Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Malkin’

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The massacre at Fort Hood and Muslim soldiers with attitude

November 6, 2009

The massacre at Fort Hood and Muslim soldiers with attitude

By Michelle Malkin  •  November 6, 2009 12:01 AM

Scroll for updates…7:39am Eastern press conference…Ft. Hood officials disclose that the murder victims included 12 soldiers and 1 civilian…first responder heroine who shot Hasan is in stable condition…witnesses still being interviewed “all through the night”…they confirm that Hasan was wearing his uniform…

I was traveling to Wichita for a speaking event/fundraiser (which I’ll tell you more about later) when news of the Fort Hood massacre broke. Please continue to pray for the 12 murder victims [update 11/6: now 13 dead] and their families, and the 30 wounded and their families.

Allahpundit at Hot Air has a massive, blow-by-blow post on all the latest developments. The Christian Science Monitor profiles Nidal Malik Hasan, the Muslim soldier identified by the military as the shooter:

Terry Lee, a retired Army colonel who knew Hasan, told Fox News about a story he heard secondhand. He said a fellow colleague had told him that Hasan had made “outlandish comments” about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and US involvement in them and that “Muslims had a right to rise up and attack Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“[He] made comments about how we shouldn’t be over there – you need to lock it up, Muslims should stand up and fight against the aggressor,” Lee added.

But the suspect’s cousin, Nader Hasan, gave Fox News a different picture. He said his cousin had never deployed but was affected by the war and had been concerned about his impending deployment.

“He would tell us how he would hear things, horrific things, things from war probably affecting him psychologically,” Nader Hasan said.

From AP:

His name appears on radical Internet postings. A fellow officer says he fought his deployment to Iraq and argued with soldiers who supported U.S. wars. He required counseling as a medical student because of problems with patients.

There are many unknowns about Nidal Malik Hasan, the man authorities say is responsible for the worst mass killing on a U.S. military base. Most of all, his motive. But details of his life and mindset, emerging from official sources and personal acquaintances, are troubling.

“Troubling.” And familiar.

At least six months ago, Hasan came to the attention of law enforcement officials because of Internet postings about suicide bombings and other threats, including posts that equated suicide bombers to soldiers who throw themselves on a grenade to save the lives of their comrades.

Here’s the Scribd comment of Nidal Hasan:

There was a grenade thrown amongs a group of American soldiers. One of the soldiers, feeling that it was to late for everyone to flee jumped on the grave with the intention of saving his comrades. Indeed he saved them. He inentionally took his life (suicide) for a noble cause i.e. saving the lives of his soldier. To say that this soldier committed suicide is inappropriate. Its more appropriate to say he is a brave hero that sacrificed his life for a more noble cause. Scholars have paralled this to suicide bombers whose intention, by sacrificing their lives, is to help save Muslims by killing enemy soldiers. If one suicide bomber can kill 100 enemy soldiers because they were caught off guard that would be considered a strategic victory. Their intention is not to die because of some despair. The same can be said for the Kamikazees in Japan. They died (via crashing their planes into ships) to kill the enemies for the homeland. You can call them crazy i you want but their act was not one of suicide that is despised by Islam. So the scholars main point is that “IT SEEMS AS THOUGH YOUR INTENTION IS THE MAIN ISSUE” and Allah (SWT) knows best.

Those of you with long memories will remember all those who came before Hasan. Here is my column from March 2003 on Muslim soldiers with attitude:

Sgt. Asan Akbar, a Muslim American soldier with the 326th Engineer Battalion, had an “attitude problem.”

According to his superiors and acquaintances, Akbar’s attitude was bitterly anti-American and staunchly pro-Muslim. So how did this devout follower of the so-called Religion of Peace work out his attitudinal problems last weekend?

By lobbing hand grenades and aiming his M-4 automatic rifle into three tents filled with sleeping commanding officers at the 101st Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade operations center in Kuwait.

Akbar is the lone suspect being detained in the despicable attack, which left more than a dozen wounded and one dead. Surviving soldiers say Akbar, found cowering in a bunker with shrapnel injuries, was overheard ranting after the assault: “You guys are coming into our countries, and you’re going to rape our women and kill our children.”

“Our”? At least there’s no doubt about where this Religion of Peace practitioner’s true loyalties lie.

Naturally, apologists for Islam-gone-awry are hard at work dismissing this traitorous act of murder as an “isolated, individual act and not an expression of faith.” But such sentiments are willfully blind and recklessly p.c.

Sgt. Akbar is not the only MSWA — Muslim soldier with attitude — suspected of infiltrating our military, endangering our troops and undermining national security:

– Ali A. Mohamed. Mohamed, a major in the Egyptian army, immigrated to the U.S. in 1986 and joined the U.S. Army while a resident alien. This despite being on a State Department terrorist watch list before securing his visa. An avowed Islamist, he taught classes on Muslim culture to U.S. Special Forces at Fort Bragg, N.C., and obtained classified military documents. He was granted U.S. citizenship over the objections of the CIA.

