Posts tagged obama
The Supreme Court’s conservative justices said Wednesday they are prepared to strike down President Obama’s healthcare law entirely.
Picking up where they left off Tuesday, the conservatives said they thought a decision striking down the law’s controversial individual mandate to purchase health insurance means the whole statute should fall with it.
The court’s conservatives sounded as though they had determined for themselves that the 2,700-page measure must be declared unconstitutional. ”One way or another, Congress will have to revisit it in toto,” said Justice Antonin Scalia. Agreeing, Justice Anthony Kennedy said it would be an “extreme proposition” to allow the various insurance regulations to stand after the mandate was struck down.
Meanwhile, the court’s liberal justices argued for restraint. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the court should do a “salvage job,” not undertake a “wrecking operation.” But she looked to be out-voted. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said they shared the view of Scalia and Kennedy that the law should stand or fall in total. Along with Justice Clarence Thomas, they would have a majority to strike down the entire statute as unconstitutional.
An Obama administration lawyer, urging caution, said it would be “extraordinary” for the court to throw out the entire law. About 2.5 million young people under age 26 are on their parents’ insurance now because of the new law. If it were struck down entirely, “2.5 million of them would be thrown off the insurance rolls,” said Edwin Kneedler.
The administration indicated it was prepared to accept a ruling that some of the insurance reforms should fall if the mandate were struck down. For example, insurers would not be required to sell coverage to people with preexisting conditions. But Kneedler, a deputy solicitor general, said the court should go no further. But the court’s conservatives said the law was passed as a package and must fall as a package.
The justices are scheduled to meet Wednesday afternoon to debate the law’s Medicaid expansion. source – LA Times
UPDATE: The State Department has altered an official communication to erase the fact that it had referred to Israel and Jerusalem as separate entities.
The release now states: “Acting Under Secretary Kathleen Stephens Travels to Algiers, Doha, Amman, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv.” In a previous iteration of the release, the State Department separated Jerusalem from Israel.
An official State Department communication has labeled Jerusalem and Israel as separate entities. In an official press release yesterday, the State Department announced that “Acting Under Secretary Kathleen Stephens Travels to Algeria, Qatar, Jordan, Jerusalem, and Israel.”
Keeping up with its longstanding policy, the State Department refuses to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s official capital—despite a U.S. law stating otherwise. Obama faced criticism on the issue last year, when it was revealed that the White House had scrubbed all references to Jerusalem being part of the Jewish state from a collection of photos on its website.
Obama has also been lambasted by pro-Israel leaders and some on Capitol Hill for capitulating to pressure from the State Department, which has long opposed U.S. law on the matter.
A senior GOP aide condemned the State Department’s recent press release as unsound foreign policy.
“Once again, President Obama’s administration reminds Jewish voters why he cannot be trusted when it comes to Israel’s security,” said the source. “He doesn’t think Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Is it its own sovereign nation?”
The GOP source also chided Obama for continuing to buck U.S. law on the issue.
“Under U.S. law, Jerusalem is recognized as the undivided capital of Israel—period,” said the adviser. “Unlike the U.S. embassy’s move, that fact is not subject to any waiver or exception. So the question really is, why is Barack Obama ignoring U.S. law and refusing to recognize Israel’s capital?”
The White House did not respond to request for comment. source – Free Beacon
SEOUL, South Korea — At the tail end of his 90 minute meeting with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev Monday, President Obama said that he would have “more flexibility” to deal with controversial issues such as missile defense, but incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to give him “space.”
The exchange was picked up by microphones as reporters were let into the room for remarks by the two leaders.
President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.
President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…
President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
When asked to explain what President Obama meant, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications Ben Rhodes told ABC News that there is room for the U.S. and Russia to reach an accommodation, but “there is a lot of rhetoric around this issue — there always is — in both countries.
A senior administration official tells ABC News: “this is a political year in which the Russians just had an election, we’re about to have a presidential and congressional elections — this is not the kind of year in which we’re going to resolve incredibly complicated issue like this. So there’s an advantage to pulling back and letting the technical experts work on this as the president has been saying.” source – ABC News
The average price of a gallon of regular is now $3.87, the highest recorded price in March.
The average price is up nearly 4 cents from a week ago, and over 30 cents from a year ago, according to the Department of Energy, as more drivers face gas prices of $4 a gallon or more across the country.
Last week, the average gas price was $3.83 a gallon, the previous record according to data going back to 1990.
The West Coast was once again the most expensive region with an average gas price of $4.23, up almost 2 cents from last week, with an increase of over 37 cents from a year ago.
The least expensive was the Rocky Mountain region with $3.62 a gallon. That region had the highest increase from last week, 14 cents, while the average price there climbed almost 24 cents from a year ago. source – ABC News
The Chicago Way
Among all Obama’s radical associates from the past, few received more attention or were as shocking as the president’s connection to Bill Ayers. The relationship plagued Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign and could resurface during this year’s election as many questions remain.
