Bellicose & Belarus

A little Whine before the Cheese:

Obama: We just went through an interview in which you asked about Healthcare not working, the IRS being wholly corrupt and Benghazi, right, so the list of issues you like to talk about…

O’Reilly: But these are unanswered questions.

Obama: But they are defined by you guys in a certain way.

Yeah, they aren’t kiss-ass softball questions meant to defend or deflect your lies.:)

Cry me a River, Barack…

Obama pushed aside assumptions he will be green lighting the Keystone Pipeline project. A recent report showed the project won’t have a negative impact on the environment.

NOT PART OF THE AGENDA!!. He must destroy the fossil fuels, not make them more profitable and beneficial to you!

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

While I am no big fan of Jerry Seinfield, and almost never watched “Seinfield” I thought this was well said.

During a “BuzzFeed Brews” interview on Monday’s CBS “This Morning,” comedian Jerry Seinfeld was confronted over the lack of “diversity” among the guests on his “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” web series. More specifically, BuzzFeed editor Peter Lauria asked him why he hosts so many “white males.”

“Yeah, let’s get into that,” Seinfeld replied sarcastically.

“Take a look over here, Peter. What do you see? A lot of whiteys,” the comedian joked, pointing at the live audience. “Oh, this really pisses me off. But go ahead.”

After briefly touching on comments he made about female comedians during an interview with Tina Fey, he explained why he has no interest in race or gender when it comes to comedy.

“People think it’s the census or something, it’s gotta represent the actual pie chart of America. Who cares?” Seinfeld said. “Funny is the world I live in. You’re funny, I’m interested. You’re not funny, I’m not interested.”

“I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that,” he added. “But everyone else is kind of, with their calculating — is this the exact right mix? I think that’s — to me it’s anti-comedy. It’s more about PC-nonsense.”

Hurray for that.

a bill

U.S. intelligence agencies last week urged the Obama administration to check its new healthcare network for malicious software after learning that developers linked to the Belarus government helped produce the website, raising fresh concerns that private data posted by millions of Americans will be compromised.

The intelligence agencies notified the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency in charge of the Healthcare.gov network, about their concerns last week. Specifically, officials warned that programmers in Belarus, a former Soviet republic closely allied with Russia, were suspected of inserting malicious code that could be used for cyber attacks, according to U.S. officials familiar with the concerns.

The software links the millions of Americans who signed up for Obamacare to the federal government and more than 300 medical institutions and healthcare providers.

“The U.S. Affordable Care Act software was written in part in Belarus by software developers under state control, and that makes the software a potential target for cyber attacks,” one official said.

Cyber security officials said the potential threat to the U.S. healthcare data is compounded by what they said was an Internet data “hijacking” last year involving Belarusian state-controlled networks. The month-long diversion covertly rerouted massive amounts of U.S. Internet traffic to Belarus—a repressive dictatorship located between Russia, Poland, and Ukraine.

“Belarusian President [Alexander] Lukashenko’s authoritarian regime is closely allied with Russia and is adversarial toward the United States,” the official added.

The combination of the Belarus-origin software, the Internet re-routing, and the anti-U.S. posture of the Belarusian government “makes the software written in Belarus a potential target of cyber attacks for identity theft and privacy violations” of Americans, the official said.

Security officials urged HHS to immediately conduct inspections of the network software for malicious code. The software currently is used in all medical facilities and insurance companies in the United States.

The officials also recommended that HHS use security specialists not related to software vendors for the inspections to reduce further risks.

Officials disclosed the software compromise last week after the discovery in early January of statements by Belarusian official Valery Tsepkalo, director of the government-backed High-Technology Park (HTP) in Minsk.

Tsepkalo told a Russian radio station in an interview broadcast last summer that HHS is “one of our clients,” and that “we are helping Obama complete his insurance reform.”

“Our programmers wrote the program that appears on the monitors in all hospitals and all insurance companies—they will see the full profile of the given patient,” Tsepkalo said June 25 on Voice of Russia Radio.

White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said an intelligence report on the Belarusian software was “recalled by the intelligence community shortly after it was issued.”

The report has prompted HHS to conduct a review to determine if software related to the Affordable Care Act “was written by Belarusian software developers,” she said.

“So far HHS has found no indications that any software was developed in Belarus,” Hayden said. “However, as a matter of due diligence, they will continue to review the supply chain. Supply chain risk is real and it is one of our top concerns in the area of cyber-security.”

A senior administration official questioned whether suspect software mentioned in the report would be valuable to a nation state.

“Nation states are generally not interested in [personal identification information] for its own sake,” the official said. “Given that, we would be surprised to see a nation-state capability applied in this matter. But we are doing a thorough review anyway.”

HSS spokeswoman Dori Salcido referred questions about the matter to Richard A. Olague, spokesman for the HHS’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Olague declined to discuss the software vulnerability.

He also would not say if CMS is conducting a search for malicious software emanating from Belarus.

CMS said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon that assessments by independent security contractors are conducted regularly by companies such as MITRE and Blue Canopy.

The website also is continuously monitored by CMS technicians and electronic sensors, and weekly penetration tests to check the security of the system are carried out.

A CMS security team in place also seeks to “identify anomalous activity, and to deter and prevent any unauthorized access,” the statement said.

“In addition, as new website functions continue to go live, CMS follows a rigorous and regular change management process with ongoing testing and mitigation strategies implemented in real time,” the statement said. “This occurs on a regular basis, in between the testing periods.”

A spokeswoman for CGI Federal, the main federal contractor for the healthcare network, also had no immediate comment.

Intel chair calls for probe

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Mich) said he was surprised by media reports from Belarus indicating “some parts of Healthcare.gov or systems connected to it may have in fact been written overseas.” He called for an independent security review of the Obamacare website.

Rogers said he was especially concerned by the potential software vulnerability because a CGI executive, Vice President Cheryl Campbell, testified to Congress that all software work for the network had been done in the United States.

“We need an independent, thorough security evaluation of this site, and we need the commitment from the administration that the findings will be acknowledged and promptly addressed,” Rogers told the Free Beacon.

“I continue to call on HHS to shut down and properly stress test the site to ensure that consumers are protected from potential security risks from across the globe.”

Details of the software work done by Belarusians could not be learned. Tsepkalo could not be reached for comment and did not respond to emails sent to his technology park website.

The company involved in the software was identified as EPAM, a Belarusian firm with U.S. offices and international clients that conducts programming work in Belarus. Spokesmen for the company did not respond to email or telephone inquiries about the company’s role in developing the Obamacare software.

The officials said there are serious concerns that the Belarusian software contains malicious code that could be used to covertly route data from the Obamacare website to foreign locations.

Additionally, they suspect the Belarusians planted secret “backdoor” openings to the software that will permit surreptitious entry to U.S. government networks by hackers or spies.

