Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
1. I'm Calling BS on Earth Hour Reports
2. Updated! CEO of GM Resigns; Was Obama Responsible?
3. Hillary Makes America Look Stupid... Again... Twice
4. Earth Hour 2: Syndey Blackout Hit 50,000 Homes One Day After Earth Day
Also check out the new poll question on the left side, and please vote! It only takes a second!
The blackout threw the city into chaos as traffic signals failed to function properly during the Monday morning rush hour. People were trapped in elevators and many malls and schools were also without power. Energy Australia worked quickly to find the problem and began repairing the fault. They hope to restore power to the entire city by 1:00 pm local time.
I'm no electrician, but it seems suspicious to me that Sydney would face a blackout 1 day after Earth Day. Could it be hard on the electrical systems when demand shifts so dramatically from one hour to the next as they did during Earth Hour? Or maybe the Mother Nature enjoyed Earth Hour so much, she decided to extend it just a bit longer..
And if Earth Hour was so good, shouldn't an entire morning with no electricity be even better for the environment?
What's that? You want to be the one to decide when to conserve and not have it thrust upon you by some outside force?
Welcome, people of Sydney, you now understand the conservative position on ecological concerns. I'm happy you understand our position, but I'm sorry it had to happen this way.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, of the Arkansas Clintons, screwed up again for the world to see.
On her trip to Mexico City, Mrs. Clinton visited the Basilica de Guadalupe, which houses one of the most recognizable images in the world, Our Lady of Guadalupe. She laid some white flowers in the Basilica "on behalf of the American people." (Nevermind that many Mexicans believe themselves to be "Americans" having been born on the North American continent.) Then she observed the original apron which has the image of the Virgin Mary upon it.
As legend has it, on December 9, 1531 a little peasant guy named Juan Diego is walking along and he receives a vision of the Virgin Mary. He goes and tells the priest and the priest doesn't believe him. He tries to be a liaison between the vision of Mary (who keeps sending him back to the priest) and the priest.
Finally the Virgin tells him to pick up some flowers in his apron and he does. When Juan Diego goes to the priest and drops the flowers from his apron, the image of the Virgin is imprinted on the apron miraculously.
After viewing the apron it for a while, Hillary asked, "Who painted it?"
The official for the Basilica Msgr. Diego Monroy responded with one word,"God!"
In two sentences Mrs. Clinton offended millions of Latin Americans saying that her flowers were gifts on behalf of "Americans" as many Latin Americans call themselves "Americans." Many of them see the term as somewhat jingoistic when people from the United States to refer to themselves exclusively, as Mrs. Clinton used it.
Secondly you take the most important image in Latin America and ask "Who painted it?" when it is known by, well, everyone, that it is the result of a miracle, at least according to legend.
Seriously, Mrs. Clinton, can you please step down and let us have Secretary Rice back? You're making us look stupider than President Bush ever did.
Did you miss Hillary's other moments of international idiocy? Here they are!
- Hillary Gives Russia a Reset* Button *The State Department doesn't know Russian.
- Huh? Hillary claims, "America's democracy is older than Europe's" and Butchers EU Leaders' Names
The move comes on the eve of President Obama unveiling his plan to reinvigorate the U.S. auto industry. Obama and other administration officials have said they would demand deeper restructuring from General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC before they would get any more government loans.
Shhh. Can you hear the approaching footfalls of nationalization?
As it turns out, the White House did request that Mr. Wagoner step down. It's a wonder how the shareholders and board of directors could not make this decision in the 6 years that Wagoner served as CEO of the auto-giant, but Barack Obama can look into the company for only a few weeks and see it needs this drastic change.
And to think this whole time we thought the blame for this decline should be placed directly upon the United Auto Workers and the union's unwillingness to compromise with the company to keep it afloat.
Our great and powerful president knows what is best for each of us and our companies better than we know ourselves.
Isn't socialism going to be wonderful?
How did Obama see this when the rest of us missed it?
Consider your values: keeping free markets strong.
Consider his values: socialism mingled with getting reelected.
Now do the math:
1 man (aka, Wagoner) -or- 1,000's of UAW members (aka, democratic voters)
Now do you get it?
Let's consider this "4,000 cities participated in Earth Hour" statistic for a bit. First of all, I'm calling BS on the number of "cities" seeing as there are 3,158 cities of over 100,000 in population in the world. I suppose their number could be accurate, but then they must include smaller towns around the world that could hardly be considered "cities."
Secondly, how does one define "participated." Here's an image of North Korea, not during Earth Hour. Does the WWF count North Korea as a participant?
A buddy of mine who lives in Africa goes without electricity quite often along with the rest of the city in which he lives. Did the WWF count his city for their statistic.
New York City supposedly participated, but look at this before and during photos of Times Square celebrating Earth Hour.
Look how they turned off those three screens! Way to go, New York!
Let me be very clear. Many of my conservative friends have a knee-jerk reaction to anything dealing with ecology and want to push back a bit saying, "I'm going to turn on every light in the house during Earth Hour." And as a conservative, I have to admit I, too have this reaction from time to time.
But there is nothing wrong with conservation, recycling, or considering the ecological impact of one's actions. The problem arises when the government mandates how a populace will behave and forces its people to deal with sub-par materials and products in the name of ecology.
Or when the government spends billions of dollars on ecological issues that may impact us in 100 years, but cuts the defense budget that protects us from impending terrorist attacks.
Even the Earth Hour website itself told me this was not an event I ought to participate in.
"For the first time in history, people of all ages, nationalities, race and background have the opportunity to use their light switch as their vote – Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming. WWF are urging the world to VOTE EARTH and reach the target of 1 billion votes, which will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009."
Look, I'm all for anyone doing his or her part to conserve energy and responsibly use resources, but when you couch participation or non-participation in Earth Hour as "a vote for the earth or a vote for global warming," I'm afraid you've jumped out of the silly nest onto the stupid branch.
The Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009, is an effort to come to a resolution on climate change that will replace the Kyoto protocols. If my darkened home is a vote in favor of the Copenhagen protocol, then count me out.
I refuse to take part in any hour-long-ecological-empty-gesture that is going to be used to oppress the successful industrialized nations and serve as a means to redistribute wealth to nations run by warlords and tyrants.
You don't think this is what Copenhagen will attempt to do? Just look at Kyoto as a blueprint.
Allow me to conserve in my own way without politicizing it, and I'll be happy to "save the earth," but if you want my support just so you can stick it to industrialization and capitalism, count me out.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
So we're doing some good. Stay strong!
The top stories this week are
1. Top 20 Tea Party Signs
2. 3 Indications Barack Obama Hates England
3. "Let Them Eat Steak" The Obama's $310,000 Dinner
4. Tea Parties Are Gaining Traction
5. DVD's Obama Gave to PM Brown Were Wrong Format
This week's poll question was:
Who will Obama offend next?
- Nobody thought it would be Americans with Disabilities
- 10% thought it would be another NATO ally
- Surprisingly only 20% expect it to be Capitalists. (I guess they've already been offended sufficiently?)
- Any non-White Ethnic Group picked up 30% of the votes
- And 40% expect Obama to offend the elderly next. (How do you foresee this happening exactly?)
You have an important roll in continuing to strengthen the impact we can have though! Here are a few ways you can help out!
- First, just share the link to this site with like-minded friends: http://changebarack.blogspot.com
- Use the email and the "Share This" buttons at the bottom of posts you like to share them with others.
- Leave your comments and add to the discussion.
- Follow me on Twitter for updates and some fun conversation!
- Subscribe to the feed and stay up-to-date on everything happening here at Change Barack
Thursday, March 26, 2009
However, President Barack Obama's ratings for job performance and favorability did not improve over earlier this month. In the most recent survey, 49% rate his job performance as excellent or good and 50% as fair or poor (less than 1% were not sure.) That is a dip of three points from the previous poll. The percentages who feel very or somewhat favorable toward Obama remained unchanged between the two polls, with 55% now and 56% in the previous poll.
To be sure, Obama is shooting himself in the foot with the poor appointments, his radical socialism, and having Robert Gibbs as a press secretary.
But we, the loyal opposition, are doing our part to chip away at his approval rating.
So keep twittering, blogging, talking to friends, tea party-ing, or whatever else you are doing because conservatism will ultimately win out over socialism and tyranny!
Since the first tea party this year on February 27, 2009, thousands of people have gathered for other tea parties around the country.
Now Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich with American Solutions is on board supporting the upcoming Nation-wide Tax Day Tea Party on April 15, 2009.
Over 300 cities are already planning tea parties, so head over to TaxDayTaxParty.com and see where you can get involved.
If you're looking for ideas for your tea party sign, check out my 20 Favorite Tea Party Sign in Pictures.
Or see the photos from the first tea party held a few weeks ago.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Obama plans to reduce the tax deduction that people will be able to take for charitable giving.
Obama claims that the charities should not worry because he doesn't believe they will be negatively affected. This is evidence of what I call the Liberal Dilemma. Basically, it states that liberals like increase taxes to curtail certain activities (smoking, drinking, etc.), but
The Wall Street Journal reports that charities are right to be concerned. Charities could see a reduction of 1.3% according to The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University calculates they could see losses of 2.1%.
This means Obama's plan would effectively tax the already-struggling American Red Cross $86.1 million dollars! Who will come to the aid of the Red Cross when this government-sponsored disaster strikes?
The so-called "compassionate" left doesn't seem to mind this plan, however probably because liberals just plain suck when it comes to charitable giving.
The following statistics from Real Clear Politics prove it.
- Although liberal families' incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).
- Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.
- Residents of the states that voted for John Kerry in 2004 gave smaller percentages of their incomes to charity than did residents of states that voted for George Bush.
- Bush carried 24 of the 25 states where charitable giving was above average.
- In the 10 reddest states, in which Bush got more than 60 percent majorities, the average percentage of personal income donated to charity was 3.5. Residents of the bluest states, which gave Bush less than 40 percent, donated just 1.9 percent.
- People who reject the idea that "government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality" give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition.
Besides, liberals don't need tax deductions since they only pay them when they are appointed to a cabinet position.
I assume the President had not seen this chart.
Originally posted at Heritage.org
Thank God for the Heritage Foundation.
Monday, March 23, 2009
The fire began at night on July 18 in AD 64 and it spread so quickly that people who tried to escape were often cut off by flames moving faster through the streets than people were able to run. Many who had lost everything simply waited for the flames to consume them because they had lost the will to live. Others perished attempting to save loved ones from the flames.
All the while there were "menaces" (as Tacitus calls them) roaming the streets setting more fires and attacking anyone who attempted to extinguish the flames.
The cause of the fire has never been fully resolved as some claimed it began as an accident or as a work of arson by none other than Emperor Nero himself or by his people.
In fact, Nero was in another city when he received word of the fire but only returned when the flames threatened his palace which also burned before the end of the week. Nevertheless Nero presided over the great fire while playing his lyre and singing of the destruction of another great city in history, Troy.
Tacitus claims that Nero desired to destroy Rome for the purposes of rebuilding it in his own way and naming it after himself.
In the end, Nero brought in relief aid to the people, invoked price controls on food, and opened the remaining government buildings for shelter for the people. The efforts did little, however, because rumors circulated that Nero was responsible for the fire. So Nero blamed an already despised group in Rome: the Christians.
Why would Nero do such a thing as set his own city ablaze?
Well, Nero, like other powerful leaders, understood that one should never let a serious crisis go to waste.
