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HILARIOUS: AMERICAN VOTERS’ CHOICE: Tea Party 48%, President Obama 44%

Monday, April 5th, 2010

President Barack Obama may be troubled by this morning's polling findings that 48% of American voters feel closer to the tea party's views than his own, while 44% prefer his views on issues over the tea party

In a poll that provides yet more evidence that the post-Obamacare passage environment is extraordinarily inhospitable for Democrats, Americans told pollster Rasmussen that they feel closer to the tea party than President Barack Obama in their views by a 48%-44% margin:

On major issues, 48% of voters say that the average Tea Party member is closer to their views than President Barack Obama. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 44% hold the opposite view and believe the president’s views are closer to their own.

Not surprisingly, Republicans overwhelmingly feel closer to the Tea Party and most Democrats say that their views are more like Obama’s. Among voters not affiliated with either major political party, 50% say they’re closer to the Tea Party while 38% side with the President.

One Media Figure Behind the Fast Growth of the tea party is bond market expert and CNBC analyst Rick Santelli

To understand just how incredible this is, remember the tea party did not exist in 2008 at all, yet now holds a 4% lead over the most popular and charismatic political figure in America in decades, President Barack Obama. Apparently, the Democratic strategy to smear the tea party as racist, extremist terrorists has failed spectacularly, as noted by the tea party’s lead over President Obama reported today and even the favorable marks that the last ABC/WaPo poll showed for the tea party.

Here’s some reporting from Rasmussen this morning about whether Americans would feel closer to the tea party or unions:

Last week, Rasmussen Reports released data showing that 47% of voters felt closer to the views of Tea Party members than to Congress. Only 26% felt closer to Congress.

The new polling found that just 33% believe their views are closer to the average member of a Labor Union than to Congress. In fact, a plurality of voters were undecided when asked about that comparison. While 48% of Democrats said their own views were closer to the average union member, most Republicans and unaffiliated voters could not choose between the two.

In a head-to-head comparison, 45% felt closer to the average Tea Party Member while 35% felt closer to the average union member.

Fifty-three percent (53%) believe their views are closer to the average school teacher than to Congress. Teachers scored six points higher than the Tea Party members when compared to Congress.

In a head-to-head match-up, 47% said they felt closer to the average school teacher while 41% said they felt closer to the average Tea Party member. Once again, the results betray a heavy partisan difference. Democrats prefer the school teachers, Republicans are closer to the Tea Party, and unaffiliated voters are evenly divided.

Earlier polling found that just 16% of voters nationwide consider themselves part of the Tea Party Movement. However, views of the Tea Party remain more positive than negative among voters. Just 11% believe Congress is doing a good or an excellent job.

All told, numbers such as these spell near-political doom for the Obama Administration. The main ally of the Obama Administration, big unions, is apparently disfavored by the American people right now, while the main political enemy of the Administration, the tea party, has been able to withstand a constant barrage of Democratic and establishment media criticism to remain popular with the American people. The “conventional wisdom” of the DC and media elites that passing Obamacare would strongly drive Obama and Dem popularity up has now been completely debunked, with only the sole Gallup one-day poll ever showing Obamacare as net approved and all other polls, including Gallup’s own later three-day poll, showing Obamacare actually continuing to sink in popularity after its historic passage.

The political toll that the partisan, acrimonious and essentially un-American means of passage of Obamacare takes on the “Obama Brand” and the Democrats as a whole may end up being higher than even some of Obama’s critics are now alleging, as governing against the will of the American people has apparently forced Obama and Democratic approval down towards American approval of Obamacare as a whole, and as long as Obamacare remains in the news, this dynamic appears set to continue. If the tea party can keep an edge on President Obama amongst likely voters up to and including the November 2010 election, America may see an unprecedented shift in power away from the Democrats for the 112th Congress starting in January 2011.

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

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

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

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

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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New Home Sales “Unexpectedly” Fall 2.2% To 302,000 Units, Lowest Since 1963

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

New Home Sales Fell to a Fresh Record Low of 302,000 Units in February 2010, a decrease of 2.2%

In another distressing example of the weakness of the US economy, Reuters just reported that “New Home Sales Unexpectedly Fell in February”, declining another 2.2% in February 2010 to 302,000 units, a fourth straight month of declines and a fresh all-time low since records began in 1963:

Sales of newly built U.S. single-family homes fell for a fourth straight month to a record low in February, a government report showed on Wednesday, heightening fears of renewed weakness in the housing market.

