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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Cold Truth

(Fox News) - As former Vice President and global warming activist Al Gore delivered his testimony to Congress on the urgency of addressing climate change Wednesday, snow and ice blanketed the nation's capital and a large section of the country. Global warming skeptic and Weather Channel founder John Coleman -- in a piece he wrote for his station KUSI News in San Diego, which appeared on the channel’s Web site -- says, "The last two bitter winters have led to a rise in public awareness that CO2 is not a pollutant and is not a significant greenhouse gas that is triggering runaway global warming."

He says theories linking carbon dioxide levels to global warming are unproven and that "the percentage of the atmosphere that is CO2 remains tiny."

Coleman calls global warming bad science — a hoax — and "the greatest scam in history."

The Heat Is On

(Fox News) - Presidential candidate Obama said on the campaign trail on May 16, 2008, "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times."

But President Obama may have different rules. The New York Times reports photos of the president in the Oval Office without his jacket on — are explained because he keeps the thermostat on high. The president's senior adviser, David Axelrod says, "He's from Hawaii, OK? He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there."

But Steve Milloy of junkscience.com — a leading debunker of global warming theories — says — "This is yet another example of green hypocrisy. President Obama supports policies that would force you to turn down the heat in your house while he expects taxpayers to pay for him to turn up the heat in his."

Homeward Bound

(Fox News) - The security situation in Iraq has improved to such an extent — that officials at the United Nations are predicting a huge influx of displaced Iraqis. Baghdad's representative at the U.N. -- U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Daniel Endres -- says ,"if everything continues to go well, including elections, property restitution and stability, it's possible that 500,000 people could return in 2009."

That would be a drastic improvement on the 220,000 Iraqi refugees who returned home in 2008. Estimates say about two million Iraqis remain outside the country — mostly in Syria and Jordan.

Is There a Family Connection in Some of the Stimulus Spending?

Family Funds

(Fox News) - A top House Democrat is under fire about something specific in the stimulus bill — money that goes to the cause for which his son lobbies. The stimulus gives $2.25 billion to national parks. The Washington Times reports Craig Obey — son of House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey — is the chief lobbyist for the National Parks Conservation Association. Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of California says, "It really does beg the question of, is this an earmark, is this a family connection and should it have been disclosed at least in the spirit of what the Democrats said they wanted, and the answer is — it should have been disclosed."

Congressman Obey's spokeswoman Kristin Brost says nepotism was not a factor: "There is wide support for these funds."

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Porkulus II

From Rush Limbaugh: Did you know, my friends, that on top of that trillion-dollar "porkulus" spending bill that the House Democrats passed (with zero Republican votes, by the way), the Obama administration is already planning another bank bailout?

We'll call it "Porkulus II". The latest plan would create a new federal bank, funded with hundreds of billions more, so that it can buy "toxic" real estate assets. Yes, I know: that's exactly what the first trillion dollars in the first bank bailout was supposed to do.

Let's rewind for a moment. In the final months of the campaign, candidate Obama said that he would give 95 percent of Americans a tax cut to stimulate the economy. He and every Democrat running lambasted Bush for not doing enough on the foreclosure front.

Well... Democrats own the government, so what's their first priority? Your tax cuts? Direct assistance to people facing home foreclosures? No way, folks! The Democrats offered up a gigantic porkulus spending bill, to fund condoms and other contraception, voter fraud organizations like ACORN, money for Amtrak, money to re-sod the National Mall -- and all sorts of spending boondoggles that won't materialize until these guys are up for re-election. Ideas to jumpstart job growth -- with real tax incentives for businesses or cap gains cuts -- are not even considered.

Now the Democrats want another porkulus bill for their Wall Street bank buddies? This isn't hope; this isn't change. You might as well have voted for Bernie Madoff.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Billions More Needed for Financial Rescue

Big changes in Stokes 2009 graduation plans

(The Stokes News) - In a close vote, the Stokes County Board of Education elected to change graduation plans for three Stokes County high schools. Three board members—Becky Boles, Sonya Cox and Steve Shelton—voted to move the 2009 graduation sites for West Stokes and South Stokes to First Assembly of God Church in Winston-Salem while leaving the Vikings’ graduation at the North Stokes campus. Bill Hart and Colon Moore voted against the change.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Not Backing Bill: Senator Richard Burr opposes stimulus bill

Illinois Senate Kicks Blagojevich Out of Office

Illinois senators were unswayed by Rod Blagojevich's closing statement delivered earlier in the day in which the former governor insisted that he should not be thrown out of office on what he called incomplete evidence.

(Fox News) - Illinois senators stripped Rod Blagojevich of power Thursday in the final act of a political drama that handed the reins of state government to his estranged lieutenant, Pat Quinn, and will likely end Blagojevich's career in politics.

Senators voted unanimously to convict Blagojevich, 59-0 and shortly thereafter, Quinn was sworn in as Illinois' new governor.

The outcome was never in doubt. In fact, Quinn went to the state Capitol earlier in the day in preparation of being sworn in.

Fact or Fiction?

(Fox News) - Former Clinton White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers writes in Vanity Fair magazine, “Barack Obama is the most famous living person in the history of the world." She continues — though without listing any evidence that "more people know at least something about the new American president than anyone alive, at this point — or any— in the planet's existence."

A slightly-less-famous person — actress Ashley Judd — emceed a pro-choice luncheon here in Washington Tuesday. The Washington Examiner reports that after the crowd booed and hissed during a slide show featuring former President Bush and other anti-abortion politicians, Judd remarked quote, "It's so nice to live in America again."

Jaded Junket

(Fox News) - We told you back in December that some members of the Congressional Black Caucus may have violated House ethics rules during a four-day trip to a luxurious Caribbean resort because of its corporate sponsorship. The Hill newspaper reports transcripts from the November gathering show the corporate presence was clear — with two lawmakers even thanking Citigroup, Pfizer, IBM, and AT&T for their roles in the conference — while standing in front of a backdrop of corporate logos.

One of those lawmakers was New Jersey Democrat Donald Payne. Initially, Payne's office said he was unaware of any corporate sponsors. Payne later said he did not know the "technicalities" of the new ethics rules.

Other lawmakers on that trip included Democratic House Ways and Means committee Chairman Charles Rangel and Michigan Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick.

Yes We Can, But…

(Fox News) - The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, supports President Obama's plan to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But it is very critical of the suggestion that the terror suspects be transferred to Colorado's supermax prison — where some of the country's most dangerous criminals are kept in solitary confinement 23 hours a day.

Executive director Cathryn Hazouri says despite the conditions at Guantanamo that included what she called psychological and physical torture, "at least they had two hours of exercise per day and some contact with others, if only by yelling from cell to cell." Hazouri concludes supermax would amount to "simply another form of torture."

Geithner Is Breaking Obama Rule?

Keep Away

(Fox News) - In his first full day on the job Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced new rules designed to limit contact with lobbyists.

But that same day, Geithner chose former Goldman Sachs advocate Mark Patterson to serve as his chief of staff. Patterson was a registered lobbyist for the financial giant from 2005 to April of last year. The National Journal reports Patterson is one of more than a dozen recent lobbyists in line for important posts in the Obama administration, despite a presidential order severely restricting the role of lobbyists in his administration.