The malicious code could reroute Obamacare website data to Belarus, or possibly permit illegal backdoor access to the Healthcare.gov networks and other government and health industry networks, the officials said.

The security vulnerability could provide “access to all necessary personal information of U.S. residents for identity theft and privacy violations,” said one official.

Software security issue follows website problems

Disclosure of cyber attack vulnerabilities follows months of software problems with the Healthcare.gov rollout that began Oct. 1. The troublesome software cost the government more than $400 million. The government spent several months attempting to repair the software.

The software problems prevented hundreds of thousands of people from obtaining health coverage and undermined confidence in the government-run health care system.

President Barack Obama said on Sunday that “glitches” with the Obamacare website were expected but “I don’t think I anticipated or anybody anticipated the degree of the problems with the website.”

“The good news is that right away we decided how we were going to fix it. It got fixed,” Obama said.

Obama said three million people signed up through the website after delays of a month and half.

“Now it’s working the way it’s supposed to and we’ve signed up three million people,” the president said. “What we’re constantly figuring out is how do we continue to improve it?”

According to HHS, between Oct. 1 and the end of the year, 1. 9 million people signed up for healthcare through the federal website. Another 956,000 enrolled through state websites. More than 55 million people visited both the federal and state websites.

The threat of data diversion is compounded by the discovery last year that Belarus covertly diverted massive amounts of U.S. Internet traffic to Belarus.

According to the New Hampshire-based security firm Renesys, which discovered the data diversion, throughout February 2013, Internet traffic from the United States was sent to Belarus. The purpose likely was to allow hackers or government agencies to sift for data for financial, economic, or government intelligence.

The data also may have been modified for other purposes before being returned to the original U.S. and other foreign destinations.

The bulk diversion technique is called border gateway protocol hijacking. It involves using a series of network addresses to mask the data diversion through numerous Internet hubs around the world.

Renesys traced the data diversion from Washington to New York and Moscow and finally to Minsk, the Belarusian capital. It was returned to the United States via connections in Moscow, Frankfurt, and New York.

Internet diversion linked to state telecom

U.S. officials believe the Belarus state-controlled telecommunications provider Beltelecom took part in the Internet data hijacking last year. The company operates fiber optic networks and controls all Belarus Internet traffic and infrastructure. Technical evidence in the diversion revealed that the hijacking was intentional and not the result of mistakes by network operators.

“Beltelecom has a chance to examine the traffic, and then sends it back out on the ‘clean path’ through Russian provider ReTN,” Renesys’ Jim Cowie said in a report on the incident.

“Victims whose traffic was diverted varied by day, and included major financial institutions, governments, and network service providers,” the report said, noting that among the countries affected were the United States, South Korea, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Lithuania.

According to the officials, the diversion allowed American’s Internet activities to be viewed in Minsk.

U.S. officials said a future hijack of U.S. Internet traffic to Belarus combined with malicious software implanted in Belarus would increase the damage of a cyber attack.

Regarding the Belarusian official who disclosed his country’s involvement in the Obamacare software, U.S. officials said Tsepkalo is a former Belarusian ambassador to the United States and held several high-level posts in the Lukashenko government. He also was a former Soviet foreign ministry official.

Tsepkalo is said to maintain close ties to Russia and in May 2012 he signed a cooperation agreement with Novosibirsk Technopark, a Russian high-technology enclave located in the Far East north of Kazakhstan.

Rogers warned last year that security vulnerabilities in the healthcare website make it a “magnet” for hackers and foreign intelligence services.

Rogers stated in October that a component of the health insurance exchanges called the Federal Data Services Hub, created under Obamacare, is vulnerable to cyber attack and that the hub connects seven different agencies.

“Social Security numbers, employment information, birth dates, health records and tax returns are among the personal data that will be transmitted to this hub, consolidating an unprecedented amount of information,” Rogers stated in an op-ed in USA Today Oct. 10.

“Every shred of data one would need to steal your identity or access your confidential credit information would be available at the fingertips of a skilled hacker, producing a staggering security threat,” he said.

The hub “will be a magnet for hackers, creating inherent vulnerability and risk by connecting these seven interfaces,” he said, adding that security vulnerabilities are “a dream of faceless international hackers and hostile foreign intelligence services.”

Belarus software not raised during Hill probes

The website vulnerability to cyber attack from Belarus, a former Soviet republic, was not raised during several congressional hearings over the past several months on the problems with Healthcare.gov.

Kevin Charest, chief information technology officers at HHS, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee earlier this month that numerous cyber attacks against the website were investigated. “To date, there have been no successful security attacks on Healthcare.gov and no person or group has maliciously accessed personally-identifiable information (PII) from the site,” he said Jan. 16.

Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said at the hearing that his committee obtained HHS documents revealing shortcomings in security testing of the website prior to the Oct. 1 launch.

“When Americans submit their sensitive personal information to Healthcare.gov—or, I might add, when government takes sensitive information, including your IRS information and makes it available through a Website to outsiders—they deserve to know that it is safe from hackers, bad actors, and security glitches,” Issa said before a closed hearing by the committee.

“The possibility of security breach is not some vague, distant concern. It is a real and tangible threat that could affect millions,” he added.

Issa said HHS officials repeatedly have said personal data submitted on the website is safe. “But because officials authorized the launch of the website full of functional errors, Americans have deep skepticism that the site was in fact secure,” he said.

The components the Healthcare.gov website, involving government agencies, hospitals and insurance firms, were put together by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

In testimony before a House committee Oct. 24, Cheryl Campbell, the CGI Federal vice president, said developing the federal healthcare system, known as the exchange, involved 55 contractors, five government agencies, 36 states, and more than 300 insurance firms.

CGI calls its healthcare system software the Federally Facilitated Marketplace, or FFM. The application manages the web portal, a transaction processor and a business analytics functions. It links insurers to consumers.

The exchange has six complex systems, Campbell said.

David Kennedy, head of the security firm TrustedSec, said the Obamacare website was not designed well and has “a lot of security flaws.”

One major concern is that the system connects the healthcare network to other sensitive U.S. government networks, including the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security.

“That makes it a treasure trove for hackers,” Kennedy said in an interview, adding that a major concern would be cyber attacks from sophisticated state-sponsored adversaries.

The threat of “backdoor” access points is a particular worry. The Chinese military-linked Huawei Technologies is suspected of using that technique in its network equipment, Kennedy said.

HHS technology officials recently contacted him about the security vulnerabilities and indicated the department is interested in taking measures to mitigate the security flaws.

The human rights organization Freedom House describes Belarus as a dictatorship with few freedoms.

In a report last year on Internet freedom, Freedom House said the state-run Beltelecom and the National Center for Traffic Exchange are “the only entities with the ability to handle connections with [Internet service providers] outside of Belarus.”

