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April 2, 2010

“Billboards Against Obama” Born in Atlanta – Nationwide Next?

Author: AHFF Geoff - Categories: Daily Content - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

President Barack Obama, seen here campaigning in 2007 with convicted felon and former Detroit Democratic mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, may be troubled by the new opposition group in Atlanta know as Billboards Against Obama

A mysterious new entity opposed to the big government agenda of the Obama Administration emerged recently, posting several large billboards on Atlanta’s main highways speaking out against the Administration.  This dynamic new form of political speech, born in Atlanta, GA, may set off a new wave of political activism on both the right and left as others follow suit.   The new entity, Billboards against Obama, apparently is not in tune with Obama’s call today for Americans to tone down opposition to his policies. Local Atlanta NBC affiliate 11Alive reports:

One group is taking freedom of speech and freedom of expression to the limits in a series of Metro Atlanta highway billboards voicing strong opinions against President Barack Obama.

The billboards are the latest move to sway public opinion — and for a price you can have your say.

The signs are in a series of four digital billboards ranging in price from $2,500 to $3,500 a month. They offer pre-packaged messages like “Stop Obama Socialism,” or one that can be seen at Spaghetti Junction saying “Now it’s personal.”

The group behind the billboards call themselves BillboardsAgainstObama.com.

Two of the billboard locations are on Interstate 85; one is at Spaghetti Junction and one along Peachtree Industrial.

New Obama Opposition Group "Billboards Against Obama" Has Bought up Billboards on Major Atlanta Highways and Posted Messages Such As This

Friends of CentristNet in Atlanta tell us that Interstate 85 is one of the highest traffic highways in the city, and Spaghetti Junction is perhaps the busiest intersection in the metro Atlanta area, meaning millions of Georgians are viewing the billboards every day. Here’s the main message from the Billboards Against Obama website:

Do you love freedom? Do you love independence? Do you value the opportunity in the United States to work hard, take risks, and succeed? If the current administration completes the process they are racing to achieve, all of this will be gone! To stop the madness, we must speak out now. BILLBOARDS AGAINST OBAMA is a practical and effective way to join the battle, be seen, be heard, before it’s too late!

The messaging appears to be standard fare of the rank and file of Americans opposed to Obama’s agenda, with a focus on maintaining a capitalist, free market system where growing government does not become the predominant in the America economy and everyday life.

Obamacare clearly exemplifies this goal of the of increased federal government size and involvement in everyday life, with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of new federal health bureaucrats (and new IRS agents) set to be added to the already-bloated federal payrolls by 2014. Indeed, as noted by House Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), the senior House Democrat and major figure in the Obamacare passage drama, between now and 2014 the government will be busying itself with the “necessary administrative steps” to bring Obamacare fully online by 2014 “to control the people” by 2014.

It appears micro-movements like Billboards Against Obama are a reaction to Obamacare and the unsettling implications of what American life would look like ion 2016 or so if Obamacare is allowed to be implemented without a rollback of some provisions, if not an outright repeal.   There is a very real possibility that America could sink into a social democratic welfare state, simliar to the many “enlightened” Western European societies that allegedly have better health care systems than America.  The signs went up just a few days ago, and so far the local media has gotten little information on the site’s owners:

11Alive News contacted the Web site owners today via e-mail and they said they would not reveal who they are or where they are based. They said they simply rely on e-mails to communicate.

So far, the nameless head of the group says their Web site has received more than 1,800 hits and that contributions that go toward paying for the billboards.

There is no indication that any one person is paying for any one display.

The group does say it’s getting some negative feedback on the Web site, but the site says the amount of money being raised to expand the program.

So far on the Web site, there are three anti-Obama messages to choose from, and contributors are given the option to create more.

CentristNet predicts that this site, and sites like it, may be the leading edge of a new form of opposition to the high spending/big government agenda of President Obama, as epitomized by his signature initiative, Obamacare. On the site, people are implored to donate small amounts to a sign of their choice in a place of their choice in the Atlanta area, and site creators promise to add a national set of choices soon:

WE’VE NEGOTIATED PACKAGE RATES ON MULTIPLE BILLBOARDS TO MOST EFFICIENTLY SPREAD THE WORD — for questions please email stopobama@billboardsagainstobama.com

OPTION A — Buy a month on a billboard
1. Click on PICK MESSAGE to select a billboard, or create your own message at CHECKOUT.
2. Click on PICK LOCATION 1-2 or 3-4. We currently have negotiated rates on 4 metro Atlanta billboards.
3. Click on CHECKOUT to submit an advertising application. NOTE: Not a commitment to purchase.
4. We will contact you with an advertising agreement to confirm your order, subject to payment.

OPTION B — Contribute to BillboardsAgainstObama

Your contribution will go directly toward the purchase of an ad in the Metro Atlanta area (more markets coming soon).

From the time of the publication of the 11Alive article this evening just after midnight, when the site has “1,800 hits”. Now, two hours later, the site is at 2,800 hits, as the local media attention begins to move folks to the site. In the days and weeks to come, micro-movements like Billboards Against Obama and perhaps others may assume a new and unpredictable role in the national political fight between the GOP and Obama leading up to the all-important November 2010 elections.

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April 1, 2010

FACE OFF: Obama 2005, 2006, 2008 Slam Obama 2010 Offshore Oil Drilling Policy

Author: AHFF Geoff - Categories: Daily Content - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Obama 2005 and Obama 2008 Appear to be Fierce Critics of Obama 2010's offshore oil drilling plan In what is one of the most explicit flip flops of the Obama Administration, President Barack Obama pushed a new offshore oil drilling policy today in a nakedly political attempt to shore up his sagging approval ratings in the wake of the historic passage of the unpopular Obamacare package.   Of course, as the establishment media cannot bring itself to ridicule Obama for his blatant hypocrisy, the Obama 2010 statements are being lauded as a genius “triangulation” move, while essentially ignoring Obama’s own 2008 words which condemn Obama 2010’s policy as “Washington” “gimmicks” that will have only a “negligible” effect on oil production after the passage of 10 years.

In a well-worn rhetorical strategy employed by the President, Obama claimed to be above the fray, the lone centrist in world of ideologues, in his remarks today, condemning those nasty partisans who “claim drilling is a cure-all and those who would claim it has no place“:

Obama 2010 Condemned Lefties Who Say Offshore Oil Drilling "Has No Place" In Energy Policy While Obama 2005 Claimed Offshore Oil Drilling is "Not a Solution"

Ultimately, we need to move beyond the tired debates of the left and the right, between business leaders and environmentalists, between those who would claim drilling is a cure-all and those who would claim it has no place, because this issue is just too important to allow our progress to languish while we fight the same old battles over and over again.

Of course, here Obama 2010 is condemning himself, as Obama 2005 was one of the partisan ideologues who slammed offshore oil drilling and claimed “it has no place” in energy policy in back in 2005 as Senator Obama (D-IL):

We could open up every square inch of America to drilling and we still wouldn’t even make a dent in our oil dependency. We could open up ANWR today, and at its peak, which would be more than a decade from now, it would give us enough oil to take care of our transportation needs for about a month. Clearly, this is not a solution.

Despite Obama 2005’s clear admonition that new oil drilling in America is “not a solution”, today, Obama says that in fact, it is part of his “from hybrid fleets to offshore drilling” energy solution, while also noting today that his new offshore drilling initiative will reduce dependence on foreign oil. Ironically, Obama 2005 also condemned offshore drilling as both ineffectual overall and as taking at least 10 years to have any effect at all, as did Obama 2008:

“Much like his gas-tax gimmick that would leave consumers with pennies in savings, opening our coastlines to offshore drilling would take at least a decade to produce any oil at all, and the effect on gasoline prices would be negligible at best since America only has 3 percent of the world’s oil. It’s another example of short-term political posturing from Washington, not the long-term leadership we need to solve our dependence on oil.”

And, in the irony of ironies, Obama 2008 absolutely slammed 2008 GOP Presidential candidate John McCain for “his decision to completely change his position” on offshore oil drilling:

Obama on Tuesday blasted McCain for changing his stance on offshore drilling.

