Cong. Gosar Calls for Holder’s Resignation

The Daily CallerSep 19, 2012

Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar has doubled down on his call for Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation over Operation Fast and Furious in the wake of the release of the internal Department of Justice Inspector General report detailing its take on the scandal.

“This report confirms what I have firmly believed and said since information about Fast and Furious came to light — officials at the Department of Justice, under Attorney General Eric Holder, acted with a reckless disregard for the lives and safety of Americans and Mexicans alike,” Gosar said in a statement. “The report shows a lack of accountability and transparency at main Justice, which has been the basis of congressional inquiries.”

DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz is scheduled to testify before the House oversight committee on Thursday morning about the report.

Gosar, who has led the charge against Holder in the House with an official resolution of “no confidence” in him, was the third congressman to demand Holder’s resignation over this scandal in October 2011. Now, 130 House members want Holder to resign, as do eight senators, two sitting governors and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

“We must not forget what this report was about. The consequences of Fast and Furious are higher crime and more deaths,” Gosar said. “I remain committed to seeing justice brought for Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the hundreds of Mexicans who have lost their lives.”

“This report relied on approximately 100,000 documents and 130 people who were interviewed, many of which were not made available for congressional inquiry,” Gosar added. “The American people deserve better from their attorney general which is why I voted to hold him in contempt, and why I am sponsoring a House Resolution of No Confidence in him (H. Res. 490). Attorney General Holder must resign, and President Obama must insist upon the agency’s full cooperation during the remainder of our investigation.”

Two senior DOJ officials — Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein and former acting Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives director Kenneth Melson, who was promoted into DOJ leadership post-Fast and Furious — have already resigned after the release of this report. It’s unclear whether Holder will do the same.

 

Citizens United Movie Unmasks Truth about Occupy Movement

WARNING: The vulgar language and scenes in the video below may be inappropriate for younger audiences. We do not approve of the vulgar language, but concluded that America needs to know the vulgar nature of the Occupy movement. Because President Obama, the president of the United States Senate — Harry Reid — and the minority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives — Nancy Pelosi — endorsed the Occupy movement.

Left-wing mouthpieces portray the Occupy Wall Street movement as organic and nonviolent, a new film by Citizens United tells the truth. “Occupy Unmasked reveals the sinister, organized, and highly orchestrated nature of its leaders and their No. 1 goal: not just to change government, but to destroy it.

And President Barack Obama has endorsed the Occupy agitation movement.

Led by hugely influential conservative visionary, the late Andrew Breitbart, Occupy Unmasked delves deep beneath the surface of the Occupy movement to show its dark anarchist roots. Behind the largely naïve students and legitimately concerned citizens looking for answers stand those who advocate the use of violence, black bloc operations, and intimidation as protest tactics — the same tactics they used during the anti-war protests of the 1960’s, anti-nuclear weapons protests of the 80’s, WTO protests of the 90’s, and the IMF protests of recent years.

Former leftists turned patriotic citizen journalists Brandon Darby, David Horowitz, Pam Keys, Anita MonCrief, Mandy Nagy, Lee Stranahan, and others take viewers into the Occupy camps around the country to see first-hand the truth of what is happening and who is at the heart of the movement. Exclusive footage and eyewitness accounts tell the story of the criminal activity and raw brutality in the camps — much of which has not been reported by the mainstream media.

Directed by Stephen K. Bannon (The Undefeated, Generation Zero) and produced by David N. Bossie (Generation Zero, Perfect Valor), Occupy Unmasked is an eye-opening look at a startling movement that could have a dangerous impact on the future of America.

