May 28, 2011

AP Reporters Fabricate Scurrilous ‘Possible’ Reason Why Walesa Wouldn’t Meet With Obama

Filed under: National Security,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:49 am

APabsolutelyPathetic0109I’ve seen Associated Press reporters make absurd assertions before, but a statement written by Julie Pace and Vanessa Gera, who covered President Barack Obama’s trip to Poland yesterday, has to be at or near the top of the list of all-time humdingers.

Polish Solidarity hero and Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Walesa did not meet with Obama yesterday. Wait until you see the disgraceful speculation as to why there was no meeting in the bolded sentence in the fourth paragraph of the following excerpt from the AP pair’s Friday evening report:

Hours before Obama arrived, Polish headlines were dominated by news that he was being snubbed by legendary Solidarity founder Lech Walesa, who said he was refusing to meet with Obama.

Solidarity was a national freedom movement under Walesa’s leadership in the 1980s that helped bring down communism. His courage in defying communist authorities at the time earned him a Nobel peace prize. Walesa said in televised remarks that President Bronislaw Komorowski and the U.S. ambassador to Poland had called him hoping to persuade him to meet Obama. Walesa insisted, however, that he had no interest in a meeting that would amount to little more than a photo-op.

“This time a meeting does not suit me,” the 67-year-old former president said in comments on news station TVN24. His office said he planned instead to attend a biblical festival in Italy.

Walesa refused to divulge more, but it seemed possible he was offended at not being offered a one-on-one meeting with Obama early on. Walesa had been invited to meet with Obama along with other former leaders of the anti-communist movement and current party leaders.”

“It seemed possible”? Are you kidding me?

Translation: We’re totally making this up, but we thought we’d throw it out there anyway just to make the guy who more than anyone else on earth is responsible for the early stages of bringing about the fall of the Iron Curtain look like a petty, egomaniacal old man.

There was absolutely no call for the AP pair’s unsupported speculation.

In a Friday editorial (“Walesa Stands Up”), Investors Business Daily opined on Walesa’s “seemingly more possible” motivations (it’s an editorial, Julie and Vanessa, so they’re allowed):

Someone who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for actually doing something just snubbed someone who won it for nothing. But Lech Walesa’s refusal to meet President Obama is also a cry to save Poland.

Lech Walesa, the former Polish president and heroic leader of the Solidarity trade union that helped liberate the entire Eastern European Soviet bloc from communist rule, has his moral courage indelibly engraved in the history books.

… on Friday, Walesa once again answered the call to duty and announced he would not accept fellow Nobel Peace laureate President Obama’s invitation to meet with him in Poland after the G-8 Summit in France.

… Close observers of this president for the two-plus years of his rule know he isn’t interested in listening to the likes of Walesa, any more than he wants to hear the leaders of former Soviet satellite states explain how the low, flat tax rates they adopted in recent years led their nations to double-digit GDP growth.

For the sake of preserving Poland’s hard-fought freedom, Komorowski and Tusk should be joining Walesa in giving Obama the cold shoulder.

The president hadn’t even had a chance to redecorate the Oval Office before he felt the need, in fall of 2009, to appease Moscow by scrapping plans to build a missile defense shield protecting Poland and the Czech Republic from attack by Russia, Iran or any other aggressor.

At the time, the Polish minister of defense said, “This is catastrophic for Poland.”

The message, once again, delivered loud and clear to America’s friends, allies and enemies alike, is that the U.S. can’t be relied on.

… The message Poland’s leaders should deliver to our self-satisfied president is the one Walesa is delivering by his absence: Neither your Nobel nor bin Laden’s head, Mr. President, is a substitute for U.S. help in keeping a liberated Eastern Europe liberated.

IBD’s explanation “seems more possible” to me, and anyone else with both a sense of history and an understanding of how Obama so quickly turned his back on Eastern Europe’s security needs once he had a chance.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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BizzyBlog Update: The AP pair writing that “Solidarity was a national freedom movement” is like saying that “George Washington and the Founders were a group which won freedom from its British colonial rulers.” The use of “a” downplays the movement’s significance, arguably deliberately.

Properly stated, “Solidarity was THE national freedom movement”, and “Washington and the Founders were THE group which won freedom.” In each case, there were no others.

BizzyBlog Update 2: The AP report cited here is as good an example as any of how the establishment press will smear anyone and everyone who dares to threaten Dear Leader’s image.

IBD Blasts Obama’s Pathetic Regulatory ‘Cuts’ (Update: States Are Also to Blame)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:51 am

redtapeI liken Team Obama’s overhyped regulatory “cuts” to an alcoholic who brags about throwing out a few old six-packs of beer while in the meantime graduating to daily gallons of Jack Black, straight up. Just as that person is still very addicted at alcohol, this administration is still very addicted to command-and-control. Occasionally they even use that revealing term themselves. (The first step in their 12-step program would be to admit the following out loud: “I am a statist.”)

Investors Business Daily is similarly unimpressed, and has the detail to back it up in a Friday evening editorial:

Nobody should be fooled by President Obama’s latest effort to appear business-friendly by trimming a few old federal regulations. This is still the most pro-regulation, anti-business administration in decades.

