

The 2010 deficit should be about $1.35 trillion, and if Obama keeps President Bush's tax cuts in place and extends other expiring tax breaks, the 2011 deficit would be about the same, the report says. Over the next decade, the nation would rack up another $12 trillion in deficits, thereby doubling the size of the $12 trillion national debt.

"Daunting" and "bleak" were just some of the adjectives used by CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf on Tuesday to describe the 10-year budget picture. Spending is projected to outpace revenue, and the debt would soon be two-thirds the size of the overall economy. By 2020, interest payments on that debt would be more than $700 billion, about four times the size of the current amount...

"In sum, the outlook for the federal budget is bleak," Elmendorf said. "U.S. fiscal policy is on an unsustainable path to an extent that cannot be solved by minor tinkering."
However, despite Mr. Elmendorf ominous forecast, there's really nothing to worry about. Obama assured Bloomberg News last week that everything is "on the table" as far as tax increases are concerned, including tax hikes on the middle class. So, while it may be true that 'minor tinkering' will not get us out of this rut, 'MAJOR tinkering', will. And clearly there's no one more capable of 'tinkering' with our economy and our wallets than Obama.

Obama's Health Plan Adds $75 Billion to Senate Bill

From the Wall Street Journal:
President Barack Obama's health plan adds about $75 billion to the 10-year cost of the Senate health-overhaul bill, and includes new taxes to offset revenue lost by slimming down a tax on high-value insurance plans.

The bill passed by the the Senate on Dec. 24 would cost $871 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Mr. Obama's plan would cost about $950 billion over that period, the White House said. ..

To pay for the increased spending, the proposal would make deeper cuts to Medicare Advantage, a program under which some seniors get their Medicare benefit through private insurers. Also, Mr. Obama would increase the fees for companies and individuals who don't comply with the mandates in the bill. Employers who fail to offer coverage would pay a fine of $2,000 per employee, up from $750 per employee. Small employers are exempt from the fine.

Wealthy taxpayers would have to pay Medicare taxes on unearned income such as interest and dividends under the president's plan. Currently, Medicare taxes only apply to earned income. The Medicare tax on unearned income would apply to joint filers making more than $250,000 a year and individuals making more than $200,000 a year.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Obama appeases Las Vegas business leaders, and then milks them

From the Union Leader:
A few weeks ago, President Obama delivered one of his regular scoldings to the American people, saying we shouldn't blow a bunch of money in Vegas if we're trying to save for college. Then last week, the President went to Las Vegas, where he held a fundraiser at the home of George Maloof, who made his fortune from people blowing their money in Vegas. Maloof is owner of the Palms Casino and Resort.

Good thing for the Democrats that people didn't take Obama's advice. The price for the fundraiser was $30,000 a head, and it reportedly raised about $1 million for the Democratic National Committee...
That explains Obama's sudden conciliatory tone toward the city of Las Vegas.

After warning business leaders last year not to take trips to Las Vegas "on the taxpayer’s dime" and after telling an audience in Nashua, N.H several weeks ago that "you don't blow a bunch of cash in Vegas when you're trying to save for college," the President - last week - extended an invitation to the Mayor of Las Vegas to meet with him during his visit to the city, despite the fact that the President himself, had turned down an invitation to meet with both the Governor of Nevada and Nevadan business leaders last year.

It would also explain why the President, last week, finally decided to meet with Nevadan business leaders and why - during the aforementioned meeting - he expressed a new-founded love for the city: “Let me set the record straight," he said, "I love Vegas, always have. Love Vegas. Enjoy myself every time I’ve got an opportunity to visit.”

Clearly, the President realized he would need to appease Las Vegas' business tycoons if he was going to milk them at $30,000 a head.

Climate scientists withdraw journal's claims of rising sea levels

Scientists have been forced to withdraw a study on projected sea level rise due to global warming after finding mistakes that undermined the findings.

The study, published in 2009 in Nature Geoscience, one of the top journals in its field, confirmed the conclusions of the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)... that sea level would rise by between 7cm and 82cm by the end of the century.

Announcing the formal retraction, Mark Siddall, from the Earth Sciences Department at the University of Bristol, said: "It's one of those things that happens. People make mistakes and mistakes happen in science." He said there were two separate technical mistakes in the paper, which were pointed out by other scientists after it was published. A formal retraction was required, rather than a correction, because the errors undermined the study's conclusion.

"Retraction is a regular part of the publication process," he said. "Science is a complicated game and there are set procedures in place that act as checks and balances."...

In a statement the authors of the paper said: "Since publication of our paper we have become aware of two mistakes which impact the detailed estimation of future sea level rise. This means that we can no longer draw firm conclusions regarding 21st century sea level rise from this study without further work.

"One mistake was a miscalculation; the other was not to allow fully for temperature change over the past 2,000 years. Because of these issues we have retracted the paper and will now invest in the further work needed to correct these mistakes."
Source - UTV

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Obama administration reluctant to Criticize Iranian Communications Jamming

The President has steadfastly refused to criticize the Iranian regime over its human rights violations and its brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters. Thus, it should come as no surprise that the Obama administration actually tried to prevent the Broadcasting Board of Governors from protesting Iran's censorship policies:
The Iranian government's blanket censorship of satellite and Internet communications last week was so effective, it led many to wonder: Why didn't the U.S. government do more to stop it?

