Archive for Barack Ilyich Obama

Inside Barack Obama

Damn I look good! But then, I looked good yesterday. Gonna look good tomorrow. Wonder when Andrews AFB golf course opens up?

Oh yeah, I really hate Israel:

Obama’s break with Israel was both predictable and predicted. Of course it’s easy enough to point back to the years of anti-Israel fulmination Obama sat through in Rev. Wright’s church, or his friendship with prominent Palestinians like Rashid Khalidi, and then say that Obama was tight with critics of Israel. The comeback is always that Obama was simply doing what any politician in leftist Hyde Park had to do. Besides, there are years of strong statements from Obama of support for Israel as well.

In 2011, I took a detailed look at the history of Barack Obama’s ties with Palestinian critics of Israel and carefully tried to assess how sincere his support might have been.

I concluded that Obama’s core image of himself on matters of foreign policy, as well as decades of deep personal ties to critics of Israel, would have been far harder to fake than a few years of pro-Israel speeches before AIPAC conferences. I also predicted that when it comes to Israel, we’d see the real Obama emerge after re-election. As on so many other issues, the Obama of today is far closer to the Obama of the mid-1990s than the “post-partisan” Obama who sought the presidency in 2008.

For a detailed look at the still poorly-understood history of Obama’s stance toward Israel, consider “Pro-Palestinian-in-Chief.” In light of this history, very little that’s happening now is surprising.

Let’s have that look. From 2011:

Obama’s close friend and longtime ally, Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said’s successor as the most prominent American advocate for the Palestinians, goes further. Khalidi told the Los Angeles Times that as president, Obama, “because of his unusual background, with family ties in Kenya and Indonesia, would be more understanding of the Palestinian experience than typical American politicians.” Khalidi’s testimony is important, since he speaks on the basis of years of friendship with Obama.

Those who know Obama best, then, affirm that his foreign-policy views are atypical for an American politician, and are grounded in his unique international heritage and upbringing. That is important, because our core task is to decide whether Obama’s pro-Palestinian past was a stance rooted in sincere sympathy, or nothing but a convenient sop to his leftist Hyde Park supporters. Jarrett and Khalidi give us reason to believe that Obama’s decidedly pro-Palestinian inclinations are rooted in his core conception of who he is.

Although Obama has long withheld his college transcripts from the public, the Los Angeles Times reported in 2008 that Obama took a course from Edward Said sometime during his final two undergraduate years at Columbia University. This was just around the time Obama’s ties to organized socialism were deepening, and certainly suggests a sincere interest in Said’s radical views. As Martin Kramer points out, in his superb 2008 review of Obama’s Palestinian ties, Said had just then published his book The Question of Palestine, definitively setting the terms of the academic Left’s stance on the issue for decades to come.


Student and teacher share a meal and reminisce

In May 1998, Edward Said traveled from Columbia to Chicago to present the keynote address at a dinner organized by the Arab American Action Network, a group founded by Rashid and Mona Khalidi. We’ve known for some time that Barack and Michelle Obama sat next to Edward and Mariam Said at that event. (Pictures are available.) It has not been noticed, however, that a detailed report on Said’s address exists, along with an article by Said published just days before the event (Arab American News, May 22, June 12, 1998). Between those two reports, we can reconstruct at least an approximate picture of what Obama might have heard from his former professor that day.

For the most part, Said focused his article (and likely his talk as well) on harsh criticisms of Israel, which he equated with both South Africa’s apartheid state and Nazi Germany. Said’s criticisms of the Palestinian Authority also were harsh. Why, he wondered, weren’t the 50,000 security people employed by the Palestinian Authority heading up resistance to Israel’s settlement building? In his talk, Said called for large-scale marches and civilian blockades of Israeli settlement building. To prevent Palestinian workers from participating in any Israeli construction, Said also proposed the establishment of a fund that would pay these laborers not to work for Israel. Presciently, Said’s talk also called on Palestinians to orchestrate an international campaign to stigmatize Israel as an illegitimate apartheid state.

So broadly speaking, this is what Obama would have heard from his former teacher at that May 1998 encounter.

There’s a great, great deal more, but the point has been made. Just as with Jeremiah Wright, just as with Bill Ayers, just as with Derrick Bell, so with Rashid Khalidi and Edward Said. Obama made no secret of who he was and what he believed. It’s all there for the discerning reader.

