Monday, February 28, 2011

Obama's Back To Smoke And Mirrors

  When Obama told Bill O'Reilly that he hadn't moved to the center since the mid term elections, that was probably the only 100% true statement he made during that interview. Today he spoke to governors at the White House, and continued his smoke and mirrors routine. He solidified his socialist bonefides when he said, shown here, "While the wealthiest among us keep or get more tax breaks we're not doing the right thing." His continued assault on the wealthy makes him the master of the class warfare game. When in reality the fair share that the wealthy already pay is astounding. In 2008 the top 1% of taxpayers payed 35.02% of all personal income taxes collected. The top 5% paid 58.72%.... The top 10% paid 69.94%....the top 25% paid 86.34%, and the top 50% paid 97.30%. That hardly looks like those greedy rich are getting richer on the backs of the poor. You may say, "they should pay more, because they have the money." Of course they do, and because they're a small minority it is politically palatable to make them the democrats whipping boy. 

On the other hand the president also said, shown here, "I don't think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or their rights are infringed upon." He again tried to make the case of shared sacrifice by stating that he had frozen the wages of federal employees for two years. That is as absurd as his proposal to freeze discretionary spending for five years after he'd increased it 25% over the last two years. Federal employees have been on the fast track to wage and benefit Utopia for at least five years now, and it was accelerated when Obama was sworn in. The number of federal employees that make $150.000 or more has doubled under Obama's watch, and Obama has hired over 200,000 new federal workers since he took office. His stand for public employees collective bargaining rights is an obvious overture to those that support him politically and give millions of taxpayer dollars back to the democrat party. It's an unholy alliance that must be broken to get the state budgets under control. It's clear where he's coming from. He's a big government liberal, that wants to redistribute income from the private sector, to his political allies, which in turn funnels back to him and the democrats in massive campaign donations. All the time he's growing the size and scope of government, so that government and it's workers take a much larger piece of the pie. In the meantime the private sectors piece of the pie shrinks, and those, as Obama likes to call them, "rich fat cats," who are the private sector job creators and the biggest contributors to the socialists' Ponsi scheme to redistribute wealth through income taxes, stop creating jobs or move off shore. Bill O'Reilly got the master of disguise to admit that he really hasn't moved to the center, but still wants your money to redistribute.
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Obama Sides With Unions, And Against Taxpayers

  Once again Barack Obama finds himself on the wrong side of the vast majority of the American people as he supports, and fans the flames of protests in Wisconsin over benefit contributions and collective bargaining. His problem is that since he took office in January 2009 the number of solidly democrat states has shrunk to 14 from 30 in 2008. These are primarily the states where democrat governors  and legislators have used the collective bargaining process to reward those unions with luxurious wage and benefit packages for their support. These benefits are unsustainable, and now that 2010 resulted in such a huge shift in state houses and governorships toward the GOP, those benefits and the whole collective bargaining process is under assault. It's ironic that these same democrats that tried to reward their supporters with giveaways are somewhat responsible for unions ill repute among the majority of the populous. Obama himself is content on continuing to run huge federal deficits because he's not bound by the same budget constraints that states are. Most states require a balanced budget even though that definition varies within the separate states. The federal government has no such requirement. 

2010 brought a huge shift in power as republicans gained 680 seats in state legislatures. These are historic numbers. If you remember the wave in 1994, republicans picked up 472 seats, and the scandal ridden post Watergate 1974 election saw democrats pick up 628. The scandal that punctuated the 2010 election was the  amount of red ink the democrats had accumulated. The pendulum has swung back and republican governors around the country are taking their mandate to heart, which is not good for Obama's reelection chances. The huge shift not only hurts him and democrats due to redistricting, but also lost clout and money from these unions that give almost exclusively to democrats.