Despite strong statements from Foggy Bottom, the White House appears to be treading carefully. Three sources tell The Cable that the National Security Council discouraged Jeff Trimble, executive director of the Broadcasting Board of Governors - the independent agency that oversees the government's media operations, including Voice of America - from allowing VOA to attach its name to a statement last week with Deutsche Welle and the BBC protesting Iranian signal-jamming.

According to e-mails from Trimble to several Broadcasting Board of Governors staffers, the NSC first didn't want the VOA to join the statement if it mentioned "jamming." Later, the NSC modified its position to object to the use of the term "intensified jamming."

"NSC is ok with our confirming that jamming continues, they ask that we not say for now that it has intensified," a Feb. 11 e-mail from Trimble to several staffers read.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Dan Austin, director of VOA, acknowledged that changes had been made to the statement but declined to discuss the NSC's role...

VOA eventually joined the statement, and Trimble declined to confirm or deny that the White House pressured him...
Combatting the supression of Democracy, free speech and human rights has never been high on Obama's list of priorities. [In fact, some would even argue that Obama is encroaching on freedom of speech right here in the USA.] Last year, Egypt’s ambassador to the United States expressed satisfaction "that ties [between Egypt and the U.S.] are on the mend and that Washington has dropped conditions for better relations, including demands for ‘human rights, democracy and religious and general freedoms'. ’’

Clearly, Obama is more interested in reaching out to the Mullahs of Iran than he is in defending human rights and shielding the Iranian people from their despotic and tyrannical regime.

More news on the sidebar to the right.

Las Vegas Mayor gives Obama a taste of his own medicine

From KTNV - Feb 3, 2010:
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman had some harsh words for President Obama Tuesday. Here's what he had to say hours after the President remarked that people who are trying to save money shouldn't go to Vegas. [Obama told an audience in Nashua, N.H: "You don't blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you're trying to save for college."]:

"I guess you've all seen the president's remarks or read about the president's remarks", said Goodman. "Well I've got some remarks of my own. I was back in Washington, D.C. about two weeks ago, going up and down the halls of the capitol telling people about our economy here, trying to get them to be sympathetic to what we're trying to accomplish, then I have to read what President Obama said.

"He has a real psychological hang up about the entertainment capitol of the world... I don't know where his vendetta comes from but we're not going to let him make his bones by lambasting Las Vegas, that's why (the press) is here today.

"He didn't learn his lesson the first time, but when he hurt our economy by his ill conceived rhetoric, we didn't think it would happen again, but now that it has I want to assure you, when he comes I'll do everything I can to give him the boot back to Washington and to visit his failures back there.

"I gotta tell you this, everybody says I shouldn't say it, but I gotta tell you the way it is. This president is a real slow learner."
Mayor Goodman refused an invitation to meet with Mr. Obama during the President's upcoming visit to Las Vegas. Nevada Governor, Jim Gibbons told KTNV Wednesday that he is on Goodman's side:
"It was an intentional comment designed to deter and send people anywhere but Las Vegas. That's a mistake that can't be excused other than with an apology," says Gibbons.

Their concern is that President Obama made similar comments a year ago.

Governor Gibbons says that cost Las Vegas 341 conventions and meetings, millions of dollars.

"The first time he said 'don't come to Las Vegas' we can accept it as a mistake, but the second time was intentional, so it has to be considered more than just an inadvertent slip of the tongue," says Gibbons.
KTNV on Wednesday requested that their viewers' share their thoughts and opinions on the matter [on KTNV's website and Facebook page]: "Do you think the Mayor should accept the President's invitation and meet with him at the airport?", KTNV asked.

But unfortunately, KTNV forgot to mention one very important detail:

President Obama refused an invitation last year to meet with Nevada Governor, Jim Gibbons and with key business leaders from Nevada:
May 18, 2009: The Office of Governor Jim Gibbons was notified today that President Barack Obama has refused to meet with the Governor and key business leaders from Nevada.

Governor Gibbons requested the meeting in a letter to President Obama so the President could address statements he made that were critical to Nevada and have caused economic damage to convention business and tourism business in the Silver State.

Earlier this year, the President told an audience in Elkhart, Indiana, “You can’t get corporate jets. You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayer’s dime.” That quote was seen by many as an insult to Las Vegas and as a message to companies across the Nation to stay away from Las Vegas for corporate meetings and conventions.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reports over 400 conventions and business meetings scheduled to take place in Las Vegas recently have cancelled. These cancelled events translate into 111,800 guests in Las Vegas and over 250,000 “room-nights”. The cancelled conventions and meetings have cost the Las Vegas economy over $100-million, not including gaming revenue.

“I am disappointed at the hypocrisy shown by this Administration,” Gibbons said, “President Obama is coming to Las Vegas later this month for a political fundraiser, but he will not help the struggling families in Las Vegas and Nevada who are out of work because of his reckless comments.” Governor Gibbons noted.

“President Obama is coming to Las Vegas to raise campaign cash for Senator Harry Reid, apparently our money is good enough for the President, but our tourism, jobs, and economic future are not.” Gibbons added, “This is politics, pure and simple, President Obama stood for change, but all he has done is brought negative economic change to Nevada.”

