WASHINGTON — Democrats often complained about President George W. Bush’s frequent use of a rhetorical device as old as rhetoric itself: creating the illusion of refuting an opponent’s argument by mischaracterizing it and then knocking down that mischaracterization.White House Memo - Some Obama Enemies Are Made Totally of Straw - NYTimes.com
There was much outrage in 2006, for example, when Mr. Bush said that when it came to battling terrorists, “I need members of Congress who understand that you can’t negotiate with these folks,” implying that Democrats backed talks with Al Qaeda. That assertion was promptly, and angrily, disputed by Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts.
Now that there is a new team at the White House, guess who is knocking down straw men left and right? To listen to President Obama, a veritable army of naysayers has invaded Washington, urging him to sit on his hands at the White House and do nothing to address any of the economic or national security problems facing the country.
“There are those who say these plans are too ambitious, that we should be trying to do less, not more,” Mr. Obama told a town-hall-style meeting in Costa Mesa, Calif., on March 18. “Well, I say our challenges are too large to ignore.”
Mr. Obama did not specify who, exactly, was saying America should ignore its challenges.
Similarly, the next day in Los Angeles, Mr. Obama took on Wall Street and Washington, two of his favorite straw men. “I know some folks in Washington and on Wall Street are saying we should just focus on their problems,” Mr. Obama said. “It would be nice if I could just pick and choose what problems to face, when to face them. So I could say, well, no, I don’t want to deal with the war in Afghanistan right now; I’d prefer not having to deal with climate change right now. And if you could just hold on, even though you don’t have health care, just please wait, because I’ve got other things to do.”
Mr. Obama continued on the offensive against straw men that day in Los Angeles, pointing out that critics told him not to go on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” on NBC because “I can’t handle that and the economy at the same time.” Then, his audience primed, he delivered his standard kill line: “Listen, here’s what I say. I say our challenges are too big to ignore.”
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Its voters, at last sensible, rejected, by an average of 65 percent, five of six propositions. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the "post-partisan" Republican, and the partisan Democrats who control the Legislature, promoted the propositions as efficient for and essential to eliminating the state's budget deficit, which will now be $21 billion. So California may become the next target for the Obama administration, whose dependency agenda involves seizing every opportunity to break things -- banks, insurance and automobile companies, etc. -- to the saddle of its supervision.RealClearPolitics - The Coming California Bailout
The Orange County Register -- if but one newspaper survives today's leveling winds, may it be this one -- made the case for rejecting all six propositions: 1A would have created an illusory spending cap that could be "easily circumvented by raising taxes" -- and the ballot language did not mention that 1A would have meant a $16 billion two-year extension of some of February's huge tax increases. Proposition 1B promised the public school lobby $9 billion, effectively bribing them to support 1A, which the California Teachers Association did. Proposition 1C combined "two of the worst practices responsible for" the state's dysfunction, "rosy revenue projections and borrowing": It would have authorized borrowing from (hypothetical) increases in state lottery revenues. Proposition 1D, "one more hide-the-pea fiscal deception," would have transferred to the general fund -- and much of it on to public employees -- revenues raised for children's programs. Proposition 1E would have done the same for revenues raised for mental health services.
May 22 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama signed into law a credit-card consumers’ “Bill of Rights” that limits fees and curbs contract changes, saying it will give Americans “the strong and reliable protections they deserve.”Obama Signs Credit-Card Consumers’ ‘Bill of Rights’ (Update2) - Bloomberg.com
“We’re putting in place some common sense reforms, designed to protect consumers,” Obama said at a White House Rose Garden ceremony. “We’re not going to give people a free pass, we expect consumers to live within their means and pay what they owe, but we also expect financial institutions to act with the same sense of responsibility.”
The legislation would make card companies apply payments to balances with the highest interest rates first. Increasing a consumer’s rate on existing balances based on late payments to another lender, a practice known as “universal default” would be prohibited.
The administration considers the legislation part of its efforts to restore the U.S. economy by creating a “fair, transparent and simple consumer credit market,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said May 19.
