Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Terror Fallout


"The errors could prove a political problem for Mr. Obama, who spoke for the second day running about the attack, after three days of silence. Over the weekend, other administration officials, including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, argued that air-security systems had worked in the attack's aftermath. Campaign consultants for potential Republican presidential challengers in 2012 have been waiting for an opportunity to paint the president as soft on terrorism." (WSJ, 12/30/2009)


Had the recent failed terrorist attack occurred on GWB's watch, RedStateVT has no doubt that critics of President Bush would have held him personally accountable. It would have been an unfair accusation and, therefore, we will not make the charge against President Obama. There are, however, a couple of points that can be made:


First, President Obama does seem to exhibit a certain tone-deaf response when it comes to these national security issues. The "three days of silence" referenced above does not reflect well on him and does not inspire confidence. Recall also his clumsy handling of the Ft. Hood terrorist act.


Second, there is no doubt frustration on the part of various national security organizations given the relentless attacks by many of President Obama's most ardent leftward supporters. We have a certain sympathy for at least some of these folks who are attacked as torturers, human rights abusers, and outright criminals, all the while trying to protect this country from just this kind of act. President Obama need look no further than his Attorney General to find someone who has second guessed (and maligned!) some of these people.


Third, does Janet Napolitano remind readers of another Janet? Why yes! The equally incompetent Clinton era Attorney General Janet Reno!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Year-End Leftovers

Yes Virginia, They Still Want to Kill Us
The attempt appeared to underscore the continuing determination of Muslim militants to kill Americans more than eight years after the Sept. 11 attacks. (NYT, 12/27/2009)

Rahm-bo: First Bloodletting
As the saying goes, politics can make strange bedfellows. Well, conservative anti-tax activist Grover Norquist is teaming up with liberal blogger Jane Hamsher in calling for White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to resign. They've sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder saying Emanuel's time on the board of directors at the government-backed mortgage giant Freddie Mac from 2000 to 2001 may have given him some knowledge of alleged financial irregularities. The unlikely duo claim Emanuel and the White House are stonewalling, writing: "A 2003 report by Freddie Mac's regulator indicated that Freddie Mac executives had informed the board of their intention to misstate the earnings to insure their own bonuses during the time Mr. Emanuel was a director." (Brett Baier, Political Grapevine, Fox News 12/24/2009)

The Education of Olympia
The bill Democrats approved on Christmas Eve was drafted "in the shadows, without transparency, just to garner the necessary 60 votes and nothing more," as Mrs. Snowe put it in a statement on Sunday. (WSJ, 12/26/2009)

The Penny Pincher
This week brought a more troubling incident. Harry Reid's Senate had just secured its 60th vote for Mr. Obama's health-care reform. Whatever one's view, its trillion-dollar-plus cost is an agreed given. Days earlier the public saw Congress vote to raise the debt ceiling by almost $290 billion to make room for the needs of the $800 billion stimulus bill, the unprecedented $3.5 trillion budget, and the House's approval Dec. 16 of a new $154 billion jobs bill. Amid this President Obama said Monday: "We can't continue to spend . . . as if the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people can be treated like Monopoly money." (Daniel Henninger, WSJ, 12/24/2009)

Unholy Alliance
Across the country, trial lawyers and green pressure groups—if that's not redundant—are teaming up to sue electric utilities for carbon emissions under "nuisance" laws. A group of 12 Gulf Coast residents whose homes were damaged by Katrina are suing 33 energy companies for greenhouse gas emissions that allegedly contributed to the global warming that allegedly made the hurricane worse. (WSJ, 12/28/2009)

Good Question
A U.S. government that has barred the phrase "war on terror" has nonetheless acknowledged that a failed Christmas day bomb attack on an airliner was a terrorist attempt. Can we all now drop the pretense that we stopped fighting a war once Dick Cheney and George W. Bush left the White House? (WSJ, 12/28/2009)

Fat Cat Pat
It was equally outrageous to read in the Decemver 16, 2009, Wall Street Journal that Vermont's Senator Patrick Leahy, along with four other senators, similarly exploited taxpayer funds to treat himself and his wife to a trip to England. According to the story, Leahy spent four days on our dime at the Danesfield House Hotel & Spa at $340-a-night. The state business Leahy was supposedly tending to in order to justify this junket included a riverboat trip down the Thames and a private tour of Windsor Castle. (VTGOP, 12/21/2009)

Monday, December 28, 2009

RedStateVT Announces 2009 Cheney Award Winner


RedStateVT announces the winner of the 2009 Cheney Award, our inaugural presentation of this honor. The Cheney Award will be given annually to the individual who – in our opinion – has done the most to preserve and promote the values of American liberty, strength and exceptionalism. The award honors Vice-President Dick Cheney for his service to and defense of this great country.

RedStateVT considered a number of qualified candidates for this award. We’ll list just a few here.

1) Ann Coulter – Her Royal Highness, Ann is our toughest and perhaps our most brilliant conservative. Her columns are required reading for exposing the lies of liberalism.
2) Sarah Palin – Why do they hate her? She’s a moose-hunting, life-affirming, frontierswoman who draws special ire from the left for not acting like an aggrieved minority.
3) Dick Morris – Clinton’s former strategist has paid his debts in full with his extraordinary work in fighting Obamacare.
4) Rush Limbaugh – A perennial contender for any award of this type, El Rushbo, is the original. And he’s still going strong.

Our winner this year is a man that the left has underestimated at their own risk. He’s passionate. He’s emotional. He’s relentless. And yet – unlike the politicians who claim the mantle – he’s a regular guy who wears his love of America on his sleeve. His following grows daily as does his influence. RedStateVT is pleased to honor Glen Beck as the 2009 Cheney Award recipient.

Mr. Beck will also receive a free lunch courtesy of RedStateVT on Burlington’s Church Street. We can’t wait to see the looks on the faces of the “progressives.”

Sunday, December 27, 2009

White Lies in the Green Mountains


Burlington Free Press, 12/25/2009:

After decades and decades of talk about health care reform, something significant has been done amidst extraordinary obstructionism from Republicans,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said during a brief news conference after flying into Burlington International Airport shortly before noon Christmas Eve.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said people upset about any shortcomings in the measure should aim their criticisms at the GOP, not Democrats or President Barack Obama.

Something about the above comments from Vermont's Senators seemed odd to RedStateVT. And then it hit us! The Dems had the numbers to pass whatever bill they wanted to. They could have passed a bill the day after President Obama was sworn in. Any perceived deficiencies or delays were a direct result of other Dems who didn't want a public option or didn't want abortion funding or wanted extra goodies for their state. The Repubs had nothing to do with it. A point that will be made over and over again next November.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Holiday Greeting from RedStateVT


MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!


OUR HEARTFELT THANKS AND GRATITUDE TO OUR BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN IN THE ARMED SERVICES.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

They Will Pay


Indeed the Senate will pass a health care bill on Christmas Eve. It is a bill that most Senators will not have read and that some will probably vote for while holding their noses. Of course, the American public - to whom President Obama promised total transparency – does not know everything contained in the bill. On this, there is nothing else to conclude but that Obama lied.

The artificially imposed Christmas deadline has two purposes. The first is to ram a bill through before all the details can be divulged. The Obamacrats knew that time and disclosure were not on their side. The more people find out the lower the support goes. It is now less than 50%. Dick Morris (who has redeemed himself for once working for Bill Clinton) deserves enormous credit for his efforts in both exposing the dirty details of the bill and for tirelessly fund-raising to stop it. The second reason is equally important. Obama needs to be able to claim victory in 2009 for something….anything. He couldn’t get the Olympics for Chicago, Copenhagen was a giant screw-up, his party lost two important gubernatorial races, and half his party is mad at him for Afghanistan. And so he will – with a straight face – claim that 2009 was a successful first year and maybe even raise his self-grade from B+ to A-. That’s what this health care drill is all about…..avoiding the perception that he is an ineffectual lame duck one year into his term.

As the Senators scramble to return home on Thursday, more details will emerge about the extra taxes, benefit reductions and special deals that were cut to pass the bill. And when the Senators arrive, they will begin to hear from their constituents. It won’t be pretty.

Monday, December 21, 2009

RedStateVT Presents the Worst of 2009

1) Barney Frank and Chris Dodd – The Subprime Twins…for using their powers to screw up the mortgage business, nearly wreck the economy and then become “champions” of reform.

2) Reality Television – the Kardashians, Jon and Kate, the various Housewives, and other assorted oddballs and losers….for publicly displaying their shallowness and banality.

3) Rahm Emmanuel – the Left loved to demonize Karl Rove as the evil genius behind W. Well Rove is a pussycat next to Rahm-bo who brought Chicago style thuggery to the WH.

