Washington Post & Accuracy in Media Slam Sean Penn Movie as “Full of Lies”

Since this film has recently been released on DVD it seemed like a good time to revisit this issue from last December

I wrote about the Plame non-scandal scandal at length in The Preface (an IU student paper) and in a term paper on “attitude change propaganda”. I am gratified that the Washington Post editors did the right thing in their recent editorial, but the Washington Post was as guilty as anyone else in reporting the lies about this issue and The Post repeated them regularly.

At first, The Post (along with the rest of the elite media) would just report the usual lies; that Plame was outed by the White House, that she was undercover and that she lost her career as a secret agent as a result of her exposure. All of this and more was debunked by the official investigations.

But as it became more clear that it was Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame who were liars, the Washington Post did something very interesting which made them the focus of my paper on propaganda. On page one and two the Post would report the usual lies about this story as if they were true, and often on the very same day they would write an editorial that was buried in the paper telling the truth about the matter. This happened repeatedly. Do the editors at the Washington Post actually edit and check the accuracy of their reporters and/or the wire stores they feature prominently, or do they just write a daily column and call it an editorial?

The largest misconception is that Valerie Plame was a secret agent at or near the time the events unfolded. The truth is that Plame was outed many years before by secret documents that were leaked which rendered her a desk jockey at the CIA’s  WMD  Division at Langley. If anyone doubts that may I remind you that when this unfolded Plame had young twins at home, so unless the CIA is in the habit of sending pregnant moms to be with twins overseas undercover you are just going to have to accept that she was put on desk duty.

Plame was listed in Joe Wilson’s Who’s Who entry. Plame made contributions to Democrats listing a known CIA front business as her place of employment. Her neighbors knew she worked for the CIA (as one intrepid reporter went knocking on doors). She was not anything close to 007 by any objective measure.

The Washington Post continued their peculiar behavior recently as Accuracy in Media points out:

While the paper said [in its editorial] it hoped that George W. Bush’s version of events would be vindicated by historians, the Post’s “Reliable Sources” gossip column had run a big article about  the public relations blitz for the movie and its various premiers in Washington, D.C. Plame “is more than happy with ‘Fair Game,’ the movie based on her memoir,” the article said. No kidding.

So the “troubling trend” was in evidence at the Post itself, albeit in a different section of the paper.

Indeed Washington Post, where was the reporters fact check in the story linked? The fact that the film was made from Plame’s memoir and that she is happy with it shows that Plame is not just a proven liar, which the evidence has demonstrated and even the Washington Post admits, but rather she is a continuous and flaming one [not the language we like to use here but unfortunately reality demands it – Editor].

To read both of the excellent pieces from Accuracy in Media you can access them HERE and HERE.

Washington Post:

Hollywood myth-making on Valerie Plame controversy

WE’RE NOT in the habit of writing movie reviews. But the recently released film “Fair Game” – which covers a poisonous Washington controversy during the war in Iraq – deserves some editorial page comment, if only because of what its promoters are saying about it. The protagonists portrayed in the movie, former diplomat Joseph C. Wilson IV and former spy Valerie Plame, claim that it tells the true story of their battle with the Bush administration over Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and Ms. Plame’s exposure as a CIA agent. “It’s accurate,” Ms. Plame told The Post. Said Mr. Wilson: “For people who have short memories or don’t read, this is the only way they will remember that period.”

We certainly hope that is not the case. In fact, “Fair Game,” based on books by Mr. Wilson and his wife, is full of distortions – not to mention outright inventions. To start with the most sensational: The movie portrays Ms. Plame as having cultivated a group of Iraqi scientists and arranged for them to leave the country, and it suggests that once her cover was blown, the operation was aborted and the scientists were abandoned. This is simply false. In reality, as The Post’s Walter Pincus and Richard Leiby reported, Ms. Plame did not work directly on the program, and it was not shut down because of her identification. [Translation – she made it up – Editor]

The movie portrays Mr. Wilson as a whistle-blower who debunked a Bush administration claim that Iraq had tried to purchase uranium from the African country of Niger. In fact, an investigation by the Senate intelligence committee [The bi-partisan committee was unanimous in its findings – Editor] found that Mr. Wilson’s reporting did not affect the intelligence community’s view on the matter [In fact Wilson’s report to the CIA bolstered the case that Saddam was trying to obtain more uranium according to that very same Senate Intelligence Committee Report – Editor] , and an official British investigation found that President George W. Bush’s statement in a State of the Union address that Britain believed that Iraq had sought uranium in Niger was well-founded.