We know of only one Arizona theater where Occupy Unmasked is playing and hope it will be available throughout the state soon:

AMC Desert Ridge 18

21001 North Tatum Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ85050

Showtimes –
Fri 9/21 10:35AM, 12:55PM,3:05PM,5:15PM,7:25PM,9:40PM
Sat 9/22 10:35AM, 12:55PM, 3:05PM, 5:15PM, 7:25PM, 9:40PM
Sun 9/23 10:35AM, 12:55PM, 3:05PM, 5:15PM, 7:25PM, 9:40PM
Mon 9/24 10:35AM, 12:55PM, 3:05PM, 5:15PM, 7:25PM, 9:40PM
Tue 9/25 10:35AM, 12:55PM, 3:05PM, 5:15PM, 7:25PM, 9:40PM
Wed 9/26 10:35AM, 12:55PM, 3:05PM, 5:15PM, 7:25PM, 9:40PM
Thu 9/27 10:35AM, 12:55PM, 3:05PM, 5:15PM, 7:25PM, 9:40PM

Report Card Time, President Obama

ECONOMY

Obama tried to “stimulate” the economy by borrowing and printing money, spending trillions of dollars; the president advocates for a progressive tax system

Results: Failure; unemployment has ranged from 8-10 percent and 23 million Americans are out of work; the president has added trillions of dollars to the national debt, took over General Motors and bailed out banks and corporations; Obama keeps saying the rich need to pay their fair share, but the wealthiest Americans are already paying the vast majority of the tax revenues taken by government; this is not surprising since Obama’s late father advocated for a 100-percent tax rate

BORDERS

Obama and DOJ tried to stop flow of guns into Mexico; the president is pushing for amnesty and wants to fast-track illegal aliens to voting status and give them government benefits

Results: Failure; violence escalated and Americans were killed

FOREIGN POLICY

Obama tried to re-set foreign policy to make the world community like America

Result: Failure; the Arab world is inflamed and American embassies are under attack; the president supported the “Arab Spring” takeover of Muslim nations by the Muslim Brotherhood, but now these nations are being torn apart by violence and anti-American protests; Afghanistan is in the hands of terrorists; the U.S. agreed to decrease nuclear missiles, but other nations have not, leaving us vulnerable; North Korean missiles can reach the U.S., and Iran is developing nuclear weaponry; Obama has alienated our ally Israel and given their enemies millions of dollars; Obama’s administration is blaming their violence in Egypt and Libya on an obscure, amateur video–instead of taking responsibility for its own foreign policy failures

NATIONAL DEFENSE

Obama has slashed national defense budget; federal spending has been cut far more on the military than anything else

Result:Failure; U.S. Navy is at smallest level since World War I, putting national security at risk

ENERGY

Obama said he would develop alternative energy sources

Result: Failure; the president is blocking offshore drilling and development and distribution of domestic oil and gas; but he gave billions of tax dollars to foreign nations for offshore drilling; the president wasted more than a half-billion dollars by giving it to a company that was going out of business (Solyndra); gas prices have more than doubled since Obama took offic

HEALTH CARE

Obama said he would improve healthcare, lower the costs, and allow people to keep their own plans

Result: Failure; ObamaCare is increasing medical costs; mandates are taking religious freedom away from Christian-owned businesses and individuals; millions of Americans will lose insurance plans they are now satisfied with; Obama is taking $716 billion from Medicare and funneling it to ObamaCare; Obama’s putting together a panel (IPAB) that will ration medical treatment and deny it to some; the president suggested people denied medical treatment take pain pills, and also suggested they go to hospice and die

EDUCATION

Obama favors total federal control of public education

Result: Failure; Obama is forcing the radical homosexual agenda on public school students; he chose Kevin Jennings, an extremist who had previously encouraged the “queering” of America’s schools to spearhead “safe schools”; education in the U.S. continues to perform well below potential; thousands of college graduates are unable to find work in the failing Obama economy

FIRST-TERM GRADE: F

Obama Administration Cited for Failure in Fast & Furious Scandal

By Jerry Seper and Chuck Neubauer, The Washington Times Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Justice  Department’s Office of Inspector General on Wednesday   blamed the failure  of the “Fast and Furious” gunrunning operation on a   series of “misguided  strategies, tactics, errors in judgment and   management failures” that  permeated the Bureau  of Alcohol, Tobacco,   Firearms and Explosives‘ Washington, D.C.,  headquarters and Phoenix   field office, and said “questionable judgments” by Justice Department   officials in  Washington marred the department’s response to  Capitol Hill   inquiries.

