The Mask Falls Off

It’s official. Obama hates the military and he’s not even trying to hide it anymore.

Obama’s War With the Pentagon

James Jones is out as national security adviser; Tom Donilon is in. What does it mean? Among other things, that we may be headed for one of the greatest civilian-military showdowns in decades.

If you haven’t read Bob Woodward or Jonathan Alter’s accounts of Obama administration Afghan policy, here are the CliffsNotes: Since the moment Obama took office, the military, led by David Petraeus, has been pushing for a full-on counterinsurgency effort. In other words, a lot of troops for a very long time. Obama, from the start, has resisted, raising awkward questions about why we’re expending massive amounts of blood and treasure in Afghanistan when Pakistan is the country that really matters. Vice President Biden has gone further, warning that given the mind-boggling corruption of Hamid Karzai’s regime, committing to an Afghan counterinsurgency war would be lunacy.

This policy struggle has not been waged according to the Marquis of Queensbury rules. The White House believes the military brass is blind to America’s crushing financial constraints and the public’s eroding support for the war. The military believes the White House cares more about domestic politics than national security. The White House believes the military keeps screwing the president by telling reporters and Republicans that we need more troops for a longer time, thus forcing Obama’s hand.

General Jones was chosen, in part, because Obama knew this fight was coming. He wanted someone who could communicate with the generals and keep them from knifing him in the back. Jones didn’t entirely succeed in that effort, which is one reason people in the White House never embraced him as one of their own. But if Jones was unable or unwilling to extinguish the flames of civil-military conflict, Donilon is the political equivalent of dousing them with gasoline.

See also:
Commander-in-Chief Obama Fights Pentagon
Tom Donilon’s Revolving Door
Departing National Security Adviser Leaves Mixed Reviews
A Political Hack and Fannie Mae Democrat
Hope is not a strategy: James Jones
10 reasons to be worried as Tom Donilon, Afghan war sceptic & desk-bound foe of US military, gets top foreign policy job
The declinists win
Gates in 2010: Donilon Would Be a “disaster” as National Security Adviser; Jones: Donilon Has “No Credibility With the Military”
Woodward: Gates Thinks Donilon A “Disaster”
Gates downplays quoted objection to Obama adviser

This move proves that if Obama could snap his fingers and eliminate the U.S. military, he would do so without hesitation.

/this does not bode well for our brave troops in harm’s way, fighting the Taliban is hard enough, they shouldn’t also have to fight their commander in chief

Advertisements

Recovery Summer My Ass!

For weeks now, all the economic data have painted a grim picture of an economy that’s rapidly grinding to a halt. And yet Obama, Biden, and the rest of the Clown Car Club Democrats swear up and down, with supposedly straight faces, that the economy is turning around and is headed in the right direction. Either they’re deliberately lying or they’re incompetently insane, take your pick.

/Michael Ramirez

‘Recovery Summer’ goes bust

Declaring a “Recovery Summer” victory tour at the start of June must have looked like a pretty safe wager for the Obama administration. The economy seemed to have shifted firmly into gear during spring. Lawrence Summers, director of the National Economic Council, told the Financial Times in early April that the economy was “moving toward escape velocity. You hear a lot less talk of ‘W’-shaped recoveries and double-dips than you did six months ago.”

A big reason for White House optimism was a stronger job market. The economy added an average of 320,000 net new jobs a month during March, April and May, about half of them in the private sector. Granted, the unemployment rate still hovered close to 10 percent. But if the economy kept growing at a 3 percent annual clip or greater — creating lots and lots of new jobs in the process — unemployment would eventually fall, perhaps dramatically.

Since then, however, the economy has fallen back to Earth, and “Recovery Summer” looks more like a bad bet. Private sector job growth has fallen by two-thirds, and the unemployment rate is still at a sky-high 9.5 percent. And if the size of the U.S. work force, as measured by the Labor Department, had stayed constant since April — instead of shrinking by a million — the unemployment rate would be 10.4 percent. Jobless claims are at their highest level since February. Worse yet, the expansion is decelerating. After growing by 5.7 percent in the final quarter of 2009 and 3.7 percent in the first quarter of 2010, gross domestic product advanced by just 2.4 percent from April through June, according to the Commerce Department.

