Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A few debate questions for Obama that won’t be asked

By Michelle Malkin / Creators Syndicate   

Tonight, left-leaning TV anchor Jim Lehrer of government-supported PBS will moderate the first 90-minute presidential debate in Denver. The forum will focus on domestic policy. Lehrer alone will determine the topics and questions for six 15-minute segments, and then he will control an “open discussion” for each segment.

We know the liberal media bias drill: Make the Republican candidate look like a scary extremist on social issues and a greedy capitalist pig on economic issues. Avoid the Democratic incumbent’s record of failure. Run out the clock. Thank you and good night.

Here’s my starter list of domestic policy debate topics and related questions that should be asked, but probably won’t be. Lapdog media, please go ahead and prove me wrong:

Border security/homeland security. On Tuesday morning, one Border Patrol agent was gunned down and another wounded at our southern border in Naco, Ariz. The agents were assigned to the station recently named after Brian Terry, the heroic Border Patrol agent shot and killed nearly two years ago by drug cartel thugs wielding weapons tied to the Operation Fast and Furious scandal.

After the Obama administration initially denied that U.S. Border Patrol agents were forced to fire on criminal attackers with non-lethal ammo, court records obtained by the Arizona Daily Star showed that Terry and our front-line protectors were indeed under deadly standing orders to use beanbag rounds before using live ammunition.

In December, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General reported that Border Patrol agent “training, deployed weapons, and rules of engagement have not kept pace with the increased violence on the border.” Over the past five years, the IG found, “(v)iolence has significantly increased against Border Patrol agents. Since 2007, assaults on agents have risen more than 35 percent, including 13 deaths.”

Is the beanbag order still in place today? 

Why has the Terry family been forced to file a federal lawsuit to obtain justice?

If the buck stops at the top, why does Attorney General Eric Holder still have a job after years of official DOJ obstruction and falsehoods during the Fast and Furious investigations?

And as commander in chief, what exactly are you doing to ensure that the men and women currently assigned to protect our borders are adequately armed and fully supported in their mission to defend American sovereignty and homeland security?

Integrity in government. You famously declared, “A democracy requires accountability, and accountability requires transparency.” Yet, the very first act of your administration was to violate your transparency pledge to allow full, public viewing of all legislation five days before you signed it.

In fact, the White House didn’t even post the very first bill you signed — the 2009 Lilly Ledbetter Act — until after you signed it.

You failed to televise health care negotiations as promised. You cut endless backroom deals protected from public scrutiny. In addition, your administration has routinely evaded disclosure law by meeting with lobbyists off the books at D.C.-area coffee houses and private townhouses, where Secret Service background checks and login routines are abandoned.

In August, House GOP investigators unearthed communications at the Department of Energy urging officials to use their personal email accounts instead of government accounts to discuss the massive Solyndra green loan failure — to protect themselves from subpoenas.

And last week, Bloomberg News reported that 19 out of 20 cabinet-level agencies under your administration have failed to follow the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. “During the first year of the administration,” the news service found, “cabinet agencies employed exemptions 466,402 times, a 50 percent jump from the last year of the presidency of George W. Bush.” Those exemptions remain at levels higher than Bush.

How, exactly, can you claim to have run the most transparent administration ever based on your actual record?

Auto bailout. Your campaign touts the “success” of the government takeover of the auto industry as one of your proudest accomplishments. In 2010, you bragged that “American taxpayers are now positioned to recover more than my administration invested in GM, and that’s a good thing.”

Yet, your Treasury Department won’t take up GM’s recent offer to repurchase 200 million of the roughly 500 million shares the U.S. holds — because it would incur a $15 billion loss to taxpayers right before the election. GM still owes nearly $30 billion of the $50 billion it received, and its lending arm still owes nearly $15 billion of the more than $17 billion it received. Foreign workers and overseas plants have soaked up billions of American bailout tax dollars. But some 20,000 Delphi non-union workers saw their pensions eroded and health benefits disappear as part of the deal you cut with United Auto Workers.

