Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Obama: The First 100 Days

With much fanfare, Obama has recently celebrated the mark of the First 100 Days in office. For those who just can’t wait to hear what the president’s teleprompter will say next, here’s a recap of the Obama gaffe machine:

Sacrifice good for others: In his inaugural address, Obama calls on Americans to adopt a spirit of sacrifice, which apparently doesn’t include his own "coronation". The $49 million cost of his swearing-in ceremony is triple the cost of Bush’s first inaugural.

Ooops! Obama stumbles badly over the oath of office, inadvertently led astray by Chief Justice John Roberts. A day later, the duo conduct a do-over, safely removed from TV cameras and press photographers.

Honesty? What Honesty?Obama promised a new era of openness and honesty in government, yet New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson had withdrawn from consideration for Commerce Secretary because of a federal probe of campaign donations, Treasury secretary nominee Tim Geithner failed to pay $34,000 in back taxes and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (nominated for Health secretary) failed to pay $146,000 in taxes. Nancy Killefer steps down from consideration to become the government’s first chief performance officer, when it is learned her past performance includes failure to pay taxes for her household help. Annette Nazareth, who was nominated for Deputy Treasury Secretary withdraws for undisclosed "personal reasons," following a month-long probe into her taxes and other matters.

No more Lobbyists?. Not so fast! Obama pledges lobbyists won’t work in his White House, then makes 17 exceptions during his first 10 days in office, including Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn, a former lobbyist for Raytheon.

Who cares about the facts? Obama promises workers at Caterpillar that his stimulus bill will save their jobs. Caterpillar CEO Jim Owens later clarifies. "The truth is we're going to have more layoffs before we start hiring again".

Partisanship you can believe in. The White House manages to politicize the 2010 U.S. Census by announcing it will be directed by the White House under the auspices of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. The measure will politicize apportionment of House seats, redistricting, and distribution of federal aid.

Transparency? What transparency? Obama’s promise of a 48-hour review period for all legislation is tossed away during debate over the stimulus bill. The 1,100-page document calling for $787 billion spending did not get a review and has not been read by a single member of Congress.

Selling low. Obama likens the stock markets to political “tracking polls,” suggesting they’re unimportant. When Obama speaks, Wall Street listens — and sells. The market hits a seven-year low as the Dow dips below 7,000.

The check’s in the mail. The Chicago Sun-Times reports Obama still hasn’t paid the $1.74 million bill his campaign owes his hometown for his victory celebration in Grant’s Park.

Who cares about the facts? During his first address to a joint session of Congress Obama states: “And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it.” Someone should have told this genius that a German invented the automobile...

No class. In their first meeting, British PM Gordon Brown gave Obama a carved ornamental penholder from the timbers of the anti-slavery ship HMS Gannet. Obama’s gift in return: 25 DVDs that don't work in Europe. His gift a month later to Queen Elizabeth: It’s an iPod full of his own speeches!

Teleprompter President. Obama carries an oversized teleprompter into the White House East Room for a news conference. He opens the session reading prepared remarks, and the device is visible in some camera shots. In an address to the National Academy of Sciences, Obama introduced members of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Then he introduced them again, thanks to a teleprompter malfunction.

Friendly questions only, please. The media lavishes Obama with praise for holding an innovative town meeting that includes online questions. A few days later, news leaks that only devout Obama supporters were chosen to ask questions from the live audience, however.

Bowing to the Despot. Obama bows low to Saudi King Abdullah. Later, an Obama aide insists: "It wasn't a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he's taller than King Abdullah." Note: Abdullah presides over a dictatorship that outlaws Christianity, forbids women the right to vote or drive a car, and executes people in public squares.

Waiting for Castro. Obama eases travel and remittance restrictions on Cuba, and considers dropping the embargo on Cuba. Fidel Castro later expresses his exasperation, saying Obama "misinterpreted" what his brother Raul had said. Cuba would not be willing to negotiate about human rights, Castro insists.

Tea parties? What tea parties? When untold thousands rally nationwide to protest excessive taxation, the White House tries to ignore the whole issue, hoping it will go away. ABC News reports the president “is unaware of the tea parties."

Cornered by Chavez. At the Summit of the Americas, Venezuelan Dictator Hugo Chavez grabs Obama’s hand and presents him with the anti-American book “The Open Veins of Latin America.”

Can you spell Hypocrisy? In celebration of Earth Day, Obama takes two flights on Air Force One and four on Marine One to reach his ultimate destination, Iowa. He burns up more than 9,000 gallons of fuel in the process.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Just How Stupid is Biden?

Joe Biden has been keeping a low profile these days. But that's not his style. Last week he popped into the headlines after claiming to have rebuked Bush in private meetings. Recalling a conversation during an interview with CNN, Biden said he told Bush in the Oval Office: "'Mr. President, turn and around look behind you. No one is following.'"

Karl Rove, Bush's top political adviser in the White House, called the conversational "fictional."

From historical blunders and Internet gaffes to offensive jokes, Vice President Joe Biden constanly proves that there is no lower level than he can stoop to.

Here's a list of 15 "Bidenisms":

-- On March 13, 2009, Biden addressed a former Senate colleague by saying, "An hour late, oh give me a f**king break," after he arrived on Amtrak at Union Station in Washington, D.C. The vice president's expletive was caught on a live microphone.

-- During a Feb. 25, 2009, interview on CBS' "Early Show," Biden encouraged viewers to visit a government-run Web site that tracks stimulus spending. When asked for the site's web address, Biden could not remember the site's "number."

"You know, I'm embarrassed. Do you know the Web site number?" he asked an aide standing out of view.