4) General Motors – brought down by union greed and the generations of weak-kneed managers who let it happen.

5) Mary Landrieu – Louisiana Senator who sold her health care vote for $300 million.

6) The Mainstream Media – for failing to vet Obama and for ignoring stories that conflicted with their political biases. Game over.

7) ACORN – isn’t this what RICO was designed for?

8) Climate change scientists – for lying.

9) Charles Rangel – New York’s senior rep…….he of the multiple rent-controlled apartments, unreported Caribbean condo rentals, etc. Look up “corrupt politician” in the dictionary and you’ll find Charlie.

10) The Jacksons – never mind “Father of the Year” Michael who apparently parented his children while blotto on who knows what prescription drugs; you also have psycho Dad Joe who used his son’s death to promote his business ventures and the remaining male siblings who didn’t wait until their brother was buried to score a new reality show. They all just need to go away and leave America alone.

Honorable Mention: The Democrat Party. It seems like it was only yesterday that the Donkey Party won their mandate and promptly began lecturing the Repubs on what they were doing wrong. The party of ballooning federal deficits, runaway spending and double digit unemployment chose to focus on the really important issues. You know, blowing up the U.S. health care system, the “settled” science of global warming (or was it cooling?), gay marriage, closing the Guantanamo Bay Resort and Spa and punishing this country and other developed nations for having the nerve to offer its citizens a better way of life. Payback starts November 2010.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

QUESTIONS (FOR LIBERALS) ON HEALTH CARE

--How do you feel about the special deals that were cut with a handful of states (e.g. Nebraska, Louisiana, Vermont) in order to get the votes to pass the bill?

--Do you think it’s fair that people who choose not to buy health insurance will be fined?

--What is the rationale for placing special taxes on certain products or services (i.e. cosmetic surgery, tanning salons, medical devices, etc.)?

--President Obama promised a transparent and deliberative process around health care reform. Do you think that has been achieved?

--Most polls show that more Americans oppose rather than favor the health care bill. Your thoughts?

You MUST answer honestly.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Moonbat Conference Ends

Here's all you need to know about the climate change conference.....

Obama got 'dissed' by the Chinese:
"Twice during the day, Mr. Wen sent an underling to represent him at the meetings with Mr. Obama. To make things worse, each time, it was a lower-level official." (NYT, 12/19/09)

It was all only ever about a wealth transfer to poor countries:
"Obama's day of hectic diplomacy produced a document promising $30 billion in emergency climate aid to poor nations in the next three years and a goal of eventually channeling $100 billion a year by 2020 to developing countries." (Fox, 12/19/09)

These guys never practice what they preach:
"As his motorcade idled in front of the conference center, Mr. Obama took to a rostrum emblazoned with the presidential seal." (NYT, 12/19/09)

Meanwhile, the truth:
"We've been deceived by a stroke of luck. In the two million years during which we climbed from stone-tool wielding Homo erectus with sloping brows to high-foreheaded Homo urbanis, man the inventor of the city, we underwent 60 glaciations, 60 ice ages. And in the 120,000 years since we emerged in our current physiological shape as Homo sapiens, we've lived through 20 sudden global warmings. In most of those, temperatures have shot up by as much as 18 degrees within a mere 20 years. All this took place without smokestacks and tailpipes. All this took place without the desecration of nature by modern man." (Climate Change is Nature's Way, Howard Bloom, WSJ, 12/17/09)

While Gore continues to protect his franchise:
"Mr. Gore says he cares a lot about science and scientific accuracy. His whole theory of Climate Alarmism depends on it but today at the United Nations Copenhagen Climate Conference he refused several opportunities to correct the record when asked about his errors by journalist and film maker Phelim McAleer. Instead his Press Secretary grabbed McAleer's microphone to stop questions being put to the vice-president." (WSJ, 12/15/09)


Friday, December 18, 2009

Grading the Grader

No sooner does President Obama win praise for displaying humility in accepting the Nobel Prize, then he self-reports a "solid B+" for his first year in office. Others have already commented on what a more realistic grade might be. RedStateVT would prefer to focus on another issue; namely that of this President's utter lack of self-awareness, his failure to appreciate the prestige of the office. For goodness sakes, when you are asked to grade yourself YOU DO NOT ANSWER THE QUESTION! Instead you say something like: "Well, there have certainly been challenges, but we are working hard on them.....I'll leave it to the American people to decide how well we are doing." Obama sounds like a.....well, like a community organizer.

Other examples? We've talked about the bowing and scraping before other heads of state so we'll remind readers of Obama's behavior at various confabs of world leaders. American Presidents are usually carefully managed at these events so that they do not end up in a picture with the likes of Fidel Castro. The last thing America needs is the visual image of parity between the President and a crackpot dictator. Does Obama follow this time honored protocol? Of course not, and so back in April he ends up being handed a piece of propaganda from the likes of Hugo Chavez:

"...Chavez gave Obama a copy of "The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent," a book by Eduardo Galeano, which chronicles U.S. and European economic and political interference in the region." (FoxNews.com, 4/18/2009)

Great photo op, Mr. President!

Of course, we would be remiss if we did not remind readers of a previous President who likewise failed to respect and promote the office. Yes, it's former President Bill Clinton who treated the office like his personal trailer park. You already know the stories, but RedStateVT will remind you that candidate Clinton put himself in a position to be asked a question about his choice of underwear. When asked the "boxers or briefs question" Clinton answered. How much more appropriate and dignified it would have been for him to respond: "You look like a bright young man. With so many pressing issues facing this country today, I am going to give you another opportunity to ask me how I am going to tackle these challenges."

Now that would have been Presidential!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

At Last, Some Good News From Copenhagen

"As world leaders began making their way to Copenhagen for an uncertain conclusion to the two-week talks, protesters and police also clashed on the streets. For the first time since the two-week conference began, law enforcement officers used tear gas to disperse crowds of rioters, who were reportedly lobbing small firebombs, a police spokesman said Tuesday. Nearly 200 more arrests were made Monday night as the protesters, angered by the lack of progress in negotiations, set fire to makeshift barricades in Copenhagen’s Christiania neighborhood." (NYT, 12/15/2009)

It's great to see the police cracking down on the little darlings of the "Peace, Love and Understanding" crowd....you know, the ones "lobbing small firebombs."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Profit Motive

Defending his call for government-run health care, Corporal Bernie Sanders today vilified insurance companies for engaging in the still legal practice of selling insurance:

"(Sanders) cited widespread support for his plan, which he said will eventually become law when Congress has the “courage” to stand up to those who “profit off human sickness.” (BFP, 12/16/2009)

Using the Corporal's logic, RedStateVT has put together the following list of businesses that are likely to be targeted next:

-- Supermarkets and food producers......for profiting off human hunger.
-- Clothing manufacturers...... for profiting off human frailty.
-- Luxury goods companies.....for profiting off human vanity.

It's a fun exercise. Try it!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stranger Than Fiction

ONE MAN'S TRAITOR IS ANOTHER MAN'S......
A sentiment among some lawmakers present seemed to be that if they were intent on not letting Republicans defeat the health care legislation, they certainly were not going to let it fail at the hands of Mr. Lieberman, whom many Democrats regard as a traitor.

Had to laugh at this one! Demos consider Lieberman a traitor, but Olympia Snowe is routinely characterized as "principled" and a "moderate."

DEF JAM CLIMATE COMEDY FEST
In a signal of the state of affairs, Yvo De Boer, the chief United Nations functionary running climate talks, carried an orange-and-white life ring to his midday news conference. “What makes this process complicated is that you have small island nations who are about to disappear because of sea level rise...."

As a service to readers, RedStateVT promises to closely follow and identify all island nations that become submerged.

ALL VACATIONS MUST END
The Obama administration is expected to announce on Tuesday that it has selected a prison in northwestern Illinois to house terrorism suspects now being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in a major step toward shutting down that military detention facility.

Expect an uproar from the jihadists as their idyllic stay at Gitmo ends and they face the harsh Illinois winter!

A POX ON BOTH THEIR HOUSES
Meeting with top executives from 12 financial institutions, Mr. Obama sent a clear message that the industry had a responsibility to help nurse the economy back to health and do more to create jobs in return for the huge federal bailout last year that kept Wall Street and the banking system afloat.

Wait a minute! Isn't that how we got into this mess? Politicians like Barney Frank strong-armed Fannie and Freddie to increase mortgage lending to unqualified buyers helping to accelerate the financial crisis. Now Obama uses the same playbook. Of course, the same banks whose dismal business practices required them to run to the government for a bailout have no one but themselves to blame.

(All items sourced from New York Times website.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Who is this guy?

RedStateVT is dumbfounded by President Obama's Nobel Prize acceptance speech. Omitting a minor reference to torture here and one to global warming there, the speech could almost have been given by Ronald Reagan. It was in most respects a hard-nosed assessment of the threats that peace-loving nations face. Highlights include the following.

