Hip Hop President Hits the Clubs

Obama Obama in Russia decides to blow off his hosts on the final night. He takes his family to the “the O2 Lounge, the super-chic, super-pricey rooftop club at the new Ritz-Carlton” the home of “swaggering tycoons and leggy models.” As the NY Times point outs — perhaps the Secret Service cleared them out for the evening. (Read review of the O2.)

It feels like Obama thinks the Presidency is a way to have impressive dates. NY dinner and show, Paris dinner with Michelle, clubbing with the family — why do every time I see them socializing do I hear this song?


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Filed under Foreign Policy, Obama Administration

The Phony Health Care Town Hall

You may have seen it on the news. President Obama appearing before a “Town Hall” audience at Northern Virginia Community College’s Annandale campus discussing Health Care. These “Town Hall” events became famous during the Presidential campaign and now pretty much refer to any group of people sitting around a stage listening to a politician answer questions.

Well in the case of Obama, these events are now carefully screened, managed, and scripted — not because of security concerns — but by the President’s media team who obviously don’t follow the “openness” and “transparency” theme promised by the President. Obama said “”Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.” There is nothing “Town Hall–ish” about them.

On the Health Care “Town Hall” . . . the Washington Post is reporting that “of the seven questions the president answered, four were selected by his staff from videos submitted to the White House Web site or from those responding to a request for ‘tweets.’ ” And the three audience members he called on randomly? The Post says “all turned out to be members of groups with close ties to his administration: the Service Employees International Union, Health Care for America Now, and Organizing for America, which is a part of the Democratic National Committee.”

Knowing all that makes this exchange between White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, CBS’ Chip Reid, and veteran Helen Thomas, a thorn in the side to many a presidential administration, very interesting.

Remember, this exchange happened before the “Town Hall” Gibbs promises the questions will be fair. In fact at the 1:06 mark he says “Ask me that question tomorrow based on what questions were asked.” It is good to see the media calling the Administration out for their phoniness.

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Monuments to Me

Congressman David Obey

Congressman David Obey

If it seems common sense is sometimes lacking in Congress, well, it’s because . . . it is. A perfect example is the battle over “Monuments to Me.” “Monuments to me” are using taxpayer funds in the forms of earmarks to have something named after yourself — generally in your district but sometimes birthplace or other location.

A recent floor altercation between House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) and

Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) once again highlighted this process.

Waters has been seeking $1 million for an employment center in her district that bears her name, but Obey has decided to ban any “monuments to me” when it comes to funding project requests this year.

You may remember the “Monuments to Me” first really came to light over a year ago when Congressman Charles Rangel fought for more earmark funds to go to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York. The GOP dubbed the earmark as a “Monument to Me” and blocked the funding.

Back to common sense — it seems perfectly reasonable to ban this practice. We all know most members of Congress have huge egos, but using taxpayer funds to promote their own name while still in office seems downright scandalous or at least shameful.

Back to Obey – we praise him for stopping the Waters earmark, but let’s look why. The Republicans have vowed that any earmark named after a person in office will be blocked and have promised to force a vote on an outright ban of the practice. The Dems want to leave all options open and certainly don’t want to go on record on this issue.

So thanks to Obey, no “Monuments to me” this year, but who knows about the future.

This practice should just be banned forever.

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Filed under Federal spending, House Democrats

The Unstimulating Stimulus – Part IV

President Obama on July 1st – Stimulus has “done its job.”

Unemployment figures released on July 2nd – 467,000 jobs lost and jobless rate at 9.5%, the highest in 26 years.

I think the only job the stimulus has done has been to reward all the liberal special interest groups that back Obama in the election and allow the liberals in Congress to pass a massive expansion of the government under the guise of stimulus.

Where’s the stimulus, Barack?

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The Unstimulating Stimulus Bill — Part III

Obama says stimulus spending to “ramp up” – June 8th.

But according to USAToday, “Federal spending meant to jump-start the economy slowed last week, two weeks after President Obama vowed to “ramp up” the pace of that aid.”

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Good Questions . . .

The Republican Study Committee, led by Congressman Tom Price (GA) has put out an excellent set of 10 questions for the President on health care.

