September 12, 2009

Obama Lied, His Credibility Died…

Filed under: Activism,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Rose @ 2:42 pm

From Matt Barber writing at Renew America:

Obama lied, his credibility died
By J. Matt Barber

On Wednesday night President Obama threw a universal healthcare Hail Mary. The call? Incomplete pass.

His much anticipated address to a joint session of Congress promised to finally — for real, this time — provide details about his “healthcare reform plan” (the government takeover of about 20 percent of America’s once free market).

…This was Obama’s umpteenth healthcare homily amid an average of more than one speech per day since he’s taken office. True, it’s better he should run his mouth than actually attempt to govern, but, nonetheless, it’s become annoying that he continues to stubbornly refuse America’s, “Not only no but h— no,” answer to his persistent “pretty please.”

…As for the speech: I’ll leave it to other pundits to tackle the President’s arrogantly partisan, condescending and less-than-convincing Windy City tough-guy tone. Instead, I want to address — at the risk of being “called out” by chief thug, Rahm Emanuel (scary, I know) — the fact that Obama, with a straight face, repeatedly lied to the American people (the teleprompter made him do it). I was reminded of my eight year-old, standing before me with chocolaty crumb covered cheeks, saying, “Cookie? What cookie?”

The presidential untruths were plentiful, ranging from “death panel” denials to promises of illegal immigrant exclusions. But, for now, let’s focus on one POTUS’ double whopper:

During his speech the President assured us: “Under our plan no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.” So, naturally, Planned Parenthood, NOW, NARAL and all the other lefty pro-abort wactivist groups are up in arms today, decrying the President for discriminating against women and setting back “reproductive rights” by decades.

…The Capps Amendment even affirmatively permits taxpayer funded insurers to cover abortions, requiring “that at least one insurer in the federal insurance exchange” does so. Furthermore, the Secretary of Health and Human Services — pro-abortion radical Kathleen Sebelius — gets “to decide if the public option itself would provide abortion coverage.” (Wonder how that’ll work out for the unborn?)

…The abortion mandate alone is a deal breaker for the majority of Americans and Obama knows that. So he had to lie. It’s just too bad for him that the American people aren’t nearly as stupid as he gives them credit for.

Read the whole thing here.

P.S. Mitt Romney, call your office…

AP Report On Census Bureau’s Firing of ACORN Ignores Second O’Keefe Video Sting, Minimizes Impact of First

Acorn_FRAUD

(Image found at KMBZ.com; scroll down about halfway at link.)

Early this morning (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I posted on the Associated Press’s treatment of the firing of two employees at ACORN’s Baltimore office. These employees were successfully stung by undercover filmmaker James O’Keefe, who posed as a pimp (one who said he has plans to use the money from his “enterprise” to run for Congress), and Hannah Giles, who posed as a prostitute.

In a pair of videos (full script here) released on Thursday, viewers saw the two helpful ACORN Baltimore employees tell O’Keefe and Giles, among many jaw-dropping things, that:

  • Giles should call herself a “freelance performing artist” for tax purposes.
  • That they should claim three of 13 underage girls the pair planned to bring in from El Salvador to work as prostitutes as dependents.
  • That the prostitute should also claim child tax credits for those declared as “dependents.”

O’Keefe and Giles piled on Friday morning by releasing a second pair of videos showing that they had pulled off a similar sting at ACORN’s DC office.

But if we’re to believe the Associated Press’s Hope Yen, Friday’s out of the blue decision by the Census Bureau to sever its ties with ACORN in connection with the 2010 census had nothing or at most very little to do with what O’Keefe and Giles pulled off. Instead, Yen portrayed the decision as a cave-in to the minority party in Washington known as Republicans. Uh-huh.

Here is a screen cap of most of Yen’s report (saved here in full for future reference, fair use, and discussion purposes):

APonCensusBureauACORNfiring091109

Wow. That’s six references to the GOP or Republican Party members objecting to ACORN, and no references to any of the Democratic Party’s shrill defenders of the rogue organization.

