Archive for September, 2009

Comment Collecting at the White House

By Caomhin

Obama promised his Administration would the be the most transparent in the history of our nation.  That was on the campaign trail of course.  As we all know, campaign promises often turn out to be a nothing more than talk.  In this case, though, for a campaign and team of people so talented with their use of new media, their trolling of social networking sites to collect comments without notification should raise a few eyebrows:

The White House is collecting and storing comments and videos placed on its social-networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube without notifying or asking the consent of the site users, a failure that appears to run counter to President Obama’s promise of a transparent government and his pledge to protect privacy on the Internet.

The proposal issued Aug. 21 calls for a contractor to “crawl and archive” social-networking Web sites where the White House maintains an official presence on seven networks: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo and Slideshare.

The collection will include the comments, tags, graphics, audio and video posted by users who don’t work for the White House.

It’s actually worth reading the whole article, and honestly, it’s something that I probably would have laughed off if a random person had told me this was going on.  But no, it’s the Washington Times reporting this and the most transparent, tech savvy Administration ever has no problem with this.  You hear this phrased a lot, but seriously, what if President Bush had done this?  What do you think the reaction would be?

Obama Turns His Back on Czechs, Poles

By Caomhin

Unfortunately it has been confirmed that Obama has decided to abandon the missile defense shield program in Eastern Europe.  I can only imagine how our friends in the Czech Republic and Poland are feeling right now:

WASHINGTON — The White House will shelve Bush administration plans to build a missile-defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, a move likely to cheer Moscow and roil the security debate in Europe.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell confirmed Thursday that a “major adjustment” is planned and said the decision was made to better protect U.S. forces and allies in Europe from Iranian missile attacks.

The U.S. is basing its move on a determination that Iran’s long-range missile program hasn’t progressed as rapidly as previously estimated, reducing the threat to the continental U.S. and major European capitals, according to current and former U.S. officials.

The Czechs and the Poles have been among our most staunch allies over the last decade and here we are, turning away from them, reneging on our commitments.  In Obama’s haste to try and kiss and make up with Russia he apparently has decided that appeasing them is more important than protecting our friends.  To be sure, we should absolutely have a running dialogue with the Russians and find common ground on a multitude of issues, but abandoning our friends should never have been an option.  The biggest loser in all of this is the Georgians, who have already felt Russian aggression from last year and there has been rumblings that Russia is gearing up to go at them again.  Ukrainians have also had serious concerns that Russia may be trying the same tactics on them in the near future, especially after the energy issues between the two nations.

The latest move by the Obama Administration continues to show that appeasing nations with which we have had disagreements is of a higher priority than standing by and protecting our allies.  You can imagine how they are going to try to spin this when they hold their press conference, but there’s no way around it.  We just abandoned our allies.

Afghanistan, Iranian Nukes, and Missile Defense

By Caomhin

Obama has done a pretty solid job with regards to hitting al-Qaeda targets inside of Pakistan. I’m holding out hope that he will hold strong in supporting our efforts in Afghanistan even as his liberal allies begin their efforts to push for abandonment of the Afghans.  This of course, we can not and must not do.

His handling of Iran, however, is another story.  It seems he is so determined to try and reason with the Ayatollahs that it has become detrimental to global security, and considering how realistic he has thus far been with regards to Afghanistan and Pakistan, you have to wonder why there exists such a contrast.  It’s not a secret that we blasted Obama for his astonishingly weak response to the rigging of the Iranian election and the violent, repressive attacks on the Iranian citizens by their regime.  We were very vocal about that both on our site and on Twitter.  Many of the liberals I am friends with were also shocked at the timid response to the election situation in Iran as well.

From my observations thus far, it seems that Obama wants to distance himself from Israel in any way he can.  Maybe that sounds a bit harsh, maybe it is, but let’s face facts here.  He is absolutely treating a terrorist regime in Iran much differently than he is handling the Taliban.  Much as I can figure, it probably has more to do with how vocal Iran with their anti-Semitic hatred than any other regime on the face of the planet.  Obama has criticized Israelis for building settlements, but has been stunningly silent with regards to the election in Iran, and their blatant, obvious pursuit of nuclear weapons.  French President Nicolas Sarkozy has stated the facts:

“It is a certainty to all of our secret services. Iran is working today on a nuclear [weapons] program,” Sarkozy told lawmakers from his UMP party on Tuesday, according to Press TV.

