Monday, January 14, 2013

“We Are Not a Deadbeat Nation”, Obama Says, Then Misses Deadline for Sending Budget to Congress!

frontpage ^ | 1/14/13 | d greenfield

But don’t call the man, lazy. According to Colin Powell, that’s incredibly racist.

“The issue here is whether or not America pays its bills,” Obama said at a press conference on Monday, the last of his first term in office. “We are not a deadbeat nation.”

There are so many things wrong with that…

1. In 2006, Obama said that raising the debt limit was “a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies”.
Now failing to raise the debt limit and not pay the bills using financial assistance from foreign governments to finance his reckless fiscal policies is a sign that America can’t pay its own bills. By which he means his bills.
2. When you run up this high a debt, then you are a deadbeat. Turning the national numbers into a family income, Obama’s spending spree is the equivalent of a family with a $21,700 annual income running up $16,500 in new debt to be added to $142,710 in existing credit card debt.
If that’s not the definition of a deadbeat, I don’t know what is.
3. It’s not America’s debt. It’s America’s debt the way that it’s your debt when the bellboy runs up illegal charges on your credit card. And here the bellboy is accusing the hotel of being deadbeats unless they let him run up a lot more charges on the country’s credit card.
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Mark Levin Reacts To Obama Presser: "We Have An Imperial President"

Real Clear Politics ^ | January 14, 2013 | Mark Levin

MARK LEVIN: I'm not into imperial presidents who act imperial and speak imperial and Obama forgets there's a Constitution. Yes, he keeps telling us he won reelection. Congratulations, but guess what? The Constitution wasn't up for election, it's not up for a referendum. He has to comply with it, too.

He was sent back to Washington, but he's got a strict list of rules that he has to follow as president. 

When he gets up there and starts saying, if Congress doesn't do this, I'm going to do this unilaterally, it violates separation of power a lot of the times. And this is a man pushing the edge of the envelope as far as i'm concerned, whether it's the appointment clause, whether it's his unilateral action on immigration, whether it's trashing the commerce clause and the tax clauses under Obamacare. Now they're talking about executive orders on the Second Amendment. They've issued regulations on First Amendment attacking religious liberty. This notion that he might be able to lift the debt ceiling, you know, unilaterally under the Fourteenth Amendment.

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Two Faced Obama

GOP congressman threatens impeachment if Obama uses executive action for gun control

The Daily Caller ^ | 01/14/2013 | Caroline May

Texas Republican Rep. Steve Stockman threatened Monday afternoon that he would file articles of impeachment against President Barack Obama if he institutes gun control measures with an executive order.

Stockman warned that such executive orders would be “unconstitutional” and “infringe on our constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms.”

“I will seek to thwart this action by any means necessary, including but not limited to eliminating funding for implementation, defunding the White House, and even filing articles of impeachment,” Stockman said in a statement.

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If Obama unilaterally acts on raising debt limit he should be IMPEACHED!

The Right Scoop ^ | 1/14/2012 | The Right Scoop

Mark Levin explains why Obama should be impeached if he acts unilaterally to raise the debt ceiling:
If Obama unilaterally acts – and I think there’s a fan dance going on here where his spokes-idiot Carney is out there saying ‘no, we’ve decided we’re not going to do this’ – if Obama, though, plays the role of Hamlet and in the end says ‘I have not choice, the Republicans are going to destroy our economy, our debt rating, all this that and the other, therefore I must unilaterally act,’ he should be impeached!

Because that means Congress’ core power – in addition to declaring war – Congress’ core power, that is control over spending and taxing, will have been seized by the president of the United States in one executive order. NO Congress would tolerate this from any president! I don’t care if the president was Abraham Lincoln. This Congress would not have tolerated it from Richard Nixon. No Congress can tolerate such a complete and brazen frontal assault on its enumerated power. No Congress! No twisting of the language in the 14th amendment or any way else. Because we will cease to be a federal government of three coequal branches.

There’s more. Listen:

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Obama's Ambitious Second-Term Agenda Could Backfire!