The Hysterical Style

From Victor Davis Hanson: If anyone wished to know what the baby-boomer generation would do when, in its full maturity, it hit its first self-created, big-time recession, I think we are seeing the hysterical results. After two decades of unprecedented economic growth, rampant consumer spending, and unimaginable borrowing to satisfy our insatiable appetites, we are suddenly going into even larger debt and printing trillions of dollars in paper money to ensure that someone else after we are gone pays the debt. As if the permanent solution to a financial panic and years of spending wealth we didn't create were a government take-over of the economy in the manner we currently witness in Spain, Italy, and Greece—or the high-tax, high-spend ethos of a bankrupt California.

The reaction to the economic panic was sort of analogous to the call to 'charge it!' after 9/11 (cf. Ike's fights about the surtax to pay for Korea), or to the Iraq 2006 upsurge in violence, when suddenly our leaders declared the war lost, blamed the nebulous "they" for tricking them into voting for the war, and calling for immediate withdrawals and retreats. Ditto the Stalag-Gulag Guantanamo that, by January 19, had ruined the Constitution, shredded the Bill of Rights, and forever tarnished our reputation. Yet, on the 20th, it was suddenly complex and problematic, and required a "task force" to do a year-long inquiry into the bad and worse choices confronting us. At some point in all this serial hysteria, we are beginning to see the problem is not in the stars of the economy or of the war, but in ourselves—a weird generation that, when it finally came of age, proved to be just about what we could expect of it from what we saw in its youth.

My Bipartisan Stimulus

Let's cut taxes, as I want, and spend more, as Obama would like.

From Rush Limbaugh: There's a serious debate in this country as to how best to end the recession. The average recession will last five to 11 months; the average recovery will last six years. Recessions will end on their own if they're left alone. What can make the recession worse is the wrong kind of government intervention.

I believe the wrong kind is precisely what President Barack Obama has proposed. I don't believe his is a "stimulus plan" at all -- I don't think it stimulates anything but the Democratic Party. This "porkulus" bill is designed to repair the Democratic Party's power losses from the 1990s forward, and to cement the party's majority power for decades.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Culture

From Rush Limbaugh: While Washington Democrats are pushing through their trillion-dollar "porkulus" spending spree, Democrats elsewhere are fighting other battles.

Two weeks ago, the Democrat Mayor of Baltimore, Sheila Dixon, was indicted on a variety of charges -- for one, that she stole gift cards donated to the city to help needy kids and used them to buy game consoles and a digital camcorder for herself. Aside from theft, she faces perjury, fraud, and misconduct charges. Democrat Mayor Dixon has vowed to stay in office to "fight" for the people. (And to keep her stuff.)

In Hartford Connecticut, Democrat Mayor Eddie Perez -- a one-time gang leader -- was arrested for bribery. He's accused of getting his house remodeled by a city contractor and not bothering to pay for it... until, that is, state investigators started nosing around. Democrat Mayor Eddie says he didn't commit a crime, and he, too, is vowing to stay in office. (And in the remodeled house.)

In Portland, Oregon, Democrat Mayor Sam Adams has admitted that he asked a teenage boy to lie about their sexual tryst. During the election campaign, Adams denied having sex with him. The boy was an underage legislative intern when he and the 46-year-old Democrat mayor first met. Democrat Mayor Adams, too, vows to remain in office; he says he's going to get back to work harder (hee, hee, hee) than he ever has -- for the people.

Then there's Blago. Charlie Rangel. William Jefferson. Timothy Geitner. But I'm out of time, so this installment of the "culture of Democrats" must end here.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
NY Times: Baltimore Mayor Indicted in Theft and Perjury Case
AP: Hartford, Conn., Mayor Arrested on Bribery Charges
AP: Portland Mayor Won't Resign Over Lying About Teen

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday Funnies :-)

Jay Leno:

President Obama said when it comes to passing the stimulus package we can't afford distractions and delays. You know who took offense to this in Congress? The head of the Senate Distractions and Delays Committee.

President Obama has signed an executive order closing Guantanamo Bay. Well, the big problem, how do you get these inmates back to their home countries? They're all on the "do not fly" list.

Well, I mean, what'll they do with them? I mean, look, most politicians don't want them in their state or their district. Other countries don't want them. Although, today, New York City's Yellow Cab Company said, "Hey, we'll take them."

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's impeachment trial got under way [Monday]. But he was not there. He didn't go. He went on "The View" instead, which is a pretty smart move, because it will help his case when he pleads insanity.

Former French President Jacques Chirac was rushed to the hospital after being mauled by his clinically depressed poodle. See that's how you know that the French are not fighters, okay -- when their leader is attacked by a maniacal poodle.

Demo Economic Plan :-)

Hey Bam, that's not the door!

(NYDailyNews.com) - It looks like President Obama hasn't gotten acquainted to his White House surroundings. On the way back to the Oval Office Tuesday, the President approached a paned window, instead of the actual door -- located a few feet to his right.

Brian Williams: Obama First Non 'Choice of Evils' in 'Generations'

(Newsbusters) - Marveling on Monday's Late Show about how people were lining up during the inauguration “to buy merchandise with any depiction” of President Barack Obama, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams expressed his pleasure at seeing so many people “that excited about our new chief executive after a line of what the ordinary voter would maybe describe as bad choices or choices of evils, for years, generations.”

23rd Anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster

President Ronald Reagan's remarks on the Challenger Shuttle explosion:

President Bush to Rent $300,000 a Year Dallas Office Space

(Bloomberg) - [Former] President George W. Bush will rent offices in Dallas at the Sherry Lane Place building at an initial cost to taxpayers of $311,600 a year, close to what former President Bill Clinton paid when he settled on New York’s Harlem neighborhood in 2001.

Ex-President Bush checks out Dallas home

(The Dallas Morning News) - Former President George W. Bush took a road trip to Dallas on Tuesday, marking his first visit since leaving the White House.

Bush and his wife, Laura, toured their new Preston Hollow home and went by the Preston Center building that is being readied for his office.

Why Won't the Republicans Clean House?

(The New York Observer) - As we have been reminded 11 times in the past few weeks, when a football team completes a disastrous regular season or two, the ownership's reaction is almost always the same: clean house and start fresh.

National Republican leaders should be thankful their party isn't an NFL franchise. Since 2006, they've presided over almost nothing but failure, but the cries for the scalps have been remarkably muted.

Consider the case of Robert "Mike" Duncan, who was installed as chairman of the Republican National Committee two Januarys ago, just after his party suffered a thorough drubbing in the 2006 midterm elections.

Lightning Rod

(Fox News) - Embattled Governor Rod Blagojevich was not the only Illinois official elevating himself to lofty heights Monday. Blagojevich compared himself to the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports Democratic Senator Roland Burris — who was appointed by Blagojevich — views himself in a similar light. Burris said at a breakfast honoring the life of Doctor King, "if there was no Martin Luther King Jr. and no Roland Burris, there would be no Barack Obama in the White House today.”