The Democrats, under the leadership of Barack Obama, find themselves presiding over a country that is economically in flames.
The stock market is down 50% from its previous high, the banking system is on the brink of collapse and unemployment is screaming toward double digits. Economically, America is burning.
And it began under the watchful eyes of Senators Barney Frank and Chris Dodd who assured the American people that subprime mortgages were fine and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were doing great mere months before they collapsed under the weight of corruption, mismanagement and debt.
President Bush, in an attempt to extinguish the beginning flames tried for seven years to call attention to the fire that was coming.
In two months, the Obama government has taken control of the destroyed portions of the economy with sights set on even more power.
Yet as rumors surface that the Obama administration seeks to prolong the crisis, Obama names his scapegoat: capitalists. Especially those capitalists who are successful (read:"wealthy").
And what does Obama do while his people suffer among the economic flames that his people set?
He eats steak dinners and spends $300,000 on private meals.
But worst of all: He laughs.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
As if Obama offending our best best friends in the world were not complete enough, he gives England yet another indication that he hates them.
As many suspected, the rumors are true: the thoughtless stack of 25 DVD's President Obama gave to Prime Minister Gordon Brown were, in fact, Region 1. If you're not familiar with international DVD's, Region 1 coded DVD's are only playable in DVD players in America and Canada.
Not only did Barack Obama give a completely thoughtless gift to our greatest ally in the world who his administration called "nothing special."
Not only did he give DVD's to a man who is virtually blind.
But the DVD's that he did give to Prime Minister Brown are apparently unplayable in England.
So while Obama's busy carefully pronouncing PAH-key-stahn and extending a hand of friendship to Iran, he has effectively extended a middle finger to one of our only friends in the world.
So he either hates England, is incompetent, or he just doesn't care.
And I'm not sure which option is more comforting.
Also see my post: 3 Indications Barack Obama Hates England for further insight into how this president has treated the good people of the United Kingdom.
Shout-out to @txfilmgeek for pointing me to this. Follow him at http://twitter.com/txfilmgeek
Saturday, March 21, 2009
The top 5 posts this week at Change Barack are
1. Top 20 Tea Party Signs
2. Let Them Eat Steak - The Obama's $310,000 Dinner
3. Glenn Beck's 9/12 Project
4. 3 Indications Barack Obama Hates England
5. Jon Stewart Interviews Jim Cramer: "Can I have my Cake and Eat it Too?"
Thank you all for reading and be sure to tell your friends about Change Barack. While you're at it, subscribe to the feed and get updated immediately of any new posts!
Friday, March 20, 2009
This decision comes on the heels of four other courageous Republicans who have rejected portions of the stimulus money. And Republicans everywhere should praise these men and women of principle who have the best interests of their states and their country at heart.
I present to you, four vertebrae of what remains of the GOP's spine. Remember these faces and these names. Vote for them and tell other people to vote for them.
Gov. Bobby Jindal, LA
Gov. Rick Perry, TX
Gov. Mark Sanford, SC
Gov. Sarah Palin, AK
It may be true that this list of names is a who's who of up-and-coming GOP leaders, and three of the four likely have their eyes on national office, rejecting stimulus dollars reflects the wishes of the constituency of these very red states. Palin, Jinal, and Sanford are all in consideration for the 2012 presidential bid against Obama and Perry is already gearing up for a vicious fight against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison for the Texas gubernatorial primaries in 2010.
I do not believe this group of four have made this decision for the purposes of political posturing. That is what democrats do. Republicans act on principle, and that is how I view this decision.
A warning should accompany rejection of stimulus money: You will become a target of the Democratic Party and the Obama administration for doing so. Palin is certainly used to the political crosshairs and the attacks on her have continued long after her vice-presidential bid ended on November 4, 2008.
Lesser governors may not be willing to take this step for fear of becoming a political target or for fear that the special interests in their constituency would reject them, but that's what leadership means sometimes: doing what is right in spite of the negative consequences.
Palin made this a group of four; is there another governor with a spine that would be willing to make it a group of five? Anyone? Anyone?
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Jon Stewart on Obama's Plan to Have Military use Private Insurance for War Wounds: What the &%#$ are you Guys Thinking?
Jon Stewart is either an incredibly poor journalist or a manipulative hack who is largely untouchable by others because he hides behind the comedian banner when it suits him.
And I stand by those comments, but sometimes even a manipulative hack can be right. A couple of days ago he was correct in his evaluation of Obama's abominable plan to have men and women in the military use private insurance to pay for medical expenses related to wounds received in the line of duty. Seriously.
If a poor journalist/manipulative hack can see how bad of an idea this is, shouldn't anyone be able to see it?
As it turns out, the Obama administration received such a backlash that the idea was rejected from consideration. But should that bring us comfort knowing that it was ever considered in the first place?
Does it take angry letters, television commentators going ballistic, and the Drudge Report posting in it's characteristic all-red-letter headlines for Obama to say, "Gee, this might not be a good idea."
Shouldn't a man of principle hear this idea and reject it outright? Millions of Americans were able to, so why couldn't Obama?
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, "Polling data show that Mr. Obama's approval rating is dropping and is below where George W. Bush was in an analogous period in 2001."
Ooo. Ouch. Did that sting a little, Mr. President. Here's another.
"There is also a clear sense in the polling that taxes will increase for all Americans"
"Mr. Obama has lost virtually all of his Republican support and a good part of his Independent support, and the trend is decidedly negative."
Okay let's just make a bulleted list of these.
- 83% say they are worried that the steps Mr. Obama is taking to fix the economy may not work and the economy will get worse.
- 82% say they are worried about the amount of money being added to the deficit.
- 78% are worried about inflation growing
- 69% say they are worried about the increasing role of the government in the U.S. economy
- 45% say they do not have confidence in the President, a number that has been growing since the inauguration less than two months ago
I'm saying he's doing worse.