The long-anticipated 471-page report also found no  evidence that  Attorney  General Eric H. Holder Jr. knew of the  operation  prior to its  public unraveling in January 2011. The investigation  had  come to light  after two AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifles purchased  as  a part of  Fast and Furious were found at the scene of the killing  nearly two  years  ago of a U.S. Border Patrol agent. The report  recommended that 14   department employees be reviewed for possible  sanctions or other  disciplinary  actions.

The report also said  Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary  Grindler, Mr.  Holder’s chief of   staff, received a briefing about Fast and Furious in  March 2010, but  that the  briefing “failed to alert Grindler to  problems  in the  investigation.” The report said Mr.  Grindler learned three days  after  the Dec. 14, 2010, death of Border  Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry of  the  link  between weapons found at the murder scene and Furious but did  not  tell Mr. Holder. It said he should of “informed  the attorney general  as  well as made an appropriate inquiry of ATF  or the U.S.  attorney’s   office about the connection.”

Deputy Assistant Attorney General  Jason  Weinstein, who reviewed Fast and  Furious wiretap applications,  resigned  Wednesday in the wake of the  report, which said he should have  asked more  questions about Fast and  Furious given his knowledge of a  similar 2006 program  known as  “Operation Wide Receiver.” Former Acting  ATF Director Kenneth  Melson,  named in the report as failing to maintain  “appropriate oversite” of  Fast and Furious, announced his retirement  Wednesday effective   immediately.

According to the report, both  Fast and Furious and Wide Receiver were  “seriously flawed and  supervised irresponsibly” by ATF’s Phoenix field  division and the U.S.  attorney’s office in Arizona, “most significantly  in their failure to   adequately consider the risk to the public safety in  the United States  and Mexico.” It said both investigations sought to   identify the higher  reaches of firearms trafficking networks by  deferring any  overt law  enforcement action against the individual straw  buyers — such as  making  arrests or seizing firearms — even when there  was sufficient evidence   to do so.

“The risk to public safety was immediately evident in  both  investigations,” the report said. “Almost from the outset of each  case,  ATF agents learned that the purchases were financed by  violent  Mexican  drug trafficking organizations and that the firearms were   destined for  Mexico.”

Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican   and chairman of the House  Oversight and Government Reform Committee,  which investigated Fast and   Furious, said Wednesday the report  confirmed findings by Congress  of a  “near total disregard for public  safety in Operation Fast and Furious   contrary to the denials of the  attorney general and his political  defenders.” Mr. Issa said the report  noted that  information in wiretap  applications approved by senior  Justice  Department officials in  Washington “did contain red flags  showing reckless  tactics” and they  fault Mr. Holder’s  inner circle for  their conduct.

Inspector General Michael E.  Horowitz is scheduled to testify Thursday to the committee  on the findings of his investigation.

Mr.  Holder said Wednesday the  report’s key conclusions are “consistent”   with what he and other Justice  Department officials have said for many   months now: The inappropriate  strategy and tactics employed were   field-driven and date back to 2006; the  leadership of the department did   not  know about or authorize the use of the flawed strategy and  tactics;  and the department’s leadership  did not attempt to cover up  information  or mislead Congress about it.”

“I want to assure the  American people that I, and my colleagues at the  department, will  continue to focus on  our mission of protecting their  rights and their  security, and doing so in a  manner that is consistent  with the high  standards of the Department  of Justice,” he said.

The report  identified persons ranging from field agents and prosecutors  in  Phoenix  and Tucson to senior ATF officials in  Washington who “bore a  share of  responsibility” for ATF’s failures in both Fast and Furious and  Wide   Receiver to interdict firearms illegally bound for Mexico, and for   pursuing “this risky strategy  without adequately taking into account   the significant danger to public safety  that it created.”