… in the end it’s meaningless, since Obama is at the same time eagerly imposing a vast array of rules and regulations on every nook and cranny of the economy, the costs of which will overwhelm whatever minor savings his regulatory review achieves. Consider:

  • The number of pages in the Federal Register — the government’s central repository of new regulations — leapt 18% from 2009 to 2010. (Does anyone think that Susstein’s vaunted savings come anywhere near enough to eliminate that 18%? Didn’t thinks so. — Ed.)
  • In just his first 18 months in office, Obama imposed 43 major regulations that will cost businesses more than $26 billion. As the Heritage Foundation noted in a report out last fall, that’s “far more than any other year for which records are available.”
  • As ObamaCare kicks in, it will saddle the health care industry with a mind-boggling amount of new rules. Just six pages of text in the law already resulted in 429 pages of regulations. (That projects out to a potential 193,000 pages if spread over the law’s 2,700 pages, which would be enough 20-lb. paper to fill over 19 ten-ream paper boxes. — Ed.)
  • The Dodd-Frank financial overhaul will require 243 rule makings by 11 federal agencies, the Heritage report notes. That doesn’t include whatever mischief the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau dreams up.
  • The paperwork burden for the FCC’s net neutrality rule — which supposedly would keep Internet service providers from restricting consumers’ online access — is reportedly so extensive and time consuming that, five months after announcing it, the agency still hasn’t been able to issue the rule.
  • As IBD reported last week, the Education Department is getting ready to impose a new rule on for-profit colleges that, according to Democrats and Republicans alike, will hamstring this once thriving industry with costly new regulatory burdens.

On and on it goes. Obama wants credit for recognizing that federal regulations hamper economic growth, often without providing any real benefits in return.

As usual, when it comes to something sensible, Team Obama doesn’t really mean it, and is putting on a politically useful but functionally useless show.

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UPDATE: And, of course, it isn’t just the feds (internal link in original) –

Homa Dashtaki started a tiny artisan yogurt business, named The White Moustache, for her father. According to The Economist, she had yet to make a profit, as she brought in $300 in revenue a week, before she was called to shut down.

[S]he encountered that other American tradition, red tape (after the red bands that used to hold bundles of bureaucratic papers together in the old days). For although she had spent a year getting the required permits from Orange County, she had, it turned out, yet to make the acquaintance of the “milk and dairy food safety branch” of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). On a Saturday morning in March, Ms Dashtaki got a call and was told to shut down or risk prosecution.

Dashtaki is considering moving out of California to another state with more realistic laws, but for now she’s in a holding pattern. It’s time to take a step back and look at who’s getting hurt by such antiquated and downright absurd laws.

I’ll betcha a few other states would welcome Ms. Dashtaki’s presence.

Positivity: Catholic man finishes run across America with deepened faith

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Long Island, NY:

May 24, 2011 / 05:45 am

Jeff Grabosky has completed his 3,700-mile run across America, an endeavor he says gave him a new perspective on America and on his Catholic faith.

“It feels beyond awesome. It’s still sinking in, but it’s an amazing and almost indescribable feeling,” he told CNA May 23, two days after his finish at Smith Point in Long Island, New York.

“The feeling that I had at the end of that run was of such fulfillment and satisfaction that I had done well. I had lived my life through that run with faith and with the intent of helping others.

“If I could extend what I did during my run and translate that into the rest of my life, then I think that my life will truly be a success”

Grabosky, a 28-year-old native of New Jersey, decided to run across the country to inspire others and to use his talents to serve God. He received prayer intentions from others and prayed for them on his Rosary ring while he ran. He estimated he prayed 35,000 Hail Marys during a journey that began on January 20 in Oceanside, Calif.

“My faith has only been deepened by this experience and has made me want to be a better person on so many different levels,” he explained.

He thinks he “definitely” would not have finished if it wasn’t for his own faith and prayer and the prayers of others on his behalf.

He took inspiration from his mother, who died of cancer in 2006. She too was a runner who prayed the Rosary during her runs.

Grabosky said that although he faced physical problems and bad weather, his biggest challenge was to stay “focused and positive” in times of difficulty.

“I think that’s really where the faith and the prayer aspect came in and helped get me through every time,” he said.

He described the best part of his run as “just being able to stay focused in prayer.”

His prayers bore fruit.

“It was amazing. Anytime I needed something, it showed up just when I needed it. A place to stay, water, food… I certainly had to do my part, but it never got to the point where I was out of options.

“God was walking with me every step. And just when I couldn’t do any more he stepped in and took care of me.”

Grabosky said his most memorable encounters were with people he otherwise would never have met.

“The media portrays America as being selfish and money-driven, and everything that goes along with that stereotype. But from my experience, it’s exactly the opposite. Everyone was so kind and generous and wanted to help out in any way they could,” he recalled. “It was surprising. Even the people who obviously didn’t have much were some of the most willing to give what they had.

“That’s really made me want to be a better person and be more generous with the blessings that I have.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.