Saturday, October 24, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
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Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Should America support the return of the recently ousted Honduras President Manuel Zelaya? In all honesty, I would have to say “No”, Zelaya who was sent into exile only a week ago aptly deserved what he has sowed.
I feel that President Micheletti had every right to do what he did. No president should be allowed to revise a countries constitution without the proper support of the people themselves. Most constitutions were derived as a result of the consensus of the people of the country and as such they should be changed accordingly. No one man should take it upon himself to modify a constitution once it has been ratified and made into law.
Here we have a man who has been accused of at least 18 criminal acts against his country including those relating to treason and his failing to implement over 80 laws that were previously approved by Congress. This was not a spur of the moment event for it has taken place over a period of time from 2006 until now.
What has happened in Honduras was not in the strictest sense a coup for the military had the full backing of the Honduras' political establishment which would include Zelaya’s political party, the Supreme Court and members of the countries congress. This event should serve as a warning to all potential political leaders who show unrestrained political ambition towards changing a countries constitution.
No president regardless of where he is located should be above the rules established by the countries law makers. I would hope that if our current president were to go beyond the threshold of acceptability that our military leaders would do the same thing. It is up to our leaders in government and military to police themselves and correct errors of judgment relating to our elected officials.
Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Republican Senator Judd Gregg was Obama’s first choice for the Secretary of Commerce post, and Gregg was actually considering joining the Obama team, until he found out that control of the US Census was being stripped from the Commerce Department and placed under the direct control of White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel.
GPS Marking EVERY Front Door - Part II
Then, the same week that Americans learned that they were “domestic terrorists”—at least according to Obama’s new DHS (Department of Homeland Security),—if they own a bible, a pocket Constitution or guns, and still believe in Life, Liberty and Freedom, - they also learned that Obama’s Census Bureau had hired thousands of new temporary employees, equipped each with a handheld GPS computer and sent them out to mark GPS coordinates for every residential front door in America.
Oddly, it was this same period that news was breaking of an international flu pandemic, suspected of being a weaponized strain of the virus never before seen, - and that Obama’s team still sees no need to close the US-Mexican border, despite the cross continental spread of a deadly illness now claiming American lives.
Now, if any one of these events happened alone, one might not get too excited. But when a string of such events happen all at once, one begins to question the string of freedom and life threatening coincidences…
I can’t resist the urge to question the authority and purpose behind such a BIG BROTHER initiative, when the official Census itself is not due to be taken until 2010…
No imagination is required to think up a whole laundry list of evil that could be done with a nationwide GPS grid of coordinate’s markers painted on every private home across the country. But I was having trouble thinking up one good reason for it, even one legitimate use that would justify what must be a very expensive undertaking.
According to one of the Census workers, who spoke with me on condition of anonymity, they must GPS mark the coordinates “within 40 ft of every front door” in America and they are supposed to complete that mission nation wide, within 90 days, by the end of July 2009.
The workers were not told why they were GPS marking every front door. But a supervisor is sent out to follow them door-to-door, to make certain that no door is left unmarked. Every door will be marked by one employee, and then checked by a follow-up supervisor.
So, I had to ask, why?
Why does the Obama administration need or want the latitude and longitude coordinates for every home in America? Why the rush to GPS paint every home in the next 90 days? Why must the marker be within 40 ft of every front door? For what possible purpose does the Fed need GPS coordinates for every home, and under what authority do they have the right? Census workers, whom I asked, had the same holy-crap look on their faces that I had by then.
ACORN signed on as a national partner with the U.S. Census Bureau in February 2009 to assist with the recruitment of the 1.4 million temporary workers needed to go door-to-door to count every person in the United States — currently believed to be more than 306 million people. But the count doesn’t take place until 2010… This is April 2009.
Obama’s interest in an ACORN controlled 2010 Census, for the purpose of redistricting to the advantage of Democrats before the 2010 mid-term elections, comes as NO shock from a regime known for their heavy handed Rules for Radicals political strategies. But what does this have to do with GPS marking every home in the country?
The 2% of Americans, who have served military duty at some point in life, are very familiar with the most common use of GPS target painting. The other 98% of Americans might want to pick up a book on the subject, such as The Precision Revolution: GPS and the Future of Aerial Warfare.
RightSoup.com has just about the only online report available on the matter, and they report, “Why does the government (and ACORN) need to have the GPS coordinates of your FRONT DOOR? Your house is probably on Google Maps already. But the front door? Sounds like a jackboot convenience to me. This is a developing story, and several reports of those who have already been visited by the GPS squad can be found in this forum thread.”
If you challenge Census Bureau employees about the GPS marking of your private residence, you will be handed a preprinted explanation referring you to Sec. 223, Title 13, U.S. Code, Chapter 7, Subtitle 2, which explains the penalties for refusing to provide names and statistics of occupants when asked for by a census taker. This only applies when they are taking a census, (which will not be taken until next year), and the penalty for refusing to answer questions for a census is up to a $500 fine.
