Obama’s “Urgent” Jobs Plan: Postponed Again

September 19, 2011

Everybody remembers the urgency of President Obama’s attitude toward the awful jobs situation.

Back in early August, Obama said the jobs situation was so urgent that he was going to give another speech about it — in a month or so, in September after his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard.

And then in September the president announced he would give his major jobs speech to a joint session of Congress on Sept. 7. But he neglected to check with congressional leaders first. And they suggested the 8th. So, since it was their House, the 8th it was.

“Tonight,” the president said in the first 34 of his 4,021 words to a national television audience that night, “we meet at an urgent time for our country. We continue to face an economic crisis that has left millions of our neighbors jobless, and a political crisis that has made things worse.”

The speech got panned as another political campaign one with Obama announcing, in effect, that….

 …since the first stimulus spending plan of $787 billion hadn’t really worked, maybe another $447 billion stimulus spending plan would.

 This is the kind of thinking that can make sense within Washington. But since “stimulus” has become a laugh line, he didn’t use that word anymore.

And, hey, the debt ceiling had been raised to $16 trillion. (Speaking of which the president speaks on the debt this morning in another speech because he’s a Real Good Talker.) So why not spend a half-trillion more to look like he’s doing something about the terrible jobs situation with 14+ million unemployed?

If Republicans didn’t bite, no one would know Obama’s Plan B was never going to work anyway. And he could try to blame the GOP next year for failing schools and rusting bridges. This also seems to make sense within Washington these days.

The president was in such a hurry to get this new spending going, everyone remembers, that during that address he said the phrase “right now” seven times. He didn’t actually mean right now that night because the NFL season was opening a few minutes after his remarks.

But Obama did want to show how really urgent he said the situation was, even though it had taken him 961 days as president to say them. And even though from Day #1 of the brief Obama Era polls had shown jobs and the economy were the No. 1 priority among voters but he pursued healthcare and financial reforms first. And even though unemployment had been at or above 9% for 26 of the last 28 months.

So, given the president’s professed urgency, the next day, Sept. 9, everyone asked where was his jobs legislation?

And, well, it seems the urgent jobs bill hadn’t actually been written yet but should be ready in a week or two. When the laughter died, the White House said on second thought the legislation would be ready for a photo op the next Monday.

Well, here we are on the next Monday after that next Monday and we’ve just learned from the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, Dick Durbin, that actually it seems that body won’t really be seriously getting into the legislation for a while yet. The Senate has some other more important business to handle. And then there’s this month’s congressional vacation, which in Washington is called “a recess,” like elementary school.

Here’s the revealing exchange with a persistent host Candy Crowley on CNN’s “State of the Union:”

CROWLEY: When is the bill going to get on the floor?

DURBIN: The bill is on the calendar. Majority leader Reid moved it to the calendar. It is ready and poised. There are a couple other items we may get into this week not on the bill and some related issues that may create jobs. But we’re going to move forward on the president’s bill. There will be a healthy debate. I hope the Republicans will come to…

CROWLEY: After the recess, so next month? Or when will it actually begin to act on?

DURBIN: I think that’s more realistic it would be next month.

So, as of right now, “right now” uttered on Sept. 8 really means sometime at least one month later.

Good thing the president’s own Democratic party controls the Senate. Because, otherwise, there might be some kind of silly, unnecessary delays in deliberating Obama’s urgent jobs bill that he says will surely help the nation’s unemployed millions if only those Republicans don’t connive to slow things down.

From:  http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2011/09/obama-jobs-speech-right-now-dick-durbin.html


Obama Calls for Citizen Snitches to Report Smears (Can You Spell P-a-r-a-n-o-i-a?)

September 15, 2011

Be careful, if you dare to criticize Citizen Obama, comrade. The Web is watching.

This week, President Obama’s re-election team launched “Attack Watch,” an interactive website that allows the president’s registered supporters to report instances of “attacks” against the commander in chief or his record.

Citizen snitches are asked to detail who the attacker is, the type of attack, and whether the offending words were actually heard or passed along as second-hand rumors.

The “Attack Files” section provides summary responses to some common smears.

For example, the site explains that, “President Obama is a friend to Israel, despite unfounded claims to the contrary.” For critics, it represents a handy list of the issues that most infuriate the White House.

The look and feel of the site conveys a sense of foreboding. It’s web design by Orwell. A black background, stark red headers and white text surround the site’s own attacks. Grainy black-and-white photos depict those on the White House hit list, which includes the likes of Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Glenn Beck. T

The design is so unconsciously theatrical and amateurish it is hard to believe it is not a parody.

It’s not the first time Mr. Obama has attempted to harness the Internet to create a nation of informants. In August 2009, the White House set up the email address “flag@whitehouse.gov” to gather information during the debate over Obamacare.

