Friday, May 31, 2013

Let's start telling young people the truth about college and jobs


(My new American Thinker post)


A year ago, I came across Aaron Clarey's "Worthless", a book that brings you down to earth about the value of a college degree in today's marketplace.  I'd definitely recommend Aaron's book to parents & high school students.  It will make you think about the huge investment that you are about to make by starting college.

Young people today are finding a tough marketplace, i.e. the GDP is still weak
We can blame the slow economy for the tough jobs outlook.  However, the changes are more profound and will continue when we finally can enjoy a recovery. 

As Thomas Friedman pointed out, getting a job is about bringing value not a degree to a future employer:

"Underneath the huge drop in demand that drove unemployment up to 9 percent during the recession, there’s been an important shift in the education-to-work model in America. Anyone who’s been looking for a job knows what I mean. It is best summed up by the mantra from the Harvard education expert Tony Wagner that the world doesn’t care anymore what you know; all it cares “is what you can do with what you know.” And since jobs are evolving so quickly, with so many new tools, a bachelor’s degree is no longer considered an adequate proxy by employers for your ability to do a particular job — and, therefore, be hired. So, more employers are designing their own tests to measure applicants’ skills. And they increasingly don’t care how those skills were acquired: home schooling, an online university, a massive open online course, or Yale. They just want to know one thing: Can you add value?""

Translation:  What can you do for me, young person?  Or, what can you do to make my bottom line come alive?

The other reality of today's marketplace is that you are more likely to get hired by a very lean medium size company competing in a brutal international marketplace. 

This is not the time when Americans made and consumed everything.  We are now operating in a world where there are smart engineers in India, very good aircraft manufactures in Brazil and a China determined to get ahead no matter what it takes to do it.

Therefore, let's explain to  young people that their future employer wants you to bring some value to his business because that's what will keep the doors open another week, i.e. your next paycheck!

It's a very different marketplace than the one that welcomed me many years ago.  I just hope that we are telling young people what is going on outside the school walls.

Last, but not least, I hope that high school counselors are advising students that there is a big future in plumbing, chimney cleaning, and other similar vocations. 

Don't get me wrong.  A college degree is a noble objective as long as you know that it's not a ticket to anything or a guarantee to a job!

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IRS, Benghazi & DOJ equal 3 big headaches for the Obama administration


President Obama was reelected 6 months ago.  Who would have believed that election night that his administration would be in such disarray?  

IRS, Benghazi and the DOJ!

We spoke with Jerome Bailey about the DOJ vs reporters episode.  It seems to me that AG Holder crossed a line here when he targeted AP reporters and James Rosen of Fox News.

Click here for Thursday's show:


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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dear Maureen and Margaret: You saw the Potemkin village in 2008


(My new American Thinker post)


It is amusing to watch liberals explain President Obama's troubles, dilemmas and contradictions.  This is even more entertaining now that his administration is going after reporters, "outdoing Nixon" with the IRS and sticking with so many of the Bush policies that they hated so much.

Back in 2008, he was cool, thoughtful, and just the kind of man that the US needed after 8 years of "Cowboy Bush" and "Meanie Cheney".

He was the man who would make us popular again.  After all, didn't he draw large crowds in Europe when he made a "rock star" tour that summer of "hope and change" and "yes we can" chants? 

I remember one lady supporter of Obama in Dallas say to me:  "They were crying in Europe when he spoke!.  How impressive!" 

We've come a long way from those days of Obamania. We are now in what women would call the "my guy does not lift the toilet seat when he goes to the bathroom" stage.

Yes, the dream is over. 

Maureen Dowd wrote today that Obama could be the President of Scandinavia.  I guess that she means that Obama is not very comfortable with getting involved in the dirty work of politics, such as "deal making" with the GOP or asking a Democrat in a red state for his opinions about gun control.   He does not have time for that!

Margaret Carlson, another one of those ladies who really fell for the cool & aloof man of 2008, is now telling President Obama to "start sweating the small stuff."  Margaret's "small stuff" includes using the IRS to attack conservatives and going after reporters.  By the way, would she be calling that "small stuff" if Bush was doing it?  Probably not!

The problem is beyond personality style ("too cool to sweat") or what other region of the world (Scandinavia) would have been better suited for Obama. 

The real problem is that he is "in over his head", as many Democrats used to say in 2008.  Remember President Clinton calling it a "fairy tale'? 

President Obama's #1 problem is that he was not ready for this very difficult job called the presidency.  He was not ready.   He had never been a 'boss."   He also does not seem very interested in surrounding himself with people who could help him be the "boss." He'd rather have Valerie Jarett be the "gate keeper" and let "preppy yes we can screamers" shower him with accolades.

Wonder if Valerie even lets his senior staff come in and talk to him?   We have now learned that the senior staff did not tell him about the IRS scandal, the AP or the James Rosen story.  Also, let's not forget that nobody told him about those 2,000 high powered weapons that crossed an international border and ended up with Mexican cartels.

My advice to the liberals is simple:  Gulp and say it!   It was always a Potemkin village, or "something that appears elaborate and impressive but in actual fact lacks substance."

Sorry but he was too good to be true in 2008!  Sorry that you had to find out this way! 


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Can "Peatonito" turn into "Petrolito" and save Mexico from PEMEX?

Fausta Wertz brought the story of "Peatonito" to my attention.  