A former classmate, Jason T. Fogg, recalled that Mohamed was openly critical of the American military. “To be in the U.S. military and have so much hate toward the U.S. was odd. He never referred to America as his country.”

Soon after he was honorably discharged from the Army in 1989, Mohamed hooked up with Osama bin Laden as an escort, trainer, bagman and messenger. Mohamed used his U.S. passport to conduct surveillance at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi; he later pled guilty to conspiring with bin Laden to “attack any Western target in the Middle East” and admitted his role in the 1998 African embassy bombings that killed more than 200 people, including a dozen Americans.

Ain’t multiculturalism grand?

– Semi Osman. An ethnic Lebanese born in Sierra Leone and a Seattle-based Muslim cleric, Osman served in a naval reserve fueling unit based in Tacoma, Wash. He had access to fuel trucks similar to the type used by al Qaeda in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers, which killed 19 U.S. airmen and wounded nearly 400 other Americans.

Osman was arrested last May as part of a federal investigation into the establishment of a terrorist training camp in Bly, Oregon. Osman recently pleaded guilty to a weapons violation, and the feds dropped immigration charges against him in exchange for his testimony.

Ain’t open borders grand?

– John Muhammad. The accused Beltway sniper and Muslim convert was a member of the Army’s 84th Engineering Company. In an eerie parallel to the Akbar case, Muhammad is suspected of throwing a thermite grenade into a tent housing 16 of his fellow soldiers as they slept before the ground-attack phase of Gulf War I in 1991. Muhammad’s superior, Sgt. Kip Berentson, told both Newsweek and The Seattle Times that he immediately suspected Muhammad, who was “trouble from day one.”

Curiously, Muhammad was admitted to the Army despite being earlier court-martialed for willfully disobeying orders, striking another noncommissioned officer, wrongfully taking property, and being absent without leave while serving in the Louisiana National Guard.

Although Muhammad was led away in handcuffs and transferred to another company pending charges for the grenade attack, an indictment never materialized. Muhammad was honorably discharged from the Army in 1994. Eight years later, he was arrested in the 21-day Beltway shooting spree that left 10 dead and three wounded.

Ain’t tolerance grand?

– Jeffrey Leon Battle. A former Army reservist, Battle was indicted in October 2002 for conspiring to levy war against the United States and “enlisting in the Reserves to receive military training to use against America.” According to the Justice Department, he planned to wage war against American soldiers in Afghanistan.

Ain’t diversity grand?

“It’s bad enough we have to worry about enemy forces, but now we have to worry about our own guys,” Spc. Autumn Simmer told the Los Angeles Times this week after the assault on the 101st Airborne. The Islamist infiltration of our troops is scandalous. Not one more American, soldier or civilian, must be sacrificed at the altar of multiculturalism, diversity, open borders, and tolerance of the murderous “attitude” of Jihad.

FYI: Convicted Beltway sniper John Muhammad is scheduled to be executed next week. No doubt the families of the Muslim sniper victims are re-living the horror tonight.

FYI: Muslim US soldier Hasan Abujihaad was convicted last year on espionage and material terrorism support charges
after serving aboard the USS Benfold and sharing classified info with al Qaeda financiers, including movements of US ships just six months after al Qaeda operatives had killed 17 Americans aboard the USS Cole in the port of Yemen.

On Twitter, follow #fthood for news updates.

More Twitter-related news here.

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Clarice Feldman notes President Obama’s “odd” — to say the least — reaction to the attack on Fort Hood soldiers:

On Thursday, 11 soldiers and civilian police at Fort Hood were slaughtered execution-style at close range and over 30 others wounded, allegedly by a U.S. Army Major Malik Nadal Hasan. The President immediately addressed the nation concerning this horrific event.

However, his expression of grief was very odd. He spent the first two minutes of the four-and-a-half minute address in a light-hearted discussion of his earlier “Tribal Nations Conference” on Native American rights, including a “shout out” recognition of a conference attendee.

When he finally got around to the purpose for his public appearance, he gave an uninspired and rambling dissertation on the tragedy. Even then, he could not keep the topic focused on sympathy for the pain of others:

I want all of you to know that as Commander in Chief, that there’s no greater honor, but no greater responsibility for me (emphasis his) than to make sure that the extraordinary men and women in uniform are properly cared for…

Poor soul, it’s so saddening to know how this tragedy affects him. Listening to this address provides some insight into Obama’s character and how he ranks his priorities.

***

Business as usual: The whitewashing of jihad by the MSM. See here and here.

I’ve said it many times over the years and it bears repeating again as cable TV talking heads ask in bewilderment how all the red flags Hasan raised could have been ignored: Political correctness is the handmaiden of terror.

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Crikey:

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, a Republican from Austin, was briefed by military officials and said Hasan had taken some unusual classes for someone studying about mental health.