“John McCain’s support of the moratorium on offshore drilling during his first presidential campaign was certainly laudable, but his decision to completely change his position and tell a group of Houston oil executives exactly what they wanted to hear today was the same Washington politics that has prevented us from achieving energy independence for decades,” he said in a written statement.

“It’s another example of short-term political posturing from Washington, not the long-term leadership we need to solve our dependence on oil,” he said.

So, according to Obama 2008, McCain’s decision to “completely change his position” from the earlier 2000 Presidential campaign to support offshore oil drilling in the 2008 Presidential campaign was “the same Washington politics that has prevented us from achieving energy independence for decades.”  Obama 2008 then again slammed Obama 2010 by saying a flip-flop on offshore oil drilling is simply “short-term political posturing from Washington” and not real leadership.  The multifaceted contradictions are enough to make Americans confused as to what exactly Obama stands for on any given policy at any given time.

No word, of course, from our vaunted American media on the massive level of explicit hypocrisy inherent in Obama’s offshore oil drilling announcement today, as he now proposes a policy he condemned as a “gimmick” in the 2008 Presidential campaign. Instead, the establishment media today is worshipping Obama 2010’s move to engage in what Obama 2008 called the “same Washington games” and “short term political posturing” to try to stop his crumbling approval ratings, calling it a “political coup” and heaping praise on the President for his explicit flip flopping:

Just days after Republicans fumed that passage of the health care bill tolled the death knell for bipartisanship, there was a very different message coming from some GOP quarters Wednesday: praise for President Barack Obama’s decision to lift the ban on some offshore oil drilling.

Credit Obama with pulling off a small political coup – one you could even call triangulation lite.

The price he paid in political terms was relatively small: Angry blowback from environmental activists who still support his overall climate change policy.

But the short-term benefits were large: By announcing the policy change, Obama defused a potentially potent Republican issue ahead of the summer gas spike and the fall midterms, while embracing major elements of the GOP’s “all of the above” energy approach to kick-start a stalled climate change bill.

And the drilling decision also allows the president to distance himself from liberal environmentalists disdained by some pro-drilling, blue-collar voters.

“It’s not a bad thing to show you’re willing to do something that gets liberals angry right after you pass the biggest liberal bill in a generation,” said a Senate Democrat staffer, whose boss opposes the policy.

MSNBC, of course, goes over the top in praising Obama 2010’s offshore drilling policy today, ignoring his prior statements which attack those who proposed increased offshore oil drilling while even going so far as to claim that Obama “has been a supporter of drilling” while forgetting about his prior, inconsistent statements from 2008 and 2005 entirely and finally focusing on the alleged “middle ground” Obama was trying to forge:

For a president on a roll following a big health care win, Wednesday’s drilling declaration was both aggressive and pragmatic. Even with a push for cleaner energy sources and efficient cars — and with promises of protection for ecosystems and coastal tourism — the nation still needs more oil, Obama said.

Obama has been a supporter of drilling as part of a broader energy agenda, and the White House played down any talk of wooing Republicans.

He implored people to accept a middle ground between viewing drilling as a cure-all or claiming it has no place in an energy portfolio.

Said the president: “This issue is just too important to allow our progress to languish while we fight the same old battles.”

The Obama Brand, as built by David Axelrod and the establishment media in 2007 and 2008, is one of a “pragmatic” “post-partisan” leader who pursues centrist policies and desires to change the evil ways of “Washington”. The historically partisan passage of Obamacare over bipartisan opposition in the House and Senate by solely Democratic congresspeople, via the use of historically unparalleled levels of pork and special interest deals, conclusively debunked the media-created narrative known as the Obama Brand. However, the establishment media, as loyal Obama supporters, remain committed to attempting to avoid discussion of these facts and instead pretend that Obama is a centrist leader with cheer-leading reports such as the Politico’s (“triangulation”) and MSNBC (“middle ground”), amongst others.

This sudden Obama lurch to embrace the McCain 2008 energy policy of “drill baby drill”, on the heels of the powerfully pro-American speech to troops in a surprise trip to Afghanistan, appears clearly designed to take the focus of his unpopular Obamacare legislation and hit notes that conservatives will be attracted to.

In terms of substance, Obama’s new offshore oil drilling policies are much ado about nothing, as they do not cut back on the massive amount of red tape inherent in the present, ineffective system for allowing domestic oil exploration, and even the decision to issue a lease, let alone actually drill anything, likely won’t be made until after the next Presidential election. Indeed, Obama’s announcement today can only be seen as a naked political play at a time when his base of support is eroding in the aftermath of Obamacare.

The long term benefit of this Obama approach politically is open to question, as the two politicians most tied to advocating increased offshore drilling – Sarah Palin (“drill baby drill”) and George W. Bush – are hated with an extreme passion by many, if not most, of Obama’s remaining supporters. Ironically, this offshore oil drilling flip flop may end up cutting into Obama’s hardcore leftist base more than it builds any additional conservative or centrist support, as Greenpeace and others have absolutely slammed Obama 2010’s offshore drilling policy:

On the heels of his victory on healthcare and student aid reform, President Obama announced today that he would kowtow to the oil industry and allow exploration and drilling in 167 million acres of coastal waters that have been protected for decades.

Obama’s proposal would allow oil and gas exploration in the coastal waters of the southern Atlantic states and the eastern Gulf of Mexico, threatening fishing and tourism industries in those regions. But the news is even worse for Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, which are especially sensitive to oil drilling because they provide critical habitat for polar bears, whales, seals and other distinctive Arctic species.

Incredibly, despite dire warnings from the scientific community that we are approaching a tipping point in Earth’s climate system, Mr. Obama has set us on a course toward more dependence on fossil fuels.

The NYT shows its concern about this latest Obama move, noting that his policy will likely fail to increase domestic oil prodcution or bring over GOP support for his next massive new government initiative: cap and trade, as the NYT shows a rare inability to spin an Obama action in a positive light, concluding that “even Obama sounded somewhat conflicted“:

In proposing a major expansion of offshore oil and gas development, President Barack Obama set out to fashion a carefully balanced plan that would attract bipartisan support for climate and energy legislation while increasing production of domestic oil.

It is not clear that the plan announced Wednesday will do either.

Even Obama sounded somewhat conflicted in announcing a drilling plan that would open large tracts of the Atlantic coast, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and Arctic waters off Alaska to oil exploration and eventual drilling.

It may be that those who remained supporters of President Obama all through the grueling health care battle will peel away with revulsion at the crass political maneuvering by Obama today that pretty clearly endorses a Sarah Palin talking point that liberals incessantly ridiculed for years: “drill baby drill”. However, in the short term, Obama’s approval ratings will benefit from his conservative rhetoric on Afghanistan and offshore oil drilling.

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March 31, 2010

FLASH: 23,000 American Jobs Lost in March 2010 “Unexpectedly”; UPDATE: Geithner Yesterday: America on “Verge” of “Sustained Period of Job Creation”

Author: AHFF Geoff - Categories: Daily Content - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Unemployment continues to rise in America as 23,000 American private sector jobs were lost in March 2010

Despite oft-repeated claims by many economists in the establishment media that 50,000 private  jobs would be added this month, the American private sector lost 23,000 jobs in March 2010, again throwing cold water on the Obama Administration’s repeated claims that their policies are creating jobs.   Bloomberg has the story:

Companies in the U.S. unexpectedly cut payrolls in March, according to data from a private report based on payrolls.

The 23,000 decline was the smallest in two years and followed a revised 24,000 drop the prior month, data from ADP Employer Services showed today.

Apparently America’s companies, both big business and small business, simply do not believe that the Obama economic recovery is any more than “just words” and accordingly they are not hiring:

Companies are still hesitant to add workers until they see sustained sales gains and are convinced the economic recovery has taken hold. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News anticipate the government’s report April 2 will show payrolls increased by 184,000, in part due to temporary hiring by the federal government to conduct the 2010 census and because of better weather compared with February.