According to an official press release, people were actually supposed to send a note to the White House “if you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy.”

The effort raised serious concern over the appearance that the administration might be compiling an enemies list. As if the privacy implications weren’t bad enough, the address became instant spam bait. After three weeks of withering criticism, the White House abandoned its fishing expedition.

“Attack Watch” appears to be following the same path. This Obama public relations fiasco raises the question why the White House thought it was necessary in the first place. It is easy enough to monitor websites and keep track of memes through keyword searches, email alerts, aggregation sites or simply checking out the Drudge Report.

The real purpose of “Attack Watch” has less to do with collecting stories than amassing email lists and contributions. The site prompts users to “support the truth” with essentially untraceable online donations. It asks for email addresses and ZIP codes of those who join the “attack wire.”

Such information could come in handy to mobilize ground troops during the 2012 election. Someone willing to take the time to submit reports on their neighbors for allegedly smearing Mr. Obama is probably willing to work energetically to get voters to the polls.

“Attack Watch” reinforces the sense that there is something not quite right about the O Force. Building a national database of informants is the work of an obsessive, fearful and desperate team. It reflects the strident insecurity of a leader who is not used to hard criticism. It plays to the creepy authoritarian strain of leftist politics, the stratum that considers democracy a messy and useless impediment to the realization of utopia.

It is a bad idea, poorly executed. If you’d like to report us for saying so, the address is www.attackwatch.com.

From:  http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/sep/14/big-brother-obama-is-watching/

 


Census Bureau Demonstrates Basically Every Major Obama Policy Has Failed…

September 15, 2011

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that in 2010, median household income declined, the poverty rate increased and the percentage without health insurance coverage was not statistically different from the previous year.

Real median household income in the United States in 2010 was $49,445, a 2.3 percent decline from the 2009 median.

The nation’s official poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent, up from 14.3 percent in 2009 ? the third consecutive annual increase in the poverty rate.  There were 46.2 million people in poverty in 2010, up from 43.6 million in 2009 ? the fourth consecutive annual increase and the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published.

The number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 49.0 million in 2009 to 49.9 million in 2010, while the percentage without coverage ?16.3 percent – was not statistically different from the rate in 2009.

This information covers the first full calendar year after the December 2007-June 2009 recession. See section on the historical impact of recessions.

These findings are contained in the report Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010. The following results for the nation were compiled from information collected in the 2011 Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC):

From:  http://www.zerohedge.com/news/record-number-americans-or-463-million-lived-poverty-last-year-499-million-without-health-insur

 


Are You Listening, Obama? Creator of TSA Says It Has “Mushroomed Into an Army,” Is a Complete Failure, and Needs to Be Dismantled!

September 15, 2011

A decade after the TSA was created following the September 11 attacks, the author of the legislation that established the massive agency grades its performance at “D-.”

“The whole program has been hijacked by bureaucrats,” said Rep. John Mica (R. -Fla.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

“It mushroomed into an army,” Mica said.  “It’s gone from a couple-billion-dollar enterprise to close to $9 billion.”

As for keeping the American public safe, Mica says, “They’ve failed to actually detect any threat in 10 years.”

Asked whether the agency should be privatized, Mica answered with a qualified yes.

“They need to get out of the screening business and back into security.  Most of the screening they do should be abandoned,” Mica said.  “I just don’t have a lot of faith at this point,” Mica said.

From:  http://patriotupdate.com/12076/tsa-creator-says-dismantle-privatize-agency


Thanks, Obama! U.S. Poverty Level Now At Highest Point Since in 18 Years (When Will He Just Pack Up and Leave So We Can Turn This Mess Around?)

September 15, 2011

The percentage of Americans living in poverty last year rose to the highest level since 1993, the Census Bureau reported yesterday, fresh evidence that the disappointing economic recovery has done nothing for the country’s poorest citizens.

Another 2.6 million people slipped below the poverty line in 2010, meaning 46.2 million people now live in poverty in the United States, the highest number in the 52 years that the Census Bureau has been tracking it, said Trudi Renwick, chief of the Poverty Statistic Branch at the Census Bureau.

That figure represented 15.1 percent of the population, up from 14.3 percent in 2009, and 11.7 percent at the beginning of the decade in 2001. The poverty line in 2010 for a family of four was $22,113.

And in new signs of economic distress among the middle class, median household incomes adjusted for inflation declined by 2.3 percent in 2010 from the previous year to $49,400. That was 7 percent less than the peak of $53,252 in 1999.

The report comes as President Obama gears up to pass a jobs bill, and analysts said the bleak numbers could help him make his case for urgency. But they could also be used against him by Republican opponents seeking to highlight economic shortcomings under his watch as the election season gets under way.