Family Matters

(Fox News) - President Obama’s aunt — who is living in this country illegally — will face an immigration court hearing in April. Zeituni Onyango is the half-sister of the president's late father. The Homeland Security Department says a rule imposed in late October — requiring high-level approval before the arrest of fugitive immigrants — was rescinded at the end of November.

The Bush administration had imposed the directive days before President Obama’s election. There was speculation that the order was issued to avoid negative reaction to a possible arrest of Onyango. She is believed to be living in Cleveland, but was seen here in Washington last week during the inauguration. She has said she intends to fight the deportation order against her.

Driving the Issue

(Fox News) - President Obama has ordered a review of Bush administration policies on vehicle emission standards. The president asked whether California and other states could regulate emissions separately, adding "America will not be held hostage to dwindling resources."

But some industry insiders say the proposals are too strict. One consulting firm says the rules could add as much as $10,000 to the price of a single vehicle. And David Cole, the chairman of the Center for Automotive Research, says “if the industry is in total shambles, you can have any regulation you want - it's not doable."

He also told The New York Times that the California regulations "would basically kill the industry."

Criminal Charges vs. Bush Staffers?

Prosecution Rests?

(Fox News) - President Obama has said he wants to move forward — and not backwards — after being asked about prosecuting alleged crimes by the Bush administration.

However, that has not stopped House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers from pursuing the matter forcefully. Conyers proposes extending the statute of limitations to 10 years for war crimes, torture and domestic surveillance. Conyers says there are incidents that "raise credible concerns that criminal laws may have been violated."

A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows 44% of Democrats surveyed believe President Bush and his administration are guilty of war crimes. Just 4% of Republicans agree.

Good Intentions Paving Company :-)

Clarifying the hype :-)

Thousands attend global warming summit :-)

From The Patriot Post: Despite the severe winter storm warnings, these demonstrators are making ready for Al Gore's appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday morning to testify on the "urgent need" to combat global warming.

He's got your back :-)

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: War on Prosperity

From Rush Limbaugh: Casualties are mounting. Home Depot announced they were killing off 7,000. Sprint: killing 8,000. Pfizer: 8,000 more. Other companies, including Caterpillar, brought the total to 40,000 jobs killed, in just one day.

Sadly, casualties are expected to rise, with no end in sight. Economists warn that we're just witnessing the tip of the iceberg. By the end of the year, 10 percent of America's workforce could be unemployed. Even if President Obama's trillion-dollar spending program is enacted, we're told to expect a net loss of at least 2 million jobs by the end of the year.

Despite this dire forecast, and a rapidly deteriorating labor market, our new president and his Democrat Congress are planning to kill even more jobs by demanding automakers build "green cars" nobody wants, and adopting draconian fuel standards to appease radical environmentalists. Liberal state governments from California to New York are introducing new taxes as they refuse to reign in their budgets.

I wonder if the Drive-By Media will keep a monthly tally of the Obama casualties as they did war casualties under George W. Bush. Or whether protesters will plant crosses on mock graves for every job killed under the Obama Administration.

For those of you who think it's an unfair question, let me remind you: We're talking about people's lives here. Their identities, their dreams, their hopes, and their jobs: casualties in American liberals' war on prosperity.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Job-Killing Recession Racks up More Layoff Victims

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Remembering the Gipper...

"We who live in free market societies believe that growth, prosperity and ultimately human fulfillment, are created from the bottom up, not the government down. Only when the human spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefitting from their success -- only then can societies remain economically alive, dynamic, progressive, and free."
Ronald Reagan

Hillary Clinton Mouthing Along To Presidential Oath :-)

From The Onion: WASHINGTON—Network news cameras covering Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony Tuesday captured Hillary Clinton silently moving her lips along with each word of the minute-long presidential oath of office. As she stood watching several yards from Chief Justice John Roberts, the former Democratic presidential candidate could be observed placing her left hand on a leather appointment book and raising her right hand slightly from her hip. Clinton, who carefully followed the swearing-in procedure with her eyes shut tightly, only varied from the president's words once, when she soundlessly mouthed her name instead of Barack Obama's. Clinton was later seen at an inaugural ball pretending she was dancing with first lady Michelle Obama.

Obama to Detroit: Drop Dead

(The Fox Forum) - Call me crazy, but this doesn’t seem like the best time to add to the host of problems already facing the Big Three automakers. President Obama’s move to allow individual states to mandate their own emission standards is a little like requiring airlines to communicate with air towers across the country in different languages.

NBC Yanks PETA’s Pro-Veggie Super Bowl Ad Due to Excessive Sexuality

Scientists Not So Sure 'Doomsday Machine' Won't Destroy World

(Fox News) - Still worried that the Large Hadron Collider will create a black hole that will destroy the Earth when it's finally switched on this summer?

Um, well, you may have a point.

Three physicists have reexamined the math surrounding the creation of microscopic black holes in the Switzerland-based LHC, the world's largest particle collider, and determined that they won't simply evaporate in a millisecond as had previously been predicted.

Rather, Roberto Casadio of the University of Bologna in Italy and Sergio Fabi and Benjamin Harms of the University of Alabama say mini black holes could exist for much longer — perhaps even more than a second, a relative eternity in particle colliders, where most objects decay much faster.

The Great Unifier Attacks Rush

Rule #13 from Rules for Radicals: "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."

(RushLimbaugh.com) - How President Obama attempts to marginalize mainstream conservatism and assault capitalism.

Obama chooses Arab network for first TV interview

President Obama: 'All too often the United States starts by dictating'...

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday chose an Arabic satellite TV network for his first formal television interview as president, delivering a message to the Muslim world that "Americans are not your enemy."

The interview underscored Obama's commitment to repair relations with the Muslim world that have suffered under the previous administration.

The president expressed an intention to engage the Middle East immediately and his new envoy to the region, former Sen. George J. Mitchell, was expected to arrived in Egypt on Tuesday for a visit that will also take him to Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Republicans Object to Stimulus Dollars for ACORN

Republicans say voter registration and community groups like ACORN could be eligible for funding under the Democrats' economic stimulus bill.

(Fox News) - Republican lawmakers are raising concerns that ACORN, the low-income advocacy group under investigation for voter registration fraud, could be eligible for billions in aid from the economic stimulus proposal working its way through the House.

House Republican Leader John Boehner issued a statement over the weekend noting that the stimulus bill wending its way through Congress provides $4.19 billion for "neighborhood stabilization activities."

He said the money was previously limited to state and local governments, but that Democrats now want part of it to be available to non-profit entities. That means groups like ACORN would be eligible for a portion of the funds.

The Audacity of Bruce Springsteen

(Big Hollywood) - With his trademark look of severe yet not unwelcomed constipation, his trusty acoustic guitar in hand, working class diva Bruce Springsteen kicked off Barack Obama’s We Are One Inaugural Celebration concert at the Lincoln Memorial on January 18. Indeed, Bruce had much to celebrate. Just a week prior he scored himself a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for the film The Wrestler, beating out the worthy likes of 16-year-old Miley Cyrus and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover girl Beyonce Knowles. Within the next two weeks, he’d be releasing a new album and headlining halftime festivities at Super Bowl XLIII. Most importantly, on this grand day, he was performing in front of his latest favorite Democrat, helping to usher in a historic new era of something or other (I always forget the required tag line, I just know something is really historic).