The Commerce Department said sales fell 2.2 percent to a 308,000 unit annual rate from an upwardly revised 315,000 units in January.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected new home sales to edge up to a 320,000 unit annual pace from January’s previously reported 309,000 units.

The data came on the heels of report on Tuesday showing existing home sales fell for a third straight month in February and a jump in the supply of houses on the market.

Sales have barely responded to the extension and expansion of a popular tax credit, which boosted purchases in the second half of 2009, raising concerns over the fragile housing market’s recovery just as a key pillar of support is being dismantled.

The vaunted crew of American “economists”, as polled by Reuters, “expected” a 3.6% increase, as noted by AP:

The Dow rallied to its highest level since September 2008 on Tuesday after the National Association of Realtors said a drop in sales of existing homes last month wasn’t as big as forecast. The housing market will be in focus again Wednesday when the Commerce Department reports on new home sales.

The housing report is expected to show that sales rose 3.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 320,000 last month, bouncing off a record low seen in January, according to economists polled by Thomson Reuters. The report is due out at 10 a.m. EDT.

A recovery in the sector has been slow and uneven. Reports showing improvement or stabilization in the housing market have regularly been met with buying on Wall Street, such as Tuesday’s big gains.

It appears the prognostication powers of the average American economist is falling fast and one could perhaps be better off guessing about the direction of the housing market than listening to the economists with the fancy PHD’s. One certainty is that the American housing market continues to spiral downward, despite the many interventions of the Obama Administration into the market, and the overall supply of housing on the market continues to rise because of foreclosures:

The number of new homes on the market last month increased 1.3 percent to 236,000 units. February’s weak sales pace left the supply of homes available for sale at 9.2 months’ worth, the highest since May, from 8.9 months in January.

All told, the housing market continues to look like a slow motion train wreck, with no end in sight.  With continued high unemployment leading to another surge in foreclosures, the housing market looks certain to continue to stumble until new job creation returns to the United States.  Considering the uncertainty and concern that many small and big business managers are feeling regarding the Democratic agenda in Washington, DC, the timing of any return of substantial job creation in this country is an open question.

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Reversal: Democrats Abandon “Slaughter Solution” Under Pressure from GOP

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

House Democrats just now announced they are abandoning the "Slaughter Solution" under pressure from the GOP and will indeed hold an up or down vote on the Senate bill

In an amazing reversal that happened just moments ago, Congressional Democrats now appear to be reversing their plan to use the “Slaughter Solution” to “deem” the Senate bill “passed” without an up or down vote.   Republicans had been pressuring congressional Democratic leaders for the past few weeks to do exactly that, and the Washington Post now confirms “deem and pass” is dead:

House leaders have decided to take a separate vote on the Senate health-care bill, rejecting an earlier, much-criticized strategy that would have permitted them to “deem” the unpopular measure passed without an explicit vote.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said Saturday that the House would take three votes Sunday: first, on a resolution that will set the terms of debate; second, on a package of amendments to the Senate bill that have been demanded by House members; and third, on the Senate bill itself.

The abandonment of the “Slaughter Solution” by Democrats, under pressure from GOP leaders, is a welcome development in the health care reform debate which likely heads off a potential constitutional crisis if such a strategy was used. Now, all eyes will focus on the up or down vote on the Senate bill itself tomorrow.

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Obama Administration FOIA Exemption Claims Rise 50% Over Bush

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

The Obama Administration has increased the use of so-called "exemptions" to the Freedom of Information Act about 50% over the Bush Administration

In a startling review issued today by the Associated Press regarding Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) requests, it was revealed that the Obama Administration substantially increased the  use of so-called “exemptions” to disclosure under FOIA, effectively undermining the many  rhetorical claims by President Barack Obama that his administration will be the “most open and transparent in history.” The AP explains the findings of its review:

WASHINGTON — The government’s use of legal exemptions to keep records secret rose during President Barack Obama’s first year in office, despite promises of increased openness, an Associated Press review found.

The review of annual Freedom of Information Act reports filed by 17 major agencies found that overall, the use of nearly every one of the open-records law’s nine exemptions to withhold information rose in fiscal year 2009, which ended last October.

Among the most frequently used exemptions: one that lets the government hold back records that detail its internal decision-making. Obama had directed agencies to stop using that exemption so frequently, but that directive appears to have been widely ignored.

Major agencies cited that exemption to refuse records at least 70,779 times during the 2009 budget year, compared with 47,395 times during President George W. Bush’s final full budget year, according to annual FOIA reports filed by federal agencies.