How are Delphi workers, bondholders, car dealers and taxpayers better off now than they were before the Government Motors bailout given the actual record? If this is your proudest accomplishment, why on earth would reality-based voters want you back in the driver’s seat?

The Debates: Factors That Play Into Viewers' Impressions

From Townhall Magazine's October column, "The Debates: Image is Everything," by Beverly Hallberg

In 1990, the multinational corporation Canon Inc. had one of its most successful advertising campaign to date, featuring former professional tennis player Andre Agassi uttering the tagline, “Image is Everything.” This candid phrase defined, with great simplicity, the magic of the camera and its ability to alter and shape perception, even in presidential debates.

Image proved extremely important in 1960 when GOP Vice President Richard Nixon and Massachusetts Democrat Sen. John F. Kennedy dueled in the first-ever televised presidential debate. It was a break-through TV moment because the American people had never seen presidential candidates face off. While both candidates were equally matched in delivering their message, Nixon, who was ahead in the polls, failed to deliver a strong image on camera. ... Kennedy, on the other hand, spent hours practicing his message as well as his image. He knew exactly where to look, how to sit and when to smile. ...

It’s not just preparation that affects a candidate’s image during the debates, however. Networks play a subtle and often invisible role.

Through the art of video production, one candidate can be portrayed more favorably than the other. On October 7, 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain met for the second of three presidential debates. The format was a town hall debate. Both men roamed the floor and locked eyes with the audience members who asked questions.

Numerous cameras were placed around the room to capture the candidates regardless of where they stood.

While equal time was given to each man for questions, the audience, when viewing the televised debate, experienced subtle differences in the camera angles for each candidate.

Typically, when Obama spoke, the camera displayed a close up, eye-level image, filling the frame with his upper chest and face. This presented to the viewer a strong image of Obama. In contrast, when McCain spoke, the camera often showed a waist-up, medium shot, filling the frame with as much background as McCain himself. These shots made McCain appear small, which was exaggerated from time to time by camera angles that looked down on him. In addition, because of the wide shots of McCain, Obama had more face time on camera, as he was often shown in the background when McCain answered a question.

On October 3, the broadcast networks will air the first of three presidential debates between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Will the candidates be ready for the spotlight? Will the networks present an unbiased view, free of image manipulation through camera angles and lighting subtleties? While these are questions yet to be answered, one thing is for sure. 

The lesson learned in 1960 will once again prove true—image really is everything

So very true...

“The Obama foreign policy is unraveling literally before our eyes on our TV screens. And so what Mitt Romney is going to do is lay out a very different vision for foreign policy. One that is a policy of strength where I would articulate or claim the president’s policy is one of weakness. We’re seeing the ugly fruits of the Obama foreign policy unravel around the world on our TV screens.“

-VP nominee Paul Ryan
Mitt Must Debate Big Issues

Romney must make Wednesday night's debate about the basic issues.

Do you want more government or less?

More spending or less?

More regulation or less?

More welfare or less?

More power for teachers unions or less?

More taxes or less?

Less oil drilling or more?

On these key issues, America agrees with the Republican Party. Romney needs to drill down to these core questions and put them into play.

Right now, the presidential race is being fought out about micro-issues like who paid what in taxes or who has his bank account where. Romney needs to make this election about the big things, clearing away the underbrush of negatives and articulating the fundamental difference between the parties and the candidates.

In August, Gallup asked voters if they wanted the government to "leave them alone" or "lend them a hand." Voters broke 54-35 in favor of being left alone. If that polarization becomes the key metric of the campaign, Romney will win.

But to win, Romney needs to clear away the negatives.

Bill Clinton and I used to share a proverb: Never sleep under the same roof with an unanswered negative. Always, always, always, always answer.

For some reason, Romney has refused to answer the negatives Obama has heaped upon his head month after month. He calls Romney a tax cheat who hates the poor, can't wait to destroy Medicare, and only cares about the rich.

This pounding has taken a severe toll on Romney's image. He is now underwater (i.e., with more unfavorables than favorables).

There are truly large numbers of voters who want, heart and soul, to vote against Barack Obama. They know the economy is falling apart. They realize that the debt has made things worse. They agree that higher taxes and more regulation is the wrong way to go. They see now the naiveté and futility of Obama's outreach to the Muslim world.