President Barack Obama told C-SPAN on Friday that he’s “going to have an announcement soon” on his pick for the Supreme Court, and said he is looking for “not just ivory tower learning.”Barack Obama: Supreme Court pick coming soon - Mike Allen - POLITICO.com
“I want somebody who has the intellectual fire power, but also a little bit of a common touch and has a practical sense of how the world,” Obama told C-SPAN political editor Steve Scully.
Obama repeated his hope that Congress will hold hearings in July so that they can be completed before Congress breaks for the summer.“One of the things I would prefer not to see happen is that these confirmation hearings drag on and somebody has to hit the ground running and then take their seat in October without having the time to wrap their mind around the fact that they are going to be a Supreme Court Justice,” he said. “I'd like to given them a little bit of lead time so that they can get prepared.”
Friday, May 22, 2009
U.S. Senator Evan Bayh is focused on providing hardworking Hoosier families with the tools and opportunities they need to succeed today. From his work to help stimulate the economy by creating jobs and growing small businesses to his fight to keep a college education within the reach of all Hoosiers, Senator Bayh continues to break through the partisan gridlock of Washington to help more Hoosiers make a better life for themselves and their children. His commitment to making real progress instead of participating in political showdowns has set Bayh apart as a leader on a wide range of important issues facing the nation.Senator Evan Bayh — Senator for Indiana: About - Biography
Elected to his second term in November 2004, Senator Bayh has proven he is "more concerned with reflecting what he believes is right for Indiana citizens than with playing to the Beltway crowd," says the Indianapolis Star. His signature legislative efforts are aimed at strengthening our national security, creating more jobs through the growth of small businesses, protecting American workers from unfair trade practices, encouraging responsible fatherhood and providing tax-relief for families struggling with the rising costs of college, retirement and the long-term care of a loved one. Bayh has taken the lead in providing our troops with the armored vehicles they need and has visited Iraq and Afghanistan several times for a first-hand look at the progress on-the-ground. He has also led the fight to cut through the mire of bureaucracy to ensure our nation's wounded soldiers receive the high quality care they need and deserve.
Standing on my record of service, I humbly ask for your support as we begin this great endeavor. Throughout my career in public service, protecting Floridians has been my top priority. I have fought to keep criminals off the streets and away from our children. In the State Senate, I fought for legislation that requires criminals to serve 85 percent of their sentences, as Attorney General I pushed through the Jessica Lunsford Act and successfully defended Megan’s Law, and then in my first months as Governor, I signed legislation that requires brutal felony offenders who violate probation to return to jail.Home | Charlie Crist for United States Senate 2010
We’ve made great strides in protecting Floridians’ safety, but we’ve also worked to protect their health and well-being. I signed into law a nationally recognized, market-based health care program to provide low cost health insurance for nearly four million uninsured Floridians. We took historic measures to reform property taxes and property insurance, keeping more Floridians in their homes. We’ve seen Florida’s excellence in education continue to increase, with Florida earning a top-ten ranking in education last year, and coming closer than ever to closing the achievement gap with more students graduating from high school and attending our state’s excellent colleges and universities. We’ve safeguarded our environment by working to preserve Florida’s Everglades, reduce dependence on foreign oil and mitigate the effects of global climate change, putting Florida at the forefront of movement towards green energy. Finally, we’ve safeguarded Florida’s business climate, standing on conservative values to keeping taxes low for families and business, and as a result we’ve maintained a business climate that encourages companies to locate and expand in the Sunshine State.
A new Mason Dixon poll conducted for the SayfieReview shows that Gov. Charlie Crist (R) would be a formidable candidate if he were to seek Florida's open U.S. Senate seat in 2010.Half of Florida voters said they would consider voting for the first-term incumbent, should he seek the seat, with another 17 percent saying he would definitely have their vote. But 26 percent said they definitely would not vote for Crist, while 7 percent were undecided. Notably, 12 percent of Democrats said they would definitely vote for Crist, though the poll did not provide any matchups with potential candidates.RealClearPolitics - Politics Nation - FL Poll: Half Would Consider Crist For Senate
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 12) -- Popular GOP Gov. Charlie Crist said Tuesday he will run for U.S. Senate instead of re-election next year, a possible stepping stone to a presidential bid and a welcome jolt for a struggling Republican Party desperate to keep Florida in its column.Crist Senate Florida
"Here in Florida, we've shown that when we put people first and work together much can be accomplished, and I intend to bring that same approach to Washington," Crist said in a statement announcing his bid.