Governor Gibbons is calling upon Senator Reid to use any influence he might have to ask President Obama to encourage Americans to visit America during their summer vacations this year.

“Sometimes Washington politicians forget that the people of Nevada are Americans,” Governor Gibbons said.
And, thus, my opinion on the matter is quite obvious: The President turned down an invitation last year to meet with Gov. Gibbons and with business leaders from Nevada. The Mayor is simply giving Obama a taste of his own medicine - and justifiably so.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Obama sending light attack aircraft to Lebanon/Hezbollah

From the Xinhua News Agency:
The United States expressed readiness to provide Lebanon by 2013 with aircraft designed for light attack, the local daily As Safir reported Friday.

The report said the Pentagon has proposed to provide Lebanon with Hawker-Beechcraft AT-6 or Embraer (NYSE:ERJ) Super Tucano planes to improve its capabilities in reconnaissance missions and counter- insurgency operations.
Reconnaissance missions and counter- insurgency operations? Hmmm, what kind of counter insurgency operations are they referring to? Lebanon doesn't need weapons to defend itself against Syria. Lebanon and Syria have been on good terms with each other ever since Barack Obama became President. Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, realized he had no choice but to reconcile with Syria after George W. Bush left the White House and Barack Obama, the new US President, began to forge a new relationship with Syria [Obama is preparing to send an ambassador to Syria for the first time since 2005, when the US withdrew its envoy from Syria following the assassination of Rafic Hariri].

Hezbollah is now officially part of the Lebanese government, and the Lebanese/Hezbollah alliance couldn't be any tighter than it is at the moment. So clearly, these attack aircraft are not intended to be used against Hezbollah.

But of course, Hezbollah could use these aircraft to strengthen its own military/terrorist operations... Hmmm...
The proposal came during talks between Lebanese Armed Forces ( LAF) delegation and U.S. military officials in Washington. A LAF delegation, headed by Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr, is currently on a visit to Washington.

[Lebanese Defense Minister Elias] Murr met with several U.S. officials including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday, according to As Safir.
Give President Obama credit where credit is due. He is taking full precautionary measures and doing everything within his power to make sure Hezbollah is safe and secure.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Robert Gibbs joins the liars' club

Appearing on MSNBC this morning, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs made the erroneous claim that the Christmas day bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was more likely to cooperate with civilian investigators than with military ones. Gibbs cited as a case in point, Jose Padilla, who, he said, only began to talk after he was transferred to a civilian prison.

"Jose Padilla was made an enemy combatant so we could get him to talk," said Gibbs. "And guess what happened: When we made him an enemy combatant, he didn't talk. He did talk when he was transferred back to a civilian court."

Thankfully, both Andrew McCarthy and Thomas Joscelyn have refuted Gibbs' outright lie - saving me from the onerous task of having to dig up all the necessary information myself. Of course, even if I tried, I wouldn't be able to come up with all the resourceful information that these two gentlemen have managed to dig up - and bequeath unto us all:

From Andrew McCarthy - National Review Online:
Padilla is actually the case that best shows the limitations and inadequacies of the civilian justice system as applied to enemy combatants. This fact is obscured because, as the Left keeps repeating, he was eventually transferred from military custody to the civilian justice system, where he was convicted.

Here's what they never tell you: He was not convicted of the most important plot we had against him — the conspiracy with KSM, Binyam Mohammed, and others to carry out a second wave of post-9/11 attacks inside the United States. He was never indicted on that plot because he could not be convicted applying civilian due process standards.

Padilla refused to give information to the FBI, using its regular protocols. It was only when he was designated as an enemy combatant and transferred to military custody (no lawyer involved in interrogations, no Miranda, no case to plea bargain) that he began to give up valuable information. None of those confessions could be admitted under the standards applicable in civilian courts.

Moreover, we knew a lot of other information about him from the interrogations of other Qaeda detainees, like KSM, by the CIA. But that information, too, could not be admitted under civilian court rules unless we were willing to give the sources immunity from prosecution. Since we were never going to immunize the likes of KSM, that was never going to happen.

So how was Padilla prosecuted? By luck, we had another, unrelated case on him. It had nothing to do with his plots against the United States. He was found to be a tangential but complicit member of a conspiracy to support terrorist operations outside the U.S. He was indicted for that plot and eventually convicted. But he received a comparatively minor sentence (17 years) rather than the life-sentence he should have and would have gotten if his major activity could have been proved in a civilian court. Alas, it could not. Thus, he stands to be released from prison in a few years — and, because he is a U.S. citizen, he will be released into our country.
Here's some additional information concerning the outrageously-light sentence that Padilla received:

On January 16, 2008, the LA Times reported as follows:
Jose Padilla and two co-defendants were engaged in terrorism when they conspired to fight in foreign holy wars and should spend 30 years to life in prison, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

The sentencing guidelines imposed by U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke seemed to indicate that... she would heed prosecutors' call for life without parole...

A jury convicted Padilla and his co-defendants in August of conspiracy to murder, maim or kidnap persons abroad and material support to terrorism...

