March 29, 2010


Quote of the Day

March 26, 2010

Quote of the Day   

“Wednesday, March 24, 2010, was the worst day for U.S. diplomacy in recent memory. Between sunrise and sunset, we 1) handled our Israeli allies as enemies, 2) treated Pakistani gangsters as our benefactors and 3) got blindsided — brilliantly — by the Russians… This isn’t a pattern of failure. It’s a surrender cult.”…[more]
—Ralph Peters, LTC, USA-Ret., Author, Columnist and Commentator

PLEASE go to this post!

March 22, 2010   This explains much of what went on in Washington under the control of Obama -Pelosi thugs this last Sunday.  We CANNOT let this horrible anti-constitutional piece of trash stand.  the Sundogger

When President Obama gives TV interviews, the treatment he gets is typically soft, if not reverential. This is not because of the interviewers’ respect for the presidency–they were much tougher on George W. Bush–but because of ideological and personal sympathy for the man who now holds the office. Yesterday was an exception–perhaps the first time Obama has ever faced a tough interview. The interviewer was Bret Baier of Fox News Channel, and the president was clearly unprepared, coming across as petulant and evasive. (You can watch it online: Part 1 and Part 2.)

If the rest of the so-called adversary press had been doing its job for the past few years, Obama might not be in the political trouble he is. Then again, he might not have withstood the scrutiny and become president either.

Oh well, that’s water under the bridge. ObamaCare isn’t, at least not yet. And here is what Obama had to say in summing up the case for the legislation Americans fear and hate:

The reason that it needs to be done is not its effect on the presidency. It has to do with how it’s going to affect ordinary people who right now are desperately in need of help.

But if this is for the sake of ordinary people and not the presidency, why is it the president who will stop at nothing to cram it down the throats of ordinary people? What part of “no” doesn’t he understand?

If a report from Politico is accurate, the president is telling undecided Democratic representatives exactly the opposite of what he claimed in the Baier interview to believe:

Obama had exhausted most of his health care reform arguments with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus during a White House meeting last Thursday when he made a more personal pitch that resonated with many skeptics in the room.

One caucus member told Politico that Obama won him over by “essentially [saying] that the fate of his presidency” hinged on this week’s health reform vote in the House. The member, who requested anonymity, likened Obama’s remarks to an earlier meeting with progressives when the president said a victory was necessary to keep him “strong” for the next three years of his term.

Another caucus member, Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.), said, “We went in there already knowing his presidency would be weakened if this thing went down, but the president clearly reinforced the impression the presidency would be damaged by a loss.”

Added Serrano: “He was subtle, but that was the underlying theme of the meeting–the importance of passing this for the health of the presidency.”

A failed presidency, or one that is perceived to have failed, is bad for the country, as anyone who lived through the Carter years or the latter part of George W. Bush’s administration can attest. But it takes chutzpah for Obama to ask members of Congress to save his presidency by passing this misbegotten legislation. Having failed utterly to persuade Americans that his plan was worth supporting–whether because it is not worth supporting or because his persuasive skills are defective–he could have backed off at any time.

By pressing forward anyway, it is he who has imposed on America the unattractive choice of either a failed presidency, or a “transformed” health-care system and the crisis of legitimacy attendant to imposing such a transformation through partisan bullying and in defiance of public opinion. What a reckless abuse of the trust the voters placed in Obama.

Still, if this is the choice left to America, a failed presidency is clearly the less unattractive alternative. If Obama’s presidency fails, it will be over in less than three years. A wrecked health-care system would be much harder to repair, and a crisis of legitimacy could last for decades.

Further, a failed presidency would not necessarily result from the failure of ObamaCare. Bill Clinton similarly targeted the health-care system. He failed, yet his presidency is generally viewed as having been modestly successful. If Obama has Clinton’s strength of character–a discomfitingly big “if”–he could adapt after a single failure and learn to be successful.

Obama’s threat of a failed presidency is classic passive-aggressive behavior. He is playing the victim in order to get what he wants. At least one sympathetic journalist is playing along. Check out this bit of analysis from David Brooks of the New York Times:

I persist in the belief that government is more fundamentally messed up than ever in my lifetime. Barack Obama campaigned offering a new era of sane government. And I believe he would do it if he had the chance. But he has been so sucked into the system that now he stands by while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi talks about passing health care via “deem and pass”–a tricky legislative device in which things get passed without members having the honor or the guts to stand up and vote for it.

Deem and pass? Are you kidding me? Is this what the Revolutionary War was fought for? Is this what the boys on Normandy beach were trying to defend? Is this where we thought we would end up when Obama was speaking so beautifully in Iowa or promising to put away childish things?

Obama just got “sucked into the system”? He is the president of the United States. He is the system! The implication of what Brooks is saying is that Obama is simply not up to the job. One of the reasons may be that the news media, which are supposed to hold politicians accountable, have too few Bret Baiers asking tough questions and too many David Brookses making excuses for the president’s bad decisions.

And ObamaCare isn’t the only area in which the administration has been acting recklessly. Yesterday we noted that Attorney General Eric Holder, asked by a congressman whether a captured Osama bin Laden would get the due-process protections of a common criminal, evaded the question by scoffing at the idea that bin Laden would be captured as opposed to killed. The Associated Press reports that the military has weighed in on the claim;

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Wednesday that it remains the goal of U.S. troops to capture Osama bin Laden alive and “bring him to justice.”

