Sunday, January 31, 2010

This is what the terrorists did to me -- and why they should be tried at Gitmo

Last Updated: 2:09 PM, January 31, 2010
Posted: 6:24 PM, January 30, 2010

President Obama finally listened to the outcry of New York, and is considering moving the trial of 9/11 terrorist Khalid Sheik Mohammed and other al Qaeda members out of the city, perhaps to Guantanamo Bay.
Finally, some wisdom.
It would be better there. It's military. They're not going to mess around. These dangerous terrorists will not be allowed to spread their hate, or hurt anyone else.
Nobody knows better than me.
I was a federal prison guard at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. In 2000, I was with a prisoner, Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, taking him back to his cell. His cellmate was Khalfan Khamis Mohamed. They were accused of bombing two embassies in Africa in 1998. Later they said that they worked with Osama bin Laden and that they helped set up al Qaeda.
Benny j. stumboLouis Pepe was a federal prison guard at Manhattan's MCC when he was ambushed and blinded by two terrorism suspects, later linked to Osama bin Laden.

Louis Pepe was a federal prison guard at Manhattan's MCC when he was ambushed and blinded by two terrorism suspects, later linked to Osama bin Laden.
We were back at their cell. It's only me and those two guys. No supervisors. Just the three of us. Somehow, they slipped out of their handcuffs.
They sprayed me with some kind of hot sauce. I couldn't see. They pulled me into the cell and hit me — boom, boom. They hit me so much, I swear to God, like a hundred times.
I hit my radio. I thought help would come.
They wanted the keys for the other prisoners, but they couldn't find them. They were in my front pocket. I used to be big, 300 pounds, and I was laying on them. I gave them my car keys.
About halfway through, they used a comb — thick and long, about 10 inches, with a handle. They'd taken the teeth out and sharpened it like a knife.
They put it in my left eye. It went three inches into my brain.
Nobody came. I kept calling and nothing. I was in there with them for an hour. It was f- - -ed up.
With my blood, they made the sign of the cross on my chest because they thought I was dead.
Finally, 12 guards came to my aid. They said they had the wrong keys.
When it was over, I got up and walked down toward the infirmary. I wanted to show them I could do it.
I thought I would go to a doctor right away. They kept me at the infirmary.
Finally, I was taken to Bellevue. I thought I was dead. I went into a coma.
They did surgery. I lost my left eye and suffered some brain damage. It was like I had a stroke.
For two years, I couldn't speak. I couldn't write. I couldn't walk. My right eye is perfect — straight ahead. But I can't see to the side. It's like a horse with blinders.
It's better now. I have a gym in my apartment in Coney Island. I do 500 sit-ups a day. I have a speech therapist and a massage therapist. I get up at 3 in the morning, eat some breakfast, cereal and a banana. I can dress myself.
But for 10 years, I was pretty much in isolation. Now I can walk a little. I go to the boardwalk twice a day. I have a cellphone and sometimes talk to girls. I'm 52. I'd like to have a girlfriend, maybe a baby.
And I have my family — my mom, my sister. They're right here. I have a nice home.
I'm not really friends with the other guards. They know they messed up.
Do you know they never found the handcuffs for Salim? After the attack, his set was not there. They still don't know where the cuffs went 10 years later. It looks very stupid.
They won't give out the results of the investigation into the attack. I think there's something fishy.
I'm still afraid of Salim. When I was in the hospital, there were death threats. Salim wants to do something one more time.
These people want to kill and go to Allah and have 10 girls. That's just the way they are.
They want to become martyrs. They want jihad. They want to kill people. And that's all they want.
Federal prison officials are still naive. They give these terrorists toothbrushes, squirt bottles, items that can be used as weapons. Caught up by political correctness, they let them out of handcuffs to pray, leaving guards unprotected.
It's going to happen again — unless the trial gets moved to where it belongs, a military prison.
We don't need Khalid Sheik Mohammed in New York City. President Obama should do the right thing and keep him at Guantanamo Bay.

New York Post

“Timber!” Look Out for Falling Trees – and Companies – if the Death Tax Hits

Posted January 31st, 2010 at 1:07pm in Enterprise and Free Markets
Hancock Lumber company has been around for 180 years, was started before more than half the states joined the Union, survived the Civil War and two World Wars, but now faces one of its greatest challenges: paying the death tax.
Owner Kevin Hancock counts himself among the six generations of his family who have worked for the Maine-based company that provides lumber to contractors and home builders. Hancock explains that once the estate tax (otherwise known as the “death tax”) hits, Hancock Lumber will have to sell some or all of its 15,000 acres of open timberland for development in order to pay the tax bill. And that is pristine, open-access land that the public now uses for hiking and hunting.

The death tax, which is assessed on the transfer of an estate from the deceased to their heirs, has been set to be phased-out and abolished for close to a decade now. The 2001 tax cut began an eight-year phase out of the death tax, lowered the rate from 55% in 2000 to 45% in 2009, and increased the untaxed portion of estates from $1 million to $3.5 million. This year, the tax is completely abolished, but it comes back to life in 2011 at a 55% rate and $1 million exemption.
It’s because of problems faced by companies like Hancock Lumber that the tax should be permanently eliminated.
The death tax makes it difficult for Hancock Lumber to grow and create new jobs. Since death tax obligations increase with the whims of Congress, there is a great degree of unpredictability for a company when it looks to plan ahead. In Hancock Lumber’s case, any business decisions must take into consideration the unknown tax obligations it will face down the road.
That’s particularly troublesome for Hancock’s company because of the incredible, long-term investments it must make due to the nature of the lumber business. It takes 80 years to grow pine trees, and in the company’s history, it has only seen two complete crop cycles. Hancock Lumber is growing trees today for a generation that isn’t even born. The death tax’s uncertainty discourages family-owned businesses from growing and adding new jobs, especially when the nature of the business requires such long-term investment.
As Heritage’s Curtis DuBay writes, it’s high time to end the death tax, eliminate this uncertainty, and allow companies to grow and create new jobs:
Instead of passing a punishing tax increase, now is the time for Congress to repeal the death tax forever. Doing so would lift a tremendous burden from countless family-owned businesses across the U.S. that fear a death tax liability could wipe out their businesses.
Full repeal of the death tax would have an enormous positive effect on the economy in addition to the relief felt by family-owned businesses. It would create millions of new jobs because the death tax is an enormous drag on the economy. It discourages hard work, saving and investing. Lifting impediments to these economy growing activities would put millions of unemployed Americans back to work.
There are more real-life stories of companies struggling to grow under the yoke of the death tax. Watch the stories of Reliable Contracting and Grande Harvest Wines.
Learn more about the death tax at heritage.org/deathtax.