“He took a lot of extra classes in weapons training, which seems a little odd for a psychiatrist,” McCaul said.

McCaul said Hasan had received poor grades for his work at Walter Reed and was not happy about his situation in Fort Hood, where Hasan apparently felt like “he didn’t fit in.”

“He’s disgruntled because he had a poor performance evaluation, he doesn’t believe in the mission, he’s looking at getting transferred to Afghanistan or Iraq,” McCaul said. “He’s not happy about all that.”

McCaul added that officials planned to interview Hasan to try to determine for sure that he was not working with foreign agents.

“From an intelligence standpoint, that’s key, finding out if he talked to anyone overseas,” McCaul said.

***

Bruce Bawer has a brilliant essay on the MSM whitewashing of jihad:

CNN (ditto the New York Times website) was considerably less useful than the tidbits I picked up online by following links on various blogs and in Facebook postings. They led me to (among other things) an AP story, a Daily Mail article, and a Fox News interview that provided telling details: Hasan had apparently been a devout Muslim; Arabic words, reportedly a Muslim prayer, had been posted on his apartment door in Maryland; in conversations with colleagues he had repeatedly expressed sympathy for suicide bombers; on Thursday morning, hours before the massacre, he had supposedly handed out copies of the Koran to neighbors. A couple of these facts eventually surfaced on CNN, but only briefly; they were rushed past, left untouched, unexamined; the network seemed to be making a masterly effort to avoid giving this data a cold, hard look. Meanwhile it spent time doing heavy-handed spin — devoting several minutes, for example, to an inane interview with a forensic psychiatrist who talked about the stress of treating soldiers bearing the emotional scars of war. The obvious purpose was to turn our eyes away from Islamism and toward psychiatric instability as a motive.

…after [the Anderson Cooper show] was over, we got a “special edition” of Larry King Live hosted by Wolf Blitzer. This one really took the cake. By way of “illuminating” Hasan’s actions, Blitzer interviewed a panel of — no, not experts on Islamic jihad, but psychiatrists. Blitzer endlessly repeated the mantra that Hasan had been “taunted” for being Muslim, had feared going to a war zone, and had ultimately gone “berserk,” and the docs echoed this line. “He did not reach for help when he should have,” lamented one panelist. Another opined: “It sounded like it got to be too much for him.” Yet another told us: “All kind of people need help who aren’t getting help. … He was feeling picked on by his colleagues. … He was strained. He was scared.”

Could there be a more bitter contrast? At Fort Hood, so many courageous GIs, all of them prepared to risk their lives fighting the Islamic jihadist enemy in defense of our freedom, several of them now dead. And, on our TV screens, so many apparently craven journalists, public officials, psychiatrists, and (alas) even military brass — all but a few of whom seemed unwilling to do anything more than hint obliquely at the truth that obviously lies at the root of this monstrous act.

And now: Reports that Hasan shouted “Allahu Akbar!” during the attack.

Nothing to see here. Move along…

Posted in: Islam, War
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All President’s Cronies Are Going For Gold

October 2, 2009

All President’s Cronies Are Going For Gold

By MICHELLE MALKIN

IBD: 1 Oct. 2009

When government officials play the Olympic lottery, taxpayers lose. That’s been the disastrous experience of host cities around the world.

So why are President Obama and his White House entourage headed to Copenhagen to push a fiscally doomed Chicago 2016 bid? Political payback.

Bringing the games to the Windy City is Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s “vision.” The Democratic power broker — in office since 1989 — would like to cap off his graft-haunted tenure with a glorious $4 billion bread-and-circuses production.

The influential Daley machine backed Obama for the presidential primary. Obama lavished praise on Daley’s stewardship of the city. Daley cronies helped pave Obama’s path to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Now they’re returning the favor.

Obama consigliere Valerie Jarrett is a Daley loyalist who worked as his deputy chief of staff, deputy corporation counsel and planning commissioner. She hired the future first lady of the United States, then Michelle Robinson, as a mayoral assistant.

Jarrett went on to serve as CEO of the Habitat Co., a real estate firm with a massive stake in federally funded Chicago public-housing projects. One of those public-private partnerships, the Grove Parc Plaza Apartments, was run into the ground under her watch. Inspectors graded the condition of the complex 11 on a 100-point scale.

“They are rapidly displacing poor people, and these companies are profiting from this displacement,” Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle of Southside Together Organizing for Power, a community group that seeks to help tenants stay in the same neighborhoods, told the Boston Globe last year.

“The same exact people who ran these places into the ground (the private companies paid to build and manage the city’s affordable housing) now are profiting by redeveloping them.”

Coincidentally enough, Grove Parc — now targeted for demolition as a result of years of neglect by Obama’s developer friends — sits in the shadows of the proposed site of the city’s 2016 Olympic Stadium.

