Category Archives: Politics

On China and Palin

When I think conspiracy theories, I think ‘truthers’ and Charlie Sheen. I’m loathe to consider them much less invent them, yet a couple of hot news stories got me thinking.

Biden’s China Visit. Our foot-in-mouth veep was busy defending stutterers and China’s one child policy in Beijing this week, enraging talk-show hosts and regular Americans who don’t particularly care for forced abortions and re-education camps. But what was this trip really all about? Was it to reassure our sugar-daddy and grovel? Or, maybe it was to make sure President Hu was still up for making a few campaign donations to Obama’s re-election campaign. If I’m the Chinese, Russians or  any other enemy state, I’m calling any one of Obama’s campaign bundlers to see where I can send the check.

Sarah Palin’s upcoming Iowa speech. Many pundits and prognosticators are predicting Palin will make an announcement on September 3. If she’s as dumb as the mainstreamers portray her, she’ll announce. Recent polls show her barely making a dent in the Republican field and her negatives make Hillary’s ’08 numbers look like Mother Teresa’s.  She isn’t dumb, so what could be her big announcement? Could it be that she will be endorsing Rick Perry? Perhaps.

Ryan’s Rise

Paul Ryan, the most powerful republican in America today. Who knew…

Newt Gingrich’s attack on Paul Ryan has headlined talk radio, conservative blogs and garnered a scathing editorial from the Wall St Journal. But more interestingly, it has established who conservatives want formulating and articulating an American plan to win the future, hopefully a debt-free one.

Gingrich started the ‘scaring the grandmas’ fire on Sunday.

I think what you want to have is a system where people voluntarily migrate to better outcomes, better solutions, better options. Not one where you suddenly impose upon you—I don’t want to—I—I’m against ObamaCare, which is imposing radical change. And I would be against a conservative imposing radical change.

Ryan a radical? The Wall St Journal prefers to call him a leader:

 Mr. Ryan speaks softly but proposes policies commensurate with America’s problems.        Mr. Gingrich speaks loudly but shrinks from hard choices. Who’s the “radical” and who’s the real leader?

Ouch.

Conservative hosts weren’t much friendlier as their callers flooded the airwaves, mostly voicing outrage over the betrayal. Bill Bennett accused Gingrich of shooting Ryan from behind.  Krauthammer pronounced his campaign over, dead. Tea Partiers were furious.

Was it Newt’s assault on the plan or the person that caused the outrage? Would the outcry really have been as intense if Gingrich had attacked Pawlenty, Romney or Boehner? I suspect not.

Newt’s attack not only killed his newly announced campaign, it also confirmed Ryan’s rock star status within a party desperately in need of one.

He Gave Back Churchill

It isn’t religious.

Not to disappoint the birthers, those who call him Osama instead of Obama or even those who think he’s a Muslim, but Mr. Obama’s position on the Mideast revolution is comprehensible and simple. It also has nothing to do with religion. 

 In 2009, when Iranians braved death in the streets of Tehran, POTUS was MIA. On the other hand, when Mubarak was under fire from Egyptians, the President lent support for his ouster. Now that Gaddafi has brought out helicopter gunships to mow down his own people, how has Obama reacted? He hasn’t and he won’t.

 Why?

 He won’t react and he won’t condemn. Muammar al-Gaddafi like the grotesque Iranian Ayatollahs and the terrorists in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood share an important bond—they hate America. Apparently, so does our President.

Spooked by Rubio

That I can remember, no former President has joined forces with a current one to oust a Senatorial candidate of their own party.  It reeks of panic and desperation, yes, but it also raises an interesting question—why?

Even if the path to victory appears easier with candidate Big Bird, I wonder why the Presidents, former and current, would risk alienating principled Democrats, African-Americans and skeptical independents by pleading with Meek to take one for the team. On this Halloween weekend, what about Marco Rubio so spooks these two?

He’s Hispanic? Is that it? That’s what insiders are claiming….From the Wall St. Journal:

People familiar with the matter said the former president and other top national Democrats worry a win by the charismatic Mr. Rubio, a 39-year-old Cuban-American, would make him a political phenomenon capable of boosting the GOP’s chances with Hispanic voters.