National Journal ^ | January 11, 2013 | 11:26 a.m. | Josh Kraushaar

On gun control, immigration, and Hagel, the president's biggest roadblocks are Democrats.
The White House’s ambitious agenda on gun control, immigration reform, and, perhaps, even climate change is a sign that President Obama believes he locked up precious political capital with his reelection and intends to spend it quickly. But that isn’t welcome news to many of the Democrats who need him the most in the short term--the seven Democratic senators in conservative states facing tough reelection bids.
Just one week into the new year, Obama has already hit some unpleasant stumbling blocks with his own party. On gun control, the White House is now calculating that it will be “exceedingly difficult” to pass broad measures, The New York Times reports, a sharp U-turn from its optimism heading into the new year. Senators from the president’s own party are the ones giving him trouble over his nominee for Defense secretary, former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel, with one of the president’s most partisan backers privately expressing doubt about whether he’ll support his nomination.
And on Friday, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., announced his retirement, making it even more likely that a West Virginia Senate seat will turn Republican for the first time since 1959. Rockefeller’s decision to step down early may give him more flexibility to vote with the White House on its pet initiatives, but it creates major problems for the Democrats looking to succeed him. The White House’s planned agenda for the coming year is awfully inhospitable for a Democrat looking to keep his or her distance from the national party. (Notably, newly minted Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Michael Bennet, in a statement, said he is confident the party will elect an “independent-minded Democrat” to a seat.)
This is just the tip of the iceberg. To maintain their Senate majority in 2014, Democrats need to hold onto seven seats being contested on inhospitable turf--Louisiana, Arkansas, Alaska, Montana, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Dakota. Obama holds solid approval ratings nationally but, given the state of affairs in our polarized country, is in much more tenuous shape down South. The strategic positioning of Democratic Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor or Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, and Mark Begich of Alaska will be fascinating to watch over the next year. Immigration, for example, is probably a winning issue for the president overall, but it will be a much tougher sell with Democrats in conservative states and districts. Rockefeller took the easy way out in stepping down.
My National Journal colleagues Ron Fournier and Jill Lawrence have been engaging in a debate over whether Obama is merely a good president, or a potentially great one. I disagree with the premise. I’d argue that given Democratic congressional supermajorities in his first two years and the lingering unpopularity of the Republican Party, he held the potential to accomplish a lot more--and in a more bipartisan fashion, as well. Health care reform was a costly detour from promoting a jobs-centric agenda in the president’s first year. He’s spending significant political capital on Hagel, at a time when the White House desperately needs a united Democratic front on gun control and immigration.
Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, learned the hard way about bragging about his mandate, seeing his own ambitious Social Security reforms blow up in his face thanks to recalcitrant Republicans, and watching his approval ratings trend downward from there. Understanding the political limits, while also recognizing strategic opportunities, is an essential part of a president’s job responsibility.
One of the biggest differences between 2012 and 2014 for down-ballot Democrats is that the president doesn’t have the same political imperative to tack to the middle, free to pursue the issues deemed most important. That might be good for the president’s legacy, certainly if he accomplishes his agenda, but the politically at-risk members of his own party are probably having different thoughts.

The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray arrives with edges sharpened!

