Publicado: 02-23-2011 07:57 PM
The Doomed President
By Bruce Walker
Hotair ^ | 02/23/2011 | Ed Morrissey
That’s not quite what Gallup explicitly says in its analysis, but it’s a rather inevitable conclusion when one sees the graphic presentation of the results. Barack Obama lost eleven points in his approval ratings on a state-by-state basis in 2010, and now the floor has Obama in danger of losing the next election. Bear in mind when looking at the legend that the “average” approval rating for Obama was 47% — and that Obama had a 50% or better rating only in the dark-green states:
Obama’s overall average approval rating in 2010 was 47%, down 11 percentage points from the 58% he recorded in his first calendar year in office. For purposes of this state-by-state analysis, Obama’s average is calculated for the calendar year, and is therefore slightly different than the yearly average calculated beginning with his inauguration on January 20, 2009.
Broadly speaking, residents of 20 states gave Obama an approval rating within three percentage points of his national average (between 43.8% and 49.8%). Twelve states plus the District of Columbia had average approval ratings above that range, and in 18 states, approval fell below it.
The graphic is striking. Obama only gets majority approval for his performance on the West Coast and the Northeast — and not even all of those areas. He holds his home state of Illinois and his birth state of Hawaii, both unsurprisingly, but between the coasts there exists a vast land of either indifference or outright disapproval. Traditional Democratic states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania are wavering. The entire interior West has become outright hostile. More than half of the states have shown a double-digit decline in approval for Obama.
Presidents can win re-election with overall approval ratings below 50%, but that usually requires either a credible third-party challenge or an extraordinarily poor challenger. The economy would have to significantly improve to move these numbers in the direction where Obama can feel safe, and that seems unlikely to happen while Obama continues to press for regulatory adventurism.
Obama has a year at best to turn this around. He won the 2008 election at the peak of Bush fatigue by seven points nationwide. Continuing erosion in his standing puts the White House within the grasp of the GOP, especially if they nominate a credible candidate who can attract a “big tent” of those discontented with Obama.
Publicado: 02-23-2011 09:02 PM
Amid fireworks and celebratory gunfire, Kosovo -- Europe's newest country -- turned three years old on Thursday, Feb. 17. But behind the scenes of revelry in the capital, Pristina, it's clear that it will take a lot more than flag-waving for the fledgling country to grow out of its terrible twos. For all the hope that was once showered upon this young democracy, it still faces an enormous uphill battle: the country has no international postal or telephone code; it cannot establish its own IP address; its athletes cannot partake in many international sporting events; thousands of NATO troops still remain as peacekeepers; and Kosovars can only travel visa-free to five countries -- one of which is Haiti. With only 75 out of 192 nations having recognized the new state, it remains in a purgatory of semi-sovereignty.
Meanwhile, it's been a big start to the year for new states and new orders. The regimes in Tunisia and Egypt have fallen. Southern Sudan claimed its independence with a near unanimous result. A wave of reform protests continues across the Middle East. After a bit of diplomatic wavering, the United States reaffirmed its commitment to self-determination and human rights, promising to support "principles, processes and institutions -- not personalities" in its engagement with the new governments taking root in North Africa.
Trouble is, a sobering assessment of the successes and failures of state-building since the end of the Cold War demonstrates that governance and development work best when a population rallies behind an enlightened leader -- and suffer when one does not emerge. Principles of democracy and human rights have to abide in a leadership and must be bought into by a population.
And here's the rub: While the United States grappled with its inability (whether for lack of a fulcrum or fear of meddling) to use leverage to remove the regimes in Tunis and Cairo, it actually does have the power to affect change and promote transparent and accountable governance in Pristina -- where a coterie of thuggish leaders, holdovers from a Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) unit accused of war crimes and weapons dealing, now run the country. But, thus far, Washington has been unwilling to exert the necessary pressure on Kosovo's leaders -- and in its impotence pours billions of dollars down the drain and risks condemning the state to thugocracy.
While much has been made of America's financial support of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's regime and other autocratic dictatorships in recent weeks, Kosovo's democracy has received far more direct American aid in recent years -- in 2010, Kosovo received more than twice the American bilateral foreign assistance per capita than Egypt. Yet, after more than a decade of immense international investment and the best-resourced humanitarian mission the world has ever seen, Kosovo enters its fourth year of independence amid its own internal turmoil.
Yesterday, Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic requested that the United Nations Security Council investigate allegations of organ trafficking and other serious war crimes submitted to the Council of Europe by Swiss Euro MP and former prosecutor ******* Marty in December of last year. The human rights atrocities were allegedly carried out against ethnic Serbs and Albanians accused of collaborating with Serb forces during the 1998-1999 conflict in the former Serbian province. Those accused of carrying out the acts include senior members of Kosovo's central government.
As it turns out, U.S. support for the world's youngest democracy has been almost as bad for economic security, political stability and democratic principles as backing the globe's oldest autocracies. Kosovo remains the poorest country in Europe. Just under half the population is jobless and living in poverty, 14 percent in extreme poverty. The women of Kosovo produce Europe's highest birth rate while facing its worst maternal and infant mortality rates. Only one in five youth under the age of 25 are employed. Access to health care and education outside the major cities is limited. Electricity supply remains patchy across the country -- despite donor funding in excess of €1.1 billion.
Of course, human and economic development in war-torn societies can be a slow and arduous process. The world should not expect its investment to instantly bear fruit. But support for Kosovo has been premised on developing a politically stable, democratic country.
In actuality, it has entrenched deep political divisions in an already fragmented government and ensconced an elite that now operates above the law. Having failed to improve Kosovo's moribund economy and human development indicators, the former-KLA power brokers of the central government have somehow managed to accrue personal wealth vastly out of proportion with their declared activities. Their development and state-building policy has largely consisted of maintaining its own power over institutions of state, security, and law and order.