  • A humble and realistic admission
"...I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the considerable controversy that your generous decision has generated. In part, this is because I am at the beginning, and not the end, of my labors on the world stage."
  • A forceful reminder to the world
"...(Afghanistan) is a conflict that America did not seek; one in which we are joined by 42 other countries -- including Norway -- in an effort to defend ourselves and all nations from further attacks."
  • An oblique reference to Ronald Reagan?
"The Cold War ended with jubilant crowds dismantling a wall."

  • An understanding of the threat!
"I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism -- it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason."

  • Damn straight!
"The United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms. The service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform has promoted peace and prosperity from Germany to Korea, and enabled democracy to take hold in places like the Balkans. We have borne this burden not because we seek to impose our will. We have done so out of enlightened self-interest -- because we seek a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we believe that their lives will be better if others' children and grandchildren can live in freedom and prosperity."
  • Amen!
"I -- like any head of state -- reserve the right to act unilaterally if necessary to defend my nation."
  • Time's running out for Ahmadinejad.
"But it is also incumbent upon all of us to insist that nations like Iran and North Korea do not game the system. Those who claim to respect international law cannot avert their eyes when those laws are flouted. Those who care for their own security cannot ignore the danger of an arms race in the Middle East or East Asia. Those who seek peace cannot stand idly by as nations arm themselves for nuclear war."
  • American exceptionalism!
"So even as we respect the unique culture and traditions of different countries, America will always be a voice for those aspirations that are universal."

RedStateVT suspects that the Code Pink crowd is aghast at Obama's speech. But not to worry, if Obama continues in this vein he'll pick up lots of friends on the right!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

This Just In: Bush Was Right!

From STRATFOR:

The jihadist attack on the United States has failed. The presence of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan has reshaped the behavior of regional governments. Fear of instability generated by the war has generated counteractions by regional governments. Contrary to what the jihadists expected or hoped for, there was no mass uprising and therefore no counter to anti-jihadist actions by regimes seeking to placate the United States. The original fear, that the U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan would generate massive hostility, was not wrong. But the hostility did not strengthen the jihadists, and instead generated anti-jihadist actions by governments.
(http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20091207_jihadist_strategic_dilemma?utm_source=GWeekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=091207&utm_content=readmore)

This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR

Monday, December 7, 2009

All The News That Fits Our Agenda

The New York Times refuses to let a little scandal get in the way of promoting their global warming agenda. The lead story on the paper's website describes the opening of the Copenhagen summit with talks of calls to action and school children singing. Truly inspiring... Fourteen paragraphs into the story, The Crimes mentions a little old scandal wherein "objective" scientists talk of manipulating the data and deleting e-mails.

The second story reports on an EPA ruling on greenhouse gases. Guess what the ruling concludes? They are dangerous!

And finally, because The Crimes figured they could not ignore the East Anglia revelations completely, they include a Revkin and Broder article that addresses the scandal. And guess what it concludes? Notwithstanding the faked data, global warming is real. Lots of people say so!

Based on fossilized evidence of plants and animals, scientists long ago concluded that Great Britain once had a tropical climate. And the global warming crowd says.......... what?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Death of Shame

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon has been convicted of embezzlement for stealing gift cards meant for the needy. Yes, you read that correctly. Democrat Dixon’s response:

"I deeply regret that the citizens of Baltimore have had to go through this ordeal with me." (www.upi.com 12/4/2009)

Is it just us, or does that sound like Dixon is playing the victim?

The Dixon scandal follows that of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich who was impeached and subsequently removed from office for trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat. Democrat Blagojevich’s response to his ordeal was to hire a public relations firm and appear on multiple talk and news shows.

Of course, the Blagojevich scandal follows that of Representative William Jefferson from Louisiana. Readers will recall that the FBI found stacks of cash in Democrat Jefferson’s refrigerator. Jefferson was indicted for corruption in 2007, but continued to serve until he was defeated for reelection in 2008.

We remember the good old days when people who were discovered doing bad things simply crawled away in shame. Not any more. Now, notwithstanding irrefutable evidence of wrongdoing, politicians cry foul, blame their opponents, vow to continue serving “the people”, go on Oprah, and further obfuscate.

RedStateVT would be remiss if we did not note the progenitor of this approach: none other than Democrat William Jefferson Clinton. Faced with incontrovertible proof of lying to the American people, Clinton refused to be bowed by shame and dragged the country through a prolonged public airing of his sins. This is what Bill Clinton bequeathed to those who followed and is his legacy.

Friday, December 4, 2009

We'll Take Manhattan!

The Manhattan Declaration that is.... It was inspiring to hear and read The Manahattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience (see www.manhattandeclaration.org). Although it comes out of a Christian framework, we believe that thoughtful Jews, Mormons and Muslims can easily embrace its precepts. The treatise is reasoned and compassionate and draws upon centuries of thought and experience in the promotion of a culture of life. At last some people are drawing a line in the sand and saying: "Enough!"

The assault on traditional values by secularists has reached alarming proportions. So much so that traditionalists are made out to be the ones who are out of step, instead of vice versa. Of course, much of the blame can be laid at the feet of the pop culture media (television, music, movies, print, etc.) For example, a brief click through the television line-up reveals the moral wasteland that is nonagenarian Hugh Hefner and his pixelated bimbos; the Kardashians, a.k.a. the worst family in history; the vain and trite Housewives of Various Counties, etc. All of these are presented not as the circus freaks that they are, but as fun and edgy folks.

Following in the footsteps of The Manhattan Declaration, it was interesting to see the Bishop of Providence call out Senator Patrick Kennedy. The message: don't call yourself a Catholic and show up for church if you are not prepared to live as a Catholic. The Kennedys are famous (infamous?) for living as secularists and then wrapping their deaths in the majesty of an elaborate Catholic funeral pageant.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Surge in Afghanistan

Although President Obama would never agree with the characterization, his decision to increase troop levels in Afghanistan by 30,000 is effectively a surge, akin to Bush’s Iraq surge…which is now largely viewed as effective and which Obama argued against. Well, at least he got the macro decision correct and RedStateVT gives the President credit for that.

But what to make of his speech last night? It was so strange and so full of contradictions, like a microcosm of the Obama presidency as he looks to reconcile irreconcilable differences. Besides the overall decision, other positives include the following: he was at times forceful and passionate; he showed respect for the military; he recited the road to the Afghan war including the atrocities of Al Qaeda; and, he attempted to respond to possible objections from both sides. On the negative side, he was defensive on why the decision took three months. He never explained why 30,000 and not 40,000 troops was the right number. And his talk of training the Afghanis to handle their own security was not exactly new or game-changing.

Of course, the biggest concern is the one you have heard – the deadline to withdraw in 18 months. Obama cites this as the hammer to drive the Afghanis to step up. But why signal the opposition of your intentions, particularly when the message could have been delivered forcefully and privately? The only answer, of course, is that Obama fears alienating the left wing of his party who would cut and run from Afghanistan, like, yesterday. They are not happy with his decision, but perhaps can swallow hard for another year and a half. But this begs the larger question: did Obama make a poor strategic decision (by revealing his timetable) for political reasons?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hatin' Palin

As Sarah Palin hits the road to promote her book, there has been a lot of discussion in the press about why she draws such strong negative reactions from some. In RedStateVT’s view the answers are not that difficult and can be summed up as follows:

1) Sarah Palin is a woman and liberals expect any minority (defined as anyone not a white male) to be liberals. When a member of a minority is not liberal, liberals get really annoyed and try to discredit them. The list of apostates is long and includes everyone from Ann Coulter to Carrie Prejean to Condi Rice. (The latter committed the multiple infractions of being a conservative African-American woman who worked for George Bush.)
2) Liberals are particularly snobby about the way that people talk, viewing this as a sign of someone’s innate intelligence. They despised George Bush’s folksy speech and periodic malapropisms. Similarly, they don’t like the way Sarah Palin talks. Hence, both she and Bush are viewed as dumb. By contrast, liberals are agog with the lofty oration of Al Gore and Barack Obama. It doesn’t really matter what they say or whether they are right or not, it’s just that it sounds so much better!
3) And lastly, as is often the case, you hate what you fear the most. If liberals truly thought Palin was an inarticulate, inconsequential lightweight why would they spend so much time obsessing about her?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Never Mind the Facts

Flash Back
Two key domestic policy objectives of the Bush Administration came under attack today as the data meant to provide the supporting rationale was found to be flawed and, in some instances, fraudulent. The revelations have unleashed a firestorm of media coverage and Administration officials are being pressed to explain whether the President will withdraw his support for these programs. (RedStateVT News, 11/27/2008)

Flash Forward
Two key domestic policy objectives of the Obama Administration came under attack today as the data meant to provide the supporting rationale was found to be flawed and, in some instances, fraudulent. Administration officials issued no statement and the media largely ignored the revelations. (RedStateVT News, 11/27/2009)

Of course, the two issues are global warming and health care. The above items are illustrative, but we believe they pretty much ring true. We now know that climate change advocates have been faking the data. We also know that those reports that infant mortality in the U.S. is worse than – fill in the blank with any third world country – are likewise false. Turns out that in the U.S. we go to extraordinary lengths to keep newborn babies alive, while other countries simply don’t count babies who die soon after birth. (Ann Coulter ran seven columns from August through October that get to these issues and are required reading on health care.)

