Monthly Archives: August 2010

Obama coordinates vacation plans to escape DC during Beck Rally

Insider reports now indicate that the vacation plans of the Obama family had more to do with the Glenn Beck “Restoring Honor” rally than they did “recharging his batteries” as White House staff reported originally.

Reports from several local sources indicate that Obama timed the vacation to conveniently slip out of the Capitol while hundreds of thousands of well meaning, yet disenfranchised Americans where scheduled to be in his backyard.

“He didn’t want to have to see the fruits of his administration on his own turf,” says Jordan Lintel who resides in the Capitol with his wife and children. “There’s no doubt he wouldn’t have liked what he saw when it comes to turnout – there were more Americans at the rally than there were at his Inauguration,” he added.

While many mainstream media sources put figures at around 300,000 in attendance Park Managers who oversaw the event disagree. “I have seen the turnout at each event held here since the mid 80’s,” says one of the managers at the Lincoln Memorial National Park, who requested that we keep his name anonymous. “We are very aware of how many people each portion of our park can hold and estimate that there were  over 950,000  in attendance.”

The cities public transit systems were taxed to their peak, and some city officials put the turnout at over 1 million. DC Metro superintendent Charlie Welsh says that in his 5 years on the job he hasn’t seen such a turnout for any event in his city. “There’s no doubt that it was one of the most well mannered gatherings that I have witnessed,” he continued, stating that almost none of the attendees held signs, or demonstrated in any way. “It was a quiet group for being so immense in size,” he finished.

The White House has had really nothing of import to say regarding the event, and it seems they have turned a blind eye.

While members of the MLK family who spoke at the event described it as very positive in its association with the “I have a Dream” speech, the very individuals who should have supported it in its values on Civil Rights were bitter. Al Sharpton led a small group who conflicted the Beck throng. According to witnesses in both groups, the “Sharpton Gang” were the only ones spreading the bitterness and hatred.

America seemed to voice its opinion in no uncertain tones yesterday – maybe it’s time for our elected employee in the Oval Office to lend an ear to American Citizens and begin working on the items that really matter to them instead of what matters to him. Then again, as his new rhetoric defines “the approval  ratings don’t matter to me”…maybe he’d still rather be on vacation golfing, while millions of Americans are struggling to merely put a roof over their heads, and food on the table.

Time will tell if the President will choose to pick up the baton and begin working to “restore honor”, or whether he will stand idly by, barking occasional orders and pushing legislation that hinders progress, and undermines the nations values. Until then, we will be waiting Mr. President, but don’t feel bad if your ratings continue to fall to record setting lows. Until then, Mr. President I guess its good that “ratings don’t matter” to you.

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Viral web videos shed light on the true condition of Obama economy

Contributed By: Rob Bluey

America’s fiscal crisis is fueling activism in cities and town across America where Tea Party rallies shine the light on our national debt and out-of-control government spending. But there’s also a revolution happening online, particularly with web videos that tell the story of an economically challenged country.

Debt, spending and taxes don’t exactly translate into blockbusters. Over the course of the past week, however, web videos on each subject have illustrated just how significant those issues are for engaged citizens.

A project called Bankrupting America set out earlier this year to escalate the issue of government spending by using innovative communications techniques. A major component was online video — not the easiest goal to fulfill given the platform, subject matter and audience.

After about four months of experimenting, Bankrupting America hit one out the park with its latest video and accompanying “Spending Fail Map.” Clay Broga and Michelle McAdoo ask people on the street about various government projects and whether they’re real or fake. It’s astonishing — and at times humorous — the stupid things our government funds.

“We tried to take a serious and concerning topic — how both parties in government are overspending our hard-earned taxpayer dollars in this time of economic need — and turn it into something that was both entertaining and informative,” McAdoo said.

The video hit viral status earlier this week when it surpassed 100,000 views on YouTube. The best part? All it required was a little creativity and interviews on the street.

The office of House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) took the opposite approach. Its highly produced 13-minute documentary, “Obama’s Endgame,” chronicles the challenges of the national debt. Featuring interviews with Republican members of Congress, it’s a serious look at the consequences of inaction.

Conventional wisdom for years kept political and policy videos to about two minutes in length. The success of Cantor’s video shatters that notion. It currently has nearly 80,000 views.