“We cannot let Iran acquire nuclear” weapons because it would also be a threat to Israel, he added.

Everyone knows Iran has a nuclear weapons program.  The question is, why isn’t Obama pounding the table demanding that regime crippling sanctions be imposed on Iran and demanding that the Russians and the Chinese agree to the sanctions?  He knows that Israel is more than willing to defend itself by taking out Iranian nuclear facilities if stringent, effective, world wide sanctions are not carried out, and yet…nothing.  He does know that Israel is not bluffing about defending himself, I’m sure, and he has to know that Iran is more than willing to use nuclear weapons if and when the world allows them to build the weapons, so what gives?

I want to think that the handling of the War on Terror that he has been leading in Afghanistan and Pakistan is not an illusion but I have serious doubts.  The fact that there are rumors all over the place right now that Obama is about to hang the Czech Republic, Poland, the Ukraine, Georgia, and many more out to dry:

I blogged a couple of weeks ago that the Obama administration was about to abandon its plans for Third Site missile defence installations in Poland and the Czech Republic. I wrote then that “if enacted, this would represent a huge turnaround in American strategic thinking on a global missile defence system, and a massive betrayal of two key US allies in eastern and central Europe. Such a move would significantly weaken America’s ability to combat the growing threat posed by Iran’s ballistic missile program, and would hand a major propaganda victory to the Russians.”

It now looks as though the president has surrendered to Russian demands to kill off Third Site

The more time goes by, the more I am convinced that, unfortunately, I was right that Obama was going to be extremely soft on national and global defense.  It is starting to look like his support of America’s allies will be as well.

Union Push for Health Care All About Check Card

By Caomhin

Don’t forget about Card Check, though it’s been quiet in the media, with the unions essentially writing the legislation being introduced in Congress, they’re doing their best to keep this under the radar.  However, it is very easy to connect the dots here.  It’s not a secret that Obama has used the unions as his ground team both for his candidacy as well as to try and intimidate town hall protestors during the August recess.  I’ve had a few people ask me why Unions are pushing so hard for the health care deal when it’s pretty much common knowledge that Union workers typically have great benefits.  Why?  It’s not about health care to the Unions.  The Democrats and the Unions are using each other.

You know how badly the Unions want check card.  You also know that Unions are becoming increasingly irrelevant over time, that businesses now use benefits and superior working conditions to attract higher quality talent in order to give themselves an edge over the competition.  The problem for the Unions and their leaders, of course, is that dwindling numbers mean less union dues which results in lower funds and lower levels of influence.  Given the option of the secret ballot, results indicate that the majority of workers don’t want anything to do with a Union, but forcing them to vote out in the open, as history and logic have proven, allows for the opportunity to try to directly influence a vote by a number of means.  It taints the ballot, but it’s not fairness that the Unions are looking for here.  It’s getting that money and power back up.

The Union is anxious to get Check Card passed, but announced that the Obama Administration told them, no way, not until Obama gets his healthcare bill passed:

A top labor official said Monday that President Obama and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel have indicated that they will not bring up “card check” legislation until after healthcare reform is done in Congress.

“The President/and Emanuel have both said they dont intend to bring Employee Free Choice Act up until Health Insurance Reform is done,” Trumka wrote on the blog. “Which gives us an additional reason to do Health Insurance Reform now!”

Of course it’s an additional reason for the Union to try and push for the Government run Health Care Option, because they’re not going to get what they want until Obama gets what he wants.  In fact, that’s probably exactly what was said at that meeting.  Obama, though, can’t go to the media right now and talk about Check Card, not with all the other issues unfolding, so he sends surrogates, to let the Unions know that the deal is still on:

We have pounded out an Employees Choice bill which will meet labor’s objectives,” Specter said. “I believe before the year is out, and I will join my colleague Sen. [Bob] Casey [Jr. (D-Pa.)] in predicting, that there will be passage of an Employees Free Choice Act which will be totally satisfactory to labor.”