“This is one more piece of bad news on the economy,’’ said Ron Haskins, co-director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution. “This will be another cross to bear by the administration.’’

The annual report by the Census Bureau offered a portrait of the US economy one year into the economic recovery. Its findings, which included figures for poverty, median income, and the number of uninsured Americans, were bleaker than many economists expected and reinforced the worry that the economy has a long way to go before middle-class families feel any improvement.

“A full year into recovery, there were no signs of it affecting the well-being of a typical American family,’’ said Lawrence Katz, an economics professor at Harvard. “By late 2010, the economy was sort of dead in the water, and that’s where it’s remained.’’

Joblessness was the driving force pushing more Americans into poverty, economists said. Last year, about 86 million people of working age did not work even one week out of the year, Renwick said, up from 83 million in 2009, a trend of increasing long-term joblessness that economists say puts families at greater economic risk.

‘’Once you’ve been out of work for a long time, it’s a very difficult road to get back,’’ Katz said.

From:  http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2011/09/14/percent_of_americans_in_poverty_rising/

 


Obama White House Pushed Federal Reviewers to Give Half-Billion Dollar “Green Loan” to Company That Later Went Bankrupt; Taxpayers Now on the Hook for the Loan; Where’d the Money Go, Obama?

September 15, 2011

The Obama White House tried to rush federal reviewers for a decision on a nearly half-billion-dollar loan to the solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra so Vice President Biden could announce the approval at a September 2009 groundbreaking for the company’s factory, newly obtained e-mails show.

The Silicon Valley company, a centerpiece in President Obama’s initiative to develop clean energy technologies, had been tentatively approved for the loan by the Energy Department but was awaiting a final financial review by the Office of Management and Budget.

The August 2009 e-mails, released exclusively to The Washington Post, show White House officials repeatedly asking OMB reviewers when they would be able to decide on the federal loan and noting a looming press event at which they planned to announce the deal. In response, OMB officials expressed concern that they were being rushed to approve the company’s project without adequate time to assess the risk to taxpayers, according to information provided by Republican congressional investigators.

Solyndra collapsed two weeks ago, leaving taxpayers liable for the $535 million loan.

One e-mail from an OMB official referred to “the time pressure we are under to sign-off on Solyndra.” Another complained, “There isn’t time to negotiate.”

“We have ended up with a situation of having to do rushed approvals on a couple of occasions (and we are worried about Solyndra at the end of the week),” one official wrote. That Aug. 31, 2009, message, written by a senior OMB staffer and sent to Terrell P. McSweeny, Biden’s domestic policy adviser, concluded, “We would prefer to have sufficient time to do our due diligence reviews.”

White House officials said Tuesday that no one in the administration tried to influence the OMB decision on the loan. They stressed that the e-mails show only that the administration had a “quite active interest” in the timing of OMB’s decision.

“There was interest in when a decision would be made because of its impact on whether an event involving the vice president could be scheduled for a particular date or not, but the loan guarantee decision was merit-based and made by career staffers at DOE,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.

Solyndra spokesman David Miller said he was unaware of any direct involvement of the White House in securing or accelerating the loan.

The e-mail exchanges could intensify questions about whether the administration was playing favorites and made costly errors while choosing the first recipient of a loan guarantee under its stimulus program. Solyndra’s biggest investors were funds operated on behalf of the family foundation of Tulsa billionaire and Obama fundraiser George Kaiser. Although he has been a frequent White House visitor, Kaiser has said he did not use political influence to win approval of the loan.

The White House has previously said that it had no involvement in the Solyndra loan application and that all decisions were made by career officials based on the merits of the company.

It is not clear from the e-mails whether the White House influenced a final decision to approve the loan guarantee.

The Sept. 4, 2009, groundbreaking event went ahead as scheduled, with Energy Secretary Steven Chu in attendance and Biden speaking to the gathering by satellite feed.

Republican investigators for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is holding a hearing about Solyndra on Wednesday, concluded that the White House set a closing date for the OMB approval even before the OMB review had begun.

The White House pressure may have had a “tangible impact” on the OMB’s risk assessment of the loan, the congressional investigators concluded.

In one e-mail, an OMB staff member questioned whether the review team was using the best model for determining the financial risk to taxpayers in evaluating the Solyndra deal.

“Given the time pressure we are under to sign-off on Solyndra, we don’t have time to change the model,” the staffer wrote.

Solyndra was a favorite of the administration until two weeks ago, when the company abruptly shuttered its factory and filed for bankruptcy court protection, leaving 1,100 people out of work and taxpayers on the hook for the loans. Last week, FBI agents searched the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters in a raid that Miller said appeared linked to the loan guarantee.