In a rational world, the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray wouldn’t exist. The very idea of launching a two-seat sports car named after a World War II ship powered by a truck-sized V-8 goes against every trend line on every chart in every automaker’s boardroom. Yet here it is, the seventh generation of America’s most venerated sports car, sharpened in all dimensions by racing experience toward out-hustling the best sports cars in the world. The question will be whether it can outrun history.
After 60 years of production, General Motors could have found ample reasons for waving the checkered flag at the Vette. Thanks to GM’s bankruptcy, the Vette has soldiered on longer than it should have without a major update; GM sold 14,132 last year, well off the 30,000 a year it sustained for much of the past decade. New U.S. fuel economy rules hit sports cars head-on, demanding the same measure of efficiency improvements in hot rods as in compact family sedans.
Slideshow: 60 Years of Corvette HistoryMore importantly, the Corvette has lost much of its cultural currency from the heyday of NASA astronauts drag-racing their free Corvettes on the beach, falling into the tar pit of an old man’s car competing for young people’s attention. From “Transformers” to the “Fast and Furious” movies, Hollywood prefers the new Chevy Camaro and those Vettes the astronauts drove. A survey from the popular Forza racing video game of the most-driven models found the modern Vette didn’t crack the top 40. And while you can still buy Barbie her classic pink Vette, it’s a far less popular choice than sending her off with Ken in a Mini Cooper.
On first view, the makeover wrought by Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter and team appears evolutionary. Yet every piece of the Vette has either been re-engineered or updated, from the new all-aluminum frame to the sharper, “shrink-wrapped” exterior to the 6.2-liter, 450-hp, 450 lb.-ft. V-8. That engine can now be paired to an optional Tremec 7-speed manual, a GM first, that will automatically match the engine’s RPMs to the anticipated gear in all shifts.
The biggest improvements come from applying modern electronic controls throughout the car for the first time. The Vette will have five driving modes that alter 12 different systems, from the optional electronic limited-slip differential that’s part of the Z51 track package to launch control. In “eco” mode, the all-new V-8 will shut off four cylinders for maximum fuel economy, while in “track” mode, Chevy engineers say the new Vette will pull more than 1 g of cornering force and run to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds. (Chevy vows to release exact figures, including prices, closer to the car's launch this fall.)
The interior, long the weakest part of the car, has been renovated to modern sports car standards. In place of Barbie-quality plastic, the dash comes wrapped in leather and carbon fiber; the heated and cooled seats have bolstering built for track use. The Vette also finally gets the requisite HD LED screens for the center console, but Chevy wisely keeps separate radio and air control switches instead of touch screen controls.
Much of the Vette’s improvements began as lessons learned from the Le Mans-winning Vette C6.R endurance racing team, such as the new fender intakes by the rear window that cool the transmission and differential. Purists have already begun to exclaim over the loss of the Vette’s trademark round taillamps; the new squarish units take that shape because their frames double as a cooling vents.
While Corvette enthusiasts often dream of more radical changes, the Corvette engineering team has six decades of experience arguing against such moves. Moving to a smaller V-8 or turbocharged V-6 as in the Nissan GT-R would have added more weight while doing little for fuel economy; Chevy expects the new model to easily surpass the previous generation’s 26 mpg highway rating. A mid-engine super Vette would lose the sizable hatchback space that makes it more livable as an everyday car or grand tourer than a Porsche 911. And the unique suspension, with its transverse leaf spring rear axle, sacrifices little on the track while weighing less than the alternatives.
Some compromises were inevitable. Even with a new carbon-fiber roof and hood, and a frame that’s 99 lbs. lighter, the new Vette will weigh about as much as the old one, due to added pounds from the engine, interior bits and crash safety — although it keeps its perfect 50/50 front-rear weight balance and sports a lower center of gravity. The new 7-speed manual will still have a skip shift that forces higher gears for better city mileage, and a revised six-speed automatic remains standard.
But the greatest challenge for the new Stingray won't come from rivals like the new SRT Viper, the GT-R or the 911. As Zora Arkus-Duntov, the famed "father of the Corvette" wrote in 1954: "If the value of a car consists of practical values and emotional appeal, the sports car has very little of the first and consequently has to have an exaggerated amount of the second." The engineers behind the new Vette hope the revival of the Stingray name for the first time in 37 years and years of knowledge gained from the track will spark that emotional connection with a new generation. The most apt answer for why the 2014 Vette exists already exists in an Internet meme: Because racecar.

Chuck Hagel - It's The Anti-Americanism, Stupid ^ | 1/13/2013 | Caroline Glick

Chuck Hagel hates Jews. Or should I say, he hates Jews who think that Jews have rights and that their rights should be defended, in Israel by the government and the IDF, in America by Israel's supporters.
As I mentioned before, it is not at all surprising that Obama appointed Hagel, and I see little chance that the Senate will reject his appointment. Israel and its American friends however can take heart that Israel will not be Hagel's chief concern.
Hagel -- and Obama -- have bigger fish to fry than Israel. They are looking to take on the US military. They will slash military budgets, they will slash pensions and medical benefits for veterans in order to save a couple dollars and demoralize the military. They will unilaterally disarm the US to the point where America's antiquated nuclear arsenal will become a complete joke. And I don't see the military capable of stopping it. Anyone remember the F-22?
I find the whole Israel angle on Hagel irritating because of this. Yes, Hagel will be bad to Israel. But we can minimize the damage by diversifying our own arsenal and weaning ourselves off of US military handouts that only serve as work subsidies for US military contractors at the expense of Israeli ones.Moreover, for years that military aid has been a corrupting force on Israel's general staff. I've been advocating ending US military aid to Israel for more than a decade, but better late than wait until we find ourselves at war and out of spare parts because Hagel and Obama won't sign the requisition orders to Boeing and Lockheed.
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History Suggests That Entitlement Era Is Winding Down ^ | January 14, 2013 | Michael Barone