So Clinton and Obama fear his success would open the door to droves of Hispanic Americans? That theory ignores the fact that the seat up for grabs was held by Mel Martinez, a Cuban-born American.  It also ignores the fact that Susana Martinez is way ahead in the New Mexican gubernatorial race, so it’s not as if Hispanic Republicans are an endangered species.

What else could it be? Most certainly Marco Rubio poses a threat, but not as a Moses to millions of Hispanic voters. They fear a Rubio ascendency could impact their futures. He’s dynamic, direct and a charismatic leader in a Presidential field of also-rans.  Palin is polarizing, Romney’s a stiff. Gingrich faces insurmountable personal obstacles, and none of the others have the charisma to rally the people. Perhaps the old sage sees competition for his wife and maybe Obama sees it for himself.

The Presidents should relax; because Americans understand all too well the amount of damage a one-term Senator can inflict. Whether it’s Hillary or Barack, if it’s 2012, they won’t be facing Mr. Rubio.

Lemon Meringue or Crap Sandwich?

They want it. Even if they don’t want it, Americans need it. And if they just had it, they would want it.~Democrat leadership.

Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Nancy Pelosi shrugged off polls clearly showing a strong American opposition to the Democratic healthcare reform proposal by likening the bill to an unbaked pie.  From The Washington Post:

“Our bill, the House and the Senate bill, had some major differences, which we’re hoping now to reconcile,” Ms. Pelosi said. “Then when we have a bill — as I say, you can bake the pie, you can sell the pie, but you have to have a pie to sell. And when we do, we will take it out there.”

For a year, citizens have packed town halls and congressional phone lines, apparently angry over a pie they couldn’t see. A lack of tort reform, tax monies used for abortion, higher taxes, insurance rate hikes, larger deficits, and a failure to address the fundamental concern of the American people, cost—weren’t drivers of citizen opposition. According to the Madame Speaker, Americans are simply opposed to pie unseen.

As Nancy spent time hiding behind the old “you don’t like it ‘cause I’m not finished yet,” other Democrats on the Hill and in the White House were mischaracterizing public sentiment.  “People understand the need to do this,” replied Rep George Miller (D-Calif), ignoring all the February Obamacare polls dominated by the opposition. The people understand the need for Mr. Miller to pass socialist reforms; they understand it so well that when Rasmussen or Gallup calls to gauge support, they lie.

The most disappointing Democrat position is coming from the White House and other Democrats in Congress. On ‘Meet the Press’, the Director of White House Health Reform hints at reconciliation:  “…we’re not talking about changing any rules here. All the president’s talking about is: Do we need to address this problem and does it make sense to have a simple, up-or-down vote on whether or not we want to fix these problems.”

Senator Menendez, appearing on Fox News Sunday mischaracterized the public’s position, and touted reconciliation as a viable option, claiming that they would have the support in an up or down vote. “So the opportunity is there. We’d really like to get a bipartisan bill. In the absence of that, the American people, I think, have said in the polls that they want to see move forward on health care reform.”

Nancy can call it a pie, Dems on the hill can believe that polls showing opposition should be read to show support, and the President can cling to the view that Americans really don’t know what they need.

 In November, the American people will remove all doubt when they aim their outrage at representatives who have consistently ignored their wishes.

What Comes After Trillion?

In recent weeks and in an effort to curb growing outrage and voter disaffection, President Obama has shown up everywhere, save  the guest judge chair on ‘American Idol’. From town halls to prayer breakfasts, on prompter and off, the President has been seen pimping his budget and defending his prescription for the U.S. economy, which is predictably focused on government, not business, creating jobs.

He’s also appeared a bit touchy in recent days. In his State of the Union, he denied that his healthcare plan is a result of some ‘Bolshevik plot,’ and sought to blunt nasty ‘communist’ or ‘socialist’ aspersions cast by those evil tea-partiers.  It’s easy to see why he’d want to avoid such labels, however true they might be. Forget economic output comparisons between old Europe and the United States over the last thirty years and just examine last week’s market reaction to Spain and Portugal’s budgetary crises. Spending and raising debt ceilings hasn’t helped their respective economies. Add Greece to that mix as they are trying to get spending under control. 

Obama has repeatedly pledged to restore fiscal discipline to Washington, yet his budget would more than double the current debt, increasing it to $26 trillion over the next decade. Forty cents on every dollar spent in the budget is borrowed. And while it would be nice if maybe our loan shark was Canada or Britain, China continues to invest in our debt. With each security sold or Wall St investment made, Beijing wields more influence and hinders further criticism of their monetary, trade, or human-rights policies.

