by John Hawkins at Townhall.com
Most liberals in this country are intellectually dishonest which is why they don’t have the slightest qualms about grotesque double standards. That’s why Al Gore can live in a mansion that consumes energy like a football stadium while he tells you to cut back. It’s why Sarah Palin can be sliced apart for things said by Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live while Joe Biden is treated seriously despite being the biggest doofus ever to occupy the Vice-Presidency. It’s also why Barack Obama gets a free pass for many of the same things that George Bush was criticized for doing. Here are just a few of the criticisms aimed at George Bush that could be better applied to Barack Obama.
Barack Obama is a chickenhawk: How often did we hear liberals sneer that George Bush was a chickenhawk? How could someone who had never served in combat lead America as Commander-in-Chief?
Well, excuse me for noticing, but George Bush did at least fly planes for the National Guard. On the other hand, despite the fact that Barack Obama never served at all, he’s fighting the same two wars that Bush did in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is even ramping things up in Afghanistan while simultaneously forcing our troops to engage in combat under onerous new rules of engagement that will make it much tougher on our soldiers. Guess it’s easy for a chickenhawk like Obama to handcuff our troops going into battle when he has never been into combat himself.
by Fred Barnes at The Weekly Standard
First President Bush, then President Obama poured billions into General Motors and Chrysler to keep the companies alive but barely breathing. That was just for starters. Next came Obama’s creation of an Auto Task Force to oversee the auto companies. To head the task force, the president picked Steve Rattner, a Wall Street investor with no experience in automaking but lots in raising campaign money for Obama and Democrats.
GM and Chrysler were quickly restructured, mostly to the benefit of the United Auto Workers, the union which spent millions in 2008 to elect Obama and Democrats. The UAW now owns 17.5 percent of GM and 55 percent of Chrysler–quite a return on an investment of zero dollars. Obama said all parties should “sacrifice,” but only bondholders did. They got a fraction of what they were legally entitled to receive. UAW retirees, in contrast, got a gift of $9.5 billion at GM and $14.2 billion at Chrysler.
There’s an epilogue. Delphi, the auto parts manufacturer once owned by GM and still its biggest supplier, has been in bankruptcy for four years. To acquire its assets and run the company, Delphi and Obama’s Auto Task Force picked an affiliate of the private equity firm Platinum Equity. There was no auction or competitive bidding, though Platinum stands to make millions in the deal. Why Platinum? The UAW favored it, sources said.
There’s a name for all this: crony capitalism. Obama insists he believes in capitalism, but it’s not the free market variety that he’s been promoting since he became president. Obamanomics is a different strain entirely.
At least that appears to be what the Obama administration is thinking now.
When this morning I read the President is now weighing the option of indefinitely detaining terror suspects I was taken aback. Wasn’t this man the same who, as a presidential candidate, steadfastly opposed every part of Bush’s strategy of dealing with detainees at Guantanamo? Who decried every action Bush took?
Responding to the McCain campaign’s criticism of his desire to extend constitutional protections to the residents of Gitmo in June 2008, Obama stated “…and I think, in fact, it’s the failed policies of the Bush administration and the unwillingness to look towards the future that is causing us so many problems around the world.” He was implying, of course, that Bush’s policies on the treatment of terror suspects jeopardized national security by creating anti-American sentiment around the world.
Now he’s going to continue a policy he so long denounced.
But this isn’t the only issue where Obama’s flipped to support a previously abhorred Bush policy now that he’s occupying the White House.
Late last month Obama was aboard a fast train Hell-bent to release more photos of detainee “abuse,” but switched yesterday when he announced the release of the photos would “…further inflame anti-American opinion, and to put our troops in greater danger.”
Too bad his mind wasn’t changed before the release of the so-called “torture” memos. Just four days prior to his reversal on releasing the aforementioned photos, he justified the release of the previously classified memos by claiming it would make the world like us more and we would therefore be more safe.
Photos bad, memos good according to Obama. A little contradictory, no?
Don’t forget his reversal on military tribunals either.
From the February 13, 2008 SFGate.com article on the pros and cons of tribunals in the cases of 6 terror suspects who faced the death penalty: “Obama said the men should be tried either in a U.S. criminal court or by military court-martial, either of which would ‘demonstrate our commitment to the rule of law.’ Both those systems are more protective of defendants’ rights than military tribunals, which allow evidence obtained through coercion and hearsay.”