And the numbers agree.
Monday, March 16, 2009
And what the Democratic party so vocal against Sanford? Why he has requested a waiver to use stimulus dollars allocated to South Carolina to help pay down the state's sizable debt instead of using the money to create a larger state bureaucracy. It sounds a lot like what Governor Bobby Jindal proposed for Louisiana, but in that case, Jindal simply turned down the funds, while Sanford is requesting to apply them to another area of need in the state.
The Democratic National Committee was outraged and produced this ad.
Allegations have run the typical Democratic gambit of accusations of being against jobs, the environment, and health care to character assassinations. And of course the obligatory cry of racism from House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn because Sanford compared the out-of-control spending to the economy of Zimbabwe, a country riddled with corruption and plagued by 76,000,000,000% inflation (prices of products double every 24 hours).
The DNC sent this message to media outlets on Friday:
Mark Sanford is putting his personal ambition ahead of the people of South Carolina by cow-towing to the Rush Limbaugh-led, obstructionist wing of the Republican Party," said Democratic National Committee Communications Director Brad Woodhouse. "Now is not the time to politicize these practical steps to create jobs in South Carolina and across the country. Governor Sanford should stop playing politics and work with leaders from both parties who want to use the economic recovery funds to help create jobs, fix our schools, reform our health care system, make America energy independent, and lay the foundation for long-term growth in the 21st Century.Far be it from me to criticize the enlightened left, but wouldn't the correct term be "kowtowing" not "cow-towing?" Unless they really do believe Gov. Sanford wishes to tow a cow, in which case, I would put his presidential campaign in the unlikely category. Instead I'll put the DNC in the "stupid" category.
Rather than read what people have said that Sanford wishes to do with the money, read it in his own words in the actual letter the Governor sent to the Senate and House of Representatives.
According to the letter there are funds that the stimulus bill requires the states to take, but there are other portions of the funds that the state does not have to accept.
But why would the Democrats make such a strong attack against a man who is serving his final allowable term as the governor of South Carolina due to state term limits?
The DNC claims, "If [Sanford] wants to posture for 2012, it will have a price." Democrats think that any time a Republican does something he believes in it's "posturing" or he is being an "ideologue," and they use both contradictory terms as insults.
Anyone can look at Sanford's record and know that this is not "posturing."
But, winds of a possible presidential bid place a man directly in the crosshairs of the Democratic Party.
Which is more than you can say for some of the other people they have targeted in recent days, like Santelli, Cramer, Limbaugh, and Joe the Plumber.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Nor does a major news outlet regularly ask the leader of the greatest democracy in the world, "Are you a socialist?" and have it be a perfectly reasonable question. I mean it was only 20 years ago that we were afraid socialists would be instrumental in destroying the world. Now we only have to worry about them destroying the country, so we've made marked improvement.
The 5 most-viewed articles this week at Change Barack were
1. "Let Them Eat Steak" - The Obama's $310,000 Dinner
2. 3 Indications Barack Obama Hates England
3. Top 20 Tea Party Signs
4. New York Times asks Obama, "Are You a Socialist"
5. Jon Stewart Interviews Jim Cramer: "Can I Have My Cake and Eat it Too?"
This week's poll question was
"How much will the US dollar be worth in 2012?"
- 46% of you think it "depends on whether it's two-ply or quilted."
- 32% believe it will be "almost worthless"
- 14% said "completely worthless" (These are the doom-and-gloomers. C'mon you can always burn it to keep warm!)
- 9% said "about 1 Russian ruble"
And my favorite picture posted this week was this gem of Hillary Clinton.
Friday, March 13, 2009
1. America is good place, not perfect, but good.
2. I believe in God and He is the center of my life.
3. I must try to be a better, more honest person than I was yesterday.
4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority.
5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and not a guarantee of equal results.
7. I work hard for what I have. I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
8. It is not un-American for me to disagree or share my personal opinion.
9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them. They answer to me.
This is an image version of the mosaic if you want to save a copy on your computer. Just right click and choose "Save as..." or something similar depending on your browser.
Learn more about the 9/12 Project at www.the912project.com
The 9/12 Project site is down right now, probably due to heavy traffic. Keep trying; I would expect it to be back up soon.
Cramer sparked the back and forth saying that the Obama administration was resonsible for, "the greatest wealth destruction I've seen by a president."
This sparked the modus operandi of the left to destroy personal credibility rather than to debate the facts. For a week following Cramer's comment used his Comedy Central's The Daily Show attack Cramer's show Mad Money, his network, CNBC, and Cramer himself.
By the time the interview with Cramer rolled around Jon Stewart had ideologically castrated anything Cramer could have said to defend himself. Then Stewart finished the job in the interview itself. Note the complete lack of discussion on whether Cramer's wealth destruction has any merit, which it does.
Jon sat there looking and behaving like a respected journalist, which, as we know he is neither. And that's not only my opinion of Mr. Stewart, it also reflects his own self-estimation given that he admits, "We come on right after puppets that make crank calls."
And yet, young people treat The Daily Show as an actual source of news. A 2004 study by the Pew Research Center found that 21% of 19-29 year-olds turn to comedy shows as a source of news. Pew stated during the 2004 presidential campaign,
For many young people, the content of the jokes, sketches and appearances on these programs is not just a repeat of old information. Respondents who said they regularly or sometimes learned about the campaign from these programs were asked if they ever learn things that they had not heard before, and nearly half said they had learned something new. Put another way, 27% of all respondents under age 30 say they learn things about the candidates and campaigns from late night and comedy programming that they did not know previously.It comes as no surprise then that when John Kerry needed to defend himself after the whole swift-boat discussion broke out during the 2004 presidential campaign, Kerry chose to go on The Daily Show rather than any of the major networks.
