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Archive for April, 2009

As the opening act of Obama’s fledgling presidency unfolded, the country — and the world — kept a close eye on the 44th

president’s every important move.

Here’s a link where the first one hundred days of Obama’s reign are laid out.

Enjoy.

P.S. There’s more.

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(The Hill) – When the Obama administration crashes and burns, with approval ratings that fall through the floor, political scientists can trace its demise to its first hundred days. While Americans are careful not to consign a presidency they desperately need to succeed to the dustbin of history, the fact is that this president has moved — on issue after issue — in precisely the opposite direction of what the people want him to do.

Right now, Obama’s ratings must be pleasing to his eye. Voters like him and his wife immensely and approve of his activism in the face of the economic crisis. While polls show big doubts about what he is doing, the overwhelming sense is to let him have his way and pray that it works.

But beneath this superficial support, Obama’s specific policies run afoul of the very deeply felt convictions of American voters. For example, the most recent Rasmussen Poll asked voters if they wanted an economic system of complete free enterprise or preferred more government involvement in managing the economy. By 77-19, they voted against a government role, up seven points from last month.

And in the Fox News poll — the very same survey that gave Obama a 62 percent approval rating and reported that 68 percent of voters are “satisfied” with his first hundred days — voters, by 50-38, supported a smaller government that offered fewer services over a larger government that provided more.

By 42-8, the Fox News poll (conducted on April 22-23) found that voters felt Obama had expanded government rather than contracted it (42 percent said it was the same size) and, by 46-30, reported believing that big government was more of a danger to the nation than big business. (By 50-23, they said Obama felt big business was more dangerous.)

By 62-20, they said government spending, under Obama, was “out of control.”

So if voters differ so fundamentally with the president on the very essence of his program, why do they accord him high ratings? They are like the recently married bride who took her vows 100 days ago. It would be a disaster for her life if she decides that she really doesn’t like her husband. But she keeps noticing things about him that she can’t stand. It will be a while before she walks out the door or even comes to terms with her own doubts, but it is probably inevitable that she will.

For Americans to conclude that they disapprove of their president in the midst of an earth-shaking crisis is very difficult. But as Obama’s daily line moves from “I inherited this mess” to “There are faint signs of light,” the clock starts ticking. If there is no recovery for the next six months — and I don’t think there will be — Obama will inevitably become part of the problem, not part of the solution.

And then will come his heavy lifting. He has yet to raise taxes, regiment healthcare or provide amnesty for illegal immigrants. He hasn’t closed down the car companies he now runs and he has not yet forced a 50 percent hike in utility bills with his cap-and-trade legislation. These are all the goodies he has in store for us all.

Obama’s very activism these days arrogates to himself the blame for the success or failure of his policies. Their outcome will determine his outcome, and there is no way it will be positive.

Why?

• You can’t borrow as much as he will need to without raising interest rates that hurt the economy;

• The massive amount of spending will trigger runaway inflation once the economy starts to recover;

• His overhaul of the tax code (still in the planning phases) and his intervention in corporate management will create such business uncertainty that nobody will invest in anything until they see the lay of the land;

• His bank program is designed to help banks, but not to catalyze consumer lending. And his proposal for securitization of consumer loans won’t work and is just what got us into this situation.

So Mr. Obama should enjoy his poll numbers while he may.

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(FOX) – The world changed today. Senator Specter became a Democrat. Like gays coming out of the closet, Senator Specter came out of his. The Democrats are now within striking distance of getting the magical 60 votes that are necessary for them to get “cloture”. Cloture under the Senate rules means that a bill can’t get to the floor unless 60 Senators vote for it. With a Al Franken victory in Minnesota they will reach the magic number.

There are several ways to look at what this means. First, why did Senator Specter made this decision? The overall basic reason is that he could not win the upcoming primary in his own party. He was being challenged from the right of the Republican Party. Pat Toomey, a former member of Congress was going to be tough candidate to beat because although Pennsylvania is turning a lovely shade of blue, the base of the GOP party is quite red. When pro-choice Specter decided to run again, the “God, Guns and Gays” base decided to put a lot of effort into defeating him and putting an end to his long Senate career. — And remember, Specter was first elected into the U.S. Senate in 1980.