But, of course, liberal reaction to facts that contradict their world view is simply to ignore them. Hence “fixing” global warming and the U.S. health care remain top priorities for Obama.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

TURKEY TIME

Climate-Gate
One would think that the revelation that scientist-advocates have been faking data would give pause to the global warming movement. Apparently not as President Obama heads to a UN conference in Copenhagen on December 9th:

Mr. Obama will tell the delegates to the climate conference that the United States intends to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions “in the range of” 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050, officials said. The administration has resisted until now delivering a firm pledge on emissions reductions because Congress has not yet acted on global warming legislation and because several large developing nations, including China and India, have not detailed their own plans. (NYT, 11/25/2009)

It is disturbing enough that Obama's advisors would not counsel him to sit this one out. But he then takes it a step further and unilaterally surrenders by showing his cards to China and India. RedStateVT has said it before, but Obama may just be the worst negotiator-in-chief this country has ever seen.

Exactly Wrong
Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, said during a conference call of economists and bloggers that there was "serious unrest in our caucus about can we afford this war.” Ms. Pelosi said she did not want to sacrifice the party’s domestic agenda to the cost of the troop buildup. “The American people believe that if something is in our national security interest, we have to be able to afford it,” she said. “That doesn’t mean that we hold everything else” hostage to that. (NYT, 11/24/2009)

One of the earliest lessons that RedStateVT learned as a young conservative is that national security comes first. A country must be able and willing to defend itself from its enemies. If there is no country, then all other domestic priorities are meaningless. Pelosi apparently would rather have a health care bill than defend the country from terrorists.

Exactly Right
RedStateVT offers a preliminary "thumbs-up" to President Obama for his statement that he intends to "finish the job" in Afghanistan. This is exactly the type of resolve that the world needs to hear and we hope he follows through.

Monday, November 23, 2009

So Much for "Settled Science!"

As a follow-up to an item in yesterday's RedstateVT post: Sunday Funnies - Climate Confusion:

The tiny, close-knit clique of climate scientists who invented and now drive the “global warming” fraud — for fraud is what we now know it to be — tampered with temperature data so assiduously that, on the recent admission of one of them, land temperatures since 1980 have risen twice as fast as ocean temperatures. One of the thousands of emails recently circulated by a whistleblower at the University of East Anglia, where one of the world’s four global-temperature datasets is compiled, reveals that data were altered so as to prevent a recent decline in temperature from showing in the record. In fact, there has been no statistically significant “global warming” for 15 years — and there has been rapid and significant cooling for nine years. (http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/viscount-monckton-on-global-warminggate-they-are-criminals-pjm-exclusive/)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Funnies

The Next "60" May Be Tougher
She (Blanche Lincoln, D-Arkansas) added: “But let me be perfectly clear. I am opposed to a new government-administered health care plan as a part of comprehensive health insurance reform, and I will not vote in favor of the proposal that has been introduced by leader Reid as it is written.” But Senator Lieberman, who voted to take up the health care bill, said he was still staunchly opposed to a government-run plan. It is “a terrible idea,” he said. (NYT, 11/22/09)

Senator for Sale
Ms. Landrieu (D-Louisiana), whose support came after she won a provision that could be worth more than $100 million in additional federal aid for her financially troubled state, said, “I have decided there are enough significant reforms and safeguards in this bill to move forward, but much more work needs to be done.” (NYT, 11/22/09)

Let the Circus Begin
The five men the Justice Department has said will be charged in the attacks of Sept. 11 intend to plead not guilty so they can express their political and religious views during a trial, the lawyer for one of the men said on Saturday. (NYT, 11/21.2009)

California Breakdown
At the Peace in Medicine Healing Center in Sebastopol, the wares on display include dried marijuana — featuring brands like Kryptonite, Voodoo Daddy and Train Wreck — and medicinal cookies arrayed below a sign saying, “Keep Out of Reach of Your Mother.”

The warning tells a story of its own: some of the center’s clients are too young to buy themselves a beer.

Several Bay Area doctors who recommend medical marijuana for their patients said in recent interviews that their client base had expanded to include teenagers with psychiatric conditions including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. (NYT, 11/21/2009)

Climate Confusion
Hundreds of private e-mail messages and documents hacked from a computer server at a British university are causing a stir among global warming skeptics, who say they show that climate scientists conspired to overstate the case for a human influence on climate change….In several e-mail exchanges, Kevin Trenberth, a climatologist at the National Ceneter for Atmospheric Research, and other scientists discuss gaps in understanding of recent variations in temperature. Skeptic Web sites pointed out one line in particular: “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t,” Dr. Trenberth wrote. (NYT, 11/20/2009)

Al Gore's award-winning global warming film "An Inconvenient Truth," socked two years ago by a British court ruling that found several errors, is facing additional scrutiny with the release of a new documentary that seeks to rebut many of Gore's claims.

Buoyed by the ruling, two Irish journalists -- Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney -- released a documentary in which they gather evidence outlining the damage of global warming hysteria. In "Not Evil Just Wrong," they challenge the claims made in Gore's film and conclude that the film is not worth screening in schools because it is shown there as "an article of science, not faith." (FoxNews.com 11/22/2009)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Six Questions for Harry Reid

With respect to the Health Care Bill:

1) If a large portion of the savings in your bill will come from eliminating waste and fraud in the system, why hasn't this been tackled before? RedStateVT notes that you were first elected to the Senate in 1986 and are currently serving your fourth term.

2) A large portion of the American population has deep moral and religious objections to abortion. Will you respect the beliefs of these people and guarantee unequivocally and with no loopholes that federal money will not be used for these purposes?

3) Will your bill include tort reform to protect doctors from frivolous lawsuits?

4) Will your bill guarantee unequivocally that individuals who are in this country illegally will not be covered?

5) Will your bill guarantee unequivocally that services and benefits for senior citizens will not be curtailed or reduced?

6) Will you give the representatives who will vote on the final bill the time to read the bill....and insist that they do? Likewise, will you do the same for the American people?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holder on the Hot Seat

Remember this?

Barack Obama didn’t take long to make an impact on the issue of Guantanamo Bay. Within hours of assuming office, President Obama issued an order suspending all military tribunals for 120 days. Today’s hearing for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was among those delayed until May 20th, while Obama decides what to do. (www.hotair.com, January 21, 2009)

And then this?

Attorney General Eric Holder: "After years of delay, those responsible for the attacks of September 11 will finally face justice." (www.freedomslighthouse.com, November 13, 2009)

The day after he takes office, Obama suspends KSM'S tribunal hearing! But Holder is comforted that KSM will finally face justice! (our emphasis)

A reminder that Holder is largely credited (discredited?) with orchestrating the Marc Rich pardon in the waning days of the Clinton Presidency when Bill and Hill were busy stealing the White House silverware.

Holder also called the U.S. "a nation of cowards" when it comes to issues of race.....this shortly after the first African-American President was elected and days after he was appointed the first African-American Attorney General.

You can't make stuff like this up!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quote of the Day

“China effectively stage-managed President Obama’s public appearances, got him to make statements endorsing Chinese positions of political importance to them and effectively squelched discussions of contentious issues such as human rights and China’s currency policy,” said Eswar S. Prasad, a China specialist at Cornell University. “In a masterstroke, they shifted the public discussion from the global risks posed by Chinese currency policy to the dangers of loose monetary policy and protectionist tendencies in the U.S.” (New York Times, 11/18/2009)

Up to the job?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Image Matters

President Obama has ignited yet another flap after he practically touches his shoes with his forehead in a deep bow to Japanese Emperor Akihito. Here is an account of the incident: (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/11/16/obama-draws-bow-japanese-emperor/). This, of course, comes after Obama previously bowed to the Saudi leaders and after he publicly talked of American mistakes. Obama’s aim, of course, is to demonstrate humility to the world, to show that he is not Bush, the arrogant cowboy. In doing so, he hopes to curry favor with other countries in order to advance his strategic goals. Only it won’t work and here’s why.

