Saturday, April 6, 2013

What Did Charles Krauthammer Say About Obama That Shocked a Fox Panel Into Silence?

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer seemed to render his fellow Fox News panelists momentarily speechless after he said President Barack Obama has lost the main gun control battle and “all he wants now is the money.”

Krauthammer made the comment during Fox News’ “Special Report” after National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg said Obama likely won’t even get a vote on the majority of new gun control measures he wants.

“All he wants now is the money,” Krauthammer said to several seconds of total silence.
“You don’t really mean that,” host Chris Wallace finally broke in.

“He’s lost on gun control,” Krauthammer insisted, saying that even if the bill includes expanded background checks — the “last item standing” — it’s “not going to make any difference.”

“Knowing all that, he is out there now exploring it as an issue. He is not going to get the solution he wanted, so he’ll make an issue. And that’s the way he operates. He does it on immigration. He does it on a lot of stuff. If you can’t win on a solution or get your way, you turn it into cash. He is excellent at turning stuff into cash.”

See Krauthammer nail Obama here...gotta love it:

Defense Expert: NKorea Has Ability to Attack US
By Jim Meyers and Kathleen Walter
 / Newsmax

Leading defense and national security expert Dr. James Carafano tells Newsmax that the Obama administration has spent four years ignoring North Korea and we now run the risk of an “accidental escalation” of tensions in the region.

He also warns that North Korea does in fact have the technical capability of attacking the west coast of the United States.

See the video here:

Dr. Carafano is the Heritage Foundation’s vice president for foreign and defense policy studies and director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies. He is a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and has taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. His books include “Private Sector, Public Wars: Contractors in Combat - Afghanistan, Iraq, and Future Conflicts.”

North Korea has now moved missiles onto launchers and there has been talk that they could technically strike the west coast of the U.S. Asked if that is accurate, Carafano tells Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview: “Absolutely. They haven’t done it but we know they have the technical capability that allows them to do that and they don’t have to reach that far.

“They can reach Guam, which is a major U.S. military base, and we certainly know they can reach Japan, which is an ally and has bases. More importantly: I was in the Army for 25 years, I was stationed in Korea. Much of the South Korean population and the capital is in easy range of North Korean artillery, let alone North Korean missiles.”

North Korea moved those missiles with full knowledge that the United States would observe the actions because “we have satellite imagery overhead covering the entire country” and “they know we’re watching.” But as for what these developments mean, Carafano admits: “I can absolutely tell you with 100 percent confidence that I have no idea what this means. We’ve seen the North Koreans bluster and do nothing, we’ve seen them bluster and do something. We’ve seen them say nothing and do something.

“So we’ve seen every possible combination and we really don’t have good intelligence on how the decision-making inside North Korea works, so we’re all just guessing as to what might possibly happen.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on Thursday night that President Barack Obama was “pretty correct” in his response to North Korea. Carafano agrees.

“It’s absolutely right that we send a very strong message to North Korea that we would protect ourselves and our allies. So deploying the B-2 bomber was absolutely the right thing to do. The F-22 aircraft allows us to get anywhere in North Korean air space. Missile defense systems, missile direct radars, these are all exactly the right things to do to demonstrate that we will defend ourselves.

“I find a great irony here. These are often the systems that progressives want to cut and say we don’t need and are relics of the Cold War, and yet what is the first thing we send out of the box to demonstrate that we’re really serious about defending ourselves? The very systems they don’t like.

“The other great irony here is the president’s getting ready to put out his defense budget and if you run that defense budget out 10 years, I doubt that we’ll be able to do these kinds of things 10 years from now to demonstrate our resolve.

“But the United States has done the right thing by demonstrating that they take these threats seriously. We’ve seen the North Koreans in the past do some pretty unforgivable things, including sinking a South Korean ship and artillery shelling South Korean territory.

“South Koreans have sent some pretty strong signals that they will respond. But again you don’t know what the North Koreans are going to do. You can’t’ discount that there might be some kind of accidental escalation. We’ve done all the right things to prevent a conflict from breaking out but there’s an old saying that in war, the enemy gets a vote.”