An increase of 23,384, a nearly 50% (49.34%) increase, in the amount of FOIA exemption claims in the first fiscal year of the Obama Administration versus the final fiscal year of the Bush Administration clearly demonstrates that President Obama has failed in his asserted quest to create an “unprecedented level of openness in Government.” Indeed, most of the establishment media coverage of the Obama Administration regarding transparency has focused on praising the Administration based on such rhetorical pronouncements by Obama.  Now, with the actual FOIA exemption claim numbers for Obama’s first year as rising by 50% over Bush’s final full year, one can only hope that such misleading reporting is corrected by the establishment media.

Amazingly, the brazen Obama managed to issue a statement today crowing about how his Administration is the most transparent in history, despite the indisputable facts regarding the massive rise in FOIA exemption usage:

As Sunshine Week begins, I want to applaud everyone who has worked to increase transparency in government and recommit my administration to be the most open and transparent ever, an effort that will strengthen our democracy and ensure the public’s trust in their government.

We are proud of these accomplishments, but our work is not done. We will continue to work toward an unmatched level of transparency, participation and accountability across the entire Administration.

Perhaps the establishment media will report upon this clearly misleading Obama statement, especially in relation to the unmentioned 50% increase in FOIA exemption claims by his Administration, in the days to come and bring some level of honesty to the media’s reporting on the transparency issue. Obama’s statement, on his first full day in office as President, claiming that broadly granted FOIA requests are the key to an open government is a timely reminder of how far removed the first year of Obama’s government has been from the rhetoric used by President Obama on the issue of open and transparent government:

The prolific use of FOIA exemptions is one measure of how far the federal government has yet to go to carry out Obama’s promise of openness. His first full day in office, Obama told agencies the Freedom of Information Act, “which encourages accountability through transparency, is the most prominent expression of a profound national commitment to ensuring an open government.”

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Gallup: President Obama Job Approval At All-Time Low of 46%

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Gallup reports today that President Obama's job approval has fallen to an all-time low of 46% amongst all adult Americans

President Barack Obama received more bad news today regarding his sagging popularity with the American people, as for the first time Obama’s job approval amongst all adults, as measured by Gallup’s polling, fell to just 46% today. It appears that the American public’s approval of President Obama declines at times of intense focus on health care reform. As you can see from the chart below, Obama’s approval has been steadily declining since his Inauguration and has now reached the low of his Presidency:

With the next week or so being the final days before the all-important House of Representatives vote on Obamacare, Obama’s sliding approval numbers are sure to draw the attention of wavering House Democrats as they decide whether to side with the President and vote for his signature, yet widely unpopular, health care initiative or risk the President’s wrath by voting down Obamacare just days from now.

UPDATE: Ed at Hotair notes that the Congressional Democratic leadership has canceled all committee hearings and is meeting behind closed doors regarding Obamacare. Perhaps today’s Gallup numbers are a topic of discussion:

Faced with caucus members who aren’t responding to the normal arm-twisting, Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer abruptly canceled scheduled committee hearings to call the party leadership into closed-door conference to plot strategy and tactics. That left Fox News with no one to discuss the events except Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)

….

Pelosi has insisted that she has the votes to pass it, but the sudden dive behind closed doors suggests otherwise. If they had the votes, they’d produce the bill and schedule the roll-call vote.

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Reid: It is “Really Good” that 36,000 Americans Lost Jobs in February

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Said "Today is a big day in America. Only 36,000 people lost their jobs today, which is really good."

Just when you thought Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could not make a more inappropriate statement (see “Negro dialect”, see also “the war is lost”), Leader Reid unleashed this doozy on the Senate floor today:

“Today is a big day in America. Only 36,000 people lost their jobs today, which is really good.”

Perhaps Harry Reid should say that, in person, to each and every one of the 36,000 families who lost a breadwinner in the past month. This breathtakingly insensitive statement to such families by Harry Reid today is sure to disrupt the Obama Administration’s efforts to portray their economic policies as having saved the economy. The full video of Reid’s statement is here, expect the media to pick up on this shortly.