Obama is playing on an international stage and the people there who he needs to influence view such gestures as a sign of one thing only: weakness. Think of the world’s bad boy leaders and rouge power players: Chavez in Venezuela, Assad in Syria, Ahmadinejad in Iran, Castro in Cuba, that crazy dwarf in North Korea, whoever is speaking for the Palestinians, bin Laden, etc. How does this group react when the President of the strongest nation on the planet bows and scrapes and apologizes? We suspect they are not saying to themselves……"well OK, we got our mea culpa, let’s all just find a way to get along now." More likely, they are saying: we got ‘em on the run, press the advantage!

Because Americans are the people that they are, Obama’s approach would work if the national stage was the only platform. We like a dose of humility in our leaders which is why politicians always try to position themselves as average Joes, whether or not it’s true (see Biden, Joseph). But the image of the President of the United States, through what he does and what he says, is instantaneously projected internationally. The President cannot allow that image to be seen as weak. Only bad things will result.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Depends on what your definition of success is.....

After an hourlong meeting in Singapore on Sunday afternoon, Mr. Obama managed to get President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia to express dissatisfaction with Iran’s response to a nuclear offer made by world powers, raising the prospect that sanctions may be the next step in the West’s continuing effort to rein in Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.......“The reset button has worked,” Mr. Obama said after the meeting, alluding to the administration’s early promise to press a “reset” button in America’s relationship with Russia after several years of bickering over a host of issues like missile defense and the status of Kosovo. (New York Times, 11/15/2009)

So let's get this straight. President Obama stiffs erstwhile allies Poland and the Czech Republic by outright cancelling a missile defense program and in return Russian President Medvedev "expresses dissatisfaction" with Iran which, in turn, "raises the prospect of sanctions." This guy Obama is one heck of a negotiator. Can you even imagine the laugh they are having back in Moscow? "Hey Dmitri, let's see if we can get him to give us Alaska back!"

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Weekend Grab Bag

Barack Obama: Deficit Hawk
President Barack Obama plans to announce in next year's State of the Union address that he wants to focus extensively on cutting the federal deficit in 2010 – and will downplay other new domestic spending beyond jobs programs, according to top aides involved in the planning. (POLITICO.com, 11/13/2009)

Notwithstanding the "too cool for school" guise that the White House put on the recent election results, it turns out that Obama may have been watching after all. RedStateVT believes that Democrats will get hammered at the polls next year over runaway spending. And so the Spender-in-Chief is now forced to begin redefining himself. Good luck, we don't think Americans are going to buy it (pun intended).

Hope Eric Holder Doesn't Find Out!
Federal prosecutors have taken steps to seize four U.S. mosques and a Manhattan skyscraper owned by a nonprofit Muslim organization long suspected of being secretly controlled by the Iranian government. (FoxNews.com, 11/13/2009)

Gore Redux
As a followup to RedStateVT's recent post (Al's Gored, 11/6/2009) we note the following from the 11/11/2009 column by WSJ opinion writer Holman Jenkins (one of our favorites!) on Enviro-Al: When so much of his position and prestige are invested in a predicted climate crisis, is Mr. Gore likely to be open to contrary evidence? Is he likely to be particularly fastidious about whether proposed steps will actually have an effect on global warming if they also happen to benefit his investments?

Good questions indeed!

Local Scene
The Vermont Gubernatorial race is getting started and we got a chuckle out of the Vermont Republican Party's characterization of the ever increasing roster of opposing candidates: What doesn't bode well for the Democrats is the 5 person (plus Anthony Polina?) "who's the biggest moonbat" catfight that's about to ensue. Get your popcorn ready.

For some, the biggest sin in Vermont politics is not being liberal enough!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Guns and Butter

A friend sent RedStateVT New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof's 11/11/2009 Opinion piece (America's Defining Choice) and asked for comment. Short answer? How does sophomoric stuff like this get published? Kristof first sets up the old guns versus butter question, using the "choice" of more troops in Afghanistan versus more money for health care. He then rolls out the tired liberal shibboleth of the poor victim. Here it takes the form of the hardworking single mom (she works two jobs!) who can't afford health insurance, gets cancer and dies. Kristof writes: "...she felt she couldn't afford to splurge on herself to get gynecological checkups. For more than a dozen years, she never had a Pap smear." A dozen years? In a dozen years, she never could afford it? Putting aside the question of personal responsibility, what were the choices she did make during those dozen years? Kristof doesn't say, of course. Truly our heart goes out to this woman and her daughter, but to hold her up as the reason that we need Obama's health care fix is laughable. There are other targets that Kristof could just as easily pick, but avoids. How about the bailout for GM versus health care? Is it better to keep a moribund car company alive or to fix health care? When in doubt, however, liberals like Kristof will always scrimp on national defense.

Afghan Decision Update -- Latest word is that President Obama is not happy with the options that he has been given on Afghanistan and it's back to the drawing board. We're a bit perplexed because we guess the options would have included: A) 40,000 troops that your hand-picked General asked for, B) something less than 40,000 troops, and C) no new troops. The Ditherer-in Chief instead chooses D) none of the above.

It has now been 74 days since General McChrystal made his request.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Political Correctness Body Count: +13

Some things would be laughable if they weren't so sad. The Fort Hood massacre shows us once again that silly PC thinking has deadly consequences. What kind of twisted logic allows a Muslim jihadist to remain in the military in the name of diversity? What kind of myopia refuses to admit that this massacre of innocent lives was anything other than another act of Islamic terrorism?

RedStateVT makes no excuses for the military brass who knew and did not act, but this is the same military who have been beaten down for years by the PC crowd over women, gays, minorities, Muslims, fill-in-the-blank, in the military.

And then we have the Left Wing Media falling over themselves warning us not to "jump to conclusions." Chris Matthews (now about on par with Dan Rather in the credibility index) ponders 'whether contacting Al Qaeda is a crime.' Alan Colmes says that 'we don't even have a clear definition of terrorism.'

Well here is where RedStateVT stands: if someone yells "Allahu Akbar" and starts shooting we are jumping to the conclusion that it meets the definition of terrorism.

Post Script:
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley pointed to America's "love" affair with guns as the driving factor behind last week's shooting at Fort Hood, becoming the latest and possibly most prominent figure to show a reluctance to cite religion (Fox News.com 11/11/2009)

You can't make stuff like this up.....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Never Mind What The People Say!

From the Burlington Free Press, 11/10/2009:
As the spotlight on health care reform shifts from the House to the more conservative Senate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., will be pushing for a hard left turn in the form of a single-payer system. The Vermont independent acknowledges that a plan to create a national single-payer system like Canada’s, in which the federal government would be the only source of financing for all health care services, isn’t politically viable..... He also has requested a vote on a national single-payer system, which even he predicts would fail. “But I think it’s important we have it, because I think there are many millions of Americans who understand ... that is the only solution to providing comprehensive, universal, cost-effective health care to all Americans,” Sanders said. (emphasis RedStateVT)

So Corporal Sanders admits that his plan is a non-starter and would be rejected by the people, but it makes sense........why?

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Multiple Choice Question

Twelve U.S. servicemen are brutally gunned down by a fellow soldier. In his first public appearance after the massacre, the President of the United States begins by doing which of the following:

A) Offering condolences to the family of the dead soldiers.
B) Reassuring Americans that this was a random act of violence.
C) Vowing to uncover all the facts related to the tragedy.
D) Offering a "shout out" to a Native American medicine man.

If you guessed D) then you are a winner!

Thinking Americans can certainly disagree about Obama's policies. However, RedStateVT wonders whether even his supporters secretly question whether he has the necessary gravitas for the job.

Here's a good post on the incident:
http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/politics/A-Disconnected-President.html

Saturday, November 7, 2009

"I thought they were begonias!"

Barney Frank (a.k.a. Captain Renault) is shocked, shocked to find out there was pot smoking going on.......

Rep. Barney Frank admitted Friday that he was sitting on the porch of his partner’s Maine home when police came to arrest his partner for marijuana possession. Frank, responding to new reports that he was present during the Aug. 2007 arrest of James Ready, said in a statement he was unaware Ready had marijuana plants. According to a police report obtained by MyFoxBoston, Maine police arrested and charged James Ready with marijuana possession, cultivation and use of drug paraphernalia. He pleaded guilty to civil possession and paid a fine. The remaining charges were dismissed last year. Frank was not charged. (FoxNews.com, 11/6/2009)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Al's Gored

It's been a tough stretch for enviro-alarmist Al Gore. First video surfaces of him being questioned at a speech about inaccuracies and errors in his horror documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Then the PETA folks come after him. Back story: apparently a study has shown that the carbon cost of raising livestock from birth to your dinner plate is far higher than that of tooling around in our SUVs. PETA's challenge to Gore: become a vegetarian. Finally, Gore is reported (NYT 11/3/2009) to have made millions of dollars investing in various alternative energy ventures. At RedStateVT, we love capitalism and applaud those who have achieved financial success. But doesn't it seem just a bit dishonest that Gore has used his bully pulpit to champion a controversial cause for immense personal financial gain?