Heritage

Sunday Morning Services: One Year On, President Obama Still Can’t Find a Church

Posted by Frank Ross Jan 31st 2010 at 6:21 am in Christianity, Featured Story, Obama.
More than a year after he arrived in Washington, President Obama, amazingly, has not yet been able to find a church. You really can’t make this stuff up. From ABC News:
Obama quit Chicago’s embattled Trinity United Church of Christ months before taking office in 2008 and has not formally joined a new one in his new hometown.
But sources familiar with the president’s personal life say Obama remains a faithful Christian while in the White House, practicing his beliefs regularly in private with family and the aid of his BlackBerry.
obama blackberry
Four questions: 1) What’s so hard about finding a church? 
2) How do you worship God with the aid of your BlackBerry?
3) Does Obama have the Deity’s private email or IM handle?
4) Does God have his?
Then again, maybe the reason he hasn’t found a church is that he’s having a hard time finding a speaker as imbued with the true spirit of Christianity as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.  After all, it’s pretty hard to top this message of love:

Let’s have your thoughts.

Big Journalism

Labor union money linked to anti-Tea Party Web site

By Alex Pappas — The Daily Caller   01/29/10 at 5:29 pm

From the Web site TheTeaPartyIsOver.org

Organized labor may be putting their dollars behind an online effort to take down Tea Party groups and their “radical ideas.”
A new Web site, TheTeaPartyIsOver.org, has connections to unions, including the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
The American Public Policy Committee pays for the site, whose self-declared mission is to “prevent the Tea Party’s dangerous ideas from gaining legislative traction.”
According to Opensecrets.org, the top two financial backers of the American Public Policy Committee this year are Patriot Majority West and Patriot Majority, largely funded by union dollars.
During the 2008 election cycle, the AFSCME contributed $5.8 million and the SEIU donated $770,000 to Patriot Majority. Teamsters Union also donated $250,000, United Food & Commercial Workers Union gave $125,000 and the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO donated $6,500 to the group.
Attempts to contact the American Public Policy Committee and Patriot Majority were not successful.
The site encourages visitors to call Republicans Randy Hultgren, Arie Friedman and David McAloon — all running for the U.S. House in Illinois — to “reject the dangerous ideas of the Tea Party.”
“This movement is a fad,” the Web site reads, whose “ideas include undermining the legitimacy of the federal government in favor of a radical right-wing form of state’s rights.”

In defense of Citizens United v. FEC

By David Bossie   01/29/10 at 12:00 am

In the week since the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in my case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, there has been a significant amount of hyperbole flying around the liberal blogosphere fueled by the likes of Keith Olbermann (“a decision that might actually have more dire implications than Dred Scott”), Sen. Chuck Schumer (“The Supreme Court has just pre-determined the winners of next November’s elections”), and President Obama (“It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies”). While the facts of the case have been distorted in myriad ways, there are two distortions in particular that are so egregious for such learned men that they deserve to be called on the carpet.
• Corporations and unions aren’t people, so the First Amendment doesn’t apply.
Point conceded. Kind of. Corporations and unions aren’t “people” like the ones that you see walking down the street—that much is obvious. What does not follow, however, is the argument that the amendments contained in the Bill of Rights do not apply to them. As Glenn Greenwald so succinctly points out in Salon, there are a number of questions that people positing these arguments ought to answer before opening their mouths further. Consider the following:
Most of you reading this are sitting in front of a computer. Many of you are doing so at work, on a computer owned by your company. Let’s say the FBI raids your company and confiscates your laptop without cause or warrant. What, exactly, has this agent done wrong? Under this misguided criticism of the decision, corporations, not being people, do not have any rights under the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment preventing unreasonable search and seizure does not apply to your company, because you decided that Constitutional rights apply only to people. What are you (or your company) going to turn to in order to get your computer back?
Take it a step further. Do you believe that, despite the Fourth Amendment protection against illegal search and seizure, Congress could pass a law permitting the FBI to wiretap political opponents (e.g., the SEIU or the Chamber of Commerce) of the White House at will? If the Bill of Rights does not apply to unions or corporations, on what do you base your objection?
Let’s start over and consider a different scenario:
A multi-national corporation with billions of dollars per year in profit decides that it’s going to expend billions of those dollars to influence a presidential election. Day in and day out, millions of dollars are spent attacking the policies of one candidate and puffing up the other. Web sites are set up blasting Candidate X and every time you turn on your television you see this corporation ranting about the travesty of democracy that the election of Candidate X would be. Is this your vision of 2010?
Nope. That’s what General Electric (MSNBC) and News Corp (Fox News) did in 2008. And 2006. And 2004. These multi-national corporations(!) and their one-sided political broadcasts are protected under the First Amendment. Why then, should Citizens United, a non-profit corporation with nowhere near the revenues of the above companies, be denied the ability to compete in the marketplace of ideas? Is your position that corporations should only be able to participate in the political process if they have the billions upon billions of dollars required to purchase (watch out Comcast!) or set up their own cable network?
The logical infirmities in that argument should be apparent to anyone capable of operating a computer. The only substantive difference between Citizens United and General Electric for the sake of this argument is that we don’t have the corporate treasury that would allow us to purchase NBC. Why should First Amendment protections be afforded to those corporations with the balance sheet to enable them to start a television channel, but not to a non-profit corporation such as Citizens United, which was founded for the express purpose of advocating ideas?
• Campaigns are going to look like NASCAR races with corporate and union sponsorship.
Those who scream hysterically about candidates being “bought” by corporations ought to take a step back and read the decision—not least President Obama who railed against the Supreme Court for “[reversing] a century of law” in his State of the Union. The century-old ban on corporations and unions giving directly to political candidates still stands. Corporations and unions cannot give one penny to a political candidate from their general treasuries. The longstanding system of restricted donations (currently $5,000 per election) from a political action committee set up by a corporation remains untouched. This ruling permits independent expenditures by corporations for political ads and the like. These cannot in any way be coordinated with any campaign. Deals cannot be cut for support and there can be no quid pro quo in exchange for an ad campaign.
Second, there is the inconvenient and oft-ignored fact that there are 28 states in this nation that allow such expenditures in statewide races. Virginia, which held a closely watched gubernatorial election in November of 2009, is one such state. There were no allegations of impropriety in that election, and those of us who live in the Washington, D.C., area, where television ads for both candidates filled the airwaves, can attest to the fact that the candidates were not drowned out by nefarious corporations blotting out the issues.
I challenge the critics of this decision (no Googling allowed) to name one of the 28 states in the union that permit Citizens United-esque expenditures by corporations and unions and a corruption scandal that was caused by those rules. I can think of plenty of scandals in recent years involving governors, but I can’t think of one that involved legal corporate or union spending in elections.
These are but two of the misconceptions being thrown about by opponents of our case. But the underlying issue is what we should focus on. Censorship is a dirty word in America, and cloaking it in the guise of “campaign finance reform” does not change the facts. For seven years, the government held the threat of prison over the heads of its citizens if they dared speak out about their elected officials in a manner not sanctioned by the government. Last week, the Supreme Court rightfully removed that threat, and as a result, we have reclaimed a portion of our freedom that had been taken away. Are there side effects? Certainly. But there is nothing that I can imagine that is more antithetical to the American ideal than criminalizing political speech. The Supreme Court stopped a 100-year slide down a very slippery and dangerous slope last week, and I am proud to have played a role.
David N. Bossie is the president of Citizens United and Citizens United Productions, and the executive producer of “Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous With Destiny.” 