“We  operated with complete and total independence in our search for the    truth, and the decision about what to cover in this report and the   conclusions  we reached were made solely by me and my office,” Mr.   Horowitz said. “I am pleased that we are able to put forward a full and    complete recitation of the facts that we found, and the conclusions  that  we  reached, with minimal redactions by the department to our  report.”

He also said the Obama administration  made no redactions  for executive  privilege, even though the report evaluates  in detail and  reaches  conclusions about the department’s  actions in responding to  Congress,  adding that  Justice has agreed to seek court authorization to  unredact  as much of the  wiretap information as possible.

According to the report, Fast and Furious and Wide Receiver were  “seriously  flawed and supervisedirresponsibly”  by ATF’s Phoenix  field  division and the U.S.  attorney’s Office, “most  significantly in their  failure to adequately  consider the risk to the  public safety in the  United States and Mexico.” It said both operations  sought to identify  the higher reaches of firearms  trafficking networks  by deferring any  overt law enforcement action against the  straw buyers  — such as making  arrests or seizing firearms — even when there  was  sufficient evidence to  do so.

“The risk to public safety was  immediately evident in both  investigations,” the report said. “Almost  from the outset of each case,  ATF agents learned that the purchases  were financed by  violent Mexican  drug trafficking organizations and  that the firearms were  destined for  Mexico.”

But the report said  investigators found that no one responsible for the   operations at  either the ATF Phoenix field division  or the U.S.   attorney’s office  raised a serious question or concern about the   government not taking  earlier measures to disrupt a trafficking  operation that  continued to  purchase firearms with impunity for many  months. It said  investigators  did not find persuasive evidence that any  supervisor in Phoenix,  at  either the U.S.  attorney’s office or ATF,  raised serious  questions or  concerns about the risk to public safety  posed by the continuing   firearms purchases or by the delay in arresting  persons who were  engaging in  the trafficking.

The report said that failure  reflected a “significant lack of oversight  and  urgency” by both ATF and  the U.S.  attorney’s office, and a  “disregard by both” for the safety  of persons in  the United States and  Mexico.

According to the  report, Mr. Holder  was notified immediately of the  Terry death, but was  not told about the  connection between firearms  found at the scene and  Fast and Furious. It said  he learned of the  connection sometime in  2011, after he received a letter from Sen. Chuck  Grassley, Iowa  Republican,  asking about the Terry death.

“Had the department’s  senior  leadership taken immediate action after  learning that weapons  found at the  scene of a federal law enforcement  agent’s murder were  linked to a straw  purchaser in an ATF firearms  trafficking   investigation, the department  likely would have gathered  information  about Operation Fast and Furious well  before it received the  inquiry  from Sen.  Grassley about the very same issue in late January  2011.  The  Department,  however, did not do so,” the report said.

The report  said Mr. Grindler and former  Deputy Chief of Staff  Monty  Wilkinson  should have told Mr.  Holder about the connection between Fast  and  Furious and the Terry  shooting. It also singled out Assistant  Attorney  General Lanny Breuer, who  heads the Justice Department’s   criminal  division, for possible disciplinary action for failing to alert  Mr.  Holder or his deputy when he learned  in April 2010 that ATF had  allowed  guns to walk in  Wide Receiver.

In addition, the report said Mr.   Weinstein should have asked more  questions about Fast and Furious given   his knowledge of Wide Receiver  when he was reviewing Fast and Furious  wiretap  applications. Both Mr.  Breuer and Mr.  Weinstein were criticized  for failing to draw a  connection between the  allegations in Mr.  Grassley’s letters and  their  knowledge of gun walking in Wide Receiver.

In  his resignation letter posted on his lawyer’s website, Mr.  Weinstein   said he found it “personally painful” to read the report’s “completely   false conclusion” that he knew about and failed to act on Fast and   Furious guns being allowed to walk to Mexico. He  said he had been   assured by the ATF and prosecutors  in Arizona that guns were not being   transported south of the border.