“Beltelecom also holds a monopoly on fixed-line communications and internet services inside Belarus,” it said, adding, “all ISPs depend on the facilities of the state-owned Beltelecom, which allows the authorities to control access speeds for the entire country, if needed.”

Belarus’ Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the presidential administration’s Operational and Analytical Center control ISPs, “conduct overseas online surveillance, and manage Belarus’ top-level domain.” (Free Beacon)

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

The Damage Done

Amanda Clayton (24 yrs old) .. who actually WON The lottery in MI ..
She CHOSE to take a $500,000 one-time lump sum payment.

She bought a house and car — In CASH!

But was found to be using her Bridge Card (The Food Stamp Card in Michigan).

When confronted, Clayton said she didn’t think she was doing anything wrong.

“I thought that they would cut me off, but since they didn’t, I thought maybe it was okay because I’m not working,”
When asked if she thinks she has a “right” to the food stamp money, she said yes.
“I mean, I kind of do.”
“I feel that it’s okay because I mean, I have no income and I have bills to pay,”

“I have two houses.”
Now when the interviewer asked if she’d continue to CASH and USE the $200 a month of Food Stamps she’s been using ..
“she admitted “yeah,“ adding things are ”hard.””

The Leftist indoctrinated “entitlement” mentality in crystal clear HD. I win $500,000 and I’m still ENTITLED to government assistance!

Wow! the scope of the damage done by Leftists is far worse than even a cynic like me thought.

Some of the record total of 46.3 millions recipients of food stamps–a federal welfare program–have traded their benefits at a discount with corrupt retailers to get cash to buy drugs and weapons, the inspector general (IG) for the Department of Agriculture (USDA) told Congress yesterday.

Sidenote: there was USDA inspector “anonymously” on the radio here yesterday and he outlined some of the more hilarious government classifications of food. Did you Ho-Ho’s and Ding Dongs are classified as “bread” and so are ok to buy? Or Ketchup is a “tomato”. (I can’t remember the others I was driving and trying not to cause an accident).

In July (2011), a group that included the National Council of La Raza, the Snack Food Assn. and the Frozen Potato Products Institute issued a statement asking the federal government to “preserve food choice” for the poor.(LA TIMES)

Ah, our good friends at “The Race” (La Raza).:)

USDA IG Phyllis Fong highlighted food stamp trafficking, which refers to the sale or purchase of food stamp benefits for monetary gain, which is punishable by disqualification from receiving future benefits, fines, and criminal prosecution.

“In some cases, recipients have exchanged benefits for drugs, weapons, and other contraband,” she said.

The latest estimate from the USDA places the number of food stamp recipients so far this fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2011-Sept. 30, 2012) at about 46.3 million. That is a substantial increase from the 30.8 million beneficiaries at the beginning of FY 2009. (KFYI)

Despite several recent, well-documented cases of food stamp fraud — including a couple in Washington State living in a $1.2 million home, 30,000 college students on the food stamp rolls in Michigan and Wisconsin beneficiaries selling their cards on Facebook. (FOX)

Just Like the Oil Production (better than ever),the border (more secure than ever), etc. The Leftist in Administration are lying about this too and put on the rosy face to save their face.

U.S. Department of Agriculture said that fraud cases have dropped to an all time low record of less than 1 percent.

“It’s one of the best records among federal programs,” he said

Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute,“What we are getting into is part of an overall process where more and more people are becoming dependent on the government for larger and larger portions of their income. What we need to do is restore a little bit of the self reliance that we used to have,” he says.

In the 1970s, about one in 50 Americans participated in the program. Today, it’s almost 1 in 7. One congressional critic, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., thinks the states have a disincentive to reduce fraud – the more they crack down on it, the fewer federal dollars they receive.

ILLEGAL ALIEN WINS LOTTERY

 An illegal immigrant from Guatemala will be able to collect $750,000 he won from a lottery ticket he purchased in 2010.

A Georgia Superior Court jury ruled in 27-year-old Tony Cua-Toc’s favor Thursday that he was the rightful owner of the Jingle Jumbo Bucks lottery ticket.

Cua-Toc entered the country illegally in 2000, claimed that the business owner he worked for, Erick Cervantes, claimed the winning lottery ticket for him and ended up keeping the money.

Cervantes said in court that he was the rightful owner of the ticket because he gave Cua-Toc $20 to purchase it for him.

The jury awarded Cua-Toc $207,000 in attorney’s fees and is also entitled to punitive damages. (KFYI)

YOUR UNPAID LUNCH

The Columbus City Schools hope to recover an estimated $900,000 in unpaid lunch money from almost 6,000 students. The district loses roughly $2,622 every school day in unpaid lunches. Most of the delinquent accounts average between $150 and $170, according to Meade and Associates , the collection agency in Westerville hired by the district to collect the money.

Unpaid-for lunches are not unique to Columbus. Across the country, districts are struggling as the ailing economy brings more students to school without lunch money.

Until then, school districts continue to make accommodations for students who can’t pay. Some offer alternative meals of cheese or peanut butter sandwiches. Districts also try various methods of collecting debts, such as phone calls and letters to parents.

OMG! You want to Starve Kids you heartless greedy bastards!!!!! :)  (my impression of a Leftist).
NOT MUCH OF FLUKE
Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Sandra Fluke (what an ironic name), the Democrats latest put-up job  is now being represented by Former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn.

Gee, that’s a coincidence!:)

So I wonder how much she was paid to start the Democrats “War on Women” to distract people from the Democrats need to mandate everything to everyone??

KEYSTONE LOBBYING

Sen. McConnell: “Most Americans strongly support building this pipeline and the jobs that would come with it. And it’s incomprehensible to me that the President of the United States is lobbying against it.

“There’s a report this morning that President Obama is personally making phone calls to Democrat Senators he thinks might vote for this amendment. He’s asking them not to. And, frankly, it’s hard to even comprehend how out of touch he is on this issue.

“I mean, think about it: at a moment when millions are out of work, gas prices are skyrocketing and the Middle East is in turmoil, we’ve got a president who’s up making phone calls trying to block a pipeline here at home. It’s unbelievable.”

But the AGENDA IS THE AGENDA.

“ILLEGAL” is Racist!

From “Drop the ‘I’ word”. The Pledge:

I will not call any human being “illegal.” The racially charged slur and related terms confuse the immigration debate, fuel violence and don’t reflect my values. I join communities nationwide in challenging all media to do the same.

Are we all doomed?

OBAMACARE

Rep Ron Johnson (R-WI)  & HHS Director Kathleen Sebelius

JOHNSON: It is true that the President said that by enacting this healthcare law, every family would save $2500 per year, in their family insurance plan – correct?

    SEBELIUS: He said that once the exchanges are up and running, and you have an affordable marketplace, the insurance estimates were that the rates would go down by about $2500, yes– that has not occurred yet.