See also:
White House’s ‘recovery summer’ could be slipping away
Grim jobs report undercuts talk of a recovery
GOP Targets Obama’s ‘Recovery Summer’ Amid Economic Gloom
The recovery is losing steam, fast
Doubt keeps people from investing
Recovery a job killer on Highway 66
Obama’s Economic Recovery Hits a Snag

So, what’s Obama’s plan to restore positive economic momentum, where’s the leadership? Aside from blaming Bush, who left office a year and a half ago, and the Republicans at every opportunity, it appears Obama doesn’t have a plan, he’s AWOL on the economy, he has no idea what to do or what needs to be done. In fact, all the policy he has so far foisted upon the country has been economically counterproductive and has created nothing but market confusion and uncertainty.

/I think Obama needs another vacation, don’t you think he’s earned it?

Boring Iran Into Submission With Failed Empty Rhetoric

It’s deja vu over and over and over again, like approaching infifnity, we never seem to actually get there. Yawn, all the usual boring, milquetoast suspects.

US working on ‘tough’ Iran sanctions

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Washington is holding talks with its partners to impose tough new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.

Clinton also accused Iran of defying the international community.

“Iran’s continued disregard for its international obligations underscores the importance of united international pressure to change its policies,” Reuters quoted Clinton as saying on Tuesday.

“The United States is working with our partners… on tough new sanctions that will further sharpen the choices that Iran’s leaders face,” she added.

On Monday, US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley confirmed that a flurry of telephone conversations on Iran between Clinton and world leaders, including her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, had taken place over the weekend.

The US is spearheading a campaign to impose a new round of sanctions on Iran, despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has never found a shred of evidence indicating that the Islamic Republic has had any diversion in its peaceful nuclear program.

Tehran has repeatedly declared that it will not relinquish the inalienable nuclear rights of the Iranian nation under Western pressure.

See also:
U.S. seeks tough sanctions on Iran: Clinton
Clinton: U.S. seeks new ‘tough’ Iran sanctions
Clinton: US seeks ‘tough’ Iran sanctions
Biden: China will agree to Iran sanctions
Biden Expects New UN Sanctions Against Iran
President Obama predicts ‘strong, tough’ Iran sanctions
Iran nuclear program: On sanctions, Congress ahead of Obama
Clinton: Iran Should Direct Concerns to IAEA
Iran hardliner issues Strait of Hormuz warning to U.S.
Iran FM hopeful for nuke fuel deal, no sanctions
Clinton Says Iran Still Hasn’t Accepted Fuel Swap Deal, Sanctions “Sometime in the Spring”
Even as momentum for Iran sanctions grows, containment seems only viable option

How’s that Obama “smart diplomacy” working out? One day China’s on board, next day Russia’s on board, but yet new sanctions on Iran never materialize. It’s a big international joke and China, Iran, and Russia are laughing their collective asses off at our expense.

/alright, back in the clown car all you Obama administration clowns, bad comedy is not foreign policy

Happy First Birthday “Stimulus”!

The “stimulus” worked exactly as intended. What, you didn’t think it was supposed to create jobs, did you?

/Michael Ramirez

Why Defend The Failed Stimulus?

Recovery: Is the president right when he says the stimulus kept the U.S. from falling into a depression? No. In fact, too much government tinkering and spending, not too little, has given us the jobless recovery we have now.

Democrats in charge of both the White House and Congress are firing all their guns at once to tout the benefits of the $862 billion stimulus package passed a year ago this week. They’ve even planned a 35-city tour to support it. Their message?

“One year later, it is largely thanks to the recovery act that a second depression is no longer a possibility,” President Obama said Wednesday. The stimulus act has created 2 million jobs, he claimed, predicting 1.5 million more this year from the program.

