Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Obama Insurgency

I have gradually come to the conclusion there are those in Democrat circles who intentionally seek to deprive the nation what it needs to move forward economically and otherwise.

Other than for entertainment value, I'm not especially drawn to conspiracy theories.

But the events of the past few years are alarming.

Democrats are going after oil, gas, coal. They hamper production and levy fines on these and other industries using a variety of old and new regulations. Meanwhile, the government pumps billions into other corporations it deems "too big to fail."

Democrats also seem increasingly focused on disruption of the democratic process if elections don't go their way.

There's a video by Obama campaign manager Jim Messina urging supporters to "act like an insurgent campaign."

Why would an incumbent president, who has a party controlling the Senate, feel the need for insurgency?

Merriam-Webster defines Insurgent:
1: a person who revolts against civil authority or an established government; especially : a rebel not recognized as a belligerent
2: one who acts contrary to the policies and decisions of one's own political party

Something seems terribly amiss.

Don Dickinson and I will explore this further in Thursday night's show at TalkSouthRadio.com

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

All the more insulting

The country was shocked by Monday's surprise announcement by Standard and Poor's that it was downgrading America's credit rating outlook to negative.

But the move came as no surprise to the Obama team, which reportedly had been in weeks of talks trying to avert the move.

Fox News has the story here.

The fact that President Obama knew the downgrade was in the works makes his budget address last week even more unacceptable.

Rather than face the fact that America's entitlement programs have overrun our ability to pay, Mr. Obama pledged to keep entitlements intact; and instead anchored his "solutions" in class war rhetoric of tax the rich.

We need an adult in the White House willing to begin our restoration. Mr. Obama appears to have neither the time nor the interest of fulfilling that role as he gears for a reelection campaign.

Georgia's two senators reflect business as usual

The recent actions of Georgia's two U.S. Senators suggest to me there's little appetite for real fiscal reform in Washington DC.

Last weekend, the New York Times quoted Sen. Saxby Chambliss as favoring new tax revenues as key to combating the U.S. deficit:

“I’m taking arrows from some on the far right,” he told the Rotary Club of Atlanta... “Are some people going to pay more in taxes? You bet.”

What Mr. Chambliss fails to account for is Americans are tired of the way the federal government squanders much of what it already gets. Until real spending reforms are made, and deficits cut, adding new revenue would only serve as an excuse to keep status quo spending.

If you want to look at the kind of excess that might be cut, look no further than the activities of Georgia's other senator this week.

Johnny Isakson, a Republican like Chambliss, is off to China with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and eight other senators.

Washington Post columnist Al Kamen mockingly writes the China trip is "shrouded in secrecy":

Ten senators, coming off a tough legislative session, plus spouses, staffers and military escorts, landed in the Middle Kingdom on Monday to begin a fine tour to Hong Kong, Chengdu, Xian and Beijing. The Senate news release calls it an “informational trip throughout China,” which Loop Fans know is a tip-off that this is going to be an excellent time.

The trip as been billed as one visiting U.S. investments and clean energy projects. But when led by Harry Reid, who deems "cowboy poetry" an economic engine for his own state, exactly what are the expectations here?

Seriously Mr. Chambliss, if you want to sell us on more taxes, tell your colleagues to cut the junkets and other congressional perks first. Mr Isakson's week in China does much to undo the credibility of your pitch.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Rand Paul defends the Tea Party

A solid defense of fiscal conservatism.

(H/T: Right Scoop)

Grassley: Praise the Lord for whistle blowers

Here's the uncut video of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on the Senate floor this week giving an update of his probe into ATF's Project Gunnrunner.

"I have provided more internal documents to the Justice Department in this investigation than the Justice Department has provided to me."

(H/T: Sipsey Street Irregulars)

Obama seeks to bring peace to the Middle East

President Barack Obama will strive to bring the Israelis and the Palestinians together.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the push is on.