Unlike former Senator Jim Jeffords who left the Republican Party to become an independent but who caucused with the Democrats, Senator Specter could not win as an independent; he had to take a politically safe position. He stated in his press release today that 200,000 citizens of Pennsylvania had also changed their registration from Republican to Democrat. It was not the “big tent” party that Arlen Specter thought he was a part of. Specter has always been known as someone who had his own independent viewpoints and votes. Unfortunately the party could not allow Arlen Specter to be Arlen Specter. Many considered him a closet Democrat or a RINO (Republican in Name Only). He raised the ire of the GOP by voting for the stimulus package and although the Democratic Senator from Pennsylvania is “pro-life” and accepted by the Democrats, the GOP party was having none of it. They did not buy him being a Richard Nixon or Barry Goldwater who might also be classified as “RINO” by today’s GOP litmus test.

Senator Specter gave the better part of his life to the Republican Party but in the end they abandoned him. The primary challenge for Senator Specter could not have been done without a wink and nod from the party’s citizen leaders. This will not bode well for the party. It means that it is far from the big tent philosophy and is a party of the right. The Democrats took note several years ago realizing that the left of the party had nowhere to go so they cut them off and moved towards the middle.

The right wingers have no where to go either and the sooner the Republican party realizes it and stops catering to them the sooner they will begin winning national elections. The Democrats put Teddy Kennedy out during the convention and then had candidate Obama make the “reach out to the middle” speech. Instead, the Republicans went with Sarah Palin and it turned off the voter in the middle. And that’s precisely the voter that swings elections.

Another way to look at this change is when Al Franken is declared the winner in the Minnesota Senate race, and is seated, there will be no stopping the Democrats from legislating their agenda. It means their agenda on taxes, the economy and social programs better work. If it doesn’t work then the Democrats will be the party that begins to lose elections. It means be careful what you wish for, you might get it. Arlen Specter gave the Democrats what they wished for. I hope they rise to the challenge.

*****

Obama has selected Kansas Governor, Kathleen Sebelius, as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Good move, Obama, Kathleen is pro-abortion.  Maybe she and Nancy Pelosi can exchange notes.  Don’t you remember that she advised all of us NOT to have children in these tough and tragic times as it would drag down the economy, spending too much dineros for pre-natal care, delivery procedures and child care?


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Learned some things today that I didn’t know.

Regarding the Air Force One photo-op that enraged New York City.

Obama today said that he had no idea that Air Force One was in the air over New York City.  And he put the blame on  the FAA.

Oops!

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs offered little clarity on this morning’s incident in New York City in which a plane used by the president—escorted by a military jet—flew over Manhattan this morning for a photo op, prompting evacuations and other concerns.  Obama  was not on board.

New York City police said the flight was authorized by the Federal Aviation Authority. The Air Force is directing media inquiries to the White House.

But asked at the podium if “you guys feel you owe folks in New York City this morning an apology for this incident” Gibbs, in turn, pointed the reporter back to the FAA and Air Force for comment.

Pressed on the issue, Gibbs said he would contact the White House Military Office but offered no further details on the incident. “I have seen some news reports,” he said, adding that he had nothing to add on top of what has already been reported.

“I was working on other things,” he said. “You might be surprised to know, I don’t know of every movement of Air Force One or what happens to it. But I will certainly talk to the Military Office.”

Later a statement from Louis Caldera, Director White House Military Office, on Air Force One flight over New York

“Last week, I approved a mission over New York. I take responsibility for that decision. While federal authorities took the proper steps to notify state and local authorities in New York and New Jersey, it’s clear that the mission created confusion and disruption. I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused.”

But the above is a bunch of bullshit.

The White House Military Office and Obama knows where Air Force One is at any given hour of any given day. Why? Because the President of the United States of America needs to know in case of an emergency – like flying to Nebraska or sending the plane out to round up some of his cronies or maybe just to get away from Michele.

Seriously – Obama is always notified when Air Force One is unavailable for his use – then he’ll know that he can’t have a ‘travel day’.  Every President has been notified of this information since god knows when.

Further more – Obama ordered a review of a publicity-photo shoot with one of the planes that serves as Air Force One that cost taxpayers $328,835 and caused a furor in New York City.

Obama said he wasn’t informed in advance of yesterday’s low-altitude flight over New York Harbor, which rattled windows in New York’s financial district and prompted some office workers to flee buildings in fear it was a terrorist attack.

“It was a mistake,” Obama said today before a meeting at FBI headquarters in Washington. “It will not happen again.”

He lied and laid the blame on Louis Caldera. Besides his grandmother, Louis Caldera, and who knows who else has Obama thrown under the bus?  What a shit heel.

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For some time now, when I wake up in the morning and listen/read the news, I wonder what form of stupidity, thoughtlessness, laissez-faire attitude has again invaded the White House and the Congress.

Every time I think the people, whom we’ve elected to serve our country, can’t act worse today than they did before – I’m amazed that they’ve, again, have gone and acted without any sense, forethought, concern for our country.