“The economic recovery has not been long enough or strong enough along the way yet to produce the kind of rapid employment that people are hoping for,” Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers LLC in St. Louis, which produces the figures with ADP, said in a conference call with reporters after the report.

The ADP figures were forecast to show a gain of 40,000 jobs, according to the median estimate of 35 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Projections ranged from a loss of 20,000 to a 100,000 gain.

Economists also predicted job creation in February 2010, and were wrong, but, amazingly, blamed the weather. The Obama Administration picked up on that weather excuse and has run with it for the entirety of March while claiming that March 2010 would see very substantial job creation. Now that ADP, the nation’s largest private payroll processor and premier private jobs data source, has “unexpectedly” shown yet more private job loss, it will be interesting to see what type of spin or excuse the Obama Administration creates to explain away the latest evidence of the failure of their economic policies.

Sadly, Americans can expect the Obama Administration to hail the coming Labor Department March 2010 jobs report as evidence of the success of their job creation policies, despite the fact that any gain there will be the result of the massive short-term (three month) hiring of census workers, not actual job creation:

Stock fell early Wednesday after a payroll company’s report provided a sobering reminder that the job market remains weak.

ADP said employers slashed 23,000 jobs in March. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast the report would show employers added 40,000 jobs during the month.

The ADP report is seen as an early indicator of the Labor Department’s employment report due out Friday. However, there can be wide variations because ADP only accounts for private-sector jobs.

Economists expect the Labor Department’s report to show employers added 190,000 jobs in March. It would be only the second monthly increase in jobs since the recession began in late 2007. The number could be somewhat inflated because the government hired temporary workers to conduct the 2010 census.

UPDATE: Ed at Hotair points to a WSJ story also using the well-worn “unexpectedly” framing for yet another piece of evidence that private sector job creation just is not occurring. Further, just yesterday Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner claimed “sustained job creation” is here as a result of Obama policies, which today’s report of private sector job loss in March 2010 unequivocally disproves:

During an interview yesterday with CNBC, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said, “I think you can say generally that as the economy is getting stronger — and the economy is getting stronger. You know, we’re probably just on the verge now, of what we think to be a sustained period of job creation, finally.”

The Obama administration will keep up its efforts to “reinforce that recovery” and also preserve recent gains in financial stability, Geithner also said.

As it is almost certain the hundreds of thousands of three-month temporary Census worker jobs will result in an overall jobs report that shows job creation in March 2010 on Friday (the DOL release), it is clear from the ADP data today that sustainable, private sector job creation has not been spurred by 14 months of Obama economic policies, notwithstanding Obama Administration commentary from Geithner and others. Even CNBC, well-known Obama Administration cheerleaders, admits this:

ADP said employers slashed 23,000 jobs from payrolls in March, which came as a surprise to economists, who had expected to 50,000 jobs were added last month.

The ADP report is closely watched ahead of the government’s jobs report on Friday. Economists currently expect that report to show 200,000 jobs were added to nonfarm payrolls in March. And, that report could still show job growth, largely due to heavy hiring of government workers to conduct the Census.

The bottom line is that the establishment media will ignore the ADP private sector jobs report from today, and herald Friday’s DOL report as evidence that the Obama Administration jobs policies have succeeded, despite the clear evidence to contrary that only temporary Census workers will artificially push up the jobs numbers. The key question now is whether the American people, who feel the pain of continued private sector job loss every day, will buy what the Administration and establishment media are selling.

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March 30, 2010

USAT/Gallup: Obama’s Disapproval hits 50% as 53% Say Dems Abused Power in Passing Obamacare

Author: AHFF Geoff - Categories: Daily Content - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

President Barack Obama may end up regretting his pursuit of comprehensive health care reform as his disapproval contiues to rise along with the public's disapproval of the now-passed Obamacare

As noted by Centristnet back over the weekend, President Barack Obama continues to sink in the eyes of the American people in the wake of the historic passage of Obamacare, with a brand new USA Today/Gallup released today showing Obama’s overall job approval underwater as only 47% approve while an all-time high of 50% of Americans disapprove of the job Obama is doing as President:

Obama’s approval rating was 47%-50% — the first time his disapproval rating has hit 50%.

Such elevated levels of disapproval for President Obama remind some of the net-negative approval ratings of his predecessor, George W. Bush, that consumed the Bush Presidency as public concern over the Iraqi war mounted. Indeed, Obamacare may end up being Barack Obama’s Iraq should the public’s views on Obamacare not reverse themselves in the near future. Before long, many national congressional Democrats and state-level Democrats may begin to resent the OBama Administration for saddling them with such a massive, unpopular policy in the lead-up to the November 2010 elections.

For Obama, it is the public’s concern with his massive comprehensive health care plan known as Obamacare that is driving up his disapproval and causing the number of his supporters to shrink. While USA Today and Gallup, along with the remainder of the establishment media, White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs and most other Democrats did push a very shaky and perhaps misleading one-day poll last week showing Obamacare improbably at 49% approval/41% disapproval, one week later this fresh, multi-day poll shows Obamacare as unpopular as ever at 50% disapproval. Several of the criticisms of the prior one-day Gallup poll are, ironically, reprinted today by USA Today in its release of the new Gallup numbers:

The poll of 1,033 adults, taken by land line and cellphone Friday through Sunday, has a margin of error of +/–4 percentage points.

Half call passage of the bill “a bad thing” and 47% “a good thing.” That differs from a one-day USA TODAY poll taken March 22 — a day after the House approved the legislation — in which a 49%-40% plurality called the bill “a good thing.”

“Any one-day poll in the immediate aftermath of a major event is likely to be subject not only to sampling error but also to very short-term effects,” says political scientist Charles Franklin of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At the time, “the news cycle was dominated by the positive side of the story, and only a little bit by the Republicans’ rebuttal to that.”

The undeniable problem for Obama and the Democrat is that a two-thirds majority of the American public simply does not believe their talking points on health care reform, making any increase in popularity unlikely and further declines probable:

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the health care overhaul signed into law last week costs too much and expands the government’s role in health care too far, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, underscoring an uphill selling job ahead for President Obama and congressional Democrats.

Those surveyed are inclined to fear that the massive legislation will increase their costs and hurt the quality of health care their families receive, although they are more positive about its impact on the nation’s health care system overall.

Finally, the coordinated campaign of Democrats and the establishment media to smear opponents of Obamacare as racist, terrorist extremists by highlighting post-Obamacare incidents of alleged violence, threats and slurs has apparently fizzled as well as 53% call Democratic tactics in ramming through Obamacare an “abuse of power” while most (49%) blame such abusive Democratic tactics as the cause of any alleged violence or threats:

There was a strong reaction against the tactics Democratic leaders used to pass the bill. A 53% majority call Democratic methods “an abuse of power;” 40% say they are appropriate.

And when asked about incidents of vandalism and threats that followed the bill’s passage, Americans are more inclined to blame Democratic political tactics than critics’ harsh rhetoric. Forty-nine percent say Democratic tactics are “a major reason” for the incidents, while 46% blame criticism by conservative commentators and 43% the criticism of Republican leaders.

As the details of the still largely-unknown Obamacare package continue to dribble out, such as the fact that the ban on insurer denials of coverage to children with preexisting conditions will not take immediately as claimed by Obama but instead 2014 and the rolling announcements of first quarter losses taken by America’s blue chip companies because of Obamacare (as epitomized by AT&T’s one billion dollar loss), it is very possible that the popularity of Obamacare will decline even further, as “continued opposition will fuel calls for repeal and dog Democrats in November’s congressional elections. The bill was enacted without a single Republican vote.”

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Indiana Becomes 16th State to Join Constitutional Challenge to Obamacare

Author: AHFF Geoff - Categories: Daily Content - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The State of Indiana Became the 16th State to Join the Multistate Litigation Against Obamacare

Late this evening news broke that the State of Indiana is now set to become the 16th US state to file a lawsuit against the federal government regarding Obamacare. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller made the announcement:

Indiana followed 13 other states Monday in planning to file a lawsuit against the recently passed health care bill.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller said an amended lawsuit will be filed soon in a federal court in Florida, according to the Associated Press. The lawsuit will have a cost of $50,000 and will be divided among the 14 states.