We learn that Obama’s fury with Netanyahu is manufactured. It’s Israel he hates.

Not Jews, he hastens to assure us. Jews are reliably liberal, a solid Democrat-voting bloc. Say just enough words about the “unbreakable bond” between the US and Israel to placate them, then invent an enemy, Netanyahu, to impose his will. If some Jews are uncomfortable with his antagonism, tough. He’s not running anymore.

Last bit:

The record is clear. Obama’s heritage, his largely hidden history of leftist radicalism, and his close friendship with Rashid Khalidi, all bespeak sincerity, as Obama’s other Palestinian associates agree. This is not to mention Reverend Wright — whose rabidly anti-Israel sentiments, I show in Radical-in-Chief, Obama had to know about — or Obama’s longtime foreign-policy adviser Samantha Power, who once apparently recommended imposing a two-state solution on Israel through American military action. Decades of intimate alliances in a hard-Left world are a great deal harder to fake than a few years of speeches at AIPAC conferences.

The real Obama is the first Obama, and depending on how the next presidential election turns out, we’re going to meet him again in 2013.

I think he was an election too early—the 2014 midterms, not the 2012 Presidential election—but otherwise this is oracular. Obama’s hardcore radicalism and autocratic style are playing out on issue after issue.

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Out: Yes We Can, In: Yes We Must

So, Obama wants to force voting by law:

The president whose major policy achievement is mandatory health insurance thinks maybe voting should be mandatory, too.

Asked how to offset the influence of big money in politics, President Barack Obama suggested it’s time to make voting a requirement.

“Other countries have mandatory voting,” Obama said Wednesday in Cleveland, where he spoke about the importance of middle class economics, and was asked about the issue during a town hall.

“It would be transformative if everybody voted — that would counteract money more than anything,” he said, adding it was the first time he had shared the idea publicly.

I guess, like his position on gay marriage, his feelings have evolved.

After all the nasty rhetoric lately, nice of him to throw a garland Israel’s way:

More Israeli voters — 4.2 million, 72.4 percent of the electorate — cast ballots on Tuesday than in any election since 1999.

That’s not universal voting, but a damned sight higher than the 57.5% who voted in 2012 US presidential election.

Oh, and one more fun fact for Obama:

In all the coverage of the Israeli elections, in the run-ups and the misguided projections, and in the rending of garments in the aftermath, every statement, nuance and implication has been examined, turned over, re-examined and analyzed.

Given that…

• the Palestinian Authority is greatly overdue for elections of any kind,
• Hamas’ idea of elections in Gaza is throwing political opponents off roofs,
• Lebanon is now dominated by the terrorist group Hezbollah,
• Syria’s rigged elections produced a victory of nearly 90% for Bashar Assad who has now butchered hundreds of thousands of his citizens,
• Iran’s religious leaders select their candidates,
• Egypt’s latest government took power in a military coup,
• Jordan, the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia are ruled by absolute monarchs,
• Iraq’s sectarian government has produced an environment where the savage Islamic State can flourish, oppressing, enslaving and murdering thousands,

…the fact that Israel holds orderly, free and fair elections allowing citizens of all races, ethnicities, religions and political persuasions to vote, is a wonder in and of itself. But rather than celebrate this Middle Eastern miracle, the media choose to harp on any perceived flaw in the process. And there are some, since every human endeavor is flawed, so that may be fair.

That said, what the press has paid precious little attention to is the fact that the person overseeing the recent election, the Chairman of the Central Election Committee, is Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran – an Israeli Arab.

It’s quite difficult to imagine a Baha’i overseeing free and fair Iranian elections, a Yazidi overseeing Iraqi elections, or a Christian overseeing Saudi elections. Yet, an Israeli Arab oversees the Israeli elections. And in the glut of coverage over the Israeli elections, of this important fact, one must ask… Where’s the coverage?

The coverage is on Obama’s NCAA March Madness brackets, where it belongs. Though I did note that he’s picking Kentucky to win it all because they have “too many guns”. And Bibles, sir, to which they cling bitterly!

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Thirstradamus Turns His Crystal Ball on Hillary

She’s done. Done like dinner.

Her story changes daily, Obama’s making jokes about her at the Gridiron Dinner, Jen Psaki can barely rouse herself to offer a defense, Carville’s defense is sad, other Democrats are squirming quietly in their seats—it’s all coming apart. This was a professional hit job, just like today’s get-out-the-Arab-vote in Israel. I hope Bibi survives the coup against him.