Jarrett served as vice chairwoman of Chicago’s 2016 Summer Olympics bid committee before moving to the White House, where she has helmed a new “White House Office on Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport” with an undisclosed budget and staff.

It’s not just taxpayers in cash-strapped Chicago who should be worried about this field of schemes. Crain’s Chicago Business reports that Jarrett and Chicago 2016 committee member Lori Healey met this month with HUD “to discuss financing options” for the estimated $1 billion Olympic Village.

The door is open, and the administration is “willing to meet and listen” to any federal subsidy proposals, Jarrett said. Hey, what happened to Obama’s tough rules on interest-conflicted lobbying by his administration officials?

A majority of Chicagoans who live in pay-for-play-plagued Cook County oppose public funding for the Olympic party. The city has more than a half-billion-dollar deficit — and just received word that its Olympic insurance policy will cover only about $1.1 billion of the $3.8 billion operating budget drawn up by Daley. Cost overruns, fraud and union-inflated contracts are inevitable.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs defended Obama’s all-out campaign for Chicago’s Olympics bid by claiming America will see a “tangible economic benefit.” But as is always the case with sports corporate welfare disguised as “economic development,” an elite few will benefit more than others.

Take senior White House adviser and Obama campaign guru David Axelrod. He’s been a Daley loyalist since 1989, when he signed up as a political consultant for the mayor’s first run.

Axelrod’s public relations firm, Chicago-based AKPD Message and Media, has pitched in work for the Chicago 2016 committee. It is unknown how much AKPD has received for its services — or how much they’ll make in future income if the bid is successful. AKPD currently owes Axelrod $2 million.

The head of the Chicago 2016 bid committee is Patrick Ryan, chairman of Aon Corp. and a co-chairman of Obama’s deep-pocketed presidential inaugural committee.

Also on both committees is Obama confidante Penny Pritzker, who, in addition, chairs the Olympic Village subcommittee and is president of Pritzker Realty Group — a mega-developer in Illinois that could reap untold millions in project work if the Daley machine/White House campaign succeeds.

Former Pritzker executive and Obama campaign treasurer Martin Nesbitt is also on the bid committee — and serves as Daley’s chairman of the Chicago Housing Authority. Another bid committee member, Michael Scott Jr., is “trying to develop a for-profit real estate project that would sit within feet of the cycling venue if Chicago wins the 2016 Summer Games,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

It takes a crony-filled White House to raise a Chicago Olympic village. Daley and Obama will get the glory. America will get stuck with the bill.

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To GIVE and to SERVE

March 26, 2009

To GIVE and to SERVE: the $6 billion National Service boondoggle

By Michelle Malkin  •  March 25, 2009 09:50 AM

My syndicated column today looks at the massive expansion of government-funded “national service.” Debate began yesterday in the Senate, where the $6 billion SERVE Act’s primary co-sponsors are Sens. Ted Kennedy and…Orrin Hatch. And there’s the rub. Since its inception, AmeriCorps has been a bipartisan-supported beast. The Evil Party and the Stupid Party strike again. If this does lead to the establishment of a civilian national security force, as Obama signaled during the campaign, Republicans who vote for this Trojan Horse will have no one to blame but themselves.

***

To GIVE and to SERVE: The $6 billion National Service boondoggle
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2009

Maybe it’s just me, but I find federal legislation titled “The GIVE Act” and “The SERVE Act” downright creepy. Even more troubling: The $6 billion price tag on these bipartisan bills to expand government-funded national service efforts. Volunteerism is a wonderful thing, which is why millions of Americans do it every day without a cent of taxpayer money. But the volunteerism packages on the Hill are less about promoting effective charity than about creating make-work, permanent bureaucracies, and left-wing slush funds.

The House passed the “Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act” – or the GIVE Act – last week. The Senate took up the companion “SERVE Act” Tuesday afternoon. According to a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the Senate bill, S. 277, the bill would cost “$418 million in 2010 and about $5.7 billion over the 2010-2014 period.” And like most federal programs, these would be sure to grow over time. The bills reauthorize the Clinton-era Americorps boondoggle program and an older law, the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973.

The programs have already been allocated $1.1 billion for fiscal 2009, including $200 million from the porkulus package signed into law last month. In addition to recruiting up to 250,000 enrollees in AmeriCorps, the GIVE/SERVE bills would create new little armies of government volunteers, including a Clean Energy Corps, Education Corps, Healthy Futures Corps, Veterans Service Corps, and and expanded National Civilian Community Corps for disaster relief and energy conservation. And that’s not all. Spending would include new funds for:

*Foster Grandparent Program ($115 million);

*Learn and Serve America. ($97 million);

*Retired and Senior Volunteer Program ($70 million);

*Senior Companion Program ($55 million);

*$12 million for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2014 for “the Silver Scholarships and Encore Fellowships programs;”

*$10 million a year from 2010-2014 for a new “Volunteers for Prosperity” program at USAID to “award grants to fund opportunities for volunteering internationally

in coordination with eligible organizations; and

*Social Innovation Fund and Volunteer Generation Fund-$50 million in 2010; $60 million in 2011; $70 million in 2012; $80 million in 2013; and $100 million in 2014.

