Debate Number 2

by Jeremiah Joslin

Well, the Town Hall style debate did not turn out the way every one projected.  Instead of being a measured, controlled, respectful give-and-take forum where regular people got to ask questions, it turned out to be somewhat measured (BHO got 4% more talking time than Romney, not bad), uncontrolled (Crowley didn’t really step up to that task, she did try though) and, while not disrespectful, it was, to put it mildly, confrontational.  Happily, the regular folks did get to ask their previously-screened questions.  They were pretty good questions and, as expected, candidates still tried to get their messages across.

Let’s get the biggest elephant off the table first:

The Attack on our Consulate in Benghazi, Libya:  (International Relations and Foreign Policy is reserved for Monday)

Of course the foremost topic on everybody’s mind was the attack on our Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans were killed including our Ambassador, Chris Stevens.  One point of contention was whether or not BHO called it an “act of terror” or “senseless violence” as he stood in the Rose Garden the day after.  He used both terms in his remarks that day.  However, that specific point of contention is irrelevant.  If he indeed meant that the attack was a terrorist act designed to take place on the anniversary of 9/11, then why did the Administration back step from that within minutes, seconds?  Why did Susan Rice, Ambassador to the UN, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and several other administration officials immediately thereafter – and for the next 14 days — describe it as a spontaneous attack fueled by a protest over an anti-Muslim video that nobody watched?  It was because, there is no way BHO could continue to proclaim his “strongman” image in international relations if the attack on the consulate was a planned terrorist attack — an attack that may have been foreseen and a loss of lives that probably would have been avoided.

They began the “cover-up” (I use that term specifically) to protect that “strongman” persona he needed to maintain in the days leading up to election.  The bad guys couldn’t be Al Qaeda.  According to BHO, he had already decimated them, left them without leadership and killed off most of their members.  How would it look if all of a sudden America had to send additional security forces to our embassy in order to protect it and our representatives from that devistated terrorist group?  How would it look for that decimated Al Qaeda group to conduct an effective, successful attack on American soil killing an Ambassador?

What if we were to find out that the administration knew of the danger for weeks before the attack?  What if we were to hear that there were repeated, frequent requests for additional security personnel and perhaps the need to recall our embassy staff over threats in the region?   What if we were to find out that the attack was being watched and captured on tape, by State Department or intelligence personnel,  as it was happening and that direct communication was ongoing at the same time back to Washington? It would be catastrophic to that image.

Well, so much for the image.  BHO has thrown the intelligence community under the bus.  Secretary of State Clinton finally, willingly stepped in front of that same bus accepting full responsibility for the debacle – probably before BHO tossed her, too.  Personally, I think this is worse than Watergate.  That was a cover-up, a big cover-up, but nobody was killed.  We lost four Americans and BHO wanted to call it a spontaneous demonstration.  How dare he?

And, finally, during the most cataclysmic event to happen to America in since 9/11, BHO left the Rose Garden and headed to Las Vegas for a fundraising event.  Remember the harassment President Bush took over his reaction to the news of 9/11 when he was reading to those school kids in Florida?  At least, President Bush took charge, put a plan in place, went to DC and met with his staff and then met the First Responders at Ground Zero and said and meant,  “I hear you.  The rest of the World hears you!”  BHO’s responsibility is to us, to our people around the world.  It looked like his primary focus that day and for the rest of the week was raising money for his reelection, leaving his peeps to whitewash the whole thing over a video nobody watched.

Importantly as I write this more and more incriminating material surfaces giving more and more credence to the cover-up manufactured by the Obama Administration and Campaign Staff.