“Put simply, the public now accepts long-form online videos as a viable viewing choice; providing the opportunity to tell compelling stories and convey increasingly complex information,” writes Matt Lira, Cantor’s director of new media. “Undoubtedly, long-form video will play an important role in political communications going forward.”

Cantor’s video is significant for another reason: It builds on the success of the YouCut campaign. YouCut, conceived earlier this year as an interactive way to expose and eliminate runaway spending in Congress, has focused so far on smaller projects (albeit still expensive). As all politicians know — but some refuse to admit — it’s the big issues that need to be solved. It’s refreshing that Cantor is explaining the scale of the problem.

The third video making waves was produced by my colleague Brandon Stewart at The Heritage Foundation. It uses the concept of a theatrical trailer to tell the story of the impending tax hikes. It’s a clever way to communicate the seriousness of the issue in a non-wonky way.

Obama’s Tax Hike: The Movie” has nearly 25,000 views. More importantly, it has generated a robust debate about taxes on YouTube — in which Heritage is engaging. After all, isn’t that the point? A video could be hilarious and popular, but if it doesn’t advance the agenda, it’s a lost opportunity.

These three videos are just a few examples of the good work being done. They’re not the first and won’t be the last, but their success is an indication that Americans are seeking serious policy information in new ways.

Bluey directs the Center for Media and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation.

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Obama tries in vain to continue blaming Bush for economy…facts point otherwise

Contributed By: Mark Tapscott

Expect to hear a lot about how much the Iraq war cost in the days ahead from Democrats worried about voter wrath against their unprecedented spending excesses.

The meme is simple: The economy is in a shambles because of Bush’s economic policies and his war in Iraq. As American Thinker’s Randall Hoven points out, that’s the message being peddled by lefties as diverse as former Clinton political strategist James Carville, economist Joseph Stiglitz, and The Nation’s Washington editor, Christopher Hayes.

The key point in the mantra is an alleged $3 trillion cost for the war. Well, it was expensive to be sure, in both blood and treasure, but, as Hoven notes, the CBO puts the total cost at $709 billion. To put that figure in the proper context of overall spending since the war began in 2003, Hoven provides this handy CBO chart showing the portion of the annual deficit attributable to the conflict:

But there is much more to be said of this data and Hoven does an admirable job of summarizing the highlights of such an analysis:

* Obama’s stimulus, passed in his first month in office, will cost more than the entire Iraq War — more than $100 billion (15%) more.

* Just the first two years of Obama’s stimulus cost more than the entire cost of the Iraq War under President Bush, or six years of that war.

* Iraq War spending accounted for just 3.2% of all federal spending while it lasted.

* Iraq War spending was not even one quarter of what we spent on Medicare in the same time frame.

* Iraq War spending was not even 15% of the total deficit spending in that time frame. The cumulative deficit, 2003-2010, would have been four-point-something trillion dollars with or without the Iraq War.

* The Iraq War accounts for less than 8% of the federal debt held by the public at the end of 2010 ($9.031 trillion).

* During Bush’s Iraq years, 2003-2008, the federal government spent more on education that it did on the Iraq War. (State and local governments spent about ten times more.)

Just some handy facts to recall during coming weeks as Obama and his congressional Democratic buddies get more desperate to put the blame for their spending policies on Bush and the war in Iraq. For more from Hoven, go here.

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Obama causes traffic nightmare in Los Angeles, Refuses to Apologize

Just when you think the Obama Administration is long overdue for at least an attempt at redeeming themselves in the eye of the American Taxpayers, it gets worse.

On Monday President Obama visited Los Angeles as his first stop on a desperate attempt at raising money for his party. The goal?  Shakedown the Hollywood elite to the tune of $1 Million.

While I have no problems with fundraisers, I do have a problem with what occurred this past Monday. Lets look at the facts.

Obama needed 100 guests to each pay $10,000 per plate towards his OWN re-election fund at this fundraiser put on by TV producer John Wells. Lets look at how much it cost us as the taxpayers.