Obama gets Mad mag treatment

(Tribune Interactive) - We all know that President Barack Obama has assumed the presidency at a time when that pressure cooker of a job is even more so right now because of the worst recession since the Great Depression and two foreign wars.

So Mad Magazine's new Obama cover spoofs the notion of the president's first 100 days but accelerates it to his first "100 minutes."

Barack Obama Plans to Shut Down the Auto Industry

Smaller cars are less safe and anti-family. American families can’t fit all the car seats in small cars.

(Red State) - Citing two anonymous Obama administration officials, The New York Times reports that Obama will order the EPA to reconsider the Bush administration’s denial of a waiver to California that would allow the state to set its own standards. But it wouldn’t just be car crazy California setting its own standard. The worst-case scenario would see fifty states, each with its own standard. But many states will simply adopt whatever standard is decreed by California. Even if there were only a few standards among the fifty states, it would spell trouble for the automakers.

The idea of bailout money from the federal government being spent to meet a larger number of tighter state government standards because the federal government reversed a prior administration’s policy is such a twisted irony that it brings to mind Ronald Reagan’s famous words, “Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.”

Automobile manufacturers will not have much time have to retool to begin building vehicles which meet the regulations, and they will have to quickly phase compliant models into their production schedules. Many of the emissions controls that will be required are outsourced from smaller parts suppliers, so there is a potential for a ripple effect here. The standards will not just affect Detroit’s automakers. Foreign manufacturers, many of them having problems of their own, will feel the pain also.

Audi, which had posted sales of over a million cars in 2008, its best year ever, recently announced plans to reduce hours at two of its plants, affecting 25,000 workers. BMW has cut 26,000 workers for two months at two of its factories, which will reduce production by 38,000 units. The company is also reducing hours at two other plants. Beemer’s stock price is down 49% over the past 12 months. Things are so bad at Nissan’s UK facility that the Japanese automaker has been forced to park unsold cars on its test track. All of the lot space at the factory is already full of cars for which there is more supply than demand.

This is the worst of times for such government-induced mayhem in the auto industry. If the bailout appeared to be a light at the end of the tunnel for car makers, the new regulations will morph it into an oncoming train.

Some Republicans Outside the Senate Want to Embrace the Welfare State

Bruce Bartlett thinks caving is the solution. But history shows conservatism is a winning idea.

(Red State) - Dan Mitchell of the Cato Insitute responds:

Taking away goodies from people who want to feed at the public trough is never easy, but GOP successes in ‘80 and ‘94 - elections that led to meaningful constraint in domestic spending in subsequent years - show that the American people will respond favorably to a message of less government and more freedom. The Eisenhower and Nixon years, by contrast, demonstrated that “me-tooism” is a recipe for permanent minority party status.

Bartlett is urging conservatives to give up on core principles — an action that will lead to some fun receptions at the Obama White House in the short term, but liberal rule for a long period of time. If conservatives don’t give the American people a choice on tax policy, who will?

Senate GOP Already Preps for More Defeat in 2010

Senator Mitch McConnell is quoting Bob Dole favorably on the need to cooperate with Barack Obama.

(Red State) - Right now, we should be talking about permanent low personal tax rates, lower corporate tax rates and lower, indexed-to-inflation capital gains tax rates — instead, we are letting Democrats, and Obama specifically, get away with calling his bogus, non-tax-cutting “credits,” tax cuts. That is absurd. We are letting them win in the name of being conciliatory. And it is McConnell’s fault and the fault of those who defend him, and fail to take him on.

Right now we are letting them win the most fundamental of Republican arguments - about true tax cuts stimulative effect on economic activity. Democrats are saying they are tax-cutters, and they are not. They are welfare-statists and are using the tax code, with Republican help, to accomplish their socialist aims.

The Democrats’ Stimulus plan provides more money for grass planting on the National Mall than for small businesses.

(Red State) - Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL) discussed their meeting with President Obama, and their request that he encourage Congressional leaders to make good on his commitment to give Republican proposals a fair hearing. It sounds as if Mr. Obama was non-committal.

The three Congressmen aired strong concerns about the extraordinary level of spending in the Democratic package, and the near complete absence of growth-stimulating tax cuts. One fact to remember: there is more than 4 times as much funding for grass planting on the Washington Mall as there is small business tax relief.

Board agrees to set up pods for Nancy Reynolds students

They would attend classes on campus of Pinnacle Elementary

DANBURY (Winston-Salem Journal) - The Stokes County Board of Edu­cation voted yesterday to set up pods at Pinnacle Elementary School so that students at Nancy Reynolds Elementary School can attend classes there while their school is being renovated.

However, the board is going to have to wait for $25.7 million for renovations and other capital projects including about $1 million for the pods.

At its regular meeting after the school-board meeting, the Stokes County Board of Commissioners took no action on the school board's multimillion-dollar request.

Color Coordinate

(Fox News) - Michelle Obama is facing a backlash after not wearing any African-American designed items during last week's inaugural celebrations. The Black Artists Association will send a letter to the first lady's office to complain. The letter will also ask the first lady to include African-American-designed items in her wardrobe. The group's co-founder Amnau Eele, tells Women's Wear Daily, "it's fine and good if you want to be all 'kumbaya' and 'we are the world' by representing all different countries. But if you are going to have Isabel Toledo do the inauguration dress, and Jason Woo do the evening gown, why not have... black designers do something too?"

Life & Death?

(Fox News) - Vatican officials are criticizing President Obama's decision to end a ban on federal funding for international groups that perform abortions — or provide information about them. The head of the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life Monsignor Rino Fisichella, criticized what he called "the arrogance of those who, being in power, believe they can decide of life and death."

“If this is one of President Obama's first acts, I have to say... that we're heading quickly toward disappointment," Fisichella said.

Another Vatican official, Monsignor Elio Sgreccia added, "among the many good things that he could have done, Barack Obama instead chose the worst."

Quick Fix

(Fox News) - House Minority Leader John Boehner says Alcatraz prison in the San Francisco Bay should be reopened to house detainees from Guantanamo Bay. Boehner said during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," "If liberals believe they ought to go, maybe we ought to open Alcatraz. It's very secure."

Republican Congressman Bill Young of Florida suggested to a White House official last week that the island prison would be the perfect spot. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not like the idea of detaining terror suspects in her own district. She said of Congressman Young during an interview on ABC's "This Week," "Perhaps he's not visited Alcatraz. Alcatraz is a tourist destination... it's a national park."

Kennedys vs. Governor Paterson?

Family Matters

(Fox News) - The Kennedy's are said to be livid over the treatment Caroline Kennedy supposedly received from New York Governor David Paterson. The New York Post reports a source close to the family says, "The governor's going to pay for this. Ted is furious. The family is furious."