Asked if this could end up becoming an accidental war, Carafano responds: “If there was no such thing as accidental wars we wouldn’t have them but we actually have them quite frequently. So it would be irresponsible to say don’t worry, nothing’s going to happen, or to predict World War III. The responsible thing to do is to take North Korea seriously because they have the weapons to do serious damage.

“What really bothers me is that we’ve spent four years ignoring North Korea and letting our defense atrophy and underselling and underinvesting in things like missile defense. And now, all of a sudden, we jump up and say, gee, we really need these things.

“This is what we typically do. We take these massive peace dividends and then when an enemy rears his head, we sit there and say why weren’t we better prepared? Sometimes it’s a 9/11 but sometimes it’s a wakeup call like this.

“We don’t have to invade every country. We don’t have to be the world’s policemen. But if we don’t demonstrate the resolve to defend ourselves and have responsible defense budgets, someday the cupboard’s going to be bare when the bad guys come knocking.”

As for what role China might play in the crisis, Carafano tells Newsmax: “There’s a myth that the Chinese control North Korea or they can just tell the North Koreans what to do. But the Chinese know they don’t and we know they don’t.

“China has influence over North Korea but they cannot drive North Korean behavior. They have a limited capacity to defuse this crisis and it’s dumb and stupid for the United States to go kind of begging China to help us because the Chinese can’t really do much for us.”

Commenting on the U.S. foreign policy pivot away from the Middle East and onto Asia, Carafano says: “The declaration of the Asian pivot was stupid. It was just stupid. The United States needs to be able to defend all of its vital interests and we need to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

“We have big interests in the Middle East that are under threat. We have to protect them. And we have interests in Asia that we have to protect. And where does Asia get its energy from? It gets it from the Middle East. So Asia’s pivoting to the Middle East because they’re worried about that.

“We can’t ignore that, as we can’t ignore our responsibilities in partnering with Europeans. And we have responsibilities in the Western Hemisphere. This notion that somehow we can leave things undefended is great because it allows you to gut the defense budget, but the reality is when you compromise your interests like that, you make war more, not less likely.”

Obama Will Propose a Bait-and-Switch Budget Plan Containing Higher Taxes and More Spending
Are we about to see a new kinder-and-gentler Obama? Has the tax-and-spend President of the past four years been replaced by a fiscal moderate?

That’s certainly the spin we’re getting from the White House about the President’s new budget. Let’s look at this theme, predictably regurgitated in a Washington Post report.

President Obama will release a budget next week that proposes significant cuts to Medicare and Social Security and fewer tax hikes than in the past, a conciliatory approach…the document will incorporate the compromise offer Obama made to House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) last December in the discussions over the “fiscal cliff” – which included $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction through spending cuts and tax increases. …unlike the Republican budget that passed the House last month, Obama’s budget does not balance within 10 years.

Since America’s fiscal challenge is the overall burden of government spending, I’m not overly worried about the fact that Obama’s budget doesn’t get to balance.

But I am curious whether Obama truly is proposing a “conciliatory” budget. Are the tax hikes smaller? Are the supposed spending cuts larger?

Actually, there are no genuine spending cuts since the President’s budget is based on dishonest baseline budgeting. At best, we’re simply talking about slowing the growth of government.

But since Mitchell’s Golden Rule is based on the very modest goal of having government grow slower than the private sector, it’s possible that Obama may be proposing something worthwhile.

But possible isn’t the same as probable. Indeed, it appears that the budget is predicated on a giant bait-and-switch since the beneficial spending restraint imposed by sequestration would be repealed!
Obama’s budget proposal, however, would eliminate sequestration.

This appears almost as an afterthought in the Washington Post article,
but it should be the lead story. The White House wants to get rid of a policy that genuinely limits the growth of spending.