In one e-mail, an assistant to Rahm Emanuel, then White House chief of staff, wrote on Aug. 31, 2009, to OMB about the upcoming Biden announcement on Solyndra and asked whether “there is anything we can help speed along on OMB side.”

An OMB staff member responded: “I would prefer that this announcement be postponed. . . . This is the first loan guarantee and we should have full review with all hands on deck to make sure we get it right.”

In another message, a White House staff member wrote that officials were “walking a fine line with Solyndra needing to begin notifying investors to fly in” for the groundbreaking. It stressed that “this OMB piece” of the review was not final and pointed out that if word of the groundbreaking leaked to the public prematurely, that would “leave us in an awkward place.”

The e-mails also raise questions about whether the administration should have foreseen financial trouble. In August 2009, e-mail exchanges between Energy Department staff members pointed out that a credit-rating agency predicted that the project would run out of cash in September 2011. Solyndra shut its doors on the final day of August.

The House committee has been investigating Solyndra’s dealings with the Energy Department for six months. In July , subcommittee members subpoenaed White House documents related to the guarantee.

From:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-pushed-500-million-loan-to-solar-company-now-under-investigation/2011/09/13/gIQAr3WbQK_print.html


Obama Administration “Fast and Furious” Gun Running Operation Falling Apart As New Evidence Shows White House Knowledge

September 15, 2011

The disastrous Obama Administration operation “Fast and Furious”, which deliberately put guns in the hands of the Mexican cartel, exploded this week with new revelations of a cover-up, and emails which tie the scandal directly to the White House for the first time.

“Fast and Furious” was an attempt to intercept gun-trafficking that sent 2,000 guns to cartel operatives via straw buyers. Critics believe that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder saw the program as an opportunity to embarrass U.S.-based gun dealers, and help galvanize support for increased gun-control measures, while controlling where and how the guns would be “walked” across the border.

But the operation went horribly wrong as the guns went unaccounted for, leading to the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry last December in Arizona, and the deaths of untold others inside Mexico – all using guns provided by the ATF.  Holder denied knowledge of the operation at a U.S. House hearing on May 3rd, but subsequent revelations clearly show both Holder and the White House had been informed about this program as it ran off the rails.

Rep. Alan West has called for Holder to resign or be fired as a result.

Now it has been revealed that after the death of Agent Terry, Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley and  then-U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke colluded to cover-up the fact that Terry was killed using one of the guns from ‘Fast and Furious’.  Evidence shows that Hurley – who knew “almost immediately” that the guns could be traced to the program, contacted Burke, and they agreed to cover it up:

In an internal email the day after the murder, Hurley, and then-U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, decided not to disclose the connection, saying ” … this way we do not divulge our current case (Fast and Furious) or the Border Patrol shooting case.”

As Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said “The level of involvement of the United States Attorney’s Office … in the genesis and implementation of this case is striking.” Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) are investigating the scandal, and AG Holder’s knowledge and role in its implementation.

Grassley’s office on Thursday also revealed that 21 more Fast and Furious guns have been found at violent crime scenes in Mexico. That is up from 11 the agency admitted just last month, and Grassley said he can only imagine the carnage that will be shown to have been made possible by the thousands of guns put into the hands of criminals by the Obama Administration.

Grassley and Issa also Thursday asked Justice for “interviews, emails, memos and even hand-written notes from members of the U.S. attorney’s office” involved with ‘Fast and Furious’. Thus far, Holder’s arrogant department has stonewalled, deceived and provided censored testimony, when it even responds.

And now, for the first time, evidence that the White House – which had denied knowledge of the operation – did in fact know about the scandal. At least three national security officials in the White House were briefed to some extent on the operation:

The supervisor of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation in Phoenix specifically mentioned Fast and Furious in at least one email to a White House national security official, and two other White House colleagues were briefed on reports from the supervisor, according to White House emails and a senior administration official.

The White House denies that they were informed of the operation’s “covert investigative tactics”, which sounds an awful lot like parsing to avoid legal jeopardy.

Where is the national media on this? During the Watergate scandal, the nation came to a screeching halt while the media expended unlimited resources exposing the debacle – no detail was too small to be exposed.

With “Fast and Furious”? Crickets. Sure, they’ll mention new details when leaked to them, or notable testimony from a House hearing. But unlike Watergate, the national media will not put dedicated reporters on the trail to dig up the whole story. Even when the Attorney General is caught in a lie – under oath. Even White House is now proven to have been in the loop all along – despite their denials.

And no one was killed from Watergate.

Hey media: do your damn job.

By John Hill, Stand With Arizona

From:  http://standwitharizona.com/blog/2011/09/02/fast-and-furious-explodes-terry-cover-up-white-house-emails-revealed/


Obama: Would You Give This Man One More Chance?

September 13, 2011


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