Now as Obama, with his community organizing background, seems compelled to throw his weight behind the union revolts, not only in Wisconsin, but Indiana and Ohio also. He is in the unenviable position of supporting, exactly what the majority of Americans voted against in November.  He knows that if Scott Walker in Wisconsin, successfully neuters the union stronghold in Wisconsin, that the dominoes will fall across the country. It's a bit hypocritical for him to continue to speak of fiscal constraint, and then back those public employee unions that have contributed to the fiscal mess in states all across the country. It's clear that he is who he is, a left wing liberal with allegiance to unions and their thuggery that has reaped enormous benefits at the expense of every day tax payers. The November elections have done what no politician could do. The tax payers said, "no more free ride for friends of Barack."
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Is Obama A Christian?

The speculation continues to surround Barack Obama's religious conviction. He of course says he's a Christian, and usually that would be enough to put the issue to rest. One republican congress person after another say they take him at his word. It is somewhat presumptuous to accuse someone of lying about their religious affiliation simply because profession of faith is a very personal thing. That however doesn't seem to dispel the controversy surrounding his faith. Many still believe he's a Muslim, and MSNBC keeps pointing out that in a recent poll of Iowa republican caucus voters, 51% believe that Obama is a Muslim. A blatant attempt to brand republican voters as ignorant and un-informed. Bill Maher in a recent taping of his HBO show said Obama is not a Christian but is a secular humanist like his mother. Maher who has been a consistent critic of Christianity and religious belief in general, but a loyal supporter of Obama, contends that Obama's confession of Christian faith is simply political posturing  to endear himself to the large majority of American Christians.  Does Maher think Obama's religious contentions are false because no one of his intellect could ever believe such fantasy,  or because he's so smart he must associate himself with the dolts that are a large majority of the voting public? That seems to be the contention of most atheistic elites.

There is very little I agree with Bill Maher about, but I have to confess, he may be right about this one.  Not that a majority of Americans who believe in God are dolts, but that Obama is feigning his Christianity for political gain. It's fundamentally fool hearty to judge ones religious believe, but, as Jesus said, you will know them by their fruits. And, if Barack Obama is a Christian he certainly doesn't live or promote Christian values. His agenda is absolutely 180 degrees anti- Christian. His support of abortion rights is not only anti-Christian but is extreme even for the left. While in the Illinois state senate he opposed the, "born alive infant protection act,"  three times. This law would define an infant who survived a late-term, induced-labor abortion as a human being with the right to live. In other words if an unwanted infant was born, Barack Obama wanted that child to be left until he or she dies because the intent of the parents was paramount over the life of the child. In 1997 Obama voted against SB 230, in the Illinois state senate, a bill to prevent partial birth abortions. He was given a 100% voting record by NARAL, "the National Abortion Rights Action League," during his time in the United States senate.

He did attend Reverend Jeremiah Wrights church while in Chicago for 20 years. But the question that needs to be answered, "is Reverend Wrights church a fundamental Christian church, or is the church based on black liberation theology?"  Most agree it is the later, and the tapes that have surfaced from the good reverend's teachings seem to confirm that. Liberation theology is a form of Christian theology that emphasizes social and political liberation as opposed to spiritual liberation. Many believe Obama attended, to give himself street cred, and boost his political ambitions among the poor black community of Chicago. We all remember how quickly he was willing to throw Reverend Wright under the bus when he became a political liability. He recently attended the national prayer breakfast, but this was his first as president. Was it sincere, or as Maher contends a political calculation leading up to 2012?

Many contend that Obama was raised as a Muslim. His Muslim father gave him the middle name Hussein. When his parents divorced his mother married an Indonesian student, and that seems to be the biggest Muslim influence in Obama's early life. While living in Indonesia Obama spent at least four years in a Madrassa, or Muslim seminary. Indonesia is a blatant Muslim country and according to US intelligence, the nation is composed of primarily Muslim schools that teach legalistic Islam--- Wahhabbi. This particular sect of Islam is particularly harsh and Koran-abiding. Wahhabbis believe that non-Muslims have no rights, should not exist, and Muslims should particularly hate Jews. Of course Obama himself had no choice in where he lived and how he was raised, so we can't conclude that he endeared himself to his early religious influence. 