For those who want an historical view of climate change and weather patterns RedStateVT recommends: The Great Warming, Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations by Brian Fagan, 2008, Bloomsbury Press. Fagan meticulously documents the effects on culture and civilization of a naturally occurring warming during the medieval period (800 - 1300AD). RedStateVT is fairly certain that there were no automobiles then, and yet miraculously there was a significant increase in temperature which led to both drought and famine in some areas and thawing and increased agricultural production in other places. We have always thought it unfathomable that the enviro-crowd apparently believes that humankind is entitled to constant and predictable weather.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Insightful Election Result Analysis.....Not

Today the New York Times web site analyzes the results of yesterday's elections and apparently concludes that the biggest story is feuding between Conservatives and Republicans. Those of you who might have thought it was the defeat of two candidates that President Obama campaigned for must be wrong....



Meanwhile, we are again reminded that Dede Scozzafava is a "moderate" Republican. Under this definition, RedStateVT concludes that Corporal Bernie Sanders must fit the profile of a "moderate" Democrat.



The Times also reports: "As they assessed the results, Democratic lawmakers and party strategists said their judgment was that voters remained very uneasy about the economy and did not see Democrats producing on the health, energy and national security changes they promised when voters swept them to power only a year ago." So those of you who interpreted the defeat of Democrat gubernatorial candidates as a rejection of Obama's policies are also apparently wrong.... The results instead should be interpreted as voter frustration that Obama and his party have not passed health care, cap and trade, closed Gitmo and retreated in Afghanistan.



You can't make up spin like this.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Headline You Won't See

Wall Street Billionaire Defeated in Governor Race!
It was actually a bit disconcerting to watch (now outgoing) New Jersey Governor Corzine clinging to President Obama during their campaign appearances. Corzine looked like a drowning swimmer desperately trying to stay afloat. Along with the Republican victory in Virginia, Dem candidates in 2010 are now going to have to think long and hard about their campaign strategies. (See RedStateVT's 10/30/09 post: Thanks, But No Thanks).

Dem spin points to exit polling which purports to show that voters were responding to local issues and that they didn't consider the elections to be about Obama. In that case, we urge the Obamacrat party to stay the course! (And by the way, we can't wait for 2010...)

Other Election Notes
How would one categorize a politician who supported gay marriage, abortion, and the Obama stimulus plan and who endorsed the Democrat candidate in a local election? Well the New York Times would call that politician a "moderate Republican." We would call that person (Dede Scozzafava, by the way) an Arlen Specter Democrat. Of course, the agenda of the New York Times was to paint Conservative Doug Hoffman as an extremist and the way to do that is to label Scozzafava as a moderate.

RedStateVT got a real kick out of the feigned detachment of the White House this election cycle. Obama was said to not be following the results all that closely (even after making campaign appearances with both losing candidates). Previously Obama was also described as vaguely aware of the flap with Fox News (orchestrated by his inner circle of advisors). This is the same Obama who never heard his pastor make incendiary racial remarks. Doesn't this guy ever pay attention?

The New York Times also reported the following this morning regarding the defeat of same-sex marriage in Maine: "With the repeal, Maine became the 31st state to reject same-sex marriage at the ballot box. Five other states — Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire and Vermont — have legalized same-sex marriage, but only through court rulings and legislative action." It appears that voters consistently support traditional values, unlike judges and politicians.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Obama's Disastrous Year

First in a Series
"January made me shiver...."

In remarks that some found objectionable, Reverend Joseph Lowery’s inaugural benediction included the following: “…we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around … when yellow will be mellow … when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right.”

--Fox News commentator Cal Thomas remarks presciently: “Here's what's going to happen. As long as Obama continues high in the polls and is perceived as doing well, it (race) won't be a problem, nobody will talk about it. But when he starts making mistakes and criticism begins against him, look for a Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton or a Joseph Lowery to raise the race card.”

Chief Justice John Roberts re-administers the oath of office to Obama one day later after they mix-up the words during the official swearing in.

Obama issues an executive order to close down Guantanamo prison in one year. Attorney General Eric Holder says the deadline will be difficult to meet.

On his third day in office, Obama issues a statement reaffirming his commitment to protecting abortion rights. Later in the week he repeals rules that restrict federal money for international organizations that promote or provide abortions overseas.

Obama issues new rules on government transparency and ethics and new limits on lobbyists saying: “For a long time now there’s been too much secrecy in this city. Transparency and rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”

--On January 28, Fox News reports:
The White House on Wednesday defended Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's choice of Mark Patterson - an ex-lobbyist from Goldman Sachs - to be his chief of staff. The selection is at least the third high-profile exception to a policy by President Barack Obama that says no one who has lobbied on a set of issues within the past two years can take a role in his administration that deals with the same subject matter.

--On January 31, the New York Times reports:
President Obama’s pick for health and human services secretary, Tom Daschle, failed to pay more than $128,000 in taxes, partly for free use of a car and driver that had been provided to him by a prominent businessman and Democratic fund-raiser, administration officials said Friday……….The confirmation of Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner was held up only briefly after the disclosure that he had failed to pay more than $34,000 in taxes owed to the federal government.

The January Consumer Confidence Index hits a new low.

The House passes a $819 billion stimulus bill with no Republican support. Obama remarks: "I am grateful to the House of Representatives for moving the American Recovery and Reinvestment plan forward today. There are many numbers in this plan. It will double our capacity to generate renewable energy, it will lower the cost of healthcare by billions and improve its quality. It will modernize thousands of classrooms and send more kids to college, and it will put billions of dollars in immediate tax relief into the pockets of working families.”

Obama conducts his first televised interview from the White House…..with Al Arabiya, an Arabic-language channel based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He says: “….Americans are not your enemy” and “we sometimes make mistakes…”

Friday, October 30, 2009

Thanks, But No Thanks

Gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey are being closely watched for what the results might tell us about the mood of the public, and as an early referendum on the Obama Administration. We'll reserve comment until after the elections, but if the outcome is negative for the Democrats consider the following scenario: Democratic candidates next year eschewing Obama's offer to come to their state and campaign on their behalf. (The President wants to come to town? Thanks, but no thanks!) This happened to Clinton and Bush, we recall, but in both instances only after incumbent fatigue had set in well into their second terms. Will Obama be a liability for his party barely one year into his term?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pop Goes the Culture

Years ago, RedStateVT's Connecticut neighbors would talk about how they would see David Letterman out jogging on the back roads or skating on the local ponds. Occasionally, one would reach out with a friendly comment or question for the uber-hip Dave. And in return they would get a sarcastic riposte from the cultural icon. What people do in private often tells you a lot.

It's been a rough stretch for Dave. First, he is forced to apologize for his uncharitable remarks about Sarah Palin's daughter, then he is revealed to be pulling a Clinton and having sex with his employees. And so how does he respond? He starts again on the Palin jokes. Well Palin will have the last laugh as reports indicate soaring pre-orders for her book. Meanwhile, the Left is falling all over themselves talking about her ghostwriter. Do they honestly think that Bill Clinton sat down and pecked out his now forgotten autobiography?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Snowe Job

From CNN.com:

Snowe issued a statement Monday, saying she was "deeply disappointed" with Reid's decision on the public option. She argued that a decision in favor of a trigger "could have been the road toward achieving a broader bipartisan consensus in the Senate." "It's unfortunate the Senate majority leader decided to take a different path, because he did say it was a pretty good doggone idea with respect to the trigger in September, so I don't what has happened to change his mind," she said later. "It's regrettable, because I certainly have worked in good faith all of these months on a bipartisan basis and, as you know, have been standing alone at this point as a Republican to do so because I believe in good public policy," Snowe added.

RedStateVT hopes Senator Snowe has now learned that bipartisanship is a one way street.....

BETWEEN BARACK AND A HARD PLACE

President Obama must be feeling the squeeze. On the one side are his usual detractors: Republicans, Conservatives, Free Marketers, the opinion guys at Fox, etc. On the other side are a far more dangerous group: The Ultra Left. There are increasing signs (a protest rally here, a brief news item on CNN there) that the Left is ready to step up their criticism of Obama. The laundry list of grievances ranges from the merely misguided to the truly nut job (he hasn't surrendered in Iraq and Afghanistan and brought the troops home, he hasn't prosecuted the insurance industry, he hasn't thrown Dick Cheney in jail, etc.) There is no wrath like the wrath of the Left toward one of their own. RedStateVT recalls political commentator Juan Williams - a Democrat, but an entirely reasonable guy - making this point several months back.