Cooke cited the jury's finding that Padilla had enrolled in an Al Qaeda training camp as proof he was "an instrument of the scheme" to overthrow foreign governments and impose fundamentalist Islamic rule...
However, one week later, on the day the sentence was handed down, Marcia Cooke had a change of heart:

From the LA Times - January 26, 2008:
A federal judge Tuesday rejected prosecutors' pleas that she put Jose Padilla in prison for life, citing the harsh treatment he received during 3 1/2 years he spent in military detention as an enemy combatant...

A jury convicted the three in August of conspiracy to murder, maim or kidnap persons overseas and to provide material support to terrorist groups.

Under the sentence imposed by Cooke, Padilla, 37, will serve 17 years and four months and will receive credit for time served. The Muslim convert could be free before he is 50...

The judge's surprising move to depart from federal sentencing guidelines caused the defendants' attorneys to proclaim symbolic victory...

Cooke deemed the recommended terms of 30 years to life more appropriate to people like Terry L. Nichols, who plotted the 1995 Oklahoma City federal building bombing that killed 168 people, and would-be Sept. 11 hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui.

"There is no evidence that these defendants personally maimed, kidnapped or killed anyone in the United States or elsewhere," Cooke said.
In other words, although Cooke had stated one week earlier that Jose Padilla had engaged in terrorism when he conspired to fight in foreign holy wars, and although she had cited the Padilla's enrollment in an Al Qaeda training camp as proof that he was "an instrument of the scheme" to overthrow foreign governments and impose fundamentalist Islamic rule, she decided to give him a lenient [17 year] sentence because, ultimately, he did not actually maim, kidnap or kill anyone.

Hmmm, Abdulmutallab didn't really kill anybody either, maybe he'll get a light sentence too - providing he remains in civilian detention and receives a fair trial in a civilian court of law. Who knows, with good behavior, he could be released within a few short months.

In any case, Padilla's lenient punishment is a clear manifestation of Michael Savage's time-tested adage: "Liberalism is a mental disorder."

Thomas Joscelyn of the Weekly Standard - like Andrew McCarthy - demolishes Gibbs' contention that Padilla only began to talk after he was transferred into military custody.

You would be better served reading Joscelyn's entire piece at the Weekly Standard, but, if you wish, you can read a few sizeable excerpts from his article right here:
When Padilla was initially detained by the FBI in May 2002, authorities knew he was up to no good. The FBI questioned Padilla for several hours but got nowhere. A copy of the FBI’s 302 memo written after the initial questioning of Padilla shows that al Qaeda’s man gave the bureau nothing. Padilla talked about his personal history but said nothing about his real intentions or his nefarious friends.

FBI agent Russell Fincher has
testified that the Bureau initially sought Padilla’s cooperation in stopping an impending al Qaeda attack. “I believed there was a terrorist act that was going to happen. I believed he had knowledge of that. I needed his help,” Fincher explained. “I didn't want to arrest him.”

The FBI even offered to put Padilla up in a hotel so they could continue their conversation. But when the agents tried to turn the conversation towards Padilla’s al Qaeda ties, he shut down the interview. “He stood up and told me the interview was over and it was time for him to go,” Fincher recalled during testimony.

Padilla was then read a Miranda warning, arrested on a material witness warrant and transferred to the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York. There he stayed for one month without giving up anything of importance to the FBI...

After Padilla was transferred to the [military] brig on June 9, 2002, the leading newspapers noted the chief reason for the move: Padilla wasn’t cooperating with authorities...

The Washington Post gave this summary on June 12:
[Padilla]'s unwillingness to cooperate with authorities was the primary factor in his transfer to military custody, the officials said. One official said [Padilla] repeatedly resisted the efforts of FBI agents and representatives of the U.S. attorney's office to interview him, both through his lawyer and at least once in a face-to-face meeting inside the MCC.
Padilla would ultimately talk. But, contrary to Gibbs and Brennan, it wasn’t until he was placed in the military’s custody--not when he was returned to the civilian court system.

On June 1, 2004, the Defense Department released
a memo summarizing what was known about Padilla both before and after he was transferred into the military’s custody. The second page of the memo contains two paragraphs concerning what authorities had learned about Padilla up until June 9, 2002, the day he was transferred into the military’s custody. As the aforementioned press accounts make clear, authorities had garnered no information from Padilla himself. The DoD cited “intelligence information” and “our information” but no admissions by Padilla. Nearly all of the information on Padilla up until that point came from other al Qaeda detainees and sources.

The memo then reads: “Since that time [June 9, 2002], additional and more detailed intelligence information about Jose Padilla has been developed and made available in unclassified form.”

That additional information includes several pages of unclassified intelligence, including a number of admissions by Padilla, which were corroborated by other detainees.

Here are just some of the admissions Padilla made while in military custody:
Padilla has admitted that he attended the al Qaeda-affiliated al Farouq training camp in Afghanistan in September-October 2000 under the name Abdullah Al-Espani. …

Padilla also admits that he first met al Qaeda military commander Abu Hafs al-Masri, aka Mohammed Atef (“Atef”), in Afghanistan when Atef approached him in the al Farouq camp....

During his initial interview with the FBI, Padilla wouldn’t even admit that he traveled into Afghanistan. Once in the military’s custody, Padilla admitted that he conspired with some of the most senior al Qaeda operatives of all-time to attack the American homeland after 9/11 from Afghan and Pakistani soil...
Enough is enough - this post is way too long. You can always read the full article by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


From Bloomberg News:
President Barack Obama said he is “agnostic” about raising taxes on households making less than $250,000 as part of a broad effort to rein in the budget deficit.