Here's how the topic was handled at Wednesday's State Department briefing with Mark Toner, a State Department acting deputy spokesman:

QUESTION: Back to the Mideast – well, not that; we’re still there – but the Secretary made a reference last night in her speech about a renewed pursuit of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, a two-state solution. Does this signal that there will be some sort of new proposal, new parameters, new element coming forward from the United States? Or is it simply the same old process but maybe with new energy or –

MR. TONER: Well, I would say that there’s not – it’s not necessarily a new push or specifically a new push, but rather a redoubling of our efforts. And obviously, we’re aware that at this moment, there’s – some wonder whether there’s any hope for progress. There’s a lot going on in the region, and it was just a moment for the Secretary to reinforce the message that we are committed to this process and that we’re going to make sure we commit the energy necessary to see it fulfilled.

QUESTION: Just a quick follow-up --

MR. TONER: Yeah, sure.

QUESTION: -- to this. Earlier in the day, Senator Kerry, again in the same forum, expressed confidence that the resolution of this conflict, based on the two-state solution, can be attained by September, in accordance with the declaration made by the Secretary of State at that podium and the speech made by President Obama to the General Assembly. Is that – so, is there anything new, I mean, just to follow up on that? Or something is going on?

MR. TONER: Well, we continue to meet with both parties. I believe Hale was in the – David Hale was in the region just last week. And our goal is to get them back to the negotiating table. And we do recognize that September is inexorably approaching here and that it’s important for us to keep the momentum – or rejuvenate this process, rather – and to get both parties back to the negotiating table because, as we’ve said many times here, that’s ultimately the only way that we’re going to resolve these issues.

Yeah. Go ahead, Jill.

QUESTION: On that, didn’t the Secretary, if I’m not mistaken, indicate that the President would be speaking about this sometime soon?

MR. TONER: I think she did. I don’t have her speech in front of me, but –

QUESTION: Do you know any –

MR. TONER: -- I don’t know any more details. I’ll just have to refer you to the White House on that.

Yes. The same president who presides over a country at a level of division not seen since the Civil War (Jerry Brown's observation, not mine) is going to bring the Palestinians and the Israelis together...

Meanwhile, the UN is endorsing something for Gaza that many Americans believe Mr. Obama lacks.

A birth certificate!

An excerpt from the EUObserver:

 The Palestinian Authority has welcomed endorsement of a UN report on institution building as a "birth certificate" for statehood amid Israeli concern over a potential unilateral declaration of independence...  The endorsement comes ahead of a UN meeting in September in which Israel fears the Palestinian side will unilaterally declare independence in territories under its control before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war due to a stalemate in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks... 

Can't wait to see how the UN and its willing soldier Obama carry this one out.

Will the UN provide military cover for a newly independent Palestine? Are no-fly zones in store for Israel?

Should these things come to pass, is it much of a stretch to envision Israel surrounded and alone, facing the nations of the world? Will Palestinian sympathizers in the White House be itching to practice more "Responsibility to Protect" as they did in Libya?

This could really take shape like something ripped from the pages of a Hal Lindsey book.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Grassley still pursues ATF answers

The fiasco that was called Project Gunrunner (aka Operation Fast and Furious) won't go away - despite apparent stonewalling by ATF and the US Department of Justice.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) again today called the DOJ for disclosure in the matter:

“The Justice Department’s unwillingness to be forthcoming is troubling, and the more we learn from whistleblowers, the more it looks like the department will end up with egg on its face,” Grassley said.  “Whistleblowers are still coming forward with more information disproving the department’s only response to my inquiries.”

Grassley's full news release, along with his latest letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, is available here.

Video of Grassley addressing the on the Senate floor is available here from CBS News.

Emails obtained by Grassley show firearms dealers repeatedly questioned whether they should be allowing suspect sales to go forward. Federal officials encouraged them to proceed. Many of these guns ended up in the hands of cartels in Mexico. One was found at the scene where a U.S. Border Patrol officer was murdered.

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) also recently issued subpoenas to the ATF seeking further disclosure on Project Gunrunner.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Did you catch the president's address?

President Barack Obama delivered a politely worded pitch for class warfare, collectivism, and everlasting dependence on entitlements.

I could have sworn Wednesday afternoon's event was advertised as a deficit reduction address.

Republicans made a big mistake by compromise last week.