Stewart acts like a journalist at times, but when someone, like Bill O'Rielly, confronts him on the idea he retreats to his "puppets making crank calls" line.
Jon Stewart is either an incredibly poor journalist or a manipulative hack who is largely untouchable by others because he hides behind the comedian banner when it suits him.
And to think the 18-29 year old demographic actually listen to this guy as a source of news is worrisome, but it does explain how America got stuck with Obama for the next four years.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
In one portion of the speech he spoke of the need to keep a strong military to meet the needs of a post 9/11 world.
Now, make no mistake: This nation will maintain our military dominance. We will have the strongest armed forces in the history of the world. And we will do whatever it takes to sustain our technological advantage, and to invest in the capabilities that we need to protect our interests, and to defeat and deter any conventional enemy.
This sounds like a different Barack Obama than the one we saw during the campaign.
So which is it? Well, one month ago Obama requested the defense department to cut their budget by $55 billion.
It almost seems like he says what people want him to say and then acts as he likes behind closed doors.
It looks like Obama has a knack for rooting out people with significant legal problems.
Federal agents this morning are searching the Judiciary Square office of Washington, D.C.'s Chief Technology Officer.
The search is part of "an ongoing investigation," said a spokeswoman for the FBI's D.C. Field Office, Lindsay Gotwin, said. She declined to comment further.
The outgoing Chief Technology Officer, Vivek Kundra, was appointed last week Chief Information Officer by the Obama administration. His last day at the city government office was February 4, a spokeswoman for D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, Leslie Kershaw, said.
"We know the FBI is over there but that's all we know," said a staffer in the D.C. CTO's office, Mario Field, who was working from a separate location. Another source familiar with the raid said the FBI had sent all staffers other than senior executives home for the day.
A White House spokesman had no immediate comment.
D.C. mayor's spokeswoman Kershaw said, "Our office has been alerted of FBI's being at CTO office, but we cannot comment until it's over and we get more details."
I will continue to update as details roll in.
Update: WTOP.com reports that 2 people have been arrested by the FBI on charges of bribery.
D.C. Office of the Chief Technology Officer employee Yusuf Acar and Advanced Integrated Technologies Corporation President and CEO Sushil Bansal have been arrested, sources tell WTOP.
Acar, 40, was taken into custody Thursday morning by FBI agents at his home in Northwest D.C.
Bansal has received multiple contracts from the D.C. Office of the Chief Technology Office, including contracts to develop Web-enabled applications and IT and anti-spyware support.
Update 2: Reuters reports that Kundra was not a target in the investigation into bribery in the office which he led. Either Kundra was just very lucky to get out of there a mere 7 days before the FBI dropped a train on the department or someone pulled him out just in time. That would mean that someone in the White House knew about the investigation. And, as luck would have it, the White House did know.
I'm not quite ready to add Kundra to the ever-growing list of corrupt Obama staffers, but this near-miss ought to raise some eyebrows.
But Geithner's tax problems didn't raise many eyebrows, but Democrats stopped being surprised of corruption within their ranks a long time ago.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
So who is to blame? Why Obama's staff, of course.
President Obama -- in whom I still have great hope and confidence -- has been ill-served by his advisors and staff. Yes, they have all been blindsided and overwhelmed by the crushing demands of the presidency.
The staff is ill-prepared to take on the challenges of the presidency? You could say he and they both lack executive experience, right?
Let's hope they figure it out soon because it has been two months of the Obama Presidency. It was only 8 months into Bush's administration when he and his staff faced one of the greatest challenges of any president in recent memory with the September 11th attacks.
But in the wake of yet another appointment resigning before he is even hired and a string of tax-cheats and lobbyists, the problem does not seem to rest so much on the shoulders of the Obama staff as much as is it does on the person who picked them.
Obama may be a great speaker (as long as one of those staff members writes something good for him to read), but he has proven time and again that he is a woefully inept judge of character.
I'm looking at you, Timothy Geithner, Tom Daschel, Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers.
Fortunately, America's rose-colored scales indicate they may fall from her collective eyes in the near future.
From Real Clear Politics
A recent poll by MSNBC.com tells a slightly different story.
So go over there and vote!
Don't worry, America, the Republican party will quietly mutter a "We told you so," and you will have the opportunity to allow the grown-ups to lead in the congress come 2010 and in the White House come 2012.
Update: Britain's cabinet chief wasn't impressed with the Obama staff. The Independent reports "[British staff found] it 'unbelievably difficult' to plan for next month's G20 summit in London because of problems tracking down senior figures in the US administration. 'There is nobody there. You cannot believe how difficult it is.' ... 'You get to a certain point, and you can't go any further," [British cabinet chief] Sir Gus [O'Donnell] said. "A whole new bunch of people come in who probably haven't been in government before.'" I am truly sorry, Britain, but Obama's just not that into you.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Individually, these events look petty and isolated, but when you consider them together, it appears that Barack Obama might actually have some level of hatred directed at the British government. Here are three indications that Barack Obama Hates England.
1. The Churchill Bust
After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the British government, led by then Prime Minister Tony Blair gave the United States a bronze bust of Sir Winston Churchill on loan as a symbol of our strong historical relationship and our continued strength together for the future. President George W. Bush displayed the bust in a special place in the Oval Office for the next seven years.
After President Obama's inauguration, the British government contacted the White House to inform the newly elected president that they would like to continue the loan as a sign of lasting support between allies.
Obama responded with, "Thanks, but no thanks."
Needless to say the British press was outraged, but little did they know that this was just the beginning of the insults they would receive within the next few days.