However, since the actual Census is not due to be taken until 2010, nobody is asking for any information today. They are only GPS marking your front door today, and Sec. 223, Title 13, U.S. Code, Chapter 7, Subtitle 2 provides the Fed NO authority to GPS paint your front door.
Best I can tell, the Fed has NO authority whatsoever, to paint the front door of every private residence in America. Still, that is exactly what they are doing. Now, the trillion dollar question is, why?
A State of Emergency
From Wikipedia - The Posse Comitatus Act is a United States federal law (18 U.S.C. § 1385) passed on June 16, 1878 after the end of Reconstruction, with the intention of substantially limiting the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement. The Act prohibits most members of the federal uniformed services from exercising nominally state law enforcement, police, or peace officer powers that maintain “law and order” on non-federal property (such as states and their counties and municipal divisions) within the United States.
In short, the statute generally prohibits federal military personnel and units of the National Guard operating under federal authority, from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States.
As members of the military are sworn to protect and defend the Constitution and the American people against all enemies, both foreign and domestic, a federal order to do the exact opposite, and take aim at American citizens, would be a clear violation of the US Constitution and the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, unless…
US Military personnel are trained to follow orders. But they are also obligated to refuse any order deemed “unlawful.” In order to make such an order appear “lawful,” the federal government would first have to declare a national “state of emergency,” such as in the case of an international pandemic, which can be demonstrated to threaten the health and well-being of American citizens.
Following a state of emergency declaration, a federal order for Martial Law would be expected, to allegedly provide law enforcement and security for citizens. This type of scenario can be followed by a presidential order to quarantine, disarm and contain American citizens in the name of national security, all of it, having the appearance of being “lawful.”
Is this what is happening?
Connecting the Dots
Alone, individual events look concerning, but not conspiratorial. What about when you place the pieces of the puzzle together and take a look at the entire picture developing?
Under this “theory,” how does the GPS marking of every private residence in the nation fit into the picture?
I wish I knew… but I don’t!
What I do know is this… Coincidences of this number and magnitude don’t happen. They certainly do not happen all at the same time, within hours or days of each other, out of the wild blue tin-foil hat heaven…
I also know that people had better start asking the right people the right questions and demanding answers fast. Begin with asking the mainstream press why there has been no public notification of the federal governments GPS marking your front door?
Then, I suggest contacting your local Census Bureau office immediately, and demanding an explanation as well as advice as to what law gives them the right to GPS paint every front door in America?
I’d also recommend sending a copy of this column to your state and federal representative, demanding that they put a stop to it or explain why it’s necessary, and what law gives them the right?
Unfortunately, we live in a moment of history when real events are much stranger than nutty conspiracy theories. The people have every right to know what is happening. But unless you demand to know, nobody’s talking!
Bill Clinton sold US nuclear technology to Red China for a mere $300,000 in campaign contributions. The event landed Chinese bagman Johnny Chung in prison, but put Hillary Clinton in the US Senate, and now at the helm of the US State Department.
Highly secured government servers are hacked daily. Soon, hackers will be able to grab a nation wide GPS grid map, marking the front door of every home in America.
How much is a GPS grid of every American household worth to the enemies of America, both foreign and domestic? I’d estimate, PRICELESS!
There is a foul odor resonating from the current regime in Washington DC and most Americans can smell it. Can most Americans gather the strength to do something about it?
Original at: http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/10688
Sunday, July 5, 2009
President Obama, strategizing yesterday with congressional leaders about health-care reform, complained that liberal advocacy groups ought to drop their attacks on Democratic lawmakers and devote their energy to promoting passage of comprehensive legislation.
In a pre-holiday call with half a dozen top House and Senate Democrats, Obama expressed his concern over advertisements and online campaigns targeting moderate Democrats, whom they criticize for not being fully devoted to "true" health-care reform.
"We shouldn't be focusing resources on each other," Obama opined in the call, according to three sources who participated in or listened to the conversation. "We ought to be focused on winning this debate."
Specifically, Obama said he is hoping left-leaning organizations that worked on his behalf in the presidential campaign will now rally support for "advancing legislation" that fulfills his goal of expanding coverage, controlling rising costs and modernizing the health system.
In the call, leaders of both chambers expressed optimism that they will hold floor votes on legislation to overhaul the $2.2 trillion health system before Congress breaks in early August.
For his part, the president vowed to use his strong approval rating with voters to continue making the case for sweeping reform, according to one congressional staffer with knowledge of the conversation. Obama also hinted that efforts are under way to discourage allies from future attacks on Democrats, according to the source, who did not have permission to speak on the record about the discussion.
The White House had no comment on the president's call.
In recent weeks, liberal bloggers and grass-roots groups such as MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, Service Employees International Union and Progressive Change Campaign Committee have targeted Democratic Sens. Ben Nelson (Neb.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Arlen Specter (Pa.), Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.).
A fundraising video produced by Democracy for America suggests Landrieu is a "sellout" because she has received $1.6 million in campaign contributions from the health-care industry and has yet to endorse the concept of a government-run health insurance plan to compete against the private companies. The public-option concept, which Obama supports, has become a litmus test for many pro-reform activists who accuse the insurance industry of failing to deliver affordable, accessible care.