Is it just a coincidence that the 3.5 million jobs he is claiming is exactly what the White House predicted early last year? We doubt it. But whatever the case, Obama’s claims are false.

Start with this: Stimulus didn’t save us from an economic cataclysm. Obama himself said so back in March, noting that the economy was “not as bad as we think,” and that he was “highly optimistic.” It’s clear he didn’t think we were on the brink of a Depression.

He was right. In an editorial at the time, we pointed to 13 separate economic indicators signaling an imminent economic recovery — with all of them flashing before the stimulus was in place.

We knew at the time that our resilient private economy would climb out of its hole, and that politicians would try to claim credit. That’s why we wrote: “No politician who voted for these job- and growth-killing measures should claim any credit for our eventual rebound.” Following Wednesday’s fact-bending dog-and-pony show, we think that bears repeating.

The claim that stimulus has “created or saved” 2 million jobs is complete fiction. It rests on the obviously false idea that money can be taken from the productive private sector and given to the nonproductive public sector and create a net gain in jobs.

Based on the imaginary existence of a so-called “Keynesian multiplier,” this kind of thinking hypothesizes jobs that don’t really exist. Sadly, when we count actual jobs, the reality is a bit starker: 8.4 million jobs lost since December 2007, the start of the recession. And more than 4 million lost since the start of 2009.

So when Vice President Biden says Americans are “getting their money’s worth” from stimulus, it should be treated as a punch line — not a policy view.

Hey “Gordon Gecko” Obama, why do you need to wreck this country?

/because it’s wreckable, alright!

Better Than Nothing

There’s little argument that the reliability of the U.S. nuclear arsenal is questionable and needs to be addressed. All our nuclear warheads are at least 20 years old and some date back to the 1970s. None of them have been tested since 1992. Nuclear warheads are complex systems and, unless it’s certain that they’ll operate as intended, they’re not an effective deterrent.

In my opinion, the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) program is the obvious and preferred solution to the nuclear arsenal reliability question. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates agrees. However, because of Obama and his administration’s vehement antipathy to nuclear weapons in general, the RRW program is dead in the water. So, for now, I guess we should be grateful that it looks like the Obama administration might be prepared to do something, albeit grudgingly, to address the U.S. nuclear arsenal reliability problem.

2011 U.S. Budget to Fund Refurbishing of Nukes

A reliable replacement for the now-dead Reliable Replacement Warhead program will be funded in U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposed 2011 budget, said the woman most responsible for killing the RRW in 2008.

Ellen Tauscher, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, said the budget Obama plans to send to Congress Feb. 2 includes “very crucial investment” in the Stockpile Management program. She declined to disclose specific dollar amounts.

Stockpile Management will do what RRW was supposed to do, Tauscher told defense reporters on Jan. 13.

Just three years ago, Tauscher led successful efforts to kill the RRW. At the time, she was a congresswoman from California and chairman of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee. Her subcommittee blocked funding for the program in the 2007 and 2008 Defense Authorization Acts.

Tauscher left Congress and joined the Obama administration last June.

The Stockpile Management program would permit the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to “refurbish” aging nuclear warheads to ensure that they still work and are safe, Tauscher said. During refurbishment, features could be added to the warheads to make them theft-proof and more environmentally friendly, she said.

But the warheads cannot be “improved” in the sense that they are made into more effective weapons, and they cannot be tested by exploding sample warheads.

That is essentially what was intended with the RRW, Tauscher said.

But the RRW evolved into “a toxic concept” after officials in the Bush administration touted it as a program to improve existing warheads, Tauscher said.

“We don’t want people believing that we expect to go out and build new weapons,” she said. Thus the RRW program became “dangerous” when it came to be perceived as a program to “modernize” rather than “refurbish” warheads.

“We had to get rid of RRW,” Tauscher said. The perception that the United States was improving its nuclear arsenal undermined U.S. efforts to convince non-nuclear countries not to seek nuclear weapons and to encourage nuclear-armed nations to shrink their inventories.