We won’t have the official numbers until the budget is released next Wednesday, but I’ll be very curious to see whether the supposed spending cuts elsewhere in his budget are greater than or less than the spending increases that will occur if sequestration is canceled. Particularly since the President also is proposing lots of new spending on everything from early child education to brain mapping.

Moreover, it seems as though Obama tax numbers are based on dodgy math as well. The White House is claiming that this is a “conciliatory” budget because he’s no longer proposing $1.6 trillion of tax hikes.

The budget is more conservative than Obama’s earlier proposals, which called for $1.6 trillion in new taxes and fewer cuts to health and domestic spending programs. Obama is seeking to raise $580 billion in tax revenue by limiting deductions for the wealthy and closing loopholes for certain industries like oil and gas. Those changes are in addition to the increased tobacco taxes and more limited retirement accounts for the wealthy that are meant to pay for new spending.

Let’s try to disentangle the preceding passage. The President wants $580 billion of new taxes from “deductions” and “loopholes.” But he also wants an unknown pile of revenue from new tobacco taxes and from restricting IRAs. And keep in mind that he already got $600 billion as part of the fiscal cliff.

Until we get official numbers, we can’t say anything with certainty, but I’ll be checking on Wednesday to see how much revenue the President intends to grab as a result of the tobacco and IRA provisions. Suffice to say that I won’t be surprised if the net impact of all his tax hikes is close to $1.6 trillion. Especially since he’s also proposing to manipulate CPI data, a change that would generate another $100 billion in revenues.

In other words, the revenue side of his budget likely will be a bait-and-switch scam, just like the spending side is a joke once you understand that he wants to get rid of sequestration.

I hope I’m wrong, but I fear that my concerns will be validated next Wednesday and we’ll see another budget that has no real entitlement reform and more class-warfare tax hikes.

P.S. The budget approved by the House of Representatives avoided any tax increases and restrained spending to that it will grow by an average of 3.4 percent annually. Not exactly draconian, but that approach does balance the budget in 10 years.

The Budget Priorities of Democrats

Vice President Joe Biden recently said, “Don't tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value." So taking the Vice President at his word, let's take a look at the priorities demonstrated by the Senate Democrat budget and the House budget crafted by Budget Chairman Paul Ryan.

What priority is placed on actually having federal budgets that balance -- granted a rather quaint idea these days? The Ryan Budget balances after ten years. The Senate-passed Murray budget balances... well... never. Apparently, Senate Democrats have no "priority" to reduce federal government overspending, only to increase tax revenues.

The Ryan Budget does not increase taxes on American families or businesses. The Senate Democrat budget increases taxes by $1.5 trillion over ten years. It's important to note that the fiscal cliff deal from December raised taxes by $620 billion, as income-based rates went up for select Americans and the payroll tax increased for everyone blessed enough to hold a job. Remember also that ObamaCare's taxes are now starting to kick in so there's a medical device tax, increased Medicare taxes and new business taxes for many Americans. But, on top of all these tax hikes already in place, Senate Democrats have made raising additional taxes a "priority" in their budget.

But, let's be fair to the President and Vice President on the budget. By "priority" they mean spending tax dollars to supposedly show their compassion for fellow Americans in need. For them, bigger budget allowances equate to a bigger heart. But does their logic really hold up to scrutiny? Food stamp spending under their administration has gone up by 108 percent, ostensibly suggesting they care more about poor Americans. In reality though, nearly two years after the “recovery summer,” food stamp spending and poverty levels continue to remain incredibly high. If their "priority" truly is helping poor Americans then they should consider the ways in which their policies are failing to help our fellow citizens climb up out of poverty.

The fact is, ultimately the budget process is not just about numbers, but about American families. The decisions made in Washington directly impact your life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

If we consider the Senate Democrat budget in its proper light we discover it actually hurts our seniors and those nearing retirement by undermining the safety net programs on which they rely and devaluing their savings. It hurts students by depriving them of the opportunity to find a good, paying job and limits what they will be able to take home. Finally, this budget hurts our entrepreneurs and small business owners who create jobs and are critical to a functioning economy.