Janet Napolitano has decided that we shouldn’t close our borders. She said “”We’re already doing passive surveillance at the border,” Napolitano said. “You would close the border if you thought you could contain the spread of disease, but the disease already is in a number of states within the United States.”

Well, yes, there are some people that have the flu in America – very few.  And those very few are receiving treatment. There might be a few more, and we can treat them as well.  But it’s Janet’s thoughts that since we have cases of the flu here that we should let those who may or may not have the flu cross our borders. What is she thinking – well, she’s not thinking.

She also said “We are simply in preparation mode,” Napolitano said. “We do not yet know how widespread this flu will be within the United States.”  Don’t you think that the cases of flu would rise by allowing anyone and everybody to enter the USA?

Napolitano also said she had reached out to the governors of the states in which cases of swine flu have surfaced, and said these states and the border states would have priority in accessing the Tamiflu stockpile. “Full deployment” of the stockpile, she said, was expected by May 3.

Oh, yes, let’s use Tamiflu. Here’s the link for the side effects.

And here’s the kicker – Swine flu warnings had been posted at airport gates and fliers on the disease were being distributed at land ports, she said, and 19 airports have quarantine available that would cover about 85 percent of air travelers. “We haven’t needed to activate that,” she said.

We haven’t need to activate that?  Is she nuts?

Carrying on, WHO says, it is not recommending travel restrictions and border closures to fight swine flu, a spokesman said on Tuesday, April 28, 2009.

“Border controls don’t work. Screening doesn’t work,” Gregory Hartl told a news conference, describing the economically-damaging travel bans as basically pointless in public health terms.

Then in another press release, issued today,  “The World Health Organization raised its pandemic alert for the new flu strain to phase 4, indicating a significantly increased risk of a global outbreak of a serious disease.”

They went on to report, “A new virus has killed up to 149 people in Mexico and world health experts moved closer on Monday to declaring it the first flu pandemic in 40 years as more people were infected in the United States and Europe.”

What?????

*****

And what was Obama thinking by allowing  a lookalike Air Force One fly over New York City, buzzing the Statue of Liberty, and scaring the bejesus out of the citizens of New York City, just for a photo op?  Again, another elected official acting like an idiot.  Wouldn’t you think the ‘leader’ of our country know what’s going on in his own country?

The NYPD and the city were notified of the planned flight, but did not share that information with Mayor Bloomberg and other New Yorkers, many of whom said they were terrified. WTF?

Mayor Bloomberg was pissed!

Hours after the incident, a furious Bloomberg called the photo-op “insensitive.”

“First thing is I’m annoyed – furious is a better word – that I wasn’t told,” he said. “Why the Defense Department wanted to do a photo op right around the site of the World Trade Center catastrophe defies imagination. Poor judgment would be a nice way to phrase.”

“Had I known about it I would have called them right away and asked them not to,” he said. “The good news is it was nothing more than an ill considered, badly conceived, insensitive photo op – with the taxpayers’ money.”

“With the taxpayer’s money!” – That’s his stimulus package at work for you.

*****

Here we go again.

Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup, Inc., which have each received $45 billion in government bailout funds, have been told by regulators that “stress test” results show they may need to raise additional capital, as reported by the Wall Street Journal today. The WSJ story continued on –

As executives of the nation’s largest banks review their stress-test results, even the top performers are lobbying regulators to raise their scores before the numbers are finalized Friday.

Fed officials told reporters Friday, April 24th, that all 19 banks that took its “stress tests” will be required to keep an extra buffer of capital reserves beyond what is required now in case losses continue to mount. That would mean some banks will likely have to raise additional cash. But the Fed stressed in a statement that a bank’s need for more capital reserves to meet the requirements should not be considered a measure of the “current solvency or viability of the firm.”

Federal Reserve officials held top-secret meetings with bank executives last week to give them preliminary findings of how each bank would fare if the recession got much worse. The government plans to announce the results of the tests May 4, and banks will have the opportunity to appeal the findings.

By law, the banks cannot publicize the results without the government’s permission.

Additional capital?  Stress Tests? Top-Secret Meetings? Appeals? Results released only by the governments say so?

I smell a rat. In fact, a whole bunch of them.

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I ran across this article regarding the wastefulness of our ‘beloved’ congressional members whom we have elected to act in the best interests of their constituency.  What a laugh.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Listen closely and you’ll hear squeals of disgust from a watchdog group tracking congressional pork in the nation’s capital.

Research on swine odor is one of the projects listed in the "Pig Book," released Tuesday.

Research on swine odor is one of the projects listed in the "Pig Book," released Tuesday.