“Fair Game” also resells the couple’s story that Ms. Plame’s exposure was the result of a White House conspiracy. A lengthy and wasteful investigation by a special prosecutor found no such conspiracy – but it did confirm that the prime source of a newspaper column identifying Ms. Plame was a State Department official, not a White House political operative. [Think about it, you lie to the newspapers while telling them that the President is a liar; and you expect that the Washington press core won’t track down the fact that it was your wife, Valerie Plame, who sent a memo to her boss recommending that Wilson be sent to Niger? The Senate Intelligence Committee investigators confirmed that as well. Our question still remains, why was Wilson not required to sign a non-disclosure contract? Could it be that the infamous Wilson letter was the goal of the entire affair? – Editor]

Hollywood has a habit of making movies about historical events without regard for the truth; “Fair Game” is just one more example. But the film’s reception illustrates a more troubling trend of political debates in Washington in which established facts are willfully ignored. Mr. Wilson claimed that he had proved that Mr. Bush deliberately twisted the truth about Iraq, and he was eagerly embraced by those who insist the former president lied the country into a war. Though it was long ago established that Mr. Wilson himself was not telling the truth – not about his mission to Niger and not about his wife – the myth endures. We’ll join the former president in hoping that future historians get it right.

Michelle Rhee: Some schools got their funding doubled and scores still went down

For those of you who do not know Michelle Rhee, she is one of the stars from the hit film “Waiting for Superman”. The film is a brilliant documentary about people who made a difference or who tried to make a difference in public schools.

Rhee was the Washington D.C. Schools Chancellor. While she was able to make positive changes, the key aspects of her reform plan were stopped by the teachers union who is desperate to maintain the failing status quo (if you think that what I just said is even a MILD exaggeration consider this your personal invitation to demonstrate otherwise).

CPI: Big Polluters Freed from Environmental Oversight by Stimulus Bill (government picking winners and losers)

Before we begin it should be clear that the “Center for Public Integrity” CPI is a far left outfit complete with all the spin and trimmings. And while the story they tell is spun I find it to be directionally accurate. While it is rather obvious that environmental regulations go way beyond science and are in fact used to pick winners and losers for purposes of corruption, influence and donations, this article demonstrates that fact with detail. Unknowingly and in it’s own way, the CPI has made the case against leviathan government and the kind of “Chicago Style” regulations that always result from it as well as this web log ever could.

http://www.publicintegrity.org/articles/entry/2565/ :

In the name of job creation and clean energy, the Obama administration has doled out billions of dollars in stimulus money to some of the nation’s biggest polluters and granted them sweeping exemptions from the most basic form of environmental oversight, a Center for Public Integrity investigation has found.

The administration has awarded more than 179,000 “categorical exclusions” to stimulus projects funded by federal agencies, freeing those projects from review under the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA. Coal-burning utilities like Westar Energy and Duke Energy, chemical manufacturer DuPont, and ethanol maker Didion Milling are among the firms with histories of serious environmental violations that have won blanket NEPA exemptions.

Even a project at BP’s maligned refinery in Texas City, Tex. — owner of the oil industry’s worst safety record and site of a deadly 2005 explosion, as well as a benzene leak earlier this year — secured a waiver for the preliminary phase of a carbon capture and sequestration experiment involving two companies with past compliance problems. The primary firm has since dropped out of the project before it could advance to the second phase.

Agency officials who granted the exemptions told the Center that they do not have time in most cases to review the environmental compliance records of stimulus recipients, and do not believe past violations should affect polluters’ chances of winning stimulus money or the NEPA exclusions.

The so-called “stimulus” funding came from the $787-billion legislation officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, passed in February 2009.