Reports say rumors suggesting Kennedy withdrew her name from consideration for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat because of tax issues, her nanny and even her marriage, came from Paterson's office. The Post also reports Paterson said Kennedy had turned "nasty" the day before he announced New York Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand would get the appointment. One source told the paper, "Caroline can't believe what Paterson did to her. She was smeared, and she's never going to forgive it or forget it."

Speaker of the House Pelosi: Birth Control Helps the Economy

From Rush Limbaugh: Her photo in every cheap motel room would work better.

The Obama-Limbaugh Bipartisan Stimulus Plan of 2009

From Rush Limbaugh: Bring both sides together. Stop the acrimony. Let's start solving our problems, together. Why wait one more day?

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Partisanship!

From Rush Limbaugh: What do you suppose the reaction would be -- especially in the Drive-By Media -- if I said: "Democrats are bad people... who deserve a two-by-four upside their heads"? Or if I said an "untainted Democrat has not yet been invented"?

Well, those two quotes were once uttered by Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel -- only they were aimed at Republicans. Emanuel called Republicans bad, tainted people who deserve to be whacked on the head with lumber. And he said not one Republican is untainted. These quotes appeared in a New York Times article describing Emanuel as "arguably the second most powerful man in the country." The adoring profile praises Emanuel's loyalty, his influence on Obama's thinking, and his fierce partisanship.

Now, despite what you've heard, partisanship is alive and well -- on the Democrat side. Almost every day the president rolls back another Bush-era policy with verbal jabs at his predecessor. No problem; elections have consequences, and he won (as he boasted in a meeting on Friday with Republican leaders).

Partisan Democrats want Republicans to never regain power. That's why Obama is painting Republicans as the obstacle to his trillion-dollar stimulus plan -- when the truth is Republicans don't have the votes to stop it anyway! That's also why the president is brazenly telling Republicans who they should not listen to. This is the "Great Unifier"?

No, my friends: Partisanship is alive and well. And that's why I, El Rushbo, am not going to back down... or back off.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
NY Times: Obama's Partisan, Profane Confidant Reins It In
NY Post: Prez Zings GOP Foe in a Stimulating Talk

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sour Note

(Fox News) - It turns out the some of the music heard by the masses at President Obama’s inauguration was not performed live.

A quartet featuring renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman played instruments, but the music that was pumped through the public address system was taped. Carole Florman, a spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies referred to the 1980s pop group that was stripped of its Grammy award for lip-syncing saying, "this isn't Milli Vanilli. They had to perform in such cold weather, the instruments couldn't possibly be in tune."

She also said a piano cannot hold its tune if it has been in temperatures colder than 55 degrees for more than two hours. It was around 30 degrees for the inauguration.

Green Scheme

(Fox News) - A well-known British scientist and environmentalist says while he believes in man-made global warming, most efforts to protect the planet are little more than money-making scams. James Lovelock is known for his work in detecting harmful gases that damage the ozone layer.

He tells New Scientist magazine, "most of the 'green' stuff is verging on a gigantic scam. Carbon trading, with its huge government subsidies, is just what finance and industry wanted. It's not going to do a damn thing about climate change, but it'll make a lot of money for a lot of people and postpone the moment of reckoning."

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Problem Solved!

From Rush Limbaugh: Well, now that Club Gitmo is going to be closed, and our standing in the world has been restored, what do we do with all those nasty terrorists?

Our friends in Europe -- who, remember, complained loudly and bitterly about Gitmo and George Bush -- are suddenly less vocal. Ireland, Portugal, France, Germany, and Switzerland are saying they might participate in a program to help out... on one condition: that we don’t send them any terrorists. Michael Martin, the Irish Foreign Minister, said: "No one is talking about terrorists or anything like that coming to EU countries. We're talking about non-combatants -- people who clearly have no history of any terrorist activity."

Thanks, fellas! Big help you are!

Meanwhile, Abu al Libi (not to be confused with Scooter Libby), an Al-Qaeda commander who escaped from a US prison in Bagram, Afghanistan, has posted a video. He's urging his fellow terrorists to attack Western and Arab capitals in retaliation for Israel mopping the floor with the Gazookas in Gaza.

Oh, and then there's this tidbit. Representative Jane Harman (Democrat, California) is cautioning President Greg Craig to "proceed extremely carefully" regarding the closing of Gitmo. And Pete Hoekstra of Michigan (a Republican) is worried about reports that as many as ten percent of the prisoners already released from Gitmo are back on the battlefield.

Okay, so let's run the numbers. There are about 245 of these rascals at Gitmo. Why not just send each major blue city that voted for Obama, an equal share? Or give them all to San Francisco and put them on Alcatraz?

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Europe Slow to Offer New Home to Gitmo Inmates
AP: Al-Qaeda Commander Advocates Attacks on Western Capitals to Avenge Gaza Fighting
AP: Lawmakers Troubled by Reports on Ex-Gitmo Detainee

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Obama: Quit Listening to Rush Limbaugh if You Want to Get Things Done

Obama warned Republicans to quit listening to Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats, during a White House discussion on his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package.

WASHINGTON (Fox News) - President Obama warned Republicans on Capitol Hill today that they need to quit listening to radio king Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats and the new administration.

"You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package.

One White House official confirmed the comment but said he was simply trying to make a larger point about bipartisan efforts.

"There are big things that unify Republicans and Democrats," the official said. "We shouldn't let partisan politics derail what are very important things that need to get done."

That wasn't Obama's only jab at Republicans today.

While discussing the stimulus package with top lawmakers in the White House's Roosevelt Room, President Obama shot down a critic with a simple message.

"I won," he said, according to aides who were briefed on the meeting. "I will trump you on that."

The response was to the objection by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to the president's proposal to increase benefits for low-income workers who don't owe federal income taxes.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

N.C. State Coach Kay Yow Dies

Raleigh (Winston-Salem Journal) - North Carolina State's Kay Yow, the Hall of Fame women's basketball coach who won more than 700 games while earning fans with her decades-long fight against breast cancer, died today. She was 66.

Yow, first diagnosed with the disease in 1987, died on Saturday morning after being admitted to a hospital last week, the university said in a statement.

Indecent Proposal

(Fox News) - Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi says President Obama should seek peace with Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden. Gadhafi spoke via satellite to students at Georgetown University saying "Terrorism is a dwarf not a giant. Usama bin Laden is a person who can be given a chance to reform. Maybe we can have dialogue with him and find out the reason that led him in this direction."

Gadhafi went on to say that he supports Israel’s right to exist but thinks that its citizens should leave the Middle East. "If you want to preserve this group, the Jews as an ethnic group, Palestine is not really the right place. The Middle East is a sea of Arabs. Take them to Alaska or Honolulu or the Hawaiian islands or the Pacific Islands and they can live peacefully in an isolated setting."

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Warning!

From Rush Limbaugh: Well, by executive order, our new president -- meeting the expectations of the far left -- has ordered Club Gitmo closed... without first having a plan in place to deal with the terrorists who've been kept there.

