Archive for the ‘Democrats’ Category

Political histrionics 101: The sequester

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Government by Freakout
Obama’s scare tactics aren’t much of a long-term strategy.

In a way it’s all brilliant showbiz: Scare people into supporting your position. But we’ve been though it before, and you wonder, again, why a triumphant president and a battered Republican House majority can’t reach a responsible agreement.

And then you remind yourself why. Because Mr. Obama thrives in chaos. He flourishes in unsettled circumstances and grooves on his own calm. He spins an air of calamity, points fingers and garners support. His only opponent is a hapless, hydra-headed House. America has a weakness for winners, and Republicans just now do not look like winners. They have many voices but no real voice, and no one saying anything that makes you stop and think. Mr. Obama, on the other hand, is a singular character who tells you in measured tones that we must have measured answers. Half the country finds his politics to be too much to one side, but his temperament is not extreme and he often looks reasonable. With this gift he ties his foes in knots to get what he wants, which is higher taxes. He wants the rich to pay more and those he judges to be in need to receive more. End of story. Debt and deficits don’t interest him, except to the extent he must give them lip service.

And so far this seems to be working fine for him. A USA Today/Pew Research Center poll out this week reported half the respondents said it will be the Republicans’ fault if the sequester goes through. Only a third said they’d blame the president.

The question is, is Obama overplaying his hand?

The “Where did I hear that before?” roundup

Friday, February 15th, 2013

If you thought you’d heard it before, yes, you’d heard the State of the Groundhog,

Ed Morrissey points out that a minimum-wage hike is the wrong way to lift working poor, but Ed misses the point: politicians don’t want to lift the working poor. Instead they prefer doom, despair and agony if it serves their purpose,

No doom, despair and agony for Obama. After a $900 Valentine’s Day dinner, Obama’s spending a few days on Florida’s Atlantic Coast

relaxing with friends he did not identify. Mrs. Obama’s office did not respond to a question about her plans for the weekend.

[Update: Michelle's going to Aspen.]
This will be his second vacation of the year. Back on 9/11/12 he did nothing on Benghazi, when he was President AWOL:

On the night of 9-11, after the US Embassy in Cairo was stormed, and after hearing that the US Consulate in Benghazi was under attack, Barack Obama did nothing.

After being briefed by his top security advisers at a pre-planned meeting in the White House around 5:30 PM EST, he never picked up the phone again to see how things were going. And four innocent Americans including the US ambassador to Libya, were slaughtered.

This email was sent to State Department officials, White House officials, Secret Service officials at 6:07 PM EST on 9-11, from Benghazi officials the night of the terrorist attack.

The email clearly blamed Al-Qaeda linked group Ansar al-Sharia for the attack on the US consulate.
This was before the lifeless body of Ambassador Stevens was dragged from the consulate ruins.

This was at least the third email sent to the White House on 9-11 from Benghazi.

Now that Lautenberg is finally(?) retiring – unlike the last time he retired, when he said “Just when i thought i was out, they pull me back in” -

everybody in NJ wants to be a Senator.

Why Should I Care About the U.S. Debt?

Name the party!

No biological clock for men: Cary Grant was a first-time dad at age 65, and now Steve Martin’s a first-time dad at 67.

Hugo Chavez? He’s aliiiive!

Why Was an Iranian Official Found with Millions in Venezuelan Money?

Meteorite Strikes Central Russia, Up To 500 Injured, not to be confused with the asteroid heading our way today.

You learn something new every day: Penises are called chubbies.

Mexico develops cheap energy; USA not quite

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Mexico Moves on Energy in Economic Reset
In Interview, Pemex Chief Says Overhaul to Broadly Cut Costs

For decades, Mexico’s energy policy has largely boiled down to exporting oil for cash to fund state spending. Now the new government is negotiating with rival political parties to curb that practice and instead use state monopoly Petróleos Mexicanos to a different end: cheaper energy, said Pemex CEO Emilio Lozoya.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the 38-year-old chief said the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto was striving to overhaul tax and energy laws this year that Mr. Lozoya said would result in cheaper energy for consumers and companies that could drive a more competitive economy.