Obama, in a Feb. 9 Oval Office interview, said that a presidential commission on the budget needs to consider all options for reducing the deficit, including tax increases and cuts in spending on entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

“The whole point of it is to make sure that all ideas are on the table,” the president said in the interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. “So what I want to do is to be completely agnostic, in terms of solutions.”...

“What I can’t do is to set the thing up where a whole bunch of things are off the table,” Obama said. “Some would say we can’t look at entitlements. There are going to be some that say we can’t look at taxes, and pretty soon, you just can’t solve the problem.”...
Read the full article

I suppose we'll have to wait till the full interview is published on Friday to see the exact quote in its proper context. Obama is quite adept in the art of ambiguity, and its quite possible that he did not openly state his intention to raise taxes on the middle class, but merely alluded to the idea.

Was he sending out another one of his trial balloons? Does he really he think a proposed tax hike on the middle class will fly with the American people?

P.S. I just read the entire interview. Obama was clearly responding to a question as to whether he would ultimately raise taxes on households making less than $250,000:

Other news:

Obama budget rigs healthcare numbers - h/t -Instapundit

AP: Jobs bill will hand Obama a badly needed political victory, but will not create many jobs

Pelosi aid says Democratic congressional leaders have settled on a legislative "trick" to pass Obamacare; so why have a summit?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

John Brennan, renowned terrorist sympathizer and brazen liar

In August of 2009, White House counter terrorism adviser John Brennan offered the following words of praise for Hezbollah:

"Hezbollah started out as purely a terrorist organization back in the early ’80s and has evolved significantly over time. And now it has members of parliament, in the cabinet; there are lawyers, doctors, others who are part of the Hezbollah organization."

In an op-ed piece in today's USA Today, entitled, 'We need no lectures', the amicable terrorist sympathizer defended the White House' decision to treat Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Christmas day bomber, as a civilian criminal.

Echoing comments he made on "Meet The Press" this past Sunday, Brennan asserted as follows:

"Senior counter terrorism officials from the White House, the intelligence community and the military were all actively discussing [Abdalmutallab's] case before he was Mirandized and supported the decision to charge him in criminal court."

As I've noted previously, three intelligence chiefs testified at a recent Senate Judiciary that they were not consulted about the decision to mirandize Abdalmutallab.

Brennan's brazenness, and his ability to repeatedly lie, over and over again, without the slightest trace of shame, is simply mind-boggling.

In his op-ed today, Brennan went on to say that mirandizing terrorists was consistent with "a long-standing FBI policy that was reaffirmed under Michael Mukasey, President Bush's attorney general."

Brennan stated essentially the same thing on Meet The Press last week:

"The FBI's guidelines that they use, the FBI Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide, was the implementation of the attorney general guidelines that were finalized by Attorney General Mukasey in the last administration in December of 2008. That is when those guidelines were put in place. So the procedures and the protocols were exactly consistent with what we've done before."

I skimmed through the aforementioned FBI guidelines briefly[], but I couldn't find any reference to these so-called 'procedures', 'protocols' and mirandizing of terrorists.

Apparently, Michael Mukasey couldn't find any such reference in his guidelines either.

From the Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Brennan defended the decision that allowed Christmas bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to lawyer up by invoking—you guessed it—the Bush administration. Mr. Brennan claimed the process for reading Abdulmutallab his Miranda rights was "the same process that we have used for every other terrorist who has been captured on our soil." The FBI, he asserted, was simply following guidelines put in place by Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

Mr. Mukasey begs to differ. "First, the guidelines Mr. Brennan refers to involve intelligence gathering," he told me. "They do not deal with whether someone in custody is to be treated as a criminal defendant or as an intelligence asset."

"Second, as for gathering intelligence, it begs the whole question about whether he [Abdulmutallab] should have been designated a criminal suspect. And there is nothing—zero, zilch, nada—in those guidelines that makes that choice. It is a decision that ought to be made at the highest level, and the heads of our security agencies have testified that it was made without consulting them."
It's a shame John Brennan is using the mainstream media to propagate his lies. Unfortunately, the media is in the tank for Obama, and it will never call out Brennan on his blatant lies and distortions. It would behoove congress to call upon Mr. Brennan to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee - in front of the intelligence chiefs whose testimony he is contradicting. Let's see what kind of brazenness, audaciousness and wiliness he's able to muster up when testifying under oath.

Other News: ABC news is reporting that the overwhelming majority of stimulus money spent on wind power has gone to foreign companies. Nearly $2 billion in money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been spent on wind power, but nearly 80 percent of that money has gone to foreign manufacturers of wind turbines. Incredible.

Climate.Gov, hiding the ice?

The President launched a new government website on Monday called, hoping to prove once and for all that Global Warming is a reality, and not a myth, despite the fact that Climate Change scientists have been 'hiding the decline' for years and that the IPOCC's integrity has been strongly discredited.

Nevertheless, it didn't take too long for skeptics to realize that the con artists at had intentionally omitted some of the sea ice data:
The sea ice data, cited from NSIDC, stops in 2007. 2008 and 2009 sea ice data and imagery, available to even the simplest of curiosity seekers at the publicly available NSIDC or even Cryosphere Today websites, is not included in the graphic. Mr. Scott chooses... 2007 as the endpoint for comparison. This leaves a reader who is “not in the know”, with the false impression that sea ice has not recovered in any way...