"Tell Senator Landrieu to support the people of Louisiana, not insurance companies," the spot concludes.
Founded by former Vermont governor Howard Dean, Democracy for America argues that inclusion of a Medicare-style public option in health-care legislation is "non-negotiable."
MoveOn, a Web-based political action committee that works to elect "progressive" leaders, intended to run commercials over the Fourth of July holiday criticizing Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) for her silence on the public option. But after she endorsed legislation crafted by Democratic colleagues on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions that includes that provision, the group dropped its plans.
"This measure is the heart of health-care reform and is supported by MoveOn's 5 million members, as well as the majority of the American people," said MoveOn's executive director, Justin Ruben. "With the support of legislators like Senator Hagan, we can come closer to our goal of making quality health insurance accessible and affordable for everyone."
Health Care for American Now, a labor-based coalition of 1,000 groups, has organized a petition pressuring Feinstein to support legislation that includes a public option.
"We need a senator who is championing, not nay saying, the need for reform," the petition says. "We're hoping Sen. Feinstein becomes a 'champion' for the people of California and stands up for President Obama's health reform."
Richard Kirsch, who runs the coalition, said most of the group's ads are educational or focused generally on the need for broad-based change.
"We've been promoting reform and yes, asking members of the public to contact their senators," he said yesterday. "It's all in support of reform."
Feinstein said in an interview last week that she does support health reform but has concerns about the cost of legislation and the impact on her home state. She discounted the attacks as unhelpful and counterproductive.
Obama was joined on the call with lawmakers by White House health czar Nancy-Ann DeParle, though he led most of the conversation. DeParle and White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina have been in intense negotiations with hospital representatives in the hope of extracting guaranteed spending reductions from the industry.
Original at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/03/AR2009070302309_pf.html
Blog Owner comment: Of course Obama wants people to stop criticizing his programs and vote for them, usually sight unseen. This is a very dangerous man!
Saturday, June 27, 2009
WND Editor and chief Executive Officer Joseph Farah is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who can prove he or she was present at the birth of Barack Obama – and he's asking Americans to donate to the cause in hopes of raising the bounty to an irresistible amount.
"Barack Obama claims to have been born in Honolulu Aug. 4, 1961," explains Farah. "His entire constitutional claim to the presidency rests on this premise. Yet, he refuses to release a copy of his long-form birth certificate – the only document that could possibly corroborate his claim.
Therefore, in the interest of truth, justice and the Constitution, I am making the extraordinary offer to entice someone to come forward with the facts of his birth – whether it took place in Hawaii or elsewhere."
Obama has steadfastly refused to release evidence of that Hawaiian birth – a valid, long-form birth certificate that would show details of the birth, such as the hospital and the attending physician. Because the certification of live birth" he released to select news organization was at least sometimes issued for foreign births on the basis of an affidavit by one parent, it proves nothing as far as constitutional eligibility – and, in fact, raises suspicions about a foreign birth.
To date, no hospital in Hawaii has come forward to claim this historic birth.
No doctor or nurse has come forward to say they were present for that historic birth.
No witness of any kind has come forward to say they have first-hand knowledge or involvement in that historic birth – at least in Hawaii.
Obama's paternal grandmother, Sarah Obama, claims to have been present for the birth in Mombassa, Kenya.
"It is clear now that Obama will never willingly release his birth certificate," said Farah. "It's time for Americans who still value the Constitution to step up and force the issue. It's time for us to learn the truth of where Obama was born. We may find he was born in Hawaii. We may find he was born elsewhere. I have no pre-conceived ideas. But this issue has haunted the American people long enough. It's time for some truth and transparency."
To collect the reward, the subject must:
1. Agree to an interview with WND journalists;
2. Provide persuasive evidence, such as pictures, documents or verifiable details;
3. Agree to a polygraph test.
"I think it's disgraceful that Americans should be forced to go to such lengths by the intransigence of public officials toward accountability," said Farah. "But that is what it has come to in 2009 with our current president. He prefers to dodge and weave, while his apologists in government and media viciously attack citizens for attempting to see that the Constitution is observed."
Farah launched a petition drive earlier this year that has accumulated nearly 400,000 signatures demanding that all controlling legal authorities pursue proof of Obama's status as a "natural born citizen." That petition campaign is still on-going.
More recently, he launched a billboard campaign raising the simple question, "Where's the birth certificate?" That campaign has raised $85,000 so far. Farah says there are plenty of billboards available, despite a ban on the campaign by several major outdoor advertising companies. But donations have dried up because of an apparent misperception among readers that billboards are not available due to the bans imposed by a few companies.
In addition, Farah points out those interested in backing his latest campaign can also raise visibility for the issue by purchasing magnetic bumper stickers, tea party rally signs and yard signs that raise the same simple question, "Where's the birth certificate?"