There’s also shale, too:

Mexico may hold the world’s fourth-biggest reserves of shale gas, according to the U.S. government. But Pemex has drilled only a few wells and not produced any gas. “Mexico ought to be producing more of its own gas, and eventually exporting it,” Mr. Lozoya, a lawyer and economist who got his master’s degree in public policy at Harvard said. “Clearly the geology that you have in some parts of the U.S. extends into Mexican territory. So it’s a matter of just investing and getting it done.”

Here in the USA, the government is holding up the Keystone pipeline, bans itself from off-shore drilling, and Obama pours money on “green” failures like Solyndra and other duds. Case in point:

President Barack Obama used his fifth State of the Union address to extol the virtue and job-creating power of federal investment in solar, wind and advanced battery development. Maybe he should have consulted his Department of Energy first.

In a scathing report issued Wednesday, the department’s Office of Inspector General said LG Chem Michigan Inc. misused most of $150 million in federal grants to build its battery cell manufacturing plant in Holland. The company used taxpayer dollars to pay employees to volunteer at local nonprofits, play games and watch movies.

Obama does not see how high-technology, industrialized economies run, grow, and thrive on cheap energy.

But hey, we’re talking about someone who said in the SOTU

“As long as countries like China keep going all in on clean energy, so must we.”

As IBD points out (h/t Instapundit)

All in? Sixteen of the world’s top 20 most polluted cities are in China. The New York Times reported just a couple weeks ago that Beijing’s air quality ranked a “crazy bad” 755 on a scale of 0 to 500.
The country has been building a new coal plant almost every week and plans 363 more, and China now emits almost twice as much CO2 as the U.S.

Mexico has a long way to go to a de-nationalization of the oil industry sector, which would solve many of its problems. The US, however, is set on taking the wrong path.

Note to Chris Rock: It’s a President, not a Tsar

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

It wouldn’t be worth noting, if there weren’t so many who share his opinion:

You’d think that he was making a joke and that he would understand that we live in a Constitutional Republic, but it wasn’t a comedy routine:

I’m just here to support the president of the United States. The president of the United States is, you know, our boss. But he’s also, you know, the president and the first lady are kind of like the mom and the dad of the country. And when your dad says something, you listen. And when you don’t, it usually bites you in the ass later on. So, I’m here to support the president.

Back in the days of Tsarist Russia people – including Lenin – referred to “our father the Tsar“. How did that work out?

Luckily, we can still poke fun at the idiocy,

I wonder what Oleg would say to this…

———————————-

In other news, TIME mag named Marco Rubio “savior”,

Marco has the good sense to not be amused,

Amen!


The real scandal in the Menendez story…

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

is the relationship between Miami ophthalmologist Solomon Melgen and New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez:

Melgen had reportedly received help from Menendez is the matter of a port-security contract between a company owned by Melgen and the Dominican government. That contract could be worth as much as $50 million a year for 20 years — that is, a total of one billion dollars — except that Dominican officials refuse to honor what they have condemned as the “exorbitant” terms of the contract. Melgen’s financial situation looks shady; he reportedly owes the IRS $11.1 million. But if he could get the U.S. government to pressure the Dominican Republic into honoring that billion-dollar contract, Melgen’s money worries would be over.

Unfortunately for Melgen, however, Matthew Boyle broke the story less than a week before Election Day last fall and, while the mainstream media ignored Boyle’s exclusive at the time, now the potential political ramifications are quite serious. Even if it cannot be proven that Menendez consorted with hookers, underaged or otherwise, during his visits to Melgen’s Caribbean luxury resort, the New Jersey Democrat’s connection to his Florida benefactor is sure to be subjected to intense scrutiny now.

Let’s hope so.

In Santo Domingo, Vinicio Castillo, Melgen’s and Menendez’s Dominican lawyer – who also happens to be Melgen’s cousin – said the accusations are aimed at discrediting Salomon Melgen and U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and stopping a contract to X-ray shipments moving through ports in the Dominican Republic.