Crist, 52, instantly becomes the front-runner in the Senate race. He has maintained approval ratings in the high 60-percent range despite the state's gloomy economy, budget cuts, a high foreclosure rate and the highest unemployment level since 1975. That popularity is credited to an unwavering optimism, bipartisan attitude and the projection of a sense that he cares.
The governor, whose ability to charm people is sometimes compared to Bill Clinton's, was on the list of possible 2008 GOP vice presidential candidates.
Sen. John Cornyn, head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, quickly endorsed Crist. Senate Republicans are looking at the likelihood that the Democrats will hold a 60-seat majority in the Senate that can overcome GOP filibusters and help pass President Barack Obama's legislative agenda.
TALLAHASSEE - Florida voters want Charlie Crist to remain governor instead of going to the U.S. Senate, but he is a strong contender for either race, new poll results show.Poll: Crist, Iorio Lead Packs In Senate Race
Though no Democratic contenders for the Senate slot are obvious front-runners, Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio leads the pack.
Crist told reporters this month that he will decide after the spring legislative session whether to run for governor in 2010 or for the Senate seat now held by Mel Martinez, who is not running for re-election. Crist likely would dominate either race given his 67 percent job approval rating, according to poll results released Wednesday by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Forty-eight percent of voters said they would vote to re-elect Crist governor, compared with 25 percent who would vote for the Democratic candidate and 27 percent who did not know whom they would vote for.
FORT MYERS — President Obama visited one of Florida's most economically ravaged communities Tuesday, where Gov. Charlie Crist showered him with the kind of bipartisan love that has eluded the president in Washington.Crist, Obama join to promote stimulus - St. Petersburg Times
"We know that it's important that we pass a stimulus package,'' Florida's popular Republican governor said amid "Yes, we can!" cheers as he introduced the Democratic president. "This is not about partisan politics. This is about rising above that, helping America and reigniting our economy."
But that's a minority view among Crist's Republican colleagues. Not a single Republican U.S. House member voted for the stimulus bill, and when the $838 billion package passed the Senate on Tuesday all but three Republicans voted against it, including Florida Republican Mel Martinez.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Accusing President Obama of giving Americans "less than half the truth," former Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday tough interrogation tactics worked, and said the tactics had the approval of members of Congress including current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.The former vice president said the president's attempt to find a middle ground that angers the right and the left is compromising American security: "in the fight against terrorism, there is no middle ground, and half-measures keep you half-exposed."Cheney: Pelosi knew of interrogations - Washington Times
Secretary Clinton's Commencement Address at NYURealClearPolitics - Secretary Clinton's Commencement Address at NYU
By Hillary Clinton
Yankee StadiumThank you. Thank you so much. Thank you. And does it get any better than this, a graduation ceremony for one of the great universities in the world in the home of New York Yankees? Nothing could be better. (Applause.) And thanks to all of you for cheering a visitor. I didn't realize that was permitted in Yankee Stadium.I am honored to receive this degree. And on behalf of the other honorees, I say thank you. Thank you for giving us this singular privilege of being part of this commencement ceremony. As I look out at this huge crowd of graduates, family, and friends, I can only reflect on what an extraordinary moment in history you are receiving your degrees, a moment in time of our country and the world where your talents and your energy, your passion and commitment is more needed than ever. There is no doubt that you are well prepared for a world that seems somewhat uncertain but which will welcome the education that you have received on behalf of not only of yourselves and your families, but your communities and your country.