Among the possible inquiries: How did the duo originally meet? Did Obama have a larger relationship with Ayers’ parents? Did Ayers play a larger-than-known role in mentoring Obama or in aiding his political career? Are there more projects in which Ayers and Obama worked together? Is there more to find regarding the work of the nonprofits where the two served together?
Obama has never fully addressed the many known aspects of his relationship with Ayers.
During an April 16, 2008, presidential debate, Obama was asked about the relationship.
“This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago, who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from,” Obama said. “He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis.”
It is known that Obama launched his political career at a 1995 fundraiser at Ayers’ Chicago apartment and that the two served alongside each other from 1995 to 2000 on a $100 million education foundation, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, or CAC. According to documentary evidence, it was Ayers who helped hire Obama at the CAC.
Also, Obama and Ayers served as paid directors of the Woods Fund, a nonprofit that channeled money to leftist causes.
Obama would later cite his CAC position as evidence of his qualification for public office.
However, those probing Obama were left to speculate exactly how Ayers was so familiar with him that he hired the future politician for the CAC and hosted the 1995 fundraiser.
It would later emerge that Obama worked directly with Ayers in 1988 and that the two were brought together by a radical Saul Alinsky acolyte who was trained by Alinsky himself and whose name was obscured in Obama’s autobiography “Dreams from My Father.”
Alinsky, known for his book “Rules for Radicals,” is regarded as the father of the community organizer movement.
In 1988, in response to a Chicago summit that documented the poor quality of education in the city, Chicago United, a group founded by Ayers’ father, the late Thomas Ayers, formed a community advocacy association called the Alliance for Better Chicago Schools, or the ABCs Coalition. Thomas Ayers was the chairman and CEO of Commonwealth Edison.
When he created the ABCs Coalition in June 1988, Thomas Ayers included Obama in the coalition. Obama at the time was director and lead organizer of the Developing Communities Project, or DCP, an institutionally based community organization on Chicago’s Far South Side. Obama’s first job in Chicago was his DCP position.
The contact for the ABCs Coalition, on which Obama served, was none other than Bill Ayers, who at the time was at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Documentation reviewed by WND showed that Ayers started attending the ABCs Coalition’s monthly meetings, held over breakfasts of eggs, sausages, rolls, fruit and coffee in a conference room on the 57th floor of Chicago’s First National Bank downtown headquarters.
Obama disguised identity of Alinsky radical?
Obama, meanwhile, took his DCP job in 1985. In “Dreams from My Father,” Obama relates his first job in Chicago as a community organizer and claims the name of his boss at DCP was “Marty Kaufman.”
Kaufman, however, doesn’t exist. The DCP chief at the time was Marty Kellman, who was trained by Alinsky himself, as the book “The Manchurian President” documents.
Additionally, the DCP, with Obama as director, received two grants. One grant was for $40,000 in 1985 and another for $33,000 in 1986 from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, a group that promoted Alinsky-style organizations.
Obama worked closely with Ayers
Working at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge in 1995, Obama had a close relationship with Ayers, according to the CAC’s own archived records. The records also show Obama’s and Ayers’ foundation granted money to radical leftist activist causes.
News reports, archived records, interviews and Ayers’ own curriculum vitae document that Ayers was the founder of the CAC, which billed itself as a school reform organization. Ayers also served as co-chairman of the Chicago School Reform Collaborative, one of the two operational arms of the CAC, from its formation in 1995 until 2000.
In 1995, Obama was appointed as the CAC’s first chairman.
In response to a query by National Review Online writer Stanley Kurtz, the Obama 2008 presidential campaign issued a statement claiming Ayers was not involved with Obama’s “recruitment” to the CAC board. The statement said Deborah Leff and Patricia Albjerg Graham, who served as presidents of other foundations, recruited Obama.
But Kurtz reviewed the CAC archives at the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago, which houses CAC board meeting minutes and other documentation from the education foundation. He found that along with Leff and Graham, Ayers was in a working group of five people who assembled the initial board of the CAC, which hired Obama.
“Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit. No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval,” Kurtz wrote in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece.
Indeed, several articles in 1994 and 1995 in the Chicago Tribune detailed Ayers’ extensive work to secure the original grant for the CAC from a national education initiative by Ambassador Walter Annenberg, as well as Ayers’ molding of the CAC guidelines. It would have been unusual for Ayers not to have been involved in the selection of Obama.
Kurtz reported that the CAC archives demonstrated Obama and Ayers worked as a team to further the foundation’s agenda. Obama was in charge of fiscal matters, while Ayers’ position was more concerned with shaping educational policy.
The documents showed Ayers served as an ex-officio member of the board that Obama chaired through the CAC’s first year. Ayers also served on the board’s governance committee with Obama, and worked with him to craft CAC bylaws, according to the documents.
Ayers made presentations to board meetings chaired by Obama. Ayers also spoke for the Chicago School Reform Collaborative before Obama’s board, while Obama periodically spoke for the board at meetings of the collaborative, the CAC documents reviewed by Kurtz show.
According to the documents, the CAC granted money to far-left causes, such as the now-defunct Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, which, WND previously reported, had done work on behalf of Obama’s presidential campaign.