So how did Obama get into this bind? He has said something to the effect that everyone sees him and his presidency through their own prism. That's a bit self-aggrandizing for us. We look at it this way. Obama is in reality an Ultra Left guy. He surrounds himself with Reverend (God damn America!) Wright, Bill (the Weathermen didn't do enough) Ayers, Van (Bush blew up the Towers) Jones, Kevin (Practice safe sex with minors) Jennings, Anita (Long live Mao!) Dunn, etc. Yet he cannot let Middle America know just how radical he really is. And so he variously claims not to know or not to have heard or not to have seen and instead he talks about there being no Red States or Blue States. On policy issues, he is finding that he cannot do what the Ultra Left wants him to do and - in reality - what he wants to do. He can't simply mandate that all Dems back him on government run health care. He can't pull all the troops out of Afghanistan (let alone add 40,000 more!) and risk the consequences. And so he dithers, and studies, and holds more meetings and plays for time trying to figure out how to enact a radical agenda in a country that increasingly appears to want nothing to do with it. Mid-term elections may restore some balance to the political equation, but Obama will soon face a much bigger threat from his radical base. If they turn on him there will be nowhere to hide.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fox in the White House

RedStateVT has watched in bewilderment as the Obama administration has picked a public fight with Fox News. On the surface, it is so counter-intuitive a strategy that it has us wondering just what the motivation can be. The Obama-ites have to know that they cannot silence Fox News, nor can they turn the network into the fawning MSNBC.

So by attacking Fox is the hope that they will at least get the network to tone it down?

Alternatively, do they hope to besmirch Fox’s reputation and, therefore, undermine its effectiveness?

Or, are they so arrogant and self-righteous that they are simply engaging in the Chicago-style politics that we often hear about?

We are hard-pressed to guess at the motivation, but we are pretty certain that it is not working. Fox is not backing down and the actions of the White House are now even turning off members of their own party:

A White House effort to undermine conservative critics is generating a backlash on Capitol Hill — and not just from Republicans. “It’s a mistake,” said Rep. Jason Altmire, a moderate Democrat from western Pennsylvania. “I think it’s beneath the White House to get into a tit for tat with news organizations.” (from POLITICO.com 10/23/2009)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

RedStateVT Responds to Loyal Readers

Loyal Reader tedbob asks how insurers can be kept honest in the absence of a public option.

RedStateVT believes that free market competition is the single best way to ensure “honesty” in the delivery of insurance services (or just about any product, for that matter). If Insurer X can deliver a product more cost-effectively than Insurer Y, the consumer will flock to X. Y will be forced to become more efficient or risk failure. Problems inevitably result, however, when the government steps in and attempts to over-regulate an industry or limit competition which happens in the case of health insurance. For all the myriad of reasons that the mortgage funding market blew-up, it is undeniable that Barney Frank’s exhortation to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to “roll the dice” (i.e. increase lending to risky borrowers) was prima facie. Frank is condemned to the seventh circle of RedStateVT hell for his actions, and for his refusal to own up to them.

RedStateVT worked in the insurance industry for 21 years and so is arguably qualified to share some insights. The first is that there are no evil geniuses working at insurance companies figuring out how to screw the public in order to earn otherworldly profits. If this was the case, people would flock to work in the industry and the market would buy up its stock. Neither of these things happens and the truth is that, by and large, the companies are looking to serve their customers in an honest way. Unfortunately, the nature of the insurance contract lends itself to abuse and insurers must protect the honest customers from the potentially dishonest. We are truly sorry if Joe Public discovers that he has terminal cancer and that he has no life insurance to protect his soon-to-be impoverished family. But that does not give Joe the right to now buy a life insurance policy and fail to disclose his condition. Joe should have passed up the big screen TV and the bass boat and bought an insurance policy years ago.

Loyal Reader Cro-magnon argues for a “big tent” Republican Party in response to RedStateVT’s call for cutting Olympia Snowe loose. The big tent theory harkens back to deceased Republican strategist Lee Atwater, who RedStateVT generally admired. RedStateVT agrees that the party should be big enough to embrace Conservatives, mainstream Republicans and most Libertarians. It is not big enough, however, to shelter Democrats masquerading as Republicans such as Specter did for years. And as for Snowe? We’ll respect Cro-magnon’s view for now, but keep a close watch on how she responds going forward to the balance of the Obama agenda.

Loyal Readers may suggest a topic by sending an e-mail to RedStateVT@gmail.com.

Thanks for your thoughts. We’ll dissect more comments and feedback in future posts.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Life Imitates RedStateVT

We caught Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty in a brief interview on television last night and found him impressive. RedStateVT will keep a closer eye on the Governor as speculation grows that he may eventually run for the presidency. Pawlenty made a similar point to that found in our 9/30 post entitled Health Scare.....namely, the absurdity of Obama's claim that a public option is ultimately required to keep private insurers honest. Pawlenty (and RedStateVT) note that this same argument can be made to justify a government version of any private industry! Is this Obama's version of free market capitalism?

In our 10/13 post entitled Memo to Olympia Snowe we noted the absurdity of calling bipartisan the recent vote on the health care bill. Saturday Night Live spoofed this last week equating it to saying "hola" to your housekeeper and claiming that you are bilingual.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Non-Decider

RedStateVT is still thinking about Afghanistan and what it will tell us about the Obama Administration. As the days drag on without a decision from the Commander-in-Chief, we cannot help but think back to the way in which GWB was derided when he labeled himself "the Decider." Now we have Obama as "Hamlet on the Potomac" or "the Non-Decider."

Let's re-create the timeline here. General Stanley McChrystal's report to Obama requesting more troops is reported to have been delivered on August 31. The report became public on September 20. Shortly thereafter, the General gave a speech in London, reiterating his call for more troops in what has been interpreted as an attempt to put pressure on the President. So by all accounts it has now been approximately 50 days since the request for 40,000 more troops was made.

Obama and "Rahm-bo" Emanuel must have concluded that they had to create some sort of a smokescreen to hide their indecision behind. And so this past weekend, Dems hit the talk shows - and even dragged out Uber-Military Strategist John Kerry (remember him?) - to explain that a decision couldn't be made until the Afghan government was more stable. As if!

Now, in an interesting development we have the following report from Fox News:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday that the Obama administration cannot wait for the Afghan election to be resolved before making a decision on troop levels, appearing to be at odds with White House officials who have tied a decision on U.S. strategy to the resolution of the election and political stability.

Will this be enough for the Non-Decider to make up his mind? Or will Gates get reprimanded the way McChrystal was? Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

ROUND-UP

Last Monday we commented on Afghanistan (see The War Obama Wanted To Fight). Ann Coulter's weekly column provides a detailed recap of Dem - and Obama - strategy on Afghanistan. As with all Coulter columns, it is essential reading.

Speaking of essential reading, Hillsdale College publishes a monthly commentary that is invariably thought-provoking. (http://www.hillsdale.edu/news/imprimis.asp)

And finally, last week we presented a hypothetical scenario in which George Bush was awarded that Nobel Peace Prize. We wondered whether liberals would then understand more clearly why some people objected to the choice. In that same vein, we thought it would be fun to revisit the recent controversy in which young schoolchildren were asked to sing Obama's praises. In our revised scenario, the lyrics are now as follows:

Thank you Mr. Bush for standing tall
You kept us strong so we won't fall

You said "no more" and took a stand
Fighting enemies in a foreign land

And so we honor you today
With hands on hearts we have to say:

THANK YOU MR. PRESIDENT!


Any liberal objections?

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Earlier this week, we noted that - notwithstanding Obama's decision to stand down on missile defense - Russia announced that it would not support tougher sanctions on Iran. And now comes the following in yet another example demonstrating the success of the 2009 Obama Apology Tour:

France will not send any more troops to Afghanistan, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in an interview with a French newspaper on Thursday. "Is it necessary to stay in Afghanistan? I say 'yes'. And to stay to win ... But France will not send a single soldier more," Sarkozy told Le Figaro. (source: www.france24.com)

What is it that they call it when you keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Two Faces of Pat Leahy

One of RedStateVT's favorite Dick Cheney stories occurred in 2004 when the Vice President met up with Vermont's senior Senator Pat Leahy. At that time, to show his disapproval of the Iraq War, Leahy had been uttering the single word "Halliburton" at every opportunity. This despite the fact that Cheney had severed ties to Halliburton and placed his assets in a blind trust. Obviously fed up with Leahy, the Vice President told him to get lost......only those weren't the exact the words he used. Then to try and draw a penalty in the hockey equivalent of falling to the ice when an opposing player taps you, Leahy expressed shock and bewilderment. Got to love Cheney....when later asked if he regretted his choice of words, he replied: "No, it felt good."