Daily Caller

We’re looking at this all wrong


I was thinking today while I was out making a quick trip: We on the right have fouled up badly our responses to the visit President Obama made to the GOP retreat.
We’ve spent the whole time bashing Republicans and talking about how great Obama looks on television, when we missed what the true, underlying message was: The President spent his first year in office trying to ignore us, but now has had to come crawling back like the miserable failure that he is.
He’s the President, so he’ll never look like he’s on his hands and knees begging for whatever legislative scraps we’ll deign to give him, but that’s precisely what he’s doing now. He’s accomplished not one major component of his long-run agenda: Card Check, Cap and Tax, Obamacare, repeal NAFTA, close Guantanamo Bay, retreat from Iraq. He’s done nothing without us, and now he needs us.
The magnitude of this failure is magnified by the huge Congressional majorities his party has commanded, including the filibuster-proof Senate majority he had between the seating of Senator Franken and the victory of Senator-elect Brown. The President is on a street corner hoping we’ll buy an apple or a pencil from him. He’s failed that badly as a President so far. Let’s remember that, and remind both ourselves and the President’s supporters of that.

Redstate

Health care rationing disaster averted by MLK Day?

It was a close-run thing, folks.  The nearest-run thing you ever saw.
Sen. Tom Harkin, the chairman of the Senate Health Committee, said negotiators from the White House, Senate and House reached a final deal on healthcare reform days before Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts.
Labor leaders had announced an agreement with White House and congressional representatives over an excise tax on high-cost insurance plans on the Thursday before the special election.
[snip]
Harkin said “we had an agreement, with the House, the White House and the Senate. We sent it to [the Congressional Budget Office] to get scored and then Tuesday happened and we didn’t get it back.” He said negotiators had an agreement in hand on Friday, Jan. 15.
(Via The Corner) No chance at that point for calling an emergency session on Saturday the 16th or Sunday the 17th, of course. But Monday the 18th… was Martin Luther King Day. In other words, a federal holiday. So there was no chance of action until Tuesday the 19th; and Tuesday the 19th was too late.  Imagine what it would have looked like if they had passed this thing on the very day that Scott Brown won a Senate election in Massachusetts on a platform of stopping this thing; but even if you couldn’t, Democratic legislators apparently could.
Moe Lane
PS: Nope, it’s not even ironic.  Just… karmic.

Redstate

The Issue With Gingrich

…is that he doesn’t seem to get it no matter how hard he keeps trying to convince us he does:
Speaking at a conference on the campus of Southern New Hampshire University yesterday, Gingrich said his former majority leader, Dick Armey, is working with Tea Party members to develop a new “Contract with America” through online suggestions for what the country’s citizens want from the federal government.
[snip]
After his speech, Gingrich said today is “a much harder and complex environment” than 1994, and suggested the new contract promise broader concepts — without specifics but with a promise of openness and transparency.
“Making it out in the open and transparent may be more important than what you do,” he said. “In 1994, we knew people did not trust politicians … so we had to be very specific.”
Really, Newt?
I think it’s great that the Tea Party folks have such a big name looking to sit on their shoulders and take credit for all their hard work (in exchange for being given a stage to re-tool a 16 year old campaign slogan). Having said that, can we please remind Newt that the willful independence and righteous indignation of the American people, while well-reflected by this Tea Party movement, is not held in a monopoly by the Tea Partiers alone?
It might also be worth mentioning here that folks are sick and (expletive removed in deference to the posting guidelines) tired of professional politicians, and for them to ask us to actually believe any of their ridiculous double-speak of nonsense and claptrap is a fool’s errand. That Gingrich thinks any of us even HEAR the words “open and transparent” anymore, let alone believe that openness and transparency are more important than what our Political Heroes actually do boggles my mind and proves he needs to STAY retired and pine for the glory days in the quiet of his own living room. We’ve been here before.

Redstate

Sen. Snowe Flat Out Rejects Reconciliation in Talks with Dems

Do not freak out about Sen. Snowe talking to the Dems.
Senator Snowe has rejected moving forward on any health care bill with the Democrats using reconciliation. This is GREAT NEWS. Without reconciliation the Dems will be in a de novo — start at the beginning — situation, which is where they should start.
If the desperate Dems try reconciliation, this time, they will have a far more serious Republican strategy of “outright war” to deal with — and the repercussions of being on ObamaCare on the Senate floor and in Senate Committees for months and months.
The Dems would be so bloodied and beaten and wounded by the end of their attempt, ObamaCare would not pass, and they would have destroyed the less than one percent chance to explain to the American people that they are not dangerous radicals that ignore what the people want, and keep cramming ObamaCare down the public’s throat because they, the Dems in Washington, know better.
Politico, quoting Sen. Snowe:
“Snowe made it very clear she could not support any form of a bill that came through the reconciliation process—a legislative move she called “wrong and untenable….”
Redstate

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Right Stuff

Saturday, January 30, 2010
Bill O'Reilly :: Townhall.com Columnist
by Bill O'Reilly


Watch out. America is moving to the right, and it's happening fast. The vote in Massachusetts was an ideological earthquake whose tremors are still being felt all over the country. When a big-government guy like President Obama takes to the lectern to announce he wants to freeze some federal spending, you know hell might be freezing over, as well.
But nowhere is the rejection of liberal doctrine seen more clearly than in the television news industry. Last week, Fox News Channel, the only network that has brought some scrutiny to Obama from the beginning, was the No. 1 rated cable operation in America. If you listen closely, you can hear SpongeBob and Hannah Montana weeping.

In addition, the Democratic outfit Public Policy Polling released a stunning scientific survey. It asked Americans which TV news operation they trusted. Hide the kids; here are the results:

Fox News: 49 percent trust, 37 percent don't trust.

ABC News: 31 percent trust, 46 percent don't trust

NBC News: 35 percent trust, 44 percent don't trust

CBS News: 32 percent trust, 46 percent don't trust

CNN: 39 percent trust, 41 percent don't trust

This is a rout. Nearly half the country trusts FNC, and nobody else is even close. Can you imagine the Fox bashers at NBC and The New York Times reading this poll? I'd pay to see the reaction.
Fox News can thank Obama for all of this. From the beginning of his astounding rise, most of the mainstream media loved him. Ask Hillary Clinton. But FNC treated presidential candidates Clinton, Obama and John McCain pretty much the same. We scrutinized them all. In fact, the McCain campaign kept the senator off my program fearing tough questioning.
But it was the scrutiny of Obama and the exposure of people like Jeremiah Wright that brought Fox News bitter criticism from the left. And the folks saw that. They watched as FNC was bashed all over the place. Today, many Americans have lost some confidence in the president, and they remember who was in the tank for him and who was not.
According to a new Gallup Poll, 64 percent of Americans believe the American media are not watching the Obama administration closely enough. Clearly, news consumers are asking the press to get back to the basics: Stop cheerleading and start reporting. Look out for the folks.
Because Fox News Channel gives voice to both the right and the left, while most of the other networks are heavily invested in liberal philosophy, when the country moves into a more conservative mode, it will be reflected in their television choices. It is hard to believe that uber-liberal media outlets that trumpeted government-run health care and civilian trials for terrorists will prosper anytime soon.
No, the winds of political change are buffeting the "progressive" press. They had a brief shining moment last year. But now that's all gone.

