Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The first 100 days of President Obama

So we have made it thru the first 100 days under President Obama. The nation is still called America. This is still a democracy. The public, and more importantly the major media, still love President Obama. But this is no longer the nation that I grew up in.

There have been many changes under the Obama Administration, some due to the President and other due to the Democrat-led Congress. All of the changes have been based in the goals of the far-left and selected campaign promises.

Let's start with the appointees. There are many critical Cabinet positions that have yet to be filled. Several have had a revolving door of nominees, leaving some of the most critical positions that effect the economy open. Worse yet, there has been an undeniable consistency that virtually every Democratic nominee has failed to pay taxes, in some cases for multiple years, until nominated. Which is troubling in a "Do as I say, not as I do" kind of way.

But beyond the appointees are other troubles.

President Obama has failed to live up to many of his campaign promises. The Guantanamo Bay Detention will be closed, eventually, though there is mass confusion on what to do with the detainees. Will some be imprisoned in American jails. If so at what higher cost than normal. If not in America then to where? So far only France has accepted exactly 1 detainee. So much for international support and their belief in President Obama.

President Obama has failed to increase transparency on 7 of 9 major laws since taking the Oval Office. This too was a campaign promise that was broken. The most notable case of this was the $787 billion stimulus bill. A stimulus package that does not spend all the money now, that limits the income level of those that can use it, that applies only to citizens that RECEIVE a paycheck, and is primarily a tool of social change.

There are numerous examples of millions being spent on projects like artwalks, skate parks, and non-existent homeless projects in cities without homeless problems. All of these are attributable to the stimulus package, and the fact that to this date almost none of the members of any level of the Government has read the full law. In fact almost no member of Congress or the White House read the entire bill before it was voted on and approved by Democrats. Nor did the public get a chance to read it before President Obama passed it into law. The reverberations of this are still being felt now.

Moving on, President Obama has enforced the ability to gain an abortion, even in later term pregnancies. Which is in line with his long-standing political beliefs, though not exactly the beliefs of the nation at large.

President Obama has approved the use of embryonic stem cells, another issue that flies in the face of overall public opinion.

President Obama allowed Congress to break the Constitution by retro-actively penalizing American citizens. This was in the form of specific and non-grandfathered taxes to the executives at AIG. These taxes were on bonuses that the executives received as part of their contract, that the Government did not renegotiate when they had the chance, and in fact guaranteed in the stimulus package that no one read. The Congressman that guaranteed the money? Senator Chris Dodd, a Democrat and in charge of the Banking Committee.

Also, while violating the Constitution - which President Obama taught at one point - the concepts of all contracts were broken. In violating the contracts that the Government itself assured, all contracts are theoretically void. Because if the Government can break one it can break them all.

Plus the Government asserted its ability to control private business. First in taxing the AIG executive, thus stating the Government can retro-actively dictate pay. Then in forcing the removal of the CEO of a major auto company, while demanding changes to the operations of that company along lines that only the Government desired.

All this before the Government requested the expansion of power to allow the Treasury Secretary, an un-elected position, the ability to take over any company that it deems is significant to the nation based on undefined criteria. Which if passes will allow the Government to theoretically take control of any and all companies it chooses to.

But President Obama has done more. He has ended the Iraq War, by removing troops (a campaign promise) in an extended timeframe with the exception of 50,000 troops (both violations of the same campaign promise).

President Obama has also proposed his new budget. This is separate of the $410 billion continuation bill that was passed, also funding 9,000 pork-barrel projects. It was passed the same day that President Obama made a public outcry to stop wasteful spending by the Government. And it violated a campaign promise to end pork-barrel spending.

But the $3.6 trillion dollar budget of President Obama does not include the continuation bill or the stimulus package. It does include some $600 billion for a nationalized healthcare plan, that does not exist today nor have any plans of how it might be implemented. And this budget, going by President Obama's own best case figures will reduce the budget by 50% in 4 years. This part has been highly publicized. What has not been publicized is the rest of the budget plan.

President Obama's budget goes on after year 4 for a total of 10 years. By the end of that time, according to the President himself, the deficit will have increased by 250%. Few in the major media discuss this outcome, nor question how any plan that creates a larger deficit than it starts with can be called positive or effective.

But like every Administration, there have been bumps in the road. Besides the appearance that no appointee in the Obama Cabinet pays their taxes, while demanding that citizens must do so in greater numbers, there have been other gaffes. Like the recent decision to fly a plane over New York City without notification of the Mayor or any public notification - creating a panic based on the 9/11 events. There has also been the bow that President Obama bestowed - which has been described as everything but what your eyes will see in the video. There is the publicly friendly, and privately harsh, discussion with Hugo Chavez. There was the embarrassing gifts to our strongest ally's leadership and monarchy.

Yes the Obama Administration has had a hit parade. And these are only the most public and notable points. There are many other quieter, even less publicized actions affecting law and governance, and the appearance of the nation.