Liberals like Leahy just do not get the fact that many people - the Vice President included - have not spent their entire career working in government. In fact, in an examination of Leahy's official web site, it does not appear that he has ever had a private sector job dating back to 1964! With Ted Kennedy's passing, look for the media to crown Leahy as the new "lion of the Senate."

Anyway, we pass along the following from the Vermont GOP which outlines Leahy's current shenanigans with respect to judicial appointees:

"The original version of the Federal Judgeship Act, proposed in March 2008 and co-sponsored by Utah Republican Orrin Hatch, was supposed to give both parties a say in the composition of an expanded federal judiciary. Then the election results would determine which party's President got to nominate the judges. The idea was to pass a plan and then have it go into effect after the inauguration of the election winner in 2008. It had bipartisan support. Yet with a Democratic President now in the White House, Mr. Leahy wants to be sure Mr. Obama gets to do the picking-and not wait until the next election. His plan would create nine additional permanent appeals-court judgeships in five circuits, including two on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in the Northeast and four on the overstretched Ninth in the West. It would also create three more temporary appeals court judgeships-seats that would last for 10 years through either 2019 or 2020. On the federal district courts, which are a step below the appellate bench, the Leahy bill would create another 38 permanent and 13 temporary judges."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nobel Redux

For those liberals who don't get the bewilderment of many over the selection of Obama as recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize RedStateVT offers the following redaction of events circa 2003:

The Nobel Prize Committee today announced the selection of President George W. Bush as the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. In bestowing this award, the Committee cited Bush’s efforts to bring democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan. The Committee noted: “even though the final outcome of these efforts have not yet played out, President Bush stood steadfast, ignored those who said it could not or should not be done and at great risk to his own legacy promoted the cause of freedom.”


On another note, RedStateVT was pleased to see others picking up on yesterday's Obama - Carter syllogism. Here's a link from PajamasMedia:
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/obama-vs-carter-whos-worse/

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Memo to Olympia Snowe: You're Fired!

Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of Maine, said Tuesday that she would support the Democrats’ landmark health care legislation. “Is this bill all that I would want? Far from it,” Ms. Snowe said at a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee. “Is it all that it can be? No. But when history calls, history calls.” (New York Times, 10/13/2009)

It is past time for Republicans to clean house and purge the party of non-Republicans. Arlen Specter tortured Bush for years, before finally admitting what everyone already knew. Namely, he was not a Republican. And now Maine's Olympia Snowe is pulling a Specter and betraying her party. The liberal media, along with Obama and the Democrats will now ridiculously claim that they have a bi-partisan compromise on health care. RedStateVT calls on RNC head Michael Steele to give Snowe her walking papers.

Pardon But Your Naivete Is Showing

Threatening Iran with harsh new sanctions to advance negotiations over its nuclear program would be “counterproductive,” Russia's foreign minister said Tuesday, throwing cold water on the Obama administration’s hopes that Russia had been persuaded to cooperate with its effort to intensify the global pressure on Tehran. (New York Times, 10/13/2009)

Less than one month after Obama appeases the Russians (and betrays American allies Poland and the Czech Republic) by cancelling an anti-missile defense system, he receives his payback. The Russians give him a middle finger salute on Iran. Is it too early to say that Obama is looking more and more like Jimmy Carter?

Monday, October 12, 2009

The War Obama Wanted to Fight

There will be lots more to say on Afghanistan if Obama ever gets around to deciding whether or not to send in more troops....as his hand-picked general has requested, we might add. But for starters, it is useful to revisit Obama's position during the campaign when he recited the Democrat party talking points word for word. Iraq was the wrong war, no WMDs, no al Qaeda, Bush lied, etc. Also, he would have liked the chance to have a beer with Saddam, Uday and Qusay. (I made that last one up.) The dilemma he faced, however, was the dilemma all liberals face: namely how NOT to appear weak on national defense.

The answer was to focus on Afghanistan. The Taliban were an easier enemy to explain. Al Qaeda had definitely been hanging around and you didn't have all that Shia- Sunni- Kurd complication. So one would think that Obama would now be eager to take General McChrystal's advice. (And by the way, doesn't he remember that the surge in Iraq was successful?) So what is holding him back?

Well here is his current dilemma. If he doesn't support an increase in troop levels he will be perceived as having lost Afghanistan and will be a one-term President. He will be tagged rightly with a "weak-on-defense" label and it will stick. On the other hand his biggest fans on the far left will never forgive him if he doubles down. They are already dragging out the Viet Nam analogies and will turn on him quickly. There is some speculation that Obama will make a "split the baby" decision and send in some, but not all, of the 40,000 troops requested. There would be no other way to interpret this than as a weak-kneed decision. So will Obama risk alienating the Code Pink crowd? That is the question and the answer will say a lot about him.

Friday, October 9, 2009

NOBEL "PIECE" PRIZE

RedStateVT has to give credit where credit is due. In that regard, even President Obama appeared genuinely taken aback by the decision to award him the Nobel prize. He certainly realizes that he does not merit it.



The Nobel Committee disgraces itself for what is transparently a political ploy. But bear in mind that this is a group which seems to know no shame having previously awarded the prize to that great peacemaker Yasser Arafat, a.k.a., the Mahatma Gandhi of the Palestinian people.



And then there is that other notable recipient, Jimmy Carter, coddler of dictators around the world. In 2008, Carter famously placed a wreath on the grave of Arafat. Could it be that Obama realizes that he doesn't want to be in company with the likes of these two?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Times Crimes

RedStateVT was a loyal follower of the New York Times for decades, reading it every morning on the commute into Manhattan. For nostalgic reasons we are deeply saddened to see the slow and steady decline of the paper. The Times and others may blame the rise of the Internet, the 24 hour news cycle or sun spots, but the fact of the matter is that the wound is self-inflicted. The reflexive liberal ideology of the Times has been well documented and, in fact, there are web sites devoted to pointing out how its biases have compromised the paper's integrity and driven readers away.



Recently the Times has been called to task for failing to report on the ACORN and "Green Jobs Czar" Van Jones scandals. In an internal post-mortem of why the paper did not write about these events, Public Editor Clark Hoyt said it has been suggested that the Times: "has trouble dealing with stories arising from the polemical world of talk radio, cable television and partisan blogs." And further: "a newspaper like The Times needs to be alert to them or wind up looking clueless or, worse, partisan itself." Yes, by all means, it would be wrong to appear either clueless or partisan.... RedStateVT has a tip for the Times. Don't get left behind again! Sean Hannity has picked up the story of "Safe Schools" Czar Kevin Jennings and is now calling for his removal. The positions Jennings has taken will curdle milk. So with Jennings the next czar to possibly face the wrath of the proletariat, the question is: will the Times learn from its past mistakes and write the story? (A quick search of the on-line Times today shows nary a mention.)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Corporal" Sanders' Utopian Vision

For fellow Vermonters.....heck for anyone! I ran across this clip of Vermont's crazy old uncle in the attic, Corporal Sanders, talking about his vision of American capitalism. (Predictably, he also uses the opportunity to blame George Bush for assorted transgressions.) The bulk of the video finds Bernie extolling the benefits of cradle-to-grave health care, free education, and more vacation time for workers. You'll love the image of working families frolicking at the sea shore.

http://sanders.senate.gov//legislation/issue/?id=3884AF85-AD3D-4E6E-A150-155E90F26FC8

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

TIDBITS

In nearly nine months in office, President Obama has found time to meet with Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega and Vladimir Putin. But this week he won't see the Dalai Lama, a peaceful religious leader who has long been a friend to the U.S. and an advocate of human rights for China's six million Tibetans. (WSJ, 10/6/2009)

A photograph of the Iranian president holding up his identity card during elections in March 2008 clearly shows his family has Jewish roots. A close-up of the document reveals he was previously known as Sabourjian--a Jewish name meaning cloth weaver. The short note scrawled on the card suggests his family changed its name to Ahmadinejad when they converted to embrace Islam after his birth. (WSJ, 10/5/2009)

While most Americans normally ignore parliamentary detail, with health care looming, voters are suddenly paying attention. The Senate is expected to vote on a health bill in the weeks to come, representing months of work and stretching to hundreds of pages. And as of now, there is no assurance that members of the public, or even the senators themselves, will be given the chance to read the legislation before a vote. (Washington Examiner, 10/6/2009)

With economists forecasting that unemployment could hit 10 percent before job growth returns, perhaps in mid-2010, Democrats face month after month of bad news on the jobs front in a midterm election year, when a president’s party typically loses Congressional seats. Charlie Cook, a longtime nonpartisan election analyst, said last week that he was raising the odds of Democrats losing their House majority to about 50-50. (NYT, 10/5/2009)