But the steady drumbeat of Obama's unanswered negative ads has so eroded Romney's image that these voters remain undecided. Obama's paid negative ads have not cut a broad swath but they have tipped enough anti-Obama voters into the undecided column that they are now making the difference.

In 90 minutes on Wednesday evening, Romney can put this all behind him and lay the basis for a victory next month. All he has to do is to show that he is not the bloodthirsty monster Obama depicts in his commercials.

He can use the debates the way he used his convention -- to rebut the charges that he destroyed jobs at Bain Capital. This theme, which dominated Obama's entire spring campaign, was zeroed out by the Republican convention, and the attack has not reared its head since.

Now it is time for Romney to answer the charges that have emerged since then.

He cannot permit his candidacy to be forced so deep underwater that it drowns beneath the waves of unanswered negatives.

• He needs to differentiate those who have earned their entitlement checks -- like Social Security, Medicare or veterans benefits -- from those who choose not to work but to live off food stamps, welfare, Medicaid and subsidized housing. All 47 percenters are not created equal.

• He must explain that he paid all the taxes he owed -- and no American does more or should do less -- and that he gave vast sums to charity, showing a massive compassion. He needs to spell out some of his charitable activities so we get a sense of his heart, not just his head.

•  He's got to underscore that he will not end Medicare but will always have the program as we now know it as an option for the elderly.

Just as Reagan showed voters in 1980 that he was not the caricature Carter had made him out to be, so Romney must show his real face to the voters. Once the negatives are cleared and the big issues brought into play, victory will follow.

Obama adviser admits: 'We need death panels'

Makes shocking admission about Obamacare, advocates rationing for elderly 

by Aaron Klein / WND


A top Democrat strategist and donor who served as President Obama’s lead auto-industry adviser recently conceded that the rationing of heath services under Obamacare is “inevitable.”

Steven Rattner advocated that such rationing should target elderly patients, while stating, “We need death panels.”

Rattner serves on the board the New America Foundation, or NAF, a George Soros-funded think tank that was instrumental in supporting Obamacare in 2010. Soros’ son, financier Jonathan Soros, is also a member of the foundation’s board.

Rattner was the so-called “car czar,” the lead auto adviser to the Treasury Department under Obama.

Last month, Rattner penned an opinion piece in the New York Times titled “Beyond Obamacare” in which he proclaimed “We need death panels” and argued rationing must be instructed to sustain Obama’s health-care plan. His comments have been virtually ignored by traditional media as the president campaign’s for a second term.

“We need death panels,” began Rattner. “Well, maybe not death panels, exactly, but unless we start allocating health-care resources more prudently – rationing, by its proper name – the exploding cost of Medicare will swamp the federal budget.”

Continued Rattner: “But in the pantheon of toxic issues – the famous ‘third rail’ of American politics – none stands taller than overtly acknowledging that elderly Americans are not entitled to every conceivable medical procedure or pharmaceutical.”

Rattner lamented how Obama’s Affordable Care Act “regrettably includes severe restrictions on any reduction in Medicare services or increase in fees to beneficiaries.”

Rattner said the numbers don’t add up unless Obamacare utilizes rationing.

“If his Independent Payment Advisory Board comes up with savings, Congress must accept either them or vote for an equivalent package,” stated Rattner. “The problem is, the advisory board can’t propose reducing benefits (a k a rationing) or raising fees (another form of rationing), without which the spending target looms impossibly large.”

Rattner singled out elderly patients for benefit cuts.

He wrote: “No one wants to lose an aging parent. And with price out of the equation, it’s natural for patients and their families to try every treatment, regardless of expense or efficacy. But that imposes an enormous societal cost that few other nations have been willing to bear. Many countries whose health care systems are regularly extolled – including Canada, Australia and New Zealand – have systems for rationing care.”

He concluded, “At the least, the Independent Payment Advisory Board should be allowed to offer changes in services and costs.”

“We may shrink from such stomach-wrenching choices, but they are inescapable.”