Like the now unspoken manner in which North Korea essentially turned it's nose up to the U.S. and fired a rocket that in one move threatened our ally Japan, and our nation itself. This cemented the fact that America has less respect and instills less fear than ever before on the world stage. An idea confirmed as our Secretary of State, and President, issued apologies for the existence of America and our actions to continue to exist.

Yet on the domestic side of the table things are even more unstable. America now fights terrorists, and the ideal of terrorism, by giving it a new name. The idea must be that there cannot be a terrorist act if the Government cannot call anyone a terrorist. That is except of Americans themselves.

Yes, because the Government - in the guise of Napalitano - has sought to isolate those that disagree with the governance of the land. Those that hold ideologies separate of the Administration, that have vowed to defend this nation with their life, and/or those that believe a religion strongly have been placed at the top of the list of dangers to America. Quietly, and without public scrutiny. The Amish and bloggers like myself be warned.

This is but the briefest coverage of the first 100 days of the Obama Administration. Likely each point will be something ignored by the major media. Yet it is these things that define where America is truly going. And doing so with smiles. President Obama's approval rating is over 60%.

So though this has been used to describe President Bush, I think it more directly applies to the America that President Obama is shaping

"So this is how Democracy ends. With thunderous applause." - Princess Amidala in Star Wars Episode 3

But if the poll on my sites are correct, Democrats had best watch the clock carefully. Because their time in the sun may well be short. My poll results state that since the inauguration the total outlook by my readers that responded are

39% feel President Obama has kept his promises and is doing a great job
38% feel President Obama has BROKEN his promises and is doing a horrible job
16% feel they need more time to decide
13% feel President Obama is the same as any other President

My poll may be small, but I believe that my readers are some of the most informed, intelligent in the blogosphere (well overwhemingly most are minus the ones that shout profanities), and those from America are real representations of America. Thus I would state that this is the real view middle America holds.

So in summary, President Obama promised change. He never clarified what that meant or what he would change. After 100 days we now have an indication. It is a change indeed. Though none I know would have voted for this.

Thankfully we will have the mid-term elections soon, and might be able to reverse or hold off the worst of that change.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Greeting the Obama Administration

And now the shoe has dropped. Yes it has happened, an American now tops the FBI Most Wanted Terrorist list (or disgruntled native criminals or whatever the Obama Administration calls a terrorist these days). No one should be surprised. Not after the memos came out about targeting right wing conservatives.

Just the other day, as I was going to New York City, I was thinking about what this new direction the Obama Administration was taking meant to the average American. I noted that a Somali pirate, an Al Quida terrorist, or any number of other people and groups that dream of America ceasing to exist are all less important to this Government than my blog posts. Yep, my writing is more dangerous to America than Osama Bin Laden.

At least that is the indication the Obama Administration is making. Because I am a former Marine, intelligent, conservative, and Republican. That just screams extremist – especially when you consider that I reach over 125 countries and tens of thousands of people every month on my blogs alone. I write for over 100 in total.

Yes I am on a watch list of law enforcement because I dare to be all those things, and I disagree with the highly socialist bent of the current Presidential Administration. I’m sure of it, because Blogger just proposed to shut down my blogs as spam sites. They have only been around for over 3 years now. It’s resolved now, I think, but isn’t the timing interesting.

But how dare I mention this. Yet if anyone might think the proposal by the Government was harsh or politically motivated, someone had to be on the list that everyone agreed needed to be caught. Thus everything else is a coincidence, or paranoia.

It’s like a magician’s slight of hand. Let me distract you from the important issue of a Government becoming bigger and socialist by pointing at a danger. Don’t pay attention to the broken campaign promises or violations of the Constitution and law of the land, fear losing your job. Don’t notice the complete ineptness of the politicians in place, hate a miniscule group of people who get paid a lot of money (and forget that the Government chose to pay them that money). Ignore the focus of the media and Government to remove any commentary that is counter to what the Government approves of, remember that they are all radicals (not left-wing radicals like Bill Ayers but right-wing radicals which are bad of course).

Look, I understand the need to be aware. America is a nation of extremists by definition. We radically opposed the rule of England to create this nation. We are made up of people (most of whom) left their homelands because they objected to some part of the ruling government there. We have fought amongst ourselves – the Civil War, Japanese internment, killing off Native American Indians, slavery, and so on. We have every religion on the face of the planet all living right next to each other; and more wars have been fought over that than anything. So I get the concern.

But this is ridiculous. According to the Government wishlist not only am I a subject of concern and require law enforcement monitoring, but so do the Amish. Yep, the Amish.

The Amish are radically extreme in their religious beliefs. They are ultra-conservative. They do not conform to society. They are against stem-cell research, green energy, hybrid cars, abortion, teaching about condoms, and a host of issues that liberal Democrats in the Government are promoting right now. According to the imperative that unofficially the Government wants to pursue, the Amish must be on the top of the list. If that does not explain how absurd this orientation is, let me clarify it a bit more.