There’s no excuse for NOAA not showing the 2008 and 2009 sea ice data or imagery in this story. None, zilch, zero, zip, nada.

Suffice it to say, this piece on is propaganda with a lie of omission. It is not science because it omits a portion of the data that disagrees with the article’s premise...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Richard Reid and John Brennan, an endless cycle of prevarications and obfuscations

Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan defended the Obama administration's decision to mirandize Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and insisted that Republican lawmakers were made aware of the decision on Christmas night but did not raise any objection.

"On Christmas night, I called a number of senior members of Congress," Brennan said. "I spoke to Senators McConnell and Bond, I spoke to Representative Boehner and Hoekstra. I explained to them that he was in FBI custody... They knew that "in FBI custody" means that there's a process then you follow as far as Mirandizing and presenting him in front of a magistrate. None of those individuals raised any concerns with me at that point.... And, quite frankly, I'm tiring of politicians using national security issues such as terrorism as a political football."

Sen. Bond immediately issued a statement refuting Brennan's distortions:

"Brennan never told me any of plans to Mirandize the Christmas Day bomber -- if he had I would have told him the administration was making a mistake," Bond said. "The truth is that the administration did not even consult our intelligence chiefs, as DNI Blair testified, so its absurd to try to blame congressional leaders for this dangerous decision that gave terrorists a five week head start to cover their tracks."

Rep. Boehner also took exception to Brennan's allegation saying that while he had received a short call on his cell phone informing him that Abdulmuttalab had been taken into custody, he was never told that Abdulmuttalab would be treated as a civilian criminal.

"Instead of attempting to dodge responsibility, John Brennan and this Administration should focus on fixing the near-catastrophic intelligence breakdown that failed to prevent this attack," Boehner said.

Congressmen Hoekstra and McConnell also denied they had been informed of the decision.

McConnell spokesman, Don Stewart said that Mr. Brennan "is clearly trying to shift the focus away from the fact that their bad decisions gave terrorists in Yemen a weeks-long head start."

Rep. Hoekstra issued a similar statement.

Brennan also told Meet the Press that the decision to mirandize Abdulmutallab was no different than the Bush administration's decision - in December of 2001 - to try the 'Shoe Bomber', Richard Reid, in a civilian court. However, former U.S. attorney Mike Sullivan, who prosecuted Mr. Reid in a federal court, told Fox News last month that military tribunals had only been established a few weeks prior to the attempted shoe bombing incident and that he is confident that "had Mr. Reid's plane landed at Logan Airport in Dec. 2003, versus Dec. 2001, we would have had the discussion and made the determination as to whether or not holding Mr. Reid as an enemy combatant would have better served the country."

Sullivan conceded that additional intelligence information could have been gleaned from the Shoe Bomber had he been detained in a military prison and he said that a lot of intelligence will likely be be lost as a result of Abdulmutallab's civilian detention.

Incidentally, the Justice Dept. - last year - decided to move Richard Reid out of the isolation wing at the Supermax prison in Colorado:
Five months ago, British shoe bomber Richard Reid, who is serving a life sentence for his failed attempt in 2001 to blow up a trans-Atlantic airliner, was moved out of the isolation wing at the Supermax prison in Colorado -- prompting some conservative lawmakers to suggest that the Obama administration is making it possible for the self-proclaimed Al Qaeda terrorist to radicalize his fellow prisoners.

Critics said the move was part of what they say is a troubling pattern in the administration to treat terrorists with kid gloves.

"This decision is another product of the Obama administration's alarming effort to treat terrorist killers like everyday common criminals," said Stephen Miller, a spokesman for Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee and a strong critic of the president's national security policies...


Mike Sullivan, the former U.S. attorney for Massachusetts who prosecuted Reid, said moving him out of isolation poses a risk.

"If he's in general population, it's not unusual that he could radicalize" others," Sullivan said. "Reid, if you look at him, he became radicalized because of contacts in the U.K. There is clear evidence that Al Qaeda uses inmates to recruit others to their radical positions."...
Read the full article

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sessions: Holder's statement contradicts testimony of Blair, Napolitano and Leiter

In a letter to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell earlier this week, Attorney General Eric Holder wrote that the FBI informed its partners in the intelligence community on Christmas Day that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab would be treated as a criminal defendant, and not an enemy combatant.

The decision was made "with the knowledge of, and with no objection from, all other relevant departments of government," Holder asserted.

However, as I noted yesterday, this statement contradicts the testimony of three Intelligence heads who told the Senate Judiciary Committee last month that they were not consulted on the matter. [See previous post and the embedded video]

During today’s meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Jeff Sessions raised this very same point:
“The Attorney General’s response was disappointing to me, for a lot of reasons. Although Attorney General Holder admitted he made the decision to treat the Christmas Day bomber as a civilian criminal, he also made the remarkable claim that his decision was made “with the knowledge of, and with no objection from, all other relevant departments of the government"."