In a series of messages from Embassy and Security staff and Ambassador Stevens himself over the several month leading to the attack on the Consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the his death and the deaths of three other Americans, the following issues were raised:

  1. “Security staff repeatedly sounded alarms to their superiors in Washington about the intensifying lawlessness and violence in Eastern Libya, where Stevens ultimately died.”
  2. “Stevens cited a meeting he had held two days earlier with local militia commanders.  These men boasted to Stevens of exercising ‘control’ over the Libyan Armed Forces, and threatened that if the U.S.-backed candidate for prime minister were to prevail in Libya’s internal political jockeying, ‘they would not continue to guarantee security in Benghazi.’”
  3. “Roughly a month earlier, Stevens had signed a two-page cable, labeled ‘sensitive,’ that he entitled ‘The Guns of August: Security in Eastern Libya.’”
  4. “Aug. 8, the ambassador noted that in just a few months’ time, ‘Benghazi has moved from trepidation to euphoria and back as a series of violent incidents has dominated the political landscape.’ He added, ‘The individual incidents have been organized,’ a function of ‘the security vacuum that a diverse group of independent actors are exploiting for their own purposes.’”
  5. “By Sept. 4, Stevens’ aides were reporting back to Washington on the ‘strong Revolutionary and Islamist sentiment’ in the city.”
  6. “Scarcely more than two months had passed since Stevens had notified the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and other agencies about a ‘recent increase in violent incidents,’ including ‘attacks against western interests.’”

It just goes on and on and the leftist talking-heads laugh at the suggestion that this surpasses the Watergate Conspiracy.

Oil/Gas Production

In February 2011, the Obama Administration was ordered “…to act on five deep water drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico within 30 days, calling the delays in issuing new decisions ‘unreasonable, unacceptable, and unjustified.’”  The administration is still evaluating those permits on the basis of additional regulations recently imposed.

BHO was right.  Oil production has increased during his administration.  However according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Mitt was also correct in that the increases were on private lands and not federally controlled sites.  Mitt was also correct regarding the number of permit approvals over the last four years.  Let’s be a little serious here.   After a permit is approved it takes years – as many as five or six – to begin getting crude out of the approved site.  So, any increases in oil production were probably the result of permits approved during the Bush Administration.  Certainly, none of the permits approved by Obama are producing yet.  It is a fact, permits are under the Obama Administration are down.  According to the Bureau of Land Management, oil and gas leases under Obama are down 11%.  The number of acres under lease is down 19% and the number of permits for oil and gas exploration is down 36%.

Again, Mitt is right and Obama is “mistaken”.

ObamaCare

President Obama rejects Mitt’s claim that ObamaCare has significant tax hikes that will affect every single American Household, small business, insurance carrier, drug innovator companies, medical device manufacturers, indoor tanning facilities, and charitable hospitals among others to the tune of about $500 billion according to the Congressional Budget Office.  Maybe BHO should take Nancy Pelosi’s advice now that the bill is passed he should read it to be sure he knows what’s in it. (http://jeffduncan.house.gov/full-list-obamacare-tax-hikes)

What are the 23+ million folks out of work supposed to do?  Will they be exempted from the tax when they eventually come to the point where they have to decide whether to buy food or health insurance?

All fact-checkers have indicated that some providers will stop accepting Medicare patients as some of my doctors have indicated, and that some insurance providers and medical practitioners will eventually drop out of the market.  While these “Fact-Checkers” claim that the more than $700 billion that will be taken out of Medicare to help fund ObamaCare is a drop in the bucket based on the projected total spend, much of it is to be collected through reduced pay rates for services by the providers.  Therefore, it does invalidate BHO’s claim that if we like our doctors we can keep them or if we like our insurance plans we can keep them as well.

If ObamaCare remains the law of the land then many of us will lose our doctors and insurance plans and pay the tax if we don’t move to the “approved” providers.  Basically, it is the wrong plan and will catastrophically affect our healthcare system. It is important for every American to get the medical care they require.  However this plan, written as a huge, all or nothing bill by a cloistered group without bi-partisan participation then bullied through Democrat-controlled legislature without the chance for full understanding, will reduce the number of providers causing ever-increasing numbers of patients to those who do not drop out – longer wait times, reduced time for evaluations, lines for surgeries, government-reviewed medical care, limited access to improved medications and rejection for services at end-of-life.

Not a prospect I look forward to.