Let’s hope they don’t bring him to Justice, because it’s amateur hour over there. In the liberal New Republic, Yossi Klein Halevi looks at President Obama’s recent Mideast missteps and reaches a similar conclusion:

That Obama could be guilty of such amateurishness was perhaps forgivable because he was, after all, an amateur. But he has now taken his failed policy and intensified it. By demanding that Israel stop building in Ramat Shlomo and elsewhere in East Jerusalem–and placing that demand at the center of American-Israeli relations–he’s ensured that the Palestinians won’t show up even to proximity talks. This is no longer amateurishness; it is pique disguised as policy.

The Obama administration desperately needs adult supervision–and this is yet another reason to hope the House defeats ObamaCare. Handing Obama a defeat offers at least some hope that he’ll seek the help he needs. A victory promises more of the same recklessness–on all fronts. 

Thanks to James Taranto, Editors []

March 12, 2010

The Heavy Weight of Scandal

Rich Galen

Friday March 12, 2010

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  • Republicans were fired from their control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the election of 2006 for a number of reasons. Spending too much generally was one of them. Bloating appropriations bills with “earmarks” to reward friends and supporters was another. Iraq was certainly a major contributing factor.
  • But, what weighed House Republicans down like an anchor around their collective necks was: Scandal. Duke Cunningham’s written menu of acceptable bribe amounts. Jack Abramoff buying Members and staff like heads of romaine lettuce at Whole Foods. And the father of all the scandals, Mark Foley.
  • I won’t regurgitate the whole sordid Foley story here (there is a link to the Washington Post’s coverage on the SDR HERE) but it involved the Florida Republican having inappropriate text-message conversations with a 16-year-old male page; the House Republican Leadership knowing about it; and nothing being done.

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  • The implication was that Speaker’s office thought it was more important to protect the GOP brand than to protect a teenaged page from the predations of a Member of the House.
  • Foley became the shorthand for everything voters disliked – hated – about Republicans in the House. Cunningham trading votes for furniture seemed odd. Other Members trading votes for golfing trips just seemed stupid. Preying on a child – that, they understood. Protecting the predator – that, was punishable by death at the ballot box.
  • It is important to remember what that felt like, four long years ago, because House Democrats find themselves in much the same position.
  • The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee is one of the most powerful people on the planet. He writes the tax laws. A semicolon in the tax code can save (or cost) a multinational corporation tens of millions of dollars every year. For 100 years the tax code has been used to nudge, or force, Americans into a particular behavior. Want people to smoke less? Tax cigarettes more. Want people to buy houses? Make interest on mortgages deductible. And so on.
  • Charles Rangel had to give up the chairmanship of Ways and Means but not before Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended him, then waffled, then had to watch as the Committee Members tossed out the guy next in line and voted for Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich)to head the Committee.


Wow! How can you keep up? Have Rich Galen speak at your next meeting and explain all!

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  • Rangel is not out of the woods. The Ethics Committee is still looking a charges of tax evasion, influence peddling, and misuse of rent-controlled apartments in New York City.
  • The big deal this past week was the Eric Massa mess. The Ethics Committee closed its investigation into what Massa did, said, or tried to do and with whom because he resigned and they no longer have jurisdiction over him.
  • House Republicans, though, forced a vote on a resolution to force the Ethics Committee to decide whether it should reopen the case to look at what members of the Democratic House Leadership knew and when they knew it.
  • Things have gotten so bad that one of the principal advisors to the Obama Presidential campaign, Steve Hildebrand, went to the White House to tell Obama’s senior advisor, David Axelrod that “there is a real shot we [Democrats] are going to get slaughtered in elections this fall if we aren’t leading the efforts to reform Washington.”
  • In one of those surreal Washington moments documented by CNN’s Ed Henry, Hildebrand went to the “White House on Wednesday for a quiet meeting with … Axelrod, to express a fear that Republicans are seizing the high ground on cleaning up Washington.”


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  • It is surreal because only in Washington would someone go to the WH for a “quiet meeting” and do an interview with CNN (or Fox or anyone else) before hand. I guess a “noisy meeting” would have included dressing up like a snowman and holding a sign while marching back and forth in front of the White House in Lafayette Park.
  • It is too early for Republican Leader John Boehner to start measuring for drapes in the Speaker’s suite; but I might start thinking about buying options on cardboard boxes for all those Democratic Committee and Subcommittee chairs and their thousands of staff members who may have to pack up and make way for their incoming Republican replacements.
  • Democrats are swimming upstream and scandal is a heavy, heavy weight to bear.
  • On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to the Ed Henry piece about Hildebrand and the Wash Post report on Foley.

Also a link to the Nats Notes from Nationals’ spring training, a Mullfoto in which I defend the 2nd Amendment and a Catchy Caption of the day.

 Quoted entirely from  for its succint treatment of all the scandals in the Jackass Party.


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March 12, 2010

“If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send 150 lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, & talk by the hour? That 150 lawyers should do business together ought not to be expected.” –Thomas Jefferson, autobiography, 1821

And how many lawyers are there in Congress now??  no wonder there’s legislative gridlock.