Saturday, January 24, 2009

NRO: Limbaugh Responds to Obama

President Obama warned Republicans Friday that, "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," according to media reports.

On Saturday, Limbaugh responded to Obama's statement.

In short, Limbaugh said Obama is attempting a smoke-and-mirrors style political parlor trick to get people not to look too closely at what has been called a deeply flawed bailout package.

Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, a college dropout, is not an elected official and has recently stated he is not a member of the Republican party.

Here's the text of Rush Limbaugh's response given to Byron York of National Review:
There are two things going on here. One prong of the Great Unifier's plan is to isolate elected Republicans from their voters and supporters by making the argument about me and not about his plan. He is hoping that these Republicans will also publicly denounce me and thus marginalize me. And who knows? Are ideological and philosophical ties enough to keep the GOP loyal to their voters? Meanwhile, the effort to foist all blame for this mess on the private sector continues unabated when most of the blame for this current debacle can be laid at the feet of the Congress and a couple of former presidents. And there is a strategic reason for this.

Secondly, here is a combo quote from the meeting:
"If we don't get this done we (the Democrats) could lose seats and I could lose re-election. But we can't let people like Rush Limbaugh stall this. That's how things don't get done in this town."
To make the argument about me instead of his plan makes sense from his perspective. Obama's plan would buy votes for the Democrat Party, in the same way FDR's New Deal established majority power for 50 years of Democrat rule, and it would also simultaneously seriously damage any hope of future tax cuts. It would allow a majority of American voters to guarantee no taxes for themselves going forward. It would burden the private sector and put the public sector in permanent and firm control of the economy. Put simply, I believe his stimulus is aimed at re-establishing "eternal" power for the Democrat Party rather than stimulating the economy because anyone with a brain knows this is NOT how you stimulate the economy. If I can be made to serve as a distraction, then there is that much less time debating the merits of this TRILLION dollar debacle.

Obama was angry that Merrill Lynch used $1.2 million of TARP money to remodel an executive suite. Excuse me, but didn't Merrill have to hire a decorator and contractor? Didn't they have to buy the new furnishings? What's the difference in that and Merrill loaning that money to a decorator, contractor and goods supplier to remodel Warren Buffet's office? Either way, stimulus in the private sector occurs. Are we really at the point where the bad PR of Merrill getting a redecorated office in the process is reason to smear them? How much money will the Obamas spend redecorating the White House residence? Whose money will be spent? I have no problem with the Obamas redoing the place. It is tradition. 600 private jets flown by rich Democrats flew into the Inauguration. That's fine but the auto execs using theirs is a crime? In both instances, the people on those jets arrived in Washington wanting something from Washington, not just good will.

If I can be made to serve as a distraction, then there is that much less time debating the merits of the trillion dollar debacle.

One more thing, Byron. Your publication and website have documented Obama's ties to the teachings of Saul Alinksy while he was community organizing in Chicago. Here is Rule 13 of Alinksy's Rules for Radicals:
"Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."
Read it.

Also see: Forget the Terrorists, Obama Declares War on Rush Limbaugh

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Forget the Terrorists, Obama Declares War on Rush Limbaugh

President Obama warned Republicans today that they need to quit listening to conservative Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats and the new Obama administration, according to media reports.

In a chilling statement verging on the infringement of 1st Amendment protection of free speech from government intervention, the Fresh Prez said, "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package.

Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh is not an elected official, has never run for public office, and has recently stated on his radio program that he is not a Republican.

On Friday's program Limbaugh accurately predicted that President Obama and Democrats would mount an all out effort in an attempt to separate Senate and House Republicans from their voters:
So I think what's going to happen, Obama had a meeting with congressional leaders today, and it's a wild guess, but my assumption is that there's going to be an attempt made to separate elected Republicans in the House and Senate from their voters.

The effort's going to be, "Don't listen to what your voter says. It's not the way this is going to get done. We're not going to get things done up here unless we work together my way."
With this not-so-veiled threat, can we now expect House and Senate Democrats to move quickly to pass so-called 'fairness doctrine' legislation to censor talk radio?

Critics of liberal political methods have long contended that the Left's definition of bi-partisan cooperation on issues amounts to nothing more than an expectation of silent acceptance and capitulation by conservatives and Republicans.

Read it.

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Obama Pick for Pentagon No. 2 Stalls Amid Lobbying Concerns

On January 8, President-elect Barack Obama appointed William J. Lynn III, senior vice president of government operations at Raytheon Co., to become the No. 2 official at the Defense Department.