He has however reached out consistently to the Muslim community, which in itself is not an indication of his religious beliefs, and could be a simple political calculation to de-fang Islamic extremism, an obvious shift from his predecessor. His outreach to fundamental Christianity is however much more abrasive. Remember his slip of the tongue, during the campaign, when speaking at a fundraiser in San Fransisco, about those who cling to their guns and religion. He was referring to fundamentalist Christians in Pennsylvania. He seems less concerned, until recently, about offending Christians than he is about offending Muslims.

In Turkey in 2009, Obama said, "we {America} do not consider ourselves a Christian nation," and, "whatever we are, we are no longer a Christian nation," and, "the sermon on the mount is a passage that is so radical that our defense department wouldn't survive it's application." These statements seem a bit inconsistent to someone who considers himself a Christian. His liberation theology teachings from reverend Wright seem to be consistent with his political agenda, that emphasizes social justice and salvation of the collective rather than the very Christian emphasis on the individual and his or her personal salvation. His community organizing past also confirms this. He has stated that, "my individual salvation is not going to come about without a collective salvation for the country." This is classic liberation theology, and is contrary to biblical teachings of personal salvation. It griefs me to ask this searing question. Could it be possible that Bill Maher is right? Only God himself knows for sure.
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Obama Doesn't Yet Have Moral Clarity

  As we've watched what's happened in Egypt over the last several weeks it's become increasingly evident that Obama and his Administration doesn't have the same moral clarity that past presidents have displayed. The initial statements out of the administration seem to tack to a squishy, we must get this right, narrative, rather then speaking with moral conviction. First Hillary Clinton pronounced that the Egyptian government was stable. Stable? It was about as stable as a mobile home in a West Texas tornado. Then Joe Biden proclaimed that Mubarak was not a dictator. Right. He's not a dictator and democrats are fiscal conservatives.  Obama's statements went from trying to get out front, to backing off. Then during the O'Reilly Superbowl interview he passed up a chance to condemn the Muslim Brotherhood, but instead just lumped them in as a faction and intimated they have legitimacy. His director of National Intelligence testified before congress, and said the Muslim Brotherhood was primarily secular and non-violent

These wavering s and capitulations are not new. He passed up an opportunity to support the Iranian protesters in the summer of 2009, obviously not wanting to fuel Iranian contentions that the protests were being fomented  by the West. It was clear that their elections were rigged and he passed on a Reagan like moment to define the corruption of the Iranian regime. His refusal to support the protesters intentionally or not, disheartened their efforts and gave momentum to the crack down. It almost seemed he didn't want to anger Ahmedinejad, and undermine his opportunity to sit down with him, and look diplomatic and reasonable compared to the cowboy label that was saddled on W.

His administration from the early days has refused to call a spade a spade. Terrorist attacks were now "man caused disasters." The fight against terrorism was now "over sea's contingency operations." Terrorists and terrorism were taken out of the lexicon. They were slow to admit the intentions and conspiracy of terror attacks like the Fort Hood and Christmas Day 2009 incidents. It's instructive to point out that Janet Napolitano in her recent appearance before congress has reversed that trend dramatically. She referred over and over to terrorism, maybe as a result of the 2010 election day chastisement they received.  Maybe they've learned that their initial strategy was not only unpopular with the American people, but was a dismal failure. Whatever the reasons, it is a welcome change.

A president more then anything is seen by the public as a leader, and moral arbiter that can define enemies as well as our friends and not confuse the two. This administration has confused the American people by seeming to throw our friends under the bus and coddle those that want us harm. They have however made crystal clear who their political friends and foes in this country are. Even if you disagree politically, a strong and morally clear commander in chief will have overwhelming support. Reagan spoke out against the Soviet Union, calling it "The Evil Empire." He went to Berlin and boldly demanded, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." Both statements were discouraged by many of his confidants. We have seen what it led to. The Soviet Union fell like domino's and pictures of the Berlin Wall being dismantled still resonate today. It wasn't just the statements, but the moral certainty that defeating communism was imperative to a free world that we loved about him. It was that kind of clarity that created Reagan democrats and caused independents to flock to him. No ambiguity, and no nuance seemed to define Reagan's foreign policy. 

