Coach is Right
In April of 2009, Barack Obama named Kenneth Melson acting director of
the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Today, this attorney and longtime
bureaucrat possesses information which could bring down A.G. Eric Holder and
perhaps Barack Obama himself.
As head of the ATF it was Melson who oversaw the Fast and Furious
project, begun only a few months after his appointment and now responsible for
the sale of more than 2000 weapons to straw purchasers for Mexican drug
He helped facilitate the “walking” of these guns across the Mexican
border, instructing agents to not interfere with the process. He even watched
closed circuit broadcasts of US border state gun dealers illegally transferring
dozens of weapons to criminal buyers at the instruction of his
The People’s Cube
From the same people who brought you Stimulus, WTF, Sputnik Moment, and Eat Your Broccoli… a heart-wrenching international blockbuster of our times: Cairo Time… starring Hosni Mubarak, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton.
Sometimes you need to forget about national interests and remember your heart…
Dec. 8, 2009
The American Spectator
During the first year of the Obama administration, conservatives have directed much of their fire on the major legislation the president is pushing through Congress. This concern is justifiable, as Democrats are moving bills aimed at taking over the nation’s health care system, creating a national energy tax to limit carbon emissions, and enabling unions to rapidly add members by denying workers a secret ballot on unionization.
But as critical as it is for the right to expose the damaging consequences of such major legislation, conservatives must not lose sight of the fact that there is more than one way for the president to impose his vision on the country. Each day, throughout the executive branch, presidentially appointed bureaucrats who remain unknown to most Americans make decisions that have consequences for the entire nation. And in President Obama’s case, his appointments serve as a plan B, allowing him to realize the parts of his agenda that he is unable to enact through the legislative process. In some instances, Obama’s more radical appointees have withdrawn or resigned once their extreme views have come to light. One prominent example is Van Jones, who was forced to resign as the White House “green jobs czar” after the revelations that he once described himself as a communist and that he signed a petition of a group that raised questions about whether the Sept. 11 attacks were an inside job. Yet many other troubling Obama appointees have escaped major scrutiny. Some have had their nominations stalled in the Senate, while others are already hard at work implementing liberal policies.
“This administration is moving very quickly on the appointment side of things to put people in place that, because of the regulation state that has built up over the past 40 years, will have within their realm the power to affect every area of this country without our elected representatives having so much of a say in it,” Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government, told TAS. Wilson, whose group has been closely tracking Obama’s appointments, specifically highlighted labor and environmental policy as among the most worrisome areas.
Obama gave the first indication that he planned on handsomely rewarding unions for the role they played in getting him elected when he named California Rep. Hilda Solis to be secretary of labor. Solis was first elected to Congress in 2000 as a union candidate, and as a member of the House of Representatives from 2001 until her appointment this year, she racked up perfect or near perfect vote ratings from every major union. She also served as treasurer of American Rights at Work, a pro-labor group that maintained the “Shame on Elaine” attack website aimed at her predecessor, Elaine Chao. And shortly after being confirmed, she went to work reversing many of Chao’s policies to the benefit of her union allies.
While liberals look at the agency as an entity that only regulates businesses, under the leadership of Secretary Chao from 2001 through January 2009, the Labor Department also took its responsibility of regulating unions seriously. Chao beefed up the Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS), which polices unions, and during this time, the division’s actions led to 929 convictions of corrupt union officials and to the recovery of more than $93 million on behalf of union members. Yet shortly after Solis was sworn in as the new secretary of labor, the Obama administration announced its intention to slash the OLMS budget by more than 9 percent, while at the same time boosting the budgets of the divisions tasked with regulating businesses. As a result, corrupt union bosses will have a much freer hand with which to bilk their members.
BUT THIS IS JUST a small part of Obama’s efforts to use the Department of Labor to pay back unions. He also tapped two women with close ties to unions — Patricia Smith and Lorelei Boylan — for other top positions within the department. While working for the New York State Department of Labor, Smith and Boylan spearheaded a controversial program in which the state partners with unions and other liberal community groups to police workplaces.
“Just as no one wants to live in an area riddled with crime, nobody wants to live in a neighborhood where workers are paid sweatshop wages,” Smith said when announcing the program in January 2009. “New York Wage Watch will increase labor law compliance by giving regular people a formal role in creating lawful workplaces statewide, and thereby improving the quality of life in their communities. It will also help law-abiding employers, who struggle to compete with businesses that undercut them by violating the law.”
But in practice empowering “regular people” actually means that the government is deputizing unions to help police workplaces.
“New York Wage Watch is labor law enforcement at the purest, most grassroots level,” boasted Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, in the press release announcing the program.
Boylan, who runs the initiative, was nominated by Obama to head the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour division, but her nomination was withdrawn in October. Smith, who actually devised the Wage Watch program in New York, was appointed by Obama to be solicitor of labor. Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) placed her nomination on hold, meaning that Democrats will need 60 votes to move it forward. Her status was still in limbo as of this writing.