All funds not used specifically for a reward will go toward the purchase of more billboard space. If you would like to raise the reward, WND is accepting contributions in any amount. Donations can be made online, by phone and credit card or checks can be mailed to:
WNDPO Box 1627Medford, Or 97501
Checks should be clearly marked as to purpose.
Here is an actual Hawaiian birth certificate from 1963 (the same era as Obama's birth), which while redacted includes detailed information documenting a birth, including the name of the birth hospital and the attending physician.
Original at: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=101892
Friday, June 26, 2009
Currently as Americans we appreciate and know the true value of being able to protest. Notice my friends that I said currently as considering the present regime which is occupying the White House at this time that freedom experienced by all Americans may unexpectedly come to an abrupt halt in the not so distant future. This in that case would place us in a similar situation as the Iranian students.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The New York Times passed on the opportunity to publish a great op-ed letter to President Barack Obama from Lou Pritchett, a former vice president of Procter & Gamble. Pritchett worked for that company for 36 years, until his retirement in 1989.
Confirmed by the Internet watchdog Snopes, here's a sample of what Pritchett wrote:
Dear President Obama:
You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me. …
You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll. …
You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.
You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the 'blame America' crowd and deliver this message abroad.
You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.
You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one.
You scare me because you prefer 'wind mills' to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves. …
You scare me because you have begun to use 'extortion' tactics against certain banks and corporations.
You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals. …
You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.
You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaughs, Hannitys, O'Reillys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of view.
You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.
Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.
Thank you, Mr. Pritchett, for your love for America, honesty and willingness to risk your reputation by speaking up to this administration.
Now let me add a few of my own fears to yours:
You scare me because so many amazing corporate and American leaders, such as Lou Pritchett, are saying you scare them.
You scare me because after you initiate more government borrowing and bailouts than all presidents combined, you then require Congress to follow a system that is "pay-as-you-go."
You scare me because you really do believe that going into massive amounts of debt can remedy our economy in the long run.
You scare me because your actions don't reflect the federal governmental constraints and fiscally prudent principles of our Founding Fathers and Constitution.
You scare me because you repeatedly still play the blame game with the Bush administration but never blame the Clinton administration, even though it was responsible for the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac subprime fiasco via the proliferation of loans to unqualified borrowers.
You scare me because you buy and run the banking, automobile and (soon) health industries with taxpayers' money but refuse to call it socialism.
You scare me because you claim to be a fighter for minorities and the promises of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness yet do not defend the unborn. What greater minority is there than those in the womb, against whom you already have enacted more pro-abortion laws than anyone since the Roe v. Wade decision?
You scare me because you promise to defend the U.S. against all potential enemies yet pacify those harboring terrorists, fight for the rights of combative detainees, and enable the enemies of Israel.
You scare me because you deny America's Judeo-Christian heritage before other countries of the world, espousing "the promise of a secular nation" during an age in which religious revisionism is on the rise. (Thank God for Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., and others like him, who even now are trying to preserve America's religious history by proposing the passage of a bill that would create "America's Spiritual Heritage Week." Call or write your representative today to support it.)
You scare me because your media team (including the mainstream media) seeks to label as radical, quarantine socially or in some way penalize any opposing conservative voices (such as conservative talk show hosts, news agencies, columnists and actors, such as Jon Voight).
You scare me because your media team does not address or diminish in any way your deification before the world, epitomized by the editor of Newsweek who stated this past week on Chris Matthews' MSNBC show: "In a way, Obama's standing above the country, above the world. He's sort of God." (How much scarier can it get than representative statements like that in a republic that once stood for a balance among political powers and a government "by the people, for the people"?)
Monday, June 22, 2009
The White House, Democrats and MoveOn liberals are spreading health care sob stories to sell a government takeover. But there's one health care policy nightmare you won't hear the Obamas hyping. It's a tale of poor minority patient-dumping in Chicago -- with first lady Michelle Obama's fingerprints all over it.
Both Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois have raised red flags about the outsourcing program run by the University of Chicago Medical Center. The hospital has nonprofit status and receives lucrative tax breaks in exchange for providing charity care.
Yet, in fiscal year 2007, when Mrs. Obama was employed there, it spent a measly $10 million on charity care for the poor -- 1.3 percent of its total hospital expenses, according to an analysis performed for The Washington Post by the nonpartisan Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.
The figure is below the 2.1 percent average for nonprofit hospitals in surrounding Cook County.
Rep. Rush called for a House investigation last week in response to months of patient-dumping complaints, noting: "Congress has a duty to expend its power to mitigate and prevent this despicable practice from continuing in centers that receive federal funds."
Don't expect the president to support a probe. While a top executive at the hospital, Mrs. Obama helped engineer the plan to offload low-income patients with non-urgent health needs. Under the Orwellian banner of an "Urban Health Initiative," Mrs. Obama sold the scheme to outsource low-income care to other facilities as a way to "dramatically improve health care for thousands of South Side residents."