Rattner serves on the NAF’s 22-person board of directors alongside Jonathan Soros, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria and Google’s Eric Schmidt.

Soros’ Open Society Foundation is a primary donor to the NAF.

Other major donors include the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google Inc. and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Another donor is Free Press, a group that advocates for more government control of the airwaves and Internet.

Free Press is also funded by Soros. Free Press was founded by Robert W. McChesney, an avowed Marxist who has recommended capitalism be dismantled “brick by brick.”

The NAF, meanwhile, bills itself as bipartisan and “the radical center.”

NAF fellow Michael Lind wrote, “Our goal [is] not to repeal the New Deal [of Franklin Roosevelt] but to adapt it to the circumstances of the 21st century.”

Discover The Networks notes how the NAF approved of Obamacare because it would “offer a new image” of how Americans view dying; and it would help “patients and their families to recognize” that, “[S]ometimes ‘doing everything’ results in more burden than benefit. High-tech medicine can prolong life, but for some patients, it merely draws out the process of dying.”

History repeats itself courtesy of Barack HUSSEIN Obama
By: Diane Sori

Well it’s happened again...another U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed. 

But first remember back to the 2008 election campaign when Barack HUSSEIN Obama pledged to secure our borders. He said that would mean "additional personnel, infrastructure and technology on the border and at our ports of entry.” 
Yet four years later, our borders are NO more secure than they were four years ago as witnessed yesterday morning when Border Patrol Agent Nicolas Ivie was killed while patrolling on horseback near the Arizona patrol station named after Brian Terry...Brian Terry, the agent killed on duty in 2010...Brian Terry, the agent whose death fueled the ‘Fast and Furious’ scandal.  Brian Terry, the agent whose death still raises unanswered questions. And Agent Ivie was killed in an area of south Arizona, close to the border, known for being a major drug-smuggling corridor as was Brian Terry.  

Eerily familiar like ghosts coming back to haunt.

"This shooting is a tragic reminder of the dangers the brave men and women who guard our borders face every day" said Rep. Darrell Issa who led the investigation into Agent Terry’s death, and who succeeded in getting a Contempt of Congress charge and conviction against Attorney General Eric for lying under oath and withholding information in the ‘gunwalking’ debacle that resulted in Agent Terry’s death.

What’s even more unsettling about this happening yet again is that while Barack HUSSEIN Obama sends over one billion of our taxpayer dollars overseas to protect the governments (even muslim brotherhood headed governments) of those out to kill us, our own southern border remains unsecured.  And here’s something even more unsettling...slightly less than half of our southwest border meets Homeland Security's border security standard of under "operational control.”

Only 44%% of the 2,000+-mile southwest border is under "operational control,” meaning the level of border security provided through the number of border patrol agents, fencing and detection technology (including heat sensors and drones) is less than half of what it should be.

And while another 37% of the border is monitored, allowing a chance of detecting crossings, this monitoring is basically useless, because the Border Patrol isn't able to respond due to obstacles such as lack of transportation access or difficult terrain. 

Bottom line is that 56%, more than half, of our southern border is nothing but a free-for-all, easy pickings for those coming into our country ILLEGALLY.

And all Obama’s bloviatings about how his border policies have increased captures and returns is for all intents and purposes NOT true, for it's NOT about how many people the Border Patrol catch, but about how many of those that attempt to cross our border are NOT caught.

Until our borders are sealed, completely sealed, deaths will continue to happen as those coming here ILLEAGALLY will do anything to get here...even kill those that stand in their way.

Brian Terry's family issued this statement upon hearing the news of Agent Ivie’s death, "We hope that those responsible for this shooting are brought to justice swiftly. The fact that the agents involved in this shooting were assigned to the recently dedicated Brian A. Terry Border Patrol Station in Naco, Ariz., gives us pause to reflect on the life lost and the continued task of keeping our nation safe."

Sadly, as we reflect on those agents lost, the reality is that under an Obama administration those deaths will be in vain and our borders will remain unsecured, because America’s security is NOT in Barack HUSSEIN’S agenda...never was and never will be.

As always, November 6th can’t come soon enough for me.