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CBO: Obama’s Health Care Plan Too Sketchy to Score; UPDATE: Obama Punts on Public Option: “That’s Up To Leader Reid”

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Obama Releases an 11 Page Health Care Plan the CBO Cannot Score

In the wake of this morning’s thunderous 11 pages of vague and somewhat contradictory bullet points from the Obama Administration as the latest iteration of Obamacare, the CBO makes the ironic point that Obama’s plan is too vague to score with any degree of accuracy regarding the 10 year cost of the plan. CBO Director Douglass Elmendorf, who was elevated to his position by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, makes this point as delicately as possible on the Director’s Blog:

This morning the Obama Administration released a description of its health care proposal, and CBO has already received several requests to provide a cost estimate for that proposal. We had not previously received the proposal, and we have just begun the process of reviewing it—a process that will take some time, given the complexity of the issues involved. Although the proposal reflects many elements that were included in the health care bills passed by the House and the Senate last year, it modifies many of those elements and also includes new ones. Moreover, preparing a cost estimate requires very detailed specifications of numerous provisions, and the materials that were released this morning do not provide sufficient detail on all of the provisions. Therefore, CBO cannot provide a cost estimate for the proposal without additional detail, and, even if such detail were provided, analyzing the proposal would be a time-consuming process that could not be completed this week.

So the CBO would need the Obama Administration to actually provide “very detailed specifications” of their provisions to score the bill, as opposed to the eleven pages of bullet points with underlined or bold faced (and probably poll-tested) phrases (such as affordable or greater accountability or Improve Individual Responsibility). Indeed, the only real changes, even by the White House’s own talking points, involve only reversing prior, unpopular backroom deals cut by Obama and special interest groups (unions) or specific senators (Ben Nelson (D-NE), the insertion of price controls into the legislation, and a claim that “Republican” ideas are driving the Medicare cuts. Politico’s Ben Smith reports:

The White House, in talking points circulated to allies on the Hill, points to three major differences between Obama’s proposal and the Senate health care bill:

In particular this proposal makes three specific changes to the bill passed by the Senate:

• It eliminates several “special deals” including the arrangement made for Nebraska;

• It includes a series of measures proposed by Republicans to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse;

• It includes a new provision to prevent arbitrary rate hikes like the recent 39 percent increase in California.

The reversal of the odious Cornhusker Kickback and the deal with the unions over the cadillac tax are good steps to reverse prior mistakes, but are not substantive progress towards a more centrist health care reform plan. Indeed, the CBO will not have a price for Obama’s “new” plan by the time of the great health care summit Thursday as planned and by now undoubtedly fully scripted by the Obama Administration. The reason the CBO will not have a score is that Obama’s plan lacks the specifications needed to score a proposal, and even if those specifications were provided, the CBO cannot score a bill in that short a period of time. The Obama Administration obviously knew of this inability of the CBO to score its proposal before it was released, as we know the Administration has hired the best health care economists in America to work on its scoring of the various iterations of Obamacare (remember Jonathan Gruber?). Accordingly, it must be Obama’s intent to head into the health care summit he created blind regarding the cost of his bill according to the CBO. Obviously, the CBO’s scoring will play a critical role in any serious negotiations between the GOP and Obama over a health care bill.

A conclusion from the above-outlined CBO issue and the explicit statements regarding reconciliation by Obama’s communications people this morning when releasing their 11 page bullet point summary could be that Obama is not serious about entering substantive negotiations with the GOP and is instead, again, rushing the process. As noted by the NYT back on February 7, 2010 when Obama first floated the idea of a health care summit with the GOP, it appears that in the absence of an attempt at real consensus, this week’s meeting with the GOP will “serve only to allow Democrats to frame a political argument against the Republicans going into the midterm campaign.”

UPDATE: Regarding the politically charged issue of the inclusion of the public option in the Obama Plan, the Obama Administration omitted any reference to same in today’s 11 pages and via spokesman Robert Gibbs stated “Thats up to Leader Reid”:

The White House says it’s up to Harry Reid whether the Senate votes on the public option.

Twenty senators have signed a letter asking for a vote on the public option through reconciliation, which would allow Democrats to pass legislation with just 51 votes.

White House press secretary Robert Gates said today that the White House will leave that up to the Senate Majority Leader.

“I think they’ve asked for a vote on the floor of the Senate, and that’s certainly up to those who manage those amendments and up to Leader Reid,” Gibbs said.

President Obama did not include a public option in the new healthcare plan he unveiled this morning, which builds on the Senate bill.

Gibbs suggested it was left out because it lacks support, saying the president is looking for “the best way forward into something that can ultimate wind its way through Congress.”