Until last year, keeping Kosovo stable -- or at least appearing so -- had been prioritized by the international community over pursuing clear evidence of increasing corruption among senior government officials. But, as the international money poured in throughout 2010, the veneer cracked. A wave of organized crime, war crime, and corruption allegations swept the senior membership of the Kosovo government and the leaderships of its major political parties.
On April 28, 2010, international police raided the offices and home of Transport and Telecommunications Minister Fatmir Limaj in connection with a corruption probe into a €700 million infrastructure project. Suspected of soliciting bribes and laundering up to €2 million from the public purse, the raid on Limaj was the result of a two-year investigation that started shortly after he took office in January 2008. At that point, he had only just returned in September 2007 from his second trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ICTY -- indicted but never convicted of illegal imprisonment, cruel treatment, and inhumane acts during the war with Serbian forces in 1998-1999.
At the time of Limaj's arrest, the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) announced he was only one of seven ministers being investigated for links to organized crime and corruption in office.
Two months after the raid on Limaj, on July 21, 2010 popular former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj was indicted for a second time by the ICTY to stand trial for war crimes including torture, rape, and crimes against humanity. His application for provisional release was denied and he currently awaits trial in remand at the United Nations Detention Unit in The Hague. On Jan. 31, it was announced that the opposition party he leads from his cell, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, placed fourth in the general election -- taking a substantial 11 percent of the vote.
Two days after Haradinaj's arrest, Kosovo police arrested central bank governor Hashim Rexhepi on charges of corruption, tax evasion, and money laundering.
But it was the leaking of a Council of Europe (CoE) report just days after Kosovo's first post-independence election on December 2010 that really put this criminality and corruption out in the open. On Dec. 12, human rights rapporteur ******* Marty submitted a report to the CoE containing serious accusations against the local leadership and international missions currently presiding over Kosovo.
The report alleged that the ICTY, United Nations, NATO, and individual Western governments had failed to thoroughly investigate serious war crimes committed by the members of a KLA unit known as the Drenica Group during the 1998-1999 conflict with Serbia. According to Marty's report, the unit had violently seized and operated the lucrative trading routes across the Prokletije mountain range on the Kosovo-Albania border. He alleges the group amassed considerable fortunes supplying weaponry to local forces -- and trafficked in human beings, heroin, and organs taken from Serb and Albanian prisoners of war.
Marty's report identified the leader of Drenica Group as a man called "The Snake" -- a.k.a. Hashim Thaqi, who two days earlier had been named prime minister re-elect of the Republic of Kosovo. He has officially taken office in time for Kosovo's third Independence Day celebrations.
All of the condemned leadership have been quick to accuse the international community of "political lynching," interfering with domestic affairs of state, and inappropriate investigations into an independent government. Hardly.
In fact, the most disturbing aspect of these events were the revelations that Kosovo's thugocrats owe their rise and continued impunity to the toleration or outright support of the international community -- particularly the United States.
From the outset of the NATO intervention into Kosovo in June 1999, it was an American-devised strategy that drove allied forces to combat Serb atrocities through a 78-day aerial bombardment. Explicitly eschewing a land assault meant control on the ground fell to KLA forces -- with dire consequences for the safety of their Albanian opponents and the ethnic minorities of Kosovo. The summer of 1999 saw violent retaliatory attacks claim the lives of some 50 Serb and Roma civilians a week before the international forces regained control.
This strategy also set the terms for a co-dependent relationship between the West and the former KLA leadership to maintain a stability that took far too long to establish in the aftermath of the 1999 intervention. During the time it took for NATO and the U.N. to deploy in the wake of the bombing, the presence and actions of the KLA generated a perception among the local community that they were supported by the American and international forces.
American officials later did little to change that perception: It was their lobbying and support that gave the KLA the legitimacy they needed to transition from armed gang to political powerbrokers.
In 1999, the U.S. endorsement of Thaqi as hero was sealed with a kiss planted on his cheek by then Secretary of State Madeline Albright on her post-intervention visit to Kosovo. In 2004, every American staffer at the U.S. Embassy was invited to attend Haradinaj's wedding -- and, despite his links to organized crime and impending indictment on war crimes, they went. Most recently, the night after the raid on Limaj's home and offices, U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo Christopher Dell was seen laughing and chatting with the minister at a well-attended party in Pristina.
It is difficult to see how democracy or respect the rule of law could develop and flourish amid such overt displays of American support for a corrupt and criminal leadership. As in Egypt and across the Middle East, this policy of impunity comes at significant cost to the objectives and perceptions of the United States and its Western allies. This backing for Kosovo government officials has undercut efforts to pursue indictments for war crimes and investigate high-level corruption. The war crimes taking place throughout the 1998-1999 conflict and in the immediate aftermath have never been fully investigated -- in fact, in some cases they have been covered up.
International judicial experts complain that the United Nations internal war crimes process "has always been very political," and that some "UNMIK cases were sent to [U.N. Headquarters in] New York rather than decided on the merits of the case." They allege international political interference stopped some cases from going before a court because "the political ramifications would have been too great." And only days before the independence celebrations, their accusations were given considerable weight with the leaking of classified U.N. documents that show UNMIK ran an incomplete investigation into the organ trafficking case brought to light by Marty in late 2010. The documents date from 2003 -- when UNMIK was in full control of the internal war crimes investigations and prosecutions.
So, that Kosovo holds elections should be small consolation to those in U.S. foreign policy who advocate championing principles over personalities. Democracy has not stopped the West from supporting and installing its preferred leaders in countries of geopolitical strategic importance -- local strongmen who hold the tumultuous societies of war-torn countries together with an iron fist rather than a rule of law.
As the United States and its allies contemplate how to support the latest wave of democratization, it must recognize that this reflex -- as evidenced by its policy in Kosovo up to today -- remains oriented toward backing power over virtue. As Condoleezza Rice noted in an abortively transformational speech in 2005, support for autocrats in the Middle East achieves neither democracy nor stability. It is an easy out for the United States to claim that it must not support personalities, and rather let people independently decide their own leaderships. However, it is also a convenient way to avoid accountability while preaching the principles of democracy from afar, laying the blame when things go south on societies still recovering from civil war.