Townhall

Correction Request: Huffington Post Yet to Correct Claim Non-Existent Fox News Led Conservative Charge in 1994

Posted by Retracto, the Correction Alpaca Jan 29th 2010 at 6:23 pm in Fox News, Huffington Post, corrections/retractions.

huffington post
Earlier this week, my colleague Frank Ross highlighted an error in a post by Robert Reich cross-posted at Salon.com, RobertReich.org, and the Huffington Post.  Here is the essential segment from Ross’ post:
Former Obama economic advisor, Clinton Secretary of Labor, and Berkely Prof. Robert Reich claimed yesterday in his column at Salon.com that Fox News played a role in the conservative resurgence of 1994:
In December 1994, Bill Clinton proposed a so-called middle-class bill of rights including more tax credits for families with children, expanded retirement accounts, and tax-deductible college tuition. Clinton had lost his battle for healthcare reform. Even worse, by that time the Dems had lost the House and Senate. Washington was riding a huge anti-incumbent wave. Right-wing populists were the ascendancy, with Newt Gingrich and Fox News leading the charge. Bill Clinton thought it desperately important to assure Americans he was on their side.
But Prof. Reich overlooked one minor detail: Fox News Channel’s first broadcast wasn’t until October 7, 1996.
Salon.com did their due diligence and formally corrected the error, as you may have noticed here, here, or here.  Prof. Reich even edited out the mistake on his own site (though he replaced the case study in Fox Derangement Syndrome with another out-of-context jab at Fox).  Still, three days later, Huffington Post has yet to correct the bogus claim.
At this time, we kindly ask the Huffington Post to issue a correction/retraction to the story.

Big Journalism

Obama’s War on Science: Trillions for a Hoax, but Not One Cent for NASA’s Moon Mission

Pamela Geller
Posted by Pamela Geller Jan 30th 2010 at 8:09 am in Featured Story, NASA, Obama

In yet another blow to progress and achievement and the advancement of man, Obama aims to axe the moon mission. The White House budget proposal slated to be released Monday strips all funding for NASA’s Constellation program, a plan to resume manned moon landings by 2020. It also ends funding for the Ares I rocket that had been set to replace the space shuttle, and the Ares V cargo rocket that was to carry supplies needed for humans to go to the moon.

moonflag
Instead, despite the revelations that exposed the global warming hoax, pulling the mask off the largest fraud in human history, Barack Obama is going full speed ahead with his plan to redistribute the West’s wealth to Third World nations in an attempt to halt a chimerical “global warming.”
He doesn’t seem to care that it’s all a hoax. The University of East Anglia’s climate research unit (CRU), which has been a chief source for the evidence of global warming, was exposed last year when emails came to light showing that researchers there had deliberately covered up data that didn’t fit their theory. And this week the university came under fire again, when it was found to have violated laws by refusing to hand over its raw data for inspection after the coverup came to light. Nevertheless, Obama’s top climate negotiator, Todd Stern, announced that the Obama Administration remained intent on setting the U.S. on the road to economic suicide by reducing carbon emissions by 17 percent by 2020 – a plan that would decimate the American economy and relegate us to Third World status.
Ayn Rand said it best:
During the nineteenth century, mankind came close to economic freedom, for the first and only time in history. Observe the results. Observe also that the degree of a country’s freedom from government control was the degree of its progress. America was the freest and achieved the most.
But now we have left the Age of Enlightenment and entered the Age of the Philistine. It hurts the heart, this rapid deterioration of the conditions in which free men produce, invent, and prosper, because of government taxation and regulation. Americans are paying the price of force. Big government has been encroaching on our lives for decades now, and with Obama in the White House, the bottom is falling out.
The changes are imperceptible on a daily basis, but for those of us over forty, it is not hard to recall the differences. Particularly the small differences. Eastern Airlines (long defunct) was the most familiar carrier New York to Florida – and every flight was an experience. (For a time, it was even run by a NASA astronaut, the commander of Apollo 8, Frank Borman.) To the privileged was the champagne and the ice cream sundae cart. That lovely little cart would make its way down the aisle, and you’d choose from the sprinkles or the whipped cream or the hot sauce atop your favorite flavor. Silly, I know, but like most things, this lagniappe went the way of the horse and buggy, as did the hot meals that every airline once served. And how could all this not have disappeared? The government taxed everything from soup to nuts. From the fuel surcharges to security fees, all these new taxes always come out of the consumer’s pocket. Air travel went from being an experience to dreaded harassment.
Who can forget the excitement of the Concorde? The Concorde was going to be the future of air travel, in which we’d bop from place to place in half the time. Now the Concorde is defunct. Kaput. Much like the environment for producers and businessmen, who are the recurring “villains” in the set pieces of Democrats, statists, collectivists, moochers and looters.
concorde
Everything is worse, less, smaller, and more expensive. When you went on vacation, the valet took your car. Now it’s $24.95 to park your rental car at the hotel.
Are these industries gouging the customer? No. They are trying to stay in business.
This is the price of force. This is the price of coercion. This is the price of statism. This is the price of big government. The very idea of America has been subsumed by an enslavement mentality.
In a rational world, we wouldn’t need a NASA. The private industry would do it all, but government has just about snuffed out every possibility of that.
And now Obama is killing space exploration. Billions for graft and corruption and his union army and even more for the junk science of global warming, but nothing for the future discovery and the progress of man. It’s awful. The collapse of science is all but complete.
Trillions for global hoaxing, the middle finger for science. And for Americans, Third World conditions.