It's often good fun and sometimes revealing to divide American history into distinct periods of uniform length. In working on my forthcoming book on American migrations, internal and immigrant, it occurred to me that you could do this using the American-sounding interval of 76 years, just a few years more than the Biblical lifespan of three score and 10.
It was 76 years from Washington's First Inaugural in 1789 to Lincoln's Second Inaugural in 1865. It was 76 years from the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse in 1865 to the attack at Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Going backward, it was 76 years from the First Inaugural in 1789 to the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, which settled one of the British-French colonial wars. And going 76 years back from Utrecht takes you to 1637, when the Virginia and Massachusetts Bay colonies were just getting organized.
As for our times, we are now 71 years away from Pearl Harbor. The current 76-year interval ends in December 2017.
Each of these 76-year periods can be depicted as a distinct unit. In the colonial years up to 1713, very small numbers of colonists established separate cultures that have persisted to our times.
The story is brilliantly told in David Hackett Fischer's "Albion's Seed." For a more downbeat version, read the recent "The Barbarous Years" by the nonagenarian Bernard Bailyn.
From 1713 to 1789, the colonies were peopled by much larger numbers of motley and often involuntary settlers -- slaves, indentured servants, the unruly Scots-Irish on the Appalachian frontier.
For how this society became dissatisfied with the colonial status quo, read Bailyn's "Ideological Origins of the American Revolution."
From 1789 to 1865, Americans sought their manifest destiny by expanding across the continent. They made great technological advances but were faced with the irreconcilable issue of slavery in the territories.
For dueling accounts of the period, read the pro-Andrew Jackson Democrat Sean Wilentz's "The Rise of American Democracy" and the pro-Henry Clay Whig Daniel Walker Howe's "What Hath God Wrought." Both are sparklingly written and full of offbeat insights and brilliant apercus.
The 1865-1941 period saw a vast efflorescence of market capitalism, European immigration and rising standards of living. For descriptions of how economic change reshaped the nation and its government, read Morton Keller's "Affairs of State and Regulating a New Society."
The 70-plus years since 1941 have seen a vast increase in the welfare safety net and governance by cooperation between big units -- big government, big business, big labor -- that began in the New Deal and gained steam in and after World War II. I immodestly offer my own "Our Country: The Shaping of America From Roosevelt to Reagan."
The original arrangements in each 76-year period became unworkable and unraveled toward its end. Eighteenth-century Americans rejected the colonial status quo and launched a revolution and established a constitutional republic.
Nineteenth-century Americans went to war over expansion of slavery. Early 20th-century Americans grappled with the collapse of the private sector economy in the Depression of the 1930s.
We are seeing something like this again today. The welfare state arrangements that once seemed solid are on the path to unsustainability.
Entitlement programs -- Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid -- are threatening to gobble up the whole government and much of the private sector, as well.
Lifetime employment by one big company represented by one big union is a thing of the past. People who counted on corporate or public sector pensions are seeing them default.
Looking back, we are as far away in time today from victory in World War II in 1945 as Americans were at the time of the Dred Scott decision from the First Inaugural.
We are as far away in time today from passage of the Social Security in 1935 as Americans then were from the launching of post-Civil War Reconstruction.
Nevertheless our current president and most politicians of his party seem determined to continue the current welfare state arrangements -- historian Walter Russell Mead calls this the blue state model -- into the indefinite future.
Some leaders of the other party are advancing ideas for adapting a system that worked reasonably well in an industrial age dominated by seemingly eternal big units into something that can prove workable in an information age experiencing continual change and upheaval wrought by innovations in the market economy.
The current 76-year period is nearing its end. What will come next?