The president apparently banks on the assumption that the electorate is clueless on fiscal stuff. And that it really doesn't care as long as it thinks it's getting something for free that was taken from someone else.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

SEIU visible in Washington State arrest video

Unions and others protesting government budget cuts laid siege to the Washington state capitol in Olympia on Thursday.

Many of those protesting, and some of those arrested after disruptions inside the building, were wearing purple SEIU shirts.

An account of the story, with video, from Seattle's KING 5 is available by clicking here.

A similar telling of the story from KOMO TV is here. KOMO notes Chase bank was also a target of  Thursday's protests.

Demonstrators returned to the Washington state capitol on Friday. Judging by signs on display, many unions participated in Friday's gathering. But Friday's demonstration apparently didn't include the kind of confrontational tactics that triggered Thursday's arrests.

Democrats and Republicans want the same thing

At the end of the day, what counted most to political leaders in DC was status quo. Maintaining the mirage of normal.

Some token cuts. A few crumbs. Plenty of spin.

Just enough to fool those not paying close attention. And even appease some who are. Pretend to make progress.

Both parties are playing the same game. Kick the can down the road.

They kick it hard and far when they think they can get away with.

Other times, when folks are watching, they dress it up as progress and just give it a tap. With the hope they'll be under less scrutiny when it's time for the next kick.

As I suspected, they'll use the promise of more cuts in 2012 as an excuse to forgo deeper cuts now.

They don't have the stomach for what needs to be done. They don't have the stomach for the cuts needed to restore fiscal sustainability.

Friday, April 8, 2011

DC takes the prospect of a government shutdown personally

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton sounds like she thinks the primary concern of the federal government is to make things cushy for her constituents.

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton Upset Over Treatment of DC During Shutdown Resolution Talks: MyFoxDC.com

The federal debt is tyranny. What would Patrick Henry do?

Jesse Jackson tries to make the case that the budget battle in DC is a replay of the Civil War.

If Jackson wants to make analogies with history, why not take it back to the American Revolution?

The political Left deludes itself into seeing excessive spending as a tool for social justice, but in reality, spending beyond our means creates chains of burden on our country. And the burden grows heavier by the hour.

It's time we had strong leaders willing to go against the tyranny of debt. Sure, it's a huge task. One that my be rightly compared to the way our founding fathers rose up against the tyranny of the crown.

If Patrick Henry was around today, what would he have to say about raising the debt ceiling?  I doubt Mr. Henry would be crowing about compromise. Last January, Don Dickinson and I speculated on our radio show Mr. Henry would have strong words calling for direct action:

"They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary as our debt. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally destitute, and when interest payments eat so large a part of our federal budget that we can no longer afford even the most basic expenditures? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our debt shall have bound us hand and foot?"

(Listen to, or download, the January 13th show on the federal budget by clicking here)

The above is lifted from Henry's "Give me Liberty" address. The only change is that references to England  have been replaced with "debt."

We must come to view our national debt as a threat to our freedom. It is a threat to the very existence of our nation. To encourage the status quo, or deliver only token cuts, means the crisis will grow larger and harder to deal with in the future.

We can no longer rely on the delusive phantom of hope in dealing with the federal deficit. We can no longer afford to keep kicking the can down the road. It's time we demand our leaders take decisive action to protect us from this growing menace. A government shutdown may be a strong indicator we're finally getting serious.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The April 7th show

Can't tell where things will stand on a possible government shut down by showtime, but it's going to a key topic on tonight's Don and Doug show at TalkSouthRadio.com.

We may also wander onto the Ryan budget proposal. Love it? Hate it? Give us a call and let us know.

In last week's first hour, we had email interaction with a Libyan with family still in the country.

I also try to monitor Twitter stuff sent my way (@talksouthradio) during the show.

These really are perilous times. Don and I invite you to break away from your routine and join our conversation tonight at 8:00 pm EDT.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Path to Prosperty. Why wait until 2012?

Republicans have introduced a 2012 budget plan they call The Path to Prosperity.

Here are some of the graphs included in the document:

The talk sounds good. But the timing is suspect.