Well, he didn’t really mean all that. Earlier this month, news broke that Obama’s going to fire the tribunal machine back up again. According to the NY Times, “The Obama administration is moving toward reviving the military commission system…” and “the first public moves could come as soon as next week.”
You remember, the tribunals that denied due process to those poor guys at Gitmo who chop off people’s heads and fly planes into buildings.
So, Obama’s general frame of mind when the Bush administration ran the tribunals was that they were bad, really bad. Not only did they fail to protect the rights of folks who…oh…cut of American’s heads on camera and kill thousands by flying planes into buildings, but they made other terrorists mad at us.
Now that he’s getting his mail at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., military tribunals are just what we need.
Something changed his mind. Maybe he thinks his middle name will make the tribunals more palatable to radical Islamic terrorists?
This adoption of Bush policies opposed by Obama on the campaign trail appears to be a developing habit. Keep your fingers crossed and maybe he’ll adopt one more and keep Gitmo open since no other country seems to want the abused terror suspects and we certainly don’t want them here.
Okay, that may be too much wishful thinking.
But, with so much of Obama’s change so closely resembling Bush policy in this arena, Obama supporters might just have to admit that maybe Bush was right on Gitmo and the detainees all along.
What a difference a couple of years (and a new President) make in the headlines of the NY Times. Two stories, two years apart, telling similar stories. One is dated May 13, 2007, the other May 7, 2009. Both stories detail the precarious situation for US and NATO forces in Afghanistan resulting from mounting civilian casualties, but one headline is far more benign than the other. Can you guess which story is the former, and which is the latter?
Notice how the second headline intentionally omits the word “death,” opting instead for the less graphic “toll.” Also note that nothing in the second creates a vision of the strain placed on US and allied forces as civilians perish, though the first conjures up the idea of a practically unwinnable battle.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the second article was published today with Obama as Commander-in-Chief, the first was written when Bush occupied the Oval Office.
The obvious bias that softened the NY Times coverage of civilian casualties is further illustrated by the prose buried in the articles, both co-written by Carlotta Gall.
The earlier article was written in response to “scores of civilian deaths over the past months” while the second follows on the heels of American airstrikes that “had killed dozens and perhaps more than 100 civilians” in one village in one day. Though the more massive, destructive, and deadly one day bombardment would almost certainly provoke a much greater fury than the smaller attacks spread across several months, the headlines give the opposite impression. A villager described the more recent attacks saying, “It would scare a man if he saw it in a dream.” From the earlier story, ” ‘We are not saying that the foreigners should leave or stay, we are just saying they should not do this,’ said a farmer, Fateh Muhammad, 55, gesturing with his scythe at an enormous bomb crater and his neighbor’s collapsed house. He showed the place where two of his neighbors had been killed in a field nearby.“
Comparing these two quotes, most would certainly expect the latest story to follow the more emotional headline. But there’s more.
From the earlier story, “Since the beginning of March at least 132 civilians have been killed in at least six bombings or shootings, according to officials. The actual number of civilians killed is probably higher,* since the areas of heaviest fighting, like the southern province of Helmand, are too unsafe for travel and many deaths go unreported and cannot be verified.” In the more recent article, “American airstrikes that Afghan officials and villagers said Wednesday had killed dozens and perhaps more than 100 civilians…If the higher toll proves true,* the bombardment, which took place late Monday, will almost certainly be the worst in terms of civilian deaths since the American intervention began in 2001.” (emphasis added)*
Notice the difference of the approach taken in these two articles, by the same reporter.
Under President Bush, the Times’ reporter assumed the death toll was higher than reported, but went out of her way to imply the number of civilians killed under President Obama was lower than reported. The first article also claims “nearly half” the civilian deaths in airstrikes on one village were women and children, but the second makes no mention of women and children among the dead.
I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to believe that an attack on a village resulting in such a huge number of dead civilians somehow managed to avoid killing any women and children.
It’s clear this reporter now writes in a completely different tone than she did when Bush was President, and it’s also apparent the Times’ editors now put a different spin on similar stories with their headlines.