10 Questions for the President on Health Care

Washington, DC – In light of today’s collaboration between ABC News and the Obama administration on the topic of health care reform, there are a few questions we’d like the President to answer. Mr. President:

1) During the debate on the so-called stimulus package, your estimates on future unemployment and economic recovery proved to be wildly off-base. Why should Americans now believe you that they will not be forced out of the private coverage they enjoy, as basic economics would dictate?

2) Despite your assertions that health care reform will save money, the reality is that plans proposed by Democrats would cost taxpayers between $1 trillion and $2 trillion. How does this save money and how will you pay for this?

3) If, as you claim, a government-run option is essential to maintaining honest competition in the health insurance market, why is it not also true that we need a government-run competitor in the fast food industry, neighborhood babysitting, or Major League Baseball?

4) Proponents of a government-run option, you included, claim that it will compete on a level playing field with private insurance providers. In that case, will your government-run plan operate under a for-profit model and be forced to pay all applicable state, federal, and local taxes?

5) How do you expect to meet the growing need for physicians and medical professionals if the government-run plan pays lower than market rates to physicians while forcing them to participate or lose a majority of their patients and their livelihood?

6) If the government mandates that all Americans purchase health insurance, it must also define what qualifies as health insurance. Can you provide us your definition (with details please) and explain how this definition will not limit innovation and choice in health care?

7) According to the House Democrats’ plan, a family of four with an income of $88,200, four times the federal poverty level, would qualify for health insurance subsidies. In your view, is this a subsidy for low-income Americans or an effort to use taxpayers to put more health care under the purview of the federal government?

8 ) The new Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research is charged with determining what treatments should be offered to patients. Do you believe that these personal medical decisions should be made by patients in consultation with their doctors, or by unaccountable bureaucrats?

9) Why are there no actively practicing physicians included in the membership of the Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research?

10) If the final reform proposal is controversial enough that it will not receive the necessary 60 votes in the Senate, Democrats have left open the possibility of using a procedural move to pass it with only 51 votes. Do you believe massive changes to such a vital area of American life should be pushed through in this manner with only 51 votes?

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Filed under Obama Administration, taxes

Michelle Knows Health Care

Health Care System Did Well for Them

Health Care System Did Well for Them

Just received this e-mail (see text below) from Michelle Obama – organizing health care service. Michelle certainly has first-hand experience about why health care costs so much.

Michelle Obama had a nice job at the University of Chicago Medical Center. When her husband became a Senator, Michelle was promoted to a newly created position of Vice-President for External Affairs and her salary is boosted from $121,000 to $316,000. Now there’s public service!

Maybe the President is right, health care system is broken — only works for you if you are the wife of a Senator who can help get you earmarks.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 11:35 AM
From: “First Lady Michelle Obama”

Stephanie —

National and community service has been a cornerstone of my life, as I know it has been for many Americans. And with the daily struggles now confronting so many families, it’s especially important for us to reach out to one another and offer a helping hand.

I’ve just launched United We Serve, a national initiative to tackle our toughest problems by working hand-in-hand in communities across the country. We aim to make a real difference right now and bring more and more Americans into a tradition of life-long service to make an even greater difference down the road.

I’d like to invite you to be a part of it by joining Organizing for America’s National Health Care Day of Service this weekend. You can join up with other local OFA supporters to help improve health care services in your community and make a difference as we work to reform America’s health care system.

Sign up now to participate in a National Health Care Day of Service event this Saturday, June 27th.

Attend a National Health Care Day of Service event

There’s an old Thomas Edison quote I’ve always liked: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” It’s no secret that our country faces some enormous challenges right now, and meeting them will take a lot of hard work. But in that work lies an equally great opportunity — a chance to serve. And I do believe the chance to serve is a precious gift indeed.

Service has played a transformative role in my life — bringing me tremendous joy and helping me find the path that led to where I am today. As a parent, I believe service is a great way to demonstrate values and to teach our children firsthand what it means to commit to a purpose beyond ourselves.

It should be a part of everyone’s life. From the moment someone can walk to the day they leave this planet, service should be a part of how we give back, how we say thank you, how we express our gratitude for the lives that we’ve been given.

So I’m deeply honored for this chance to support our United We Serve initiative and Organizing for America, and I hope you’ll be able to participate this weekend. Please sign up now to volunteer at a local event:


Thank you,

First Lady Michelle Obama

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