"This statement stands in stark contrast to the testimony of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Michael Leiter, and FBI Director Robert Mueller, all of whom said they were not consulted on the decision. And in fact, it does appear from the letter, if you read it carefully, that the decision was made before they were notified. It had already been made and a lawyer had already been appointed and he’d clammed up..."
Sen. Sessions went on to cite various inconsistencies [and prevarications] in Holder's letter, including the following:
“[Holder] cites how Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, was charged in the civilian criminal system, but fails to acknowledge that there was no military commission system in place at the time of his arrest in December 2001. The military commission system wasn’t brought under congressional authorization until 2006, when we passed legislation to do that."
Click here to read the full excerpt of Sessions' remarks as posted on his website.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Eric Holder is a dangerous prevaricator, he should be fired!

From the AP:
Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday he made the decision to charge the Christmas Day terror suspect in the civilian system with no objection from all the other relevant departments of the government.

In a letter to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, the attorney general wrote that the FBI told its partners in the intelligence community on Christmas Day and again the next day that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab would be charged criminally...

"No agency supported the use of law of war detention for Abdulmutallab, and no agency has since advised the Department of Justice that an alternative course of action should have been, or should now be, pursued," the attorney general wrote.
The decision to treat Mr. Abdulmutallab as a criminal defendant was made "with the knowledge of, and with no objection from, all other relevant departments of government," Holder asserted.

However, at a Senate Judiciary hearing last month, when Sen. Susan Collins asked the head of the Dept. of Homeland Security, the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, and the National Security Director if they had been consulted about the decision to file criminal charges against Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in a civilian court, they all replied that they had not been consulted. Senator John McCain later asked them if they agree with the decision. All three replied 'no comment'.

Video of Susan Collins questioning the Intelligence heads:

Clearly, Mr. Holder's assertion that "the FBI told its partners in the intelligence community" about the decision to try Abdulmutallab in a civilian court [and that the decision was made "with the knowledge of, and with no objection from, all other relevant departments of government,"] seems to contradict what Intelligence heads told the Senate Judiciary Committee last month. If Holder did indeed inform them of the move, it was not until after he had already made the decision. Additionally, his contention that "no agency" supports "the use of law of war detention for Abdulmutallab", is highly suspect in light of what the intelligence heads told Sen. McCain at the hearing ["No comment"].

The Attorney General issued his statement in a letter - and not in a court of law - thus he can not be charged with perjury. However, I do believe that Mr. Holder should be censured and ultimately fired for his blatant prevarication and twisting of the facts. America can ill-afford to have an Attorney General, who skirts around the truth. The lives of thousands of American citizens are hanging on the balance of his bumbling, irresponsible, unilateral decisions - and his evasion of the truth. Mr. Holder must be relieved of his duties, immediately!

Update - 2/4/10: Sessions: Holder's statement contradicts testimony of Blair, Napolitano and Leiter

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Obama Snubs Europe

Barack Obama Last Year On US/Europe Relations:

"In America, there's 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... So I've come to Europe this week to renew our partnership, one in which America listens and learns from our friends and allies."
Barack Obama speaking at the Rhenus Sports Arena in Strasbourg, France - April 3, 2009

"We exercise our leadership best when we are listening; when we recognize that the world is a complicated place and that we are going to have to act in partnership with other countries...; when we show some element of humility..."
Barack Obama speaking at the G-20 summit in London - April 2009

"I just think in a world that is as complex as it is, that it is very important for us to be able to forge partnerships as opposed to simply dictating solutions."
News conference by President Obama, ExCel Center, London, United Kingdom, April 2, 2009

"I know that promises of partnership have gone unfulfilled in the past... The United States has... at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms. But I pledge to you that we seek an equal partnership... I'm here to launch a new chapter of engagement..."
Barack Obama speaking at the Summit of the Americas opening ceremony, Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago - April 17, 2009

Barack Obama Now:

From the Guardian UK
A diplomatic spat has broken out over a decision by Barack Obama to break with tradition and not attend an EU-US summit in Spain in May.

The move is being seen as a snub to Europe and a sign that the promise of a more international approach from the US under Obama is being overtaken by more pressing domestic concerns.

European leaders had assumed that Obama would be at the summit, which is due to be held in Madrid because Spain currently holds the rotating EU presidency. But yesterday the state department said the president was not planning to attend...
From Reuters:

"[Obama] does not always seem as interested in Europe as Europe is in the United States," said an EU diplomat.
From the New York Times:

In addition to the palpable sense of insult among European officials, there is a growing concern that Europe is being taken for granted and losing importance in American eyes....

American officials said that Mr. Obama felt that the previous major American-European summit meeting, last June in Prague, was a waste of time, and European Union officials said that the president even skipped a leaders’ lunch at the smaller European Union-United States meeting in Washington last November, sending Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. instead, something they said that President George W. Bush would never have done..
"There have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive..."

The I's Have It: Obama Uttered 45 I's in Nashua, N.H.

From Fox News:
Much attention has been given to President Obama's persistent use of "I" when giving speeches to sell his administration's agenda... is tracking the president's speeches all this month and will report back after each to see whether the "I's" Have It.

Today's Speech: Opening remarks at a town hall-style meeting in Nashua, N.H.