In truth, it was old-fashioned cost-cutting and favor-trading repackaged as minority aid. Clearing out the poor freed up room for insured (i.e., more lucrative) patients. If a Republican had proposed the very same program and recruited black civic leaders to front it, Michelle Obama and her grievance-mongering friends would be screaming "RAAAAAAAAACISM!" at the top of their lungs.
Joe Stephens of The Washington Post wrote, "To ensure community support, Michelle Obama and others in late 2006 recommended that the hospital hire the firm of David Axelrod, who a few months later became the chief strategist for Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Axelrod's firm (ASK Public Strategies) recommended an aggressive promotional effort modeled on a political campaign -- appoint a campaign manager, conduct focus groups, target messages to specific constituencies, then recruit religious leaders and other third-party 'validators.' They, in turn, would write and submit opinion pieces to Chicago publications."
Some health care experts saw through Mrs. Obama and PR man Axelrod -- yes, the same Axelrod who is now President Obama's senior adviser. But the University of Chicago Medical Center hired ASK Public Strategies to promote Mrs. Obama's initiative. Axelrod had the blessing of Chicago political guru Valerie Jarrett -- now a White House senior adviser.
Axelrod's great contribution: re-branding! His firm recommended renaming the initiative after "internal and external respondents expressed the opinion that the word 'urban' is code for 'black' or 'black and poor.'...Based on the research, consideration should be given to re-branding the initiative." Axelrod and the Obama campaign refused to disclose how much his firm received for its genius re-branding services.
In February 2009, outrage in the Obamas' community exploded upon learning that a young boy covered by Medicaid had been turned away from the University of Chicago Medical Center. Dontae Adams' mother, Angela, had sought emergency treatment for him after a pit bull tore off his upper lip. Mrs. Obama's hospital gave the boy a tetanus shot, antibiotics and Tylenol, and shoved him out the door. The mother and son took an hour-long bus ride to another hospital for surgery.
I'll guarantee you this: You'll never see the Adams family featured at an Obama policy summit or seated next to the first lady at a joint session of Congress to illustrate the failures of the health care system.
Following the Adams incident, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) blasted Mrs. Obama and Axelrod's grand plan. The group released a statement expressing "grave concerns that the University of Chicago's policy toward emergency patients is dangerously close to 'patient dumping,' a practice made illegal by the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA)" -- signed by President Reagan, by the way -- "and reflected an effort to 'cherry pick' wealthy patients over poor."
Rewarding political cronies at the expense of the poor while posing as guardians of the downtrodden? Welcome to Obamacare.
Original at: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=32375
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Since Obama took office in January, his approval rating in Gallup tracking has averaged 63%, and most of his three-day ratings have registered above 60%. Approval of Obama did fall to 59% in individual readings in February, March, April, and early June; however, in each case, the rating lasted only a day before rebounding to at least 60%.
The latest decline in Obama's approval score, to 58%, results from a drop in approval among political independents as well as among Republicans. Democrats remain as highly supportive of the president as ever.
Obama's approval rating was 60% from June 13-15, at which time 88% of Democrats, 60% of independents, and 25% of Republicans approved of the job he was doing. In the June 16-18 polling, Democrats' approval of him stands at 92% -- up slightly -- whereas approval is down among both independents (by seven points) and Republicans (by four points).
Since February, Obama's weekly approval ratings from Republicans have consistently averaged close to 30% and from independents, close to 60%. With Republican approval now down to 21% and independent approval down to 53%, Obama's overall job approval has dipped to a new low for his presidency.
It is not clear what's behind the decline, but two issues have received considerable play in the news this week, and could be contributing factors. On Monday, the president received bad news on healthcare reform from the Congressional Budget Office, whose estimate of the cost of one reform plan caused sticker shock on Capitol Hill. This may be feeding into public concerns about the administration's deficit spending. At the same time, the disputed Iranian presidential election has been front-page news. Obama's cautious response has sparked sharp criticism from Republican Sen. John McCain and many on the political right who are eager for him to declare the election a "fraud," and to show more solidarity with the Iranian protestors.
Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,504 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted June 16-18, 2009, as part of Gallup Poll Daily tracking. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.
Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones (for respondents with a land-line telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell-phone only).
In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
Original at: http://www.gallup.com/poll/121028/Obama-Job-Approval-Slips-58-First-Time.aspx
Thursday, June 18, 2009
On the night of June 24, the media and government become one, when ABC turns its programming over to President Obama and White House officials to push government run health care -- a move that has ignited an ethical firestorm!
Highlights on the agenda:
ABCNEWS anchor Charlie Gibson will deliver WORLD NEWS from the Blue Room of the White House.
The network plans a primetime special -- 'Prescription for America' -- originating from the East Room, exclude opposing voices on the debate.
The Director of Communications at the White House Office of Health Reform is Linda Douglass, who worked as a reporter for ABC News from 1998-2006.