But Hillary’s a goner.

PS: I meant to add the whole email story was leaked by Obama’s H.R. Haldeman, Valerie Jarrett.

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Will No One Rid Him of This Turbulent Judge?

Stephen Sondheim was lucky or wise enough to have written the lyrics to “America” when he did:

Rosalita: I like the city of San Juan.
Anita: I know a boat you can get on.

What rhymes with Tegucigalpa?

Every attempt by the Obama administration to force the launch of his immigration programs has been stymied thus far, and reading the legal tealeaves, their prospects in the lower courts don’t look much better.

The White House has attempted to dismiss as a political stunt U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen’s ruling last month halting Obama’s issuance of work permits for millions of illegal immigrants.

In the weeks since Obama’s power play was put on hold, the White House has expressed confidence that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans would overturn Hanen’s decision.

However, the White House hasn’t received good legal news of late.

On Friday, that appeals court rejected the Justice Department’s attempt to lift the hold on Obama’s immigration programs. Though procedural, that development could bode poorly for when the court in New Orleans hears a broader appeal to the ruling, putting the brakes on a centerpiece of the president’s second-term agenda.

Obama has even alluded to a possible battle at the Supreme Court over the largest change to the immigration system in decades.

“The next step is to go to a higher court, the 5th Circuit. That will take a couple of months for us to file that and argue that before the 5th Circuit,” he said at a recent immigration town hall. “We expect to win in the 5th Circuit, and if we don’t, then we’ll take it up from there.”

Maybe John Roberts will rule the patently invalid executive action as a pardon, millions of ‘em. Legions of illegal aliens will be like Thanksgiving turkeys, saved from the metaphorical Jihadi John treatment by the benevolence of The Man, The Law, The State, C’est lui.

It will take an Army of Davids—Judge Hanen, Binyamin Netanyahu, Ted Cruz, Jodi Ernst, Mia Love, et al—to defeat this Goliath. You’re both welcome to join, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell.

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He Had Me at “Creeps”

Nice opening, Kevin D.:

As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton schemed to subvert record-keeping and transparency rules for reasons that are probably more or less communicated by her surname: The Clintons are creeps and liars and scoundrels and misfits, always have been, always will be. They are the penicillin-resistant syphilis of American politics.

But wouldn’t you know it: the Clintons aren’t the disease; they are merely the AIDS to the underlying HIV:

The White House has in fact known about this for some time, since August at least. And it may be the case that Barack Obama is getting the hang of this presidency thing: His team says it learned about the problem when House Republicans requested information related to the Benghazi attack, which is a step up from learning about the IRS’s campaign of political persecution and the horrific mistreatment of American veterans and the cover-up of same — and the Justice Department’s going all Gestapo on The Associated Press, and the Fast and Furious scandal, and the NSA’s snooping on Angela Merkel — on the evening news.

“The expectation of the president is that everybody throughout his administration is acting in compliance with the Federal Records Act,” Earnest said. Not that the president or any of his minions would do anything so radical as take proactive steps to ensure that the nation’s chief diplomat is following the law.

The law does not really apply at the top — Lois Lerner and the rest of the criminals at the IRS aren’t going to jail, they’re cashing six-figure checks, with bonuses, for pity’s sake. When Obamacare hits the skids, the president just makes up new law as he goes along. Hillary Clinton runs amok with no real consequence. On the larger scale, the federal government spends a generation failing to enforce its immigration laws and, once the problem has become large enough, simply decides — presto-change-o! — that that which was a serious crime is retroactively hunky-dory.

Talk about “no controlling legal authority”. Lois Lerner ran her own mob crew out of the IRS; Eric Holder ran guns to Mexican drug cartels; Jon Gruber designed a health care bill to job Americans out of free choice, and called us too stupid to stop him; our war veterans were treated worse than animals in a third-world zoo; terrorists overran our Libyan consulate and killed four Americans, while the administration blamed a YouTube video less relevant to the military operation than David After Dentist. And Hillary Clinton ran a parallel foreign policy from her home in Chappaqua.

To all of which Obama has said: “I found out about it just like you did.” Thank goodness his is “the most transparent administration evah”™ or we’d really be up excrement creek.