2. 25 American DVD's
When Prime Minister Brown visited the White House last week, he came bearing gifts that exemplified the new administration and symbolized a continued connection between the United Kingdom and the United States. Brown's gifts to Obama were:
- A pen-holder carved from the timbers of the anti-slavery vessel, the HMS Gannet
- A framed commission for the HMS Resolute, the sister ship of the HMS Gannet
- A first-edition of Martin Gilbert's seven-volume biography of Winston Churchill
- Six British children's books for Sasha and Malia that have not been published in the US
- Sasha and Malia also received an outfit from Topshop, an up-scale clothing chain in Britain
The HMS Resolute was a British exploration vessel that became lodged in Arctic ice in 1852. After several months, the crew secured the ship, which was still stuck in the ice, and abandoned it in order to return home. In 1855, the United States discovered the ship 1,200 miles from where it was abandoned, removed it from the ice and restored the Resolute in order to make it seaworthy. In 1856, the United States returned the Resolute to England as a gesture of goodwill and peace.
In 1880, the British government presented the United States with a desk crafted from the timbers of the HMS Resolute, known as the Resolute Desk. A second desk was crafted from the timbers and the British government gave it to the widow of the man who was instrumental in returning the Resolute to England, Henry Grinnell.
The desks have long been a symbol of peace and camaraderie between the American and British governments.
The Obama's gave
- 25 DVD's of American movies
- 2 Plastic models of Marine One Helicopters for the Prime Minister's sons
It was particularly thoughtless, however, now that news has surfaced that Prime Minister Brown is completely blind in one eye and is rapidly losing his sight in the other eye.
To put this in context, it would be as if Churchill himself had shown up with a skateboard for Franklin Roosevelt.
The Obama's gifts were thoughtless at best and cruel at worst.
3. The Administration's Response to the Gift Gaffe
The British Press questioned US officials over the less than stellar meeting between the two heads of state. The gifts were one issue, but the Obama Administration failed to host the Prime Minister at a formal dinner, nor did he receive the usual joint press conference that the British government has come to expect during visits to the United States.
The Obama administration responded to questions with the following statement
"There's nothing special about Britain. You're just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn't expect special treatment."Um... Excuse me? Nothing special? The British government has been our strongest ally in the world for almost two centuries. Our people share a special bond through the history of our nation. We've fought, bled, and died together. American blood has been shed for British freedom and British blood has been shed to protect Americans.
Forget the DVD's and the bust and the improper protocol during the Prime Minister's most recent visit. All of that can be overlooked, but this statement that specifically places the United Kingdom on the same footing as backwards, terrorist breeding grounds, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, must be challenged and corrected.
So does Barack Obama hate England for some reason? Review the evidence the administration has displayed so far and judge for yourself.
Update: A Royal Screw-up - Obama gives iPod of his own speeches to the Queen of England
Update 2: Welcome to everyone from Moonbattery!
Monday, March 9, 2009
Q. The first six weeks have given people a glimpse of your spending priorities. Are you a socialist as some people have suggested?
A. You know, let’s take a look at the budget – the answer would be no.
Q. Is there anything wrong with saying yes?
A. Let’s just take a look at what we’ve done. We’ve essentially said that, number one, we’re going to reduce non-defense discretionary spending to the lowest levels in decades. So that part of the budget that doesn’t include entitlements and doesn’t include defense – that we have the most control over – we’re actually setting on a downward trajectory in terms of percentage of G.D.P. So we’re making more tough choices in terms of eliminating programs and cutting back on spending than any administration has done in a very long time. We’re making some very tough choices.
What we have done is in a couple of critical areas that we have put off action for a very long time, decided that now is the time to ask. One is on health care. As you heard in the health care summit yesterday, there is uniform belief that the status quo is broken and if we don’t do anything, we will be in a much worse place, both fiscally as well as in terms of what’s happening to families and businesses than if we did something.
The second area is on energy, which we’ve been talking about for decades. Now, in each of those cases, what we’ve said is, on our watch, we’re going to solve problems that have weakened this economy for a generation. And it’s going to be hard and it’s going to require some costs. But if you look on the revenue side what we’re proposing, what we’re looking at is essentially to go back to the tax rates that existed during the 1990s when, as I recall, rich people were doing very well. In fact everybody was doing very well. We have proposed a cap and trade system, which could create some additional costs, but the vast majority of that we want to give back in the form of tax breaks to the 95 percent of working families.
So if you look at our budget, what you have is a very disciplined, fiscally responsible budget, along with an effort to deal with some very serious problems that have been put off for a very long time. And that I think is exactly what I proposed during the campaign. We are following through on every commitment that we’ve made, and that’s what I think is ultimately going to get our economy back on track.
The fact that this is even a legitimate question that one of the most Obama-friendly question would ask is frightening.
But it makes me wonder if Obama is going to cut off access to the New York Times.
That's what happened when a reporter, Barbara West, from WFTV asked then Vice Presidential hopeful, Joe Biden, "Is Barack Obama a marxist?" and asked if Obama would lead the U.S. to become "a socialist country much like Sweden."
Then campaign's response then was to cut off WFTV from all subsequent interviews. "This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election," wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign.
Somehow I doubt Obama will cut off access for the New York Times like he did with WFTV.
Cutting off the New York Times would be like purposely tripping the last place kid in a Special Olympics footrace.
After all, The Atlantic discussed the demise of the print New York Times by 2010.
I understand that schmoozing is part of the role of the President, but the Obama's excessive parties serve to separate the presidential aristocracy from the rest of the American population.
The people are hurting. Americans lose more jobs and more wealth each day, but the Obama's continue to party.
The White House family and guests have feasted upon wonderful meals including Wagyu steak, which can cost up to $100 per pound! This beef comes from a particular breed of cattle who receive a vegetarian diet and a daily hand massage in order to produce the most tender beef possible.
For Valentine's Day, President Obama treated Michelle to a night on the town. Which town? Why Chicago, of course.
Barack and Michelle loaded up Air Force One and headed out to dinner at the elegant Table 52. So I wondered how much this evening out cost the American people. And I found my answer.