“Social Innovation Fund?” If that sounds familiar, it should. I reported last fall on the Democratic Party platform’s push to fund a “Social Investment Fund Network” that would reward “social entrepreneurs and leading nonprofit organizations” and “support results-oriented innovators.” It is essentially a special taxpayer-funded pipeline for radical liberal groups backed by billionaire George Soros that masquerade as public-interest do-gooders.

Especially troublesome to parents’ groups concerned about compulsory volunteerism requirements is a provision in the House version, directing Congress to explore “whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed, and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges by bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.”

Those who have watched AmeriCorps from its inception are all-too-familiar with how government voluntarism programs have been used for propaganda and political purposes. AmeriCorps “volunteers” have been put to work lobbying against the voter-approved three-strikes anti-crime initiative in California and protesting Republican political events while working for the already heavily-tax-subsidized liberal advocacy group ACORN.

Citizens Against Government Waste, the D.C. watchdog, also documented national service volunteers lobbying for rent control, expanded federal housing subsidies, and enrollment of more women in the Women, Infants, and Children welfare program. AmeriCorps volunteers have also been paid to shuffle paper at the Department of Justice, the Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Legal Services Corporation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

(Now, imagine Obama’s troops being sent overseas – out of sight and unaccountable — as part of that $10 million a year USAID/”Volunteers for Prosperity” program. Egad.)

One vigilant House member, GOP Rep. Virginia Foxx, successfully attached an amendment to the GIVE Act to bar National Service recipients from engaging in political lobbying, endorsing or opposing legislation, organizing petitions, protests, boycotts, or strikes; providing or promoting abortions or referrals; or influencing union organizing.

Supporters of GIVE/SERVE are now fighting those restrictions tooth and nail, screaming censorship and demanding that the provisions be dropped. Which tells you everything you need to know about the true nature of this boondoggle: Taxpayers GIVE their money to SERVE a big government agenda under the guise of helping their fellow man. It’s charity at the point of a gun.

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Don’t know why, but the creepy title of the Senate bill reminds me of that classic Twilight Zone episode, “To Serve Man.” Remember?

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Look beyond the bogus bonus smokescreen

March 25, 2009

Look beyond the bogus bonus smokescreen

By Michelle Malkin  •  March 20, 2009 10:56 AM

My syndicated column today tallies up all the craptacular spending that’s been going on while the AIG-bashing hypocrites on the Hill crow about $165 million in corporate bonuses none of them bothered to stop before they rushed to fork over billions to AIG in the first place. I mention the little-noticed $6 billion GIVE Act, which just passed the House — and which looks like the very kind of Soros Slush Fund I warned about last summer. Also note the rising cost of the $2 trillion cap-and-trade scheme, which vigilant GOP Sen. James Inhofe has been red-flagging.

Bonus issue = Kabuki theater of mass distraction. Keep your eye on the ball.

(And this just in, via HA Headlines: “U.S. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad said on Thursday he expects federal deficit spending will be about $1.6 trillion greater over the next ten years than President Barack Obama’s budget plan forecasts. Obama submitted his budget outline to Congress last month which forecast almost $7 trillion in deficits through 2019, however a worsening economic picture is expected to make the budget outlook darker. Conrad told reporters that the additional $1.6 trillion over the next decade was based on projections of the Democratic majority’s budget committee staff.”

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Look beyond the bogus bonus smokescreen
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2009

“We will hunt you down!” thundered Colorado Democrat Rep. Jared Polis during the AIG bonus demagogue-a-thon on the House floor Thursday. “If they’re not going to give [the bonuses] back, we’re going to take them back!” growled Alabama Dem. Artur Davis, who vowed to recover the taxpayers’ “ill-gotten gains” from rogue corporate executives. House Republicans pressed the Democrats on who knew what and when regarding the AIG bonus protections included in Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd’s now-infamous amendment to the stimulus bill. Rep. Barney Frank shrieked about the Bush administration’s culpability. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi smugly patted Democrats on the back for “protecting the national interest.”

I ask you now to turn away from the bogus bonus smokescreen over $165 million in taxpayer-backed compensation packages for AIG employees. It is a pittance compared to the gargantuan spending spree happening right under our noses. The AIG bonus price tag amounts to one-tenth of one percent of the total AIG giveaway ($85 billion in September, $37.8 billion in October; $40 billion in November; $30 billion in early March, which took place with the assent of a Republican administration, a Democrat administration, and the congressional leadership of both parties.