Even more worrisome for the American business community is President Obama’s attempt to pack the National Labor Relations Board with union lawyers who would make rulings that would achieve many of the same results as labor-friendly legislation. The most obvious example of such legislation is the Orwellian-named Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). The bill’s two major provisions would deny workers a secret ballot in voting on whether to unionize, and force employers into binding arbitration proceedings when negotiating contracts with unions. To this date, Republicans have succeeded in preventing EFCA from becoming law, but the bill’s legislative fate may not even matter if Obama gets several controversial nominees to the labor panel confirmed.
Currently, there are only two members on the five-member NRLB — one is a Republican and the other a Democrat. To tilt the balance of the board, Obama tapped two union lawyers (Craig Becker and Mark Pearce). He also appointed a Republican Senate staffer, Brian E. Hayes, in hopes it would dissuade Republican senators from blocking the other two.
Becker, a longtime labor activist, is the associate general counsel of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The left-wing magazine In These Times wrote that he “helped lay the intellectual foundation for the Employee Free Choice Act.” More relevantly, he wrote a law review article arguing that the major aims of EFCA could be achieved through rulings by the regulatory body to which Obama has appointed him.
“This is somebody who has announced ahead of time that he thinks he can do much of the left’s agenda through the regulatory process,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said in an interview with TAS. “It’s one thing for him to say he intends to do something, but when you look at it, where are the guardrails? Who says he can’t? Who slaps him down?”
Norquist said that if Becker were confirmed, all that would need to happen would be for somebody to file a complaint arguing that the unionization process at a particular business was unfair, and the union-friendly board could decide in the person’s favor and set rules for unionization and collective bargaining along the lines of what is prescribed by EFCA.
By Andrew Walden
Problems in the collection of atmospheric CO2 data parallel other absurdities in the global warming fraud. The Climategate scandal is exposing the massive and systematic fraud behind the fabrication of the worldwide temperature record necessary to make the case for global warming. But what about the record of atmospheric CO2?
The U.S. NOAA openly admits to producing a CO2 record which “contains no actual data.” NOAA temperature stations sited in ways that artificially inflate temperatures have been exposed over the past two years. CO2 observatories have similar flaws. Two of the five NOAA “baseline” stations are downwind from erupting volcanoes. All five are subject to localized or regional CO2 sources.
In case you’ve been on another planet for the last ten months, you know that President Obama’s standard answer for the economic meltdown, and his anemic prescription to fix it, has been that the blame rests wholly on his predecessor. “I inherited this” has been Obama’s mantra from day one of his Presidency with regard to any problem he encounters.
In a revealing testament to President Obama’s true character, last week when he and his administration touted the success of the TARP program and how banks were paying back their bailout money — with interest — he never once gave credit to the President responsible for the TARP program.
Likewise, when it was proposed in November by the Obama administration to use TARP funds to help with housing and cut the deficit, the President responsible for the TARP program was somehow never mentioned.
And more recently, in last week’s economic summit, when it was proposed that “unused” TARP money be used for unemployment and job creation, once again, President Obama never mentioned the President responsible for that program.
During a policy speech regarding “his” new surge strategy in Afghanistan, President Obama also failed to give credit to that same President, who just happened to be responsible for that same successful “surge” strategy used in Iraq.
Just who is this former President that the smartest President ever elected looks to for his first opportunity to actually succeed in anything?
Let’s wait and see if President Obama holds a prime-time news conference anytime soon to announce the name of that remarkable President — and maybe even thank him.
Dec. 7, 2009
The American Thinker
It’s now been 12 days since the emails from the CRU lab found their way on to the internet and into the consciousness of many Americans.
But if you’re looking for coverage of the story on TV, you have to really look for it. Fox News is covering many of the revelations, but as for the rest, The Maxwell Smart Cone of Silence has descended and it’s as if the story doesn’t exist.
A Washington Times editorial puts this in perspective:
Never mind that two major universities have at least temporarily removed prominent academics from heading major climate research facilities. Never mind that there are real questions raised about the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) controversial assessment report that the Obama administration and global-warming advocates have continually hyped in order to advance their case for new global regulations to curtail purported global warming.Liberal news agencies might be casting a blind eye at this controversy, but even left-wing comedians such as “The Daily Show’s” Jon Stewart take these events seriously enough to make fun of the defenses being offered by the scientists caught in the scandal. Take one of Mr. Stewart’s jokes regarding the now infamous e-mail about the “trick of adding in the real temps to each series … to hide the decline [in temperature].” A Tuesday repartee follows:
Mr. Stewart: “It’s nothing. He was just using a trick to hide the decline. It is just scientist speak for using a standard statistical technique recalibrating data in order to trick you into not knowing about the decline. But here is what is great about science in disagreement. We go back and look at the raw data.”
Announcer: “University scientists say raw data from the 1980s was thrown out.”
Jon Stewart: “Why would you go and throw out data from the 1980s? I still have Penthouses from the 1970s.”
Say what you want about Jon Stewart – and we’ve said plenty here at AT – the guy has a nose for news that the American people want to know. And what little people have learned about Climategate from the internet, Stewart, and late night TV comics has whetted their appetite for more.