Sen. Richard Lugar requested a report from Zoeller on Jan. 5, seeking a review on the bill that had been passed by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 24.

In his report, Zoeller listed conflicts he found with the health care law, such as the requirement for U.S. residents to purchase a health care plan and fully funding the expansion of Medicaid only in Nebraska.

So far, 14 states have or shortly will file suit in federal court in Florida, while Virginia has filed its own separate suit in federal court in Virginia and Georgia is set to file suit as well shortly. That makes a total of 16 states now actively suing the United States government over the just-passed Obamacare.

Georgia was the location of the first major state-level battle over litigating against Obamacare

Georgia, after Governor Perdue (R-GA) was forced to appoint a special counsel when Attorney General Thurbert Baker (D-GA) refused to honor the Governor’s request to file suit over Obamacare, is in the process of deciding whether to file a separate suit or join the multi-state Florida action. As noted by CentristNet on Wednesday of last week, Georgia was the first major political dust up at a state level regarding Obamacare, and many other states are now heating up. The AJC is now catching up, recapping those same points on Sunday night while focusing on the media attention received by Perdue and Baker.

In the days and weeks to come, it will be interesting to see how the state-level partisan battles now occurring in many of the remaining 34 states that have not yet filed suit against the US government regarding the constitutionality of Obamacare turn out. If opponents manage to push the number of states even higher than the present 16, public opinion could move even more strongly against the far-flung, gigantic package of trillions in government spending and new taxes known as Obamacare.

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March 29, 2010

54% of Americans Say Repeal Obamacare as Key Dems Admit “Redistribution of Wealth” as Motive

Author: AHFF Geoff - Categories: Daily Content - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

President Obama certainly scored a victory by obtaining the passage of Obamacare, but will the American public support the new massive law as key Democrats admit Obamacare is intended to redistribute wealth?

As the dust settles after the passage of the historic comprehensive health care reform package known as Obamacare, the American public appears to favor its immediate repeal as 54% support such a repeal while 42% oppose repeal:

One week after the House of Representatives passed the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats, 54% of the nation’s likely voters still favor repealing the new law. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 42% oppose repeal.

Those figures are virtually unchanged from last week. They include 44% who Strongly Favor repeal and 34% who Strongly Oppose it.

Repeal is favored by 84% of Republicans and 59% of unaffiliated voters. Among white Democrats, 25% favor repeal, but only one percent (1%) of black Democrats share that view.

Americans also simply do not believe the Obama health care talking points, strongly repudiating the main claims made by Obama about the benefits of Obamacare by a wide margin:

Only 17% of all voters believe the plan will achieve one of its primary goals and reduce the cost of health care. Most (55%) believe it will have the opposite affect and increase the cost of care.

Forty-nine percent (49%) believe the new law will reduce the quality of care. Sixty percent (60%) believe it will increase the federal budget deficit. Those numbers are consistent with expectations before the bill was passed.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, notes that “the overriding tone of the data is that passage of the legislation has not changed anything. Those who opposed the bill before it passed now want to repeal it. Those who supported the legislation oppose repealing it.”

As noted by Scott Rasmussen above, little has changed regarding public opinion Obamacare since its passage, repudiating the media’s “conventional wisdom” that the Democrats would see a surge in public support after its passage. The ABC/Washington Post poll confirms Rasmussen’s findings that few Americans believe Obama’s health care talking points and that majority opposition continues that is “virtually identical to the pre-vote split” regarding Obamacare:

More people see the changes as making things worse, rather than better, for the country’s health-care system, for the quality of their care and, among the insured, for their coverage. Majorities in the new poll also see the changes as resulting in higher costs for themselves and for the country.

Most respondents said reform will require everyone to make changes, whether they want to or not; only about a third said they believe the Democrats’ contention that people who have coverage will be able to keep it without alterations. And nearly two-thirds see the changes as increasing the federal budget deficit, with few thinking the deficit will shrink as a result. The Congressional Budget Office said the measure will reduce the deficit.

About half of all poll respondents said the plan creates “too much government involvement” in the health-care system, a concern that is especially pronounced among Republicans.

Senior citizens, who typically make up about one in five midterm voters, represent a particularly valuable but tough audience on this issue. More than six in 10 of those 65 or older see a weaker Medicare system as a result of the changes to the health-care system. Overall, seniors tilt heavily against the changes, with 58 percent opposed and strong opponents outnumbering strong supporters by a 2-to-1 ratio.

Considering these numbers, President Obama has a steep uphill climb to convince Americans that this broad claims that Obamacare will be a “historic” deficit reduction plan, that Americans can keep their doctor and plan if they like it, and that Obamacare will reduce costs and increase the quality of American health care. Key Democrats are not making the President’s job easier by explicitly stating that the true intent of Obamacare is to redistribute wealth in America, something that went unmentioned by Democrats prior to the passage of Obamacare.

Americans strongly oppose, by a 84%-14% margin, government policies that attempt to bring about wealth redistribution in the American economy

Indeed, such wealth redistribution policies are strongly rejected by Americans, with 84% rejecting that approach according to Gallup:

When given a choice about how government should address the numerous economic difficulties facing today’s consumer, Americans overwhelmingly — by 84% to 13% — prefer that the government focus on improving overall economic conditions and the jobs situation in the United States as opposed to taking steps to distribute wealth more evenly among Americans.

First, Democratic Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) announced that Obamacare is intended to redistribute wealth:

It seems Senator Max Baucus let slip the real purpose of health care reform efforts – the redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor. Baucus said of the health care bill, “This legislation will have the effect of addressing that mal-distribution of income in America.” According to the influential Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, “The last couple three years, the mal-distribution of income in American is gone up way too much, the wealthy are getting way, way too wealthy and the middle income class is left behind.”

Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean then chipped in on Thursday March 25, 2010 by admitting that “this is a form of redistribution” and Obamacare is intended to cause wealth redistribution in the American economy because the economy is “like a machine. You always got to tune it right.” Of course, as the establishment media is well aware such explicit Democratic admissions that Obamacare is intended to tinker with the economy to bring about wealth redistribution would be damaging to Obamacare’s popularity, so the claims of Dean and Baucus have gone virtually unreported in the media. However, Americans continue to oppose the Obamacare package, as evidenced by today’s poll showing 54% favor its repeal.

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Barack Hussein Obama: America’s First Anti-Israeli President? UPDATE: The Australian Says Yes

Author: AHFF Geoff - Categories: Daily Content - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is President Barack Obama the first anti-Israeli President in US history?

On a recent Fox News appearance, retired US Army Colonel Ralph Peters may have been  the initial well-known person in America to claim that President Obama is the “first anti-Israeli President” in US history.  Media Matters, a far left organization funded by billionaire Democrat George Soros, inexplicably posted the video of Peters making the claim and inadvertently feeding oxygen to the narrative.  Here are portions of the comments by Colonel Peters in response to questioning by Megyn Kelly on “America Live” on March 26, 2010:

“This is something about a chip on the President’s shoulder…Israel wants to live in peace with its neighbors, its neighbors want Israel destroyed.  The President refuses to understand that…It’s become a credo of the left…that Israel is always the oppressor and that Palestinian terrorists are freedom fighters…You have to look at the President’s background…. His mother, extremely left, his university chums, on the left, Bill Ayers, left, 20 years with Reverend Wright.  All of their doctrines say the Palestinians are wonderful and the Israelis are basically Nazis…and I think the President has got that by osmosis… Beyond the armchair psychoanalysis, you have to look at what people do, listen to what they say, and this is our first anti-Israeli President.  Its bewildering its astonishing.