According to the report, a  poorly executed information gathering and   drafting process, as well as  questionable judgments by department  officials,  contributed to  Justice’s inclusion of inaccurate information  in its Feb. 4  response  letter to Mr. Grassley. It said  that in preparing  the letter,  department officials relied on information  provided by  senior officials  that was not accurate, primarily from U.S.  Attorney  Dennis Burke, ATF  Acting Director Kenneth  Melson and his deputy, William  Hoover. It said  they failed to exercise “appropriate oversight of the  investigation,  and to some extent were  themselves receiving incorrect or  incomplete  information from their  subordinates.”

Mr. Holder said officials  within ATF and the U.S.  attorney’s office in  Arizona identified in the  report as having been  responsible for  designing, implementing or  supervising Fast and Furious have  been  “referred to the appropriate  entities for review and consideration of   potential personnel actions.”  He declined to elaborate.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, the  committee’s  ranking Democrat,  said the report “debunks many of the  extreme allegations  made by  Republicans,” instead confirming  conclusions reached in a minority   report issued nearly a year ago that  said neither the Mr.  Holder nor  senior Justice  Department officials  authorized or approved of gunwalking  in Fast and  Furious, that  gunwalking started under the Bush  administration in 2006, and  that ATF  agents in Phoenix and the U.S.  attorney’s office in Arizona shared  responsibility for “misguided   operations spanning five years.”

Mr.  Grassley said the report confirmed  that Fast and Furious was the   “height of irresponsibility on the part of a  number of people from the   ATF Phoenix field office  all the way up to the Justice  Department   headquarters.” He said he was “glad” Mr.  Horowitz was joining with him   and Mr.  Issa in urging the Justice  Department to unseal Fast and Furious   wiretap applications “so the  American people can read them and make up   their own minds.”

ATF shut down Fast and Furious after two AK-47   semi-automatic assault  rifles purchased by straw buyers from a gun  shop in  Glendale, Ariz.,  were found near Terry’s  body. The agent had  been killed during a  shootout with Mexican drug smugglers  just north of  the U.S.-Mexico  border, south of  Tucson. The killing led to public  testimony by ATF   agents opposed to the operation, who said more than  2,000 weapons had  been  walked to drug smugglers in Mexico, about 1,400   of which are still  unaccounted for.

 

‘I Am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism’

Book Review by David DesRosiers — Special to the Washington Times, September 15, 2012

I am the Change: Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism By Charles R.  Kesler Broadside Books, $25.99, 304 pages

Charles R. Kesler is a nationally  renowned professor of politics who has benefited from the tutelage of some great  teachers. William F. Buckley is said to  have discovered Mr. Kesler at the tender  political age of 16, when the teen sent a well-beyond-his-years letter to the  flame-spotting editor. He was a student of both Harvey  Mansfield (Harvard) and Harry  V. Jaffa (Claremont), founding fathers of the resurgent conservative  thinking that has something to do with the “crisis of liberalism” that is the  subject of “I Am the Change.”

To date, Mr. Kesler is known  primarily as a rock-star teacher and respected editor and re-founder of the  Claremont Review of Books — a conservative rival to the New  York Times Book Review. “I Am the Change” is Mr.  Kesler’s first book, and the greatest praise possible is that it was worth  the wait; it is politically timely and of permanent importance to the study of  the American mind.

Mr. Kesler has written a serious but  accessible study of the thinking underpinning the modern liberal project,  starting with the academic career of Woodrow  Wilson, through Franklin D.  Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson, all  the way to President Obama, who is fighting  for a second term, the standard-bearer of “liberalism in crisis.” This book  deserves its publication date of Sept. 11, a date perfectly timed for back to  school and national self-reflection.

“I Am the Change” is for those who live in history and long to understand it.  It’s not a light read, and you will threaten life and limb if you try to read it  while on the treadmill. Its substance — a dialogic blend of liberalism’s  founders coming into contact with Mr.  Kesler’s conservatism — pushes your head away from the page to ponder, savor  and say, “Wow!” He writes, “Faith in the future opened the door to doubt; and  doubt to history’s order, the only authority supposedly left for modern man,  opened the door to nihilism.”