JOHNSON: The Kaiser Family Foundation has already released a study saying that average costs of family healthcare plans is up $2200, correct?

    SEBELIUS: Again, there is no new marketplace yet for insurance policies.

    JOHNSON: But the costs are already up. We’re already different by $4700; it’s going to be hard to get us down to $2500 cost savings.  I would consider that broken promise number two.

    It’s also true, that President Obama very famously said, ‘if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor.’  Period.  ‘If you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your healthcare plan.’  Period.  No one will take it away, no matter what. Now, we’ve granted quite a few waivers – about 1,200 to 1,700 waivers – on about 4 million Americans, correct?

    SEBELIUS: I’ve no idea what waivers you’re talking about or–

    JOHNSON: Well, those are waivers–

    SEBELIUS: On doctors and health plans, is that…I–

    JOHNSON: Just waivers from having to implement portions of the healthcare law that probably would have allowed those – or forced those workers – off their employer-sponsored care.

    SEBELIUS: Again, I’d be happy to answer these questions, but I have no idea what waivers you’re talking about–

    JOHNSON: The waivers that HHS has granted to employers not–

    SEBELIUS: Which do what?

    JOHNSON: Not having implemented sections of the healthcare law.

    SEBELIUS: There have been waivers granted to employers, yes.

    JOHNSON: And had those waivers not been granted, chances are, those employees probably would have lost their employer-sponsored care, correct?

    SEBELIUS: I have no idea. I mean, I’m happy to answer those one at a time and look at the waivers and see what–

JOHNSON: Unfortunately, I’m pretty short on time.

I know Nancy Pelosi said we’d have to pass the bill to see what’s in it, but you’d think that two years down the road, Sebelius would know. (Kate Hicks)

Marvel once again at the fact that there are Americans who want this lady running their healthcare!

SCOTT RASMUSSEN:

Many Republicans talk of an entitlement mentality that threatens the character and finances of the United States. In their view, the problem is that too many voters feel entitled to goodies provided by the government and financed by taxpayers.

It is true that so-called entitlement programs are growing as a share of the federal budget and the national economy. Along with spending on national defense and interest on the federal debt, spending on entitlement programs consumes the overwhelming majority of the federal budget. But a close look at the data shows that it’s not a voter sense of entitlement that is driving the process. Quite the contrary.

The two biggest entitlement programs — Social Security and Medicare — are seen by voters as trust funds they pay into during their working lives and then get back in their retirement years. That’s what President Franklin D. Roosevelt sold voters back in 1935. He wanted the “contributors” to have a “legal, moral and political right to collect their pensions.” That’s what voters still want today. Seventy-three percent believe the best way for the program to operate is to protect the trust funds and make sure there is enough tax revenue to pay the promised benefits. Just 10 percent want to scrap this approach and have the government pay benefits out of the general operating budget.

There are problems with the public perception, of course, starting with the fact that the way our politicians have defined “trust funds” is fraudulent. But those problems reflect the failings and deceptions of politicians rather than voters. In Social Security and Medicare, voters are not looking for a handout. They are looking for a return on money invested.

Perhaps because of their distrust of the politicians, two out of three voters now think workers should be able to consider the relevant trade-offs on their own. For example, those who would like to retire later could pay less in taxes now, while those who would like to retire earlier could pay more in taxes now. That’s an investing mindset, not a sense of entitlement.

But politicians in Washington continue to blame the voters for allegedly wanting more government than they are willing to pay for. The effort of politicians to pin the blame on voters diverts attention from the real entitlement mentality that threatens to bankrupt the nation: A political class that feels entitled to rule over the rest of us. Government spending has gone up in every years since 1954 because political leaders have pursued their own agenda rather than listening to voters.

Over the past 58 years, voters have consistently elected presidents, senators and congressman who promised to cut government spending, but it has never happened, not even once. As shown in my new book, “The People’s Money,” voters are ready to support the kind of long-term thoughtful changes needed to balance the budget and eliminate the federal debt. The only thing standing in the way of a solution is the nation’s political leaders from both parties.

While most voters view excessive government spending as the problem, those who feel entitled to rule over the rest of us see the voters as the problem. And that’s the real entitlement crisis facing the nation today. The political class wants to govern like it’s 1775, a time when kings were kings and consent of the governed didn’t matter.

King Obama and his Congressional  House of Lords, anyone?

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

The Hallejuah Chorus!

CBS News: The nationwide average for regular unleaded slipped less than a penny to $3.764 per gallon. That ended a streak of price hikes that began on Feb. 8. Pump prices rose by more than 28 cents per gallon in that period, making gasoline the most expensive ever for this time of year.

Hurray for Obama! Let’s all have a Party!!! You can save 3 cents on your next 10 gallon tank full!

WOW! isn’t he amazing!!!!

“Your critics will say on Capitol Hill that you want gas prices to go higher because you have said before that will wean the American people off fossil fuels onto renewable fuels,” Henry said. “How do you respond to that?”

The president responded, almost disgusted: “Ed, just from a political perspective, do you think the President of the United States going into re-election wants gas prices to go up higher? Is that — [turning to the rest of the press corps] is there anybody here who thinks that makes a lot of sense? Look, here’s the bottom line with respect to gas prices: I want gas prices lower because they hurt families.”

What softball, first off…Not very hard hitting.

So that’s why I didn’t approve the Keystone Pipeline, have done everything in my power and my cronies power to destroy oil production in this country!!

So we can thank the heaven for his Anything But Oil Energy Policy because Gas prices have skyrocketed to levels this time of year they never have but that’s over now, we can relax and go out and by the Hummer because gas prices went down 3/10 of 1 cent!!

Hurray!

No “pain at the pump” stories this time around. No “it’s the presidents fault”.

No it’s rosy BS about 3/10 of a cent!

CNN’s past with holding Republican presidents accountable for fuel price spikes.

Take, for example, this 2008 article, entitled “’Two oil men’ to blame for high gas prices, Pelosi says.” You guessed it: the two “oil men” Pelosi blames are former president Bush and former vice president Cheney. The story focuses heavily on Nancy Pelosi’s attacks on Bush and his administration. CNN does not point out any “political realities” such as “there is almost nothing a politician can do about” gas prices.

In this article (also from 2008), CNN  states: “What the president should do immediately to lower gas prices, Pelosi said, is release oil from the 700 million barrels in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.” There is no mention of the “political reality” that apparently, no politician can make a difference regarding American gas prices.

2008 CNN: Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are vehemently opposed to increasing production on environmental grounds, so the president’s plan has virtually no chance of passage in the current Congress.

In turn, Democrats talk mostly about lowering demand for gasoline through research into alternative fuels — something the president talks about too — and more funds for mass transit.

“It’s got to involve investing in alternative fuels, so that we can have some alternatives to gas and significant investment in public transit,” Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, a key supporter of Barack Obama’s presidential bid, said Sunday.