The 55 year old Lynn is a former Pentagon comptroller and Senate staffer. He was a registered lobbyist for Raytheon from 2003 through June 2008, according to the Obama transition team.

Under an executive order signed January 21, lobbyists must wait two years before accepting positions at federal agencies they have lobbied. The order also bans federal employees from accepting gifts and appointees from accepting jobs from lobbyists, and it requires greater transparency of government documents.

Wednesday an asterisk was added a to the new rule by the president's spokesman, Robert Gibbs, who said, "Even the toughest rules require reasonable exceptions."

"Our waiver provisions are designed to allow uniquely qualified individuals like Bill Corr [nominated as deputy secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services] and Bill Lynn to serve the public interest in these critical times," Gibbs said. When asked by reporters Thursday about the waivers, Gibbs said only "a very limited number" will be issued.

No such equivocation was apparent earlier Wednesday, when Obama said: "If you are a lobbyist entering my administration, you will not be able to work on matters you lobbied on, or in the agencies you lobbied, during the previous two years." The order, he said, "represents a clean break from business as usual."

As a lobbyist, Lynn worked on Pentagon budget matters including contracting policy, the military's use of space, missile defense, munitions and artillery, sensors and radars and advanced technology programs. Raytheon is one of the military's top contractors, doing $18.3 billion in U.S. government business in 2007.

On January 22 a government watchdog group, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), asked Obama to withdraw Lynn’s nomination because it apparently violates the new rule.

"President Obama should not compromise his standards and the effectiveness of the Department of Defense by allowing a top defense industry lobbyist to receive a waiver from these standards," POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian said in a statement.

Senate action on Lynn's nomination stalled on Thursday after lawmakers realized he may require an exemption from the administration's own lobbying rules.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the panel wants to determine what the waiver will say and if the new rules will force Lynn to remove himself from decisions critical to the management of the department.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday he had requested Lynn be appointed as his deputy and that an exception to the lobbying rules be made. Nevertheless, Gates said, he understands Congress needs more information before it will feel comfortable with the appointment.

Late Thursday, the Obama administration sent Congress the details of the waiver, said an Obama spokesman, who declined to provide further detail.

When Levin was asked by reporters whether relying on waivers weakens the administration's desire to get tough on lobbyists, the Democratic senator said "I don't think it helps to reinforce the intent of it."

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, a former Missouri state auditor and a strong Obama supporter, questioned Lynn about his turns through the revolving door of government and industry.

Other Democrats said they were concerned but wouldn't stand in the way.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., a senior member of the committee that votes on the appointment, hasn’t called for a hold, but was quick to press for more details about how the appointment fits with Obama’s rules.

"While I announced my support for Mr. Lynn’s nomination, the announcement of the new ethics executive order is puzzling given that Mr. Lynn was openly questioned by Sen. McCaskill on his role as a lobbyist for Raytheon during his hearing," Inhofe said.

Scott Amey, general counsel at POGO said, "It seems as if the Obama administration took five steps forward with its order on openness, transparency and ethics, but when you look how it is going to be applied, if it is riddled with lobbyists who have received waivers, it has pretty much made the ban toothless."

The Deputy Secretary of Defense functions as the chief operating officer for the department, making calls on roughly $200 billion in spending. Lawrence Korb, a military expert, estimated that Raytheon, Lynn's former employer, was involved in about half of that business.

"It certainly does not bode well for his effectiveness in the job," said Korb and added the apparent conflicts Lynn would face as Deputy Secretary "is something they should have thought about."

Related Sources:
Obama Picks Defense Lobbyist as Pentagon No. 2
AP FACT CHECK: Exceptions made to anti-lobbyist rule
AP: Pentagon nomination stalls
Federal Computer Week: POGO urges Obama to withdraw Lynn's nomination
ABC News: Obama Pentagon Pick Blasted

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Democrats Spend Nearly $1 Trillion and Can't Promise 1 Job?


Watch as ranking member Dave Camp (R-MI) presses the chair of the joint committee on taxation about job creation in the Democrats' proposed stimulus bill. He could not confirm that this bill could produce one single job.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dow Suffers Worst Inauguration Day Drop in History

In an another ill omen matching the flubbing of the inaugural oath, U.S. stocks sank, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its worst Inauguration Day decline, as speculation banks must raise more capital sent financial shares to an almost 14-year low, financial Web site reported late Tuesday.
State Street Corp., the largest money manager for institutions, tumbled 59 percent after unrealized bond losses almost doubled. Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp. slumped more than 23 percent on an analyst’s prediction that they’ll need to take steps to shore up their balance sheets. The Dow’s 4 percent slide was the most on an Inauguration Day in the measure’s 112-year history, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and the Stock Trader’s Almanac.