Taxes

One does not increase taxes during a recession.  That is a simple fact of economics.  It is a fact that Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton and Bush all recognized and in each case they corrected recession trends during their administrations by lowering taxes across the board.  You know what happened?  Revenues grew.  But our guy, BHO, asks, “Do we want to go back to the old ways?”  I say, “Absolutely.”

He keeps talking about the “Bush Tax Cuts” with derision.  That’s really funny.  As the Clinton Presidency was ending, there was a recession on the horizon that Bush kept talking about.  The Dems said he was just trying to make it political for his election.  As soon as Bush was inaugurated, he put into effect the tax cuts and the recession stopped.  Now, Bush did spend a lot of money during his second term.  9/11 had a lot to do with that.  However, it is also important to remember that Congress during that term was Democrat.  All the spending bills came to him out of a Democrat congress.  He signed most of them so that he could maintain a solid base for this war on terror – which most Americans supported strongly.  If it weren’t for his collaboration on those spending bills we would not have been as aggressive against Muslim extremist as we were.  Because of that aggressive, take-it-to-them defense, there were no more serious assaults on American soil since then – except for the recent attack in Libya, that is.

Bush even suggested that Fanny and Freddy needed to be more regulated, but was reminded that his resistance to those entities would be seen as an attempt to keep lower income Americans from their “rightful share” of the American Dream.  Can you imagine the holocaust that would have surrounded him if he regulated them a little?  The fact is that our current recession is directly traced to those unregulated organizations.  Everything that has happened started with them. By the way, who was the single larges recipient of campaign contribution for them – BHO.  Now, of course, BHO wants to regulate everything.

But, back to taxes.  Back in late 2010, there was strong talk about the Debt Ceiling needing to be raised.   Tim “The Tax Cheat” Geithner told us that the Debt Ceiling needed to be raised in early 2011 because of significant reduction in revenues resulting from the advancing recession.  At the same time, Republicans were pushing for at least an extension of the Bush Tax Cuts.  They sited that there would be fewer layoffs and that businesses needed to be able to plan for 2011 and this would help them in their staffing needs.  BHO caved and the tax cuts were extended.

Within a month, Geithner stepped back and said that had been a slight “miscalculation” and that revenues were such that the Debt Ceiling increase emergency could now be pushed back to the end of the summer.  Interesting, tax cuts — increased revenues.  Did anyone in the administration seize on that?  Nope.  I wonder what would be happening now if the tax cuts had been made permanent.  Anyway, the Debt Ceiling was raised and our credit rating was reduced.  Great outcome, Mr. President.

By the way, Tim did pay his overdue tax obligation.  However, he paid no interest or penalties.

Now, BHO wants to eliminate the tax cuts on the richest of us, leaving in place the cuts to the middle class – that does not include the huge set of taxes that will fall out of ObamaCare on every American.  Two things will happen immediately.  Prices on everything we buy will go up to offset those increases and more people will be laid off, or at least fewer people will be hired.  That’s a simple economic truism.  It happens every time.

The third, and most egregious, fallout of the increased taxes and regulations on our businesses has already begun.  To the great happiness for China, Thailand, Vietnam, India and other nations around the world, American businesses are moving their plants and jobs overseas.  Higher taxes and greater numbers of regulations chase businesses and jobs out and they aren’t taking the people with them.

Democrats simply don’t understand that lower taxes will always increase revenues through increased employment.  More people working increases the tax base.  Mr. President, it’s that simple.

Promises

The President promised to put Medicare under the microscope finding ways to make it more efficient cutting out waste and abuse.  Nothing has happened.  However, he is resisting all efforts of the Republicans to identify and help plan fixes.

He promised to check on social Security finding ways to make it more solvent for future generations.  Again, nothing.  However, he has ridiculed all Republican recommendations while not providing any alternative solutions.

He promised to help secure our borders and his only action has been to sue Arizona over a law they put in place to provide more effective enforcement of the laws of the United States.  Arizona is a state that has suffered more than any other and they, among others, are still waiting for assistance from the Federal Government.