Late Monday night, Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Ken McKay fired off a complaint to the head of ABCNEWS:
Dear Mr. Westin:
As the national debate on health care reform intensifies, I am deeply concerned and disappointed with ABC's astonishing decision to exclude opposing voices on this critical issue on June 24, 2009. Next Wednesday, ABC News will air a primetime health care reform “town hall” at the White House with President Barack Obama. In addition, according to an ABC News report, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, WORLD NEWS, NIGHTLINE and ABC’s web news “will all feature special programming on the president’s health care agenda.” This does not include the promotion, over the next 9 days, the president’s health care agenda will receive on ABC News programming.
Today, the Republican National Committee requested an opportunity to add our Party's views to those of the President's to ensure that all sides of the health care reform debate are presented. Our request was rejected. I believe that the President should have the ability to speak directly to the America people. However, I find it outrageous that ABC would prohibit our Party's opposing thoughts and ideas from this national debate, which affects millions of ABC viewers.
In the absence of opposition, I am concerned this event will become a glorified infomercial to promote the Democrat agenda. If that is the case, this primetime infomercial should be paid for out of the DNC coffers. President Obama does not hold a monopoly on health care reform ideas or on free airtime. The President has stated time and time again that he wants a bipartisan debate. Therefore, the Republican Party should be included in this primetime event, or the DNC should pay for your airtime.
Republican National Committee
Chief of Staff
ABCNEWS Senior Vice President Kerry Smith on Tuesday responded to the RNC complaint, saying it contained 'false premises':
"ABCNEWS prides itself on covering all sides of important issues and asking direct questions of all newsmakers -- of all political persuasions -- even when others have taken a more partisan approach and even in the face of criticism from extremes on both ends of the political spectrum. ABCNEWS is looking for the most thoughtful and diverse voices on this issue.
"ABCNEWS alone will select those who will be in the audience asking questions of the president. Like any programs we broadcast, ABC News will have complete editorial control. To suggest otherwise is quite unfair to both our journalists and our audience."
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The other day we heard a comment from a White House aide that never would have been uttered during the primaries or general election campaign.
During a conference call in preparation for President Obama's trip to Cairo, Egypt, where he will address the Muslim world, deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Denis McDonough said "the President himself experienced Islam on three continents before he was able to -- or before he's been able to visit, really, the heart of the Islamic world -- you know, growing up in Indonesia, having a Muslim father -- obviously Muslim Americans (are) a key part of Illinois and Chicago."
Given widespread unease and prejudice against Muslims among Americans, especially in the wake of 9/11, the Obama campaign was perhaps understandably very sensitive during the primaries and general election to downplay the candidate's Muslim roots.
The candidate was even offended when referred to by his initials "BHO," because he considered the use of his middle name, "Hussein," an attempt to frighten voters.
With insane rumors suggesting he was some sort of Muslim Manchurian candidate, then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and his campaign did everything they could to emphasize his Christianity and de-emphasize the fact that his father, Barack Obama Sr., was born Muslim.
The candidate's comment at a Boca Raton, Florida, town hall meeting on May 22, 2008, was typical: "My father was basically agnostic, as far as I can tell, and I didn't know him," he said.
In September 2008, candidate Obama told a Pennsylvania crowd, "I know that I'm not your typical presidential candidate and I just want to be honest with you. I know that the temptation is to say, 'You know what? The guy hasn't been there that long in Washington. You know, he's got a funny name. You know, we're not sure about him.' And that's what the Republicans when they say this isn't about issues, it's about personalities, what they're really saying is, 'We're going to try to scare people about Barack. So we're going to say that, you know, maybe he's got Muslim connections.'...Just making stuff up."
Back then, the campaign's "Fight the Smears" website addressed the candidate's faith without mentioning his father's religion:
"Barack Obama is a committed Christian. He was sworn into the Senate on his family Bible. He has regularly attended church with his wife and daughters for years. But shameful, shadowy attackers have been lying about Barack’s religion, claiming he is a Muslim instead of a committed Christian. When people fabricate stories about someone’s faith to denigrate them politically, that’s an attack on people of all faiths. Make sure everyone you know is aware of this deception."
The website also provided quotes from the Boston Globe and Newsweek mentioning his father's roots.
Since the election, however, with the threat of the rumors at least somewhat abated, the White House has been increasingly forthcoming about the president's roots. Especially when reaching out to the Muslim world.
In his April 6 address to the Turkish Parliament, President Obama referenced how many "Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim majority country. I know, because I am one of them."
Original at: http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/06/abc-news-jake-tapper-and-sunlen-miller-report-the-other-day-we-heard-a-comment-from-a-white-house-aide-that-neverwould-have.html
In a BBC interview broadcast Tuesday, Obama also restated plans to pursue direct diplomacy with Tehran to encourage it to set aside any ambitions for nuclear weapons it might harbor.
Iran has insisted its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity. But the U.S. and other Western governments accuse Tehran of seeking atomic weapons.
Obama leaves Tuesday evening on a trip to Egypt and Saudi Arabia aimed at reaching out to the world's 1.5 billion Muslims. He is due to make his speech in Cairo on Thursday.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
The Obama administration named a "compensation czar" yesterday to set salaries and bonuses at some of the biggest firms at the heart of the economic crisis, as part of a broader government campaign to reshape pay practices across corporate America.