What can Americans expect from these borrowed Chinese dollars? How will the President use this debt to catapult the U.S. economy into prosperity? 

His budget spells it out.

Under the ‘Reviving job creation and laying a foundation for economic growth’ section Obama outlines his recipe to grow jobs. ‘Investments’, spending, are programmed for education, clean energy and infrastructure to lay a foundation for long term job growth. He provides high-speed rail with $5 billion over five years, $1 billion in this year’s budget. Just how will hi-speed rail create jobs and sharpen America’s competitive edge?  

Adopting this particular European idea is folly on so many levels. European cities are much closer together and their highways are radically inferior; there just isn’t enough room for road expansion. Another reason for a viable European railway—weather. Many businessmen from Milan take the train to Turin or Venice to avoid fog which, in the winter, can create hours of delays. In addition, gas is more expensive. Choosing between spending 80€ to fill up your tank or 20$ to take a train, is a no-brainer. And when Europeans visit America, they rent cars; they don’t purchase Amtrak tickets.

In addition to the ‘I wanna be like Europe’ nonsense, the President fails to understand that multi-nationals aren’t flocking to China and India for their infrastructure; it’s their cheap labor and lower taxes. Cutting-edge is not a herd of cows meandering about the roadway unimpeded, it’s I-95 from Miami to New York.  

Another bedrock of the new Obamaconomy is clean energy. Not only does the new budget allow for $54.5 billion in ‘green’ loans, it encourages “new nuclear facilities and a range of renewable energy projects that reduce greenhouse gases and pollutants, while simultaneously creating jobs and contributing to long-term economic growth.” Energy efficiency is a critical component, but perhaps it would be better to fund those programs when the economy is on solid footing.

Another baffling mention in a growing economy subsection is the $1 billion Michelle Obama childhood obesity project. It would be altogether different if this $1 billion were to feed starving American children, but as it stands, we are going to be borrowing from the Chinese to better nourish overweight children. 

The budget also lays out plans to bring grocery stores and other ‘healthy’ food retailers to ‘food desert’ communities.

Where to start…Shouldn’t Publix or Whole Foods decide where to put their stores? And what exactly is a ‘food desert’ community? Inner cities? Maybe if bag boys weren’t scared to push Grandma Edith’s cart to her car, Whole Foods might consider the idea. Government doesn’t need to help businesses decide how to expand profits. That job falls to management and their expertise.

 As Americans watch their friends and family lose jobs with no end in sight, they see a President more interested in remaking the nation than strengthening the economy. Since their own wealth hasn’t been enhanced through second mortgages and house flippers, they aren’t apt to believe that borrowing from China will result in an economic renaissance.

 If fiscal conservatives don’t win in November and get a handle on these trillion dollar deficits, Americans better familiarize themselves with a new term—quadrillion.

Islamophobia in Eurabia?

Yesterday, Swiss citizens overwhelmingly approved a ban on new minaret construction in Switzerland, and in the process, infuriated all the right parties—the BBC, the Muslim Brotherhood, and elites in the United States. The Swiss should feel shame, and Europe should be worried, according to the Guardian, yet this vote represents a popular trend—Muslim immigrants must meld into society, not attempt to alter it.

In taking a quick peek at the numbers, fifty-seven percent approved the ban, on a relatively high turnout of fifty-three percent. And while only five percent of the Swiss population are Muslim immigrants, and only four minarets hover in towns throughout Switzerland, a clear majority were galvanized into opposing any dramatic changes to the cultural landscape.

France is considering a ban on niqabs and any other face-concealing veils, and one mayor in Italy has erected a controversial sign along with a new policy—no burqas and niqabs in Varallo, Italy. The warning is also translated in Arabic.

“Throughout the city, we are applying the prohibition of wearing these clothes that, in the case of the burqa, prevent the recognition of the person. The signs signify the will “of the Administration to stop this practice of Muslim women that goes against our traditions and standards on safety.”

Some elites, progressives and academics might find this cultural preservation trend troubling for many reasons: it upsets their utopian view of European multiculturalism; it challenges their enlightened Europe as America’s role model argument; it shatters political correctness into pieces. Make no mistake—banning burqas and minarets isn’t politically correct, nor is it expedient.