The Elderly
Our elderly on fixed incomes are facing a sort of economic double jeopardy: rising costs of staples like food and energy combined with the looming bankruptcy of entitlement programs they paid into throughout their lives. The Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees estimate that the Medicare Hospital Insurance Fund will be exhausted in 2024, and Social Security will be bankrupt by 2036. These programs are facing severe challenges yet the Senate Budget telegraphs that all is well.

As the roster of Medicare recipients continues to grow, the younger generation is left to fund these entitlements they cannot afford. Medicare is quickly becoming irretrievably bankrupt. But if Congress were to act today to address the problems of Medicare and Social Security, benefits for the elderly could be saved while keeping the funds solvent for years to come.

The Ryan budget includes serious and substantive reform that could preserve the future of these critical social programs. The Senate Democrat budget once again comes up short on a critical priority.

College Students
Our nation’s college students are grappling with a new harsh reality; a stagnant job market. In January of this year, the unemployment rate for Millennials, those born in the mid 80’s, increased to more than 13 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Higher unemployment rates have become the norm, as government expansion and overspending has crowded out hiring and innovation in the private sector. Young people are hurt now and in the future.  Current budget "priorities" are dooming our young to chronic under-employment and stagnant earning power combined with ever higher taxes to pay for accumulating government debt and failing entitlement programs.

Small Business Owners and Employees
Small business owners and employees also suffer under the Senate Democrat budget. First, the ObamaCare regulations funded by their budget will cost these businesses billions of dollars while resulting in literally millions of small business employees being dumped into an already failing health-care bureaucracy. The Society of Actuaries estimates that insurance premiums will go up 30 percent, which for small businesses is on top of the payroll tax increase from January.

But it doesn’t stop there; the Senate budget takes another bite from both businesses and employees. Federal subsidies for expensive renewable energies like wind and solar mean higher energy prices for businesses. In turn owners will have a harder time pricing goods competitively versus foreign corporations, and workers will be left with less take-home pay.

So the President and Vice President can continue to point to their bigger spending as evidence of their supposed moral superiority. However, Americans should ask themselves if it is "moral" for more and more Americans to be trapped in the web of poverty, unemployment, lower wages and less opportunity that is being spun by the budget "priorities" of this administration.

Under pressure from Hamas-linked CAIR, AP revises meaning of term "Islamist"

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

The irony is that, as I have explained many times (as in this National Review article), the term "Islamist" is often used by those who believe that Islam is a Religion of Peace that has been hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists, to create a distance between Islam, which is supposedly entirely benign and peaceful, and Islamism, which teaches political authoritarianism, subjugation of non-Muslims, and everything else about Islam that is unpleasant and at variance with Western principles of human rights.

You can see a recent example of this in Martin Amis's fatuous statements here: "In 'The Second Plane,' a collection of nonfiction published in 2008, Mr. Amis noted that he is an "Islamismophobe," not an Islamophobe. The events of Sept. 11 left him bereft and angry and in desperate search of distinctions. 'Let us make the position clear,' he wrote in an essay titled 'Terror and Boredom.' 'We can begin by saying, not only that we respect Muhammad, but that no serious person could fail to respect Muhammad. . . . But we do not respect Muhammad Atta.'" No serious person could fail to respect Muhammad? Despite the fact that Atta and others like him look to Muhammad as their exemplar and inspiration, not without abundant justification for doing so from the canonical accounts of Muhammad's life?

Anyway, now even the word "Islamist," although it is usually used to exonerate Islam and distance its teachings from the violence and hate propagated in its name, is unacceptable for Hamas-linked CAIR, and they're crowing today about their victory over AP. Clearly Hamas-linked CAIR's amiable stomach-stapled beekeper, Honest Ibe Hooper, sees how successful he and his fellow Islamic supremacists have been in co-opting the media, government, and law enforcement in recent years, and is pressing on toward final victory: the total silencing of any resistance to the global jihad and Islamic supremacism.