It costs $56,000 per hour to operate Air Force One. But when Air Force One goes somewhere, A second plane also goes somewhere, which may probably costs something similar to Air Force Two and represents an additional $14,500 per hour. A cargo plane also accompanies Air Force One wherever it goes in order to carry the limousine and other travel necessities for the highest-profile politician in the world. The cargo plane costs $7,000 per hour to operate.
- $56,000/hour for Air Force One
- $14,500/hour for second aircraft
- $7,000/hour for cargo plane
It takes approximately two hours to fly from Washington, DC to Chicago.
So these four hours of travel (two hours there and two hours back) cost the American taxpayer $310,000.
If you divide the $310,000 plane trip to dinner by the $147.76 (Bureau of Labor) the average American earns each day, or you take the average annual salary ($36,764) you arrive at an astounding conclusion:
The $310,000 Obama Valentine's Day dinner equals
- 2,097 average Americans working an 8 hour day
- 8.4 years of an average American's salary
And that does not include Secret Service, staff, or the meal itself. Only the travel.
So when Obama's advisers approach him saying, "The American people are suffering so much! They can't even afford ground beef."
One has to wonder if his response isn't, "Then let them eat steak."
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Condi's Heels are Too Big for Hillary to Fill? Clinton Misses EU Leaders' Names; Claims US Democracy is "Older Than Europe's"
Reuters reports that Hillary commented on the United States' two-party system saying:
"I have never understood multiparty democracy. It is hard enough with
two parties to come to any resolution, and I say this very respectfully, because
I feel the same way about our own democracy, which has been around a lot longer
than European democracy."
Since, by most accounts, Democracy has its roots in Ancient Greece (ancient being the operative word) it's unlikely that our 233 years of democracy outdate the 2,500 years since Europe first proposed the idea. But if Obama can claim America invented the car, why not throw in democracy too?
She went on to miss EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana's name calling him "High Representative Solano."
And she referred to European Commission External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner as "Benito."
The media is calling it a "gaffe" which is a code-word for when a Democrat says something stupid. When a Republican says something stupid, they call it incompetence.
Here's a little tip for Hillary: Just because they are not American's doesn't mean you just add an "O" to everything.
Or is this just the new marketing strategy for the Obama campaign?
This week Hillary also attempted to patch things over with our good friends, the Russians, with a cheap plastic button designed to "reset" our relations with the once-superpower, but she mistranslated the button into Russian, so now our relations can be "overcharged."
Obama greeted the Prime Minister of our country's best friend in the world, the United Kingdom, with some cheap plastic DVD's and a couple of cheap plastic helicopters.
So much for restoring our place in the world. We've gone from super-power to super-joke in the course of six weeks.
Wait, no. All of these happened within the past six days.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Sorry that was Hillary Clinton. Man is she stupid.
Earlier today Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, attempted to mend our strained relationship with the former Soviet Union by offering them what amounts to a foreign-policy "Easy" button.
It also bears a striking resemblance to the Russian's preferred foreign-policy "Easy" button during the pre-Reagan years, only that one certainly got more of a "bang" when pressed.
And she passed along the helpful information that not a soul in the State Department speaks Russian. They probably figured Babelfish would be fine. I can't see why the Russians might find that information helpful at all... hmmm....
The funny thing about this is that the Obama administration was supposed to repair our relationship in the world. Yesterday, Obama thought a few DVD's and some cheap plastic toy helicopters were suitable gifts for the Prime Minister of Britain, and today his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, gives Russia a fake "reset" button that she screwed up the translation on.
This didn't happen with the Bush administration because he actually appreciates the support of the UK and our allies.
And Bush's Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, would not have gotten the translation wrong because she is an expert in Soviet affairs and speaks Russian.
We were in good hands with Condi. May
*"Reset" in the title should read "Overcharge," according to the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
If Obama is partying on Wednesdays, he's not giving public speeches. So I decided to crunch some numbers.
Right away some trends stand out.
- Mondays lose 4 out of 5 weeks
- Tuesdays lose 4 out of 7 weeks
- Wednesdays only lose 2 out of 7 weeks
- Thursdays lose 4 out of 6 weeks
- Fridays lose 5 out of 6 weeks
- If you only invested in Dow stocks only on Wednesdays you would have earned 481.49 points on your stock.
- If you had invested on the day of Obama's Inauguration and held until now, you would have a loss of -1,405.37 points.
- Thus investing on Wednesdays, the day Obama does not give speeches, is much safer than any other day of the week.
- 1/20 - Dow shows second largest one-day loss (-332.13) on day of Obama's biggest speech of his Presidency
- 2/9 - Obama delivers his prime time press conference after markets close
- 2/10 - Markets respond with largest one-day loss (-381.99) of the Obama administration.
- 2/24 - Obama delivers address to joint session of congress after markets close
- 2/25 - The next day Dow shows only 2nd Wednesday loss since 1/20/09 (The other was on 2/4/09)
Days when President Obama does not speak are better days for the market than days that he does speak.
And if Obama gives a major address during the day, the market drops during that day's trading period, but if he delivers a major prime-time address, the market tends to fall dramatically during the following day's trading period.
If President Obama wishes to fix the falling market, the data shows, he needs to stop speaking.
But that's not his goal at all.
Note: this was written before the markets closed on 3/4/09, thus the limited data set
From the New York Post:
Wind-energy programs in New York - including a developer's plan to build the city's first wind farm at Staten Island's mothballed Fresh Kills landfill - are tied up in red tape because their projects will endanger bats, birds and other wildlife, The Post has learned.
The nocturnal flying mammals are getting slaughtered because they have a strange habit of flying into the blades of wind turbines during the warm spring and summer months, operators and wildlife advocates said.
"An energy source simply cannot be 'green' if it kills thousands upon thousands of bats," said Bat Conservation International.