Documents obtained by the Center show the administration has devised a speedy review process that relies on voluntary disclosures by companies to determine whether stimulus projects pose environmental harm. Corporate polluters often omitted mention of health, safety, and environmental violations from their applications. In fact, administration officials told the Center they chose to ignore companies’ environmental compliance records in making grant decisions and issuing NEPA exemptions, saying they considered such information irrelevant.

Some polluters reported their stimulus projects might cause “unknown environmental risks” or could “adversely affect” sensitive resources, the documents show. Others acknowledged they would produce hazardous air pollutants or toxic metals. Still others won stimulus money just weeks after settling major pollution cases. Yet nearly all got exemptions from full environmental analyses, the documents show.

FIRE to Administrators of Public Colleges Nationwide: Beware of Personal Liability for Free Speech Violations

The free speech, freedom of association, and other rights violations seem to be ongoing and never ending on campus nation wide. It is not as if court actions against public universities in these matters have not been well reported. It is unbelievable that college administrators could not be aware of what has been going on in the courts in regards to campus free speech. So the next shoe is about to drop;  going after administrators personal fortunes and assets for using their positions to violate the rights of students and faculty.

FIRE:

Today, FIRE warned the presidents and top lawyers at nearly 300 public colleges and universities across the nation that they and their staffs should be ready to pay out of their own pockets if they continue to violate their students’ free speech rights.

Let’s hope that this catches their attention once and for all. For too long, public college administrators have been intentionally violating the free speech rights of their students, secure in the knowledge that they won’t personally lose a dime should a court rule against them. This means that if they feel like they can score political brownie points with those on campus who wish to see dissent silenced, they can do so without any personal cost. Heck, even if they lose to FIRE or in court, they can still say to their cronies, “Hey, I tried my best. We spent thousands in legal fees trying to shut those students up. We just couldn’t manage it!”

FIRE is putting these individuals on notice by sending a certified mailing this week to the presidents and general counsel of 296 of the biggest and most prestigious public colleges across the nation, highlighting significant legal developments from the past year. FIRE’s mailing warns these top administrators that with the state of the law on campus speech codes clearer now than ever before, they and their employees violate the speech rights of students at their own financial peril, as they can no longer count on “qualified immunity” to shield them from liability.

The legal doctrine of qualified immunity protects government officials from personal liability for monetary damages for violating another person’s constitutional rights if their actions do not violate “clearly established law” of which a reasonable person in their position would have been aware. For years, public universities have argued that their speech codes did not violate clearly established law regarding students’ First Amendment rights, despite one legal decision after another striking down these codes under a constitutional challenge. One would think that university lawyers or law schools might have educated administrators on basic First Amendment principles, but one would evidently be mistaken.

Thanks to a continuing stream of federal court decisions, however, particularly in the Third Circuit, the argument that college administrators do not know that speech codes violate student free speech rights is increasingly untenable. Earlier this year, in McCauley v. University of the Virgin Islands, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals struck down university policies that absurdly prohibited “offensive” or “unauthorized” signs and conduct causing “emotional distress,” noting that a “desire to protect the listener cannot be convincingly trumpeted as a basis for censoring speech for university students.”

In our mailing, we are also warning administrators about a recent federal case in Georgia that FIRE coordinated, in which a federal district court determined that former Valdosta State University president Ronald Zaccari was not shielded from personal liability for violating the clearly established rights of student Hayden Barnes. (Zaccari is currently appealing that decision.) This is a major finding against a former university president, and if upheld, administrators will no longer be able to fool themselves that the possibility of qualified immunity being pierced is not a real one. As Dr. Johnson famously said, “the prospect of a hanging concentrates the mind wonderfully.”

FIRE comes wielding the carrot along with the stick, though. For colleges that wish to make an honest effort to rectify their speech codesthey do existFIRE offers resources such as its guide to Correcting Common Mistakes in Campus Speech Policies, a bound version of which is included in every certified letter. FIRE is also willing to consult with any university that shows an interest in changing its policies to better protect free speech on campus.