Big Journalism

The state of our union has been better

January 29, 2010 | By Amanda Reinecker

Even before President Obama delivered his State of the Union address on Wednesday, most lawmakers and most Americans already knew the current state of our union. To put it gently, it has been better.
President Obama has spent a year in office, without much to show for it -- apart from a staggering economy, increased debt, weaker defense and foreign policies, and several costly big-government proposals that have stalled in the Congress. His speech this week gave him the opportunity to present Congress and the American people with a fresh set of ideas for future.
Heritage President Ed Feulner outlines what the President should have said:
You need a new approach and fresh domestic and foreign policies. The caps on spending which reports [Monday] said you were considering are but an exceedingly modest first step, and the devil is in the details. The caps will do virtually nothing to improve the nation's fiscal health unless you tackle Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Shifting tactics and stoking populism will be both cynical and condescending to the voters, who will see through this strategy.
Unfortunately, Heritage experts agree, that's not what we got. As Heritage's Conn Carroll writes, "this was a speech only the entrenched interests in Washington could love." 
» Read how Heritage experts reacted to all of the issues raised (and not raised) in the President's address.
The President's speech was an attempt "to keep all of [his] legislative efforts alive while also acknowledging that the country has firmly rejected his policy agenda," writes Carroll. It was a call to forge ahead with tax-and-spend policies, despite receding public support and ever-growing debt.
So why forge ahead? The President "still believes the problem is that people fail to understand his goals," suggests Heritage fellow and former Congressman Ernest Istook. "Instead, his problem is that we understand them all too well."
Summarizing President Obama's address for Politico.com, Heritage's Rory Cooper writes:
He said he wanted to control spending, and then rattled off a laundry list of liberal investments (free money!). He asked for alternatives to health care reform, ignoring that conservatives have been offering them up by the dozens all year. He said he hadn't raised taxes, which simply is not true. He envisioned government subsidized railroads, jobs and industry. And he intimidated and scolded the Supreme Court who sat there by duty taking it. That was not a very presidential moment, nor calculated very wisely.
The President also discussed the threat America faces from terrorism -- but just barely. It wasn't until about 40 minutes into his speech that the President gave the matter even a passing mention.
"This isn't surprising," writes Heritage security expert Jena Baker McNeil. Despite last year's terror attack at Fort Hood and the near miss on Christmas Day, "Obama [is often] reluctant to embrace the responsibility of defending the nation against acts of terrorism."
In an open letter to the White House, Heritage President Ed Feulner tells the President that "it's the policies you need to change, not the spin." Unfortunately, the President's address was laced with more of the same: big-government; bloated spending; and lofty promises.

> Other Heritage Work of Note

  • There is a direct link between increased government regulation and economic stagnation, and more and more Americans are seeing this correlation firsthand. According to Heritage's 2010 Index of Economic Freedom, the United States isn't as free as it used to be; Americans are worse off in terms of government spending, monetary freedom, financial freedom, property rights, investment freedom and fiscal freedom. Although the damage began before President Obama took office, his administration has made matters worse with policies that "erode our economic freedom." These big-government programs "won't spark the desired recovery," Heritage's Bill Beach argues in the Washington Times. "They will only delay it, and prolong the human suffering."
  •  Many on the left are adamantly opposed to last week's Supreme Court ruling upholding the First Amendment's ban on speech regulations. Liberals, who often defend all manner of behavior on First Amendment grounds, complain that corporations are not "persons" and are thus not entitled to free speech.

    Responding to negative remarks from mainstream media, Heritage legal scholar Hans von Spakovsky says "if media corporations were not specifically exempted, the New York Times and the Washington Post would now be warning that the free political speech of corporations threatens our democracy."
  • A recent study says teen pregnancies have increased, leading some "safe sex" experts to point fingers at abstinence-only education in schools. This assertion is more than a bit disingenuous, as Heritage experts point out. In fact, Heritage's Robert Rector argues, "the explosive rise in out-of-wedlock births is due not to a lack of contraceptives, but to a crisis in the relationships of young adult men and women in lower income communities."

    In the decade or so after the government began funding abstinence-only education, pregnancies among girls 17 to 18 remained unchanged, while pregnancies among girls 14 and under declined significantly. Harvard researchers polled teen couples, asking if their pregnancies were in any way due to a lack of access to birth control. Not one person answered yes.

> In Other News

  • The White House has asked the Department of Justice to find a new venue for the trials of the 9/11 terrorism suspects. The trials were originally slated for Manhattan, where thousands died in the 2001 terrorist attacks.
  • As part of an ongoing campaign to dramatically modernize its armed forces, Russia unveiled new stealth fighter aircraft touted as a rival of the American F 22. Earlier this year, Congress voted to halt production of the F-22.
  • Liberals in Congress have announced they are prepared to pull out all of the stops to pass health care reform. They have acknowledged, however, that the process will not be a quick one.
  • According to not one, but two, New York Times Supreme Court analysts, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was correct when he mouthed "not true" after President Obama mischaracterized the Supreme Court's recent campaign finance law decision.
  • Terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden is now blaming America for global warming.
Amanda Reinecker is a writer for MyHeritage.org—a website for members and supporters of The Heritage Foundation. Nathaniel Ward, the Editor of MyHeritage.org, and Eva Brates, a Heritage intern, contributed to this report.

Heritage

Friday, January 29, 2010

Glenn Beck January 29, 2010

Glenn explains the Progressive Movement and their goals to eliminate the Constitution.



The Glenn Beck Channel

U.N.'s Global Warming Report Under Fresh Attack for Rainforest Claims

Phil P. Harris / Wikipedia
A view of the Amazon basin forest north of Manaus, Brazil. A U.N. report stated that global warming is threatening the forests -- a statement that was recently discredited.

A United Nations report on climate change that has been lambasted for its faulty research is under new attack for yet another instance of what its critics say is sloppy science -- adding to a growing scandal that has undermined the credibility of scientists and policymakers who back the U.N.'s  findings about global warming.
In the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), issued in 2007 by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), scientists wrote that 40 percent of the Amazon rainforest in South America was endangered by global warming.
But that assertion was discredited this week when it emerged that the findings were based on numbers from a study by the World Wildlife Federation that had nothing to do with the issue of global warming -- and that was written by a freelance journalist and green activist.
The IPCC report states that "up to 40 percent of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation" -- highlighting the threat climate change poses to the Earth. The report goes on to say that "it is more probable that forests will be replaced by ecosystems ... such as tropical savannas."
But it has now been revealed that the claim was based on a WWF study titled "Global Review of Forest Fires," a paper barely related to the Amazon rainforest that was written "to secure essential policy reform at national and international level to provide a legislative and economic base for controlling harmful anthropogenic forest fires."
EUReferendum, a blog skeptical of global warming, uncovered the WWF association. It noted that the original "40 percent" figure came from a letter published in the journal Nature that discussed harmful logging activities -- and again had  nothing to do with global warming.
The reference to the Brazilian rainforest can be found in Chapter 13 of the IPCC Working Group II report, the same section of AR4 in which claims are made that the Himalayan glaciers are rapidly melting because of global warming. Last week, the data leading to this claim were disproved as well, a scandal being labeled "glacier-gate" or "Himalaya-gate."
The Himalaya controversy followed another tempest -- the disclosure of e-mails that suggested that leading global warming scientists in the U.K. and the U.S. had conspired to hide a decline in global temperatures.
"If it is true that IPCC has indeed faked numbers regarding the Amazon, or used unsubstantiated facts, then it is the third nail in the IPCC coffin in less than three months," Andrew Wheeler, former staff director for the U.S. Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee, told FoxNews.com. "For years, we have been told that the IPCC peer review process is the gold standard in scientific review. It now appears it is more of a fool's gold process."
Wheeler, who is now a senior vice president with B&D Consulting's Energy, Climate and Environment Practice in Washington, said the latest scandal calls into question the "entire underpinnings" of the IPCC's assessment and peer review process.
The U.N. did not return calls seeking comment on the scandal.
Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, vice chairman of the IPCC, was quoted in the European press as saying, "I would like to submit that this could increase the credibility of the IPCC, not decrease it. Aren't mistakes human? Even the IPCC is a human institution."
But not everyone agrees. Ross McKitrick, a professor of economics at the University of Guleph in Ontario, said the U.N. needs to start from scratch on global warming research and make a "full accounting" of how much of its research findings have been "likewise compromised."
McKitrick said this is needed because the U.N. acknowledged the inaccuracy of the data only now that its shortcomings have been exposed. "They are admitting what they did only because they were caught," he told FoxNews.com. "The fact that so many IPCC authors kept silent all this time shows how monumental has been the breach of trust."
Lubos Motl, a Czech physicist and former Harvard University faculty member, said the deforestation of the Amazon has occurred, but not because of global warming. He said it was due to social and economic reasons, including the clearing of cattle pastures, subsistence agriculture, the building of infrastructure and logging.
"Such economically driven changes are surely unattractive for those of us who prefer mysterious and natural forests," says Motl. "But they do help the people who live in Latin America."
The rapidly accumulating scandals surrounding climate change research appear to be driving the public away from its support for government measures to intervene. On Wednesday, Yale University and George Mason University released a survey showing that just 57 percent of respondents believe global warming "is happening." That was down 14 percentage points, from 71 percent, in October 2008. Fifty percent of people said they were "very" or "somewhat" worried about global warming, down 13 points from two years ago.
Another poll released Monday by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press asked respondents to rank 21 issues in terms of their priority. Global warming came in last.