George W. Bush, for all his warts had a similar moral clarity. His "axis of evil" line used in his SOTU speech defined the enemies of freedom and set us on a course to tackle the new challenge of this generation. This was more then a call to defeat Islamic Fascism, but to stand against all tyrannical regimes that subjugate their populous and seek weapons of mass destruction. Liberals have falsely contended that if we have nuclear weaponry why shouldn't the rest of the world. Their naivete fails to understand that only democratic societies put restrictions on their leaders ability to wage war. Bush's idealism and master strategy in the Middle East after 9/11 was actually quite brilliant even though it was somewhat messy. He understood that Islamic Fascism was the major threat to the West. Establishing a democratic beach head in the Middle East would cause a contagious like desire for freedom for others in the area. Iraq's success at establishing a democratic government with free elections may now be spreading throughout the region. The toppling of Saddam, no matter how messy and contentious here, gave hope to others living under tyranny. The Iraqi people seen holding up their purple fingers with pride after casting their votes in the first free election there was seen throughout the world. We saw how terrorist flooded into Iraq to fight  the invaders. It could be they feared the establishment of a democracy in their part of the world as much as their desire to defeat the great Satan, and gain control of the country. Now because of what was done in Iraq, the forces of freedom will began working from inside the middle East.

Demonstrations are scheduled for Iran once again this Monday, and the momentum may be more than the regime can deal with. It's now looking like the administration is ready to fore-go the sit down with the Iranian president and support the demonstrators. Better late then never, as the on the job training continues for this president. If he plays his cards right and stops blaming his predecessor for every insufficiency in his own administration, he could position himself to preside over the democratization of the middle East. He can then thank his predecessor for the moral clarity and determination to establish a democratic beach head in Iraq, and boldly fight Islamic Terrorism. There's still an uncertain outcome in Egypt, but he should immediately renounce radical elements like the Muslim Brotherhood. If the military provides free and fair elections there, the momentum will accelerate the domino effect and we could witness an historic shift from brutal dictatorships to free democracies that will reduce the threat of Islamic radicalism that threatens our security.
Find your moral compass Mr. President, for the benefit of freedom, democracy, and the defeat of Islamic extremism.
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Friday, February 4, 2011

Obama Care Is A Tangled Web

  Earlier this week in Pensacola Florida, Judge Roger Vinson ruled because of the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate in Obama Care,  that requires people to buy insurance, the entire law must be declared void. It doesn't seem this ruling is getting as much attention as it probably should. Questions should be asked, what happens now? Are the feds bound to stop the implementation of the law? Are the states, especially the 26 who filed the suit, now free to reject Obama Care? Tracy Schmaler, a justice department spokesman said, "we are analyzing this opinion to determine what steps, if any--including seeking a stay--are necessary while the appeal is pending, to continue our progress toward ensuring that Americans do not lose out on the important protections this law provides." Stephanie Cutter a deputy senior  adviser wrote on the White House blog, "we don't believe this kind of judicial activism will be upheld." It appears that Obama is taking the Clinton approach of attacking the judge much like Billy Boy did with his relentless attacks on Ken Starr during the Monica Lowensky scandal. Their tactic is predictable. Frame this as an activist judge trying to remove protections for Americans from the evil and greedy insurance companies.