No institution should be proud of stripping its students of their fundamental rights. As our 2011 report on speech codes pointed out, the proportion of colleges that do so is slowly but consistently falling. “Only” 67 percent of public institutions colleges now prohibit speech that would be allowed in the larger society. (Three years ago, it was 79 percent, so it could be, and has been, worse.) But 67% is nowhere near good enough. Until that number reaches zero, FIRE will be there to bring the accountability to universities that is so sorely lacking.

Lord Christopher Monckton lecture at the Heartland Institute: Global warming alarmists have lost the argument both scientifically and rhetorically.

Lord Monckton gives a more humorous speech on global warming alarmism at The Heartland Institute. Lord Monckton has had formal debates against the best of the AGW scientists and has won these debates so handily that none of them will debate him any more. Global warming alarmists stay out of Lord Monckton’s way hoping that they will never be in a position to face him.

At the risk of sounding conceited, I had the same problem at college. I also challenged the nice neo-Marxist ideologues at Climate Progress, but since they could not put a dent in my substance they were really great at calling me names. In 2008 a columnist at the old Huffington Post (pre AOL) named me the second most despised global warming skeptical columnist of the year. I won’t stop until I am number one.

In this speech Monckton laughs at global warming alarmists and the audience laughs with him. [Video links restored]

Flashback: Democrats Yearly Deficit Spending 6.5 Times Higher than Republicans. Democrats Pork Spending 50 Times Higher

An important reminder about the budget numbers from 2010.

CNS News reported:

When Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gave her inaugural address as speaker of the House in 2007, she vowed there would be “no new deficit spending.” Since that day, the national debt has increased by $5 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

“After years of historic deficits, this 110th Congress will commit itself to a higher standard: Pay as you go, no new deficit spending,” Pelosi said in her speech from the speaker’s podium. “Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.”

Pelosi has served as speaker in the 110th and 111th Congresses.

So much for that promise.

Byron York of the Washington Examiner:

Press coverage of the budget frenzy on Capitol Hill has suggested that pork-barrel earmark spending is still a bipartisan problem, that after months of self-righteous rhetoric about fiscal discipline, Republicans and Democrats remain equal-opportunity earmarkers.It’s not true. A new analysis by a group of federal-spending watchdogs shows a striking imbalance between the parties when it comes to earmark requests. Democrats remain raging spenders, while Republicans have made enormous strides in cleaning up their act. In the Senate, the GOP made only one-third as many earmark requests as Democrats for 2011, and in the House, Republicans have nearly given up earmarking altogether — while Democrats roll on.

The watchdog groups — Taxpayers for Common Sense, WashingtonWatch.com, and Taxpayers Against Earmarks — counted total earmark requests in the 2011 budget. Those requests were made by lawmakers earlier this year, but Democratic leaders, afraid that their party’s spending priorities might cost them at the polls, decided not to pass a budget before the Nov. 2 elections. This week, they distilled those earmark requests — threw some out, combined others — into the omnibus bill that was under consideration in the Senate until Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled it Thursday night. While that bill was loaded with spending, looking back at the original earmark requests tells us a lot about the spending inclinations of both parties.

In the 2011 House budget, the groups found that House Democrats requested 18,189 earmarks, which would cost the taxpayers a total of $51.7 billion, while House Republicans requested just 241 earmarks, for a total of $1 billion.

Where did those GOP earmark requests come from? Just four Republican lawmakers: South Carolina Rep. Henry Brown, who did not run for re-election this year; Louisiana Rep. Joseph Cao, who lost his bid for re-election; maverick Texas Rep. Ron Paul; and spending king Rep. Don Young of Alaska. The other Republican members of the House — 174 of them — requested a total of zero earmarks.

Talk to Republicans, and they’ll say it would be nice if there were no earmark requests at all, but party leaders can’t control everybody. “Brown’s retiring, Cao’s defeated, Paul is Paul and Young is Young,” one GOP aide shrugs. Still, the bottom line is that the House GOP’s nearly perfect renunciation of earmarks is striking. “For a voluntary moratorium, it was impressive that there were only four scofflaws,” says Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense.