Under the Stockpile Management program, the NNSA would maintain the nuclear stockpile without adding to its capabilities, without testing and “without causing people to be concerned about what we are doing,” Tauscher said.

Stockpile Management would provide for a “safe, reliable and effective stockpile until we can get to nuclear zero,” she said.

Projecting the proper nuclear image is critical to advancing Obama’s nuclear disarmament goals, she said.

See also:
Obama to seek major increase in nuclear weapons funding
Obama to boost spending on maintaining nuclear stocks
Obama Administration to Increase Nuclear Spending
Obama to seek more funds to secure N-arsenal
After pledging to ‘reverse’ their spread, Obama increases nuclear weapons budget
The President’s Nuclear Vision
Biden Sends A Message On Nukes
Debate heats up on Obama’s nuclear agenda
Nuclear Bomb Update Effort Slowed by Posture Review, Science Studies
No Nukes . . . For US

/as Reagan said, trust but verify, let’s see what happens to this modest proposal when Obama’s budget hits Congress

And In The Senate Corner . . . Weighing In At 2074 Pages . . . The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

From behind the closed doors of Harry Reid’s office, submitted for your perusal . . .

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Put on your hip waders, this jabberwocky assault on American health care is longer than the first four Harry Potter books combined, only without the magic or entertainment value.

Senate Health Bill Is Outlined by Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid outlined for Democrats Wednesday a ten-year $849 billion bill that would overhaul the nation’s health-care system and extend insurance to 31 million Americans without coverage.

The legislation represents the Nevada Democrat’s first attempt to build consensus among Senate Democratic liberals and centrists, as well as the two independents allied with the party.

A senior Senate Democratic leadership aide said the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated the bill, after it is implemented, would ensure that 94% of those living in the U.S., not counting unauthorized immigrants, have insurance coverage. CBO has previously estimated that about 83% of Americans now have insurance.

The aide said the CBO estimated that the Senate measure would reduce the federal budget deficit by $127 billion over the next decade, and by $650 billion over the second ten years of the program. In part, the bill achieves that reduction through new taxes on Medicare and high-value insurance plans.

The 10-year price tag comes in below the $900 billion limit set by the White House and below the $1.055 trillion cost of the health-overhaul passed by the House earlier this month.

The $849 billion figure and the prospect of deficit reduction cheered Democrats. But the figures aren’t likely to win over Republicans, who say the bill adds costly new benefits for some Americans when the federal budget deficit is reaching new heights.

“We’re going to do everything we can to defeat this monstrosity,” said Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.).

Among other things, the Senate legislation would create a new government-run health insurance plan to compete with private insurers, while allowing states the option not to participate. That is a nod to centrists worried about the federal government’s growing footprint in the private sector.

The bill would also create government subsidies to help individuals and families comply with a mandate to buy insurance, and would sharply expand Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor.

Mr. Reid’s decision to unveil a bill sets the stage for a pivotal vote, perhaps Friday or Saturday, that will determine whether the Senate can formally open debate on the bill. Mr. Reid, who met Wednesday with Vice President Joseph Biden, has voiced optimism that he can secure the votes needed to overcome Republican opposition and move to the debate. But with the outcome uncertain, the coming vote looms large as the first of several over the next month that will test Mr. Reid’s ability to hold together liberals and centrists.

See also:
Senate Democrats introduce $849 billion healthcare reform bill
Reid Unveils Senate Healthcare Bill
Senate Democrats’ Health Care Bill Will Cost $849 Billion
Senate’s health care bill cost: $849 billion
Senate health bottom line: $849 billion overhaul
Senate healthcare bill hits Obama cost target
Reid bill would cost $849B, expand coverage to 31 million people, aide says
Senate Health Plan Seeks to Add Coverage to 31 Million
$849 billion health bill sets up historic debate
Johnson, Thune On Senate Health Care Reform
New Senate Healthcare Reform Bill Features Public Option With Opt-Out
US Senate health plan includes public option-senator
Senate Health Care Bill: $370+ Billion Tax Hike
2,074-page health bill includes surgery, payroll tax hike
Stupak Abortion Measure Stopped…for the Moment
Senate Democrats backing down on tough anti-abortion measure
Senator: Pro-Life Side Lacks Votes to Stop Abortion Funding in Health Care
Stupak: I have votes to defeat health bill
DeGette says Stupak won’t have the votes to keep his amendment
Senate, House Democratic health bills compared
In The House Corner . . . Weighing In At 1990 Pages . . . The Affordable Health Care For America Act

/here we go, pass the popcorn

Are You Listening President Obama?