Notice how Specter, world renown for being a self-serving career politician (whom I will from henceforth always refer to his political affiliation as Specter (Specter-PA) because he’s the only person he cares about) is determined to let the Unions know that the bill will be satisfactory to THEM and says nothing about the American people or their right to choose whether or not they choose to organize in the workplace?  Of course he doesn’t mention people’s decisions to decide for themselves, he only cares about whether the organizing wing of the Democratic Party is happy.  Don’t think it’s a mistake either that Obama did a fundraiser for Specter today either.  It’s not a coincidence at all.  Just another signal.  Up until Specter was chased out of the GOP by our future Senator, Pat Toomey, he opposed Check Card.  He switched the Dems, the PA GOP and may of his donors demanded he return the money donated to him, and suddenly he switches his vote in exchange for money so he can stay in Washington.  Standard operation procedure I suppose.

The Democrats need Ted Kennedy’s seat to be filled to prepare for their Nuclear Option of passing Healthcare through Reconciliation, which I believe they will do.  I truly believe that they are going to ram this down the American people’s throat even though the majority of Americans are opposed to the plan.  They need as many votes as they can get to make it look like it’s only a few who are withholding support (prediction, Obama will say these people were “scared of Change” or “worried about their political lives” when this happens) so they need to fill his seat stat.  Problem is Ted Kennedy himself strong encouraged the Massachusetts legislature to change the law allowing the governor of the state to appoint a Senate successor when Mitt Romney was the Governor just in case John Kerry won the Presidency in 2004, in order to prevent a Republican from gaining the seat.

Before Ted Kennedy died, he was very determined to have this law changed BACK to what is was before he went out of his way to try and commandeer the legislative process of the state government.  That process is still under way.  So guess who’s organizing to aid in the effort to fill that seat?  Why, it’s the SEIU:

Amidst national dialogue on healthcare reform, healthcare workers from 1199SEIU sent a letter today to all Massachusetts legislators to honor the request of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy to allow an interim appointment by the Governor to fill his seat in the U.S. Senate.

Cap and Trade Lie Exposed

By Caomhin

Leftists were adamant that opponents to the Cap and Trade bill were lying, that cost would be minimal and that opponents of this legislation were stating a falsehood when we noted that this bill would lead to a large tax imposed on every American and have very negative effects on our economy.  Guess who was correct:

The Obama administration has privately concluded that a cap and trade law would cost American taxpayers up to $200 billion a year, the equivalent of hiking personal income taxes by about 15 percent.

A previously unreleased analysis prepared by the U.S. Department of Treasury says the total in new taxes would be between $100 billion to $200 billion a year. At the upper end of the administration’s estimate, the cost per American household would be an extra $1,761 a year.

Obama officials released this study, not energy groups or opponents of the legislations but the SUPPORTERS of this legislation.  Obama’s own Administration (remember, the Treasury is led by tax cheat Tim Geithner) concluded this and concealed this information, all the while trying to maintain the lie that they won’t raise taxes on “95%” of Americans.  Of course we all knew he and his liberal allies were lying about this but we’re the ones who were catching flack for calling them out on it.  I’m not holding my breath for an apology either.  However, how dishonest can one be to conclude that the upper range for the tax burden on the average American family will be an extra $1,761, withhold that information and then dump the info after being sued under the Freedom of Information Act to release it?

Two other pieces to take away from the article, the first:

One odd point: The document written by Jaffee includes this line: “It will raise energy prices and impose annual costs on the order of XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.” The Treasury Department redacted the rest of the sentence with a thick black line.

The Freedom of Information Act, of course, contains no this-might-embarrass-the-president exemption (nor, for that matter, should federal agencies be in the business of possibly suppressing dissenting climate change voices). You’d hope the presidential administration that boasts of being the “most open and transparent in history” would be more forthcoming than this.

Declan McCullagh has that right, though I’m a bit more cynical than that.  Obama has been on record even after this horrific bill passed the House maintaining that taxes on the middle and lower classes wouldn’t be raised by one cent, but he KNEW that was false per these documents.