This hasn’t moved the gatekeepers of the old media who continue to bury the story, hoping it will just go away. Fortunately, there are enough internet outlets as well as a precious few newspapers – many in Great Britain – who know a good story when they see it and are pursuing it with energy and intelligence.
It should be interesting to watch as mainstream news outlets have to really work to ignore Climategate at Copenhagen. My guess; they won’t even cover the questions asked about it.
Dec. 7, 2009
The American Thinker
Thankfully, it doesn’t appear that the Copenhagen meeting will produce a CO2 emissions control agreement against a backdrop of global cooling, the climategate scandal, and economic weakness. Nevertheless, what the U.N. insiders and Obama are plotting there is monstrous. This week, the cuckoo’s nest is in Copenhagen
Canada Free Press
By Dennis Jones Sunday, December 6, 2009
In the business world most executives get an annual performance evaluation that reviews the past year’s accomplishments or shortcomings and compares them to previously agreed upon goals and accountabilities. As 2009 draws to a close, the following is a recap and review that President Obama might receive for his performance over the past year starting with his previous experience:
Prior Relevant Experience
- 3 years in the US Senate (two spent running for President) – no major legislation authored, only credit taken for legislation introduced by others.
- 7 years in the Illinois state senate, a part-time calling that allowed him to serve as a part-time law professor.
- Three years as a “community organizer”.
Selected Domestic Policy Accomplishments
- Tripled the budget deficit to $1.4 Trillion (daily interest on the national debt is now over a billion dollars a day).
- Pushed for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, aka the pork-laden Stimulus of $787 billion that he personally promised would keep unemployment from rising over 8%. In fact, unemployment been over 8% since the ARRA was passed in February and in the 10% range every month since August.
- Championed ill-conceived Cap and Trade legislation based on faulty and fraudulent science.¬† If passed, this legislation would amount to a substantial tax on every American and severely crimp the economy.
- Made health care the number one issue in America and socialized medicine the country’s priority when polls reflect that it is not the first priority of Americans.¬† Meanwhile 8 million jobs have been lost in the worst economic slump since the great depression, Iran and North Korea are accelerating their nuclear programs uncontested and both federal and many state budget deficits are unsustainable.
- Agreed to give Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, found by the 9/11 Commission Report to be the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks, and four other terrorists legal protection and potential not guilty verdicts via a civil trial nearby the site of the attacks.
Selected Foreign Policy Accomplishments
- Failed to get Russia to agree to sanction Iran for its nuclear programs at a cost of selling out Eastern Europe and giving up the anti-ballistic US missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic
- Apologized for America and expressed solidarity with Muslims in his Cairo speech during his four nation trip to the Middle East and Europe. “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism—it is an important part of promoting peace,” he said.
- Schmoozed with dictators Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega at the 34-country Summit of the Americas and again apologized for America: “We have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms. But I pledge to you that we seek an equal partnership. There is no senior partner and junior partner in our relations.”
- Accomplished absolutely nothing on his recent trip to Asia widely panned by the media of both the US and Asia.
- Pondered what to do in Afghanistan for 100 days and then committed more troops. General McChrystal advised him to commit more troops in his one five-minute meeting with Obama three months ago.
Miscellaneous Selected Accomplishments in Random Order:
- Ceded the most power to unelected officials in history creating he largest number of Czars, not elected and not confirmed by Congress, ever.¬† Their qualifications will be another column.
- Changed the image of the US from strength to weakness by his high profile bowing to the King of Saudi Arabia, to Vladimir Putin and to the Japanese Emperor.
- Scolded CEO’s for travel expenses then took Mrs. Obama to a Broadway show via presidential jet.
- Failed to bring the Olympics to Chicago after a very public personal effort.¬† Both he and Mrs. Obama jetted off to Copenhagen, on separate jets, in a highly visible lobbying trip that was unconvincing to the Olympic committee.
- Won the Nobel Peace Prize for accomplishing precisely nothing.
- Sold a flight on Air Force One that over-flew Manhattan and panicked the city.
- Gave high-profile thoughtless gifts, an Ipod to the Queen of England and to Prime Minister Gordon Brown a box of 25 DVD’s of classic American movies.¬† In contrast, the Prime Minister gave Mr. Obama a very thoughtful and symbolic gift—an ornamental pen holder made from the timbers of the Victorian anti-slave ship HMS Gannet that complemented the oak from the Gannet’s sister ship, HMS Resolute, carved to make a desk that has sat in the Oval Office in the White House since 1880.
- Achieved a record number of cabinet picks that subsequently withdrew due to tax other ethics problems.
- Building a cabinet with the least amount of private sector experience since 1900. Less than 10% of the cabinet members have private sector experience.
- Met with Andy Stern, President of Big Labor’s SEIU 7 times in a record 22 visits (the most frequent visitor according to white house logs) after pledging to keep lobbyists out of the White House.
Summary of Performance:
- Performance generally unsatisfactory.
- Ineffective, lacks leadership skills and experience.
- Has difficulty focusing on agreed-upon priorities.
- Not fiscally responsible or able to adhere to a budget.
- Exhibits poor judgment when dealing with peers and colleagues.
- Not suitable for rehire.