Yen didn’t mention O’Keefe’s Baltimore sting video until paragraphs 10 and 11, and never mentioned the DC sting, even though its related videos were released at O’Keefe’s BigGovernment.com web site at about 7 a.m. Friday morning. Given the hubbub O’Keefe’s work has raised, it’s virtually inconceivable that Yen and AP didn’t know about the second sting. Yet Yen’s report repeated the contention of ACORN Maryland’s Margaret Williams that “undercover teams attempted similar setups in at least three other ACORN offices.” Note that Williams didn’t refer specifically to O’Keefe, because she obviously can’t fully truthfully do so. I would not be surprised if Williams knew that the second sting video was in the can, just waiting to drop.

By permitting Ms. Williams’s misleading statement to appear unchallenged, Yen left readers who even get that far with a clear misimpression that O’Keefe and Giles only pulled their stunt once.

So the Census Bureau, which as Yen acknowledged in an unexcerpted paragraph had “up to now” resisted GOP pressure for months, all of a sudden caves and dumps ACORN, and we’re supposed to believe that it’s all because of Republicans. Horse manure, Hope.

Cross-posted at NewBusters.org.

In Defense of Van Jones (Sort of)

PentagonWTCVanJonesHe gets thrown under the bus, while manifestly corrupt career politicians thrive. Also: See Update below.

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Note: This column appeared at Pajamas Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Thursday.

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You know, if I were Van Jones, I’d be pretty upset right about now, but for reasons other than the ones he is citing.

Don’t get me wrong. Jones had to go, for reasons somewhat known and others hardly known. At this point the somewhat-knowns are his consistent communism, his documented 9/11 “truther” beliefs (with a totally unconvincing “I never read it” denial), and his inability or perhaps unwillingness to specifically define what a “green job” is.

Okay, Jones tried to define a “green job” for the Washington Post, saying that, “A green job and especially a green-collar job is a blue-collar job that has been upgraded and up-skilled to better respect the environment.” Under that definition, it seems that if a guy or gal on the assembly line in the most stinking, rotten, polluting factory in America starts putting empty pop cans into the recycle container instead of the general trash, their job might count as “green.” Actually, I think Jones and other enviros touting “green jobs” are reluctant to define the term because “the green” involved relates to something, or I should say $omething, that has little to do with the environment.

The most important hardly known item in Jones’s resume is his truly disturbing “deserver” statement roughly 40 hours after the 9/11 attacks. At a gathering on the night of September 12, 2001 at Oakland’s Snow Park, Jones said that “It’s the bombs that the government has been dropping around the world that are now blowing up inside the U.S. borders.” So we deserved 9/11. Move over, Jeremiah Wright. I’d say that if you’re looking for a reason why Jones resigned so suddenly in the dead of night Sunday morning, you need look no further than the fact that a link to a similar statement Jones allegedly made at the same event was posted at Powerline early Saturday evening.

All of that said, the fact remains that Van Jones has from all appearances not recently committed a crime, has apparently paid his societal penance for his past crimes, and has not committed an error of commission or omission during his brief tenure that would have justified a forced “resignation.” Shoot, if you look around at others in the administration like John Holdren, Zeke the Bleak Emanuel, Carol Browner, Eric Holder, and others, you could probably make a good argument that Jones’s beliefs are in the mainstream of Obama administration and Democratic congressional political thought.

So why is Jones gone, while the likes of Tim Geithner, Nancy Pelosi, and Charlie Rangel, to name just a few, are still footloose, fancy-free, and federally employed?

Treasury Secretary Geithner, whose purview includes the Internal Revenue Service, committed enough errors of omission and commission on his tax returns — errors way beyond “only” failure to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on his income while he was at the World Bank — that they could not possibly all have been innocent errors. Geithner didn’t merely avoid taxes; he evaded them. Last time I checked, tax evasion is a crime.

Geithner also lied to Congress about bonus payouts to those eeeeevil AIG executives. It’s on the record that he knew about them on March 3 (“Geithner was directly questioned about the specific bonuses”). But he later said through a spokesman that he “was not aware of the timing or full extent of the contractual retention payments or the other bonus programs until his staff brought them to his attention on March 10.” Horse manure. Geithner lied to Congress. Last time I checked, that’s still a crime.