I can picture the tender scene. Barack and Michelle are eating TV dinners of kale and gourd casserole from trays on their laps, watching the evening news with Brian Williams. (Not literally with Brian Williams, much as he’d love to be lying at their feet in place of Bo.)

Brian looks into the camera with a pained expression. “And finally tonight,” he laments, “a story from which we hoped we could spare you.” Barack stops chewing. Michelle puts down her forkful of steam quinoa. “It seems the Internal Revenue Service has been running an crackdown on self-identified conservative Americans, denying their right to organize, or assemble, as articulated in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

Michelle turns to Barack. “Did you know about this?” Barack can’t pry his eyes away from the screen.

“I found out about this when you did,” he answers incredulously.

Williams continues: “Begun in 2010, after the disastrous midterms for the Democrats, the operation, ran by a Madame Defarge-like, Stasi-esque administratrix named Lois Lerner, had the effect—and seemingly the intent—of sidelining likely Republican voters during the 2012 election. If these charges are proved true, President Obama’s whole second term is illegitimate. It is a fraud and a cheat. He should be removed from office immediately, in a paddy wagon if necessary.”

Obama reaches for the White House phone. “Get me Valerie,” he barks.

“Oh Barack,” Michelle mewls. “Tell me this isn’t true. Say it ain’t so.”

“Don’t worry, organic, free-range, clover honey. There isn’t a smidgen of corruption.”

This is purely fictional, of course. Brian Williams would have been no more likely to report on the IRS scandal than he would have been to take RPG fire in Iraq. But you have to admit, each makes a better story.

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Cleaning Obama’s Clock

Sure, Bibi did.

But Garry Kasparov too:

BLOOMBERG HOST TWO: If you were sitting with President Obama today, what would you tell him to do?

GARRY KASPAROV: [pause] Resign.

BLOOMBERG HOST TWO: To resign?!

BLOOMBERG HOST ONE: Over this issue?

GARRY KASPAROV: No! Look what’s happened! I believe every thug in the world is counting the remaining time — 22 months in the office.

BLOOMBERG HOST TWO: How does the president’s resignation solve that?

GARRY KASPAROV: OK, I have to apologize, I’m emotional, but he proved to be a weak leader. He is the top of the free world, the only man who Putin counts as a potential opponent. And looking at Obama’s actions, in fact, inaction, Putin believes he can do whatever. Every negotiation he’s in, Cuba, Iran, whatever, shows America is weak.

Checkmate.

Of course, Kasparov is falling for the Obama Gambit. Reduce your arsenal to a queen (Valerie Jarrett), three pawns (Psaki, Harf, and Earnest), led by a king (himself), and lookout! Mate in five moves.

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Criminal Chronology

In 2010, the nascent Tea Party movement stunned the nation by helping to elect many conservatives to Congress, toppling the Democrats in the House. Many saw the development as a massive rejection of Obama’s socialist policies, ObamaCare most notably.

Emboldened, many more conservatives self-identified as Tea Partiers, Patriots, and other “dog whistle” labels. They sought 503(c)(4) status under the IRS tax code, which stipulates that:

501(c)(4) organizations may inform the public on controversial subjects and attempt to influence legislation relevant to its program and, unlike 501(c)(3) organizations, they may also participate in political campaigns and elections, as long as their primary activity is the promotion of social welfare.

They come to the attention of Lois Lerner, who:

[…] led an organization of 900 employees responsible for a broad range of compliance activities, including examining the operational and financial activities of exempt organizations, processing applications for tax exemption.

Rarely rejected outright (which would have prompted a perhaps more independent appeal), these newly politically active conservatives saw their applications wither on the vine. When there was any movement, it was backwards, in the form of more questions, more information requested, even wholly inappropriate and intolerable (and ungrammatical) inquiries such as “Please detail the content of the members of your organization’s prayers.”

We later learn that this has been Lerner’s MO for decades:

Before the IRS, Lerner served as associate general counsel and head of the enforcement office at the FEC, which she joined in 1986.

General counsel’s reports composed during Lerner’s tenure at the FEC confirm Engle’s recollections of a woman predisposed to back Republicans against the wall while giving Democrats a pass. Though Noble, then the FEC’s general counsel, is listed as the author of the reports, sources familiar with the commission say that given Lerner’s position, she would have played an integral role shaping their conclusions. “As head of enforcement at the FEC, Lois would have approved the drafting of every general counsel’s report,” Engle tells me.

