Thursday, July 12, 2012

Obama's Stump Speech Myths

Brent Bozell

Barack Obama has trouble telling the truth. This is the man who admitted his memoir "Dreams from My Father" was semifictional. "For the sake of compression, some of the characters that appear are composites of people I've known, and some events appear out of precise chronology." Translation: On some pages, I'm taking poetic license with the facts to burnish my image.

The problem is, Obama's still using poetic license. So where are the reporters to point out when he doesn't tell the truth? Let's take just one typical Obama stump speech, on July 5 in Sandusky, Ohio, and look for the fibs and stretches. They're not hard to find.

1. There are the biographical tall tales. "My grandfather fought in Patton's army." In 2009, AP's Nancy Benac noted that the president's grandfather, Stanley Dunham, was in a supply and maintenance company, not in combat. That's noble work, but "fought in Patton's army" implies something else. Moreover, Benac reported Dunham's company was assigned to Patton's army for two months in 1945, and then quoted Obama's own self-boosting memoir: "Gramps returned from the war never having seen real combat." Why has Benac been alone in exploring this blatant exaggeration?

2. There are the policy myths. "So when folks said let's go ahead and let the auto industry go bankrupt, we said no let's bet on American workers. Let's bet on American industries, and now, GM is back on top, and Chrysler is moving, and Ford is going strong."

Put aside for a moment that GM being "on top" is a stretch. GM still owes the public $30 billion for the bailout. But the real screamer in that passage is Ford never succumbed to bankruptcy and bailouts and therefore shouldn't be included in any boast of any sort of Obama achievements.

Some lines in the speech just sound ridiculous based on the last three and a half years, such as: "I want to balance our budget. I want to reduce our deficit, deal with our debt, but I want to do it in a balanced and responsible way." This might not be strictly "false" -- it's opinion -- but it's certainly disingenuous. He said the same thing in 2008 and then delivered the biggest trillion-dollar deficit in history.

Obama also refuses to admit the failure of the "stimulus," claiming in one passage, "I do want to rebuild our roads and our bridges" because it would "put a lot of people back to work -- and that's good for the entire economy." Except, it's demonstrably not true.

3. Then there are the religious myths. "When I first got my job as an organizer for the Catholic churches in Chicago ... they taught me that no government program can replace good neighbors and people who care deeply about their communities (and) who are fighting on their behalf."

In how many ways is this deeply insincere? Obama was hired by a Jewish Alinsky-ite leftist named Jerry Kellman for something called the Developing Communities Project, which did have Catholic support, but Obama's own memoir described the community organizing work as a chance to "start to build power" -- with a "hard-headedness" based on "politics, not religion."

In his stump speech, Obama's trying to create two false impressions: 1) That he's not waging war on the Catholic Church with his Department of Health and Human Services mandate to force Catholics to fund contraceptives and sterilization against their conscience. 2) That he's some sort of moderate about how government programs couldn't possibly replace person-to-person private charity. If he were Catholic, he might be excommunicated.

4. Finally, there are the campaign myths. Obama bizarrely told the crowd in Sandusky "back in 2008, everybody said we couldn't do it because we were outspent, we weren't favored." Did Obama mean in the primary race? By a slim margin, he outraised Hillary Clinton, who was the early favorite. But this spin is comical if it refers to the general election, where Obama outraised McCain $779 million to $347 million.

Then Obama added: "That first race that I ran as a state senator, Michelle and I, we were going around knocking on doors, passing out leaflets. Nobody gave us a shot. Everybody said, 'Nobody can pronounce your name, how are you going to win?'" But Obama ran unopposed in 1996, both in the primary and the general election. In a burst of Chicago-style politics, Obama removed his primary opponents, including the incumbent state senator, Alice Palmer, from the ballot by challenging their signatures.

When will the alleged fact-checkers in the news media vet Obama's stump speech and demand he start telling the truth?



Three ways to reform labor & save our country

An opinion from some apparently mainstream professors

Now that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has resoundingly won the recall election organized against him, pundits and policymakers are wondering what's next. As economists and labor experts from across the country, we believe it's time for legislators at all levels of government-local, state, and federal-to recognize that the labor reforms begun in Wisconsin need to be implemented nationwide.

The stakes couldn't be higher. A ticking fiscal time bomb has already begun to explode in some cities, a direct consequence of unsustainable union pay and benefit packages. Meanwhile, state laws that mandate union membership as a job requirement are contributing to a status quo that delivers workers' paychecks and citizens' taxes into union hands-and from union hands to the bulging coffers of labor leaders' favorite political allies.