Senior officials said they will install Washington attorney Kenneth R. Feinberg with the power to determine compensation, including retirement packages, of senior executives at seven firms that have received massive federal bailouts, such as Citigroup chief executive Vikram S. Pandit, Bank of America's Kenneth D. Lewis and Fritz Henderson of General Motors.
The initiative reflects public uproar over executive compensation, which has been stoked by the financial crisis. Lawmakers who approved the government's $700 billion bailout for the financial system last fall worried that taxpayers would end up financing the lavish lifestyles of top Wall Street executives. Then, controversy erupted in March when the Obama administration revealed that insurance giant American International Group, a recipient of a $180 billion rescue package, had decided to pay $165 million in bonuses to its most troubled financial unit.
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said yesterday that the administration is not interested in "capping pay" or "setting forth precise prescriptions for how companies should set compensation." Instead, he said, the government wants to rein in pay practices that motivated executives to take excessive risks in pursuit of profit.
But with the spotlight now on executive pay practices, senior administration officials are moving to address concerns at firms well beyond those implicated in the crisis. Yesterday, officials proposed two pieces of legislation that separately empower shareholders and the Securities and Exchange Commission to exercise more oversight over executive compensation at all publicly traded firms.
The first measure would give shareholders more say on what companies pay executives. Traditionally, stockholders have had limited influence and the authority only to elect a small number of members who sit on a company's board of directors.
The second measure would expand the SEC's power to ensure that the corporate committees responsible for deciding compensation act independently of the top executives whose pay they set. Most large corporations have such committees, and their record in rewarding risky management has at times been troubling. Conflicts of interest between committee members and executives are common.
These efforts reflect the administration's conclusion that companies cannot police themselves on matters of pay.
"This financial crisis had many significant causes, but executive compensation practices were a contributing factor," Geithner said yesterday.
And more initiatives to address these practices are coming. The Federal Reserve is examining how regulators can oversee pay at all banks. Geithner and senior White House officials, meanwhile, plan to make executive pay a focus of their efforts to overhaul financial regulation, which officials say will be detailed next week.
The administration is giving Feinberg authority to influence pay at scores of companies. Feinberg, who previously managed the government's efforts to compensate the families of those killed in the Sept. 11 attacks, will control compensation at seven firms that have received large federal bailouts, including Citigroup, Bank of America, American International Group, General Motors, Chrysler as well as Chrysler Financial and GMAC, which provide loans to auto customers. He will be able to determine salaries, bonuses and retirement packages for all executive officers and the 100 most highly paid employees at each company.
He will also have the authority to set overall compensation, but not precise salary levels, for firms that have received smaller bailouts. The goal, officials said, is to curb the practice of tying pay to performance in a way that induces traders and executives to take big risks. Feinberg can also decide whether executives who have received what he considers excessive compensation should return some of that money.
For months companies have awaited clarification of the compensation restrictions imposed on recipients of bailout money. In February, the administration said it planned to limit salaries to $500,000 at banks that have taken "exceptional assistance." In addition, any bonuses would have to be paid in stock and could not be cashed in until after the government was repaid.
Later that month, Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) wrote legislation that trumped those efforts and capped bonuses at one-third of executives' salaries. The new law applied only to firms that took bailout funds after Feb. 11.
Dodd's maneuver upset some Obama officials because his amendment and the administration's earlier guidance together curbed pay more than the White House intended. The officials began to worry that firms would drop out of government rescue programs or lose talented employees.
As a result, the administration announced yesterday that most firms receiving federal bailouts will face a limit on bonuses but not on salaries. For companies that accepted less than $500 million, the restriction would apply only to top executives. For those receiving more, the limit would also apply to 20 other top earners at each firm.
The response yesterday from industry and business experts varied widely. Some faulted the government for meddling in the private sector while others said the proposed changes were needed but may not prompt real reform. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who leads the House Financial Services Committee, said the measures did not go far enough and plans to introduce legislation directing the SEC to outline guidelines for how compensation committees should determine pay.
Under the Obama plan, members of these committees would not be able to accept fees from their respective firms other than what they make for serving on the panels. Attorneys or consultants that help members in their work must be hired by and report to the committee rather than a chief executive.
Administration officials said they also hoped their efforts would pressure firms to rein in lavish pay by giving shareholders the right to vote on an executive's overall compensation package. This proposal, know as say-on-pay, would be nonbinding.
Some analysts warned that the vote wouldn't be taken seriously by companies because it is only advisory. About two dozen firms allow say-on-pay, and in no case has a proposed pay package been rejected by shareholders. "Will companies treat this as a compliance exercise they're being forced to do or will they embrace the process? It's an open question," said Patrick McGurn, a compensation expert at RiskMetrics, which advises big investors. "We hope it goes into the direction of an annual constructive dialogue on pay issues."
The proposal could give could give large investors such as mutual funds, pension funds and labor union retirement funds greater influence in expressing opinions on compensation. Administration officials said they hope companies will consult investors in designing pay packages.