"We cannot support the current rush to wind development without first finding solutions to prevent bat kills that could have devastating cumulative impacts across North America."
Obama considers wind power a key component of his green plan to cut greenhouse gases from carbon sources like coal, gas and oil. The economic stimulus program includes more than $100 billion in loans and grants for research and development of clean energy like wind power.
This is just further proof that environmentalists will never be satiated unless we move to an energy-free society. Is there nothing that is green enough for these people?
So I'll ask the question first raised by Glenn Beck: President Obama, why do you hate the blind? Or is it just because they're black?
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Before the Senate resoundingly defeated a McCain amendment on Tuesday that would have shorn 9,000 earmarks worth $7.7 billion from the $410 billion spending bill, the Arizona senator twittered lists of offensive bipartisan pork, including:
• $2.1 million for the Center for Grape Genetics in New York. “quick peel me a grape,” McCain twittered.
• $1.7 million for a honey bee factory in Weslaco, Tex.
• $1.7 million for pig odor research in Iowa.
• $1 million for Mormon cricket control in Utah. “Is that the species of cricket or a game played by the brits?” McCain tweeted.
• $819,000 for catfish genetics research in Alabama.
• $650,000 for beaver management in North Carolina and Mississippi.
• $951,500 for Sustainable Las Vegas. (McCain, a devotee of Vegas and gambling, must really be against earmarks if he doesn’t want to “sustain” Vegas.)
• $2 million “for the promotion of astronomy” in Hawaii, as McCain twittered, “because nothing says new jobs for average Americans like investing in astronomy.”
• $167,000 for the Autry National Center for the American West in Los Angeles. “Hopefully for a Back in the Saddle Again exhibit,” McCain tweeted sarcastically.
• $238,000 for the Polynesian Voyaging Society in Hawaii. “During these tough economic times with Americans out of work,” McCain twittered.
• $200,000 for a tattoo removal violence outreach program to help gang members or others shed visible signs of their past. “REALLY?” McCain twittered.
• $209,000 to improve blueberry production and efficiency in Georgia.
“When do we turn off the spigots?” Senator McCain said in his cri de coeur on the Senate floor. “Haven’t we learned anything? Bills like this jeopardize our future.”
In one of his disturbing spells of passivity, President Obama decided not to fight Congress and live up to his own no-earmark pledge from the campaign.
He’s been lecturing us on the need to prune away frills while the economy fizzles. He was slated to make a speech on “wasteful spending” on Wednesday.
“You know, there are times where you can afford to redecorate your house and there are times where you need to focus on rebuilding its foundation,” he said recently about the “hard choices” we must make. Yet he did not ask Congress to sacrifice and make hard choices; he let it do a lot of frivolous redecorating in its budget.
He reckons he’ll need Congress for more ambitious projects, like health care, and when he goes back to wheedle more bailout billions, given that A.I.G. and G.M. and our other corporate protectorates are burning through our money faster than we can print it and borrow it from the ever-more-alarmed Chinese.
Team Obama sounds hollow, chanting that “the status quo is not acceptable,” even while conceding that the president is accepting the status quo by signing a budget festooned with pork.
Obama spinners insist it was “a leftover budget.” But Iraq was leftover, too, and the president’s trying to end that. This is the first pork-filled budget from a new president who promised to go through the budget “line by line” and cut pork.
On “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, dismissed the bill as “last year’s business,” because most of it was written last year.
But given how angry Americans are, watching their future go up in smoke, the bloated bill counts as this year’s business.
It includes $38.4 million of earmarks sponsored or co-sponsored by President Obama’s labor secretary, Hilda Solis; $109 million Hillary Clinton signed on to; and $31.2 million in earmarks sought by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood with colleagues.
(Even Barack Obama was listed as one of the co-sponsors of a $7.7 million pet project for Tribally Controlled Postsecondary Vocational Institutions until he got his name taken off last week.)
And then there are the 16 earmarks worth $8.5 million that Emanuel put into the bill when he was a congressman, including money for streets in Chicago suburbs and a Chicago planetarium.
Bonus: You can follow John McCain on twitter at: @senjohnmccain And he's a pretty good twitterer!
Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, responded to Cramer's comments in the daily press briefing.
The most shocking part of Gibb's response comes where he questions Cramer's credibility.
"I'm not entirely sure what he's pointing to, to make some of the statements that he's made," Gibbs said. "And you can go back and look at any number of statements he's made in the past about the economy and wonder where some of the back up for those are, too."
"Not sure what he's pointing to?" You would think the press secretary would read a paper, but he's clearly missed it. Here is what Cramer is "pointing to:"
You can add Cramer to a growing list of private citizens who have been singled out for daring to speak out against the President.
Joe Wurzelbacher (aka Joe the Plumber)
Joe simply asked Obama a question one day while Obama walked through Joe's neighborhood.
Then all hell broke loose. We learned more about this man than we ever wanted to know while the press all but ignored the damning "spread the wealth" comment mad by Obama.
Rick made these comments on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on CNBC.
Gibbs, speaking for the Obama administration, made the attack personal when he said, "I don't know what kind of house Santelli lives in" using class warfare to dispell the remarks made by a non-political figure.
Sean Hannity asked Limbaugh a series of questions and Limbaugh dared to say that he hopes the Obama policies fail.
Once again Gibbs responds to this private citizen, but this time he changes Limbaugh's comment to mean that he hopes for the economy to fail. Limbaugh made it clear this was not the case.
Should someone choose to vocalize their opposition to the Obama administration, they will face the public axe. Luckily, judging from these videos of Gibbs, Obama's public axe isn't very sharp.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Did you see US troops are finally pulling out after 3 1/2 years!!!! FINALLY! No more quagmire, no more giving US government support to those that do not want us there, no more brave men and women being put in harms way. Finally a commander and chief who gets it. Glad to know New Orleans is safe again!!!