Colonel Peters appears to be speaking without an evidentiary basis about Obama’s mother and university chums, as no evidence has surfaced that ties them to anti-Israeli thinking. However, Bill Ayers, who was associated with the President for many years, recently demonstrated his anti-Israeli thinking by being “one of 431 academics to sign a petition calling for divestment, boycott and sanctions against Israel.” The Reverend Wright, who was the President’s “spiritual adviser” for decades, is a longtime strong supporter of well-known anti-Semite Louis Farrakan. Beyond those two individuals, Obama had a long and deep relationship with Palestinian interest groups for many years during his time in Chicago, as epitomized by his close relationship with Palestinian Professor Rashid Khalidi.   Obama’s relationship with Khalidi became a flash point of the 2008 campaign as the LA Times refused to release video it is holding of Obama at a going away party for Khalidi, who was leaving to take a job at Columbia University, where many Palestinian supporters said quite untoward things about Israel.  Here’s the LA Times report on the party:

It was a celebration of Palestinian culture — a night of music, dancing and a dash of politics. Local Arab Americans were bidding farewell to Rashid Khalidi, an internationally known scholar, critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights, who was leaving town for a job in New York. A special tribute came from Khalidi’s friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi’s wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.

His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been “consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It’s for that reason that I’m hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation — a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid’s dinner table,” but around “this entire world.” Today, five years later, Obama is a U.S. senator from Illinois who expresses a firmly pro-Israel view of Middle East politics, pleasing many of the Jewish leaders and advocates for Israel whom he is courting in his presidential campaign. The dinner conversations he had envisioned with his Palestinian American friend have ended. He and Khalidi have seen each other only fleetingly in recent years.

And yet the warm embrace Obama gave to Khalidi, and words like those at the professor’s going-away party, have left some Palestinian American leaders believing that Obama is more receptive to their viewpoint than he is willing to say. Their belief is not drawn from Obama’s speeches or campaign literature, but from comments that some say Obama made in private and from his association with the Palestinian American community in his hometown of Chicago, including his presence at events where anger at Israeli and U.S. Middle East policy was freely expressed.

At Khalidi’s 2003 farewell party, for example, a young Palestinian American recited a poem accusing the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticizing U.S. support of Israel. If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, “then you will never see a day of peace.” One speaker likened “Zionist settlers on the West Bank” to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been “blinded by ideology.”

Rashid Khalidi, former friend of President Obama, has strong anti-Israeli views which may have influenced the President during their many social engagements

Considering the facts laid out by the LA Times above, it is easy to understand why the video of the Khalidi party would have made for interesting viewing, especially to see Obama’s reaction to the virulently anti-Israel statements made there as noted by the LA Times. However, the most important fact from this reporting is that many Palestinian American leaders believed in 2008 that Obama as President would be “more receptive to their viewpoint than he is willing to say” based on “comments that some say Obama made in private” and his long term association with the Palestinian-American community in Chicago. Indeed, considering the recent “humiliation” of Israel’s democratically elected leader, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu (more on that later), by President Obama at the White House, this 2008 comment by a Palestinian-American leader appears prophetic:

But his presence at such events, as he worked to build a political base in Chicago, has led some Palestinian leaders to believe that he might deal differently with the Middle East than either of his opponents for the White House.”I am confident that Barack Obama is more sympathetic to the position of ending the occupation than either of the other candidates,” said Hussein Ibish, a senior fellow for the American Task Force on Palestine, referring to the Israeli presence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that began after the 1967 war…. “That’s my personal opinion,” Ibish said, “and I think it for a very large number of circumstantial reasons, and what he’s said.”

In his defense, Obama at the time of the publication of the April 2008 LA Times piece “called himself a ‘stalwart’ supporter of the Jewish state and its security needs” and his chief strategist David Axelrod had this to say:

“Barack’s belief is that it’s important to understand other points of view, even if you can’t agree with them,” said his longtime political strategist, David Axelrod. Obama “can disagree without shunning or demonizing those with other views,” he said. “That’s far different than the suggestion that he somehow tailors his view.”

The video of the Khalidi going away party remains under lock and key at the LA Times to this day, adding an element of mystery to the analysis of Obama’s true feelings towards the Jewish state. However, the recent meeting at the White House between President Obama and Prime Minimster Bibi Netanyahu provides some fresh, direct evidence of the President’s feelings towards Israel, as described by the British press, which is much more willing to honestly report on Obama’s activities than the American media:

For a head of government to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare. For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was, until this week, unheard of. Yet that is how Binyamin Netanyahu was treated by President Obama on Tuesday night, according to Israeli reports on a trip viewed in Jerusalem as a humiliation.

After failing to extract a written promise of concessions on settlements, Mr Obama walked out of his meeting with Mr Netanyahu but invited him to stay at the White House, consult with advisers and “let me know if there is anything new”, a US congressman, who spoke to the Prime Minister, said. “It was awful,” the congressman said. One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages”, poisoned by such mistrust that the Israeli delegation eventually left rather than risk being eavesdropped on a White House telephone line. Another said that the Prime Minister had received “the treatment reserved for the President of Equatorial Guinea”.

The American media, of course, completely ignored the shameful treatment of the democratically elected leader of Israel by Obama’s White House, although CentristNet did issue a piece comparing the treatment of Israel’s democratically elected leader to the treatment of Saudi’s dictator King Abdullah by Obama.   Apparently angered by Netanyahu’s failure to immediately agree to Obama’s demands for an immediate freeze to construction in East Jerusalem, Obama left the Prime Minister to go have dinner without him, stating that ““I’m still around” and “Let me know if there is anything new” as he left the Prime Minister.

Obviously, this type of extraordinarily harsh treatment of the democratically elected leader of one of America’s closest allies, Israel, in the White House is strong evidence that President Obama may indeed have negative feelings towards Israel, perhaps the most negative feelings of any occupant who’s ever occupied the Oval Office, as theorized by Colonel Peters. Perhaps the many years of hearing from Khalidi, Ayers, Wright and others about the “abuses” of the Israelis and the righteous nature of the Palestinians had an effect on Obama, and led him to the harsh treatment of the Israeli prime minister.

Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu Must Be Troubled by the Failure of the Obama Administration to Take Serious Action to Stop Iranian Nuclear Proliferation Despite Many Assurances

Indeed, from the Israeli perspective, the Obama Administration has been quite disappointing, if not infuriating, regarding its failure to take any significant action to contain or rollback the Iranian push to acquire nuclear weapons. Obama’s first meeting as President with Netanyahu resulted in a pledge to work on negotiations with the Iranians until the end of 2009, and then move towards strong sanctions thereafter if negotiations did not bear fruit. Obviously, Obama has not made such sanctions a priority since the turn of the year, which must be quite unnerving to our Israeli allies. Indeed, Iranian nuclear proliferation is the number one national security threat to Israel, not the Palestinian issue, and Bibi stated as much to then-candidate Obama when the two met in July 2008:

One substantial piece of evidence is the conversation that occurred earlier last week at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem between two men some might think are on opposite sides of the spectrum: the supposedly diplomatic Barack Obama and the uber-hawkish Bibi Netanyahu, head of the Likud Party and a fair bet to return to the prime minister’s office. According to Netanyahu advisor Uzi Arad—a former Mossad official who was present at the 45-minute talk—Obama agreed with Netanyahu that “the paramount and most urgent issue is Iran,” and that “a nuclear Iran is unacceptable not only to Israel but to the United States.”

Netanyahu “also made it clear to him that on the Iranian threat there is no dissension in Israel; this is a national attitude.” In a telephone interview on Thursday, Arad told me that he believed that the Democratic candidate for president concurred with Netanyahu as well about the sequence of events that must occur: On Iran “the clocks and centrifuges are clicking and spinning, and not only is time of the essence but the order of things is as well. Should one fail to neutralize that Iranian threat now, it would undercut anything that would be achieved with the Palestinians, Syria or Lebanon.”

As Arad put it: “If you follow that logic, the current efforts to move on the Palestinian issue are pathetic, because they would not be worth the paper they’re written on if Iran is not contained. If Iran became nuclear it would mean the victory of the militants in Hamas and Hezbollah and undercut the moderates.” Obama, for his part, said he was for the use of “more carrots and sticks” and wanted to have dialogue and engagement policy with Iran before taking any other action, according to Arad.