For those on the right looking for an unimpeachable book that unlocks the  radical historical agenda flowing just underneath Mr.  Obama’s staid public persona and platitudinous but moving rhetoric, “I Am  the Change” provides ample evidence drawn from scholarly examination of our  president’s spoken and written word. More important, Mr.  Kesler’s intellectual history shows that Mr.  Obama did not light the fire but stands at the end of its history as  commander and chief fanner. Mr. Obama  represents the perfect embodiment of more than a century of increasingly radical  progressive thought, but he didn’t build that.

Here is a summation of Mr. Kesler’s  classic treatment of liberalism’s roots:

Liberalism was hatched in the academy by Woodrow Wilson and a committed cadre of  Progressive disciples, as they first called themselves. Not only did Wilson  come up with the theoretical game plan, the idea became real in his presidency.  Whereas the smart guys of 1776 and 1789 looked to Enlightenment thinkers,  including John Locke and Adam  Smith, Wilson and company took as  their guides Georg Wilhelm  Friedrich Hegel and Charles Darwin.  History and evolution — not men with natural rights and governments that exist  to protect them — are the authors of the destiny of democratic peoples.

Mr. Kesler shows this is a huge  distinction with a profound constitutional difference — and his purpose is not  simply to give a diagnosis and prognosis of liberalism in crisis. The enduring  value of “I Am the Change” is that within its critique of liberalism are the  building blocks of a new conservatism that can lead the American mind  forward.

Liberalism found its historical stride and “liberal” brand with FDR. Whereas Wilson got the progressive nose under our  constitutional tent, FDR pulled through most of its body — sans the hump of  universal health care — with his New Freedoms and New Deal. The liberal project  entered crisis territory with LBJ and the Great Society. With a booming economy — the consequence of John F. Kennedy’s tax cut — Johnson  set out to actualize the welfare-state ambition of progressivism with his Great  Society, but in the end, did not “root out poverty in the midst of plenty” as he  promised, but drove out prosperity and made poverty more pathological.

“Poverty was not conquered but the spirt of self-government was.” Liberalism  enters crisis mode when it goes beyond FDR’s safety net and aims for  actualization of human happiness. “Just do it!” and we the people pay for it. Mr. Kesler captures its Sisyphean soul: “But human desires are infinite. They cannot be satisfied, unless they are first  governed or moderated by reason and morality.”

Mr. Obama entered the political scene as  liberalism’s redeemer. Unlike Johnson, Mr. Obama is young, in touch with and a  product of liberalism’s lifestyle and cultural fetishism, and was opposed to war  on his watch. To be aligned with history requires that you first be aligned with  the avant-garde of the party. Unfortunately, Mr.  Obama lacked LBJ’s tax cut and booming economy. Nonetheless, he pushed for  and got what every Democratic politician since Roosevelt  wanted: universal health care — earning his place “on the Mount Rushmore of  Liberalism.”

But while Mr. Obama has been able to defy  the logic of his party by keeping the Guantanamo Bay detention center open and  continuing a war of necessity in Afghanistan replete with drone strikes,  economics and a non-liberal human nature have a logic that threatens the liberal  project at its core. While liberalism’s leaders are adept readers and salesmen  of the signs of our time, their default for everything — government solutions  manned by those who know better — has failed in achieving their vision from the  beginning. This is why the standard-bearers have had to rebrand from progressive  to liberal and then back again.

What is Mr. Kesler’s take on  Obamacare? “Stop it — repeal it, we must now say — and you have a good chance of  stopping the transformation he seeks. Fail or, worse, don’t even try, and you  permit what can be called without exaggeration, gradual regime change at  home.”

“I Am the Change” should be read as long as there is a political reality  called liberalism, progressivism or the Democratic Party. In short, this is a  title — and an author — with a long shelf life and much to teach.