The appropriate response to this perfect storm of excess is threefold.

First, steer our cities away from insolvency and bankruptcy by passing meaningful reforms to public employee pensions and compensation. Careful economic research has shown public-sector workers receive a level of compensation, pension benefits, and retiree health coverage in excess of what comparable workers in the private sector enjoy. In some instances, the total premium can be 30 percent or higher. The resulting burdens on municipal and state budgets are simply unaffordable.

In the city of San Jose, for instance, pension costs skyrocketed from $73 million to $245 million in just 10 years. The same night as Governor Walker's victory, the city's residents-both Democrat and Republican alike-looked past aggressive campaigning by public employee unions and voted overwhelmingly to make modest pension cuts that will save taxpayers millions. (Unions responded by filing suit.)

A similar vote happened down the coastline in San Diego, which means a bipartisan effort like this should be possible elsewhere-before it's too late.

The next step, at the state level, is to advance right-to-work legislation that gives employees a choice in union membership.

A key tenet of our democracy is freedom of association-including the freedom to form a union. But what about the right of a worker to choose not to join a union? In the 27 states that haven't passed right-to-work laws, this right doesn't exist.

In 2012, the state of Indiana showed that such laws can become a reality, even in the face of bitter opposition from labor leaders. Not only are such laws good for employees-they also make good economic sense. Research published in the journal Regulation compared manufacturing employment in counties with a pro-business environment (including right to work laws) to counties across a state border that didn't have such laws. The study found that manufacturing job growth was nearly 90 percent higher between 1947 and 1992 in the pro-business right-to-work counties.

The last step to effective labor reform should happen at the federal level, with the passage of the Employee Rights Act (ERA), a piece of legislation sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.).

The provisions of the ERA include reinforcing the right to a secret ballot union election, regular recertification votes on whether employees wish to remain part of a union, and paycheck protection to allow employees to prevent their dues from going to politicians they don't support. Unsurprisingly, in polling commissioned from Opinion Research Corporation, these provisions receive 80 percent support-even in union households.

Before Gov. Walker's victory, this comprehensive policy program might have seemed too ambitious, however necessary to shoring up budgets, bolstering labor market flexibility, and securing America's economic future. Now, it's clear that our ambitions can rise to the level of our needs. It's an opportunity policymakers can't afford to miss.



Budget Insanity

John Stossel

Last year, Congress agreed to $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts, unless politicians find other things to cut. They didn't, of course. So now, with so-called sequestration looming in January, panic has set in. Even the new "fiscally responsible" Republicans vote against cutting Energy Department handouts to companies like Solyndra and subsidies to sugar producers. Many claim that any cut in military spending will weaken America and increase unemployment.

It's another demonstration of the politicians' addiction to spending -- and how we are complicit. "One more infrastructure bill" or "this jobs plan" will jumpstart the economy, and then we'll kick our spending addiction once and for all. But we don't stop.

For most of American history, government was tiny. But since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society and the promise that government would cure poverty, spending has gone up nonstop. This is not sustainable.

Progressives say: If you're so worried about the deficit, raise taxes! But it's a fantasy to imagine that taxing the rich will solve our deficit problem. If the IRS grabbed 100 percent of income over $1 million, the take would be just $616 billion. That's only a third of this year's deficit. It's the spending, stupid.

Even if you could balance the budget by taxing the rich, it wouldn't be right. Progressives say it's wrong for the rich to be "given" more money. But money earned belongs to those who earn it, not to government. Lower taxes are not a handout.

That's the moral side of the matter. There's a practical side, too. Taxes discourage wealth creation.....

Politicians promise to balance the budget by getting rid of what is wasteful, redundant or unnecessary. There's plenty of that, but they have promised to eliminate it for years. They cannot. It's just in the nature of the beast. Centrally planned monopolies do things that are wasteful, redundant and unnecessary.



Crony Capitalism, Explained

I loathe being subjected to tobacco smoke so celebrate anything done to prevent it happening -- so it takes a lot for me to put the article below up. But it does make a vital general point

"A tiny amendment buried in the federal transportation bill to be signed today by President Barack Obama will put operators of roll-your-own cigarette operations in Las Vegas and nationwide out of business at midnight."