Taxpayers might be less skeptical of the born-again guardians of fiscal responsibility if these evangelists were actually practicing what they preached. While the Obama administration now issues impassioned calls to stop rewarding failure, they moved Thursday to dump another $5 billion into the failing auto industry. That’s on top of the Thursday announcement by the Federal Reserve to print up $1 trillion to buy up Treasury bonds and mortgage securities sold by the government — that no one else wants to buy.

Financial blogger Barry Ritholtz tallied up $8.5 trillion in bailout costs by December 2008 between the Federal Reserve, FDIC, Treasury, and Federal Housing Administration rescues (not including the $5.2 trillion in Fannie/Freddie portfolios that the US taxpayer is now also explicitly responsible for.) Then there’s the (at least) $50 billion proposed by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in February to bail out home owners and lenders who made bad home loan decisions, which would be just a small sliver of the $2.5 trillion he wants to spend on the next big banking bailout, which would draw on the second $350 billion of the TARP package over which an increasing number of Chicken Little lawmakers are having buyer’s remorse.

Phew. We’re not done yet. Also on Thursday: As AIG-bashing lawmakers inveighed against wasted taxpayer funds and lamented the lack of accountability and rush to judgment that led to passage of the porkulus bill that mysteriously protected the bonuses, the Senate quietly passed a $10 billion lands bill stuffed with earmarks and immunized from amendments. GOP Sen. Tom Coburn, fiscal conservative loner, pointed out that none of the provisions for special-interest pork projects — including $3.5 million in spending for a birthday bash celebrating the city of St. Augustine, Florida — were subject to public hearings. That’s on top of the pork-stuffed $410 billion spending bill passed two weeks ago.

Oh, and did I mention that the House passed a $6 billion volunteerism bill (the “GIVE Act”) on Wednesday to provide yet another pipeline to left-wing advocacy groups under the guise of encouraging national service? Also coming down the pike: The Obama administration’s “cap-and-trade” global warming plan, which Hill staffers learned this week could cost close to $2 trillion (nearly three times the White House’s initial estimate.) and the administration’s universal health care scheme, which health policy experts reported this week could cost about $1.5 trillion over the next decade.

It is no wonder that when earlier this week Vice President Joe Biden told local officials in Washington this week that he was “serious, absolutely serious” about policing wasteful porkulus spending in Washington (price tag: $800 billion not including interest), he was met with the only rational response his audience could muster:

Laughter.

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Taxpayers Revolt Against Gimme-Mania

February 23, 2009

Rebel Yell: Taxpayers Revolt Against Gimme-Mania

By MICHELLE MALKIN | IBD – 23  Feb. 09

There’s something in the air. It’s the smell of roasted pork.

President Obama heralded the signing of the trillion-dollar “stimulus” bill in Denver and promoted his massive mortgage entitlement expansion in Mesa, Ariz., at tightly controlled campaign events.

But outside the Secret Service perimeters, a raucous grassroots rebellion against Beltway spending binges has caught fire. The new Boston Tea Party is here, baby, and it’s doused in barbecue sauce.

The first revolt took place on Presidents Day in Smurf-blue Seattle, where mom-blogger Keli Carender hastily organized a downtown demonstration to oppose what they called the “stimulus rip-off.”

A motley band of nearly 100 protesters — moms and their kids, college students, libertarians, taxpayer groups, GOP activists — raised their voices and dined on pulled pork (donated by yours truly). They assailed both the substance of the overstuffed stimulus package and the short-circuited, nontransparent process by which it was passed.

Some wore pig noses. Others waved Old Glory and “Don’t Tread on Me” flags. Their handmade signs read: “Say No to Generational Theft”; “Obama’$ Porkulu$ Wear$ Lip$tick”; and “I don’t want to pay for the SwindleUs! I’m only 10 years old!” The event was peaceful, save for an unhinged city-dweller who showed his tolerance by barging onto the speakers’ stage and giving a Nazi salute.

Carender, a newcomer to political activism, shared advice for other first-timers: “Basically, everyone, you just have to do it. Call up your police station or parks department and ask how you can obtain a permit, and then just start advertising. The word will spread. I am only one person, but with a little hard work this protest has become the efforts of a lot of people.”

Why bother? It’s for posterity’s sake. For the historical record. And hopefully it will spur others to move from the phones and computers to the streets. For Carender, it’s just the beginning. She gathered all the attendees’ e-mail addresses and will keep up the pressure.

“We need to show that we exist. Second, we need to show support for the Republicans and Democrats that voted against the porkulus. If they think, for one second, that they made a bad choice, we have no chance to fight. Third, it sends a message to Obama and Pelosi that we are awake and we know what’s happening and we are not going to take it lying down. It is a message saying, ‘Expect more opposition because we’re out here.'”

The anti-pork activists turned out in Denver, too. On Tuesday, while Obama cocooned himself at the city’s Museum of Nature and Science for the stimulus signing, a crowd of nearly 300 gathered on the Capitol steps on their lunch hour to flame-broil the spending bill and feast on roasted pig (also donated by yours truly).