We also learned:

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official who apologized for targeting conservative nonprofit groups for extra scrutiny is married to an attorney whose firm hosted a voter registration organizing event for the Obama presidential campaign, praised President Obama’s policy work, and had one of its partners appointed by Obama to a key ambassadorship.

This is not the first of Lerner’s connections to the president to surface. Earlier this week The Daily Caller reported that Lerner personally signed the tax-exemption approval for a shady charity run by Obama’s half-brother, after an inexplicably brief one-month application process.

Unsurprisingly, a political movement so powerful as to sweep Nancy Pelosi from her perch as Speaker of the House in 2010 was rendered impotent in 2012. Their ability to organize (freedom of assembly) severely curtailed, conservative voters did not materialize on Election Day, and Obama was re-(if not fairly)-elected.

Under Republican leadership, the House smelled a rat. The House Oversight Committee summoned Lerner to explain herself. She complied, read an opening statement declaring her innocence, and then clammed up. Many legal scholars suggested her statement waived any right against self-incrimination: if you’re not going to talk, you don’t get to talk just a little bit, on your own terms. You are subject to cross examination. The committee later voted to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress.

The committee also learned that Lerner’s boss, IRS Commissioner Doug Schulman, had received White House clearance 157 times over 2010-2011—though it was unclear if Schulman had actually visited the White House that many times or what they talked about when he did.

Then came the nonsense with Lerner’s computer. Whatever evidence it contained—emails, most notably—was said to be irretrievably lost. The computer had [pick one, or more] “crashed”; the hard drive was “scratched” or had been “erased”; legally mandated backups were also unavailable—either lost, or too much of a pain in the ass to find, even at Congress’ demand.

New IRS Commissioner John Koskinen either doubled down on the story or lamely apologized in a “mistakes were made” fashion. Obama went from angry to dismissive of “phony scandals” without a “smidgen of corruption”. Though illegitimately reelected, he remained president.

Then, of course, the emails turned up. In dribs and drabs, not all at once, but slowly and surely. After four years of sneaking and stalling, the story is finally being revealed:

The IRS watchdog investigating the disappearance of Lois Lerner’s emails told a congressional panel on Thursday night they are looking into the possibility of criminal activity.

Lerner was the IRS official at the center of allegations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted tea party groups applying for nonprofit status. Congress requested Lerner’s emails from the IRS and agency officials told lawmakers an unknown number of emails had been lost when Lerner’s computer crashed.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has since recovered a number of those emails.

“There is potential criminal activity,” Treasury Deputy Inspector General Timothy Camus told the House Oversight Committee Thursday.

Camus told the committee that less than two weeks ago, officials discovered an additional 424 backup tapes and are trying to determine what emails, if any, are on them. The tapes are in addition to about 750 backup tapes the inspector general found in July, some of which contained Lerner emails.

The IRS had told Congress that backup tapes no longer existed.

“The IRS has a lot of explaining to do,” Chaffetz told CNN. “Because what (the inspector general) told us tonight means what the IRS told us is just factually not true.”

“Criminal activity”? Where do you start? Even more important, where do you stop? It would take Dick Tracy and Elliot Ness a decade to clean up this crime syndicate.

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King Barack 0

We don’t need no stinkin’ legislative branch of government!

We don’t need no stinkin’ judicial branch of government!

President Obama promised Wednesday to keep up his fight to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation — and vowed to veto any bill declaring his executive action on immigration illegal during a town hall-style sitdown in Florida.

The President said he would do his best to move forward with immigration reform, despite a Texas judge halting the program, during the night forum hosted by Telemundo and MSNBC.

“If you’ve been here for a long time and if you qualify, generally, then during this period, even with legal uncertainty, they should be in a good place,” the President told a cheering crowd.

Of course they cheered—he was talking about them, and their “legal uncertainty”! Is “legally uncertain aliens” the new term for fence jumpers and visa violators? I know “w*tb**k” is offensive to many, but it’s a lot more accurate.