I had only heard of these types of operations about two months ago - a friend of mine pointed out that you can get a carton of cigarettes a lot cheaper at these places where you buy loose tobacco and cigarette papers and then "rent" the rolling machine to turn out the finished cigarettes. As a smoker, I was thinking about trying it out. Now I won't be able to - something slipped in to a bill (and what does a highway bill have to do with tobacco) has killed it off. Businesses will be shut down, people lose their jobs.why? Well the linked article notes that Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) got the item inserted in to the bill and that Senator Baucus is a major recipient of tobacco-industry donations.

But don't any of you out there get all "darn Democrats" about this - while Democrats do this sort of skullduggery more often than GOPers, Republicans do engage in it. What Baucus did was a two-fold item in favor of both Big Government and Big Corporation. Part of the reason for the cheaper price is that loose tobacco is taxed at a lower rate than tobacco in cigarettes. The other part of the reason is that the major cigarette makers were starting to feel a pinch from the competition (and that, of course also jeopardizes the government revenues from the ill-famed tobacco lawsuit settlement). Essentially, Big Government and Big Corporation go together and legislated out of existence the people and their small businesses because Big Government needs revenues and Big Corporation doesn't like competition.

And this is what is wrong with America: it is no longer governed in any way, shape or form in the interests of the people. It is actions just like this which ensured that instead of having 50 different car makers, we only had three miserably incompetent car makers, two of which needed a taxpayer bailout. It is actions like this which ensure that only a few behemoth banks run our financial system (and run it in to the ground, and then demand taxpayer bailouts). It is actions like this which shut down things like the Keystone pipeline but shovel taxpayer money at Solyndra. This is why our economy doesn't grow; why our factories are in China, our mines are in Chile and our farms are in Mexico.because Big Government and Big Corporation like it that way; it works out best for them.they see it as maximizing government revenues and Big Corporation profits.

The reason our economy doesn't work is because of nonsense like this - the people are hamstrung and essentially forbidden to do anything which might lessen government revenues or harm the profits of the corporations which currently rule the market (and donate to the office holders - Baucus has been in the Senate since 1978; and he's just dancing to his master's tune). Do we want jobs in this country? Do we want to restore the middle class? Do we want an America which makes, mines and grows most of its own things? Then we need an America where the government is prohibited from legislating out of existence legal businesses and where corporations can't buy legislation to restrict competition. An end to Crony Capitalism is necessary for the revival of America - and that means an end to Big Government, as well.




Unemployment Rate Dropped In Every State That Elected A Republican Gov. In 2010: "In 2010, influenced by the Tea Party and its focus on fiscal issues, 17 states elected Republican governors. And, according to an analysis, every one of those states saw a drop in their unemployment rates since January of 2011. Furthermore, the average drop in the unemployment rate in these states was 1.35%, compared to the national decline of .9%, which means, according to the analysis, that the job market in these Republican states is improving 50% faster than the national rate.

A blessing from the Devil? "The U.S. Episcopal Church is poised to become the first major religious denomination in the United States to approve a rite for blessing gay marriages after its bishops overwhelmingly approved such a liturgy on Monday. The proposed blessing was agreed by the church's Chamber of Bishops at a meeting in Indianapolis and is expected to receive final approval from its House of Deputies later this week, Ruth Meyers, a chair of the Episcopalians' Subcommittee on Prayer Book, Liturgy and Church Music, told Reuters."

Obama asks Congress for limited extension of Bush tax deferrals: "President Barack Obama expressed confidence Monday that he can win an election-year fight with Republicans over taxes and the economy despite three straight months of weak job growth. Obama urged Congress to pass a one-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for most Americans, but aides said he would veto a bill that included providing relief to households earning $250,000 or more, as GOP congressional leaders and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney want to do."

CA high-speed rail: On wrong track: "State Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), is probably best known as the author of California's bill to ban the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. After Friday's vote, Simitian may be best known as the Democrat who warned his colleagues not to issue $4.6 billion in bonds for big-ticket high-speed rail. 'Any of us who talks to our folks knows that they're asking the same questions,' Simitian reasoned. 'They're saying, "Really? You made these cuts. We're threatened with more. And you want to build a high-speed train?"' The state Senate, nonetheless, passed the bill with 21 votes." [Railways are very old technology now. The "City of Truro", a steam train, exceeded 100 mph in 1904. How come Leftists, of all people, romanticize trains? I guess they just like herding people together]



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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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