Note: In no way should this article be construed as a criticism of US or allied forces in Afghanistan. As a USMC veteran, I realize and understand that collateral damage occurs in any war. I also firmly believe that anytime US forces are placed in harm’s way, such collateral damage should not in any way reflect badly on them. This article is solely intended to shed light on the obvious bias present at the supposedly objective NY Times.
You would have thought General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner would have learned a little about the value of PR last November. Flying to DC to beg for taxpayer money aboard a private jet almost cost him and the other little piggies their bailout cash. Evidently he didn’t learn a thing.
In an announcement at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show today, Little Piggy Wagoner announced that GM would bypass an American supplier to spend our money in Korea. The battery cells for GM’s long overdue Chevy Volt, will be purchased from LG Chem in Korea. LG Chem and Massachussetts based A123 Systems/Continental were competing for the contract. I wonder what Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) thinks of the bailout now that GM is bypassing a Massachussets company and sending his constituents’ jobs overseas.
Now, I’m a free market/free trade fan and if these were normal times I wouldn’t raise a fuss about this. However, these aren’t normal times and last month’s auto company bailout cast off any semblance of GM operating under free market/free trade principles.
Recall, we were told the bailout of GM and Chrysler was essential to save American jobs and prevent an imminent collapse of our economy if these two went under. In this video, Wagoner claims the bailout will “preserve many jobs, and support the continued operation of GM and the many suppliers, dealers and small businesses across the country that depend on our company and our industry.” The following is a Bush quote from an article in the Dallas Morning News after the bailout was announced. (emphasis added)
“By giving the auto companies a chance to restructure, we will shield the American people from a harsh economic blow at a vulnerable time,” the president said. “And we will give American workers an opportunity to show the world once again that they can meet challenges with ingenuity and determination, and emerge stronger than before.”
This would be understandable if the A123 batteries just couldn’t cut it, but that’s not the case. GM’s vice-chairman, Bob Lutz says the A123 product was “very good.”
That’s not the worst part.
Lutz went on to blame the US government for GM’s choice of a foreign supplier, saying Detroit isn’t the problem, Washington is. His rationale? The US government hasn’t spent enough money on research to develop battery technology. He goes on saying this “is part of the penalty we pay in the U.S. for not having a well-funded R&D budget.”
Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! Can you believe the arrogance of these jerks running GM?
They come begging from us, telling everyone that will listen the US economy is dependent on them and we must fill their coffers to save our jobs, save our economy. Then, they have the gall to send that money overseas and tell us its our fault!
GM management still doesn’t get it. They’re dependent on us, the US taxpayers/consumers. This latest PR boondoggle is going to use up whatever good will the American taxpayer has for this US icon. I’ve bought nothing but GM vehicles for the past 15 years, and now I’ll probably never buy another.
Congress shouldn’t give the idiots running GM another dime. The only hope for this American icon’s survival is bankruptcy. The GM Board of Directors should be ousted for leaving incompetent Little Piggy Wagoner in charge and paying him millions of dollars to lose billions of the company’s money. Wagoner and the rest of GM’s management should be replaced with a team that understands that without customers, there’s no chance of success.
by Stephen Moore on WSJ-Opinion
‘Atlas Shrugged’: From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years
Some years ago when I worked at the libertarian Cato Institute, we used to label any new hire who had not yet read “Atlas Shrugged” a “virgin.” Being conversant in Ayn Rand’s classic novel about the economic carnage caused by big government run amok was practically a job requirement. If only “Atlas” were required reading for every member of Congress and political appointee in the Obama administration. I’m confident that we’d get out of the current financial mess a lot faster.
Many of us who know Rand’s work have noticed that with each passing week, and with each successive bailout plan and economic-stimulus scheme out of Washington, our current politicians are committing the very acts of economic lunacy that “Atlas Shrugged” parodied in 1957, when this 1,000-page novel was first published and became an instant hit.
The new freshman Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican from Utah, will forego the comforts of home while serving in the US House of Representatives. Rather than renting an apartment, he’s decided to sleep on a cot in his office to save money.
“I will save $1,500 a month doing this. I get paid a very handsome salary, no doubt about it, but you know, I’ve got expenses and a future for my kids and my family, too.”–US Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)
In tough economic times, this is leadership by example!
