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Obamas Channel Nixon, Part 157

I am just STUNNED, I tell you — STUNNED. (h/t – Instapundit)

No inspector general can unearth corruption without access to his office, computer or staff. An “administrative leave” putting an IG in that position has the same effect, for all intents and purposes, as an immediate firing. That’s the basic logic behind former Inspector General Gerald Walpin’s lawsuit demanding at least temporary reinstatement to his job as watchdog at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). New revelations about the case from two lawmakers indicate that there is good reason to suspect duplicity from those who helped force Mr. Walpin’s overnight removal in June.

In the past 10 days, two major developments have occurred. First, Obama administration attorneys continued their efforts to deny Mr. Walpin his day in court. On Dec. 7, they filed reply briefs rearguing their demand that the case be dismissed without even a hearing. Second, Rep. Darrell Issa of California and Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, both Republicans, have openly questioned the honesty of CNCS Chairman Alan D. Solomont. Most explosively of all, dirty deeds may have been employed to hide extensive involvement in the affair by the office of first lady Michelle Obama, whom the White House months earlier had announced would play “a central role in the national service agenda.”

Mr. Walpin’s suit claims that President Obama did not abide by the requirement in the Inspector General Act that IGs be given 30 days’ notice before being “removed” from office. Mr. Walpin instead was placed on “paid administrative leave” for 30 days. The new administration brief argues that such “leave” does not constitute “removal.”

Mr. Walpin’s suit explained that the entire reason for the 30-day-notice requirement is to ward off political interference with ongoing investigations. The administrative leave that denied him access to all the tools of his job, he contended, effectively “removed” him just as he was following up on two reports extremely critical of close allies of the Obamas or of Mr. Solomont.

I can’t really decide if Michelle or Barry are more like Nixon…. or the American Perons.  Time will tell.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

AGW Guru Pachauri is Economist, not Climate Scientist

Not too long ago, one of our critics faulted me for not fact-checking a line in a recent post.*  I had said something appeared to be true because the only confirmation I had (of this point) was a response to a friend’s facebook posting.  Given that man’s criticism, I am relieved I have never blogged about Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a man “considered the top climate scientist in the world“.

You see, I had always considered Dr. Pachauri, who (as head of the IPCC) shares a Nobel Prize with Al Gore, for “their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change“, was a trained climate scientist, with an education and background in geology or meteorology, or some science closely related to the study of the earth and its atmosphere.  Had I, based on his prominence in the promotion of the notion of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), called him a climatologist, I would have been wrong.  And my left-wing critics would have surely excoriated me for the misrepresentation.

You see, Dr Pachauri “often presented as a scientist (he was even once described by the BBC as ‘the world’s top climate scientist’)” is, in actuality, “a former railway engineer with a PhD in economics”.  He “has no qualifications in climate science at all.”  Not just that, he stands to benefit financially from the various schemes recommended by the IPCC.

No wonder Ed Morrissey describes Pachauri as “the perfect pick to lead the effort” to promote “AGW hysteria”:

It’s all about economics, not the climate or science at all.  It’s an excuse to impose a massive transfer of wealth from developed nations to Third World dictatorships, and people like Pachauri have positioned themselves to get rich on the transactions.

He does have a lot in common with Al Gore.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  My pal Sonicfrog gives me some gentle (I hope) ribbing:

Man, you are so behind the times. I gave the good Dr some bloogy love way back in Nov of last year. One of the best things about Climategate is that people are starting to pay attention to things we’ve been pointing out for years.

* (more…)

Obama’s National Security Policy (in a nutshell)

“. . .moral sanctimoniousness and a determination to do the opposite of whatever George W. Bush was doing.”

Jennifer Rubin

Given national mood last fall, amazing that Obama’s margin wasn’t greater

Every time I review the 2008 presidential campaign, I remain amazed at how well John McCain did, given the political headwinds against which he and his party were sailing last fall.  To be sure, with the selection of Sarah Palin and the successful convention, he had built up a good head of steam heading out of St. Paul.  Problem was, his team hadn’t developed a strategy for confronting unexpected obstacles, nor for dealing with a hostile media.  Not just that, he never found a way to articulate a coherent economic message which become particularly important in the wake of the financial meltdown of mid-September (one of those aforementioned unexpected obstacles).

That meltdown and McCain’s showing came to mind again last night as I was reviewing various polls for posts I was working on at the time.  According to the NBC/Wall Street Journal survey, the percentage of Americans believing the country was “off on the wrong track” hit a high of 78 just two weeks before the election, with only one in eight voters thinking we were headed in the right direction.

Just look at this pollster.com average of polls to see how the gap between those thinking the country was on the wrong track and those who thought we were headed in the right direction expanded in the run-up to last fall’s balloting:

It just wasn’t a good place for the candidate of the incumbent party to find himself in an electoral contest where the candidate of the opposing party is outspending him while the media fawns all over said opposition candidate and trashes the Vice Presidential nominee of the incumbent party.

Just to serve as a reminder about the nature of Obama’s “mandate.”  It wasn’t so much the agenda of his party voters were rejecting, but that of the then-incumbent party that voters were rejecting.  Given where we were last fall–and the kind of campaign McCain ran–it’s simply amazing that he broke 40% of the vote, much less the nearly 46% he actually won.

Would Obamacare Numbers Be Worse if MSM Were Even-handed?

Despite President Obama’s repeated efforts to move public opinion in favor of the Democratic plan to overhaul our health care system, he was only able to generate a slight bump in the polls in early September, but to see those numbers slide even further–and a pretty steady pace–in the following months.