Castillo called the allegations part of a “diabolical plot” orchestrated to discredit Melgen, who owns a company with a lucrative contract with the Dominican government to provide X-ray machines at ports. The machines would be used to scan shipping containers to look for contraband and illegal drugs.

The contract was originally signed with the Dominican government a decade ago. Two years ago, Melgen bought out the company that had signed the contract.

That contract has raised controversy due to its cost — an estimated $500 million to $1 billion over 20 years. And the machines have not been installed.

Menendez, who has received healthy campaign contributions from the doctor, in a July Senate hearing peppered Obama officials about what they were doing to help U.S. business interests in the Dominican Republic. He specifically mentioned the contract for X-ray equipment at the ports.

Castillo’s father, Vinicio “Vincho” Castillo, the government’s drug czar and Melgen’s uncle, has also spoken about the need for the machines.

Menendez would rather have you believe this is a story that “anonymous, nameless, faceless individuals on a Web site” concocted.


Robert Menendez and the missing ho’s UPDATED

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

Now that Senator Robert Menendez’s friend and major campaign donor Dr. Salomon Melgen is under investigation for Medicare fraud, two of the prostitutes they hired have been missing for several months:
Following the trail of Sen. Robert Menendez scandal leads to dead end in Dominican Republic
Women named by tipster exist and were there — but not anymore
.

Maybe they’re hiding at the Doll Palace, maybe not.

As you can see from the article, at least one tipster is not anonymous.

Meanwhile, blame Cuba

The bigger issue, which I pointed out months ago, is whether he violated Senate rules by accepting two round-trip flights to the Dominican Republican from Melgen. Menendez goes back a long way,

Menendez, who scaled the political ladder in Hudson County, a Democratic bastion long known for its flexible ethics, is no stranger to controversy.

In 2007, Chris Christie, who at the time was the U.S. attorney for New Jersey, began a federal investigation of Menendez over potential conflicts of interests with recipients of government financing.

The Star-Ledger reported then that Menendez had collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent for a building he owned in Union City from the North Hudson Community Action Corp., an antipoverty group. Menendez had helped the group win millions of dollars in federal funding.

But no charges were filed, and Menendez ultimately received a rare clearance letter from the U.S. attorney’s office informing him that the case was being closed.

Last May, Joseph Bigica, a major supporter of Menendez, pleaded guilty to using straw donors to funnel nearly $100,000 in illegal contributions to the senator’s campaign, which was not accused of any wrongdoing. It acknowledged having received the donation, but said it had been a victim in the case.

A campaign official said they planned to give the money to charity.

Bigica, of Franklin Lakes, admitted that from April 2005 to May 2009 he had conspired to make the illegal contributions to the campaign committee of an unidentified candidate for federal office. Officials did not identify the candidate, but campaign finance records show the donations went to Menendez.

Ah, the scent of New Jersey politics…and now he’s chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

UPDATE:
Stacy checks out the facts, and also points out (emphasis added)

This is highly interesting, because on Jan. 4, Menendez paid back Dr. Melgen $58,500 for three flights, but this (alleged) Easter weekend trip wasn’t one of those, and it was during the Easter weekend trip that one of the sex parties (allegedly) took place.

And this:

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Billion With a ‘B’: Did Menendez Provide Special Favors to HookerGate Donor? “Follow the money – if Melgen had a billion-dollar contract at stake, his ‘friendship’ with Senator Menendez was obviously more than a mere social acquaintance, which doesn’t necessarily mean that it was illegal for Menendez to pressure the administration to help Melgen enforce his Dominican port security contract. But how and why does a Florida opthamologist become an international port-security mogul?”


Video starts below the fold:
(more…)

Bill Whittle: “What difference does it make?”

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

Well said.

(And I’m glad Bill’s wearing a dark suit and contrasting tie. The gray-on-gray washed him out.)

h/t Jimbo.

The 12 scariest words in the English language

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Barack Obama is from the government, and he is here to help

(post title shamelessly stolen from Professor Bainbridge)

“What difference does it make?”