The last point to take away is the hilarious update where the Environmental Defense Fund says that the Treasury Department is wrong about the cost of Cap and Trade on the average American family because the Treasury Department hasn’t factored in the “redistribution of revenue.”

Ed Rendell Only Wants Tax Hikes

By Caomhin

Even as some Republicans cave and agree to tax increases on businesses, cigarettes, and move toward the legalization of table games under the proposed “bipartisan” budget proposal, Ed Rendell is vowing to threatening to veto any bill that does not allow him to raise personal income taxes, and maybe even sales tax.  This guy is unreal.  He is by far the absolute worst governor in the history of Pennsylvania, he has undermined economic growth, already has imposed staggering tax increases on the citizens and businesses of Pennsylvania, and skirts his duties by providing color commentary on Eagles games on Comcast, a practice he has refused to end despite his lack of leadership on crafting a balanced budget that stays within the means of collected revenue.  He can not and will not accept anything that does not allow him to further harm Pennsylvanians.

Ed Spendell is the prototypical liberal.  The only thing this guy knows is tax and spend.  Well that and hooking up his buddies and his old cronies in Philly.  The only silver lining is that we get to choose his replacement next year.  I can’t wait until this trainwreck is out of office and we go about solving the problems that face Pennsylvanians.   In the GOP primary we will have two solid options, Jim Gerlach  and Tom Corbett.  As of now I’m leaning toward Tom Corbett as he has been an incredibly effective Attorney General who has vigorously prosecuted many corruption cases.  The countdown is on until Spendell is gone and we should, under no circumstances, allow his irresponsible policies to further sandbag the Commonwealth even after he leaves office.

Criminal Organization Fired From 2010 Census

By Riss

There have been so many stories regarding ACORN and many of their illegal actions and this week is no different.  Before I begin talking about the recent investigations headed by Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government website, I also want to note this article, detailing charges brought against ACORN worker for voter fraud in Florida,  which has largely gone unnoticed due to astonishingly horrific actions of ACORN’s attempt to help what they believed to be a politician-pimp help a prostitute run a brothel for underage girls from South America.

Yes, you read that description correctly.  ACORN has of course fired the workers in DC and Baltimore for willingly offering help to what they believed to be an illegal, unethical, morally bankrupt organization.  Here’s one of the videos from the investigative report”

There are more videos on You Tube as well, but I highly suggest going to Andrew Breitbart’s:

Big Government

On this site you will find the videos as well as numerous follow up reports to their investigative report.  You should also note that the Baltimore State’s Attorney, a Democratic Party contributor and ACORN ally, wants to see about charging the people who EXPOSED to corruption more so than bringing charges against the ACORN members, even as calls for further investigations into ACORN are coming from all across the nation:

Baltimore State’s Attorney Patricia A. Jessamy said allegations of tax fraud would fall under federal jurisdiction, but the apparently secret taping, or spreading it online, could represent a violation of the state’s two-party consent laws for recording conversations. A spokesman said it would take a formal complaint to trigger an investigation.

And they wonder why we’re “cynical.”  However, the vast corruption that is ACORN is finally becoming a bit more transparent as they have been fired from the 2010 Census:

Up to now, the Census Bureau had defended ACORN’s involvement, explaining that it was one of 80,000 unpaid volunteer groups that the bureau hoped would be able to raise local awareness. But in his letter, Mr. Groves said the Census Bureau no longer had confidence that ACORN was effectively managing its partnership.

ACORN fired two employees who were seen on hidden-camera video giving tax advice to a man posing as a pimp and a woman who pretended to be a prostitute. Fox News Channel broadcast excerpts from the video on Thursday. On the video, a man and woman visiting ACORN’s Baltimore office asked about buying a house and how to account on tax forms for the woman’s income. An ACORN employee advised the woman to list her occupation as “performance artist.”

You know there’s more videos out there and you know they have engaged in many, many more illegal activities.  From voter fraud, to tax evasion, to trying to provide aid to an underage prostitution ring, you have to wonder, what else are they doing?  I have a feeling much more is yet to be uncovered.