Because, you see, there’s nothing uncertain about their illegality:

After establishing that Texas had standing to sue in federal court, Judge Hanen turned to the lawfulness of the executive action. DAPA was decreed on November 20, 2014, in a series of memorandums, without any opportunity for the public to comment beforehand. Judge Hanen found fatal the government’s failure to comply with the notice-and-comment requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). But the court went further, finding that DAPA was not an exercise or prosecutorial discretion. Rather, DAPA amounted to a decision to “‘consciously and expressly adopt[] a general policy’ that is so extreme as to amount to an abdication of its statutory responsibilities.” The president was willfully disregarding the laws of Congress that he did not agree with. Specifically, DAPA “does not simply constitute inadequate enforcement; it is an announced program of non-enforcement of the law that contradicts Congress’ statutory goals.” This policy, Hanen concluded, is unlawful and must be halted.

Rather than enforcing the law, Hanen saw Obama’s actions as making law: The executive is “is not just rewriting the laws; he is creating them from scratch.” This is the role of Congress, not the president. Even if the administration complies with the notice-and-comment process of the APA — unlikely with only 20 months until the next election — such a broad policy of non-enforcement would still run afoul of the Take Care clause.

The decision from Brownsville, on the literal and figurative border between the federal and state governments, is a first step toward restoring the separation of powers and ensuring that the president faithfully executes the laws.

That remains to be seen. It’s a step, but it’s not clear if it’s a step toward anything. If Obama can ignore Congress (rewriting even his “signature achievement” to suit the fancy of the day) and ignore the Constitution, I seriously doubt some sh*tkicking judge from East Bumf*ck, Texas is going to slow him down.

Obama is off the reservation, cheered on by the press, and until the cavalry shows up (in the form of Congress with a spine or the courts with enforcement powers), he’s going to continue to maraud across the landscape. What’s he got to lose?

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When the Liberal Media Ask Chicken[bleep] Questions

Raise chicken-scratch:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is fundraising off what he describes as “gotcha” questions from the media.

Walker’s campaign sent an email requesting donations Sunday night. The email from Friends of Scott Walker, which runs his reelection campaign, said the governor “refuses to be distracted by the small, petty, and pale ideas that the ‘gotcha’ headline writers for the Liberal Media want to talk about.”

“He refuses to be drawn into the sideshow of answering pointless questions about whether and how much President Obama loves our country. To Governor Walker, what matters are ideas, issues, his record, and results,” the email from Friends of Scott Walker continued. “Now is the time to stand up against the publicity hounds and the journalistic pack, and help Governor Walker fight back. Your support will show the clueless and mindless journalistic herd that you know what matters most and that it is not the pointless minutiae that they are pushing.”

Every challenge is an opportunity. When they ask you if you think Obama loves this country, say “I should hope so: he’s the President. Americans elected him to lead them—twice! The US Senate before that, and the Illinois state senate before that. And two Ivy League schools before that! Oh yeah, and as much as I love my native state of Wisconsin, I’d have traded winters with his Hawaii boyhood every year. America has showed him the love all his life. I have to believe that love is reciprocated.” When they press you with a follow-up (because they’re nothing if not predictable), say: “Really, that’s for the president to answer. If you’re asking me do I love America, you bet!” And then launch into a prepared peroration of inspiring rhetoric about the greatness and uniqueness of America. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Answer the question on your own terms. Their terms are idiotic and irrelevant.

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Schooling the Teacher

When he’s not trying to find gainful employment for decapitators and immolators, Obama spares a few words for soaking the rich.

This guy never mentions Obama by name, but if the president were in his classroom, he’d be sitting in the corner wearing a dunce cap:

A few points to highlight:

Nearly everyone assumes that a person who is among the top ten percent of all income earners qualifies as rich.

But according to 2011 data, a top ten percent household makes around $150,000 or above in gross annual income — that’s income before deductions and taxes. Now, $150,000 is a nice living, but it certainly doesn’t make you rich.

OK, then. What about the top 5%?

You get into this percentile if your household makes around $190,000 or above. That’s a nice bump. But it hardly puts you in the rich category.

I don’t have to tell a lot of our urban readers that 150-190k hardly qualifies as rich in Boston, New York, San Francisco, etc. Professor Ohanian is right that the people we can all agree are rich are few and far between.

But thank God for them:

Now, let’s talk about fair.

Fair would seem be that the group of taxpayers who earn 10% of the country’s income would pay 10% of the country’s taxes; the group who earned 20% would pay 20% of the taxes and so on.

But what If I told you that, according to IRS data, the top 10% of all earners — the people making $150,000 and above — pay 71% of all federal income tax while earning only 43% of all income.