Obama’s on television every day now, claiming that he and big government are our only hope for avoiding economic catastrophe. He wants to spend our way out of this economic downturn with money we don’t have, money (plus interest) our children (and theirs, and theirs, …) will have to repay in the future. He hopes his plan will trade our children’s future economic security for our ability to buy more big screen TV’s, high-priced video games, and $500 telephones.
Throughout American history, most generations strived to create a better future for their children, but Obama wants to sell our children into fiscal slavery so we can have our toys.
This is not to give Bush a pass. Though I supported his tax cuts, I expected spending cuts that never materialized in his administration. Government grew at an alarming rate under his leadership while the MSM and the left labeled him a radical right wing conservative. Bush’s spending policies didn’t contain a hint of conservatism and that’s a large part of why we are where we are.
What we’re seeing now in Rep. Chaffetz, is an understanding that Republicans must return to true conservative principles if they want to regain the trust of their constituencies. After the profligate spending of the past eight years, it’s going to take a lot to convince conservative Americans the GOP is once again on the right path. This is an excellent start.
Chaffetz is sending a message that any real solution to America’s financial crisis is going to require sacrifice on all our parts. That sacrifice is what Obama’s plan seeks to avoid in the short term while it pushes the trouble down the road for our children to suffer.
This problem was created by overspending. Government, businesses, and ordinary Americans all had a hand in it. It won’t be cured by even more, record breaking, overspending, but by a realignment of American priorities. Wants and needs are two very different things, but in the last few years we’ve treated them as equivalent. Americans must once again learn to recognize the difference.
Representative Chaffetz’s actions are showing us the way to truly recover from this crisis. Hopefully we’ll learn the lesson.
Article posted on All-American Blogger
Great article pointing out, yet again, the obvious liberal bias in the MSM.
2001: Bush Talking Down the Economy for Political Reason? 2009: Obama Sounds Dire Warning on Economy
2001: Bush Talking Down the Economy for Political Reason? 2009: Obama Sounds Dire Warning on Economy
President-elect Barack Obama hit the airwaves and sounded a Chicken Little-esque warning to the American people:
“If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years.”
“This is a crisis unlike any we have seen in our lifetime,” he said in a speech in Virginia.
…so says Al-Qaeda.
Democratic President-elect has remained silent on the fighting in Gaza…until today when he expressed “concern” over the loss of life and promised he’s monitoring the situation closely. Shortly thereafter, an Al-Qaeda audio tape was released, reportedly the voice of Ayman al-Zawahiri, blaming the President-elect and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for the Israeli assault on Hamas in Gaza.
Recall that one of the themes of Obama’s campaign was to “repair our damaged reputation” in the world community. Biden even went so far as to blame Bush’s foreign policy for creating terrorists. The implication was that if Obama were elected, the clouds would part and we would be loved by those who hate us, respected by those who despise us. Perhaps now they’ll learn.
“My Muslim brothers and mujahedeens in Gaza and all over Palestine, with the help of God we are with you in the battle, we will direct our strikes against the crusader Jewish coalition wherever we can.”–Ayman al-Zawahiri
Of course Obama isn’t the cause of the campaign against Hamas, and al-Zawahiri knows this. This statement by the terror group just proves that radical Islamists don’t need a reason to hate us. They hate us because they believe it’s their religious duty to destroy us. I don’t know if Obama really understood this and simply lied to appeal to the left-wing nuts in this country who really do believe if we “just act right” the world will love and respect us, or if he is as naive as this tape proves his campaign rhetoric was.
The fact is, radical Islam will always hate us and will seek every opportunity to attack us, regardless of who occupies the White House.
The same is true for Israel. Until the radical, militant Hamas is destroyed or forced into submission, there can be no peace.
Obama may want to recall the words al-Zawahiri had for the Democratic Party after Republicans lost control of the US Congress.
“The first is that you aren’t the ones who won the midterm elections, nor are the Republicans the ones who lost. Rather, the Mujahideen — the Muslim Ummah’s vanguard in Afghanistan and Iraq — are the ones who won, and the American forces and their Crusader allies are the ones who lost.”–Ayman al-Zawahiri