According to the Government Accounting Office, Air Force One costs $54,100.00 per hour to operate on domestic flights (more internationally because of support and refueling aircraft). The flight took 4.8 hours because of prevailing headwinds winds coming out Monday afternoon. The cost? $259,680 for the flight alone. There was the cost of Marine One (which was transported to LAX on Monday aboard a C-17 Globemaster III) is about $9,118.00 per hour. However, the C-17 Globemaster III costs (sometimes they use the C-5 Galaxy at a similar operating cost) about $31,873.00 per hour at 5.1 hours (from Quantico) $162,552.30. If you add overtime on the Secret Service, plus overtime for 4,800 local law enforcement personal and staff, and the other City of Los Angeles expenses which the budget office puts at over $683,000.00, the cost of Obama’s $1 million fundraiser cost you the taxpayer  a little over $1.87 million.

Had the President stayed home he could have save the taxpayers $870,000.00 even if he would have written himself the $1 million out of the treasury.

In case anyone was keeping track, he is the same man who is trying to take credit for  getting the country back on its feet financially. I am glad I have a sense of humor when it comes to politics, otherwise I would hope that such gross financial mismanagement as seen in his last trip to Los Angeles this last week  would be followed up with “April Fools!” Unfortunately it wasn’t a joke,and it really happened.

In addition over 300,000 people in Los Angeles lost a combined 600,000 man hours while being stuck in gridlock due to his presence. We haven’t even begun to do the math on that loss yet.

Let’s hope that next time Obama wants to raise money, he makes phone calls.

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Government provides propaganda to fake stimulus recovery

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Monday accused the White House of using the stimulus tracking website Recovery.gov to disseminate propaganda.

Issa released a 37-page report documenting alleged misconduct by the Obama administration in several of its new-media projects. The report documents several instances in which government agencies allegedly promoted administration policies using federal resources.

Issa called on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the allegations and determine if the administration violated federal law by using taxpayers’ dollars for political purposes.

Specifically, the report points to websites it claims contain false or misleading information, such as Recovery.gov and HealthReform.gov, as well as to a conference call during which a White House staff member urged artists and entertainers to support President Obama’s agenda.

Rather than serve as a tool for strong oversight and transparency, “Recovery.gov became a taxpayer-funded tool to promote false and misleading propaganda to support the Democrat-backed stimulus,” the report states. “The manifest inaccuracies in the data the White House used to justify its economic policies constitutes the dissemination of false propaganda by the federal government.”

Recovery Board Chairman Earl Devaney published a blog post Monday arguing the site has accomplished its objective by providing transparency of stimulus investments.

“Although this new level of transparency may not be obvious to casual observers, it is inspiring real transformation in the federal government,” Devaney wrote.

The report also accuses President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden of leveraging their White House platform “to promote websites designed to disseminate propaganda.” It argues the claims made on Recovery.gov about jobs saved or created by the stimulus are fictitious and misleading, citing news reports and individual instances in which the displayed figures appeared to be incorrect.

The report notes the White House responded to critical reports by changing the displayed metric from “Jobs Created/Saved” to “Recovery Funded Jobs Reported by Recipients” but says there is no evidence the reported figures are any more accurate.

“Using new technologies and the remnants of the most expensive presidential campaign in history, the Obama administration’s use of taxpayer dollars to engage in covert propaganda is disconcerting,” Issa said in a statement. “This new report and a GAO investigation are needed to help shed light on how taxpayer dollars are being spent to illegally further a political agenda.”

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Labor Dept. Says Jobless Claims Worsening

The Labor Dept. said that unemployment looks more bleak now than it did – even in February.

A new study shows that while published unemployment numbers include individuals still filing unemployment, the number of unemployed is actually 2.7 times higher.

“The 9.5% figure is simply a number that is measured based on those who are still filing for unemployment, and new jobless claims, ” says Mark Denalta of the Labor Services Committee. “These do NOT include several million other legal US Citizens who have not re-filed, or posted a status with the Labor Dept.”

Using software databases that accurately track the nations unemployment (accurate to plus or 1.5%) several private and government contracting firms have found the actual number of unemployed US Citizens is currently at 21.85% or 23.8 million, who are now jobless …most of whom were previously employed as recently as 2008.

“The figures coming out of the media are misleading,” continues Mark, “lets just hope that Americans aren’t buying the fiction.”