As a result, Democrats appear to have won passage of this massive government intervention in our lives not by an appeal to public opinion, but by legislative machinations.  Some new kind of politics.

Given the mostly favorable coverage the president and his plan received in the mainstream media, with “reporters” often exaggerating the benefits of the plan and downplaying criticism, I wonder if those numbers would have declined further–and at a more rapid pace–had the coverage been a little more even-handed.

Snowe Decries Democrats Mad Rush to Pass Obamacare

While the Democrats hard sell worked to flip erstwhile “moderate” Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson, one centrist Republican who had voted for the Baucus version of a health care overhaul in committee, remained unswayed:

One GOP lawmaker who had been in talks with the White House, Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, said the bill was being pushed through without a chance for meaningful debate or change.

She said the “beat the clock” approach “is really overruling legislative sanity.”

Unlike her Cornhusker colleague, the lady for the Pine Tree State is clearly not a “cheap date.”

Democrats: In Power Now, but Still Running Against George Bush

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:18 am - December 20, 2009.
Filed under: 111th Congress,2010 Elections,Bush-hatred

With the Democratic Congress on the verge of passing quite possibly the most unpopular piece of major legislation in U.S. history, with more people disapproving than approving Obama’s handling of the economy and with an increasing number of Americans believing the country is on the wrong track, it’s no wonder Democrats want to turn the clock back and run against George W. Bush in 2010.

Sure beats running on their record, Obama’s broken promises and an increasingly unpopular Congress.  According to the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, a higher percentage of Americans (68) disapprove of the current Congress than disapproved (65) of the last Republican Congress in September 2006.  (Interesting that poll also showed that in mid-October 2008, only 12% of Americans approved of the then-current Congress, yet two weeks later voted to increase the Democratic majorities in both Houses.)

Democrats may remain obsessed with George W. Bush, but a year from now, the American people will be more concerned about how the incumbent President, then nearly halfway through his White House tenure, is doing.  And heck, the way thing have been going these past few months, by the time we head to the polls to elect a new Congress next fall, the immediate past president may be more popular than his successor.

Guess running against a retired politician is easier sell for Democrats than running on their record.

With repeated and regular Republican votes against Obama’s big government initiatives, people are slowly beginning to realize that Democratic claims notwithstanding, this is no longer George W. Bush’s GOP.  A year hence, people may not want to be affiliated with Barack Obama’s party.  That NBC/WSJ poll shows that for the first time since Obama took office, a higher percentage of Americans (45) have a negative opinion of the Democratic Party than they (43) do of the GOP.  In February, nearly half of all Americans had a positive view of the Democratic Party.  Barely a third do today.

The GOP, to be sure, still has a ways to go, but, as elections in New Jersey, Virginia and the New York City suburbs show, when actual candidates replace a generic party name, Americans increasingly prefer the Republican.

Historic Obamacare may be, but unpopular it sure is

No wonder President Obama and the Democrats moved heaven and earth to overhaul our nation’s health care system.  It’s all about making history.  On Yahoo!’s main page, we read Obama hails 60th Senate vote for historic health reform bill

Jubilant Democrats locked in Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson as the 60th and decisive vote for historic health care legislation Saturday, putting President Barack Obama’s signature issue firmly on a path for Christmas Eve passage.

At the White House, Obama swiftly welcomed the breakthrough, saying, “After a nearly century-long struggle, we are on the cusp of making health care reform a reality in the United States of America.”

It’s all about the historical struggle, the people be damned.  For this isn’t the only thing historical about this vote as Megan McArdle (and other bloggers, including yours truly, and pundits) have pointed out:

No bill this large has ever before passed on a straight party-line vote, or even anything close to a straight party-line vote. No bill this unpopular has ever before passed on a straight party-line vote. We’re in a new political world.

We sure are.  But, we’re still in the same old media world.  In telling us how historic this bill is, the AP only reports those aspects of the CBO report that fit its narrative:

CBO analysts also said the legislation would cut federal deficits by $132 billion over 10 years and possibly much more in the subsequent decade.

According to the CBO Director’s Blog (via Big Government),

These longer-term calculations assume that the provisions are enacted and remain unchanged throughout the next two decades, which is often not the case for major legislation. For example, the sustainable growth rate (SGR) mechanism governing Medicare’s payments to physicians has frequently been modified (either through legislation or administrative action) to avoid reductions in those payments, and legislation to do so again is currently under consideration in the Congress. . . .

The legislation would maintain and put into effect a number of procedures that might be difficult to sustain over a long period of time. Under current law and under the proposal, payment rates for physicians’ services in Medicare would be reduced by about 21 percent in 2010 and then decline further in subsequent years.

And while the AP article reports all the legislation’s supposed benefits as facts, the unnamed author leaves it to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to spell out the costs, as if they’re not really facts, just allegations by a man embittered by his defeat.  The article doesn’t mention the payoffs to the state of Nebraska nor the other federal funds siphoned off to secure the votes of other once-wavering Democrats.

To talk about the messy way this bill was passed might get in the way of the historical narrative the AP wishes to offer.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Ryan reminds us that just because something is historic doesn’t mean it’s good:

Historic? Oh, it’ll be historic.

The crash and burn of the Hindenburg was historic. The Black Plague in Europe was historic. The fall of Rome was historic. Wars that killed hundreds of thousands of people are historic. But none of these were good things. However, it’s exactly the kind of “historic” we’re seeing here in Obamacare.

The BAD kind of historic.

And I would add the Munich agreement Neville Chamberlain signed was also historic.