These types of plans will take a long time to implement, so no quick fix there either.

And with the federal government now more than $9 trillion in debt, where would Congress find the money to pour into public transit and research into alternative fuels?

Now, it’s $16 Trillion and Guess What the Democrats want to SPEND EVEN MORE and a dop in gas prices of 3/10 of 1 cent is a God Send from The Heavens!! Amazing how that works…

In Saturday’s weekly address, Obama again acknowledged the impact of the hikes on people: “Even if you haven’t faced a job loss, it’s still not easy out there. Your paycheck isn’t getting bigger, while the cost of everything from college for your kids to gas for your car keeps rising. That’s something on a lot of people’s minds right now, with gas prices at $4 a gallon. It’s just another burden when things were already pretty tough.”

But it went down 3/10 of 1 cent so Rejoice and sing his praises!!:)

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

2011: “Whenever gas prices shoot up, like clockwork, you see politicians racing to the cameras, waving three-point plans for $2 gas,” he said. “You see people trying to grab headlines or score a few points. The truth is, there’s no silver bullet that can bring down gas prices right away.”

Still, Obama outlined his own attempt, having Attorney General Eric Holder launch a task force to look for fraud or manipulation of oil markets by traders and speculators.

Yep. Hilarious isn’t it!

So now comes the Class Warfare:

And he repeated a populist criticism of Big Oil, pushing for the end of taxpayer subsidies to oil and gas companies. “That’s $4 billion of your money going to these companies when they’re making record profits and you’re paying near record prices at the pump. It has to stop,” Obama said.

So if you remove the subsidies what happens to the price of doing business (aka the price)–It goes up!

Amazing how that happens!!:)

Longer term, the president’s address called for more investment in “clean, renewable fuels,” tying it into the Washington debate over the budget and proposed spending cuts.

Sounds familiar somehow?:)

Obama likes to point out at his fund-raisers the unexpected crises he’s seen since taking office. In Chicago, as he touted achievements in his first term, he told the crowd, “Along the way, we had to deal with pirates. Who thought we were going to have to deal with pirates? That wasn’t in my campaign platform. Pandemic, earthquakes, oil spill.”

He can add the gas prices to the list, with no easy answers. (CNN)

But Prior to 2009 there were easy answers, IT WAS BUSH’s FAULT!

Fascinating…:)

Former co-host Meredith Vieira asked Chevron CEO David O’Reilly on the June 21, 2007 broadcast: “Would we be better off, sir, if gas prices were even higher, if it were four, five, six dollars a gallon? Wouldn’t that provide the incentive we need to come up with alternative forms of gas and to stop this dependence that we have on foreign oil?”

Tom Brokaw put to President-elect Obama in December of 2008 on Meet the Press: “Why not take this opportunity to put a tax on gasoline, bump it back up to $4 a gallonwhere people were prepared to pay for that, and use that revenue for alternative energy and as a signal to the consumers: ‘Those days are gone. We’re not going to have gasoline that you could just fill up your tank for 20 bucks anymore.'”

But now it’s the Hallejuah chorus for 3/10 of 1 cent!!!

Michael Ramirez Cartoon
Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay
Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson
 Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell
Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Needs a New Campaign Slogan

In his weekly radio and online address Saturday, Obama said Detroit automakers are on track to build cars that average nearly 55 miles per gallon by 2025, doubling current mileage standards.

“That means folks will be able to fill up every two weeks instead of every week, saving the typical family more than $8,000 at the pump over time,” he said. “That’s a big deal, especially as families are yet again feeling the pinch from rising gas prices.”

“What’s happening in Detroit will make a difference. But it won’t solve everything,” Obama said. “There’s no silver bullet for avoiding spikes in gas prices every year.”

So just hang in there until 2025 and everything will be so much better!:)

Now that’s a Campaign Slogan!  Just Hang in There! Hope and Change is Still Coming!

2008: “There are things that you can do individually though to save energy,” Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, said. “Making sure your tires are properly inflated, simple thing, but we could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling, if everybody was just inflating their tires and getting regular tune-ups. You could actually save just as much.”(ABC)

Why don’t you tell that to President Bush? You blamed him for increased gas prices back in 2008, when it cost $2.50/gallon to fill up.

You know what we call that now, Mr. President? The good old days.

Now, here we are, facing $5/gallon, and not only does Obama refuse to take the blame, but the best answer he can offer is a car that won’t even be built for another 13 years. No, we won’t build a pipeline from Canada to reduce our dependence on Middle Eastern oil. No, we won’t allow for increased extraction of domestic oil reserves. Apparently, we’re not even relying on the search for new forms of fuel as the cornerstone of this administration’s energy policy.

Apparently, he’s given up. It’s on you now, America. Just buy a new car.(Townhall.com)

There another Winner!

So what if you’ve been unemployed for months or years, just buy a new car and everything will be coming up roses!

But maybe not this one….

De-Volted: Don’t worry about not getting your Chevy Volts, America.

Production has been halted for now on The President’s Pet  $41,000  fake “but feels good” Pseudo-Electric Car.

Algaemobiles are right around the corner. Did I say “corner”? I meant “unicorn.”

Hey, guess whose fault it is? Go ahead, guess. No, not him, but that’s a good one. Nope, not her either. Give up? Okay….(DC)

From the Far Leftist at Think Progress:

Relentless attacks on the Chevy Volt from Rush Limbaugh and Republican politicians have taken their toll, as General Motors has announced a five-week suspension in production of the range-extended electric car. Conservative enemies of clean energy and the Obama administration seized on isolated reports Volts with battery fires, calling the cars “Obama-mandated death traps.” Limbaugh even said GM was a “corporation that’s trying to kill its customers.”

These conspiracy-tinged partisan attacks have now cost American jobs, with 1300 workers temporarily laid off in the face of lower than expected demand for the innovative cars, even as gas prices rise.