“Netanyahu reacted by saying that what is essential here are not means but the ends. … They are in agreement about the overall objective. Then Netanyahu added his considered judgment that the more credible the military option, the more likely it is that diplomacy with sanction will succeed.” Obama’s “body language conveyed” that he agreed with that as well, Arad said.

President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu in May 2009 During Their First Meeting Since Obama Became President

So Netanyahu clearly expressed his view that the immediate focus of US foreign policy in the Middle East must be Iran, not the Palestinians, and apparently Obama agreed. Netanyahu made this point again, very clearly, when he visited the White House for the first time in May 2009:

U.S. President Barack Obama set a rough timetable for his diplomatic outreach to arch-foe Iran for the first time on Monday, saying he wanted to see serious progress by the end of the year. He also held out the prospect of tougher sanctions against Tehran “to ensure that Iran understands we are serious.”

Obama’s comments came after talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which the new Israeli leader was expected to stress Israel’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. Israel believes it is a cover to build atomic weapons. With many Israelis skeptical about his efforts to engage Iran diplomatically, Obama stressed that attempts by the previous Bush administration to isolate Iran had failed, “so what we are going to try to do is do something different.”

Sitting next to Netanyahu in the Oval Office, Obama said he hoped to begin negotiations with Tehran soon, after Iran holds elections next month. Iran’s leaders have so far rebuffed his efforts to reach out to them and toughened their rhetoric. “The important thing is to make sure there is a clear timetable, at which we point we say these talks don’t seem to be making any serious progress,” Obama said.

“By the end of the year we should have some sense whether or not these discussions are starting to yield significant benefits, whether we are starting to see serious movement on the part of Iranians,” he said.

While little to no progress has been made in the Iranian negotiations front, as Iran has dragged out the negotiations month after month but failed to make an agreement, Iran has continued to threaten the existence of the State of Israel on a regular basis, most recently earlier this month:

The Palestinians and the nations of the Middle East will be rid of a “bad omen” once Israel is annihilated, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday, in a speech communicated by Press TV. Israel, a foreign presence and a “Western prodigy” in the region, had “reached the end of its road,” Ahmadinejad told supporters in southern Iran. Israel was not as useful for “its masters” – apparently a reference to the United States and Europe – as it was at its inception, he said. Calling Jews who immigrated to Israel before or after the founding of the state “the most criminal people in the world,” he said it was now clear that there was no regime more hated than Israel.

Left-leaning Alan Dershowitz Has Strong Words for President Obama Regarding his recent harsh treatment of Israel

One can only imagine the uproarious outcry in America for an immediate military response if any foreign leader made such comments in reference to the United States.  Even left-leaning US attorney Alan Dershowitz is troubled by Obama’s recent anti-Israeli actions, stating that “Obama has to realize is that he is dealing with Israel, a democracy to which you can not always dictate specific terms” while noting that the Iranians are quite pleased to see Obama aggressively attacking Netanyahu:

How would you advise Obama? I would tell him that the process cannot be unilateral and that there must be mutual concessions. For example, the Obama administration has falsely blamed the naming of a Ramallah square after a terrorist who murdered Jews on Hamas, rather than on the Palestinian Authority.

The Obama administration has to make as substantial demands of the Palestinians as it does of the Israelis. If you think this crisis is severe, you should know it is nothing compared to what could happen with regard to the Iranian issue at some future date. I’m afraid [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad is one of the happiest men these days thanks to the many incidents between the United States and Israel. [PA Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas, by the way, is also pretty happy.

An overwhelming majority of the members of the House of Representatives are also troubled by Obama’s actions towards Netanyahu, with 327 out of 435 signing a letter to Obama urging him to stop attacking Israel and instead focus on Iran:

327 Members of the US House of Representatives signed a letter to President Obama calling on him to stop attacking Israel and instead focus on the Iranian nuclear threat

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will continue discussions with his senior ministers in the coming days, looking for a way out of the crisis with the US. He received some badly needed support on Friday from 327 congressmen, who signed a letter expressing concern that “the highly publicized tensions” in US-Israeli ties will “not advance the interests” of either state.

Meanwhile, in Washington, 327 congressmen – three-quarters of the House of Representatives – signed a bipartisan letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing solid support for Israel and the expectation that differences between Jerusalem and Washington will be smoothed over quickly and in private. “We are writing to reaffirm our commitment to the unbreakable bond that exists between our country and the State of Israel and to express to you our deep concern over recent tension,” the letter read. “A strong Israel is an asset to the national security of the United States and brings stability to the Middle East.

“We are concerned that the highly publicized tensions in the relationship will not advance the interests the US and Israel share. Above all, we must remain focused on the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear weapons program to Middle East peace and stability.”

Regarding the Iranian threat, an Israeli security expert’s comment to Newsweek in July 2008 really brings home the explicit threat that Iran poses to the continued safety of Israeli citizens and indeed the existence of the state of Israel:

As Ron Tira, an Israeli security expert, puts it: “If you look at the really big picture, there’s not only an Iranian aircraft carrier in Lebanon [Hezbollah], but there’s another one 45 kilometers from Tel Aviv in Gaza [Hamas]. With those two Iranian aircraft carriers in place and Iran proceeding with its nuclear program, with the prospect of America withdrawing from Iraq in the next two years, and Iran becoming a dominant force there … Israel is in position where it needs to act unilaterally and pay whatever the cost.” Miller adds that these huge problems will remain the same “not only for Olmert’s successor but for Bush’s.”

Questions have arisen regarding the true feelings of President Obama towards Israel as he chose to publicly bow to the dictator Saudi King Abdullah while choosing to humilitate the democratically elected Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu at the White House last week

Despite this existential ongoing and growing threat to the State of Israel from Iran, Obama has chosen to publicly humiliate the Israeli leader for failing to move on the Palestinian track to Obama’s liking, even though Obama himself has failed to move on the Iranian track as promised to Netanyahu at their first meeting in July 2008, the subsequent meeting in May 2009 and thereafter between lower level officials.  Perhaps all of the anti-Israeli rhetoric pouring out of White House officials and Obama’s treatment of Netanyahu is simply an expression of the widespread left wing ideological thinking that Israel is the wrongful aggressor and the Palestinians are the innocent victims.

However, the optics of a US Administration harshly condemning a close democratic ally like Israel, and even going to far as to humiliate the Israeli leader at the White House, while sending sweet messages of conciliation to the Iranians and bowing publicly to the Saudis, paints a troubling picture of a historically negative state of US-Israeli relations.  Considering all of these facts, from an Israeli perspective or that of an American supporter of Israel like Colonel Peters, it is not hard to conclude that President Obama could indeed be the first anti-Israeli President in American history.

UPDATE: A conservative publication in Australia tends to agree that Barack Obama is the first anti-Israeli President, for much the same reasons listed above:

When Obama met the king of Saudi Arabia, a nation in which no one votes, women are subject to severe and demeaning restrictions and it is against the law to have a Christian church, Obama bowed in deep respect.

When Obama ran into Venezuela’s murderous despot, Hugo Chavez, at a summit, there was a friendly greeting observed by all.

But there is one leader whom Obama draws the line at. He will not be seen in public with Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Astonishingly, when Netanyahu saw Obama at the White House this week, all photographers and all TV cameras were banned, a level of humiliation almost completely unique in modern White House practice.

You might even conclude that Obama is trying to interfere in internal Israeli politics and bring down a government. This is something post-colonial, post-multicultural Obama would never do with Iran, but with Israel, the US’s longstanding ally, it’s fine.

And what was Netanyahu’s crime, this act of infamy that Obama’s senior staff described as an “affront” to America? It was that the relevant housing authority passed another stage of approval for 1600 Israeli housing units to be built in East Jerusalem in about three years’ time. It was very foolish that the Israelis allowed this announcement to take place while US Vice-President Joe Biden was in Israel. But they apologised to Biden at the time, Biden kissed and made up with the Israelis and was back to delivering fulsome pro-Israel speeches before he left.

After that point, though, the US reaction went into overdrive. Impeccable American sources tell me this reaction was driven by Obama, and to a lesser extent the Chicago mafia around him.