There has been no dramatic shift in Americans' view of Wall Street, big business or the role of government despite the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, according to a wide-ranging Pew Research Center study of American values released Thursday."Whether by choice or circumstance, Barack Obama is pursuing a fundamentally different path than his predecessor in terms of economic, domestic and foreign policy. Yet there is no commensurate sea-change in public values," the Pew report concludes.In Depth: 8 Things Americans Believe in 2009The 160-page non-partisan study, regularly conducted since 1987, is the most comprehensive look at Americans' outlook since Obama's inauguration.The study offered new evidence that the Great Recession has not greatly altered Americans' view on the role of government or spurred a dramatic rise in populism.RealClearPolitics - Despite Bad Economy No Big Shift in Values
Democratic Rep. Hastings Proposes Creating Gitmo 2.0 - Presidential Politics | Political News - FOXNews.com
A Guantanamo Bay Version 2.0 may be in the works.A Democratic representative is developing a unique proposal that attempts to strike a middle path in the debate as to whether the U.S. should permanently close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay next year or keep it open indefinitely.Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) said Thursday that he is open to keeping a more transparent Guantanamo facility, complete with more aggressive third party monitors, open beyond the White House January 2010 closure deadline to hold the most dangerous inmates.Democratic Rep. Hastings Proposes Creating Gitmo 2.0 - Presidential Politics | Political News - FOXNews.com
Here is the same story as that I covered below in Yikes! Cheney kicks Obama’s ass but from the viewpoint of the totally in the tank for Obama NYT. They also included the actual speeches. Read both and make up your own minds. Please note the beautiful large graphic of Obama in a presidential setting matched to his perfectly written speech compared to a small cropped headshot of Cheney as if he appeared in an undisclosed location.Dueling Speeches: Obama and Cheney « Free Us Now Weblog
(CNN) -- President Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney offered competing views on how to keep America safe in back-to-back speeches Thursday.Obama, Cheney offer competing views on national security - CNN.com
Obama said his administration is trying to clean up "a mess" left behind by the Bush administration. He defended his plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba, his ban on torture, the release of Bush-era interrogation memos and his objection to the release of prisoner photos.
Cheney stood up for the Bush administration's security record, arguing that Obama has weakened the country's ability to combat al Qaeda and other extremists. He defended the use of enhanced interrogation techniques as a success that changed thousands of lives. He called the release of the Bush-era memos a reckless distraction and belittled Obama's decision to close Guantanamo "with little deliberation and no plan."
WASHINGTON — Law enforcement computers were struck by a mystery computer virus Thursday, forcing the FBI and the U.S. Marshals to shut down part of their networks as a precaution.The U.S. Marshals confirmed it disconnected from the Justice Department's computers as a protective measure after being hit by the virus; an FBI official said only that that agency was experiencing similar issues and was working on the problem."We too are evaluating a network issue on our external, unclassified network that's affecting several government agencies," said FBI spokesman Mike Kortan. He did not elaborate or identify the other agencies.Computer Virus Strikes FBI, U.S. Marshals Service - Science News | Science & Technology | Technology News - FOXNews.com
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Monday Night May 4th soROARity
Katherine J. Morrison
"Author of An Independent Call"
Free Us Now guest, Katherine Morrison wrote a book about the 2008 presidential election. The book entitled An Independent Call, chronicles the journey of an Independent New Hampshirite from wary observer of town hall meetings to eventual McCain supporter and volunteer. It is an amusing look at the events of a campaign. From meeting candidates from both sides of the aisle, to becoming a blogger for McCain, to being chewed out on campaign phone calls, to receiving press credentials for the Republican National Convention, this account relates the experience of being a participant at the lowest level politics from an outsider's perspective. A mix of good humor and political opinion from the middle.
Rockingham NH County Commissioner, Maureen Barrows, recommends An Independent Call stating that it is- "A must read for anyone interested in the day to day life of a volunteer in a political campaign-attention to detail is brilliant."
No radio needed The Free Us Now Radio show is online - If your computer is down no problem call on the phone and hear the entire show right on the phone- Please come! Monday 10 PM eastern/ Bring your questions.
Call-in 347 539-5420.
Event: Free Us Now Radio Show
Host: BettyJean Kling
Start Time: Monday, at 10:00pm
End Time: Monday, at 11:30pm
Call-in: 347 539-5420