Unlike Jones’s whopper about his Truther past, Nancy Pelosi has lied about events that have taken place while carrying out her official duties as congressperson, House Minority Leader, and House Majority Leader. Specifically, she claims not to have been briefed by the CIA about enhanced interrogation techniques employed in the years following the 9/11 attacks. Even the left-leaning FactCheck.org calls Pelosi’s various and changing claims made over the first half of this year “tortured denials.” To this day, she stands by her smear, and the accommodating media establishment in Washington has let it go. That doesn’t make it right, and it doesn’t make it legal.

Then there’s Harlem Congressman Rangel, whose January 1971 arrival in office followed the baseball season of Gotham’s Amazin’ Mets by only 15 months. Rangel has so many problems it would probably take a full column just to enumerate them. The biggies are:

  • Taking “a ‘homestead’ tax break on a Washington, DC, house for years while simultaneously occupying multiple rent-stabilized apartments in New York City, possibly violating laws and regulations in both cases.”
  • Earning “more than $75,000 in rental income from a villa he has owned in the Dominican Republic since 1988, but never report(ing) it on his federal or state tax returns.”
  • Failing to disclose a credit union account “worth at least $250,000 …. a retirement account worth at least $250,000, property in New Jersey and shares in two publicly-traded companies” on required financial disclosure forms.

In case you didn’t know, Rangel is Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the House’s chief tax-writing committee. The irony overflows.

Rangel’s responses thus far have been to play dumbspread money around to other congressmen who may at some point be called on to evaluate his fitness to serve (that’s not apparently not bribery inside the Beltway; instead, it’s known as “standard operating procedure”); and play the racism-distraction card over the moral clunker known as ObamaCare.

None of this changes the fact that gaming the rent-control system and tax evasion are crimes, and incomplete financial disclosure is an illegal act.

But unlike Van Jones, Tim Geithner, Nancy Pelosi, and Charlie Rangel remain firmly ensconced in their positions of federal power, with most if not all of their accumulated wealth and power intact, and little if any prospect that they will ever have to face the music for their crimes or misdeeds.

On that basis, Van Jones has every right to be upset.

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UPDATE: Those who believe that my characterization of “green jobs” was a bit too snide haven’t seen how ridiculously wide the Pew Charitable Trusts’ definition of “green jobs” was in its POS (Pretty Over-the-top Stuff) report that I criticized in mid-June. This is the same report that told the public that job growth in “green jobs” was about triple that of the rest of the economy. Horse manure; as Pew crudely defined it, it was less.

As an example of bogus “green jobs,” and who Pew included in the mix, I give you Johnson Controls. The company has been designing energy-efficient buildings and improving the efficiency of existing buildings for decades. Now all of a sudden, Pew decides that anyone working in that part of the company is in a “green job.” Excuse the expression, but that’s garbage; those are “normal capitalist economy” jobs.

Sowell: Listening to a Liar Part II

Filed under: Activism,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Rose @ 8:37 am

In case you missed this from Creators.com (HT Emailer):

Listening to a Liar: Part II
By Thomas Sowell 9/10/2009

“Hubris-laden charlatans” was the way a recent e-mail from a reader characterized the Obama administration. That phrase seems especially appropriate for the Charlatan-in-Chief, Barack Obama, whose speech to a joint session of Congress was both a masterpiece of rhetoric and a shameless fraud.

To tell us, with a straight face, that he can insure millions more people without adding to the already skyrocketing deficit, is world-class chutzpa and an insult to anyone’s intelligence. To do so after an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office has already showed this to be impossible reveals the depths of moral bankruptcy behind the glittering words.

…Obama can deny it in words but what matters are deeds— and no one’s words have been more repeatedly the direct opposite of his deeds— whether talking about how his election campaign would be financed, how he would not rush legislation through Congress, or how his administration was not going to go after CIA agents for their past efforts to extract information from captured terrorists.

President Obama has also declared emphatically that he will not interfere in the internal affairs of other nations— while telling the Israelis where they can and cannot build settlements and telling the Hondurans whom they should and should not choose to be their president.