The Senate is a different story. But even though some Republicans are still seeking earmarks, Democrats are by far the bigger spenders. The watchdog groups found that Democrats requested 15,133 earmarks for 2011, for a total of $54.9 billion, while Republicans requested 5,352 earmarks, for a total of $22 billion.

If you look at the top 10 Senate earmarkers as measured by the total dollar value of earmarks requested, there are seven Democrats and three Republicans. (The leader of the pack is Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, who requested $4.4 billion in earmarks.) The three Republicans are Sens. Roger Wicker, Sam Brownback and Thad Cochran. One of them, Brownback, is leaving the Senate, while the other two are from Mississippi, which is apparently earmark heaven.

 Commentary:

Isn’t it interesting that the only time you hear about “deficits” from the Democrats and the elite media is when they want to raise tyour taxes? Then the Democrats drop a 1.1 trillion dollar spending bill in the hopper near the end of a lame duck session and what do we hear? The  ….chirp….chirp….chirp… of crickets in the silence.

As the Deficit Commission has rightly pointed out tax rates need to be lowered for most individuals and businesses because the higher the rate the less the compliance, the higher the rate the more wealth goes overseas, the higher the rate the fewer will take risk, the higher the rate the less small businesses can hire. The simple truth is that the wealthy and upper middle class can take money and park it in a tax free growth account and leave it there. They have the option of not moving their money thus it cannot be taxed. It is for these reasons it is economic growth that generates real revenue, not high tax rates.

You heard the rhetoric all over the elite media and from the Democrat leadership, “If we don’t raise taxes on the “rich” the government will lose half a trillion dollars a year in revenue”. That entire narrative is a canard for the following reasons.

There are very few wage earners who make $250,000 a year.

The way the tax code is set up the majority of people who pay the top marginal tax rate and not individuals at all, but are Sub-S small businesses with 5 – 200 employees.

The half a trillion dollar number is generated from a series of formula’s that make up what is known as the “static Keynesian model”. These models not only are not accurate, but usually are not even clos,e as they do not account for changes in behavior that result from people changing the rules. For example: the government taxes every cheese burger 100 dollars. Since America consumes a billion cheese burgers a year the government estimates that the tax revenue will be $100 billion dollars.

Of course this leaves out the obvious, who would buy a cheeseburger of the government taxed each one $100? So along comes a Republican who proposes to lower the tax to $50 per cheese burger; along comes the media and the Democrats to cry that the tax cuts are costing the government $50 billion a year! Quite dishonest isn’t it?

Lowering tax rates resulted in increased revenue under Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton (second term tax cuts), and Bush II.

UPDATE2010 YEARLY DEFICIT: $2.08 Trillion. That is 10 times higher than the last year Republicans had budgetary control.

Third poll says nearly half of all doctors will retire or make significant changes to practice due to ObamaCare

This is the third poll to say this. The first two were the Medicus Poll and the IBD Poll.

IBD:

When we said nearly half of U.S. doctors might close their practices or retire early rather than live under the Democrats’ health overhaul, we were heavily criticized. The critics, though, were wrong.

Four in nine doctors responding to an IBD/TIPP poll sent out in August 2009 said they “would consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement” if Congress passed what has become known as ObamaCare. That means as many as 360,000 physicians have plans to be doing something other than treating the growing number of patients in this country.

The doctors also told us — 67% to 22%, with 11% not responding — that they expected fewer students to apply for medical school in the future if the plan became law.

Given these views, it’s no surprise that 71% were doubtful that the government would be able to cover the 47 million uninsured Americans with better care at lower costs, which ObamaCare supporters have promised.

Other findings from our poll of 1,376 doctors included: six in 10 agreeing that the Democrats’ plan would strip drug companies of the incentives they need to make lifesaving pharmaceuticals, and 65% believing that a government overhaul would lead to lower-quality care for seniors.

The critics said our poll was not credible, was “shabby” and “garbage.” They accused IBD of being partisan, pursuing an agenda, trying to sway gullible readers with shameless journalism.

Useful rhetoric for keeping the left stirred up, but it was nothing more than an attempt to poison findings the critics didn’t like.

