Saturday wrap

Team Obama refuses to admit mistakes ... Despite persistently high unemployment, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Friday the Obama administration's economic stimulus plan is on the "expected path." "I was just wondering, where do you think your plan went wrong?" asked Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla. About 2 million jobs have been lost since Congress passed Obama's stimulus package in February. Unemployment now stands at 9.5 percent, the highest in 26 years. Some Obama allies have been calling for Congress to pass a second stimulus package. Rep. Michael Rogers, R-Ala., challenged Geithner's assertion that business and consumer confidence was improving. "People are scared to death," he said. Geithner countered that the recession was a long time in the making and that recovery will take time as well. "We do not yet have an economy that's growing again," he said, "and I think it is likely it will take a while to grow out of." (cnsnews.com)

Related video: Stimulus: Self-promotion

Anti-investment, anti-jobs Dem-Obama agenda begins to wear on U.S. public ... A sobering new round of polls shows President Barack Obama's public support flagging as the economy shows little improvement and talk of a second stimulus persists. "They are definitely spooked by recent continuing job losses and the failure of the economy to convincingly find a bottom," Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson said of the administration. "Now they're worried about the second half of '09 being flat." Some economists have been calling for a second round of stimulus spending, saying the $787 billion bill Obama signed in February was too small and hasn't produced the job creation used to sell it. The administration has declined to rule it out a second infusion of federal spending, but so far has stuck to defending the first round as not fully realized. "Were it not for this recovery plan, you would see states in a much, much more difficult place with far deeper holes to dig out of," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. "We're focused on the implementation of the first bill, and understand and acknowledge that adding jobs is going to take some time." (washingtonexaminer.com)

Sotomayor's signature statement, ACORN activism may disqualify her from SCOTUS ... The Senate Judiciary Committee's top Republican cautioned Friday that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation "is not a foregone conclusion" amid what he said was growing concern on both sides of the aisle. Sen. Jeff Sessions, who will lead the committee's Republicans in questioning Judge Sotomayor at confirmation hearings that begin Monday, told The Washington Times that her new-age judicial philosophy - unless she recants - threatens to disqualify her for the bench. He pointed to a 2001 speech in which the judge said she hoped "a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." The White House says she regrets the statement. (washingtontimes.com)

LatAm mistakes drag down Obama ... Republican lawmakers have slammed US President Barack Obama for branding Honduras' political upheaval a "coup," saying he was aligning himself with leftist Latin American leaders. Republican lawmakers said Obama's reaction to President Manuel Zelaya's ouster had placed the US in line with the presidents of Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua. "By calling this a coup and by early statements insisting on the reinstatement of Mr Zelaya, the administration now stands with the likes of (Hugo) Chávez, (Evo) Morales and (Daniel) Ortega, and not with the Honduran people," Republican Connie Mack said during a hearing by a panel of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Zelaya, who assumed the presidency in January 2006, raised the ire of lawmakers, judges and his country's military by seeking to rewrite the constitution for a referendum without the required congressional approval. "Zelaya was removed from office for his unconstitutional and illegal attempts to alter the constitution of Honduras for purely selfish reasons," said Congressman Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey. The claim that the events that led to Zelaya's ouster constituted a coup "melts under any serious scrutiny," Smith added. "Rather, democracy and the rule of law triumphed over Mr Zelaya's lawlessness." (google.com)

Obama relies on tired, old, failed economic policies of the past ... Sometimes the only surprising thing is that anyone is surprised. “Power of Stimulus Slow to Take Hold,” The Washington Post reported on July 8. “Senior administration officials acknowledged that the effects of the stimulus package have been overshadowed by an unexpectedly sharp drop-off in employment since the measure passed in February,” the paper reported. In fact, the unemployment rate now is almost 20 percent higher than the Obama administration warned it would be if we didn’t pass the stimulus package, but that’s no surprise, since the $787 billion “stimulus” bill was never intended to stimulate job creation. Consider that the godfather of deficit spending, John Maynard Keynes, supposedly suggested that to fight a recession, “The government should pay people to dig holes in the ground and then fill them up.” (cnsnews.com)

U.S. backs Chávez, fails Hondurans ... Only twenty-eight percent of Hondurans do not agree with the toppling of Manuel Zelaya as President of the Republic. Forty-one percent justified his removal from office, and 31 percent did not answer. These are the results of a Gallup poll, published in Honduras on July 9th, by the daily newspaper La Prensa of Tegucigalpa, and reported by the Associated Press (AP). Therefore, this poll indicates that a significant majority of Hondurans back the new government that has substituted Zelaya and which was constitutionally established by Congress, with the support of the Supreme Court and the Electoral Court. This information is significant because it specifies that a considerable majority of the people of Honduras rejected the violations that Zelaya made against the laws and the Constitution. This must be said, regardless of the opinion one might have about what was done to take Zelaya out of the country. The fundamental thing is that a majority of the people of Honduras was against the changes to the Constitution sponsored by Zelaya and probably coordinated with Chávez and Castro. (diariolasamericas.com)