We must ask why this is so, but first let’s get Netanyahu’s infamous crime into perspective.

Last November Netanyahu announced a 10-month moratorium on all building activity in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Israel has already promised not to take any more land for settlements but there is the question of renovating existing buildings and constructing new ones in existing settlements.

As Hillary Clinton acknowledged in her speech this week to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, East Jerusalem was never part of this agreement. The two main peace offers Israel has made to the Palestinians in recent years were the Camp David/Taba proposals and the accompanying Clinton parameters in 2000, and Ehud Olmert’s offer to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in 2008. Both plans offered essentially the same formula. The Palestinians get all of the Gaza Strip, about 95 per cent of the West Bank and a compensating parcel of territory from Israel proper to make up for the small amount of territory in the West Bank that Israel would keep which houses the main Jewish population blocks. The Palestinians also get some parts of East Jerusalem as their capital. This principle of territorial swaps was accepted by Yasser Arafat and Abbas.

East Jerusalem has always had a different status from the West Bank and some Israelis certainly don’t want to give any of it to a new Palestinian state. But everyone accepts that some Jewish neighbourhoods would remain part of Israel. These are mostly neighbourhoods, as Netanyahu pointed out this week, which are five minutes from the Knesset and a couple of blocks beyond the 1949 armistice line. The administration of George W. Bush had formally agreed with the Israelis that these areas would be permanently part of Israel. Bill Clinton had negotiated an offer to the Palestinians in 2000 which accepted this.

It would be a radical change of policy for an Israeli government to decree that no building would ever take place in Jewish areas of Jerusalem. It would also be a change of American policy.

Moreover, no serious analyst could believe that such building is a roadblock to peace. Peace negotiations have gone on with such building taking place in the past. And all the things that truly make peace impossible – Arab and Palestinian refusal to accept the legitimacy of any Jewish state, Palestinian insistence on certain deal breakers such as the right of return of all Palestinian refugees and their descendants to Israel proper, the insistent and violent anti-Semitism of Palestinian and Arab propaganda and the regional ambitions of players such as Iran and Syria – will be completely unaffected by any decision to build apartments in a Jewish neighbourhood in East Jerusalem in three years time. So why has Obama gone into full jihad mode against Israel? Three explanations suggest themselves. Obama has had a terrible year in foreign policy. He has achieved nothing on Iran or China or anything else of consequence. He is too smart to believe this intimidation of Israel will advance peace, but it might get peace talks going again. The Palestinians only made settlements a roadblock after Obama did. They are refusing to join Israel in peace talks, which Netanyahu would be happy to participate in. They have said they might engage in proximity talks – which means not talking to the Israelis directly but to mediators who will shuttle back and forth carrying messages between them and the Israelis. This is primitive and ridiculous stuff, but if such talks get going Obama could claim some kind of victory, or at least progress.

And Obama is showing that his personal popularity, not America’s standing, still less matters of substance such as Iran’s nuclear program, is what motivates him.

This leads to the second explanation of his behaviour, and that is to make himself personally popular in the Muslim world. Beating up on Israel is the cheapest trick in the book on that score and it can earn him easy, worthless and no doubt temporary plaudits in some parts of the Muslim world.

And thirdly, Obama is the first post-multicultural president of America. In his autobiography he talks of seeking out the most radical political theorists he could at university. For these people Israel is an exercise in Western neo-imperialism. Obama makes their hearts sing with this anti-Israel jihad.

Accompanying Obama’s own actions has been some of the most dangerous rhetoric ever to come out of a US administration, to the effect that Israeli intransigence endangers US troops by inflaming extremists in the Islamic world. No serious analyst anywhere believes that Israel is an important source of the conflicts in Afghanistan or Iraq. Using this type of argument comes dangerously close to the administration licensing a mutant strain of anti-Semitism – it’s all the Jews’ fault.

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March 28, 2010

Obama in Afghanistan: US Military “Does Not Quit Once It Starts On Something”

Author: AHFF Geoff - Categories: Daily Content - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

President Barack Obama made a surprise trip to Afghanistan to visit with American troops and Afghan President Hamid Karzai

President Barack Obama did an excellent job of firing up the troops and praising the American mission to crush Al-Queda in Afghanistan and elsewhere during his speech today at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan.   It is indeed a pleasant experience to see the President articulate a strong American will to fight and win the war on terror.  Obama did repeat four or five times that he would “never” put American troops in “harm’s way” unless it was “absolutely necessary”, which appeared to be an unnecessary slap at former President George W. Bush and the now-successful mission in Iraq, which of course Obama did not consider “absolutely necessary.”

Obama also properly pointed toward the 9/11 attacks as the motivating force behind the American mission in Afghanistan, and the President deserves credit for strongly stating these pro-American positions in front of our nation’s troops in Afghanistan and for saying “thank you” on behalf of Americans to our troops.

However, the President made a curious comment, starting at about the 11:20 mark on the this video of his speech today, about how the America “does not quit once it starts on something“:

“We face a determined enemy, but we also know this. The United States of America does not quit once it starts on something. You don’t quit, the American armed services does not quit, we keep at it, we persevere, and together with our partners, we will prevail, I am absolutely confident of that.”

Obama here sounds an awful lot like President George W. Bush in 2006, 2007 and 2008 when discussing the need to “stay the course” and win the war in Iraq. Indeed, Obama’s comment about how America “does not quit” once the country engages in a battle overseas is quite jarring when compared to candidate Obama’s campaigning throughout America for two years calling for a quick withdrawal from Iraq without a military victory there over Al-Queda and the insurgents.   Here is a portion of Obama’s January 2007 speech, which kicked off his campaign for President, advocating a military withdrawal from Iraq by March 2008, which of course did not occur:

But all of this cannot come to pass until we bring an end to this war in Iraq. Most of you know I opposed this war from the start. I thought it was a tragic mistake. Today we grieve for the families who have lost loved ones, the hearts that have been broken, and the young lives that could have been. America, it’s time to start bringing our troops home. It’s time to admit that no amount of American lives can resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of someone else’s civil war. That’s why I have a plan that will bring our combat troops home by March of 2008. Letting the Iraqis know that we will not be there forever is our last, best hope to pressure the Sunni and Shia to come to the table and find peace.

Obama also famously stated in 2007 that the Bush surge would not work and would instead by counterproductive, which, of course, was a mistaken view that Obama pushed for years across the country campaigning for President:

I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse.

Ironically, despite his above-referenced political attacks in 2007-8 upon President Bush for ordering the surge and his active opposition to then-President Bush’s surge plan, today Obama stated that while “politics at home may look a little messy” there is “no daylight [between Democrats and Republicans] when it comes to support of all of you” and “no daylight when it comes to supporting our troops“. While these sentiments are indeed correct, the GOP strongly supports the Afghanistani mission to eliminate the Al-Queda threat, his comments today are quite jarring when compared to the President’s own actions and statements in 2007 where he created a giant shaft of daylight between himself and President Bush regarding the American troops in the field in Iraq at the time.

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Post-Obamacare Collapse: Obama 46% Approval Matches All-Time Low in Gallup

Author: AHFF Geoff - Categories: Daily Content - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

After last week's historic passage of the Obamacare package, President Obama approval today matches the all-time low of his Presidency: 46%

In another crushing blow to the “conventional wisdom” of the establishment media that because “Americans love winners” President Barack Obama would receive a large, sustained bounce in approval after last week’s passage of Obamacare, today Gallup released its daily approval numbers showing Obama at only 46% approval, with 46% disapproving. Obama’s 46% approval in Gallup represents a matching of Obama’s all-time low in approval. While Obama did peak at 51% mid-week after the passage of Obamacare, he has now lost that entire bounce and is at the low of his Presidency, which completely repudiates the “conventional wisdom” in the establishment media.

Further, Rasmussen’s numbers this morning confirm this dissipation of any alleged “bounce” from the passage of Obamacare, with Rasmussen finding Obama’s approval numbers now at the same level as before the passage of Obamacare:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 28% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-four percent (44%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -16 (see trends).