"The Associated Press Revises Another Politically Charged Term, by Steven Nelson for U.S. News and World Report, April 4 (thanks to all who sent this in):
...The term "Islamist," the AP clarified in a Thursday afternoon alert to online stylebook subscribers, should not be used as "a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals." 
"Islamist" is frequently used as a label for conservative Islamic political movements, particularly Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, the group's Palestinian offshoot. It generally carries a negative connotation.
The AP first added the term to its stylebook in 2012. The definition initially read:
Supporter of government in accord with the laws of Islam. Those who view the Quran as a political model encompass a wide range of Muslims, from mainstream politicians to militants known as jihadi.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, an American advocacy group sometimes labeled "Islamist" by critics, previously lobbied for the AP to drop the term. In a January op-ed CAIR's communications director, Ibrahim Hooper, wrote the term "has become shorthand for 'Muslims we don't like'" and "is currently used in an almost exclusively pejorative context."
As of Thursday's update, the AP definition reads:
An advocate or supporter of a political movement that favors reordering government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam. Do not use as a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals, who may or may not be Islamists.
Where possible, be specific and use the name of militant affiliations: al-Qaida-linked, Hezbollah, Taliban, etc. Those who view the Quran as a political model encompass a wide range of Muslims, from mainstream politicians to militants known as jihadi.
CAIR praised the AP's update. "We believe this revision is a step in the right direction and will result in fewer negative generalizations in coverage of issues related to Islam and Muslims," Hooper said. "The key issue with the term ‘Islamist’ is not its continued use; the issue is its use almost exclusively as an ill-defined pejorative."

Obama State Department moves to strike U.S. citizens' suit challenging aid to "Palestinians"

From: Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

One thing you have to give Obama: he's consistent. Consistent in his support for the Palestinian jihadists, despite their unwavering and open commitment to the total destruction of Israel and the imposition of Sharia in "Palestine."

"Department of State moves to strike American citizens' suit challenging aid to the Palestinians," from Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center, n.d.:
The United States Department of State has filed a motion seeking to dismiss the claims of 24 American citizens who sued the government over what they contend is its refusal to obey congressional restrictions concerning the funding the US provides to the Palestinian Authority (PA). The plaintiffs, who all live in Israel, allege that Department of State, including former Secretary Hillary Clinton, had ignored congressional safeguards and transparency requirements attached to US aid to the PA. In addition, the plaintiffs claim that the White House has not been complying with the regulations and reporting obligations governing presidential waivers which facilitate emergency funding to the Palestinians. As a result of this non-compliance, US funds have been flowing to terror groups like Hamas, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Palestine Liberation Front. The terror financing puts the plaintiffs in danger of being killed in terror attacks.
Rather than defend the government's foreign aid policy on its merits and provide proof that it truly knows where the US funding to the PA is going, the attorneys for the Department of State are trying to have the lawsuit dismissed on legal technicalities! The government is arguing that the 24 Americans do not have standing to bring a suit as their fear of being injured by Palestinian terrorism is speculative and that the issue of US funding to the Palestinians is a foreign policy power reserved to the President and cannot be reviewed by the courts. The Department of State has asked that the District Court in Washington, DC to dismiss the proceeding without investigating the plaintiffs' claims that US funds are being utilized by the Palestinians illegally for terrorism that could injure Americans and other innocent civilian residents of Israel.
However, as the suit contends, Americans living in proximity to these Palestinian terror groups are in the class of individuals that Congress sought to protect through the safeguards and regulations that the White House, Department of State and USAID are disregarding. Moreover, the civil action asks the federal court to review the conduct of the Department of State and the safeguards on funds being distributed by USAID in its programs to the PA and to the United Nations Refugee Worker's Administration (UNRWA) and seeks to suspend future American aid to the PA and UNRWA until all the congressionally legislated regulations and reporting requirements are fully complied with.
The lawsuit does not challenge the President and Department of State's right to conduct foreign policy nor fund the Palestinians if they misguidedly believe they must prop up this outlaw regime economically. What the plaintiffs instead object to, is the Executive Branch's funding the PA without complying with the limitations put in place by Congress that were designed to protect American citizens from Palestinian terrorism. This is the reason why there is no political questions being raised, as the Department of State contends, why the requested mandamus jurisdiction is appropriate, why the suit is not about foreign policy powers but rather legitimate objections to statutory interpretation and why the 24 Americans have personally suffered a threatened injury that can be traced to the challenged action of the government and that their threatened injury would likely be redressed by a favorable decision as the law requires....
Op-ed:                                                                                         Numbers NOT to make anyone happy
By: Diane Sori