Now a Merritt Hawkins survey of 2,379 doctors for the Physicians Foundation completed in August has vindicated our poll. It found that 40% of doctors said they would “retire, seek a nonclinical job in health care, or seek a job or business unrelated to health care” over the next three years as the overhaul is phased in.

Of those who said they planned to retire, 28% are 55 or younger and nearly half (49%) are 60 or younger.

A larger portion (74%) said they plan to make “one or more significant changes in their practices in the next one to three years, a time when many provisions of health reform will be phased in.”

In addition to retirement, and finding nonclinical jobs elsewhere, those changes include working part time, closing practices to new patients, employment at a hospital, cutting back on the number of patients and switching to a cash or concierge practice.

A deeper look at the results reveals eight in 10 believe ObamaCare “will erode the viability of the private practice model” while six in 10 are convinced they will be compelled to “close or significantly restrict” their practices to at least one category of patient.

Over half (56%) said they believe the government takeover will affect the quality of care they are able to provide their patients and 86% said doctors weren’t “adequately represented to policymakers and the public during the run-up to passage of health reform.”

It’s significant that the Physicians Foundation survey was taken from the membership of the American Medical Association.

After initially indicating opposition to ObamaCare, that group supported the legislation. For that reason, Dr. Marc Siegel said Tuesday on Fox News that he would be “more worried about non-AMA members and what they have to say.”

We think that we already covered that concern with our 2009 poll.

Doctors simply don’t like what the Democrats have force-fed them. A large segment of the healing profession says it’s willing to close its doors rather than endure the problems that will be created by the overhaul.

Unfortunately, this is exactly the sort of outcome that’s expected when lawmakers leave common sense behind and work far outside their moral and constitutional authority.

API: Recent Studies Show Obama Drilling Moratorium Will Cost 50,000 Jobs; 160,000 by 2032

While Obama tried to stop offshore drilling and exploration here and while his administration puts more of our domestic resources off-limits, the White House is using taxpayer dollars to aid Petro-Brazil’s  offshore drilling efforts in waters deeper than the United States. George Soros is an investor in PetroBraz and this falls in line with the view of the academic left, that the wealth of the united states should be redistributed to the rest of the world. One way to do that is to send our jobs overseas and to have us send our money abroad for energy.

Jack Gerard API:

“As our country looks for ways out of the hole of lackluster economic growth and job creation, today’s decision shows that this administration would rather keep digging than take the ladder to increased economic prosperity offered by developing our nation’s domestic energy resources. “The oil and natural gas industry is a reliable vehicle for growing the economy and creating good-paying jobs.

This decision shuts the door on new development off our nation’s coasts and effectively ensures that new American jobs will not be realized. It will stifle investment, deny billions in revenue for critical government services and increase our dependence on foreign energy sources.

“The oil and natural gas industry is committed to safe and environmentally responsible operations, and both the industry and regulators have added new safeguards to ensure such operations. This reversal on new lease sales off America’s coasts comes on top of a de facto moratorium, which has all but stopped new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.” 

 

More from Jan Van Ryan:

For months, numerous studies–such as this one from LSU professor Dr. Joseph Mason and another by Moody’s Analytics–have demonstrated the significant economic impact the deepwater drilling moratorium could have on the Gulf and U.S. economies.

A Southern Methodist University (SMU) study released this week is no different, and it presents some alarming figures on the impact the de facto moratorium is having on shallow-water drilling.

According to Dr. Bernard L. Weinstein, associate director of SMU’s Maguire Energy Institute, the Interior Department’s slowdown in issuing new permits for shallow-water drilling operations could mean:  

  • 50,000 lost jobs;
  • Economic losses of $4.3 billion that would occur if 75 percent of the rigs become idle as a result of fewer issued permits; and
  • $12.5 billion in lost income nationwide.

As Dr. Weinstein points out, shallow-water drilling is extremely safe. In the last 15 years, the federal government reports that more than 11,000 wells have been drilled and just 15 barrels of oil have spilled as a result of a loss of well control:  

“Shallow-water drillers work in less than 500 feet of water, mainly extracting natural gas. Projects center on well-charted fields of known pressure and geography, using simple and straightforward technology.”