Perhaps conservatives were wrong. Maybe Americans could learn a thing or two from Europeans. Culture is important, and it merits the fight.

“Going against our traditions…”

Imagine if we used that response to the current assault on Christmas or the English language taking place in America. It’s racist to take the position that Americans or legal residents should have a rudimentary command of the language, and it is offensive to say “Merry Christmas.” By contrast, Italians are picky about their culture, which is why schools were informed of possible penalties if they dared to remove any of the crucifixes the European Human Rights Court found so offensive.

Over time and under constant influence by elites in D.C and on TV, Americans have been influenced into behaving like robots, unable to voice concerns or fight for their culture out of fear for looking like rubes. They can’t voice concerns without incessantly couching their words or avoiding the subject matter altogether. But as they’ve morphed under the pc cloud, they have also exhausted their patience with the experiment.

European Court Rules on Crucifix in Classrooms

italian_schoolSomewhere, Michael Newdow, the California atheist obsessed with striking God from everywhere but the Bible, is smiling…

As yesterday, the European Court of Human Rights headlined Italian news when they ruled on a case brought by Soile Lautso Albertin, an Italian citizen originally from Finland, who wanted crucifixes removed from her sons’ classrooms. The court decided that the presence of crucifixes in the classrooms is a “violation of the right of parents to educate their children according to their wishes,” and an assault on the “freedom of religion for the students.”

The Italian government was also ordered to pay, five thousand euros, for their part in psychologically damaging the boys who were forced to learn in the midst of a crucifix.

Unscientific results from a web poll posed by Corriere della Sera, show slightly more than half, 52.3%, disagreeing with the court’s decision, with a tad more than nine thousand respondents.

Politicians reacted predictably. Adel Smith, President of the Union of Muslims in Italy who once referred to Jesus Christ as a “miniature cadaver,” questioned how crucifix defenders could have been surprised; “in a state which defines itself as secular, cannot oppress other faiths by showing a particular religious symbol.” And the national secretary of the Union of Atheists and Agnostics joined an Italian communist leader proclaiming victory.

Many mainstream politicians, however, disagreed with the decision. “I think that the ancient tradition of the crucifix could not be offensive to anyone,” argued Pierluigi Bersani, leader of the neo-PD. For Minister Mariastella Gelmini (PDL) “the presence of the crucifix in the classroom does not mean adherence to Catholicism, but is a symbol of our tradition.”

The Vatican is obviously disappointed. From the Corriere della Sera:

Father Federico Lombardi, in a brief speech to Vatican Radio and the Tg1, told of “surprise and regret” with which – in the Papal city – has greeted the decision of the court Council of Europe. “The crucifix – he explained – was always a sign of God’s offer of love and union and shelter for all humanity. It is sad that it has been regarded as a sign of division, exclusion or restriction of freedom.

Regardless of whether one agrees with the ruling or not, the refreshing candor shown by vocal Italian politicians who are unthreatened by their faith and culture, should serve as a lesson to milquetoast American pols, who are often all too eager to undercut their own beliefs to exude tolerance.

As Americans, we always hear how secular and opposed to organized religion Europeans are, yet there are still many schools in Europe where Christmas is celebrated and crosses hang undisturbed.  That might change, and yesterday’s ruling might signal a push for heightened secularism and greater division between governments and religion, but as of today, Christians have more freedom to celebrate their faith.

The Nobel Prize and ‘Cookie Diplomacy’

obama_looking_up Today’s announcement of President Barack Obama as the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner, “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” illuminates the organization’s preference for lofty talk over worthy actions. Heretofore, President Obama has failed to make progress in Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea, but Nobel voters have rewarded his apologetically deferential rhetoric anyway.

Gone are the days of victories, verifiable accomplishments and winners, because western society now prioritizes effort over results. 

Arafat promoted peace as he prepared suicide bombers to attack Israel. Mohammed el-Baradei, former head of the IAEA, inspected, and now Iran is as close as it has ever been to possessing nuclear weapons.  Al Gore talked a good green game, as his home consumed twenty times the electricity of an average American home. All of these men were awarded the Nobel Prize for peace, because for the committee, accomplishments don’t matter—politics do.