Fox News

A Cheer Moment as Sen. Gregg Confronts the Harpies of MSNBC

 You've Got To Watch This! My Hat's Off To You Sen. Gregg.

Posted by Frank Ross Jan 29th 2010 at 6:32 am in Featured Story, MSNBC, media bias.
In the ongoing national debate — who is the most biased, belligerent and repellent MSNBC anchor or commentator — it’s a shame that Contessa Brewer hasn’t been getting much face time lately, as the network boots her around from failing show to failing show.  But when it comes to sheer aggression, combined with impenetrable obtuseness, the Pride of Syracuse University and former Imus in the Morning sidekick takes a back seat to none of her more notorious male counterparts in the low-rated loony bin.
So it was a cheer moment yesterday when mild-mannered New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg had finally had enough and turned on his tormentrixes (Melissa Francis is the other)  in a way that more politicians under enemy fire should emulate:

Who’s next?

James O’Keefe Reveals an MSM Drowning in its Own Leftist Ideology

James O’Keefe still gets my vote for investigative journalist of the year.  Teaming with Hannah Giles to expose illegal and immoral tactics deep in the ACORN shakedown operation was brilliant.  Now, O’Keefe has one-upped himself with his exposure of an MSM drowning in its own leftist ideology.
American journalists once cheered for those among their own who were brave enough to risk jail in the quest of exposing corruption and malfeasance.  Yet when O’Keefe and his band of whippersnapper journalists went undercover, disguised as telephone repairmen in the hopes of exposing Senator Landrieu’s denying her own constituents phone access to her, the MSM fell all over themselves denouncing the young men.
Rush to judgment?  No.  It was a stampede.
stampedepecos
From MSNBC, CBS, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Talking Points Memo and others came shrill, utterly false headlines about “attempted bugging” and the “new Watergate,” which are now being corrected or retracted with but a faint whisper.  MSM “journalists” in high-and-mighty places haven’t had this much egg on their faces since their coffee-klatch therapy sessions over the misunderstood, “non-jihadist” Ft. Hood terror attack.
Bravo Mr. O’Keefe, honey!
Writing as a boomer conservative, who was in my youth a raging leftist, I know well the forces at work against you now, and can only salute your willingness to go to the mat to expose liberal corruption, wherever you find it.  Although, as an old mom, I would discourage you from carrying through with, perhaps, not-thought-all-the-way-through plans in the future, I still must commend not only your intentions, but also your guts.
Though you may pay personal consequences for your actions in the Senator’s office, you have succeeded in bringing two important items to light.
One, you brought necessary scrutiny to the charge that Senator Landrieu may have been, on purpose, blocking phone calls from her own constituents.  You learned firsthand, evidently, that her phone system was not unable to receive calls as she was apparently telling her constituents.  In allegedly blocking thousands of irate voters’ calls, under the guise of a malfunctioning telephone system, Senator Landrieu may have been abusing her office in quite dishonest fashion.  If true, then that would be a serious breech of public trust, as any fair journalist would be forced to admit.  Of course, the Senator denies this allegation and has insisted that too many calls “jammed” her phone lines.  Nevertheless, now pressure will mount on the Senator to deal with disgruntled voters.
Second, you have demonstrated in full public view – once again – why the MSM is literally drowning itself in its own leftist ideology.
This isn’t your grandfather’s mainstream media.
During the 1960s a veritable revolution was brought to bear on American institutions by disenchanted young people, namely my own generation.  The revolutionaries’ primary raison d’etre, in the beginning, was ending the Vietnam War.  At the war’s conclusion, however, the American boomer left, some of whom had by now become communist revolutionaries, was far from satisfied.  From their own privileged pedestals of affluence and prestige, they viewed America has inherently corrupt and in dire need of complete reorganizing.
lucas001
As two former top-echelon radicals, David Horowitz and Peter Collier, documented in their book, The Destructive Generation, the radical communist revolutionaries of the 1960s never went away.  They simply left the streets and poured into American institutions, working their ideology into every university.  Their primary targets were the law and journalism schools, the colleges of education and the machinery of the Democratic Party.  In all of these endeavors, they have been amazingly successful.
Horowitz and Collier summarized the ultimate aim, as elucidated by the movement’ chief philosopher, John Jacobs, thusly:
The idea was not to create a perfect state operating by the clockwork principles of Marxist law but to promote a chaos that would cripple America and ultimately cast it into receivership that would be administered by the morally superior third world.
The American mainstream media, after several decades of this leftist ideology permeating journalism schools, now works on a predictable paradigm.
The primary operating principle of the leftist journalist’s paradigm is the presumption that all former underdogs (“the morally superior third world”) are, in fact, always morally superior — in every instance.  Our mainstream media is now under what they consider a power-reverse mandate.  Every member of every group that were once underdogs in America – all non-whites, women, gays and now Muslims – are to be given the extreme benefit of the doubt in terms of means, motives, and ends.
In the 60s radical worldview, nothing can be right with the world until the former underdogs are running everything.  And it is the job — in their minds — of every “journalist” to advance this aim.  Even though members of these once-underdog groups now are in the pinnacles of power, including the presidency, ideological journalists cannot embrace the shift because, in their minds, it is far from a complete and irreversible takeover.  Complete and irreversible it must be – in their brainwashed minds.

This is the very mindset at work against anyone who would question the motives, means or ends of the ACORN shakedown operation.  This is the very mindset at work against anyone who dared to broach the radical nature of Barack Obama’s past associations.  This is the mindset that causes propagandized “journalists” to shy from denouncing “third-world” Muslim terrorists.  This is the same mindset that the president used to pre-judge police officers in Cambridge as “acting stupidly.”  And it is the same ideological mindset, which caused leftist journalists to jubilantly flay James O’Keefe before having any of the facts.
Assuming untruths to be true, simply because they come from an erstwhile “underdog” group, is not journalism.  Presuming innocence of all like-minded partisans to further a political ideology is as far from genuine reporting as one can get.  It is blatant ideology masquerading as “fair” and “non-partisan.”  And it is this blatant leftist ideology, which is drowning the MSM.  Radical communism is no more palatable to knowledgeable  Americans today than it was in the 1960s.  It simply looks as though it is because the radicals espousing it now do so wearing suits in mainstream media outlets.  The people, however, see through the tacky fa├žade and, more and more, tune them out every day.
So, once again, I say bravo to Mr. O’Keefe and to every brave, young soul that dares to face off against the mainstream media today.  You are the counter-revolutionaries we’ve been waiting for.