Subject: Jobs and the economy; Speech Length: 2,811 words; Number of "I" References: 45:
Editor's note: This is a short excerpt from Obama's speech. You can read the entire speech, I's and all, at
It's great to be back in New Hampshire today. Now, as some of you might remember, I've spent a little time in this state. I've had beers at the Peddler's Daughter here in Nashua and manned the scoop at ice cream socials from to Dover to Hudson. I've walked Main Street in Concord, and visited with folks in all ten counties. I even once flew into the airport in Milan, which has got to be one of the only airports with a functioning wood stove. (Laughter)...

And I just have a lot of good friends here in this State here in this city and here in this high school. I'm just grateful to all of you for taking the time to be here.

So I've had the privilege of getting to know folks here in New Hampshire. I've seen firsthand that spirit of independence and self-reliance. I know how hard you all work...


When I was up here campaigning I didn't run for president to kick these challenges down the road. I didn't run for president to play it safe and keep my poll numbers as high as possible for the next election. I ran to solve problems for the next generation. I ran to get the hard things done. (Applause and Cheers) That's why you elected me. So, I won't rest until businesses are hiring again, and wages are rising again, and the middle class is thriving again, and we've finally got an economy that works for all Americans not just some Americans. I won't rest until we do what we know will secure our continued leadership in the 21st century global economy. I'm not ready to cede the future to China or India or any European countries. I'm not willing to settle for second place... (Applause and Cheers)
Wow! I must admit, I don't think I've ever heard so many I's in a single speech! Then again, I do not have such a good memory, so I could be mistaken. However, if I am indeed mistaken, I would like to offer the President my sincerest apologies, for ultimately, I do not want the President to think I am so full of haughtiness that I believe I must always be correct. For even I, as praiseworthy as I may be, am willing to concede that such a feat would be nary impossible, unless I were the Messiah, and that I can not be, for I am not Obama.

The States Fight Back: Virginia Rejects Obamacare’s Individual Mandates

From The Foundry:
Yesterday the U.S. Constitution and federalism won a key battle. The Virginia Senate, which has a Democrat Majority, passed a bill prohibiting a requirement for Virginians to purchase health-care insurance. Five Democrats from swing districts joined all of the Senate Republicans in voting in favor of the measure. And with a Republican State House and Governor, this bill is expected to make it into law...
Read the full post

Related News: A sampling of Canada's Universal Health Care system, from The Foundry:
This past summer the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority considered cutting more than 6,000 surgeries to make up for a $200 million budget shortfall. British Columbia Medical Association president Dr. Brian Brodie called the proposed surgical cuts “a nightmare.” Access problems are not new to Canadian’s single payer system. Since 2003, Timely Medical Alternatives Inc. has helped Canadians “leave the queue” and get timely health care in the United States...
Read the full post

Key Global Warming Study based on suspect figures from China

The story is here - h/t Hot Air

Old News:

Chris Matthews: I forgot Obama was black for one hour - Video

Reuters Withdraws "Backdoor Taxes to Hit Middle Class" Story After Contacted by White House

From Habledash:
Reuters published a story titled "Backdoor Taxes to Hit Middle Class" late afternoon on Monday; however, shortly thereafter retracted the story and removed it from its website. The White House had contacted the news service to point out "significant errors" that were made in the story, which ultimately led to removing the story. Initially promising an update, Reuter's will not be writing a substitute story. The article addresses the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and how they will end up hurting the middle class, which they will....

This sounds like another case of the Obama administration controlling what information should and shouldn't be released. We'll see how Robert "Goebbels" Gibbs handles the Q and A on this topic....
Read the full post:

The original Reuters' piece, as of this moment, can still be read here.

Mel Zelaya was not wearing pajamas

Read the story here, here and here.

Other News: McCain: Holder ‘Has obviously botched this one very, very badly' - Video

It's Official: Obama’s Spending Today Dwarfs FDR’s Depression-Era Spending

From CNS News:
In his budget message to Congress released yesterday, President Barack Obama repeatedly compared the economic situation he “inherited” to the Great Depression of the 1930s when Franklin Roosevelt was president. But the new budget data release by his own Office of Management and Budget reveals that in one way Obama is making the current era distinctly different from the Great Depression: He is spending vastly more money than Roosevelt did.

Between 1934, the first fiscal year in which Roosevelt and a Democrat congressional majority had full control of the federal budget, and 1941, the year the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, FDR never spent more than 12.0 percent of the GDP. In 1938, FDR spent as little as 7.7 percent of GDP. According to the budget tables released by the White House Monday, Obama will spend 25.4 percent, 25.1 percent and 23.2 percent in the three years remaining in his term. If he is reelected, he has the government on track to spend 22.8 percent in 2013, 22.9 percent in 2014 and 22.9 percent in 2015.

Obama is making FDR look frugal.

President Franklin Roosevelt

1934 - 10.7
1935 - 9.2
1936 - 10.5
1937 - 8.6
1938 - 7.7
1939 - 10.3
1940 - 9.8
1941 - 12.0

President Barack Obama

2010 - 25.4
2011 - 25.1
2012 - 23.2
2013 - 22.8
2014 - 22.9
2015 - 22.9
Other News:

British Intelligence: Al Qaeda to surgically implant explosives into human bodies

Obama budget includes $237 million to house Guantanamo detainees in Illinois

Democratic Senate candidate distances herself from Obama

Blackwater Continues to Win Contracts Under New Identities

The most bloated budget ever