“All the banks are going to have to recapitalize,” said Greg Woodard, portfolio strategist at Manning & Napier Advisors Inc., which manages $16 billion in Fairport, New York. “That’s not done. That’s in front of them, and we don’t want to try to get in front of that trade.”

The S&P 500 plunged 5.3 percent to 805.22. The S&P 500 Financials Index fell 17 percent to below its lowest closing level since March 1995 as concern European banks need more capital also weighed on the group. The Dow average slid 332.13 points to 7,949.09. Both the Dow and S&P 500 retreated to two- month lows.

The S&P 500 is off to its worst start to a year, shattering the biggest rally since World War II, as analysts cut earnings estimates by a record 83 percentage points and companies signal worse to come.

The S&P 500 is down 11 percent in the first 12 trading days of 2009, exceeding last year’s 9.2 percent drop, according to data compiled by Bloomberg going back to 1928. The decline helped erase more than two-thirds of a 24 percent rally since Nov. 20 as optimism that government spending would revive the economy evaporated.
Read it.

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An Ill Omen: Obama Flubs the Oath

News readers click here to watch the video.

Where's the teleprompter when you need one?

In all fairness, both Obama and Roberts together trashed the oath. However, the real trashing was served up by Reverend Joseph Lowery.

Benediction at Obama 's inauguration, Rev. Joseph Lowery: 'Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around... when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen. Say Amen'...

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Obama Bailout Plan Ineffective Says Congressional Budget Office

It will take years before an infrastructure spending program proposed by President Barack Obama will boost the economy, according to congressional economists, in stories reported by many establishment media outlets today.

The findings, released to lawmakers Sunday but apparently only reported today to become lost in the media's wall-to-wall inauguration coverage, call into question the effectiveness of congressional Democrats' efforts to pump up the economy through old-fashioned public works projects like roads, bridges and repairs of public housing.
Less than half of the $30 billion in highway construction funds detailed by House Democrats would be released into the economy over the next four years, concludes the analysis by the Congressional Budget Office. Less than $4 billion in highway construction money would reach the economy by September 2010.
The economy has been in recession for only a few months and many economists believe a recovery may begin by the end of 2009. That would mean that most of the infrastructure money wouldn't hit the economy until it's already on the mend.

The Congressional Budget Office analysis doesn't cover the effect of redistribution of income in Obama's "tax cuts" or efforts by Democrats to provide relief to state governments to help with their Medicaid bills. The analysis, however, illustrates just how difficult it can be to use government intervention to rush money into the economy. It usually takes bids and contracts, along with lengthy permitting and regulatory reviews, to implement such developments, which invariably will take time.
Overall, only $26 billion out of $274 billion in infrastructure spending would be delivered into the economy by the Sept. 30 end of the budget year, just 7 percent. Just one in seven dollars of a huge $18.5 billion investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs would be spent within a year and a half.
Read it.

Source: Congressional Budget Office

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Monday, January 19, 2009

The Inaugural Disaster: Bush Declares DC Federal Disaster Area

In just about his last act as president, George W. Bush has declared Washington, D.C., a federal disaster area, notes Mark Steyn in National Review.
No, seriously. I’m not setting up some lame-o punchline here, like we used to do a decade back in the good old Monica days: “President Clinton today declared his pants a federal disaster area,” etc. What happened last week was that the Bush administration formally declared a federal emergency in the District of Columbia.

So what was it? An ice storm? A hurricane?

No, it’s the inauguration of his successor. The inauguration is scheduled to make landfall on Tuesday and wreak havoc all night long, as Category Five conga lines buckle highways round town and emergency busboy crews find themselves overwhelmed as they struggle to clear drained champagne flutes. So the mayor, Adrian M. Fenty, put in a request for more federal money, and, apparently, the easiest way to sluice the cash to him no questions asked was for the president to declare a state of emergency in the District and funnel however many extra gazillions he wants through FEMA—the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“I don’t know if anybody’s ever done that,” said Dana Perino, the White House press secretary.
Read it.