The American people have figured out that the $1 trillion (with interest) worth of “stimulus” isn’t doing anything to help the economy and is nothing more than wasteful spending on Democrat pet projects that we couldn’t afford in the first place.

45% Say Cancel Rest of Stimulus Spending

Forty-five percent (45%) of Americans say the rest of the new government spending authorized in the $787-billion economic stimulus plan should now be canceled. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 36% disagree and 20% are not sure.

According to news reports, only $36 billion of the stimulus plan had been spent as of late May.

Just 20% of adults say the tax cuts included in the stimulus plan should be canceled while 55% disagree. The stimulus plan includes $288 billion in tax cuts.

While there is a wide partisan gap on the question of stimulus spending, there is little partisan disagreement on maintaining the tax cuts.

President Obama on Monday vowed to speed up the pace of stimulus spending and said the money will help “create or save” 600,000 more jobs this summer.

However, only 31% of Americans believe the new government spending in the stimulus package creates new jobs. Forty-eight percent (48%) say the stimulus spending does not create jobs, and 21% are not sure.

Americans have mixed feelings about whether speeding up the new government spending in the stimulus package will help the economy. Thirty-nine percent (39%) say the increased spending will be good for the economy, but 44% say it will be bad. Eight percent (8%) think it will have no impact.

A plurality of government employees believe speeding up the stimulus will be good for the economy. However, those who work in the private sector strongly disagree.

See also:
Poll: 45 Pct of Americans Want to Cancel Rest of Stimulus
Poll: 45 Percent Say Cancel Stimulus Spending
Public Wants Wasteful Stimulus Package Canceled
45% Of Americans Say Cancel The Rest Of The “Stimulus” Spending Spree
Brit Hume Explains Why the Economic Stimulus Is Not Working
Where’s The Stimulus And Why Do We Need Any More Of It Anyway?

Of course, since the “stimulus” isn’t doing any good, the prudent, fiscally responsible thing to do would be to cancel what’s not spent already, especially since we couldn’t afford it in the first place. The people can see right through this sham and the polls are showing it. But since Obama doesn’t care about the people or fiscal responsibility, he just promised to spend the “stimulus” faster.

Obama confronts doubts on stimulus, vows faster spending

His assertions — that 150,000 jobs have been saved or created already, and that the summer goal is 600,000 more — appear to be elastic and are hard to verify.

President Obama billed it as an adrenaline jolt — a $787-billion stimulus package that not only would put people back to work, but also underwrite construction and energy projects the country had long neglected.

But with the economy still sputtering and some experts doubting the program was meeting its goals, Obama vowed Monday to accelerate stimulus spending with the goal of creating or saving 600,000 jobs by summer’s end.

Ooh, he’s going to “create or save” 600,000 jobs. Has he looked at the unemployment rate lately?

Unemployment rate is a wake-up call

Jobless claims in America rose to 9.4 percent in May, the highest jobless claims rate in 25 years. In response to the report, Vice President Joe Biden called the numbers “encouraging.” One in 10 Americans without work is hardly encouraging, especially after a massive $800 billion stimulus that was supposed to put Americans back to work.

Ahead of the stimulus vote, economic advisers to the president and vice president warned that without the money contained in the bill, unemployment would reach 9 percent. Republicans offered amendments and alternatives to speed infrastructure spending and tax relief to help businesses expand and hire to get Americans working again.

However, congressional Democrats scoffed at the idea that their plan would not act quickly enough and passed the package they said would turn the economy around fast.