ICE won’t even respond even when illegals are found and retained.  The only result is that those illegals are returned to the public.  Again the government simply does not enforce the laws that are in place today.  His promise to secure the border has been forgotten.

My mother always said that promises not kept are promises broken.  They are lies.  Our President, who swore to uphold the laws, has not done that.  He promised to defend the “Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic” and he has failed.

Binders full of Women

Now for a little humor.

Clarence Page, of the Chicago Times, wrote a critical piece that started, “’Binders full of women,’” Mitt Romney’s wince-inducing expression from the second presidential debate, has become almost as big a Mitt-ism as ‘Big Bird’ was in the first.”

Then the vaulted CNN came up with, “Mitt Romney showed up Tuesday night talking about “binders full of women” being brought to him when he was governor. Sounds kind of kinky and certainly not something you want to be touting.”

What I heard when Romney said he got those binders full of women’s résumés was that as he was staffing of his Gubernatorial Office in Massachusetts he wanted to have women represented.  He asked his Lieutenant Governor, Kerry Healey (who, if you hadn’t noticed, is a woman) to help him find qualified women as he was staffing his office.

She said, “When Governor Romney was elected, he undertook to do that. During the transition, he reached out to his business contacts, he reached out to the folks who had worked on the campaign through the transition to ask for their recomendations, and he also reached out to the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus that had been out there reaching out to women’s organizations on a bipartisan basis, collecting a number of names of women who were ready willing and able to come in and serve in government. So he had a number of sources that he drew on, and the now-famous binders that came up in the debate last night were ones that were provided through the Massachusetts Women’s political caucus as part of the MassGap project.”

What occurred to me and millions of other Americans was that Romney’s search efforts demonstrated that there were huge numbers of qualified people, women, who were capable and ready to go to work.  Women who, whether or not currently employed or not, were not doing what they were wanted to do.  Remember, Governor Romney had more women on his staff than any other governor in the country.

Here’s the humor.  I can’t even come up with a good reason why the left-leaning media, those folks who have always said they stood for women’s rights, equal pay and such, couldn’t see the depth of Romney’s comment.  Romney went looking for women, found them, employed them at “equal pay for equal work” and did it more effectively than any other governor in the country.  In fact, he did it more effectively than the current President of the United States.  That’s right, our current President, according to Politisite.com “Using late 2011 figures, the latest available at the time, The Washington Times earlier this year surveyed 121 White House employees who were paid at least $100,000 and found that 47 were women and 74 were men…When all White House employees are considered, the Obama administration’s record dims a bit further.  Female employees earn a median salary of $60,000, roughly 18 percent less than men, whose median salary is $71,000.”

There’s our President, on one hand strongly supporting the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, while, on the other hand, he pays his women staffers 18% less than their male counterparts.  Then he and the liberal media have the unmitigated gaul to claim that Romney waffled on his support of the law.

Quoting Politifact.com,  “Obama said that when asked whether he would have signed the Lilly Ledbetter Act into law, Romney’s campaign said, ‘I’ll get back to you.’  His point was that the campaign was dodging the question.  Indeed, a Romney adviser did say earlier this year that he would ‘get back’ to a reporter about whether he supported the Lilly Ledbetter Act.  A spokeswoman then said he would not change it, and Romney later said he ‘certainly support(s) equal pay for women, ‘and has’ no intention of changing that law.”

Now here’s the real funny part.  We already know that the left-leaning media will go to any extent to protect BHO.  Here’s the proof of how extreme that protectionism goes.  Having for years supported “equal pay for equal work” in every possible venue, here, knowing full well that their hero, while verbally supporting that truly honorable principal, actually doesn’t.  Do they uncover and report on that or shed light on the reality in the White House?  No!  Do they celebrate the enlightened position actually in place in the gubernatorial staff in Massachusetts during the Romney years there?  No!

The liberal media would rather give up their fundamental beliefs than lose their liberal, socialist president.  While not my belief, I guess for them its “Principals be damned.”

 

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