Source: FEMA Federal Disaster Declaration, District of Columbia 56th Presidential Inauguration

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Inauguration Marks Historic Larget-Ever Gathering of Portable Toilets in DC

Writing in the Washington Post, Steve Hendrix notes, "Never in the annals of the nation have so many porta-potties gathered for so much common good. Or rather, common need."
By Tuesday's presidential inauguration, a nearly unbroken Great Wall of Privies will have formed between Capitol Hill and the Lincoln Memorial. And with orders coming in daily from Union Station and other downtown locales, Conrad Harrell thinks the total inaugural Toilet Tally could top 7,000. That's a one-day bathroom capacity of nearly half a million gallons, an epic of septic.

"There was an event in Germany where they installed 8,000 for a visit by the pope, but there's never been anything like this in this country," said Harrell, vice president of Chantilly-based Don's Johns. "We feel like we're part of history."
Read it.


Liberal Deragement: The True Legacy of Bush 43

Writing in The American Thinker, J.R. Dunn says that perhaps one thing certain to go through Barack Obama's mind during the inauguration: at one point or another, while glancing at George W. Bush, he will consider the treatment that Bush got as president and hope to God he suffers nothing even vaguely similar.

Dunn continues, it can be stated without fear of serious argument, that no previous president has been treated as brutally, viciously, and unfairly as George W. Bush.
Bush 43 endured a deliberate and planned assault on everything he stood for, everything he was involved in, everything he tried to accomplish. Those who worked with him suffered nearly as much (and some even more -- at least one, Scooter Libby, was convicted on utterly specious charges in what amounts to a show trial).

His detractors were willing to risk the country's safety, its economic health, and the very balance of the democratic system of government in order to get at him. They were out to bring him down at all costs, or at the very least destroy his personal and presidential reputation. At this they have been half successful, at a high price for the country and its government.
While everyone in the establishment media insists on doing so, it is impossible to judge Bush, his achievements, or his failings, without taking these attacks into account. Before any serious analysis of the Bush presidency can be made, some attempt to encompass the campaign against him must be carried out.
Bush is alone at being attacked and denied support from all quarters -- even from many members of his own party. No single media source, excepting talk radio, was ever in his corner. Struggling actors and comics revived their careers though attacks on Bush. A disturbed woman perhaps a half step above the status of a bag lady parked outside his Crawford home to throw curses at him and was not only not sent on her way but joined by hundreds of others with plenty of spare time on their hands, an event covered in minute-by-minute detail by major media.

At least two films, one produced play, and a novel (by the odious Nicholson Baker, a writer with the distinction of dropping further down the ladder of decency with each work -- from sophisticated porn in Vox to degrading the war against Hitler in last year's Human Smoke) appeared calling for his assassination -- a new wrinkle in presidential criticism, and one that the left will regret. And let's not forget that tribune of the voiceless masses, Michael Moore, whose Fahrenheit 911 once marked the end-all and be-all of political satire but today is utterly forgotten.

[. . .]

Being a Democrat, Obama has little to worry about, even with the far-left elements of his coalition beginning to sour on him. The ideological machinery is too unwieldy to swing around in order to target a single figure. Even if circumstances force him to violate the deeper tenets of his following, personal factors -- not limited to skin color -- will serve to protect him.

For the country as a whole, the prospects are bleaker. The left is convinced that hatred works, that it's a perfect tactic, one that will work every time out. They have already started the process with Sarah Palin, their next target in their long row of hate figures. They're wrong, of course. In a democracy, hatred is not a keeper, as the Know-Nothings, Radical Republicans, segregationists, Birchers, and many others have learned to their eventual dismay. But the process can take a long time to work itself out -- nearly a century, in the case of racial segregation -- and no end of damage can occur in the meantime. One of the byproducts of the campaign against Bush was to encourage Jihadis and Ba'athists in Iraq with the assurance of a repetition of Saigon 1975 as soon as the mad and bad Bush 43 was gotten out of the way. This time, the price was paid by the Iraqi people. But in the future, the bill may be presented somewhat closer to home.

And as for the "worst president in history" himself, George W. Bush has exhibited nothing but his accustomed serenity. Despite the worst his enemies could throw at him, his rehabilitation has already begun. He will be viewed at last as a man who picked up the worst hand of cards dealt to any president since Roosevelt and who played it out better than anyone had a right to expect. As Barack Obama seems to have realized, there is much to be learned from Bush, a man who appears to personify the golden mean, never too despondent, never too overjoyed, and never at any time overwhelmed.
Dunn concludes, other presidents may encounter the same level of motiveless, mindless hatred, others may suffer comparable abuse -- but we can sure that no one will ever meet it with more equanimity than George W. Bush.

Read it.

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