 

Prior to the moratorium, 10 to 15 permits for new shallow-water wells were approved each month. But since April, only seven permits for new shallow-water wells have been issued, and 15 of 46 shallow-water rigs in the Gulf are idle.  

As Jack Gerard mentioned in a blog post last week, a drilling slowdown hurts more than just oil companies. It’s time to put the oil and natural gas industry back to work and produce reliable American energy for Americans

Former head of CIA “bin Laden Unit”: Libyan rebels are like the Taliban

Is Obama’s entire Middle East policy designed to undermine Israel?

Let us put everything on the wall and examine it.

The dictators in the Middle East kept the Muslim Brotherhood and the Al-Qeada’s at bay. They were necessary for Israel’s security. Mubarak was critical to maintaining the Israeli/Egyptian Peace Treaty.

Now President Obama is arming the Middle East to the gills, including modern tanks to Egypt in spite of the fact that the new authorities are engaging in Taliban like behavior such as attacking peaceful Coptic Christians with armored military vehicles.

If our entire policy is designed to undermine Israel’s security it explains why Obama was not interested in helping the Iranian freedom movement.

The second highest number of suicide bombers and foreign militants fighting us in Iraq are from Benghazi, Libya which is exactly where the rebel uprising against Gadaffi began. So it is no surprise just who these rebels are.

It could be that the arms sales are an effort to resist Iranian influence. In the case of Bahrain the Iranian backed Shia population (about half the country) is allied with leftists in an effort to gain control away from the Sunni government.

The House of Saud will not allow a Shia government on the peninsula and it is not clear how the Iranians will react to more crackdowns. Of course the left is using the crackdowns as a propaganda tool to try to bring international pressure to keep the Sunni’s and the government from resisting Iranian influence. This leaves an important question. If all of these arms sales are designed to prevent more direct Iranian actions or Iranian backed uprisings why would the Obama administration let the Iranian freedom movement fall flat on its face with no support?

Is this about Israel, Iran, or is our foreign policy so divided between the State Department, the CIA, DoD, and the White House that we have a policy that is flailing about without a focus or unified intent?

Dr. Michael Scheuer:

Welfare State: Handouts Make Up One-Third of U.S. Wages

Remember that Clinton/Gingrich Welfare Reform that was so effective at stopping people from gaming the system and helping people get back to work? Did you know it was reversed with the Obama Stimulus Bill?

CNBC:

Government payouts—including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance—make up more than a third of total wages and salaries of the U.S. population, a record figure that will only increase if action isn’t taken before the majority of Baby Boomers enter retirement.

Even as the economy has recovered, social welfare benefits make up 35 percent of wages and salaries this year, up from 21 percent in 2000 and 10 percent in 1960, according to TrimTabs Investment Research using Bureau of Economic Analysis data.

“The U.S. economy has become alarmingly dependent on government stimulus,” said Madeline Schnapp, director of Macroeconomic Research at TrimTabs, in a note to clients. “Consumption supported by wages and salaries is a much stronger foundation for economic growth than consumption based on social welfare benefits.”

“The Forgotten Depression” and How Presidents Coolidge & Harding Turned America Around.

With Glenn Beck, Reagan Budget Advisor Art Laffer, and Chris Edwards from the CATO Institute.

This is very interesting. Why is it that the second biggest domestic economic depression on record is scrubbed from our history books, including many economic texts? What made the Roaring 20’s Roar? And what President’s enacted policy saw an even faster economic turn around than Reagan’s?

UPDATEHERE

In Honor of Calvin Coolidge, A Great President Few Remember.

The accomplishments of Calvin Coolidge are many and he was one of our greatest presidents. He helped lead the united states out of a depression caused in large part by the progressive policies of Woodrow Wilson, he helped to restore liberty and was the man largely responsible for making the “Roaring Twenties” roar. We featured him BEFORE. Coolidge’s accomplishments have been largely scrubbed from textbooks and he was the Reagan of his time.

Dr. Alan Snyder is professor of American history and chair of the Department of Historical, Legal, and Leadership Studies at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida.