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Breaking News: Pilot Intentionally Slams Plane into Federal Building in Texas: Echos of 9/11? UPDATED: Suicide Pilot Identified as Joseph Andrew Stack; Leftwing Media Moves to Blame the Tea Party as Stack Praises Communism and Attacks Bush in his Suicide Note; UPDATE #2: CBS News reports Stack’s Praise of Communism

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

The smoldering aftermath of a pilot's allegedly intentional suicide and destruction of a federal building in Austin, Texas

According to federal officials who spoke with CNN, a pilot intentionally flew his plane, at full speed, into a federal building in Austin, Texas today:

The pilot of the plane had set his house on fire beforehand….a federal official told CNN.

Two F-16′s were scrambled to the Austin, Texas area in the aftermath of the explosion, but it appears now that no other planes are involved. No official word as of yet regarding the identity of the pilot, however, CNN, Fox, and other media are now reporting that the pilot set fire to his own home before taking flight in a plane earlier today, a fire that continues as of 1PM today. The tragic spectacle of an unhinged pilot intentionally flying a plane into a building in America sadly reminds Americans of the horror of 9/11, albeit on a much smaller scale. The plane involved, Cirrus SR22, is a single-engine four-seat aircraft, much smaller than the airlines hijacked by the 9/11 terrorists on that awful day.

All told, it appears the unnamed pilot had a suicide wish, and he proceeded to implement that twisted desire by flying a plane at full speed (as reported by the Austin Statesman) into the side of a building which houses the IRS and other agencies in Austin, Texas. Whether this incident is a terrorist incident or whether there is any connection to overseas organizations is an open question at this hour.

UPDATE: The suicide pilot has been identified as Joseph Andrew Stack, and a lengthy suicide note was left on Stack’s website in which Stack attacks former President George W. Bush with “Bush and his cronies are puppets of plutocrats” and states his disapproval of the “joke we call the American medical system … [that's] murdering tens of thousands of people a year”. Such sentiments clearly indicates that Stack strongly disapproved of former President George W. Bush and further strongly disapproved of the present American health care system. Indeed, the leftwing new media, the leftwing old media like the NYT and Democrats have often used the same line used by Stack regarding “tens of thousands” of deaths per year caused by the lack of reform of the American health care system.

The primary motivation, however, appears to be Stack’s vitriolic hatred for the IRS, as the building attacked housed IRS agents and his statement in his suicide note that “Well Mr. Big Brother IRS man… take my pound of flesh and sleep well.”

Predictably, the leftwing netroots new media contingent is in full dander, explicitly claiming that Stack was a “teabagger” associated with the Tea Party movement, with the Daily Kos attempting to set the media narrative that the suicide attack by Stack was a result of ideas pushed by “Teabaggers”:

This guy may not have been a member of any organized Tea Party, I have no way of knowing. He may have been a nut with a beef against the IRS. But the kind of crap he spews in this manifesto is just the sort of thing you will hear at a Teabagger rally. Will this be the beginning of further such events, or will the Teabaggers renounce this kind of violence?

Another large leftwing site, Democratic Underground, is also running with the “Suicide pilot is a teabagger” narrative. Of course, none of the leftwing new media sites mention Stack’s attack on former President George W. Bush or his use of the Democrat health care reform talking point regarding the “thousands” who die every year because of the present system. Considering recent reports that the Democrat Party is planning on digging up dirt on Tea Party leaders and otherwise smearing the Tea Party as unhinged extremists in the leadup to the November 2010 elections, it makes sense that the leftwing new media is pushing the clearly unsubstantiated claim that Stack was a tea party member or sympathizer.

However, the most telling part of Stack’s suicide note may be the part that appears at the very end, in bold, regarding the virtues of communism and the vices of capitalism:

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

Stack’s clear denunciation of the capitalist system and praise for the communist system, in the last two lines of his suicide note, appear to definitely state a portion of Stack’s ideological makeup. Whether the mainstream media takes its cues from the Daily Kos and Democratic Underground in reporting this horrific attack as the work of a deranged tea partier or whether the mainstream media instead actually reviews Stack’s words and reports on the evidence of his potential motivations objectively will be an interesting test of the media’s level of left wing bias as America moves into a general election season.

UPDATE #2:  CBS News becomes the first mainstream media organization to report Stack’s praise of Communism at the conclusion of Stack’s six page long, rambling suicide note.  CNN continues, via Rick Sanchez and others, to falsely report that the anti-IRS statements were the conclusion of the Stack suicide note. CBS News headlines the anti-IRS speech, and only reports the conclusion of Stack’s letter in the last paragraph of his suicide note:

He ended with,” The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.”

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