Clearly, Obama’s ‘cookie diplomacy’ has had quite an impact, not only with American liberals, but with elites in Western Europe. To understand this complex ‘cookie diplomacy’, one need not look to Iran or North Korea, but to Sudan.  Yes, the poster children for bad behavior have become the latest subjects for the Obama policy of unconditional engagement. The U.S. envoy to Sudan, Air Force Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration, senses change sweeping the only country led by an indicted war criminal, and despite the millions of displaced and dead Darfuris, the Maj Gen. sees ‘cookies’ as a way to end the hideous atrocities perpetrated by the Arab Sudanese against the African Darfuris. Yes. Cookies.

 Washington Post:

 “We’ve got to think about giving out cookies,” said Gration, who was appointed in March. “Kids, countries — they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement.”

 These policies are more apt to work in Neverland than in Sudan. And they aren’t simply doomed to fail, they are doomed to exacerbate an already tragic situation. Experienced diplomats and rebels fighting the government have tried to educate Gration in the ways of the Sudanese regime.

 Again from the Washington Post:

John Prendergast, co-chairman of the Enough Project, a human rights group advocating tougher, multilateral sanctions against Sudan, said Bashir and his top advisers respond only to pressure. “They do not respond to nice guys coming over and saying, ‘We have to be a good guest,’ ” he said. “They eat these people for dinner.”

Adam Mudawi, a Sudanese human rights activist who has seen envoys come and go, put it more bluntly: “In six months, he’ll find out,” he said. “They are liars.”  

Appeasement, ‘cookie diplomacy’, call it what you will, it’s everywhere. Last week, another Nobel winner, the Dalai Lama visited Washington D.C, and for the first time in ten visits, a sitting U.S. President rejected a meeting in order to gain favor with the Chinese. Apparently, budget deficits and healthcare reform rank higher than human rights on Obama’s curious priority scale.

Imagine winning the Cold War, WWII or the Korean War with a box of Nestle Tollhouse…it would have been nice.  I’m afraid that until Obama’s foreign policy grows up, we’ll all—save the lefties—be eschewing cookies in favor of a nice swig of Maalox.

When Did Americans Lose Their Balls?

Like other seminal moments in history, most remember where they were when the first passenger jet hit the twin towers. Other turning points are just as significant, even if they aren’t marked by a single catastrophe.

 Last night, Congressman Wilson’s ‘liar’ assertion and the aftermath which ensued, prompted, once again, the question: when exactly did Americans lose their balls? It wasn’t Obama’s speech, or even the President himself spurring the eye-rolling; it was a congressman’s response to his own outburst and the reactions of his fellow republicans.

 “You lie.”

 Ok. Perhaps that wasn’t the place to call out the POTUS, however, the congressman’s initial reaction was, in fact, the correct one. It’s a fact that the House has refused to adopt the Heller amendment which would prevent illegal aliens from receiving health care coverage. Current legislation doesn’t require agencies to check the citizen status of the applicant; therefore, illegals wouldn’t have their status checked prior to obtaining coverage, thus insuring illegals without insuring illegals. So, technically, the language excludes them, while implicitly including them, via processes.

 If their ever was a carpe diem moment, it was last night. Congressman Wilson’s manhood was screaming to be acknowledged. Have some courage man. Tell the truth. Call him out.

 All gave way to what has, unfortunately, become the norm in the United States. Let people talk, and whatever you do, don’t challenge the substance of their arguments. We have Presidential debates with moderators who might as well be analysts announcing the down and distance at a football game. Pols are able to spin and lie about issues without challenge. I’m surprised no Presidential hopeful has asserted that the sky is green, because there isn’t a chance his claim would be disputed.

 “This evening I let my emotions get the best of me. While I disagree with the president’s statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility.”

 Disagree with the statement? Nice walk-back from calling the President a liar. Disagreements should be reserved for opinions, not statements of fact. Obama’s assertion that illegals wouldn’t be covered under the bill is false, unequivocally so.

 It’s more than the congressman. Where is the media? Bias aside, liberal bias in the established print and television medium is well documented, where are the questions? Why is it so hard to ask questions, instead of allowing politicians, or anyone else for that matter, to get away with lying?

 We used to call it lying; now it’s simply ‘misleading’. We used to call 700 lb people ‘fat’, now they are just ‘overweight’. We used to call those who finished second ‘losers’, now we call everyone ‘winners’. We used to respond to questions, now we simply spin. We used to have courage, now, we just say sorry.