Con men understand that their job is not to use facts to convince skeptics but to use words to help the gullible to believe what they want to believe. No message has been more welcomed by the gullible, in countries around the world, than the promise of something for nothing. That is the core of Barack Obama’s medical care plan.

…President Obama tells us that he will impose various mandates on insurance companies but will not interfere with our free choice between being insured by these companies or by the government. But if he can drive up the cost of private insurance with mandates and subsidize government insurance with the taxpayers’ money, how long do you think it will be before we have the “single payer” system has he has advocated in the past?

Mandates by politicians are what have driven up the cost of insurance already. Politicians love to play Santa Claus and leave it to others to raise prices to cover the inevitable costs.

Read the whole thing here.

Thomas Sowell is definitively on my “Top five people to have over for dinner” list.

AP Story On ACORN Sting Video Firings Contains De Facto Commercial (UPDATE: There’s a Sting II)

APabsolutelyPathetic0109Thursday night, the Associated Press reported on the Baltimore ACORN sting carried out by James O’Keefe of Andrew Breitbart’s new BigGovernment.com web site.A paragraph near the end of the report is virtually a de facto commercial for the controversial group.

As to the sting itself, in case you missed it — in two devastating videos originally posted here that you must see, O’Keefe and Hannah Giles posed as a pimp and prostitute  who, as summarized in original Fox News coverage, told officials at ACORN’s Baltimore office that they “wanted to secure housing where the woman could continue to maintain a prostitution business.”

ACORN said Thursday that it has fired the two employees who are seen on tape telling O’Keefe and Giles the following, among a host of sickening howlers:

  • That the prostitute could list her occupation on tax forms as “freelance performing artist”
  • That three of 13 underage girls the pair planned to bring in from El Salvador to work as prostitutes could be claimed as dependents (you see, trying to claim 13 dependents would “raise too many red flags”).
  • That the prostitute should also call the girls claimed as dependents “relatives,” and also claim child tax credits for them.
  • To stop using the word “prostitution,” and among 12 street-smart rules, train the underage girls to “keep their mouths shut.”

Here’s how AP covered the fallout from that story Thursday evening (saved here in full for fair use and discussion purposes):

APonACORNfirings091009

The first sentence in the red-boxed paragraph is a blatant, one-sided commercial. AP doesn’t tell us that ACORN “says” it advocates for poor people; no-no-no, it acts as if that’s an established fact. The second sentence is an attempt to downplay known facts about the group’s widespread association with voter fraud. Concerns about ACORN not only coming from “conservatives,” but libertarians, liberals with a sense of fair play, and most importantly from county boards of elections, which ordinarily have equal representations of Democrats (not all of whom are liberal) and Republicans (not all of whom are conservative).

The ACORN link AP provides is to the group’s main home page, not ACORN Baltimore.

In an unexcerpted paragraph, the wire service labels O’Keefe a “conservative activist.” His views may or may not be conservative, but O’Keefe calls himself an “activist filmmaker.” By contrast, readers here will be totally not shocked to learn that in a roughly 550-word September 6 AP story about Michael Moore and his latest release (“Capitalism: A Love Story”), the wire service’s Colleen Barry never hangs any kind of judgmental label on Moore — not “liberal,” “leftist,” or even “activist.”

If you’re thinking that the AP is upset that ACORN got nailed, would rather not have to tell us what has happened, is bound and determined to salvage whatever shred of credibility it can for the outlaw group, and wants to minimize the negative fallout in reports its subscribers use, I would suggest that you’re in the right neighborhood.

AP didn’t handle ACORN’s Friday firing by the Census Bureau any better. I will address that story shortly.

UPDATE: Sting II — The AP report includes a claim by ACORN’s Margaret Williams that "undercover teams attempted similar setups in at least three other ACORN offices." Clever wording: She’s not saying that O’Keefe and Giles were the attempters in the other instances. The fact is, as revealed Friday, O’Keefe and Giles "attempted" to pull off their idea at the DC ACORN office. Oops, they "succeeded" again, and it’s also on video.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.