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

The histrionic, hysterical Secretary of State, wearing men’s eyeglass frames yesterday:

What a disgrace:

Hillary Clinton is ending her tenure as secretary of state in fiery fashion. “You really get the sense that [Mrs.] Clinton barely managed to restrain herself from dropping an F-bomb there,” remarks New York magazine’s Dan Amira. He refers to an exchange between the secretary and Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin at a Foreign Relations Committee hearing this morning.

Johnson pressed her about the administration’s conflicting explanations for the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed the ambassador and three other Americans. “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans,” said the secretary snappishly to the senator. “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.”

So it’s “our job to figure out what happened” but it doesn’t make a difference what happened? Huh? What would we do without rhetorical questions? We suppose we’d answer them, as Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin does:

The answer to her question is clear. An administration that sought, for political purposes, to give the American people the idea that al-Qaeda had been “decimated” and was effectively out of commission had a clear motive during a presidential campaign to mislead the public about Benghazi. The fact that questions are still unanswered about this crime and that Clinton and President Obama seem more interested in burying this story along with the four Americans that died is an outrage that won’t be forgotten.

“What difference does it make?” if there were no protests in Benghazi,

Well, gosh, I can think of a few reasons why it matters. First, it mattered enough for the Obama administration to send Susan Rice to five different Sunday talk shows to insist that the sacking was a spontaneous demonstration of anger over a months-old YouTube video, while saying that there was “no evidence” that it was a terrorist attack. On one of those appearances, the president of Libya told US audiences the exact opposite — that it was the work of terrorists and that they had a pretty good idea of who they were. If it didn’t matter, what was Susan Rice doing when she tried pushing that meme, which the White House had to abandon within days as leaks within State and CIA made plain that there was no demonstration?

It also matters because Barack Obama at the time had been bragging about crippling al-Qaeda while on the campaign trail. That false narrative made it seem as though State and our intel community couldn’t have possibly known that the sacking would have occurred, and got blindsided by a grassroots reaction to the video. Instead, it turned out to be a planned terrorist action about which the US embassy in Libya had warned State for months, repeatedly requesting more security.

There’s also the matter of Barack Obama’s intervention in Libya and his undeclared war against Moammar Qaddafi. His actions, and that of NATO in following his initial lead, decapitated the ruthless regime that at least was keeping a lid on terrorist networks in eastern Libya. The rise of those networks in the Benghazi region should have been a predictable outcome from the power vacuum the US/NATO campaign left in the region, which resulted in the ability to conduct this attack. That also reflects on the decision to remove the military security at the consulate even with the deteriorating environment very clear to anyone paying attention. That also matters because of how the transfer of weapons to the militias in that US/NATO effort and the resultant power vacuum has destabilized Mali and potentially a wide swath of North Africa.

So it matters because of credibility.

And yes, “What difference does it make?” is the attitude of someone who feels entitled to their high place.

“If it weren’t for low integrity they’d have no integrity at all.”

And,
Let the 2016 campaign begin,

Do you think there’s any coincidence in the fact that her campaign debt was paid off and her appearance before the joint committee today to talk about the guy in Benghazi?


New Jersey: Lautenberg wants to give Corey Booker “a spanking”

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Latin America’s not the only source for bizarre news.

88-year old Frank Lautenberg (Senator for my district), who went back to the Senate in 2003 thanks to the Torricelli maneuver, is upset enough at the prospect of Newark mayor Corey Booker challenging for the seat that he let it rip,

“I have four children, I love each one of them. I can’t tell you that one of them wasn’t occasionally disrespectful, so I gave them a spanking and everything was OK,” Lautenberg said with a smile in his first public comments since Booker announced he was considering a run for Senate.

This statement is wrong in so many levels (and he gets away with the obvious because he’s a Democrat), where to start?

By asking, “you and who else, Frank?”

On this corner we have 88-year old walking-with-a-cane Lautenberg.

On the other corner we have 43 year old Booker, fit enough to run into a burning house and pull a woman to safety.

It would make a heck of a fundraiser.

Booker may be “entitled to run”, but Lautenberg’s the one who can’t hide.