SEIU's Chavista Legal Team Cribs from Obama ... According to this letter obtained by TPM, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is threatening television stations broadcasting this anti-card check advertisement produced by the Employee Freedom Action Committee. In the letter (viewable here), SEIU lawyer Dora V. Chen tells stations in Arkansas and Nebraska that they should "immediately cease airing this false and deceitful advertisement." Says Ms. Chen, "political organizations do not have a 'right to command the use of broadcast facilities'"—i.e., airing third party political advertisements television stations are not bound by the First Amendment—reminding station executives that they are under "no legal obligation to air the advertisement" but it they do the affiliate "bears responsibility for its content." If the Chavista implications of these threats are still unclear, the SEIU puts it in sharper relief, obliquely threatening the station's broadcast licenses: (reason.com)

Related video: SEIU hearts ACORN

Innovative anti-corruption law explained ... Since there seems to be a misunderstanding of what Amendment 54 does and doesn't do, I thought I would set the record straight. Amendment 54 prohibits the recipients of sole-source government contracts from contributing to political campaigns. In addition, it calls for the creation of a database to track sole-source contracts so that the public, the ones that voted for Amendment 54, could track a portion of government spending. It should be noted that Amendment 54 has an escape clause, that is, the restrictions do not apply if the contract is put out to bid and three bids are solicited. Whether or not three bids are received does not matter. That is all Amendment 54 does, which the voters understood that when they voted for it. Contrary to popular belief, Amendment 54 is not about the freedom of speech. Individuals, unions and corporations are still free to spend as much money as they want speaking to the issues. It is wrong to think of political donations as speech. The donation itself does not advocate and may or may not, in fact, constitute support for a candidate or issue. The U.S. Supreme Court has long held that political contributions are, at best, only an attenuated form of speech -- the real political speech is the speech of the candidate, or of the issue committee, which Amendment 54 does not affect. Only if the law is so restrictive that the candidates would not have enough money to voice their message, would a contribution limitation affect free speech. But that was not claimed in the case against Amendment 54. Nor is Amendment 54 so restrictive that candidates will not be able to raise money. They simply won't be able to raise money from individuals or corporations that have sole-source contracts. In all the talk about the court case of Amendment 54, no one is considering the voting public. (dailycamera.com)

Why Obama hearts Hugo Chávez ... The primary architect of this new blueprint is Mr. Chávez, a strongman with one foot grounded in the past and the other firmly placed in the future of caudillismo. In 1992, Mr. Chávez, then a lieutenant colonel with a mish-mash of leftist, nationalist and fascist ideas, led an old-fashioned coup in an attempt to overthrow the government of Carlos Andrés Pérez. It failed, and Mr. Chávez was jailed. Upon release, he was persuaded to forgo the bullet for the ballot box. In 1998, he was elected president, riding a wave of popular disgust against the deep corruption of the country’s existing political parties and institutions. In a nation where institutions never developed because of caudillos, another “man on horseback” had come to save the country. Once in power, he moved to insure he would never leave. Using the tools of democracy—referendums and elections—Mr. Chávez has subverted democracy and become a new, modern caudillo. He has won referendums over the years that have allowed him to rewrite the constitution, twice, to his specifications, including ending constitutional restrictions on term limits, thus allowing him to run for re-election indefinitely. He has gutted the courts, shut down and gagged the media and purged the army; he exercises total control over the congress. Venezuela still holds elections, but it is far from a full democracy. (online.wsj.com)

The New Democracy: We don't need no stinkin' Constitution ... Barack Obama has decided to align our nation’s foreign policy with its enemies. It should come as no surprise to those of us who have paid attention to him, but it is sad nonetheless. On the matter of Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, our national policy puts us on the same side as Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chávez, Fidel Castro, and a host of South American drug cartels. The Hondurans are so concerned about Latin America’s history of despots, they wrote their constitution to ensure no despots could grow there. Article 239 of their constitution states that any President who proposes extending his term in office is automatically removed from office. Article 313 of the Honduran constitution allows their Supreme Court to deputize the Honduran military to carry out its orders, including removing politicians from office who seek to extend a President’s term. Undeterred by their constitution, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya sought a constitutional referendum to keep himself in office. (humanevents.com)

Venezuela Democracy advances ... The Venezuelan government, lead by socialist president Hugo Chávez, just cracked down on private and international media networks that broadcast to Venezuelan citizens. In an attack on "media terrorism," the Venezuelan government revoked 240 radio licenses and forced state satellite and cable television networks to live broadcast many of Hugo Chávez's speeches. According to Chávez, these moves are meant to "democratize the radio electric spectrum, one of the few areas that the socialist revolution has not been felt." This move, which moves 40% of all radio stations into direct government control, is being decried as a challenge to free speech. Chávez has been creating ripples in Central America after a questionable open vote put him in position to rule the country well beyond his original term. (ecofactory.com)

Gov't union paramedics on strike ... Paramedics responding to emergency calls will now be sporting black T-shirts advising they are striking along with other inside and outside city workers. Paramedics are covered by an essential services agreement that ensures staffing levels remain at about 75 per cent during the strike, on day 19 as of Friday, July 10. But even as they continue to respond to calls, they will wear the T-shirts that include a crest on the front reading Toronto Civic Employees Union over top of the words "Paramedics on strike." On the back is written "Paramedics" on the first line followed by "We work for you Toronto" and then "CUPE Local 416." (insidetoronto.com)
Related Posts with Thumbnails