Jim Pfaff of Colorado’s fiscal conservative citizens group Americans for Prosperity condemned the “Ponzi scheme, Madoff style” stimulus and led the crowd in chants of “No more pork!” Free-market think-tank head Jon Caldara of the Independence Institute brought oversized checks representing the $30,000 stimulus debt load for American families.

On Wednesday in Mesa, local conservative talk station KFYI spearheaded a third large protest to welcome Obama as he unveiled a $100 billion to $200 billion program to bail out banks and beleaguered borrowers having trouble paying their mortgages.

The entitlement theme played well last week in Florida, where Obama played Santa Claus to enraptured supporters shamelessly seeking government presents. But nearly 500 protesters in Mesa came to reject the savior-based economy with signs mocking gimme-mania.

Their posters jeered: “Give me Pelosi’s Plane”; “Annual Passes to Disneyland”; “Fund Bikini Wax Now”; “Stimulate the Economy: Give Me a Tummy Tuck”; “Free Beer for My Horses.”

And my favorite: “Give me liberty or at least a big-screen TV.”

Plans are underway for anti-stimulus-palooza protests in Overland Park, Kan., Nashville and New York — home of smug Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer. Schumer’s derisive comment on the Senate floor about the “chattering classes” who oppose reckless spending has not been forgotten or forgiven.

The insult spurred central Kentucky talk show host Leland Conway to organize a pork rind drive. Angry taxpayers bombarded the senator’s office with 1,500 bags of cracklins.

Disgraced Democratic Sen. John Edwards was right about one thing: There are two Americas. One America is full of moochers, big and small, corporate and individual, trampling over themselves with their hands out demanding endless bailouts. The other America is full of disgusted, hardworking citizens getting sick of being played for chumps and punished for practicing personal responsibility.

Now is the time for all good taxpayers to turn the tables on free-lunching countrymen and their enablers in Washington. Community organizing helped propel Barack Obama to the White House. It can work for fiscal conservatism, too.

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Bailout Begins A New Round Of Shakedowns

February 19, 2009

Bailout Begins A New Round Of Shakedowns

By MICHELLE MALKIN | IBD 19 Feb. 09

Fresh off the trillion-dollar porkulus bill signing in Denver, President Obama immediately launched into his next New Raw Deal expansion: a massive mortgage entitlement program forcing lenders to refinance at an initial cost of $50 billion to $100 billion.

That’s in addition to the bipartisan-supported $50 billion in the “stimulus” bill to bail out homeowners underwater on their mortgages and the $2 billion in “neighborhood stabilization” funds to alleviate the foreclosure crisis.

In tandem with the White House Bad Borrowers Bailout, Obama’s old friends at the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) are launching a new campaign of their own: the “Home Savers” campaign. What a coinky-dinky, huh?

As with most of the bully tactics of the radical left-wing group, it ain’t gonna be pretty. They are the shock troops on the streets doing the dirty work while the Community Organizer-in-Chief keeps his delicate hands clean.

Trumpets ACORN: “On Feb. 19, ACORN members will launch a new tactic in fighting foreclosures: civil disobedience. Participants in the ACORN Home Savers campaign nationwide will simply refuse to move out of foreclosed homes, or in some cases, will move back in. ACORN homesteaders intend to squat in their homes until a comprehensive, federal solution for people facing foreclosure is put in place.”

ACORN’s foot soldiers, funded with your tax dollars, will scream, pound their fists, chain themselves to buildings, padlock the doors and engage in illegal behavior until they get what they want. It’s a recipe for anarchy. Threatens Baltimore ACORN’s Louis Beverly, who calls himself a “Foreclosure Fighter”:

“After you’ve used all your legal options, your last resort is civil disobedience. We’re talking about families who have been in their homes 20 or 30 years. People who are assets in the community, who look out for the elderly, who have community associations, and these are the people being kicked out of the community.”

We can all sympathize with good folks who can’t pay their bills. But as I’ve said repeatedly in my criticism of the mortgage entitlement mentality embraced by both parties in Washington, home ownership is not a civil right — and neither is home retention.

Artificially propping up the housing market will only result in more of the same costly borrow-spend-panic-repeat cycles that got us into this mess in the first place. Failing corporations need to fail. So do failing home borrowers. This is borrowing from frugal renter Peter to pay profligate Paul’s home loan.

Now that’s the kind of theft that should be the subject of civil disobedience.

Instead, ACORN offices, funded with your tax dollars, are training teams of “Home Savers” — described as “people ready and willing to mobilize on short notice to defend the homesteaders against attempts to evict them.”

Ready, willing and able to mobilize on short notice because they are either unemployed or employed full-time as ACORN shakedown artists.

Guess who’s encouraging them to defy the law. Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, who told them: “Stay in your homes. If the American people, anybody out there is being foreclosed, don’t leave.”