By executive order, our new president -- acceding to the demands of the far left -- has removed from the CIA the means to extract life-saving information from known terrorists... even though it was rarely used, and, more importantly, has actually worked to disrupt terror plots against American citizens.

And by executive order, our new president -- bowing to the pressure of the far left -- has made it more difficult for past presidents and vice presidents to keep information classified; this was done primarily to give radicals in his own party a new weapon to go after George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

The Drive-By Media, as expected, are not "connecting the dots" between the policies of the Bush administration and the safety this nation enjoyed after the 9/11 attacks. Sadly, many key Republicans are too afraid to object to all this -- even though they know the dangers these executive orders present.

During the presidential transition period, pundits on both sides of the aisle convinced each other that the incoming Obama administration would be centrist, not partisan ideologues; I told you then it was nonsense. The opening days of this administration are proving me right. That's not a consolation, folks -- it is a warning. Don't doubt me.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Obama Closing Guantanamo as He Reshapes US Policy

Friday, January 23, 2009

Matthews questions if Palin can read

(Politico) - MSNBC host Chris Matthews suggested Friday that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) may not have the reading or writing ability needed to complete the book she is reportedly shopping.

The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that Palin is seeking an $11 million advance for her memoir and has hired high-powered Washington attorney Robert Barnett to broker the deal.

Teasing a segment on the book during his show “Hardball,” Matthews said: “If she can read, if she can write, she’ll make some money.”

Matthews repeated his suggestion that Palin could not write the book later in the show. “The question is who actually will write the Palin book,” he said. “The only politician I know who can write is Barack Obama.”

Former Gov. Bob Scott dies

(Winston-Salem Journal) - Former Gov. Bob Scott, a member of a populist political dynasty in North Carolina who helped push the first retail cigarette tax to pay for public kindergarten and later ran the community college system, died early this morning at the age of 79.

Scott, whose health had been declining for months, died about 3 at Hospice Palliative Care Center of Alamance County, according to his daughter, Meg Scott Phipps.

"We will miss him and we know that he loved this state and the people in this state," Phipps told The Associated Press. "We'll miss his humor and his compassion."

Video Clip: Hannity Asks Rush: Do You Want Obama to Succeed?

What we don't know about Obama

From the Politico: We know a lot more about Barack Obama than we did on Election Day. He wastes little time making big decisions. He was serious about surrounding himself with seasoned people, even if they are outsized personalities likely to jostle one another and unlikely to salute on command. He intends to move quickly to put his personal stamp on government and national life.

Yet much about how the 44th president will govern remains a mystery—perhaps even to Obama himself.

The stirring rhetoric witnessed on the campaign trail and in Tuesday’s inaugural address is laced with spacious language — flexible enough to support conflicting conclusions about what he really believes. Only decisions, not words, can clarify what Obama stands for. Those are coming soon enough.

Until then, here are the questions still left hanging as the Obama administration begins...

Video: No stimulus money for white males

From the Hot Air Blog: Wasn’t this supposed the era of post-racialism? Robert Reich apparently didn’t get that message. In his appearance before Congress on structuring the stimulus plan on January 7th, Reich suggested that the package discriminate against white male workers:

I am concerned, as I’m sure many of you are, that these jobs not simply go to high-skilled people who are already professionals or to white male construction workers. … I have nothing against white male construction workers. I’m just saying that there are a lot of other people who have needs as well. … Criteria can be set so that the money does go to others, the long term unemployed minorities, women, people who are not necessarily construction workers or high-skilled professionals.

Presidential oath — redux :-)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cheney Speaks Out on Libby

Former vice president calls prosecution a "serious miscarriage of justice" and disagrees with Bush's decision.

(By Stephen F. Hayes, The Weekly Standard) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney disagreed publicly with his boss just four times in the eight years they served together. Yesterday, however, on the first day after the official end of the Bush administration, Cheney disagreed with George W. Bush once more.

Cheney told THE WEEKLY STANDARD that his former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, whom he described as a "victim of a serious miscarriage of justice," deserved a presidential pardon.

Asked for his reaction to Bush's decision Cheney said: "Scooter Libby is one of the most capable and honorable men I've ever known. He's been an outstanding public servant throughout his career. He was the victim of a serious miscarriage of justice, and I strongly believe that he deserved a presidential pardon. Obviously, I disagree with President Bush's decision."

President Obama's first call 'was to President Abbas'

(Times Online) - President Obama placed the Middle East at the forefront of his first hours in office yesterday as he sought to make good on his promise of “ushering in a new era of peace”.

In a flurry of telephone calls from the Oval Office, he reached out to leaders in the region and vowed to engage immediately in pursuit of a permanent Arab-Israeli settlement.

The spokesman for President Abbas revealed that Mr Obama had told the Palestinian leader that their conversation was his first with a foreign statesman since taking office. Mr Obama also spoke to President Mubarak of Egypt, Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, and King Abdullah of Jordan.

Out of the Picture

(Fox News) - The official portraits of former President Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney were taken down from government buildings at noon Tuesday, coinciding with President Obama's swearing-in. But if you are hoping to snag a keepsake — forget it. The Cleveland Plain Dealer Online reports the photos will be destroyed. Kathy Lease, the supervisory property manager for the General Services Administration in Cleveland, OH, says they will be respectfully disposed of because — "they don't want them laying around so people can use them for improper things."

The photo frames can be reused for the portraits of President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden — once they are printed and distributed.

Name Game

(Fox News) - A North Carolina Web developer says he made a giant profit after purchasing the expired Internet domain name for former President George W. Bush's presidential library. The Raleigh News and Observer reports George Huger was searching through a list of expiring domain names two years ago when he came across the address — "GeorgeWBushLibrary.com." So once it expired — he bought it for $5.

After sitting on the domain name for two years, Huger says he sold it for $35,000 to the Florida-based company that is in charge of the library Web site.

Before you rush to your computer — rights to "BarackObamaLibrary.com" — are already taken.

Chinese Government Censors President Obama's Inaugural Address

Quick Edit

(Fox News) - The Chinese government censored President Obama's inaugural address Tuesday — deleting references to communism and dissent. During his speech, the president said earlier generations, "faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions." Adding later, "those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent — know that you are on the wrong side of history."

But the official Chinese translation removed the word "communism" from the first sentence — and the paragraph that included the word "dissent" — was deleted altogether.

State-run TV abruptly dumped out of its live broadcast of the speech, and went to its studio anchor when President Obama mentioned fascism and communism.

Judge Obama on Performance Alone

Let's not celebrate more ordinary speeches.

From Juan Williams: With the noon sun high over the U.S. Capitol, Barack Obama yesterday took the oath of office to become president of the United States. On one level, it was a simple matter of political process -- the symbolic transfer of power. Yet words alone cannot convey its meaning.

The calloused hands of slaves, the voices of abolitionists, the hearts of generations who trusted in the naïve promise that any child can become president, will find some reward in a moment that was hard to imagine last year, much less 50 years ago. Our history, so marred by the sin of slavery, has come to the day when a man that an old segregationist would have described as "tea-colored" -- the child of a white woman and an African immigrant, who identifies as a member of the long oppressed and despised black minority -- was chosen by a mostly white nation as the personification of America's best sense of self as a nation of power and virtue.