WND broke the story that while Obama chaired the board of the CAC, more than $600,000 was granted to an organization founded by Ayers and run by Mike Klonsky, a former top communist activist. Klonsky was leader of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party, which was effectively recognized by China as the all-but-official U.S. Maoist party.
Confirms Kurtz: “Instead of funding schools directly, [the CAC] required schools to affiliate with ‘external partners,’ which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as ACORN.”
In 1995, the year Ayers founded the CAC, he gave an interview for author Ron Chepesiuk’s book “Sixties Radicals” in which Ayers stated, “I’m a radical, leftist, small ‘c’ communist.”
Kurtz notes that in his book “Teaching Toward Freedom,” Ayers states his goal is to “teach against oppression,” which Kurtz noted Ayers defines as “against America’s history of evil and racism, thereby forcing social transformation.”
The CAC, however, was not Obama’s only working relationship with the unrepentant terrorist, Ayers.
In a widely circulated article, WND first reported Obama served on the board of the Woods Fund, a liberal Chicago nonprofit, alongside Ayers from 1999 to Dec. 11, 2002, according to the Fund’s website. Tax filings show Obama received compensation of $6,000 per year for his service in 1999 and 2000.
The two appeared together as speakers at several public events, including a 1997 University of Chicago panel titled “Should a child ever be called a ‘super predator?’” and another panel for the University of Illinois in April 2002 titled “Intellectuals: Who needs them?”
Ayers has written about his involvement with the Weather Underground’s bombings of the New York City Police headquarters in 1970, the Capitol in 1971 and the Pentagon in 1972.
“I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough,” Ayers told the New York Times in an interview released – ironically – on Sept. 11, 2001.
“Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon,” Ayers wrote in his memoirs, titled “Fugitive Days.” He continued with a disclaimer that he didn’t personally set the bombs, but that his group set the explosives and planned the attack. source – WND
Netanyahu says Israel won’t need U.S. OK to hit Iran
JERUSALEM — Israeli aircraft and Gaza rocket squads traded strikes across the border on Thursday as the Israeli prime minister blamed Iranfor the violence from the Palestinian territory.
Benjamin Netanyahu, going a step further in his warnings to Iran, hinted that Israel didn’t need Washington’s blessing to go ahead and attack Iran’s suspect nuclear program.
Thursday’s cross-border violence tested a shaky truce Israel and Gaza militants reached this week to halt a four-day flare-up in fighting. Since then, sporadic rocket fire and Israeli airstrikes have persisted.
Israeli aircraft struck two militant sites in Gaza before dawn Thursday in response to rocket fire a day earlier. Gaza gunmen retaliated by launching two rockets at Israel by midday, police said.
No injuries were reported on either side.
In a speech to parliament on Wednesday, Mr. Netanyahu accused Iran of arming, financing and training Gaza militants, and giving them their marching orders. “Gaza is Iran,” he declared.
Israel considers Iran to be its most fearsome enemy, in large part because it is convinced Tehran is developing atomic weapons technology, despite its claims its nuclear program is peaceful.
In the U.S. last week, where he met with President Obama, Mr. Netanyahu was markedly more vocal about Israel’s willingness to attackIran’s program, alone if necessary, though he said no decision had been made on whether to strike.
On Wednesday, he ratcheted up the tough talk, suggesting Israel would be ready to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities even if the U.S. objected.
“Israel has never left its fate to others, not even the best of its friends,” he said, citing Israel’s 1981 attack on an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor, which at the time was condemned by the U.S.
Also Thursday, rights activists said the health of a Palestinian detainee who has been on a hunger strike for a month is deteriorating.
Hana Shalabi, 30, has refused food since her arrest by Israel on Feb. 16. She is being held without formal charges in so-called administrative detention and is demanding to be released immediately.
A doctor from Israel’s branch of Physicians for Human Rights examined her this week and reported advanced muscle atrophy and wasting, along with severe dizziness and muscle pain, especially in her chest and back.
Israel Prisons Authority spokeswoman Sivan Weizman said Ms. Shalabi’s condition is “relatively OK.” An independent ethics committee discussed her case this week and decided against force-feeding her, Ms. Weizman said, adding that Ms. Shalabi remains in her cell. source – Washington Post
Obama Re-Election Credited With Burst of Gun Sales
Gun sales are booming across Texas, and some buyers say their growing belief that President Barack Obama’s re-election is inevitable is fueling their race to bear more arms.
So brisk have sales been that the rush has created a nationwide shortage of firearms and ammunition, the Star-Telegram reports. Fort Worth gun shop owner DeWayne Irwin said the rush is similar to one seen shortly after the president’s 2008 election.
Alan Korwin, author of nine books on gun laws and operator of a gun laws website, tells the Star-Telegram that some are worried that Obama’s re-election would embolden a major gun control push.
Korwin said people worry that if Obama wins “he will go after firearms in a way we have never seen before.” He added the belief is fueled by perceived disarray in the field of candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. source – NBC Ft. Worth