The first principle in aiding the construction of new democracies must be to support conditions that prevent anyone from operating above the law. Even in a place like Kosovo, where Western influence might seem overwhelming, allowing space for impunity vitiates virtually everything else accomplished by even the most extravagant intervention.
Publicado: 03-07-2011 04:47 PM
THE 10 Most Shameless Race Card Plays
What do the following have in common?
Barack Obama's agenda, deficit spending, collective bargaining for public employee union members, and "wise Latina" Supreme Court nominees.
Opposition to any one of them can elicit charges of racism from the Left. Last week alone saw four egregious examples of liberals infusing race into discussions of issues that have little or nothing to do with race.
But it's not just left-wing bloggers and MSNBC blowhards who regularly play the race card. It's also some of the most prominent members of the Democratic Party. Barack Obama was hyped as America's first post-racial president. But his two years in office have produced scores of examples of liberals gratuitously playing the race card. Here are the 10 most shameless.
10. Attorney General Eric Holder: Last week Holder, who is black, told a congressional committee that conservative fixation on the New Black Panthers election fraud case demeans "my people." Two members of the New Black Panthers are accused of wielding clubs, yelling insults, and using racist language to intimidate voters outside a Philadelphia polling station on Election Day 2008. Holder made his remark during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing after the Justice Department failed to cooperate with a Civil Rights Commission investigation into the incident.
9. Budget cuts: Also last week, members of the Congressional Black Caucus lashed out at Republican efforts to control deficits, calling them "a step back for civil rights." "It's really especially poignant that this year during Black History Month," said California Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee, "the Republican leadership has proposed a budget.that will fall most heavily, mind you, on the backs of the most vulnerable in our society, African-Americans, Latinos, and the poor, those who have been shut out of the American dream."
8. Gates-gate: In summer 2009, police officers arrested Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates at his home in Cambridge, Mass. Gates had lost his keys and broken into his own home. The cops were alerted to the break-in, and upon arriving at Gates' home demanded to see identification, whereupon Gates went ballistic, accusing the officers of racial profiling, and was eventually arrested for disorderly conduct. The case prompted numerous liberals to accuse the Cambridge police officers who arrested Gates (one of whom was black) of racism. In his first public remarks about the incident, President Obama declared that the Cambridge police had "acted stupidly."
7. Sotomayor: Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court was assisted by threats against Republican senators that opposition to her confirmation, or even tough questioning of the nominee, would damage the GOP's chances with Hispanic voters. The nominee was criticized for repeatedly having said that as a Latina she could come to better judicial conclusions than white males. She also said, "My experiences will affect the facts that I choose to see as a judge," which suggests Justice Sotomayor will be playing the race card for years to come.
6. Arizona: Arizona passed a state law that requires police officers to check on the immigration status of people they have stopped "for some legitimate reason" and suspect might be in the U.S. illegally. The new law drew charges of racial profiling and racism from across the country and the world. The most shameful example came from the Obama administration, whose diplomats raised the new law as an example of "racial discrimination" in America during talks about human rights with the authoritarian Chinese regime.
5. Collective bargaining: This one would be higher on the list, but it involves Charlie Rangel, who has proven that he's willing to say just about anything to demonize Republicans. Last year Rep. Rangel (D.-N.Y.) was censured by the House of Representatives for ethics violations. Last week he told the Congressional Black Caucus that abolishing collective bargaining rights for workers was "close to slavery."
4. ObamaCare: Rep. Joe Wilson was roundly criticized for yelling, "You lie!" during Obama's health care speech before Congress in 2009. The outburst came when Obama denied that his proposed health care legislation would provide free health coverage for illegal immigrants. Left-wing pundits and members of Congress immediately charged that the outburst was based not on what Obama had said but on Obama's race. "Some people just can't believe a black man is President and will never accept it," New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote of Wilson.
3. The Tea Party: Many liberals allege that what really motivates the movement is not out-of-control government spending but anxiety about a black man in the Oval Office. The NAACP passed a resolution condemning the "racist elements" of the Tea Party, with no evidence that said elements exist.
2. The Tea Party and Obama: But it's not just the once-respected civil rights group that's made that accusation. In a new book about blacks and the presidency, Obama is quoted as saying to guests at a private White House dinner in 2010 that race was probably a key component in rising opposition to his presidency from conservatives, especially the Tea Party movement.
1. Jimmy Carter: Carter wins because of his prominence as a former American President and because of the sheer number of times he's played the race card. For instance, in 2009 the former President told university students that the most vocal tea partiers had "a racist attitude." He also said Joe Wilson's "You lie!" was "based on racism," and that "an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African-American.
Race was supposed to become irrelevant in the Age of Obama. But it hasn't. And it's largely because Democrats pretend to see a racist conspiracy in everything conservatives do.
It's hard to imagine that anything will change. With a bruising reelection bid on the horizon for Obama, and with further budget cuts and a potential fight over immigration reform, I predict that we'll continue to see the race card deployed by shameless liberals willing to exploit America's most explosive issue for political gain.
Publicado: 03-07-2011 09:00 PM
Posted By Jamie Glazov On March 7, 2011 In Daily Mailer,FrontPage
Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Jack Cashill, a Kansas City-based writer and producer who serves as executive editor of Ingram’s, a regional business magazine. He is the author of the just released, Deconstructing Obama: The Life, Loves, and Letters of America’s First Postmodern President, his eighth book and his second on the subject of literary fraud. He has a Ph.D. in American Studies from Purdue.
FP: Jack Cashill, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Let’s begin with how you came to believe that Obama was not the principal author of his acclaimed memoir “Dreams from My Father”.
Cashill: Thanks Jamie.
I first picked up the book in July 2008. Early on in the first read, the quality of the writing caught my attention. Although the book lacks discipline, long stretches of Dreams are very well written. In my twenty-five year career in advertising and publishing, I have reviewed the portfolios of at least a thousand professional writers. Not a half-dozen among them wrote as well as the author of the book’s best passages. When I looked into Obama’s other efforts in print, I saw that nothing he wrote was nearly this good. What surprised me was that no one was even suspicious of Obama’s ability.