The problem  for the administration is the American people are buying their rhetoric even less than before. The newest Rasmussen poll on Obama Care shows that 58% of likely voters favor repeal while only 38% oppose repeal. The drum beat for repeal is getting louder rather than quieter. This newest ruling will obviously add several bass drums and a few more snares to the intensifying beat. Let's look at the question, "should the government stop implementation of Obama Care?" Judge Vinson, in his ruling, failed to enjoin Obama care. In plain English, he did not grant an injunction to stop the implementation of the law. White house officials site this as a reason to go on with implementation. But, he did say, and I quote from page 75 of his ruling, "injunctive relief is an  "extraordinary" and "drastic' remedy. It is even more so when the party that is to be enjoined is the federal government, for there is a long standing presumption "that officials of the executive branch will adhere to the law as declared by the court. As a result the declaratory judgment is the functional equivalent of an injunction." He goes on to say, "declaratory judgment is, in a context such as this where federal officers are defendants, the practical equivalent of specific relief such as injunction....since it must be presumed that federal officials will adhere to the law as declared by the court." In other words, he expects them to stop implementation because federal officials must obey the law as defined by the courts. Therefore an injunction is unnecessary. 

Dick Durbin, a member of the judiciary committee said he didn't think the administration should stop implementation of Obama Care, because there was no injunction. This sounds like spin to me and a blatant violation of the ruling. A stay has not been granted and as of today an appeal has not been filed. The administration game plan has been, and continues to be, that Obama Care will become more popular as the benefits kick in. Therefore the longer they can perpetuate the tangled web the greater the chance the American people will embrace it. If the bureaucracy can extent it's tentacles far into the states and the business community with this law the chances of undoing it becomes more difficult. The only problem is that everything they originally said about this law is false. It is not reducing costs. Rather, costs are skyrocketing. Businesses are reluctant to hire because of the increased costs associated with Obama Care. This one size fits all approach in Obama care has prompted hundreds of businesses to seek waivers because they can't afford the increased coverage they must provide. McDonalds threatened to drop the minimal coverage to most of their employees if a waiver was not granted.  

There is no surprise that of the 733 waivers that have been granted by HHS, unions are the main beneficiaries.  This is curious when you consider that SEIU, UFCW, and many other large unions were the biggest boosters of Obama Care. It appears the administration is rewarding them for their support of Obama Care by exempting them from  Obama Care. In a curious way, this defines the administrations own opinion of the law they hailed. Remember Obama himself has said "we must punish our enemies and reward our friends." The majority of the American people are being punished by this law. Insurance companies were promised a glut of new insured because of the individual mandate. In part this would go a long way to alleviate the increased cost for them of insuring those with preexisting conditions. The more waivers HHS grants the less likely that becomes, and therefore cost will continue to soar. The weight of the deceit of this bill, with it's cooked numbers and unrealistic assumptions will cause it to fall like a house of cards. Assuming that the law continues unabated through appeals and favorable court rulings until 2014, when the individual mandate kicks in, will there be enough left to ensure it's survival? Most will opt to pay the penalty, enforced with 16 thousand new IRS agents, rather then pay the soaring insurance cost. Like a snowball rolling down hill these costs will continue to increase because of so many opting out and insurance companies forced to insure according to federal mandates. 

Obama himself could take action to fast track an appeal of Judge Vinson's ruling immediately to the supreme court. But he probably will not. He would rather take it to the appellate courts first to slow down the process. The 11th appellate court in Atlanta will probably hear the case. That is why they're continuing on with implementation of the law even though Vinson had declared it void. Their tactic is to slow the process so more can be implemented and the tentacles grab hold. It will fall on the newly elected majority republicans in the house to continue to chip away by de-funding everywhere they can. The senate republicans finally got a vote on repeal and it came down on party lines. It was good to get those democrats in purple and red leaning states on record that they stand by Obama Care. The states that were plaintiffs in the Florida case have decisions of their own on whether to abide by the Vinson ruling or succumb to Obama Care mandates. Meanwhile businesses and our economy are held hostage to the uncertainty of an outcome. "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we first practice to deceive." This should be the inscription seared on the tombstone of a dead Obama Care law. We can also hope that this tangled web will entrap the democrats that weaved it. The next 12 months will tell us more.
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