 

Bryan Smith of Marana Zinged by O’Reilly

Tonight, Bill O’Reilly’s email list included this from Bryan Smith of Marana, Arizona:

“Bill, do you really think every protest movement is full of drugs? Did you sleep through the Team Party demonstrations?”

To which O’Reilly replied:

“Lots of Bayer aspirin on display there, Bryan. I should have said ‘left-wing protests.'”

Let’s check the Arizona Tea Party photo file and see if we can find evidence of drug use:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

$2,000 per employee insurance exchange tax will hurt AZ’s economy

If Arizona sets up an ObamaCare/PPACA insurance exchange, the federal  government will be enabled to impose on Arizona businesses a $2,000 per employee  tax on employees who get federal subsidies through the exchange. That will hurt  Arizona’s economy, and keep unemployment at dangerously high levels. To learn  more about the dangers of setting up an Arizona ObamaCare insurance exchange,  watch this video from  WesternFreePress.com of AFP-Arizona’s September 5 debate on the AZ ObamaCare  insurance exchange.

More Sept 5 exchange-related interviews are posted here.

The question we asked before the debate was, “Will anyone defend the AZ  ObamaCare insurance exchange?” Another important question was, “Can  anyone defend the AZ ObamaCare insurance exchange?” So far, the answer to both  questions is NO.

The Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity held a  debate on the Arizona ObamaCare insurance exchange on Wednesday, September 5  from 1:00 to 2:30 pm at the Goldwater  Institute.

Arguing against the exchange were two of the nation’s foremost health care  policy experts: Glendale physician and health care freedom advocate Dr.  Eric Novack and Cato  Institute health care policy analyst Michael  Cannon.

Arguing in favor of the exchange was… AFP-Arizona director Tom Jenney,  wearing horns (literally) and serving as a devil’s advocate. We could not find  anyone who was willing to publicly defend the exchange (or even provide  testimony as an ostensibly neutral policy expert) — even after reaching out for  three weeks to the Brewer Administration and the state’s health insurance  lobbyists, and even after offering them equal time, an equal share of the  audience, and the appointment of a pro-exchange co-moderator for the debate.  Despite the fact that there are literally dozens of registered lobbyists in this  state who do work for the state’s health insurers and providers… (Go to the last  page of this  document for a list of the health care lobbyists and experts we  contacted in our effort to find someone to defend the Arizona exchange.)

So, if none of the state’s insurance lobbyists is willing to publicly defend  the exchange, does that mean they’re going to give up and stop lobbying Gov.  Brewer and the Legislature to adopt the exchange? Unfortunately, no.

On August 31, the Coalition for an Arizona State Exchange delivered a letter  to Gov. Brewer, asking her to continue supporting the exchange. Many of the  signatories on the letter are local Chambers of Commerce. (We wonder if member  businesses know that their Chambers are selling them out to the insurance  companies and effectively asking Gov. Brewer to impose a tax of $2,000 per  worker on employers to benefit insurers…) AFP-Arizona has sent an invitation  to Glenn Hamer of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and the other 31 signatories  to the letter, to find out if any of them is willing and able to publicly defend  the exchange. We are scheduling a rematch in January or February — and  will give the insurance and provider lobbyists months (months!) to find someone  to defend the exchange.

We also reached out to Democratic candidates Richard Carmona, Ann Kirkpatrick  and Kyrsten Sinema, who have all expressed support for ObamaCare (which they  call the “Affordable Care Act”). No luck.

For more about the exchange, be sure to read AFP-Arizona’s op-ed on the  ObamaCare insurance exchange from the August 22 edition of the Arizona  Republic.

 

Obama Administration in Tatters

Tea Party protest, 2009
  • Obama was supposed to bring peace between Muslims and U.S. His administration is hunkered down for a long siege of Arab unrest as Muslims riot against Obama and America, in Europe as well as North Africa. The New York Times reports: After days of anti-American violence across the Muslim world, the White House is girding itself for an extended period of turmoil that will test the security of American diplomatic missions and President Obama’s ability to shape the forces of change in the Middle East.