Is the GOP attempting to distract attention from the still incomplete 2011 budget?

Congress needs to begin meaningful cuts now. Not just tout the theoretic savings in some plan that might start next year.

The Marx manifesto

The American masses know his name, but are largely unfamiliar with specifics of what Karl Marx wrote.

Here are some points from the Communist Manifesto of 1848 as written by Marx and Frederick Engels:

1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc.

Any of this sound familiar?

A Gannett newspaper contributor in Illinois makes the case America is actively moving towards many of these Marx principles. His column is available here.


Monday, April 4, 2011

April 4 labor rally in Atlanta

Georgia's "We are One" rally took place on the steps of the state capitol.

Attendees appeared to be a typical mix of union members, community activists, and a few socialist tag-alongs.   Amnesty International was represented. And some students from the nearby Georgia State campus showed up too.

Not a lot of energy on display. That could be the result of holding a march prior to the rally.

A few photos:

Obama's half-hearted reelection kickoff

It was much hyped. And it fell flat.

The Obama team launched its reelection campaign this morning with a video slipped out to supporters under the cover of darkness.

And no wonder.

Not one claim of accomplishment for Mr. Obama's first term.

Mr. Obama doesn't utter a word in this so-called announcement.

It simply features a handful of supporters who talk like they slept through the turmoil of the past two years.

The campaign felt it necessary to include a supporter who proclaims Obama's got a job. She goes on to say the president is too busy to "take time off" to fly around and motivate his supporters. She sounds like she's making excuses for Obama to stay home should local and Congressional Democrats shun Obama support in 2012.

It's a reelection launch without stating a single reason the incumbent deserves another term: No first term accomplishments (other than he got elected), and not one specific goal for a second term.

The kicks-off seems half-hearted. It sets the bar very low.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Fed bailed out the Bank of Libya

We bailed out their banks. And now we're bombing 'em.

A press release from Sen. Bernie Sanders :

WASHINGTON, March 31 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today questioned why the Federal Reserve provided more than $26 billion in credit to an Arab intermediary for the Central Bank of Libya.

The total includes at least $3.2 billion in loans that the Fed was forced to make public today in addition to earlier revelations under a Sanders provision in the Wall Street reform law.

Sanders also asked why the Libyan-owned bank and two of its branches in New York, N.Y., were exempted from sanctions that the United States this month slapped on other Libyan businesses to pressure Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s government...

The entire Sanders release is available here.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Government employee numbers versus private industry

The economic downturn has taken a far greater toll on private sector jobs than it has government ones.

A few 10-year graphs courtesy the St. Louis Fed:

If you want to spend some time on your own looking at various sectors of private versus government employment, the St. Louis Fed makes it easy with this graph maker.

Friday, April 1, 2011

House committee issues Gunrunner subpoena

Rep. Darrell Issa announces the move after ATF failed to comply with an earlier request for documents:

WASHINGTON. D.C. – Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today announced the issuance of a subpoena to the Department of Justices' Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) for documents related to the highly controversial "Project Gunrunner."

"The unwillingness of this Administration – most specifically the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms – to answer questions about this deadly serious matter is deeply troubling," said Chairman Issa. "Allegations surrounding this program are serious and the ability of the Justice Department to conduct an impartial investigation is in question. Congressional oversight is necessary to get the truth about what is really happening."

The full release is available here.

Some of our previous writings regarding Project Gunrunner:

Michelle Malkin sounds off over ATF scandal

Agent: I was ordered to let guns pass into Mexico

CBS "uncovers" the unfolding ATF Scandal

Senator's letter: Stepmother alleges cover-up in border agent's death

Of whistleblowers, watchdogs and ATF

Obama's first reelection ad... from the GOP

A little political mockery pulled together by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC):

Liberals must be wired differently

This YouTube video is popping up on conservative blogs.

It captures some key points of yesterday's DC Tea Party rally outside the capitol.


What's ironic is the video is posted by the folks at liberal Talking Points Memo.

They apparently think they're mocking the Tea Party by posting it.

Why is it so hard for the left to grasp the concept of unsustainable?