Yesterday the newest jobs numbers were released and these less than stellar numbers are NOT good...NOT good at all NO matter how Obama and his minions try to twist the numbers...numbers which showed only a disappointing 88,000 jobs being created in March, fewer than half of what economists had forecast and the lowest since last June. With February showing 268,000 jobs created these March numbers show one hell of a drop and signal what many of us have know all along...there is NO true economic recovery going on under this president's misguided economic policies.

Being this is the third spring in a row in which employers slowed down on hiring, even if you take into consideration seasonal factors, this is an in your face hiring slowdown that possibly could continue for months, lasting right up to the usual job slowdown of the summer months. And while the unemployment rate technically did drop to 7.6% from 7.7% that's NO reason to celebrate, because 496,000 Americans simply dropped out of the labor force completely by simply stopping working, stopping looking for work, or NOT receiving any more unemployment benefits. And these factors drove the percentage of Americans in the workforce down from 65.5% to 65.3%...the lowest since 1979...the Jimmy Carter years.

Economists had hoped that 190,000 jobs would be created in March but they weren't. Bottom line...the newest numbers are bad, very bad. And before the msm starts trying to tie yesterday’s dismal report to the sequester spending cuts that went into effect on March 1st, it’s important to remember that the federal government added 9,000 new jobs, post-sequestration....meaning government bureaucracy grew while the private sector again limped along contrary to Obama's bloviations to the contrary.

The reality is that even while the unemployment rate declined those NOT in the labor force grew by over 660,000, with the total civilian non-institutional population growing by just 167,000 to 244,995, meaning the actual labor force declined by 496,000. In fact, a 4% difference between the reported unemployment rate of 7.6%, and what the real unemployment rate is, assuming normal growth of the labor force, which in March was 11.6%, this shows that the economy has NOT improved even by one iota since 2009.
And here's even more NOT happy news...the number of people on long-term unemployment (those out of work for at least 27 weeks) in March was about 4.6 million or roughly 39.6% of total unemployment numbers, while part time employment (those working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job) fell by 350,000 in March to 7.6 million because NO new full-time jobs were available...still too high to signal any kind of economic recovery.

And while a temporary lull in the job market had been expected because of both the sequester and the January 1st payroll tax increase, yesterday's disappointing jobs report does red flag new concerns about the strength of Obama's so-called economic recovery, especially since over the past 12 months hiring had averaged 169,000 new jobs per month NOT like March's miserly 88,000 jobs created.

Now also called into question given how strongly stocks have recently rallied is whether all this has been smoke and mirrors to hide an emerging total economic collapse.

So while Obama and those in his orbit blame the sequester for the newest disappointing jobs numbers, some economists on Obama' team warn that 750,000 fewer jobs will be created because of it. But it's Obama's economic policies themselves that continue to make it harder for Americans to find work, proven by the fact that last month the number of Americans filing jobless claims rose by 28,000 to a four-month high of 385,000.

And the root cause of all these unhappy numbers could very well be none other than ObamaCare itself as both small and large businesses cannot afford to hire more workers because they cannot afford the Obama mandated employee coverage. So a vicious circle has been created of NO jobs, NO prospects, and NO money for the American worker...but the 'sponges' of our society remain happy as NO matter how bad the numbers look for the American labor force the free phones, food stamps, and free medical care at our taxpayer expense will always be had.