FP: Ok, so tell us why it matters if Obama wasn’t the real author.
Cashill: The literary gatekeepers had already anointed Obama a genius on the basis of Dreams, the sacred text in the cult of Obama. The Obama campaign machine, Organizing for America, encouraged its minions to “get out the vote and keep talking to others about the genius of Barack Obama.” This, I sensed from the beginning, was a myth that one challenged at his own peril.
FP: You ultimately came to the belief that Bill Ayers was the craftsman behind Dreams from My Father. How did you come to make this judgment?
Cashill: Entirely by accident. About six weeks after reading Dreams, I ordered a copy of Ayers’s 2001 memoir Fugitive Days and started reading. The stylistic parallels were stunning. At this point, I had my first Eureka moment, albeit a dumb one—Gosh, I thought, they both live in Chicago. They must have shared the same ghostwriter! I had not known that Ayers was a skilled writer and editor. As a case in point, Hyde Park PLO booster and Obama pal, Rashid Khalidi, credits Ayers in the first sentence of his acknowledgment section of his book, Resurrecting Empire.
FP: In the fall of 2008, what would have happened to the Obama campaign if your thesis had been accepted?
Cashill: Obama biographer David Remnick got this much right. Said he, “This was a charge that if ever proved true, or believed to be true among enough voters, could have been the end of the candidacy.”
FP: How did the media respond?
Cashill: With a shrug. This did not surprise me. Real knowledge might just have undermined their commitment to a philosophy so evasive — “Yes, we can?” — they themselves would be at a loss to describe it. That much I got. What I did not get was why the “respectable” conservative media were mimicking the turtle-like defenses of their mainstream peers. I was not asking them to buy my thesis sight unseen but to kick the tires and take it for a test drive.
FP: How confident were you that you were right?
Cashill: Four weeks before the election I was confident enough in my thesis to submit it to any test. If proved right, it would have undermined the foundational myth of Obama as genius, confirmed his intimate relationship with an unrepentant terrorist and, perhaps most damningly, established this still untested candidate as a liar of consequence. In short, it could have turned the election.
FP: Was your thesis ever confirmed?
Cashill: Yes, in Christopher Andersen’s book, Barack and Michele: Portrait of an American Marriage, which was published in September of 2009. A celebrity biographer with impeccable mainstream credentials, Andersen based his account of Dreams’ creation on sources within Hyde Park. As Andersen tells it, Obama found himself deeply in debt and “hopelessly blocked.” At “Michelle’s urging,” Obama “sought advice from his friend and Hyde Park neighbor Bill Ayers.” What attracted the Obamas were “Ayers’s proven abilities as a writer” as evident in his 1993 book, To Teach. Noting that Obama had already taped interviews with many of his relatives, Andersen elaborates, “These oral histories, along with his partial manuscript and a trunkload of notes were given to Ayers.” Andersen was reviewed in every major periodical. Not one so much as mentioned his Ayers’s revelations.
FP: When did you begin to doubt the story that was told in “Dreams”?
Cashill: I had steered clear of the “birther” business. The fever swamps surrounding Obama’s citizenship were swallowing reputations whole, and so I stuck to literary analysis. It was the poem “Pop,” allegedly written by the 19-year old Obama, that got me interested. Virtually all reviewers of consequence said the poem was about “Gramps,” Obama’s maternal grandfather. In fact, as was obvious, it was about Obama’s Hawaii mentor, the poet, pornographer and CPUSA member Frank Marshall Davis. This poem begged the question–why “Pop”?–and opened the doors on Obama’s murky past.
FP: Your own personal belief on the birther issue? Do you think Obama was born in the United States?
Cashill: Yes, but when strategist David Axelrod first combed through the official Obama records—the grades, the SAT and LSAT scores, the college theses, the passport, his parents’ marriage license, the college applications, the birth certificate—he likely saw more red flags than in his parents’ May Day parades and so decided to bury them all. I think there is something on the birth certificate that will throw the much told nativity story of Barack Obama into doubt, quite possibly the date of birth or even the place. Unreported so far by the media, little Barry spent the first year of his life in Washington State.
FP: What are your feelings about Obama’s second book, “Audacity of Hope”?
Cashill: To credit Dreams to Obama alone, one has to posit any number of near miraculous variables: he somehow found the time; he somewhere mastered nautical jargon and postmodern jabberwocky; he in some sudden, inexplicable way developed the technique and the talent to transform himself from stumbling amateur to literary superstar without any stops in between. To credit Audacity to Obama alone, one has to posit at least two additional variables: one is his adoption of a modified and less competent pposition and the second is his ability to write such a book given the punishing schedule of a freshman senator.
Whoever wrote Obama’s speeches wrote large sections of Audacity, perhaps all of it. We found 38 extended passages from stump speeches in 2005-2006 that made their way into this book virtually word for word. Easily the best candidate for authorship is Obama’s wunderkind speechwriter Jon Favreau.
FP: What happens from here?
Cashill: It was scandalous that JFK won a Pulitzer Prize for Profiles In Courage, a book that he himself did not write. Imagine if the book had been written not by Ted Sorensen but by Alger Hiss. That is the kind of scandal we are looking at here. I need the help of our friends in the conservative media to get the story out.
Publicado: 03-10-2011 07:09 PM
Wisconsin GOP senators receive death threat.
New Tone in Wisconsin: "You will be killed and your familes will also be killed."
Via Charlie Sykes, someone has sent the following email to Wisconsin senate Republicans threatening to kill them:
To: Sen.Kapanke; Sen.Darling; Sen.Cowles; Sen.Ellis; Sen.Fitzgerald; Sen.Galloway; Sen.Grothman; Sen.Harsdorf; Sen.Hopper; Sen.Kedzie; Sen.Lasee; Sen.Lazich; Sen.Leibham; Sen.Moulton; Sen.Olsen
Subject: Atten: Death threat!!!! Bomb!!!!
Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your familes will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks. Please explain to them that this is because if we get rid of you and your families then it will save the rights of 300,000 people and also be able to close the deficit that you have created. I hope you have a good time in hell. Read below for more information on possible scenarios in which you will die.
WE want to make this perfectly clear. Because of your actions today and in the past couple of weeks I and the group of people that are working with me have decided that we've had enough. We feel that you and the people that support the dictator have to die. We have tried many other ways of dealing with your corruption but you have taken things too far and we will not stand for it any longer. So, this is how it's going to happen: I as well as many others know where you and your family live, it's a matter of public records. We have all planned to assult you by arriving at your house and putting a nice little bullet in your head. However, we decided that we wouldn't leave it there. We also have decided that this may not be enough to send the message to you since you are so "high" on Koch and have decided that you are now going to single handedly make this a dictatorship instead of a demorcratic process. So we have also built several bombs that we have placed in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent. This includes, your house, your car, the state capitol, and well I won't tell you all of them because that's just no fun. Since we know that you are not smart enough to figure out why this is happening to you we have decided to make it perfectly clear to you. If you and your goonies feel that it's necessary to strip the rights of 300,000 people and ruin their lives, making them unable to feed, clothe, and provide the necessities to their families and themselves then We Will "get rid of" (in which I mean kill) you. Please understand that this does not include the heroic Rep. Senator that risked everything to go aganist what you and your goonies wanted him to do. We feel that it's worth our lives to do this, because we would be saving the lives of 300,000 people. Please make your peace with God as soon as possible and say goodbye to your loved ones we will not wait any longer. YOU WILL DIE!!!!
Let's see if the media get as worked up about this death threat.
This is one of the scarier videos we have seen in a long time. The Democrats, to say the least, need to get their people under control.
“Get a little bloody:” It’s the union way
By Michelle Malkin • February 23, 2011
Thuggery? What thuggery? Oh, yeah. That thuggery:
A Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts is raising the stakes in the nation’s fight over the future of public employee unions, saying emails aren’t enough to show support and that it is time to “get a little bloody.”
“I’m proud to be here with people who understand that it’s more than just sending an email to get you going. Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary,” Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Ma.) told a crowd in Boston on Tuesday rallying in solidarity for Wisconsin union members. …
This is not Capuano’s first brush with violent rhetoric. Last month Capuano said, “Politicians, I think are too bland today. I don’t know what they believe in. Nothing wrong with throwing a coffee cup at someone if you’re doing it for human rights.”
Capuano made his remarks before a crowd of union members in Boston, along with other members of the state’s congressional delegation. Massachusetts has an influential union population that could loom large over the 2012 Senate race. Capuano is considering getting in that race to challenge Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) next fall.
“This is going to be a struggle at least for the next two years. Let’s be serious about this. They’re not going to back down and we’re not going to back down. This is a struggle for the hearts and minds of America,” Capuano told union members.
And capillaries, too, apparently.
None of you are surprised, of course.
“Getting bloody” is the Big Labor way.
As Wisconsin unions call for general strikes, I remind you again of the violent legacy of AFL-CIO thug-in-chief Richard Trumka:
Trumka and Obama will cast Big Labor as an unassailable force for good in American history. But when it comes to terrorizing workers, Trumka knows whereof he speaks.
Meet Eddie York. He was a workingman whose story will never scroll across Obama’s teleprompter. A nonunion contractor who operated heavy equipment, York was shot to death during a strike called by the United Mine Workers 17 years ago. Workmates who tried to come to his rescue were beaten in an ensuing melee. The head of the UMW spearheading the wave of strikes at that time? Richard Trumka.
Responding to concerns about violence, he shrugged to the Virginian-Pilot in September 1993: “I’m saying if you strike a match and you put your finger in it, you’re likely to get burned.” Incendiary rhetoric, anyone?
A federal jury convicted one of Trumka’s UMW captains on conspiracy and weapons charges in York’s death. According to the Washington, D.C.-based National Legal and Policy Center, which tracks Big Labor abuse, Trumka’s legal team quickly settled a $27 million wrongful death suit filed by York’s widow just days after a judge admitted evidence in the criminal trial. An investigative report by Reader’s Digest disclosed that Trumka “did not publicly discipline or reprimand a single striker present when York was killed. In fact, all eight were helped out financially by the local.”
In Illinois, Trumka told UMW members to “kick the s**t out of every last” worker who crossed his picket lines, according to the Nashville (Ill.) News. And as the National Right to Work Foundation (pdf), the leading anti-forced unionism organization in the country, pointed out, other UMW coalfield strikes resulted in what one judge determined were “violent activities … organized, orchestrated and encouraged by the leadership of this union.”
Trumka washed off the figurative bloodstains and moved up the ranks. As AFL-CIO secretary, he notoriously refused to testify in a sordid 1999 embezzlement trial involving his labor boss brethren at the Teamsters Union. No surprise. Thugs of a feather: Trumka’s violence-promoting record echoes the riotous Teamsters strikes dating back to the 1950s, when the union organized taxicab companies to target workers with gas bombs, bottles and fists.
And now, Trumka is spearheading a Democratic Party get-out-the-vote campaign by far-left groups — publicized in the revolutionary Marxist People’s World — to “energize an army of tens of thousands who will return to their neighborhoods, churches, schools and voting booths to prevent a Republican takeover of Congress in November and begin building a new permanent coalition to fight for a progressive agenda.”
Take those as literal fighting words. The bloody consequences of compulsory unionism cannot be ignored.
Mobsters, Unions, and Feds
My family [Genovese] made a lot of money from gambling and the numbers rackets. We got money from gambling, but our real power, our real strength, came from the unions [emphasis added]. With the unions behind us, we could shut down the city, or the country for that matter, if we needed to get our way. Our brugad [crime family] controlled a number of different unions, some of which I personally dealt with, some of which I knew about from other amico nostra. In some cases, we got money from our dealings with the unions, in some cases we got favors such as jobs for friends and relatives -- but most importantly, in all cases, we got power over every businessman in New York. With the unions behind us, we could make or break the construction industry, the garment business, the docks, to name but a few.