The President enjoyed a modest bounce in the polls following the passage of health care legislation last week. However, his Approval Index rating is now back to where it was last Sunday, just before the House voted in favor of his health care plan. All the bouncing of the past week has come among Democrats. There has been virtually no change in the opinions of Republicans and unaffiliated voters.

White House spokesman is sure to face questions about this post-Obamacare collapse in the President’s approval ratings, as Gibbs himself last week tweeted out the Gallup one-day poll on Obamacare as a truthful and reliable indicator of the public’s views.

This continued collapse in Obama’s approval, with an all-time low of 46% in Gallup and a near all-time high in Rasmussen of 44% strong disapproval today, demonstrates the failure of the Democratic strategy to smear the tea party as racist extremists as well. Indeed, ABC/WaPo’s numbers this morning show the tea party is favorably viewed by the American public, despite this smear campaign by the Democrats and the establishment media. Numbers such as these are sure to encourage the Republicans to continue to attack the Obamacare package as a historic mistake and ensure that the cry of “replace and repeal” is heard in every congressional race across the nation in the leadup to the November 2010 elections.

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ABC/WaPo: Obamacare Remains Unpopular, Tea Party Favorable to Americans While Public Rejects Obama Talking Points by Large Margin

Author: AHFF Geoff - Categories: Daily Content - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

President Obama cannot like the new ABC/WaPo Poll that shows Obamacare remains unpopular and about 2/3 of Americans do not believe his health care talking points

In a final debunking of the spurious Gallup poll being used by the White House and establishment media to “prove” that Americans turned on a dime to now “support” Obamacare, ABC News and the Washington Post put out a new poll this morning which unequivocally evidences that Americans remain opposed to Obamacare:

In the days since President Obama signed the farthest-reaching piece of social welfare legislation in four decades, overall public opinion has changed little, with continuing broad public skepticism about the effects of the new law and more than a quarter of Americans seeing neither side as making a good-faith effort to cooperate on the issue.

Overall, 46 percent of those polled said they support the changes in the new law; 50 percent oppose them. That is virtually identical to the pre-vote split on the proposals and similar to the divide that has existed since last summer, when the country became sharply polarized over the president’s most ambitious domestic initiative.

The health-care debate galvanized the country to a remarkable extent. About a quarter of all adults say they tried to contact their elected representatives in Congress about health care in recent months, including nearly half of those who say they are “angry” about the changes. In general, opponents of the measure were more than twice as likely as supporters to say they had made the effort.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll found a full 50% of Americans oppose the Democratic health care reform package, while an astounding 40% of Americans “strongly oppose” Obamacare, which matches the all-time high found by this poll in “strong” opposition. The only change since the passage of the bill is a bit of a rally effect of Democrats, with strong support for Obamacare rising to 32%:
8. On another subject: overall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the changes to the health care system that have been enacted by (Congress) and (the Obama administration)? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?

……………….——– Support ——–         ——— Oppose ——–               No
………..NET Strongly Somewhat ……..NET Somewhat Strongly ……opinion
3/26/10 46           32                    13              50            10                  40                4
2/8/10* 46           22                   25              49             11                  38                 5
1/15/10 44            22                   22              51             12                  39                 5
*2/8/10 and prior: “proposed changes…that are being developed by”

This polling will finally put to rest the untoward and fraudulent efforts of the Obama Administration and establishment media to use the outlier, one-day Gallup poll showing Americans approve of Obamacare by a 49%-40% margin as it will be difficult to credibly claim that one-day poll, which stands alone showing a major bounce in approval for Obamacare post-passage, is at all realistic. Another interesting tidbit from this morning’s poll is that Americans are more likely to vote for a Congressperson who opposes Obamacare than one who supports Obamacare by 6%-8% margin:

24. Say a candidate for Congress voted FOR the changes to the health care system recently enacted by (Congress) and (the Obama administration). Would that make you more likely to [support] that candidate for Congress, more likely to [oppose] that candidate, or wouldn’t it make much difference in your vote? (IF SUPPORT/OPPOSE) Are you much more likely to support/oppose that candidate or somewhat more?

………………..—- Support —-            —- Oppose —–               No        No
…………………..NET Much Smwt       NET Smwt Much          diff.     opinion
3/26/10                26      16          9               32         6           27               40              2
3/26/10 RV        27      17           9               35         5          29               36               2
1/15/10*              22      12          10             31          7          24               45               2
11/15/09             25      13          12             29         8         20               45                1

Separately, the poll is slightly skewed regarding party ID, showing the Democrats with a 10 point partisan ID edge, which is probably at least a few points over reality, and the largest gap reported by this poll since November, showing the GOP at just 24%, which is somewhat counter-intuitive as the GOP has gained steam in recent months by riding the public’s opposition to health care reform.

Nonetheless, even with that skew, this ABC News/Washington Post poll conclusively proves that the “conventional wisdom” of Democrats and the establishment media that Obamacare would magically transform into popular legislation upon passage was and is completely false.  Even the left-leaning WaPo’s writeup on the poll admits that opponents are much more intense than supporters.

Despite the best efforts of the establishment media and Democrats to smear the tea party as racists, extremists and terrorists, Americans view the tea party positively (41%-39%), an improvement from February 2010 (35%-40%) according to this poll.

It would be interesting to know what the partisan leanings of the 20% with “no opinion” on the tea party now are, to determine if the tea party has room to continue to grow in favorability or is reaching its peak.

Finally, this polling also conclusively proves that Americans believe President Obama is lying about the Obamacare legislation every time he speaks of it, with large majorities believing Obamacare will weaken Medicare (not strengthen it), increase the deficit (not “historically” reduce it), worsen the quality of care (not improve it) and finally that many will lose their present plan or doctor (not “if you like your plan, you can keep it”):

More people see the changes as making things worse, rather than better, for the country’s health-care system, for the quality of their care and, among the insured, for their coverage. Majorities in the new poll also see the changes as resulting in higher costs for themselves and for the country.

Most respondents said reform will require everyone to make changes, whether they want to or not; only about a third said they believe the Democrats’ contention that people who have coverage will be able to keep it without alterations. And nearly two-thirds see the changes as increasing the federal budget deficit, with few thinking the deficit will shrink as a result. The Congressional Budget Office said the measure will reduce the deficit.

About half of all poll respondents said the plan creates “too much government involvement” in the health-care system, a concern that is especially pronounced among Republicans.

Senior citizens, who typically make up about one in five midterm voters, represent a particularly valuable but tough audience on this issue. More than six in 10 of those 65 or older see a weaker Medicare system as a result of the changes to the health-care system. Overall, seniors tilt heavily against the changes, with 58 percent opposed and strong opponents outnumbering strong supporters by a 2-to-1 ratio.

All told, it is clear from this ABC News/Washington Post poll, and all other post-Obamacare passage polls other than the spurious one-day Gallup poll hyped by the White House and media, that Americans simply aren’t buying what President Obama and the Democrats are selling regarding their massive new comprehensive health care reform plan. It will be interesting to see if these poll results change the “conventional wisdom” in Washington that continues to linger in the establishment media that Obamacare is somehow transformed into a popular piece of legislation because of its passage.

UPDATE: Ed at Hotair notes the depressing news for Democrats from this poll, even with the partisan ID skew, and the overwhelmingly negative ratings Obama receives on his next big focus: immigration.

With the WaPo survey oversampling by at least five points and perhaps as much as seven, it’s not too surprising to see Obama get a 53/43 approval rating in this poll. It should dismay Democrats to see ObamaCare still losing ground even after the Post had to amp up the partisan gap four extra points from the last survey. The other issue approval ratings won’t be much comfort, either:

* Health care – underwater, 48/49
* Economy – seriously underwater, 45/52, with 40% strongly disapproving
* Budget deficit – 43/52

Interestingly, Obama’s worst issue by far is immigration. Only 33% approve of his handling of immigration issues, while 43% disapprove, 28% strongly so. Obama has expressed interest in taking on immigration with the ObamaCare fight mainly over, but these numbers suggest that he may want to wait until after the midterm elections.

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