The housing bullies will be assisted by left-wing propaganda documentarians at the Brave New Foundation, headed up by Hollywood lib Robert Greenwald, who will disseminate sob stories to crank up pressure while Obama pushes his housing entitlement plan.

ACORN is targeting the following areas: Tucson, Ariz.; Oakland, Calif.; Los Angeles; Contra Costa County, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; Baltimore; New York; Houston; San Mateo County, Calif.; Denver; Bridgeport, Conn.; Wilmington, Del.; Broward County, Fla.; Boston; Flint, Mich.; Detroit; Minneapolis; Raleigh, N.C.; Durham, N.C.; Albany, N.Y.; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Pittsburgh; and Dallas.

ACORN has waited three decades for this moment in the sun. And as Obama promised ACORN members at a forum in December 2007, “We’re going to be calling all of you in to help us shape the agenda. We’re gonna be having meetings all across the country . . . so that you have input into the agenda.” The moment is nigh. Prepare for lawlessness.

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President Obama’s Savior-Based Economy

February 12, 2009

President Obama’s Savior-Based Economy

By MICHELLE MALKIN | 12 February 2009 | IBD

President Obama is back in messianic campaign mode. It is unbecoming. When he’s not snarling at conservative opponents of his endless spending programs, he’s pandering to supporters as the nation’s community-organizer-in-chief.

At a stimulus rally in Fort Myers, Fla., on Tuesday, a woman named Henrietta Hughes stood up to decry the mortgage crisis and ask Obama for his personal help. Choking back tears, she implored: “I have an urgent need. . . . We need a home, our own kitchen, our own bathroom.”

If she had more time, she probably would have remembered to ask Obama to fill up her gas tank, too. The soul-fixer dutifully asked her name, gave her a hug and ordered his staff to meet with her. Supporters cried “Amen!” and “Yes!” A young McDonald’s worker named Julio Osegueda bolted out of his seat and exclaimed: “It is such a blessing to see you. Oh! Gracious God, thank you so much! Ungh!”

The event turned into a full-blown revival meeting when Obama announced that the Senate had passed his massive stimulus plan. Audience members erupted into applause. Tongues of fire descended from the sky. Loaves and fishes (or rather, pork and Kool-Aid) multiplied miraculously into trillions for all.

GOP Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina didn’t know how right he was when he warned over the weekend: “We’re moving precipitously close to what I would call a savior-based economy.”

Like Mighty Mouse, President Obama is here to save the day. The government is here to help — and it is your patriotic duty to pay for it all without preconditions. Hughes didn’t explain the cause of her financial turmoil. Obama didn’t ask.

And if we conservatives dare to question the circumstances — and the underlying assumption that it is government’s (that is, taxpayers’) role to bail her out — we’ll be lambasted as cruel haters of the downtrodden.

Woe unto ye unbelievers in Big Government who cling to what Obama derided as “ideological rigidity.” Well, pardon my unbending belief in fairness and personal responsibility, but why should my tax dollars go to feed the housing entitlement beast?

At his fear-mongering press conference Monday night, Obama lamented that homeowners “are seeing their property values decline.” Countrywide crony Sen. Chris Dodd successfully stuffed $50 billion into the just-passed stimulus package for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to spend on “mandatory loan modifications” for homeowners deep underwater on their mortgages. That’s in addition to the $20 billion already allocated by the House last month for the same purposes.

Banks have been engaged in these “Mo Mod” programs over the past year. Democrats want to accelerate the pace and use the power of government to essentially provide a blanket amnesty for borrowers and lenders who made bad financial decisions.

Yes, there are many responsible borrowers out there having trouble negotiating loan modifications. But this $50 billion giveaway to the banks — on top of the upward of $2 trillion more from the Treasury department, on top of the $700 billion in original TARP funding — is throwing more bad money after bad.

This massive expansion of government meddling in the housing market — yet another attempt to get federal bureaucrats in the business of rewriting loan contracts and reducing principal — will just delay the inevitable.

A report released by the Comptroller of the Currency in December showed that more than half of loans modified in the first quarter of 2008 fell 30 days delinquent within six months. And after six months, 35% of people were 60 or more days behind on their payments.

Where’s the fairness in forcing prudent homeowners and renters to subsidize people who bought overpriced houses and rescue the banks that lent to them?

Tellingly, Obama chose Fort Myers to drum up support for his wealth redistributionism. The area has been one of the hardest hit by foreclosures, as the president was quick to point out. But many of those homes are second or third homes and investment properties.

And low housing prices are not a catastrophe for everyone. They’ve created opportunities for Americans who haven’t been able to buy in an artificially inflated market. The median sales price of a home in the Fort Myers area fell 50% to $106,900, from $215,200 in December 2007. Bargain-priced home sales are up 146% from a year ago.

It’s sacrilegious to say it in the Age of Obama, but it needs to be said: Homeownership is not an entitlement. Credit is not a civil right. Your property-value preservation is not my problem. Can I get an “Amen!”?