That is mobster Vincent Cafaro, cited in James B. Jacobs's excellent Mobsters, Unions, and Feds: The Mafia and the American Labor Movement. This book, which is avowedly left-wing and pro-union, chronicles the grisly and underrecorded history of mob influence over unions. Today the mob's presence in the Teamsters, the Laborers, the Hotel and Restaurant workers and the Longshoreman's union has largely dissipated, but keep in mind why. Our government has spent the last twenty years busting these unions, using arrests, RICO, and federal monitoring and control. That should not be forgotten the next time you hear talk of new legal privileges for unions.
Posted by Tyler Cowen on March 30, 2007
Publicado: 03-11-2011 06:08 PM
The president will demagogue Social Security as his ticket to reelection.
Back-of-an-envelope solvable: Raise the retirement age, tweak the indexing formula (from wage inflation to price inflation), and means-test so that Warren Buffett’s check gets redirected to a senior in need.
The relative ease of the fix is what makes the Obama administration’s Social Security strategy so shocking. The new line from the White House is: no need to fix it because there is no problem. As Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director Jack Lew wrote in USA Today just a few weeks ago, the trust fund is solvent until 2037. Therefore, Social Security is now off the table in debt-reduction talks.
This claim is a breathtaking fraud.
The pretense is that a flush trust fund will pay retirees for the next 26 years. Lovely, except for one thing: The Social Security trust fund is a fiction.
If you don’t believe me, listen to the OMB’s own explanation (in the Clinton administration budget for fiscal year 2000 under then-director Jack Lew, the very same). The OMB explained that these trust-fund “balances” are nothing more than a “bookkeeping” device. “They do not consist of real economic assets that can be drawn down in the future to fund benefits.”
In other words, the Social Security trust fund contains — nothing.
Here’s why. When your FICA tax is taken out of your paycheck, it does not get squirreled away in some lockbox in West Virginia where it’s kept until you and your contemporaries retire. Most goes out immediately to pay current retirees, and the rest (say, $100) goes to the U.S. Treasury — and is spent. On roads, bridges, national defense, public television, whatever — spent, gone.
In return for that $100, the Treasury sends the Social Security Administration a piece of paper that says: IOU $100. There are countless such pieces of paper in the lockbox. They are called “special issue” bonds.
Special they are: They are worthless. As the OMB explained, they are nothing more than “claims on the Treasury [i.e., promises] that, when redeemed [when you retire and are awaiting your check], will have to be financed by raising taxes, borrowing from the public, or reducing benefits or other expenditures.” That’s what it means to have a so-called trust fund with no “real economic assets.” When you retire, the “trust fund” will have to go to the Treasury for the money for your Social Security check.
Bottom line? The OMB again: “The existence of large trust fund balances, therefore, does not, by itself, have any impact on the government’s ability to pay benefits.” No impact: The lockbox, the balances, the little pieces of paper, amount to nothing.
So when Jack Lew tells you that there are trillions in this lockbox that keep the system solvent until 2037, he is perpetrating a fiction certified as such by his own OMB. What happens when you retire? Your Social Security will come out of the taxes and borrowing of that fiscal year.
Why is this a problem? Because as of 2010, the pay-as-you-go Social Security system is in the red. For decades it had been in the black, taking in more in FICA taxes than it sent out in Social Security benefits.
The surplus, scooped up by the Treasury, reduced the federal debt by tens of billions. But demography is destiny. The ratio of workers to retirees is shrinking year by year. Instead of Social Security producing annual surpluses that reduce the federal deficit, it is now producing shortfalls that increase the federal deficit — $37 billion in 2010. It will only get worse as the baby boomers retire.
That’s what makes this administration’s claim that Social Security is solvent so cynical. The Republicans have said that their April budget will contain real entitlement reform. President Obama is preparing the ground to demagogue Social Security right through the 2012 elections.
The ad writes itself: Those heartless Republicans don’t just want to throw granny in the snow, they want to throw granny in the snow to solve a problem that doesn’t even exist! Vote Obama.
On Tuesday, Democratic senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia denounced Obama for lack of leadership on the debt. It’s worse than that. Obama is showing leadership. With Lew’s preposterous claim that Social Security is solvent for 26 years, Obama is preparing to lead the charge against entitlement reform as his ticket to reelection.
— Charles Krauthammer is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2011 the Washington Post Writers Group.
Publicado: 03-28-2011 05:30 PM
LO CIERTO ES QUE EL PROPIO GADAFFI, QUIEN CONSIDERA COMO UN HIJO A OBAMA, ASEGURO QUE A OBAMA LO PUSO EN LA CASA BLANCA LOS PETRO DOLARES DE LOS PAISES ISLAMICOS. ¡LAS VUELTAS QUE DA EL MUNDO!!!, IGUAL QUE OBAMA ECHO POR LA BORDA A SU ABUELA MATERNA Y A SU MENTOR ESPIRITUAL E IDEOLOGICO, EL ISLAMO/MARXISTA, REV. WRIGHT, AHORA OBAMA RENIEGA DE GADAFFI, SU PADRE PUTATIVO Y HASTA PLANEA ASESINARLE ABRIENDOLE AL PASO LIBRE PARA QUE AL QAEDA TOME EL PODER EN LIBIA.
White House says Libya decision based on ‘best interests’
By Michael O’Brien - 03/28/11
No sense of precedent guided President Obama’s decision to intervene in Libya, administration officials said Monday.
We don’t make decisions about questions like intervention based on consistency or precedent,” said Denis McDonough, the administration’s deputy national security adviser, amid an off-camera gaggle of reporters. “We make them based on how we can best advance our interests in the region.”