The Thousands of jobs lobs because of Solar Panel company failure, not mention over a 1/2 Trillion in TAXPAYER dollars doesn’t phase the left. After all, unemployment is a “stimulus” so they should be happy now.
Riddle time!Q: What’s the difference between an Edsel and a Chevy Volt?A: Look at your next paycheck. (townhall.com)

Next up – The Chevy Mold!:)
****************
Obama Needs a New Campaign Slogan: “Winning the Future” WTF:) was shot down. More like “Winnowing the future”…

So, what else could Obama use? “It Could Have Been Worse” “To Infinity on Russian Rockets” “Not as Bad as It Seems” “Food Stamps for Everyone” “Live Free for Now” 

“Banks Suck, Except at Fundraisers”

“This Time, Guantanamo. Really” 

“It’s Free If I Say So” “Building a Better Tomorrow for Bundlers”

“No lo Conoce”

“Bush Started It”

“Spend All You Want, We’ll Print More”

“It’s Worse in Greece” (IBD)

My own contribution: “FEAR IS HOPE”

Vote For Me, The Other Guy’s an Asshole!
Hocking the Future
Anything But Oil!
Algae! Algae! Algae!
I’ll bring back $3 a Gallon!
The Rich are Evil unless they give money to Me!
Corporations are Evil unless they Give money to Me!
Wall Street is Evil unless they give money to Me!
“OBAMA LIED….OUR WALLETS DIED”. (from Facebook)
When in Debt, SPEND EVEN MORE!!!
WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH:)
Big Brother is Here to Guide You!
Better Living through Other People’s Money
Want Less Freedom and More Handouts!
Food Stamp for Everyone!
Dependency, It’s the new Social Currency
Vote For Me and We won’t call you a Racist!
Big Brother Barry Knows Best!
Trust me! I Know What I’m Doing!:)
Image
Michael Ramirez Cartoon

15 Questions

During the practically endless series of Republican debates, we have heard almost every question imaginable asked to Republican candidates – if by every question imaginable, you mean horribly slanted, often irrelevant questions designed to make them look bad and help Obama. We’ve heard questions about contraceptives, religion, Newt’s angry ex-wife, Gardasil, etc., etc., etc. So, what would happen if the mainstream media treated Barack Obama the exact same way that they treat Republicans? The questions might sound a little something like this.

1) Numerous Mexican citizens and an American citizen have been killed with weapons knowingly provided to criminals by our own government during Operation Fast and Furious. If Eric Holder was aware that was going on, do you think he should step down as Attorney General? Were you aware that was going on and if so, shouldn’t you resign?

2) In 2010 you said Solyndra, which gave your campaign a lot of money, was “leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.” Today, Solyndra is bankrupt and the taxpayers lost $500 million on loans that your administration was well aware might never be paid off when you made them. What do you say to people who say this is evidence of corruption in your administration?

3) Unions invested a lot of time and money in helping to get you elected. In return, they gained majority control of Chrysler, the taxpayers lost 14 billion dollars on General Motors, and General Motors received a special 45 billion dollar tax break. What do you say to people who view this as corruption on a scale never before seen in American history?

4) Through dubious means, you and your allies in Congress managed to push through an incredibly unpopular health care bill that helped lead to the worst election night for the Democratic Party in 50 years. Since the bill has passed, many of your claims about the bill have proven to be untrue. For example, we now know the bill won’t lower costs and despite your assurances to the contrary, big companies like McDonald’s say they may drop health care because of the health care reform. Since the American people have rejected your health care reform and it doesn’t do what you said it would, shouldn’t you work with the Republicans to repeal it?

5) When you took office, gas was $1.79 per gallon. Since then, you’ve demonized the oil industry, dramatically slowed offshore drilling, blocked ANWR, and killed the Keystone Pipeline. Now, gas is $3.34 per gallon. How much higher do you anticipate driving gas prices?

6) Occupy Wall Street has been protesting against Wall Street and the richest 1 percent in America. You are in the top 1 percent of income earners in America and you have collected more cash from Wall Street than any other President in history. So, aren’t you exactly the sort of politician that Occupy Wall Street wants to get rid of?

7) How do you decide which foreign leaders to submissively bow towards and why do you think that’s appropriate for an American President?

8) If they could, don’t you think the Nobel Committee would take back the Nobel Peace Prize that you were awarded?

9) You made bipartisanship one of the central themes of your campaign in 2008. Yet, you’ve worked to push bills through Congress with almost no Republican support, spent much less time negotiating with Congress than George Bush, and you’ve said things like, “But, I don’t want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don’t mind cleaning up after them, but don’t do a lot of talking.” Why did you decide to break your campaign promise to pursue bipartisanship?

10) America lost its AAA credit rating for the first time under your watch. What do you think you should have done differently to have prevented that historic failure?

11) You cut more than 500 billion dollars out of Medicare to fund your wildly unpopular health care reform bill. Given that Medicare is running in the red already, don’t you think it’s irresponsible to cut money out of one entitlement program, that millions of seniors depend on — to put it into a risky new entitlement program?

12) Back in July, you said, “Nobody’s looking to raise taxes right now. We’re talking about potentially 2013 and the out years.” Since you plan to raise taxes if you’re elected and you’ve had kind words for a value added tax, shouldn’t every American expect a tax increase if you’re reelected?

13) Why should the American people reelect you when your 10 year budget saddles America with more debt than all previous Presidents combined?

14) Your stimulus bill cost more in real dollars than the moon landing and the interstate highway system combined. What do we have to show for all of that money spent?

15) Members of your administration promised that the trillion dollar stimulus would keep unemployment under 8 percent. Instead, we’ve had 35+ months of 8% and above unemployment. Doesn’t that mean we wasted a trillion dollars on nothing? (John Hawkins)

It’s fun to think what could have been if we had Journalists instead of Left Wing Propagandists masquerading as “journalists”.

So have a supply of industrial barf bags if yo decide to watch Obama’s “soaring” Campaign Bull shit speech tonight then the fawning and slobbering by the Liberal Media before and after.

I will be watching “Chopped” on the Food network.

 

Making a Choice

Where did President Obama go after killing off thousands of Keystone XL pipeline construction and manufacturing jobs? Why, Disney World, of course. Sabotaging work is hard work for Goofy and his pals.

And where’d he head after that? Why, up to Manhattan for more high-priced campaign fundraisers charging up to $38,500 per partier. The business of wining and dining politically connected donors ain’t child’s play, you know. (Michelle Malkin)

On Tuesday, President Obama met with his so-called Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to discuss its recommendations for the U.S. economy. Despite the panel being stacked with cronies and rent-seekers, its recommendations were mostly sensible. The council recommended aggressively pushing to develop U.S. energy resources, streamlining federal regulations and reforming the corporate tax code to reduce the rate and spur international competitiveness.

In his opening comments Obama said, “I’ve personally emphasized to the White House team and to the cabinet the importance of aggressively implementing the recommendations of this job council.” The facts suggest otherwise.

On Wednesday, the president spiked the Keystone XL pipeline, preventing tens of thousands of jobs from being created and weakening precisely the type of energy infrastructure that the jobs council recommended. To quote the council’s report, “Policies that facilitate the safe, thoughtful and timely development of pipeline, transmission and distribution projects are necessary.” But what if such a development comes into conflict with ideologically motivated, powerful environmental special interests? We now know where Obama comes down.

What about streamlining federal regulations? On Tuesday Obama said, “I tasked federal agencies to cut inefficient or excessively burdensome regulations, and … the preliminary results are exciting.” But nobody other than Obama’s left-wing base has found the progress particularly exciting.