U.S. unemployment continues to skyrocket, while the Obama Administration continues to fudge the numbers. Lets hope that America wakes up to the fact that their recovery isn’t working. Its time to take action, and reverse the bloodletting of this Administration’s fiscal irresponsibility.

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Missouri Says “NO” to Obama

Missouri voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a federal mandate to purchase health insurance, rebuking President Barack Obama’s administration and giving Republicans their first political victory in a national campaign to overturn the controversial health care law passed by Congress in March.

“The citizens of the Show-Me State don’t want Washington involved in their health care decisions,” said Sen. Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, one of the sponsors of the legislation that put Proposition C on the August ballot. She credited a grass-roots campaign involving Tea Party and patriot groups with building support for the anti-Washington proposition.

With most of the vote counted, Proposition C was winning by a ratio of nearly 3 to 1. The measure, which seeks to exempt Missouri from the insurance mandate in the new health care law, includes a provision that would change how insurance companies that go out of business in Missouri liquidate their assets.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Cunningham said at a campaign gathering at a private home in Town and Country. “Citizens wanted their voices to be heard.”

About 30 Proposition C supporters whooped it up loudly at 9 p.m. when the returns flashed on the television showing the measure passing with more than 70 percent of the vote.

“It’s the vote heard ’round the world,” said Dwight Janson, 53, from Glendale, clad in an American flag-patterned shirt. Janson said he went to one of the first Tea Party gatherings last year and hopped on the Proposition C bandwagon because he wanted to make a difference.

“I was tired of sitting on the sidelines bouncing my gums,” he said.

Missouri was the first of four states to seek to opt out of the insurance purchase mandate portion of the health care law that had been pushed by Obama. And while many legal scholars question whether the vote will be binding, the overwhelming approval gives the national GOP momentum as Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma hold similar votes during midterm elections in November.

“It’s a big number,” state Sen. Jim Lembke, R-Lemay, said of the vote. “I expected a victory, but not of this magnitude. This is going to propel the issue and several other issues about the proper role of the federal government.”

From almost the moment the Democratic-controlled Congress passed the health care law — which aims to increase the number of Americans with health insurance — Republicans have vowed to try to repeal it. Their primary argument is that they believe the federal government should not be involved in mandating health care decisions at the local level.

While repeal might seem an unlikely strategy, the effort to send a message state by state that voters don’t approve of being told they have to buy insurance could gain momentum.

That’s what Republicans are counting on at least, hoping that the Missouri vote will give the national movement momentum.

“It’s like a domino, and Missouri is the first one to fall,” Cunningham said. “Missouri’s vote will greatly influence the debate in the other states.”

Proposition C faced little organized opposition, although the Missouri Hospital Association mounted a mailer campaign opposing the ballot issue in the last couple of weeks. The hospital association, which spent more than $300,000 in the losing effort, said that without the new federal law, those who don’t have insurance will cause health care providers and other taxpayers to have higher costs.

“The only way to get to the cost problem in health care is to expand the insurance pool,” said hospital association spokesman Dave Dillon. He said the hospital association didn’t plan to sue over the law, but he expected it would be challenged.

“I think there is going to be no shortage of people who want to use the courts to resolve this issue,” he said.

Democrats also generally opposed Proposition C, though they didn’t spend much time or money talking about it.

In the closing days of the campaign, many politicians ‘sidled up” to Proposition C, Cunningham said, seeing the momentum the issue had gained.

Among them was U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, who won the Republican primary for U.S. Senate on Tuesday night. Late last week, Blunt announced his support of Proposition C.

On Monday, Blunt said he hoped Missouri voters would send a “ballot box message” to the Obama’s administration by overwhelmingly passing the measure.

The question now is whether the administration will respond by suing the state to block passage of the law, much as it did in Arizona recently over illegal immigration.

The issue in both is the same: When state laws conflict with federal laws, the courts have generally ruled in favor of the federal government, because of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Richard Reuben, a law professor at the University of Missouri School of Law, said that if the federal government sues on the issue, it would likely win. Several other Missouri legal and political scholars agreed.

But Cunningham is undaunted. She’s got her own experts, and they’re ready to do battle in court.

“Constitutional experts disagree,” she said. “There is substantial legal status to this thing.”

BY TONY MESSENGER • tmessenger@post-dispatch.com

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