-- At a Jan. 30, 2009, swearing-in ceremony of senior White House staff, Biden mocked Chief Justice John Roberts for his presidential oath blunder on Inauguration Day:
"Am I doing this again?" Biden said, after Obama asked him to administer the oath. When Biden was told the swearing-in was for senior staff -- and not cabinet members -- the vice president quipped, "My memory is not as good as Justice Roberts," prompting a stern nudge from Obama.

-- On Inauguration Day, Jan. 20 2009, Biden misspoke when he told a cheering crowd of supporters, "Jill and I had the great honor of standing on that stage, looking across at one of the great justices, Justice Stewart." Justice John Paul Stevens -- not Stewart -- swore Biden in as vice president.

-- When criticizing John McCain in Athens, Ohio, on Oct. 15, 2008, Biden said, "Look, John's last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the number-one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S, jobs."

-- In a Sept. 22, 2008, CBS interview, Biden misspoke when he said Franklin D. Roosevelt was president when the stock market crashed in 1929.

"When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened," he said. Herbert Hoover -- not Roosevelt -- was president in 1929, and television had not yet been invented in 1929.

-- During a Sept. 12, 2008, speech in Columbia, Mo., Biden called for Missouri State Sen. Chuck Graham, who is wheelchair-bound, to "stand up."

-- At a Sept. 10, 2008, town hall meeting in Nashua, N.H., Biden said, "Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America. Quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me."

-- Biden mistakenly referred to Alaska governor Sarah Palin as the "lieutenant governor" of her state during a town hall meeting on Sept. 4, 2008 at George Mason University in Manassas, Va.

-- Biden said he was running for president -- not vice president -- during a Sept. 1, 2008, roundtable discussion in Scranton, Pa.

"Today is the moment for me as a United States senator running for president to put aside the national politics and focus on what's happening down there," Biden said.

-- Biden referred to John McCain as "George" during his vice presidential acceptance speech on Aug. 27, 2008, at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Co.

-- Biden confused army brigades with battalions when speaking about Obama's plan for sending troops to Afghanistan.
"Or should we trust Barack Obama, who more than a year ago called for sending two additional combat brigades to Afghanistan?"

-- During his first campaign rally with Obama as his vice presidential running mate on Aug. 23, 2008, Biden introduced Obama by saying, "A man I'm proud to call my friend. A man who will be the next President of the United States -- Barack America!"

-- On Jan. 31, 2007 -- the day Biden announced his presidential bid -- the Delaware Senator was roundly criticized for calling Obama "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man."

-- On June 1982, at the height of the Lebanon War ("Peace for Galilee" operation), Menachem Begin, the then Israeli PM, had a tough confrontation with Joe Biden. Biden had attacked Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria and threatened that if Israel did not immediately cease this activity, the US would have to cut economic aid to Israel. When the senator raised his voice and banged twice on the table with his fist, Begin replied to him: ‘This desk is designed for writing, not for fists. Don’t threaten us with slashing aid. Do you think that because the US lends us money it is entitled to impose on us what we must do? We are grateful for the assistance we have received, but we are not to be threatened. I am a proud Jew. Three thousand years of culture are behind me, and you will not frighten me with threats. Take note: we do not want a single soldier of yours to die for us.’”

Friday, April 3, 2009

Obama Bows to the Saudis

Barack Hussein Obama was caught on camera by journalists on Wednesday bowing in deference to Saudi King Abdullah as he greeted him at the opening of the G20 meeting in London, prior to being photographed with British royalty.

Obama later expressed support for the 2002 Saudi Plan in his meeting Thursday with the Saudi monarch. The two also discussed global economic issues and terrorism, White House staff said.

The meeting between Obama and Abdullah was the first face-to-face talk between the two. The meeting created a storm of debate, when pictures and a video were released that appeared to show Obama bowing to the Saudi monarch at the G20 photo-op.

The video clip shows Obama greeting the Saudi monarch and executing a bow before him.

Obama reportedly expressed support for the 2002 Saudi Initiative and had been quoted as saying of the plan, “The Israelis would be crazy not to support this initiative.”

In January of 2009, Saudi officials warned that the U.S. would need to “drastically revise” its Middle East policy, particularly towards Israel, if it wanted to maintain influence in the region.

The Saudis referred to the Middle East policy of former U.S. President George Bush as “sickening,” and accused America of “contributing to the slaughter of innocents” by supporting Israel.

Bush expressed strong support for the 2003 Road Map initiative over the Saudi Plan. The Road Map plan calls for the Israel-PA negotiations process to take place in stages, with Israel dismantling Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria only after the PA begins to fight terrorism.

The Saudi Plan calls on Israel to cede Gaza and all land east of the 1949 armistice line, including much of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, to the Palestinian Authority. Israel would also be required to cede the strategic Golan Heights region to Syria.

In addition, the plan requires Israel to release all terrorists currently in its prisons, and to offer citizenship to millions of foreign Arabs who say they are descended from Arabs who fled pre-state Israel during the War of Independence.

In exchange for these suicidal measures, Arab states would "normalize" their ties with the Jewish State.

In Israel, the plan has met with little support. Enacting the plan would force roughly 600,000 Israelis from their homes. In addition, senior defense officials have warned that the plan would compromise Israel's security.

Plagued by a faltering economy, a reluctant Europe, increasing resistance at home to his pseudo-socialist agenda and a growing realizations by more and more Americans that electing Obama to the White House was a huge mistake, Hussein is trying to gain momentum by forcing a peace deal in the Middle East and pressuring Israel into suicidal concessions.

If Obama chooses to bow to the Saudi King, he should not be allow to pressure Israel into doing the same.