At the end of the 1965 march calling for passage of the Voting Rights Act, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said politics held the potential to reflect the brilliance of the American creed of justice for all, and a "society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience." Years of hard work lay ahead to shift racist attitudes born of political power being limited to white Americans, he said, then added that "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. How long? Not long. Because mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!"

It is neither overweening emotion nor partisanship to see King's moral universe bending toward justice in the act of the first non-white man taking the oath of the presidency. But now that this moment has arrived, there is a question: How shall we judge our new leader?

Tom Brokaw's Revenge? Calls Out 'Bigots and Rednecks' on Obama Inauguration Day: 'Take This!'

From Newsbusters: Sitting in a Washington bar with the Morning Joe crew on MSNBC Tuesday morning, former NBC anchor grew emotional remembering the 1960s. "I get very emotional. It has been hard for me to walk through the streets. And I think that the day is going to be very emotional." Brokaw even grew bold enough to tell the "bigots and rednecks" he met in the Sixties "when we were evolving as a country" to suffer through the Obama inauguration: "Take this. You know?"

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: New America

From Rush Limbaugh: Last Monday, two 9/11 terrorist defendants were in a Guantanamo Bay courtroom. Relatives of some of the 9/11 victims, also in the courtroom, were stunned by what they heard: "We did what we did; we're proud of September 11th," declared defendant Ramzi Binalshibh. The other -- Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- complained that he has been unable to see his family during his incarceration. Both want to plead guilty to these charges that they were masterminds in the worst attacks on American soil.

It may not matter, though. Hours after taking the oaf of office, President Barack Obama ordered prosecutors to request a four-month suspension of Gitmo war-crimes trials. He wants to review the military tribunal system that was painstakingly put into place to deliver justice to these guys.

A lawyer for another terrorist, Omar Khadr, who stands accused of killing an American soldier with a hand grenade, said that Obama's order "has the practical effect of stopping the process, probably forever." A spokesman announced that the European Union Commission was "very pleased" that this was one of Obama's first actions. The ACLU called it a positive step. Human Rights First, a fringe leftist wacko group, praised the move as well, but demanded more -- saying this is "only a first step."

Some families of the victims -- whose voices don't matter as much as European Union commissioners or human rights activists -- undoubtedly feel betrayed, but that's too bad. Because this is "hope", and this is "change". This... is the new America.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Judges Considering a Halt to Guantanamo Terror Trials
AP: Plans to Close Gitmo Anger 9/11 Victims' Families

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama, Roberts Finally Get It Right in Oath Do-Over

President Obama re-takes the oath of office after he and Chief Justice John Roberts stumbled over the language the first time.

(Fox News) - In a rare do-over, President Obama took the oath of office for a second time Wednesday after Chief Justice John Roberts and the new president had stumbled slightly over the oath's language on Inauguration Day.

Some constitutional scholars had suggested that Obama re-take the oath just to be on the safe side. Obama did not substantively change any language on Tuesday, but after Roberts flubbed some of the wording the new president used language different from that prescribed in the Constitution.

The chief justice and the president handled the matter privately in the Map Room on Wednesday night. It took 25 seconds, and when Obama repeated the oath Roberts told him, "Congratulations, again."

Wednesday Funnies :-)

Conan O'Brien: "Bill Clinton got the biggest response from the [inauguration] crowd. Apparently, thousands of women yelled, 'That's him, officer!'"

Jay Leno: You know a lot of celebrities in Washington for the inauguration. Isn't that unbelievable? So many celebrities are out of town, over in Malibu, they had to close the Promises Rehab Center for a week.

Good luck trying to find a place to stay. Given how hard it is to get a room in Washington, even Bill and Hillary had to double up.

Barack Obama plans to issue an executive order on his first full day in office, directing the closing of Guantanamo Bay. He said he needs the money for new prisons to hold Democratic mayors and governors.

Incoming press secretary Robert Gibbs said President-elect Barack Obama will allow gays to serve openly in the military. So the days of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" are over. Actually, that's not quite true. Congress will continue to use the phrase when referring to the bailout money. "Don't Ask Us What We Did With It, We're Not Going To Tell You Where It Went."

At his confirmation hearing, Attorney General Nominee Eric Holder said as far as he is concerned, waterboarding is torture. And Treasury secretary nominee Tim Geithner said, "So is paying taxes."

President Bush said he is leaving Washington with his head held high, because it is the best way to spot shoes that are coming at you.

The Obama Presidency: Here Comes Socialism

(By Dick Morris, Real Clear Politics) - 2009-2010 will rank with 1913-14, 1933-36, 1964-65 and 1981-82 as years that will permanently change our government, politics and lives. Just as the stars were aligned for Wilson, Roosevelt, Johnson and Reagan, they are aligned for Obama. Simply put, we enter his administration as free-enterprise, market-dominated, laissez-faire America. We will shortly become like Germany, France, the United Kingdom, or Sweden -- a socialist democracy in which the government dominates the economy, determines private-sector priorities and offers a vastly expanded range of services to many more people at much higher taxes.

Aboard the Bush Plane

(The Daily Beast) - In a Daily Beast exclusive, a former Bush advisor files his account—and his photos—from aboard the former president’s flight back to Texas.

President Obama Wears Bullet-Resistant Suit at Inaugural

(Wired Blog Network) - Barack Obama had more than the Presidential 'beast' limo taking care of his safety yesterday.

According to some reports, he wore a suit made by a clothier specializing in bullet-resistant clothing during the inauguration ceremonies.

Cindy Speaks

(The Daily Beast) - In a conversation with her daughter (and blogger) Meghan, Cindy McCain opens up about subjects she couldn’t discuss before: anger at The New York Times, wardrobe malfunctions, and Obama’s inauguration.

Former President Bush returns home to Texas

Experts say Obama should retake the oath

Washington (San Francisco Chronicle) - Several constitutional lawyers said President Obama should, just to be safe, retake the oath of office that was flubbed by Chief Justice John Roberts.

The 35-word oath is explicitly prescribed in the Constitution, Article II, Section 1, which begins by saying the president "shall" take the oath "before he enter on the execution of his office."

The oath reads: "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

In giving the oath, Roberts misplaced the word "faithfully," at which point Obama paused quizzically. Roberts then corrected himself, but Obama repeated the words as Roberts initially said them.

A do-over "would take him 30 seconds, he can do it in private, it's not a big deal, and he ought to do it just to be safe," said Boston University constitutional scholar and Supreme Court watcher Jack Beermann. "It's an open question whether he's president until he takes the proper oath."

Crowd more than a million, may be record

(ChicagoBreakingNews.com) - More than a million giddy spectators convened on the national mall to watch Barack Obama take the oath of office today, but it is unclear if the crowd surpassed the record believed to have been set three and half decades ago at Lyndon B. Johnson's 1965 inauguration.

Though early estimates Tuesday ranged as high as 2 million, satellite images of Obaam's swearing-in suggested the actual size of the throng may have been closer to half that, according to Clark McPhail, a sociologist who has been analyzing crowds on the mall since the '60s.