McDonough was speaking hours before President Obama’s speech Monday night on Libya. He explained that there were compelling reasons to get involved in Libya as opposed to Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and Syria, four other countries in the Middle East where pro-democracy crowds have battled authoritarian governments.
Administration officials wouldn’t outline the contents of Obama’s speech, and McDonough’s remarks suggest Obama is unlikely to lay out any doctrine encompassing the administration’s philosophy for intervening in foreign conflicts.
Obama will make his case for the short-lived U.S. military offensive in Libya to the public in a speech Monday night from the National Defense University in Washington.
The speech will provide the president his greatest opportunity so far to take his case for intervention in Libya to the public.
Polls have found mixed views on Obama’s decision to join other United Nations members in air strikes against Libya. Lawmakers in both parties have criticized the White House for a lack of consultations, and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) slammed a “sometimes contradictory” explanation for the action.
Monday’s speech is part of a blitz by the White House to win support from the public and Congress for Obama’s actions. After Monday’s address, Obama on Tuesday will sit for interviews with the anchors of NBC, ABC and CBS.
McDonough emphasized the differences between the situation in Libya and clashes between anti-government demonstrators and ruling governments in other countries in the Middle East.
In particular, McDonough referenced Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s direct threats of violence against some of his own citizens as part of the reason the U.S. felt compelled to get its military involved in Libya.
Obama sought to reach out to lawmakers last week by providing a briefing to top members of Congress in both parties and from both chambers, notifying them of the progress of military operations and the eventual transfer in responsibility for the operation to NATO, which took charge on Sunday evening.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said that the White House had no objections to lawmakers asking questions, though he strongly rebuffed the notion that the administration hadn’t been fully forthcoming in its briefings of lawmakers.
“Questions are legitimate; they deserve to be answered,” he said. “We have endeavored to answer them.”
BASADO OBAMA EN EL MEJOR INTERES DE QUIENES, ¿LOS PAISES EUROPEOS? ¿AL QAEDA? EUROPA DEPENDE DEL PETROLEO DE LIBIA, NO LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS... SIN EMBARGO, EL RESULTADO FINAL ES QUE EL REMEDIO ES PEOR QUE LA ENFERMEDAD YA QUE OBAMA Y LOS EUROPEOS SE HAN ALIADO A AL QAEDA PARA DERROTAR A GADAFFI.
Publicado: 03-30-2011 06:59 PM
Obama in 2002: Toppling Brutal Dictator a ‘Dumb War’
CNSNews ^ | March 30, 2011 | Matt Cover
(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama, as an Illinois state senator in 2002, said that using military force to topple a murderous dictator amounted to a “dumb war” and should be opposed.
The “dumb war” Obama was criticizing was the planned invasion of Iraq and the murderous dictator was its leader, Saddam Hussein. Obama, speaking at an anti-war rally in Chicago on Oct. 2, 2002 said that while Saddam was a brutal tyrant, that was not enough to justify using military force to remove him from power.
“Now, let me be clear – I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein,” said Obama in his speech. “He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to ssecure his own power. He has repeatedly defied U.N. resolutions, thwarted U.N. inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He's a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.”
"... After September 11th, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this administration's pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such tragedy from happening again," said Obama. "I don't oppose all wars. ... What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne."
Obama argued that deposing Saddam militarily was not necessary, because Iraq posed no “direct threat” to the United States. Obama also cited Iraq’s weakened economy and the fact that it was still possible to contain Saddam’s aggression, repudiating the Bush administration’s rationale that Saddam posed too great a threat to American interests and his own people to be left in power.
“But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military is a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history,” said Sen. Obama.
However, as president of the United States, Obama has discounted those same arguments he once made against using military force against brutal dictators.
In his March 28, 2011 speech justifying his decision to attack the government of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, Obama cited Gadhafi’s record of brutality, saying that allowing Gadhafi to continue his brutality was not an option.
“Qaddafi declared he would show ‘no mercy’ to his own people,” said President Obama. “He compared them to rats, and threatened to go door to door to inflict punishment. In the past, we have seen him hang civilians in the streets, and kill over a thousand people in a single day.
“Now we saw regime forces on the outskirts of the city,” Obama said. “We knew that if we waited, if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.”
Gadhafi, apparently unlike Saddam, needed to be stopped because he would kill his own people to maintain his own power, an act that this time posed a threat to America’s “interests and values,” Obama said.
“But when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act,” said Obama. “That’s what happened in Libya over the course of these last six weeks.”
Obama, in his 2002 speech, said that instead of deposing Saddam through force, America should “fight” for democratic reforms in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, stronger international nuclear safeguards, and energy independence.
“Those are the battles that we need to fight,” Obama said in 2002. “Those are the battles that we willingly join – the battles against ignorance and intolerance, corruption and greed. Poverty and despair.”
By 2011, however, Obama had come to endorse the use of military power to enforce America’s “responsibility as a [global] leader” arguing that the United States was “different” and therefore had no other choice but to attack Libya.
“To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and, more profoundly, our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are,” he said. “Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different.”
Publicado: 03-31-2011 06:54 PM
IKE NEEDED BIRTH CERTIFICATE TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT
‘Ike had nothing to hide!’
VOL. 16 ISSUE NO. 38 | SEPTEMBER 22 – 28, 2010
BY LINDA BENTLEY
CAVE CREEK – Glen Fairclough, a reader from Salt Lake City, Utah, sent us an e-mail last week to express his gratitude for publishing the recent article regarding President Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate.
And, while going through digital images online of his hometown newspaper, the Deseret News and Telegram, Fairclough forwarded us a United Press wire article from the Oct. 2, 1952 edition he thought we would find interesting.
The article appeared on page 6A with a dateline of Sherman, Texas. It was headlined: “General’s birth certificate officially filed,” and stated, “A certificate recording Dwight Eisenhower’s birth in Denison on Oct. 14, 1890, was filed Wednesday [Oct. 1, 1952] in the Grayson County Clerk’s office.