Obama touted estimated 10-year savings in compliance costs of $10 billion, or $1 billion per year; even if the annual federal regulatory burden stayed at the 2008 level of $1.75 trillion per year, that would mean virtually indiscernible savings of 0.057%. But the federal regulatory burden is hardly standing still; it’s actually skyrocketing at an unprecedented pace, led by an EPA regulatory onslaught that includes dozens of rules that impose billions of dollars in new costs.

The Heritage Foundation estimated that just through the first half of last year new Obama regulations added $38 billion in compliance costs. The EPA’s newly finalized Utility MACT rule, its most expensive rule in history, will cost as much as $11 billion according to the EPA’s own estimates. That’s more than all of the savings Obama is touting from regulatory reform. More realistic estimates suggest the cost of Utility MACT and other new EPA rules could be more than $300 billion, putting millions of jobs at risk.

An analysis of just this year’s new regulations — and we’re only 18 days into the year — by Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute confirms that Obama’s regulatory rampage continues unabated, notwithstanding the recommendations of the jobs council. Crews reports that in the first 18 days of the year, there are already 115 new final regulations that occupy 2,609 pages in the Federal Register. Eighteen of those rules have been designated economically significant, generally indicating an economic cost of $100 million or more.

The biggest regulatory laugher was Obama’s comments on the Federal Communications Commission: “The FCC, prompted by our request but also due to some excellent work by Julius Genachowski, they’ve already eliminated 190 rules.”

Because Genachowski has visited the White House about a hundred times and is clearly taking his marching orders from Obama, we can stop pretending like the FCC is an independent agency.

The key point is that this is the same FCC that manufactured for itself from whole cloth the authority to regulate broadband Internet providers, despite the fact Congress and the American people resoundingly rejected the idea. Over time, that regulation could crush the most vibrant sector of the American economy. The FCC broke with all precedent to release a staff report to kill the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, sacrificing tens of thousands of jobs and billions in investment to reward left-wing ideological interests. The FCC has also implemented mandatory data roaming requirements. And the FCC has relentlessly attempted to transfer ill-fitting regulatory frameworks from the old monopoly telephone system into the competitive broadband world.

In short, it simply doesn’t matter how many old regulations are cleared off the books when an agency is implementing an aggressive slate of new rules that dwarf them in cost and complexity.

Obama isn’t doing any better on tax reform. While bipartisan efforts to make the U.S. more competitive by broadening the base and lowering the rate on the corporate income tax have gained momentum on the Hill, the president has been missing in action. And the president’s budget is widely expected to again propose ending the deferral of taxes on foreign-sourced income, making matters worse by driving corporate headquarters abroad instead of taking the more sensible approach of allowing tax-free repatriation of foreign-sourced income the way the rest of the world does.

The bottom line is that Obama continues to pay lip-service to job creation, but his actions betray his contempt even for the job creation policies recommended by his own jobs council.

Vote for me, the other Guy’s an Asshole!:)

Different histories, geography, demography and cultures have left  various groups, races, nations and civilizations with radically  different abilities to create wealth.

In centuries past, the  majority population of various cities in Eastern Europe consisted of  people from Western Europe — Germans, Jews and others — while the vast  majority of the population in the surrounding countrysides were Slavs  or other indigenous peoples of the region.

Just as Western Europe  was — and is — more prosperous than Eastern Europe, so Western  Europeans living in Eastern European cities in centuries past were more  prosperous than the Slavs and others living in the countrysides, or even  in the same cities.

One of the historic advantages of Western  Europe was that it was conquered by the Romans in ancient times — a  traumatic experience in itself, but one which left Western European  languages with written versions, using letters created by the Romans.  Eastern European languages developed written versions centuries later.

Literate  people obviously have many advantages over people who are illiterate.  Even after Eastern European languages became literate, it was a long  time before they had such accumulations of valuable written knowledge as  Western European languages had, due to Western European languages’  centuries earlier head start.

Even the educated elites of Eastern  Europe were often educated in Western European languages. None of this  was due to the faults of one or the merits of the other. It is just the  way that history went down.

But such mundane explanations of gross  disparities are seldom emotionally satisfying — least of all to those  on the short end of these disparities. With the rise over time of an  indigenous intelligentsia in Eastern Europe and the growing influence of  mass politics, more emotionally satisfying explanations emerged, such  as oppression, exploitation and the like.

Since human beings have  seldom been saints, whether in Eastern Europe or elsewhere, there were  no doubt many individual flaws and shortcomings among the non-indigenous  elites to complain of. But those shortcomings were not the fundamental  reason for the economic disparities between Eastern Europeans and  Western Europeans. More important, seeing those Western European elites  in Eastern Europe as the cause of the economic disparities led many  Eastern Europeans into the blind alley of ethnic identity politics,  including hostility to Germans, Jews and others — and a romanticizing  of their own cultural patterns that were holding them back.

What happened in Eastern Europe, including many tragedies that grew  out of the polarization of groups in the region, has implications that  reach far beyond Europe, and in fact reach all around the world, where  similar events have produced similar polarizations and similar historic  tragedies.

Today, in America, many denounce the black-white gap in  economic and other achievements, which they attribute to the same kinds  of causes as those to which the lags of Eastern Europeans have been  attributed. Moreover, the persistence of these gaps, years after the  civil rights laws were expected to close them, is regarded as something  strange and even sinister.

Yet the economic disparities between  Eastern Europeans and Western Europeans remains to this day greater than  the economic disparities between blacks and whites in America — and  the gap in Europe has lasted for centuries.

Focusing attention and  attacks on people who have greater wealth-generating capacity —  whether races, classes or whatever — has had counterproductive  consequences, including tragedies written in the blood of millions.  Whole totalitarian governments have risen to dictatorial power on the  wings of envy and resentment ideologies.

Intellectuals have all  too often promoted these envy and resentment ideologies. There are both  psychic and material rewards for the intelligentsia in doing so, even  when the supposed beneficiaries of these ideologies end up worse off.  When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to  help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.

Both politicians and intellectuals have made their choice. (Thomas Sowell)

And we Lose.

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

 Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

 Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

We Can’t Wait

“The President’s plan is to simply say ‘no’ to new energy production,” House Natural Resources Committee chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash, said to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar during a hearing pertaining to hydraulic fracturing. “It’s a plan that is sending American jobs overseas, forfeiting new revenue, and denying access to American energy that would lessen our dependence on hostile Middle Eastern oil.”

But it make environmentalist wackos happy and brings us more Solyndras. That can’t be bad, can it?

President Obama’s United States Department of Agriculture has delayed shale gas drilling in Ohio for up to six months by cancelling a mineral lease auction for Wayne National Forest (WNF). The move was taken in deference to environmentalists, on the pretext of studying the effects of hydraulic fracturing.