Citizens Against Government Waste is out with its annual “Pig Book” — a list of lawmakers whom the group considers the most egregious porkers, members of the House and Senate who use the earmarking process to funnel money to projects on their home turf.

Fittingly perhaps, the list includes nearly $1.8 million for swine odor and manure management research in Iowa.

“In fiscal year 2009, Congress stuffed 10,160 projects into the 12 appropriations bills worth $19.6 billion,” the group said in a report released Tuesday. The amount marks a 14 percent increase over 2008.

The “Pig Book” also names dozens of what it considers the most blatant examples of pork-barrel spending.

“Taxpayers are ready to revolt,” said Tom Schatz, the organization’s president.

“Despite repeated claims by members of Congress that earmarks have been reduced, the Pig Book belies that claim.”

Included in the funding is $3.8 million for the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy — a group dedicated to finding a new use for the stadium that the Detroit Tigers baseball team played in from 1896 through 1999.

An additional $1.9 million went to the Pleasure Beach water taxi service project in Bridgeport, Connecticut, requested by then-Rep. Chris Shays. A bridge fire more than a decade ago means beach-goers have to travel a couple of extra miles to get to the beach.

Alaska led the nation in pork per capita, at $322 a person. At the bottom of the list was Arizona, with less than $12 per resident. Sen. John McCain does not request earmarks for his home state.

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran, the ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, topped the list of senators receiving earmarks, with a total of $653 million.

The chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, was second, with $445 million.

Hawaii Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono, both Democrats, topped the list for earmarks in the House of Representatives. Abercrombie’s pet projects received a total of almost $257 million; Hirono’s received almost $153 million.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, was granted the organization’s so-called “Porkasaurus” award for earmarking $143,000 for the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.

“Sen. Reid is fond of saying that earmarks have been around since we were a country. Now he must be blaming it on the dinosaurs,” Schatz said.

Some recipients of the earmarks disagreed with the characterization of their projects as “pork.”

Kathleen Wendler, a member of the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy’s board of directors, argued that the $3.8 million dedicated to the old ballpark was critical to revitalizing the surrounding Detroit neighborhood.

The money “is not pork at all,” she said. The ballpark, if properly utilized, can be an “economic development generator for the local business district. This project will help draw younger people into the neighborhood. It will help save the neighborhood in the long run.”

To qualify for the “Pig Book,” a project must meet at least one of these standards: It was requested by only one chamber of Congress; was not specifically authorized; was not competitively awarded; was not requested by the president; greatly exceeded the president’s budget request or the previous year’s funding; was not the subject of congressional hearings; or served only a local or special interest.

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JOHNSTOWN, Pennsylvania (CNN) — Located outside a small Pennsylvania city, John Murtha airport may not see many passengers. But it’s seen plenty of arrivals of tax dollars from Washington, most recently economic stimulus funds.

The airport offers three commercial flights. In between the arrivals and departures, airport officials admit there are few faces around the facility.

“When the flights are coming in, there are people. Other than that, it’s empty,” said Scott Voelker, manager of the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport.

But one face is everywhere. Rep. John Murtha, the airport’s namesake, is hard to miss.

Considered one of “the kings of pork” on Capitol Hill by taxpayer watchdog groups, the 19th-term Pennsylvania Democrat has piloted almost $200 million from Washington to Murtha airport. Much of the funding has come in the form of legislative earmarks that are attached to bills before Congress.

Taxpayer watchdogs have said earmarks — often derided as “pork-barrel” spending — are designed to fund congressional pet projects.

“[Murtha’s] dumped in nearly $200 million into this project that has virtually no passengers. It’s practically a museum piece,” said Steve Ellis with the Taxpayers for Common Sense.

Murtha declined CNN’s request for an interview. His staff issued a statement saying Murtha airport is vital infrastructure designed to “attract additional business” to the Johnstown area.

On his House Web site, Murtha strongly defends earmarks, saying it’s his “job” to direct federal funds to his district.

Earlier this year, the airport found a new revenue stream, receiving $800,000 from the stimulus to repave a crosswind runway that’s used as a backup to the facility’s main landing runway.

Even though Voelker said the runway is perfectly safe, he said he believes the stimulus project “makes a lot of sense.” He noted the runway hasn’t been repaved since the 1980s. “Asphalt and concrete need to be replaced,” Voelker added.

You can read the rest of the story via this link by CNN’s by Jim Acosta and Janet Rodriguez.

You can also watch this video. It’s a scream!

Just goes to show you how our Congress is working for you!

The presidency is limited to 2 concurrent terms. Why doesn’t Congress have the same rule?

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