“Nobody had bothered to make out a certificate when the Republican presidential candidate was born in a house at the corner of Lamar and Day streets in nearby Denison.
“A copy of the certificate filed Wednesday was mailed to Mrs. Eisenhower in Denver. Eisenhower’s older brother, Arthur, signed the certificate. It was also signed by the Grayson County Judge J.N. Dickson and recorded by County Clerk J.C. Buchanan.”
David Dwight Eisenhower was the third of seven boys born to David Jacob and Ida Elizabeth.
Since he was called Dwight while growing up, Eisenhower swapped his first and middle names when he enrolled at West Point Military Academy.
Elected 34th president of the United States in November 1952, Eisenhower made it through his first 62 years without any need for a birth certificate.
However, the need arose when he became a presidential candidate. Since Eisenhower was the oldest man to be elected president since James Buchanan over 100 years earlier, age was obviously not at issue. Instead, there was protocol in place for presidential candidates to provide proof of eligibility to appear on the ballot.
Eisenhower, whose campaign slogan: “I like Ike” became the most famous in campaign history, won by a landslide with Richard Nixon as his running mate.
Using what the Republicans considered failures of the Truman administration, which was said to be infiltrated by Soviet spies, Eisenhower’s campaign attacked Korea, Communism and corruption.
Republicans also blamed Democrats for the military’s failure to be fully prepared to fight in Korea and pounded the Truman administration for harboring a soaring number of officials accused of crimes.
While it’s difficult not to notice history’s propensity toward repeating itself, Fairclough asserted, “Ike had nothing to hide!”
Publicado: 04-01-2011 12:00 PM
Farrakhan blames 'demons' for altering Obama's conscience
Farrakhan defends Libya's Gadhafi as 'brother'
By Manya Brachear
March 31, 2011
Warning that destruction could be on America's doorstep because it oppresses “God's chosen people,” Minister Louis Farrakhan, the controversial Nation of Islam leader, defended Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi today, calling the U.S. action in Libya hypocrisy.
Speaking from the pulpit of Chicago's Mosque Maryam, the Nation of Islam's international headquarters, purchased 40 years ago with a $3 million loan from Gadhafi, Farrakhan blamed demons for altering President Barack Obama's moral conscience and driving the assault on Gadhafi, who he calls a brother.
“It is a terrible thing for me to hear my brother called all these ugly and filthy names when I can't recognize him as that,” Farrakhan said to the crowd assembled at the mosque on Chicago's South Side. “Even though the current tide is moving against him … how can I refuse to raise my voice in his defense? Why would I back down from those who have given so much?”
Though they haven't spoken since 2005, Farrakhan and Gadhafi have been allies for decades. In 1996, around the time Gadhafi shifted from pan-Arab to pan-African ambitions, Farrakhan was criticized for traveling to meet the leader in Tripoli.
The following year, Gadhafi addressed Nation of Islam members via satellite, lauding Farrakhan for being a “courageous freedom fighter” who galvanized African-Americans at the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., and Muslims in nations around the world. During that speech, Gadhafi panned America for taxing poor people, who the Libyan leader said do not benefit from space exploration or support of “a Hebrew state.”
“Consequently,” he said, “the voice of Louis Farrakhan will be heard among the simple people louder than the president of the United States.”
On Thursday, Farrakhan said scenes from an earthquake- and tsunami-ravaged Japan inspired him to warn the American people about an impending natural disaster that will punish them for their arrogance.
“A major earthquake is on the way to you and me and us,” he said. “Death and destruction is at the door of all of us, and we are worse prepared than the Japanese.”
Farrakhan cautioned Obama that he was being used as a pawn to oppress his own people in Africa. He insisted several times that Jews controlled the media and pressured Obama to take so-called humanitarian action in Libya, but not in other places such as the Gaza Strip.
“The stupid mistake we make is assuming the president is the supreme power,” Farrakhan said. “The mad dogs are growling and grinding in Washington, D.C.,” referring to one of Gadhafi's nicknames, “Mad Dog of the Middle East.”
He commended former White House correspondent Helen Thomas for her honesty and candor in recent controversial remarks about Israel and the Palestinians and blamed the Jewish-run media for ousting her. He also commended Gadhafi for plans to nationalize Libya's oil industry to benefit his own people and other poor African nations.
But Rachel Bronson, vice president for programs and studies at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, said it's questionable how much profit from oil was invested in Libya and how much was funneled to other African countries.
To his credit, Gadhafi has helped build infrastructure and put food on the table in extremely poor African nations, she said. But in doing so he has backed “pretty nasty regimes,” Bronson said.
She conceded that America “hasn't done much better.” But the humanitarian element of the intervention in Libya cannot be denied, she said.
“Gadhafi as a state leader made the statement that he was going to wipe out Benghazi,” she said. “The language was one of sheer brutality and taking no responsibility for protecting his people.”
At one point in his talk on Thursday, Farrakhan projected photographs featuring Gadhafi in the cheerful company of European leaders including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Farrakhan blamed those leaders for “lulling 1/8 Gadhafi 3/8 to sleep” before they went after him.
Brian Endless, an expert in United Nations and security issues in the Middle East and Central Africa at Loyola University, attributed the recent thaw between Gadhafi and U.S. administrations to their mutual animus for Islamic fundamentalism and the al Qaeda terror organization. Libyan intelligence enabled the U.S. to find key Al Qaeda operatives after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Kamm Howard of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America lauded Farrakhan for speaking the truth on Thursday. Howard said he believes the rebels are murdering Libyans of African descent and said nations who go against Gadhafi are guilty of ethnic cleansing.
“If one African person is being abused, we're all being abused,” Howard said.
Farrakhan never mentioned ethnic cleansing in his address. But he said he didn't fault Gadhafi for going after “traitors.”
Though most members referred any questions to Farrakhan's spokespeople, member Nathan Muhammad of Chicago said he supported everything the Nation of Islam's leader had said.
“It's kind of hard to follow up the Minister,” he said. “He speaks clearly and plainly to the issues.”