“Conditions have changed since the 2006 Forest Plan was developed,” announced WNF Supervisor Anne Carey on Tuesday. “The technology used in the Utica & Marcellus Shale formations need to be studied to see if potential effects to the surface are significantly different than those identified in the Forest Plan.” The study will take up to six months to complete. The WNF study reportedly “will focus solely on how it could affect forest land,” despite the significance of hydraulic fracturing to united proponents of the delay, “and not how it could affect groundwater.” …

The Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) recently estimated that drilling in the Utica shale, which is affected by the suspension of the mineral lease auctions, would produce up 204,500 jobs by 2015.

And what about the jobs and the energy from Canada that the President refused earlier in the month, The Keystone Pipeline?

Keystone XL also has been challenged by lawmakers and activists in Nebraska who say the pipeline might break and spill oil into the Ogallala aquifer, a major source of water for Nebraska ranchers. This is not impossible, but after the world’s many years of experience with operating oil pipelines, it’s a bit like refusing to allow airplanes to fly over Nebraska for fear they might crash. (Barrons)

But the most nakedly political part of it is, they just delayed it until after the 2012 election, like most decision today. Because no one wants to confront them during a campaign. And a campaign is all we have now.

On Nov. 12, the White House and the State Department decided to give the pipeline route more study, at least until after the election in November, 2012. “This was not a political decision,” said an assistant secretary of state who must have practiced in front of a mirror to keep a straight face.

Political or not, final or not, investors and consumers should hope that the Keystone XL non-decision will not much hamper the development of the Alberta oil resource. Petroleum can be shipped to the U.S. by truck or train, and the capacity of existing pipelines can be increased, all without a pass from the State Department or the president.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, offered another possibility. He said that his government will work with pipeline companies to ship more Alberta oil to the Pacific coast for export to Asia. Harper observed, however, that the Keystone XL pipeline or something like it will eventually go through “because it makes eminent sense.”

But as the U.S. government has shown, making sense doesn’t have the same priority as political survival.

Charles Krauthammer: In 2008, the slogan was “Yes We Can.” For 2011-12, it’s “We Can’t Wait.” What happened in between? Candidate Obama, the vessel into which myriad dreams were poured, met the reality of governance.

His near-$1 trillion stimulus begat a stagnant economy with 9 percent unemployment. His attempt at Wall Street reform left in place a still too-big-to-fail financial system as vulnerable today as when he came into office. His green energy fantasies yielded Solyndra cronyism and a cap-and-trade regime not even a Democratic Congress would pass.

And now his signature achievement, Obamacare, is headed to the Supreme Court, where it could very well be struck down, just a week after its central element was overwhelmingly repudiated (2-1) by the good burghers of Ohio.

So what do you do when you say you can, but, it turns out, you can’t? Blame the other guy. Charge the Republicans with making governing impossible. Never mind that you had control of the Congress for two-thirds of your current tenure. It’s all the fault of Republican rejectionism.

Hence: “We Can’t Wait.” We can’t wait while they obstruct. We can’t wait while they dither with my jobs bill. Write Congress today! Vote Democratic tomorrow!

We can’t wait. Except for certain exceptions, such as the 1,700-mile trans-USA Keystone XL pipeline, carrying Alberta oil to Texas refineries, that would have created thousands of American jobs and increased our energy independence.

For that, we can wait, it seems. President Obama decreed that any decision must wait 12 to 18 months — postponed, by amazing coincidence, until after next year’s election.

Why? Because the pipeline angered Obama’s environmental constituency. But their complaints are risible. Global warming from the extraction of the Alberta tar sands? Canada will extract the oil anyway. If it doesn’t go to us, it will go to China. Net effect on the climate if we don’t take that oil? Zero.

Danger to a major aquifer, which the pipeline traverses? It is already crisscrossed by 25,000 miles of pipeline, enough to circle the Earth. Moreover, the State Department had subjected Keystone to three years of review — the most exhaustive study of any oil pipeline in U.S. history — and twice concluded in voluminous studies that there would be no significant environmental harm.

So what happened? “The administration,” reported The New York Times, “had in recent days been exploring ways to put off the decision until after the presidential election.” Exploring ways to improve the project? Hardly. Exploring ways to get past the election.

Obama’s decision was meant to appease his environmentalists. It’s already working. The president of the National Wildlife Federation told The Washington Post (online edition, Nov. 10) that thousands of environmentalists who were galvanized to protest the pipeline would now support Obama in 2012. Moreover, a source told the Post, Obama campaign officials had concluded that “they do not pick up one vote from approving this project.”

Sure, the pipeline would have produced thousands of truly shovel-ready jobs. Sure, delay could forfeit to China a supremely important strategic asset — a nearby, highly reliable source of energy. But approval was calculated to be a political loss for the president. Easy choice.

It’s hard to think of a more clear-cut case of putting politics over nation. This from a president whose central campaign theme is that Republicans put party over nation, sacrificing country to crass political ends.

Nor is this the first time Obama’s election calendar trumped the national interest:

• Obama’s decision to wind down the Afghan surge in September 2012 is militarily inexplicable. It comes during the fighting season. It was recommended by none of his own military commanders. It is explicable only as a talking point for the final days of his re-election campaign.

• At the height of the debt-ceiling debate last July, Obama pledged to veto any agreement that was not long term. Definition of long term? By another amazing coincidence, any deal large enough to get him past Election Day (and thus avoid another such crisis next year).

• Tuesday it was revealed that last year the administration pressured Solyndra, as it was failing, to delay its planned Oct. 28 announcement of layoffs until Nov. 3 — the day after the midterm election.

A contemporaneous email from a Solyndra investor noted: “Oddly they didn’t give a reason for that date.” The writer was clearly born yesterday. The American voter was not — and (s)he soon gets to decide who really puts party over nation and re-election above all.

We can’t wait.

Additionally: “Well, no one is asking him to go out there and asking him to be a jingoistic cheerleader. But when you call your own country ‘lazy’ when you are abroad and you call it unambitious and soft when you’re home, I think what you are showing is not tough love, but ill-concealed contempt,” Krauthammer said on FOX News’ “Special Report.”

“Obama is ready to blame everybody except himself for the lousy economy. And the lack of investment. Look, why are people reluctant to invest? We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world, in the industrialized world. Obama has spoken about it. It’s the one issue on which the Republicans would have agreed on lowering that rate, eliminating loopholes. In three years in office, he’s done nothing. He has an NLRB trying to shut down a $1 billion plant Boeing has constructed, as a favor to Obama’s union allies. People look abroad and say this isn’t a place I want to do business. Its his issues, his over-regulation over taxation and all the red tape he has added. And now he blames Americans’ laziness. I think it’s unseemly.”

http://video.foxnews.com/v/1283879431001/obama-putting-his-campaign-ahead-of-his-job-part-1

http://video.foxnews.com/v/1283879437001/obama-putting-his-campaign-ahead-of-his-job–part-2/?playlist_id=87937&intcmp=obinsite

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Dana Summers

 Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley