Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Barack Obama as "The Artist" - Response to Chris Matthews' Video: "Mitt Romney: Better Off Mute"

In honor of the Academy Award winning film, "The Artist", the Chris Matthews Show released a parody trailer over the weekend mocking former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

The video, entitled "Mitt: Better Off Mute", likens Romney to the protagonist in "The Artist', whose career came to a sudden halt due to the emergence of sound in cinema. The parody trailer depicts Romney as an individual who often stumbles over his own words, and thus would be better off embarking on a career as a silent movie star.

Here's the original video; the pre-revised version:

And here is a revised version of the parody trailer in which Barack Obama stars as the protagonist.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Obama's 'Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan' To Be Twice as High as Predicted

From the Washington post:
Medical costs for enrollees in the health-care law’s high-risk insurance pools are expected to more than double initial predictions, the Obama administration said Thursday in a report on the new program.

The health-care law set aside $5 billion for a Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, meant to provide health insurance to those who had been declined coverage by private carriers...

The PCIP program will phase out in 2014, when insurers will be required to accept all applicants regardless of their health-care status.

Those who have enrolled in the program are projected to have significantly higher medical costs than the government initially expected. Each participant is expected to average $28,994 in medical costs in 2012, according to the report, more than double what government-contracted actuaries predicted in November 2010. [In 2010] analysts expected that the program would cost $13,026 per enrollee.

The costs also are significantly higher than those of similar high-risk pools that many states have operated for decades. States spent an average of $12,471 on enrollees in 2008, according to the National Association of State Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Four U.S. soldiers killed by Afghan personnel, several wounded - No apology necessary?

Four U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan have been killed and several have been injured in the wake of the recent unintended burning of Korans at a NATO army base in Kabul.

On Sunday, protesters hurled a hand grenade at a U.S. army base, injuring seven U.S. personnel. On Saturday, a junior officer in the Afghan ministry's intelligence department shot and killed two American officers inside the Afghan interior ministry.

Two other U.S. soldiers were killed last week at a base in eastern Afghanistan when an Afghan soldier turned his gun on them.

President Obama issued a written apology to Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, last week for the [unintended] burning of the Korans, but has yet to demand an apology from Mr. Karzai for the deaths and injuries of the aforementioned U.S. military personnel. And, considering Obama's penchant for appeasement, particularly whith regards to Islamic extemists, it is unlikely that he will make such a request. Nor is it likely that Mr. Karzai will issue an apology.

Quite the contrary, according to CNN, Mr. Karzai, in a recent televised address, said that the "emotions of our people" over the burned Korans "are legitimate and valuable." But he went on to say that staying calm will help stop "enemies of our peace and stability" from taking advantage and harming people and property. Heh...

In typical hypocritical fashion, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday lashed out at the Republican presidential candidates who criticized Obama for apologizing to Karzai.

"I find it somewhat troubling that our politics would inflame such a dangerous situation in Afghanistan," said Clinton, who, in 2008, in unison with Obama, not only slammed President Bush with a barrage of political rhetoric that bolstered the enemy, but also voted with Obama to cut off funding for the troops in Iraq, a move which, at the time, was harshly criticized by then-Sen. Joe Biden as harmful to the safety and well-being of our troops.

Nevertheless, rather than apologize for the unintended actions of our troops, President Obama should stand up for our service members, and for the soldiers who were brutally gunned down by the Afghan personnel. Indeed, it would behoove the President to pay his respects to the murdered soldiers by demanding an apology from Mr. Karzai.

This is the least Obama can do for the deceased soldiers and their surviving comrades in Afghanistan who've been hamstrung by his policy of appeasement, surrender and retreat.

Friday, February 24, 2012

7 States sue to block Obama birth control mandate

From the AP:
Seven states asked a federal judge Thursday to block an Obama administration mandate that requires birth control coverage for employees of religious-affiliated hospitals, schools and outreach programs...

The lawsuit was filed by attorneys general from Nebraska, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas...

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is named as a defendant. A phone message left with the agency on Thursday wasn't immediately returned.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Al Qaeda claims responsibility for deadly attacks in Iraq

Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for a spate of bombings and other attacks in Iraq on Thursday that killed at least 55 people and wounded more than 225, the AP reported.

The relative calm in Iraq has deteriorated rapidly since the U.S. military's withdrawal in late December. As per President Obama's direcetive, no residual force of U.S. troops remained in the country, thereby leaving a huge and perilous security vacuum.

President Obama & Jay Carney on watching the GOP Presidential debates

"Some of you here may be folks who actually used to be Republican, but are puzzled by what’s happened to that party... I mean, has anybody been watching the debates lately? You’ve got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change. (Laughter.) No, no, it’s true."
President Obama - DNC fundraiser, San Jose, California - September 26, 2011

"The other side has a very different idea about where to take this country. I urge all of you to watch some of these Republican debates! There’s a different vision about who we are and what we stand for."
President Obama - DNC fundraiser, Los Angeles, California - September 27, 2011

"I hope all of you are watching these Republican debates. You need to see what's going on to get a sense of what's at stake. They've got a very specific idea about where they want to take this country."
President Obama - Campaign Fundraiser, New York - November 30, 2011

"The Republicans in Congress and the candidates running for President, they’ve got a very specific idea of where they want to take this country. To their credit, they’re not hiding it. Watch these debates!"
President Obama - Aulani Disney Resort, Ko Olina, Hawaii - November 14, 2011

"I suspect, knowing [the President], knowing his viewing habits, that he will not watch [the debate]. He has a family at home... When he watches TV at all, it’s either sports or a movie. So I don't expect he will... I think he’ll be prepared when that time comes. He might look at a little tape when that time comes. But for now, I think he’ll continue his practice of finding something better to do."
White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, on whether the President planned to watch the Republican Presidential debate - February 22, 2012

"I know that he didn't watch it. "
White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, on whether the President had watched the Republican Presidential debate - February 23, 2012

Related Post: Obama will find ‘something better to do’ than watch GOP debate

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Obama will find ‘something better to do’ than watch GOP debate

Asked during a White House press briefing whether President Obama will be watching the GOP Presidential debate on Wednesday, Press Secretary Jay Carney replied: "He'll be prepared when that time comes, he might look at a little tape when that time comes. But for now I think he’ll continue his practice of finding something better to do.”

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Obama apparently reaching out to Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood

From Xinhua News agency via Focus News:
Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood on Sunday rejected as groundless some earlier reports saying it had held a meeting with some U.S. officials.

The Islamic movement, which has been boycotting dialogue with the United States after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, is still sticking to its position, said Jamil Abu Baker, spokesperson of the movement...

"The Muslim Brotherhood received several messages from the Americans through mediators asking for a dialogue but no such meetings (between the two sides) have happened," he said in the statement.

Several local reports lately indicated that the U.S. embassy in Amman contacted representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic Action Front, the movement's political wing.
Related Post: "Chronicling Obama's obsessive outreach to the Iranian & Syrian regimes, Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Hamas etc."

Tapper demolishes Obama's talking point on deficit reduction pledge - Robert Gibbs interview

During ABC's "This Week" program on Sunday, host, Jake Tapper, asked former White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, about the President's failure to fulfill a pledge he had made to cut the federal deficit in half by the end of his first term.

Tapper noted that although the White House and the President have offered up an explanation as to why Mr. Obama had made the aforementioned pledge and why he was unable to fulfill his promise - namely, because he didn't know how bad the economy was, in 2009, when he made the pledge - in truth, Obama made the same pledge as recently as February of 2011.

Nevertheless, the President, in an interview last week, offered up the same bogus excuse, and phony talking point, despite the fact that, as recently as February of 2011, he still insisted, and pledged, that he would cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.

Oh, well, par for the course, I suppose.......

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Iran poised for big nuke jump

From the AP:
Iran is poised to greatly expand uranium enrichment at a fortified underground bunker to a point that would boost how quickly it could make nuclear warheads, diplomats tell The Associated Press.

They said Tehran has put finishing touches for the installation of thousands of new-generation centrifuges at the cavernous facility - machines that can produce enriched uranium much more quickly and efficiently than its present machines...

The senior diplomats... suggested that Tehran would have little reason to prepare the ground for the better centrifuges unless it planned to operate them. They spoke in recent interviews - the last one Saturday.

The reported work at Fordo appeared to reflect Iran's determination to forge ahead with nuclear activity that could be used to make atomic arms despite rapidly escalating international sanctions...

Fordo could be used to make fissile warhead material even without such an upgrade, the diplomats said.

They said that although older than Iran's new generation machines, the centrifuges now operating there can be reconfigured within days to make such material because they already are enriching to 20 percent - a level that can be boosted quickly to weapons-grade quality.

Their comments appeared to represent the first time anyone had quantified the time it would take to reconfigure the Fordo centrifuges into machines making weapons-grade material.

Iranian officials deny nuclear weapons aspirations... But IAEA chief Yukiya Amano has said there are increasing indications of such activity...

Among these were indications that Iran has conducted high explosives testing and detonator development to set off a nuclear charge, as well as computer modeling of a core of a nuclear warhead. The report also cited preparatory work for a nuclear weapons test and development of a nuclear payload for Iran's Shahab 3 intermediate range missile - a weapon that could reach Israel...

[Iranian news media reported several days ago] that a "new generation" of Iranian centrifuges had gone into operation at Natanz, in central Iran.

A diplomat accredited to the IAEA, which monitors Iran's known nuclear programs, said the "new generation" of centrifuges appeared to be referring to about 65 IR-4 machines that were recently set up at an experimental site at Natanz.
The Guardian-UK reported in 2009 that the IAEA had obtained documentation that suggests Iranian scientists have experimented with an extremely sophisticated and highly advanced nuclear warhead design.

"It is breathtaking that Iran could be working on this sort of material," said one nuclear expert.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Obama Decimating Global AIDS Funding, Undercutting Bush's AIDS initiative

From the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF):
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today criticized the Obama administration, which—in a shocking repudiation of nearly thirty years of progress against the global AIDS pandemic—last Monday unveiled a global AIDS budget that takes the unprecedented step of reducing AIDS funding by approximately $214 million in fiscal year 2013. Never before has a President sought to actually reduce America’s commitment to fighting the AIDS epidemic globally.

In Fiscal Year 2012, the federal funding for global AIDS is $6.63 billion. President Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget proposes spending $6.42 billion. In human terms, this difference represents 640,000 people with HIV/AIDS that could receive lifesaving AIDS treatment for one year.

The proposed budget comes shortly after, and is directly at odds with, the President’s December 2011 announced goals of putting 2 million more people (50% more than the current number of approximately 4 million) on treatment by the end of 2013, and of creating an “AIDS free generation.”

“This latest action merely confirms what people with HIV/AIDS and their advocates have long suspected – the President simply is not committed to fighting global AIDS. Coming on the heels of the President’s flowery rhetoric last December, the cynicism is simply breathtaking,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which provides free HIV/AIDS medical care to over 125,000 people in 26 countries abroad.

Since the creation of the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) under President George W. Bush in 2003, the U.S.’s commitment to global AIDS has grown quickly from less than $1 billion to today’s present levels, and the results have been nothing short of miraculous. In combating a disease that affects over 33 million, U.S. generosity today helps provide treatment for over 3.9 people with HIV/AIDS worldwide, preventing premature deaths and has helped prevent millions of new HIV infections.

However, further funding increases have stalled under President Obama, despite Congressional approval for increased spending – which approval then-Senator Obama also supported. Now, as President, Obama is taking action to reduce America’s commitment.

Most damaging, the proposed budget slashes PEPFAR – the U.S.’s program for directly funding AIDS treatment, care, and prevention in the countries hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic – by $546 million...

“With this one stroke, the President seeks to gut the most successful foreign aid program since the Marshall Plan,” continued Weinstein... "Without increasing funding to levels already authorized by Congress, just holding steady against the epidemic, let alone achieving an ‘AIDS-free generation,’ is simply empty rhetoric.”
Related Video: "Obama undercuts Bush's AIDS initiative, offers disingenuous response to AIDS activists, Hecklers"

Gallup: U.S. Unemployment rose to 9.0% in Mid-February, Underemployment increased to 19.0%

The U.S. unemployment rate is 9.0% in mid-February, up from 8.6% for the month of January and up from 8.3% in mid-January, according to Gallup's latest report, released on Friday. Gallup's month and mid-month reports are based on rolling averages of the previous 30 days.

Additionally, Gallup reported that the underemployment rate, a measure that combines the percentage of workers who are unemployed with the percentage working part time but wanting full-time work, is 19.0% in mid-February, up from 18.7% for the month of January.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gallup: Obama Approval at 43 Percent, Disapproval at 48%

43% of Americans approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as president, 48% disapprove, according to Gallup's daily tracking poll, which is based on a three-day rolling average. The latest tracking poll is from Feb. 13-15.

James Clapper to Sen. Inhofe: Obama's nuclear disarmament plan is "news to me"

During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday, Sen. Jim Inhofe questioned National Intelligence Director, James Clapper, about a recent AP report that says the Obama administration is weighing options for sharp new cuts to the U.S. nuclear force, including a reduction of up to 80 percent in the number of deployed weapons.

"It's new to me", said Clapper.

Apparently, the National Intelligence Director was kept out of the loop.

But, luckily, for Mr. Clapper, Mr. Inhofe was able to keep him abreast of the situation.

Monday, February 6, 2012

U.S. Unemployment rises to 8.7%, Underemployment surges to 18.7% - Only 64% of Americans employed full time

The number of unemployed Americans as of February 3, 2012, according to Gallup's daily tracking poll, rose to 8.7%, an increase of .2% from January 3, when the unemployment rate was at 8.5%.

Underemployment, a measure that combines the percentage of workers who are unemployed with the percentage working part time but wanting full-time work, rose sharply from 18.2% on January 3, to 18.7% on February 3.

According to Gallup's daily tracking poll, 64% of Americans were working full time as of February 3, 2012, a drastic 1.3% decline from January 3, when 65.3% of Americans were working full time.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Obama refuses to pay for 2008 campaign event

From NBC Chicago:
Three and a half years after a rally by then candidate Barack Obama in Springfield, city officials in the state capitol say they are left holding the bill for police overtime.

On August 23, 2008 the Obama campaign rolled through central Illinois to announce Joe Biden as its Vice Presidential running mate...

Thousands turned out in the square by the old State Capitol to witness the announcement. But before the event could begin, the city of Springfield had work to do, said Alderman Frank Edwards.

“There are a lot of things that they asked for,” Edwards said. “Extra police, move things. You’ve got to have this A to Z and we provided that.”

The event went off without a hitch. Obama moved on to Denver, got his party’s nomination and ultimately a history-making general election victory.

But back in Springfield there remains one piece of unfinished business: an unpaid bill for $55,480.

“What they refused to pay was the $55,000 associated with police overtime for extra security,” said city Budget Director William McCarty...

On March 10, 2011 Alderman Edwards wrote the White House and the president “…to request your help.”

This latest round of appeals began, Edwards says, when he was going through a list of unpaid bills...

"I got to looking thru the list and here’s a bill that pops up, its $55,000,” Edwards said in an interview. “And we go why isn’t this paid.”

Since 2009, McCarty says city officials have tried to determine who was responsible for the overdue debt.

“They contacted the DNC. They contacted the Obama campaign,” he said but no one wanted to pay. “That’s when the finger pointing began because the Obama campaign said we are a private organization, we are not responsible for the security.”

To try and cut through the clutter Edwards asked the President to intercede: “…sometimes only the executive himself can cut through such inter-departmental differences of opinion,” he wrote in last year’s letter. There was no immediate response.

On November 15, 2011, Teal Baker, the Deputy COO of Obama for America, replied the Obama team wasn’t responsible for security or other costs.

This week a campaign officials said: “Presidential campaigns are not responsible for security costs.”

If a question persists Teal Baker wrote: “…we assume it should be directed to the U.S. Secret Service.”

Springfield officials contacted a local representative of the Secret Service but McCarty says they didn’t get too far, telling them: “We don’t pay bills out of here, you’ll need to contact Washington.

Springfield officials say there is a serious side to the debate about the bill. Like many American cities Springfield is in a terrible budget crunch and last week there were 13 laying offs.

“Fact is $55,000 is enough to cover the salary and benefits of one of those employees for a year,” McCarty said.

There have been other big visits to Springfield, including President Bush in April 2005 to dedicate the Lincoln museum. And the February 2007 presidential announcement by Barack Obama. Neither left outstanding bills.

The Obama 2012 campaign declined to be interviewed but a official reiterated on background without attribution that the campaign does not pay for police overtime.

Springfield remains stuck with the bill. City officials aren’t optimistic they will recover the $55,000, but they will keep trying.

“I mean it all comes back to common sense,” said Edwards. “If you are asking for something to be done and you know it cost money then you ought to be prepared to pay for it. It’s that simple.”
Sadly, what Springfield fails to comprehend is that the President firmly believes he has the right to engage in massive spending sprees and to demand that taxpayers foot the bill.

Whether it's the $800 billion dollar stimulus bill or the $55,000 campaign event, it is the taxpayers who must absorb the huge costs; the fact that the Obama campaign had asked for the extra security at the aforementioned campaign event is completely irrelevant.

And, while it is true that Obama did pay up the bills for his 2007 visit to Springfield, it is also true that, back then, he was still a small time politician, hence he could ill-afford to ruffle any feathers in his home state. However, upon winning the November 2008 Presidential election, there was no longer any need for him to foot the bill for his [August] 2008 campaign event because he was now King, hence his loyal subjects were now required to cover all his expenses.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Surveillance Video shows Occupy Oakland protesters breaking into City Hall; burning American flag

A surveillance video shows Occupy Oakland protesters breaking into City Hall on Saturday, January 28, 2012. The protesters can be seen using a tool to pry open the door.

Upon entering the building, the protesters begin to litter the floor with garbage. They steal the American flag from the council chamber and set it on fire. Oakland police reported that, aside from breaking into the building with the use of a pry tool, the protesters vandalized office spaces, broke windows and damaged the building. They also tried to activate the fire sprinkler system inside the building and engaged in other acts of vandalism.

Related Posts: Video: Occupy Oakland protesters burn American Flag - Frank Marshall Davis would be proud

Occupy Oakland Thugs burn American flag, hurl explosive devices, metal pipes at police

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Panetta: U.S. combat role in Afghanistan to end as early as 2013

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Wednesday that American forces would step back from a combat role there as early as mid-2013, more than a year before all American troops are scheduled to come home, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
Promising the end of the American combat mission in Afghanistan next year would... give Mr. Obama a certain applause line in his re-election stump speech this year.

Mr. Panetta said no decisions had been made about the number of American troops to be withdrawn in 2013, and he made clear that substantial fighting lies ahead. “It doesn’t mean that we’re not going to be combat-ready; we will be, because we always have to be in order to defend ourselves,” he said.
Question: If 'substantial fighting lies ahead', why is he declaring a premature ending to the U.S. combat mission?
At the same time, Mr. Panetta said the NATO discussions would also focus on a potential downsizing of Afghan security forces from 350,000 troops, largely because of the expense of maintaining such a large army.
The situation in Afghanistan is dire, as evidenced by the Telegraph-UK report, cited in the previous post. Afghan soldiers, cognizant of the fact that U.S. troops will soon be departing the country - as part of Obama's re-election strategy - are selling their weapons and vehicles to the Taliban, and sharing intelligence information with them, according to a U.S. military report.

Indeed, the Afghans are keenly aware that U.S. troops are on their way out of the country and that the Taliban will soon return to power, hence they have little choice but to befriend the Taliban. Afghan security forces, at times, have even been incorporated in Taliban operations.

Additionally, the U.S. military report notes that Taliban fighters believe that victory and their return to power is "inevitable" and that they can easily subdue President Hamid Karzai's forces once they take charge of security in 2014.

And yet, Mr. Panetta is not only setting a premature deadline for the end of the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan, he is also 'focusing on a potential downsizing of Afghan security forces'?!!

This is the same Panetta who boldly proclaimed in 2007 that the U.S. troop surge in Iraq would not succeed, and who openly mocked George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for ordering the troop surge.

And now, this left-wing ideologue, who shares Obama's self destructive view of the world, is cutting and running from Afghanistan?

These people are the most irresponsible, negligent and reckless people ever to set foot in the White House; but sadly, the mainstream media won't even acknowledge this obvious fact.

Taliban see Victory as inevitable, Afghan soldiers hooking up with the Taliban, as Obama facilitates exit strategy ahead of 2012 election

As President Obama facilitates his exit strategy in Afghanistan ahead of the 2012 Presidential elction, Afghan troops have been left with little choice but to hook up with the Taliban, knowing full well that U.S. troops are on their way out and that the Taliban will soon return to power.

The Taliban are already preparing their victory celebration.

From the Telegraph-UK:
Afghan soldiers are selling their weapons and vehicles to the Taliban, sharing intelligence and even signing covert ceasefire agreements with the insurgent group as they prepare for the withdrawal of Nato forces, according to a classified military report.

Despite Britain and its western allies having spent billions on training and equipping Afghanistan's security forces, they are freely co-operating with the Taliban and in some cases, ceding territory without a fight or even joining forces with their opponents.

The report is based on the interrogation of thousands of captured Taliban prisoners, but it makes depressing reading for Coalition...

According to the Nato study, Taliban fighters believe they have overcome the American troop surge, that victory and their return to power is "inevitable" and that they can easily subdue President Hamid Karzai's forces once they take charge of security in 2014...

[The report also says that] the Pakistani government remains "intimately involved" with the insurgent group. Taliban prisoners also claim [Pakistan's] ISI intelligence agency is "thoroughly aware of Taliban activities and the whereabouts of all senior Taliban personnel"...

The report, called "State of the Taliban", found there had been growing interest over the past 12 months from members of Mr Karzai's government in cooperating with, or even joining their opponents.

It also found increasing reports of "outright coordination, equipment transfers, intelligence sharing or occasionally even the incorporation of Afghan security forces in Taliban operations".

Afghan police and soldiers had in some places formed informal ceasefires or non-aggression pacts with their local insurgent enemies as they prepared for a future after Nato forces. These deals often included pledges from the security forces that they would support the Taliban in the long term, according to the report.

"The Taliban are absolutely confident in their ability to subdue Afghan security forces," it said.

Training the Afghan police and army to take charge of security in Afghanistan is the foundation of Nato's strategy to withdraw combat troops by the end of 2014.

However the report said detainees had claimed the Afghan security forces were selling or giving away the weapons which the West has donated.

A bazaar in Miranshah, capital of North Waziristan in Pakistan's tribal region, was "increasingly inundated with rifles, pistols and heavy weapons which have been sold by Afghan security forces."

"The vehicles and weapons were once only acquired on the battlefield. They are now regularly sold or donated by the Afghan security forces," the report concluded.

Pictures of Taliban fighters driving in Afghan army vehicles or posing with their weapons had become common trophies in the conflict...

The report found that morale remained high in the Taliban movement despite repeated claims by Nato commanders that they have broken its momentum.

"As opposed to years past [when George W. Bush was President and Obama's "surender" strategy had yet to be announced], detainees [now] have become more confident not only in their potential to win, but the virtue of their cause," it said...
"I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party.”
President Obama in a White House meeting explaining why he was seeking a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan - Source Obama's Wars