Big Journalism

Statement from James O’Keefe

James O'Keefe
by James O'Keefe 
 
The government has now confirmed what has always been clear:  no one tried to wiretap or bug Senator Landrieu’s office.  Nor did we try to cut or shut down her phone lines.  Reports to this effect over the past 48 hours are inaccurate and false.
As an investigative journalist, my goal is to expose corruption and lack of concern for citizens by government and other institutions, as I did last year when our investigations revealed the massive corruption and fraud perpetuated by ACORN.  For decades, investigative journalists have used a variety of tactics to try to dig out and reveal the truth.
I learned from a number of sources that many of Senator Landrieu’s constituents were having trouble getting through to her office to tell her that they didn’t want her taking millions of federal dollars in exchange for her vote on the healthcare bill.  When asked about this, Senator Landrieu’s explanation was that, “Our lines have been jammed for weeks.”  I decided to investigate why a representative of the people would be out of touch with her constituents for “weeks” because her phones were broken.  In investigating this matter, we decided to visit Senator Landrieu’s district office – the people’s office – to ask the staff if their phones were working.
On reflection, I could have used a different approach to this investigation, particularly given the sensitivities that people understandably have about security in a federal building.  The sole intent of our investigation was to determine whether or not Senator Landrieu was purposely trying to avoid constituents who were calling to register their views to her as their Senator.  We video taped the entire visit, the government has those tapes, and I’m eager for them to be released because they refute the false claims being repeated by much of the mainstream media.
It has been amazing to witness the journalistic malpractice committed by many of the organizations covering this story.  MSNBC falsely claimed that I violated a non-existent “gag order.”  The Associated Press incorrectly reported that I “broke in” to an office which is open to the public.  The Washington Post has now had to print corrections in two stories on me.  And these are just a few examples of inaccurate and false reporting.  The public will judge whether reporters who can’t get their facts straight have the credibility to question my integrity as a journalist.
The government has now confirmed what has always been clear:  No one tried to wiretap or bug Senator Landrieu’s office.  Nor did we try to cut or shut down her phone lines.  Reports to this effect over the past 48 hours are inaccurate and false.
As an investigative journalist, my goal is to expose corruption and lack of concern for citizens by government and other institutions, as I did last year when our investigations revealed the massive corruption and fraud perpetrated by ACORN.  For decades, investigative journalists have used a variety of tactics to try to dig out and reveal the truth.
I learned from a number of sources that many of Senator Landrieu’s constituents were having trouble getting through to her office to tell her that they didn’t want her taking millions of federal dollars in exchange for her vote on the healthcare bill.  When asked about this, Senator Landrieu’s explanation was that, “Our lines have been jammed for weeks.”  I decided to investigate why a representative of the people would be out of touch with her constituents for “weeks” because her phones were broken.  In investigating this matter, we decided to visit Senator Landrieu’s district office – the people’s office – to ask the staff if their phones were working.
On reflection, I could have used a different approach to this investigation, particularly given the sensitivities that people understandably have about security in a federal building.  The sole intent of our investigation was to determine whether or not Senator Landrieu was purposely trying to avoid constituents who were calling to register their views to her as their Senator.  We video taped the entire visit, the government has those tapes, and I’m eager for them to be released because they refute the false claims being repeated by much of the mainstream media.
It has been amazing to witness the journalistic malpractice committed by many of the organizations covering this story.  MSNBC falsely claimed that I violated a non-existent “gag order.”  The Associated Press incorrectly reported that I “broke in” to an office which is open to the public.  The Washington Post has now had to print corrections in two stories on me.  And these are just a few examples of inaccurate and false reporting.  The public will judge whether reporters who can’t get their facts straight have the credibility to question my integrity as a journalist.

Big Government

Just When You Think Crist’s Bad News Weeks Have Bottomed Out

Just when you think Charlie Crist’s no good, very bad, awful several weeks has finished bottoming out and is prepared to rebound, the bottom falls out and he sinks even further.
Today, Crist is proclaiming himself a “McCain Republican”, stealing a talking point from Scott Brown in Massachusetts. I’ve got news for Charlie Crist — if we’re lucky, John McCain is going to get beaten by a conservative this year, just like Crist. And does he really want to further align himself with a man whose wife is now campaigning against Christians in Arizona and California, calling them “haters”?
Note that the quote originally circulated that Crist had called himself a “DeMint Republican.” When I asked Senator DeMint about that, he said, “That’s nice if the governor said that, but I’m a Marco Rubio Republican.”
If that’s not enough, consider Scott Rothstein, Charlie Crist’s number one fundraiser and donor, pled guilty today to federal charges connected to a multi-billion Ponzi scheme. Rothstein, in true Crist-supporter fashion, also supported Democrat Alex Sink for Governor.
The Miami Herald reported that Crist supporters themselves were alleging that Rothstein’s bundling could account anywhere from $500,000 to more than $1 million in Crist Campaign contributions.
After initially dragging his feet, under intense questioning from his editorial board buddies, Crist decided he would give back $76,250 from 35 employees of Rothstein’s firm.
But an AP story this week said Crist only gave back $9,600.00. So the question is: is Charlie Crist going to follow through on his promise, is his fundraising total this quarter inflated, and is $76,000.00 really all the dirty Rothstein money?
Also, with Rothstein pleading guilty, there’s little doubt he cut a deal and will be singning like a canary.
Charlie Crist just keeps sinking lower and lower.
[UPDATED:] First Kos and now other liberal pundits are speculating that Charlie Crist should/might switch parties to run as a Democrat. I really don’t see that happening. I still suspect Crist is going to drop out. Frankly, Barack Obama should name him head of the American-Haitian Relief Effort. As Governor of Florida, he does have a ton of executive experience in dealing with natural disaster coordination. That skill set does not translate to the Senate, but would work well as an executive level appointee into the federal government while helping Obama’s “favorite Republican” save face.

Redstate

Schumer: Move the KSM Trial From NY? Sure, That Would be Fine.

Speaker (to be) Boehner predicted the other day that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will not be tried in New York City. It seems increasingly likely that he’s right, as Democrats grow more and more fearful of the political and security ramifications of these proceedings. With Schumer and Gillibrand now saying that they’re open to a different venue, and the White House no longer willing to stand by Eric Holder on this, it sounds as if Democrats are just trying how to backtrack on this without looking like flip-floppers… again:
New York’s senators are open to moving the trial of a 9/11 mastermind out of Manhattan after Mayor Bloomberg said he’d happily see the terror thug take the stand elsewhere.
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is slated to be tried at 500 Pearl St. in lower Manhattan, a proceeding Bloomberg says could cost $1 billion if the trial lasts four years.
“It’s going to cost an awful lot of money and disturb an awful lot of people,” he said in Brooklyn yesterday. “Can we provide security? Yes. Could you provide security elsewhere? Yeah.”
The mayor said holding the trial at a military base makes sense. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand say they’re receptive to alternative sites.
Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn) wrote Attorney General Eric Holder to say the trial would harm businesses.
The White House has gone to great lengths to stress the independence of the Department of Justice, and to assert that Eric Holder made the decision to try KSM in New York on his own - without direction from Obama. Is the White House going to override Holder, or is the Attorney General going to have a completely independent change of heart?
One or the other seems certain.

Redstate

President Obama’s SOTU - The Views of the American People Just Don’t Matter To Me

My big takeaway from President Obama’s speech yesterday is that he is walled off from reality in the White House and he has absolutely no clue what average Americans are feeling these days.  Clearly, after stunning losses in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts over the past few months, this Administration was sent a message from the American people that they are mad at President Obama’s big government policies.  He did not hear that message and he told them last night that he is pushing forward with ObamaCare and other big government ideas.  They don’t want it.
The President, when not blaming the Bush Administration for his problems, merely thinks that the American people are not listening to him.  This is good news for conservatives, because the President’s speech last night shows that he will take no action to right the ship before Congressional elections this November and he seems incapable of a nuanced approach to politics that includes a mix of conservative and liberal approaches to problem solving.  The President is like the Captain of the Titanic in April of 1912 steaming past huge icebergs in the hope that his ship of state somehow makes it until the end of the year without a catastrophic collision.
The President is very good at recognizing problems and stated the obvious to the American people last night.  From the President’s first State of the Union:
But the devastation remains. One in 10 Americans still cannot find work. Many businesses have shuttered. Home values have declined. Small towns and rural communities have been hit especially hard. For those who had already known poverty, life has become that much harder.
This is an I feel your pain moment for President Obama, yet he did not propose any solutions to the economic devastation, other than a jobs bill that is a scaled down retread of his failed Stimulus plan.  President Obama then went on to claim that he is a tax cutter and sounded Reaganesque:
Let me repeat: we cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. We cut taxes for small businesses. We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college. As a result, millions of Americans had more to spend on gas, and food and other necessities, all of which helped businesses keep more workers. And we haven’t raised income taxes by a single dime on a single person. Not a single dime.
The problem with this statement is that this President will sign a version of ObamaCare (House version) that includes an income tax increase to pay for government run health care.  Furthermore, the President has redefined “tax cut” to mean “tax credit.”  On October 13, 2008, the Wall Street Journal critiqued the Senator Obama’s claim that he was going to cut taxes for 95 percent of working families:  From the WSJ:
For the Obama Democrats, a tax cut is no longer letting you keep more of what you earn. In their lexicon, a tax cut includes tens of billions of dollars in government handouts that are disguised by the phrase “tax credit.”
This critique is accurate today.  The President’s plan to put Americans back to work is his proposal for a ”Jobs Bill” contains some new tax credits.
So tonight, I’m proposing that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat. I am also proposing a new small business tax credit — one that will go to over 1 million small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages. While we’re at it, let’s also eliminate all capital gains taxes on small business investment and provide a tax incentive for all businesses, large and small, to invest in new plants and equipment.
The idea of eliminating all capital gains taxes on small business investment is a good idea.  The idea of lowering or eliminating taxation on small business will spur economic growth, yet this proposal is buried in a Jobs Bill that is loaded with new federal spending.  Congress is working on an $82.5 billion plan with tax credits for companies that hire, money for alternative energy and a bailout for fiscally irresponsible states.  That does not sound like economic stimulus to me — sounds more like President Obama’s Stimulus Part II.
The President, when talking about ObamaCare, showed that he did not listen to the people of Massachusetts when they elected Senator-elect Scott Brown in a referendum on ObamaCare:
Still, this is a complex issue, and the longer it was debated, the more skeptical people became. I take my share of the blame for not explaining it more clearly to the American people. And I know that with all the lobbying and horse trading, this process left most Americans wondering what’s in it for them. 
The President thinks this issue is too “complex” for the average American to understand.  He also says that he didn’t explain ObamaCare more clearly to the American people.  This is conclusive evidence that this President has contempt for those who disagree with him and an “I am smarter than you” attitude to governing.  He implies that the American people are too dumb to understand his ObamaCare bill.  They do understand.  They don’t like it.  At some point this Administration needs to back away from this wildly unpopular plan.  The President urged Congress to double down on ObamaCare.
Here’s what I ask of Congress, though: Do not walk away from reform. Not now. Not when we are so close. Let us find a way to come together and finish the job for the American people.
If Congress does finish the job of passing ObamaCare, Blue Dogs and moderate Democrats in the Senate can kiss their jobs good bye.  The President and Congress’ secretly negotiated ObamaCare bill is not popular and even liberal Massachusetts has said no to a government takeover of health care.  Moderate Democrats should update their resumes because Obama’s plans on health care seem like a stimulus plan for Republicans running for the House and Senate.
The President proposed a freeze in government spending after he blamed President Bush for many of his problems:
Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. Spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will not be affected. But all other discretionary government programs will. Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don’t. And if I have to enforce this discipline by veto, I will. We will continue to go through the budget line by line to eliminate programs that we can’t afford and don’t work. We’ve already identified $20 billion in savings for next year. To help working families, we will extend our middle-class tax cuts. But at a time of record deficits, we will not continue tax cuts for oil companies, investment fund managers and those making over $250,000 a year. We just can’t afford it.
A freeze is not a cut and this plan is only effective if the President vetoes Congress’ appropriations bills that come in over budget.  The proof is in the actions of our President and we will not see if he is serious about this freeze until the appropriations process is complete later this year.  On foreign policy, the President seems to be more focused on getting troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq than winning these wars:
In Afghanistan, we are increasing our troops and training Afghan Security Forces so they can begin to take the lead in July of 2011 and our troops can begin to come home. We will reward good governance, reduce corruption and support the rights of all Afghans — men and women alike. We are joined by allies and partners who have increased their own commitment, and who will come together tomorrow in London to reaffirm our common purpose. There will be difficult days ahead. But I am confident we will succeed. As we take the fight to al-Qaida, we are responsibly leaving Iraq to its people. As a candidate, I promised that I would end this war, and that is what I am doing as president. We will have all of our combat troops out of Iraq by the end of this August. We will support the Iraqi government as they hold elections, and continue to partner with the Iraqi people to promote regional peace and prosperity. But make no mistake: This war is ending, and all of our troops are coming home.
Victory is a better goal than promising that “all of our troops are coming home.”  The bottom line with this speech, as with all others by this president, is that he is great at promising, but not so great at delivering.  He gave a Clintonesque speech last night with a long list of issues and promises.  We will know by the next State of the Union if this President is serious about promises or if he is the Promise-Breaker-In-Chief.

Redstate