President Obama proposed legislation to advance say-on-pay when he was in the Senate in 2007, but the bill stalled after facing stiff opposition from the Bush administration and big corporations.
The Obama administration cited Britain's say-on-pay legislation, enacted in 2002, as a model yesterday. A Harvard Business School study of the initiative found this year that it failed to curb pay among top executives at companies but succeeded at pressuring companies to scale back severance packages for executives whose companies fared poorly, according to Fabrizio Ferri, the professor who conducted the study.
Original at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/10/AR2009061001416_pf.html
During his White House years, William Jefferson Clinton -- someone Judge Sonia Sotomayor might call a "white male" -- was dubbed "America's first black president" by a black admirer. Applying the standard of identity politics and pandering to a special interest that earned Mr. Clinton that distinction, Barack Hussein Obama would have to be considered America's first Muslim president.
This is not to say, necessarily, that Mr. Obama actually is a Muslim any more than Mr. Clinton actually is black. After his five months in office, and most especially after his just-concluded visit to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, however, a stunning conclusion seems increasingly plausible: The man now happy to have his Islamic-rooted middle name featured prominently has engaged in the most consequential bait-and-switch since Adolf Hitler duped Neville Chamberlain over Czechoslovakia at Munich.
What little we know about Mr. Obama's youth certainly suggests that he not only had a Kenyan father who was Muslim, but spent his early, formative years as one in Indonesia. As the president likes to say, "much has been made" -- in this case by him and his campaign handlers -- of the fact that he became a Christian as an adult in Chicago, under the now-notorious Pastor Jeremiah A. Wright.
With Mr. Obama's unbelievably ballyhooed address in Cairo Thursday to what he calls "the Muslim world" (hereafter known as "the Speech"), there is mounting evidence that the president not only identifies with Muslims, but actually may still be one himself. Consider the following indicators:
• Mr. Obama referred four times in his speech to "the Holy Koran." Non-Muslims -- even pandering ones -- generally don't use that Islamic formulation.
• Mr. Obama established his firsthand knowledge of Islam (albeit without mentioning his reported upbringing in the faith) with the statement, "I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed." Again, "revealed" is a depiction Muslims use to reflect their conviction that the Koran is the word of God, as dictated to Muhammad.
• Then the president made a statement no believing Christian -- certainly not one versed, as he professes to be, in the ways of Islam -- would ever make. In the context of what he euphemistically called the "situation between Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs," Mr. Obama said he looked forward to the day ". . . when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them) joined in prayer."
Now, the term "peace be upon them" is invoked by Muslims as a way of blessing deceased holy men. According to Islam, that is what all three were - dead prophets. Of course, for Christians, Jesus is the living and immortal Son of God.
In the final analysis, it may be beside the point whether Mr. Obama actually is a Muslim. In the Speech and elsewhere, he has aligned himself with adherents to what authoritative Islam calls Shariah -- notably, the dangerous global movement known as the Muslim Brotherhood -- to a degree that makes Mr. Clinton's fabled affinity for blacks pale by comparison.
For example, Mr. Obama has -- from literally his inaugural address onward -- inflated the numbers and, in that way and others, exaggerated the contemporary and historical importance of Muslim-Americans in the United States. In the Speech, he used the Brotherhood's estimates of "nearly 7 million Muslims" in this country, at least twice the estimates from other, more reputable sources. (Who knows? By the time Mr. Obama's friends in the radical Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) perpetrate their trademark books-cooking as deputy 2010 census takers, the official count may well claim considerably more than 7 million Muslims are living here.)
Even more troubling were the commitments the president made in Cairo to promote Islam in America. For instance, he declared: "I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear." He vowed to ensure that women can cover their heads, including, presumably, when having their photographs taken for passports, driver's licenses or other identification purposes. He also pledged to enable Muslims to engage in zakat, their faith's requirement for tithing, even though four of the eight types of charity called for by Shariah can be associated with terrorism. Not surprisingly, a number of Islamic "charities" in this country have been convicted of providing material support for terrorism.
Particularly worrying is the realignment Mr. Obama has announced in U.S. policy toward Israel. While he pays lip service to the "unbreakable" bond between America and the Jewish state, the president has unmistakably signaled that he intends to compel the Israelis to make territorial and other strategic concessions to Palestinians to achieve the hallowed two-state solution. In doing so, he ignores the inconvenient fact that both the Brotherhood's Hamas and Abu Mazen's Fatah remain determined to achieve a one-state solution, whereby the Jews will be driven "into the sea."
Whether Mr. Obama actually is a Muslim or simply plays one in the presidency may, in the end, be irrelevant. What is alarming is that in aligning himself and his policies with those of Shariah-adherents such as the Muslim Brotherhood, the president will greatly intensify the already enormous pressure on peaceful, tolerant American Muslims to submit to such forces - and heighten expectations, here and abroad, that the rest of us will do so as well.
Original at: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jun/09/americas-first-muslim-president/?feat=article_top10_read