Dr. Snyder:

Ronald Reagan admired him  a lot. In fact, when Reagan was looking over his new house—the White House—shortly after his inaugural in 1981, he entered into the Cabinet Room.

On the wall were portraits of Truman, Jefferson, and Lincoln. The White House curator commented at the time, “If you don’t like Mr. Truman, you can move Mr. Truman out.” Even though Reagan, a former Democrat, had voted for Truman back in 1948, he made his decision: Truman’s portrait was removed and one of Calvin Coolidge was dusted off and put in its place.

Nowadays, in all the “right” circles [to be found primarily among the academic elite], the person of Coolidge is a source of amusement, if not outright derision. Why, he was a do-nothing president, someone who didn’t use the power of the office as he should have. Probably his most grievous sin, in their view, was the way he put the brakes on destiny: he was a foe of the progressive movement that was intended to reshape American government and culture.

Coolidge, whose administration spanned a good part of the 1920s, was a throwback to an earlier time. He was not a Woodrow Wilson; rather, he believed in the vision of the Founding Fathers and their concept of limited government. He remained true to the principles of self-government and the sanctity of private property. The rule of law was paramount in his political philosophy. No one was above the law, a belief that, if followed, would keep the people safe from the power of an overextended government.

During the 1920s, the continent of Europe experimented with socialism. What might larger government be able to accomplish? What vistas await us once we unleash the full power of government intervention? Coolidge stood opposed to this false vision of the future.

Historians also like to make fun of his approach to speechmaking. Coolidge preferred to say as little as possible. As he once noted, he never got in trouble for things he didn’t say. Yet when he did speak, he made some very significant pronouncements. His words conveyed key ideas for American success. Meditate on this paragraph, for instance:

Calvin Coolidge

In a free republic a great government is the product of a great people. They will look to themselves rather than government for success. The destiny, the greatness of America lies around the hearthstone. If thrift and industry are taught there, and the example of self-sacrifice oft appears, if honor abide there, and high ideals, if there the building of fortune be subordinate to the building of character, America will live in security, rejoicing in an abundant prosperity and good government at home and in peace, respect, and confidence abroad. If these virtues be absent there is no power that can supply these blessings. Look well then to the hearthstone, therein all hope for America lies.

Notice Coolidge’s stress on what he called the “hearthstone,” which is a designation for the family. He saw the family as the cornerstone of  society, the place where character should be developed. Note also his subordination of financial fortune to the building of character. Fortune may come, but only if character comes first: thrift, industry, and honor—qualities in short supply at the moment.

America was prosperous during the Coolidge years. The Great Depression was just around the corner, but it didn’t occur as a result of Coolidge’s policies of tax cuts and economic liberty. The Depression was more a result of misdirection from the Federal Reserve [low cash reserves in banks; easy credit]; its continuation throughout the 1930s was due to government actions of the New Deal.

If there’s one thing most historians can agree on with Coolidge, it’s that he easily would have won reelection in 1928 had he chosen to run again. Yet he voluntarily stood down. Why? What prompted that decision? He tells us what led him to do so in his autobiography.

It is difficult for men in high office to avoid the malady of self-delusion. They are always surrounded by worshipers. They are constantly, and for the most part sincerely, assured of their greatness. They live in an artificial atmosphere of adulation and exultation which sooner or later impairs their judgment. They are in grave danger of becoming careless and arrogant.

Coolidge saw the problems associated with elected office. He knew that men often developed what might be called the “swelled-head syndrome.” He wanted nothing to do with that. If for no other reason, Coolidge should be honored for his willingness to set aside power and maintain his good character. Where are the politicians willing to do that today?

Coolidge’s thoughts on self-delusion mirror’s our critique of leftist academia and the political class that I stated my old college blog, “they pat each other on the back and tell each other how brilliant they are….and after all it MUST be true because all of these PhD. types tell them so. Invariably this environment brings you to a point where you start to believe it. You internalize it and eventually you stop challenging your own assumptions. The end result is an atrophied thinking process”. The result as I have been telling people who are willing to listen for several years is self-delusion.