The Government is not looking to watch true radicals. People like Bill Ayers is missing from the people that is the focus of the watch lists. His brand of terrorism is completely fine it seems.

Bill Ayers is a self described anarchist. Which means he would love to see the Americans Government collapse. He was involved with a radical terrorist group, that sought to destroy the government, by force. He has written propaganda supporting these thoughts. He is politically active in trying to pursue these thoughts. But he is the friend of, and initial supporter of President Obama, so he and his ilk are fine.

Think about that. The Government is upset if peaceful objection (the tax tea parties as an example) occurs. Yet the blatant rants of self-proclaimed extremists – that have acted to destroy the Government in the past – are considered harmless.

The Amish, news commentators, bloggers like myself are all targets of the Government now. But left-wing radicals like Bill Ayers are good guys. Because people like me, make comments the Government does not like. And it doesn’t matter that we may have criticized the prior Administrations as well. Because only this current incarnation is important. And nothing should interfere with their goals.

That is the message I am getting.

Does that sound like America to you. When you look past the polispeak, the smoke and mirrors, and observe the changes the Government is making and their implications, do you see a freer America or an image of the old USSR? I have lived in Russia, and I say it’s the latter.

In fact ask anyone who lived in a socialist or communist nation. Ask them why they left. Ask them how close the actions of President Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Majority leader Harry Reid match up to non-democratic nations. You may be surprised by the answer.

So for all the Government law enforcement officials I say hello. And keep on reading, because I’m not about to stop.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

President Obama - The economy has glimmers of improvement

Lately President Obama has been commenting on the positives in the economy. It’s a huge reversal of the absolutely impending doom that he has virtually preached before and after his inauguration. But the big question is if it is true.

Is the economy better? Did any of the things that the Obama Administration pushed forward helped? When will joe average feel more confident?

All good questions, but there is no clear answer so far.

If you look at the economy as a whole you get mixed answers. Looking at NY State I can say that I am aware of a huge mixed bag. There are several businesses that have folded just this month, or are looking to sell right now. This is in part the fault of the overall economy, but also has to do with all the new taxes that Gov. Patterson is enacting. It just costs too much to do business here, especially in a bad economy.

A great example is the fact that over the last 30 days sales of potato chips and snack foods for a large multinational chain have plummeted to all-time lows from Buffalo to Syracuse. Is that a reaction to the new food tax that Gov. Patterson has recently proposed? Add to that the fact that cigarette sales have now jumped as well, costing about $7 on average in Binghamton alone. Which flies in the face of the fact that a 15 minute drive provides cigarette buyers a roughly 35% discount if they cross the border and buy cigarettes in Pennsylvania. How much do you think the higher costs will help NY business owners?

Consider that while there are some businesses that are expanding, they tend to be larger businesses. The smaller private businesses that provide most of the jobs for the local economies are just dropping off the radar, leaving other connected businesses with nothing but a debit in their accounting. The ratio is such that for every job that is generated somewhere around 3 or 4 are being lost.

So is that an improving economy? Jobs are being created, but is the cost too high? And can any local or even federal economy survive such a discrepancy when even the most mundane products are encountering dramatic downturns?

And then there is the banking sector. We have banks that took Government bailout money, even if they didn’t need it (to have a hedge), that now are being strangled by Government intervention. New regulations are being required that are obtuse at best. Which is preventing banks from providing loans to businesses that normally would have been provided.

A recent conversation I had concluded

'We have these guys in the Government. They have never worked in finance. They don’t understand making a loan or stock market operations. But they are the ones making regulations on how to make a loan or oversee the stock market. What do they know about it? Nothing. But they are the ones overseeing everything, bogging down what works and flooding everything with what doesn’t work.'

Consider this, the Government is so far up banking that even if a bank that took public funds wants to pay back every dime and interest, the Government won’t accept it. That is part of the provisions of the stimulus plan that was passed without anyone, especially Congress, reading it. Government is imposing regulations that they themselves don’t understand, nor can comprehend the impact of. Government is actively demanding business transactions that have no proven benefit (like the demand for hybrid cars though the market is immature and still developing). All the while it is imposing new taxes that impede business growth, and/or increase the cost to the end consumer - like new taxes on energy that directly affects the end user and increasing taxes on businesses and investments limiting growth.

So is the economy really improving? Or is it just getting a polispeak political shuffle that makes some aspects look impressive while diverting attention from long-term problems. I once offered the example of lowering the average Americans debt, just as President Obama has offered to lower the national debt. No one that I presented this scenario to found it to be worthwhile, yet the Obama Administration's budget plans continue without discourse or change. How can this make sense?

Window dressing is great. The President finally speaking about the economy in terms that do not sound like chicken little is a bonus. But the long-term impact is something far more murky and glum.

If the current actions in New York State are any indication, the rollercoaster ride is hardly over. The worst of what is to come is far more dire than what we are being presented. True consumer confidence is still at arms reach, in the best case.

Take that all into consideration the next time you hear that the economy is glimmering with improvement. Because all that glitters is not gold.

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