If anything, the top ten percent pay more than their fair share.

So, as it happens, do the much reviled top 1%. They earn 17 percent of all income, but pay 37% of all federal income taxes.

That’s an apples-to-apples comparison—income to income tax. You rarely hear those numbers in this discussion. Doubtless because they undermine Obama’s argument.

As does this:

Ah, but what about payroll taxes — the money we pay to fund Social Security and Medicare? That takes a bigger bite of the paycheck of lower earners than higher earners. Isn’t that unfair?

[T]he benefits we receive from Social Security are capped, no matter how much we have paid in. This means that the payroll taxes of high earners actually help subsidize the social security and Medicare benefits that low earners receive at retirement.

But there’s one group Professor Ohanian does finger for freeloading:

And what about those at the other end of the income scale, the lower earners? Are we squeezing them? Hardly. Those who make $45,000 or less, 47% of all earners, pay little and often no income taxes.

Pay up, pauper. It’s only fair.

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Lights Out in America

It was a good run.

But it had to end some time:

President Obama’s temporary deportation amnesty will make it easier for illegal immigrants to improperly register and vote in elections, state elections officials testified to Congress on Thursday, saying that the driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers they will be granted create a major voting loophole.

While stressing that it remains illegal for noncitizens to vote, secretaries of state from Ohio and Kansas said they won’t have the tools to sniff out illegal immigrants who register anyway, ignoring stiff penalties to fill out the registration forms that are easily available at shopping malls, motor vehicle bureaus and in curbside registration drives.

Anyone registering to vote attests that he or she is a citizen, but Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said mass registration drives often aren’t able to give due attention to that part, and so illegal immigrants will still get through.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris W. Kobach said even some motor vehicle bureau workers automatically ask customers if they want to register to vote, which some noncitizens in the past have cited as their reason for breaking the law to register.

“It’s a guarantee it will happen,” Mr. Kobach said.

So do I. Guarantee.

As was always the intent. You only have to try to use your government (renewing your driver’s license, say) to know how poorly it works. It’s a given that many if not all illegally legalized illegal aliens will register to vote. Done.

A voice of dissent:

Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, Massachusetts Democrat, said he doubted illegal immigrants would risk running afoul of the law — which could get them deported — just to be an insignificant part of an election.

Because illegal aliens are sticklers for the law!

This was the point of Obama’s illegal action. Not “fairness”. Votes. It was the very-much-intended consequence. And you know how Democrats win votes. They buy them:

The newly legalized workers can apply for back refunds from the IRS even for years when they didn’t file their taxes, agency Commissioner John Koskinen told Congress on Wednesday.

That’s it, we’re toast. I would sell out and move to Mexico, but their residency requirements are so strict!

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Econ 101

Obama gets schooled in economics—for free!

Just the way he wants it.

STUDENT: Hi, I am Mario. I am a student here at Ivy Tech. My question is if community college becomes free, do you think the value of an associates degree will fall?

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Absolutely not. I have been asked this question before, and I do not know where it is coming from.

I will give you an example. There is a college in New York called City College of New York. And back in the, you know, 1940’s, 1950’s, 1960’s, the City College of New York produced as many Nobel laureates as a lot of Ivy league schools.

It was free. But it was considered one of the best universities in the country, one of the best college systems in the country. Nobody thought, because you went to the city colleges, and it did not cost you any money, that somehow the education was devalued.

Nice try, sir. City College is unique. A product of its time (those 40s thru 60s he highlights, but even earlier and later) and place (Manhattan), City College could afford to be both free and excellent. (It also didn’t hurt CCNY that Columbia and the other Ivies had strict quotas on Jews.)

But it wasn’t for everybody:

Requiring demonstrated potential for admission and a high level of accomplishment for graduation, the College provides a diverse student body with opportunities to achieve…

You had to be wicked smart to get into CCNY, and wicked smart to graduate. Even today, their acceptance rate is less than a third of all applicants. Community colleges serve a need. But to compare Bunker Hill Community College (0 Nobel laureates) with City College of New York (10 Nobel laureates) is… you guessed it, dishonest.

Yes, Mario, if Obama makes community college free, he will cheapen it, but not just in cost. It will merely be a finishing school for under-performing high school grads. Or worse, another two to four years of wasted time.

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