            More like his inability to shape positive change in the Arab world, we say. Sudan won’t allow Obama to send Marines in to bolster our embassy’s security.

  • Obama’s friendly left-stream media at CNN report: Three days before the deadly assault on the United States consulate in Libya, a local security official says he met with American diplomats in the city and warned them about deteriorating security.
  • Haaretz, a media outlet in Jerusalem, reports: Senior figures in Jerusalem claimed that Washington was burying its head in the sand and ignoring the increasing radicalization in states such as Tunisia and Egypt. The Obama administration, which since the beginning of the Arab Spring has aided, directly or indirectly, the forces that brought down the dictatorial regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Lybia, now finds itself in a position of helplessness. The attack on the consulate in Benghazi, in which the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, was killed, and the storming of the U.S. embassies in Tunis, Sanaa and Cairo, proved the great hostility to the United States and the unwillingness of these country’s new leaders to challenge domestic public opinion.
  • Vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan said today: “American foreign policy needs moral clarity and firmness of purpose,” Mr. Ryan said early on in his speech. “That is how we keep problems abroad from becoming crises. That is what keeps the peace.”CNBC: Ratings firm Egan-Jones cut its credit rating on the U.S. government to “AA-” from “AA,” citing its opinion that quantitative easing from the Federal Reserve would hurt the U.S. economy and the country’s credit quality.
  • Economist Larry Kudlow reports: This week, current Fed chairman Ben Bernanke embarked on an absolute reversal of Volcker’s policy. He is launching a monumental effort to buy bonds and inject new money into the economy in order to reignite economic growth and job creation. It’s like history is repeating itself, but in reverse. Gold is soaring, the dollar is falling. Something’s wrong with this picture. Bernanke’s QE3 is an unlimited Fed effort to buy mortgage bonds with new cash. The plan — which starts immediately — envisions $40 billion of bond purchases and money-creation per month, coming to $480 billion over the next year. And there are no limits to these purchases. These operations are open-ended. This could last for years — maybe in perpetuity — until job creation shoots way up and unemployment comes way down. Nothing like this has ever been used by our nation’s central bank. The Fed’s balance sheet, which has ballooned from around $800 billion to $2.5 trillion under Bernanke, will go to $3 trillion, or $4 trillion, or who knows how high. But here’s the rub: More money doesn’t necessarily mean more growth. More Fed money won’t increase after-tax rewards for risk, entrepreneurship, business hiring, and hard work. Keeping more of what you earn after-tax is the true spark of economic growth. Not the Fed.
  • Poverty has risem 15 percent among African Americans since Obama became president.
  • Charles Krauthammer, writing for National Review, exposes the failure of Obama on the Iranian crisis: What is incoherent is President Obama’s position. He declares the Iranian program intolerable — “I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon” — yet stands by as Iran rapidly approaches nuclearization. A policy so incoherent, so knowingly and obviously contradictory, is a declaration of weakness and passivity. And this, as Anthony Cordesman, James Phillips, and others have argued, can increase the chance of war. It creates, writes Cordesman, “the same conditions that helped trigger World War II — years of negotiations and threats, where the threats failed to be taken seriously until war became all too real.” This has precipitated the current U.S.-Israeli crisis, sharpened by the president’s rebuff of the Israeli prime minister’s request for a meeting during his upcoming U.S. visit. Ominous new developments; no Obama response. Alarm bells going off everywhere; Obama plays deaf.
  • Former Senator Rick Santorum described Obama’s misguided message to the Middle East: “If you are a friend of the United   States, you are on your own. If you are an enemy of the United States — let’s talk.”
  • Quin Hillyer writes on The American Spectator: Another downgrade of the U.S. credit rating. More bad economic news on other fronts. Inflation growing. Oil and gasoline prices rising. And our embassies burning all over creation. By any rational standard, this is one of the worst weeks any president has ever had. If this were GW Bush, the media would be frothing at the mouth, asking if he should resign in disgrace.  Barack Obama is a menace to American society.