"It was sparser than I thought," said McPhail, an emeritus sociologist from the University of Illinois. "There were lots of open spaces."

Republicrats Flock to Obama

(American Thinker) - The new year has already witnessed an unseemly rush on the part of some Republicans to cozy up to President Barack Obama. Sucked in by the lights, the parties, the adoring fans, and of course the fawning "paparazzi," these politicians have traded loyalty to the convictions of their constituents for pilgrimage to kiss the ring of the one whom Farrakhan called "the messiah."

Where did the train fly off the track folks? If Obama couldn't be trusted prior to the election, as even Senator John McCain indicated, or if he supported all methods of abortion and opposed the Second Amendment prior to the election, as Obama's own record indicated he did in both cases, then he is still an untrustworthy, pro-abortion, anti-gunner. Getting elected did not change these things.

Was Obama guilty of "palling around with terrorists" as Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin said he was in the months leading up to the 2008 elections? Sure he was. His relations with William Ayers were common knowledge. So guess what? He is no less guilty of that now; getting elected didn't change that either.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Hope-Change

From Rush Limbaugh: My friends, the grand pomp and circumstance is over...at least for the moment. The magnificent walk into destiny has been accomplished. The original sin which has plagued this nation since our founding has been temporarily relegated to the sidelines, overshadowed by the emergence of "The One."

The Messiah, Lord Barack Hussein Obama The Most Merciful -- The incarnation of Abraham Lincoln, FDR, and JFK -- is the 44th President of the United States of America, and First Emperor of the World.

With that business over, it's time for hope-change. Much has been promised; much must be delivered.

Today, America has no enemies. All the nations of the world are now our friends. And now that our standing in the world has been reestablished thanks to "The One," we must not squander these valued relationships with petty concerns over our own national security or interest.


Perplexing issues which have long plagued us will finally be resolved. Everyone will have health care, paid in full. Everyone will have a good job. We're not talking burger flipping, either. Our infrastructure will be reborn; some streets will be made of gold. Social Security, Medicare: fixed. Climate problems: fixed! Quality education: universal. No more foreclosures. No more homelessness. No more hunger. No more strife. No more strain. And 95% of us will get tax cuts. Our banks will flow with cash! Accountability and responsibility have returned.

Hope-change has arrived.

Say Amen!

That was the message of the poet. I'll have an analysis of Obama's inaugural address in tomorrow's update.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
Reuters: Obama Becomes First Black U.S. President

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Remembering the Gipper...

Take your seats :-)

Social inSecurity

A penny for your thoughts... :-)

And the journey begins...

Obama & Chief Justice Flub Oath of Office

Ex-President Bush and Wife Leave Washington for Texas

Former President George W. Bush and wife Laura left the nation's capital Tuesday for a "welcome home" ceremony in Texas.

(Fox News) - Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, have boarded a plane in suburban Maryland for their flight back to Texas after eight years in the White House.

Following the inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation's 44th president, Bush and his wife Laura got on a helicopter stationed alongside the U.S. Capitol. The new president and his wife walked them to the chopper -- keeping with tradition -- to see them off.

The Bushes retraced a very familiar route -- flying to Andrews for the jet ride south.

At Andrews, they paused for a time to greet supporters and military personnel.

The Bushes are first headed to Midland, Texas, for a homecoming celebration in the city that hosted a send-off for them eight years ago. Then they'll go to their ranch in Crawford for their first night as private citizens again.

Kennedy and Byrd both leave lunch with medical trouble

(Politico) - Ted Kennedy was taken out of the Statuary Hall luncheon after suffering an apparent seizure -- a few minutes after Sen. Robert Byrd was removed in his wheelchair under the supervision of medical personnel.

Byrd was conscious and had been having trouble eating, according to a witness.

Kennedy, who underwent brain cancer surgery last year, was taken to the Rayburn room. A police radio picked up a call for paramedics to help someone stricken with a seizure, according to Politico's Patrick Kennedy.

(ABC News) - Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., who is battling a brain tumor, was taken away from the congressional luncheon in convulsions.

Kennedy was at a table with Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and others, and was taken out of the room. President Barack Obama went out of the room with him, but he is back in the luncheon room now.

Obama just spoke to the luncheon about Kennedy: "First of all, I know that while I was out of the room, concern was expressed about Teddy. He was there when the Voting Rights Act passed. And, along with John Lewis, was a warrior for justice. And so I would be lying to you if I did not say that right now a part of me is with him. And I think that is true for all of us. This is a joyous time, but it's also a sobering time. And my prayers are with him and his family and Vicki."

Bathroom Break: Will inauguration have enough?

WASHINGTON (AP) — To Conrad Harrell of port-a-potty supplier Don's Johns, (today's) inauguration of Barack Obama will be historic, but not in the way you might think.

"This is the largest temporary restroom event in the history of the United States," he said.

Don's Johns is providing many of the 5,000 port-a-potties for the inauguration, but there are other suppliers as well, such as Mr. John, Johnny Blue and Johnny on the Spot.

Barack Obama Becomes Nation's 44th President

WASHINGTON (AP) - Barack Hussein Obama is now the nation's 44th president -- and first black chief executive.

Even before he took the oath of office, Obama assumed the country's highest office by mandate of the U.S. Constitution.

The 20th Amendment specifies that the terms of office of the president and vice president "shall end at noon on the 20th day of January ... and the terms of their successors shall then begin."

And so, the transfer of power was complete when the clock struck noon.

What Recession? The $170 Million Inauguration

Obama's Inauguration Has Been Financed Partially by Bailed-Out Wall Street Executives

(ABC News) - The country is in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, which isn't stopping rich donors and the government from spending $170 million, or more, on the inauguration of Barack Obama .

The actual swearing-in ceremony will cost $1.24 million, according to Carole Florman, spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

It's the security, parties and countless Porta-a-Potty rentals that really run up the bill.

Obama reaches out for McCain's counsel

WASHINGTON (International Herald Tribune) - Not long after Senator John McCain returned last month from an official trip to Iraq and Pakistan, he received a phone call from President-elect Barack Obama.

As contenders for the presidency, the two had hammered each other for much of 2008 over their conflicting approaches to foreign policy, especially in Iraq. (He'd lose a war! He'd stay a hundred years!) Now, however, Obama said he wanted McCain's advice, people in each camp briefed on the conversation said. What did he see on the trip? What did he learn?

Heart-ache: Carter snubs Clinton at presidents’ meet and greet

(ABC News) - Today may be a day when the nation briefly sets aside partisan enmity for the peaceful transition of power, but personal enmity? That’s another matter.

One small example: as the ex-Presidents gathered in the crypt of the Capitol preparing to head out to the platform, a chilly day got a bit chillier as the Carters and the Clintons were forced to occupy the same cramped space.

Former Democratic President Jimmy Carter appeared to greet former Republican President George H.W. Bush and his wife warmly, kissing Barbara Bush on the cheek. But as Carter passed fellow Democrats Bill and Hillary Clinton, the two men did not appear to acknowledge each others presence at all. A total snub.