See also:
Meet the new stimulus, same as the old
Obama repackages stimulus plans with old promises
26-Year High Unemployment Rate Contradicts White House Stimulus Claims

So, the reality is that there are many more people unemployed now than the day the “stimulus” bill was signed into law. In fact, there’s no evidence whatsoever that the “stimulus” bill has “created or saved” a single job!

The Media Fall for Phony ‘Jobs’ Claims

Tony Fratto is envious.

Mr. Fratto was a colleague of mine in the Bush administration, and as a senior member of the White House communications shop, he knows just how difficult it can be to deal with a press corps skeptical about presidential economic claims. It now appears, however, that Mr. Fratto’s problem was that he simply lacked the magic words — jobs “saved or created.”

“Saved or created” has become the signature phrase for Barack Obama as he describes what his stimulus is doing for American jobs. His latest invocation came yesterday, when the president declared that the stimulus had already saved or created at least 150,000 American jobs — and announced he was ramping up some of the stimulus spending so he could “save or create” an additional 600,000 jobs this summer. These numbers come in the context of an earlier Obama promise that his recovery plan will “save or create three to four million jobs over the next two years.”

Mr. Fratto sees a double standard at play. “We would never have used a formula like ‘save or create,'” he tells me. “To begin with, the number is pure fiction — the administration has no way to measure how many jobs are actually being ‘saved.’ And if we had tried to use something this flimsy, the press would never have let us get away with it.”

Of course, the inability to measure Mr. Obama’s jobs formula is part of its attraction. Never mind that no one — not the Labor Department, not the Treasury, not the Bureau of Labor Statistics — actually measures “jobs saved.” As the New York Times delicately reports, Mr. Obama’s jobs claims are “based on macroeconomic estimates, not an actual counting of jobs.” Nice work if you can get away with it.

And get away with it he has. However dubious it may be as an economic measure, as a political formula “save or create” allows the president to invoke numbers that convey an illusion of precision. Harvard economist and former Bush economic adviser Greg Mankiw calls it a “non-measurable metric.” And on his blog, he acknowledges the political attraction.

“The expression ‘create or save,’ which has been used regularly by the President and his economic team, is an act of political genius,” writes Mr. Mankiw. “You can measure how many jobs are created between two points in time. But there is no way to measure how many jobs are saved. Even if things get much, much worse, the President can say that there would have been 4 million fewer jobs without the stimulus.”

Amidst Questions About Their Numbers, White House Says Stimulus Will Save or Create 600,000 Jobs in the Next 100 Days

The administration last month claimed that 150,000 jobs had already been saved or created due to the stimulus bill, though that number is based on a theoretical projection and not an actual count.

As ABC News’ David Kerley points out, last week Keith Hall, the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, told a House subcommittee that he could not substantiate the claim.

“No,” Hall said. “That would be a very difficult thing for anybody to substantiate…We’re busy just counting jobs.”

See also:
Obama’s Stats On Jobs Created, Saved ‘Silly’: Expert
“Create or Save”
Obama’s Preposterous ‘Create or Save’ Jobs Promise Was Never Uttered During the Campaign
Create-or-save — Anyone can play
Obama to “Create or Save” Jobs?

In other words, Obama is just pulling random numbers out of his ass and making [expletive deleted] up. The bottom line is that we can’t afford the “stimulus”, the “stimulus” hasn’t done anything to stimulate the economy and hasn’t “saved or created” a single job, except in Obama’s imagination. And yet, despite the usless “stimulus” spending, the U.S. economy is climbing out of the latest recession all by itself, as part of a global recovery.

The American people, armed with these facts, can see straight through the unaffordaable, useless, wasteful “stimulus” program and the polls are showing they collectively realize that the only prudent, fiscally responsible thing to do is to cancel the rest of the stimulus now.

Are you listening to the American people President Obama? They’re trying to tell you something important.

/CANCEL THE REST OF THE UNECESSARY, DEBT ALBATROSS, PORK “STIMULUS” SPENDING, CANCEL IT NOW!