It is the kind of story that makes you laugh and confirms the power of Twitter:

"If you ever get stuck in gridlock at an intersection in this crowded capital city, you can't expect help from a street cop. But you might try "Peatónito," the protector of pedestrians who dresses as a Mexican wrestler.
When a car blocks a crosswalk, from out of nowhere appears Peatónito ("little pedestrian" in Spanish), in a cape and wrestler's mask. He stands directly in front of the car and tries to push it back with his bare hands—often to the astonishment of the drivers. If a motorbike is parked on the sidewalk blocking the way, Peatónito lifts it up and puts it on the curb where it belongs.
No crosswalk at an intersection? No problem: Peatónito travels with a can of white paint and a few official-looking stencils, ready to paint the crosshatches where they might be needed. It is a pity he can't be everywhere at once.""

My question is this:  Can "Peatonito" turn into "Petrolito" and save Mexico from that monstrosity named PEMEX? Can he convince his countrymen that PEMEX is the #1 reason keeping Mexico as a 3rd world country?  Open up PEMEX and there won't be enough hotel rooms in Mexico for investors willing to invest in the country's energy fields!

Click here for Wednesday's show. We spoke about "Peatonito" in the last segment:


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US-Latin America free trade agreements have been good for all concerned


We spoke with James Roberts of The Heritage Foundation.  We were also joined by Fausta Wertz (Fausta's Blog) and Michael Prada.

Our topic was free trade agreements, from NAFTA in '93 to the Colombia FTA that was recently implemented.  These agreements have been good for US companies and have contributed to raise living standards in Mexico and other countries.

For example, NAFTA has boosted trade between Canada, the US & Mexico:

"Trade between the NAFTA signatories more than quadrupled, from $297 billion in 1993 to $1.6 trillion in 2009 (latest data available). Exports from the U.S. to Canada and Mexico grew from $142 billion to $452 billion in 2007, then declined to $397 billion in 2009, thanks to the 2008 financial crisis. Exports from Canada and Mexico to the U.S. increased from $151 billion to $568 billion in 2007, then down to $438 billion in 2009. (Source: Office of the US Trade Representative, NAFTA)

It has also been good for US farmers.  They are now exporting more and more to Mexico and Canada.

The bottom line is that free trade works.  It does not mean that everything turns out rosy.  However, there is more good than bad and that's pretty good.

Click here for Wednesday's show:


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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Remember 'The Summer of Recovery'? Now it's 'The summer of ObamaCare'


(My new American Thinker post)


We just got word that President Obama will go on a marketing tour to sell ObamaCare.  He will focus on the benefits and all of those wonderful things around the corner when the law is finally implemented.  He will complete what Speaker Pelosi started: "We Have to Pass the Bill So That You Can Find Out What Is In It".  

Like "the summer or recovery" in 2010, my guess is that this tour will have to give away tickets to fill up the arena. 

The first problem is that law continues to be very unpopular.  Wonder how unpopular it will be when it finally gets implemented?  A new Rasmussen poll indicates that 45% Want Their Governor To Oppose Implementation of Health Care Law.

The second problem is that the federal government is totally unprepared for implementation.   In fact, they just missed another deadline:
"Under President Obama's 2010 health law, the government officials in charge of keeping Medicaid afloat have until Tuesday to report whether costs for the fiscally foundering program will exceed expectations.
But they won't have anywhere to send their report.
That's because the Independent Payment Advisory Board - perhaps the most controversial entity created under Obama's law - still doesn't exist."
The third problem is that most people were actually happy with their policies.  They will be unhappy when they are hit with reality that they won't be able to keep their policies.  Just listen to what Mr Joe Hansen, union leader, recently said:
""It makes an untruth out of what the president said -- that if you like your insurance, you could keep it," said Joe Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. "That is not going to be true for millions of workers now."
My guess is that "The summer of ObamaCare" will go the way of that "Summer of Recovery" show that never got off the ground.

Sorry but you can't sell a bad product.  ObamaCare is a very bad product.  Just ask some of the unions looking for a lifeboat to get out of this Titanic incredibly called The Affordable Health Care Act.

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The Boy Scouts and other thoughts about the modern state of liberalism

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As the father of 3 former Scouts, I am very sad to hear that The Boy Scouts "cracked" and allowed "openly homosexual men" to lead boys.

As my friend Trevor Thomas wrote, this is a very bad decision:

"Yesterday, in historic infamy, over 1,400 members of the Boy Scouts national council voted (by a 61%-to-39% margin) to allow openly homosexual boys into its ranks.  As USA Today noted, "Since 1991 the Scouts have barred openly gay individuals from participating in Scouting because it was decided that being gay was incompatible with being 'morally straight.'"  So now, all of a sudden, being "morally straight" doesn't necessarily mean being sexually straight."


My guess is that most parents will walk away from the organization.  The objective of the Scouts was to teach boys about God, country and values.  

How do you do that by accepting homosexual leaders?

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Is immigration reform dead?

(My new American Thinker post)

Senator Menendez just said something rather surprising about the immigration bill in the US Senate:

"The Gang of Eight immigration bill does not yet have a 60-vote majority in the Senate, according to one of its authors, Sen. Bob Menendez.
During an interview with Univision's Jorge Ramos, Menendez (D-N.J.) appeared confident that Congress will pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. But he said the Senate bill's backers haven't yet cobbled together a large enough majority to avoid a potential filibuster.
"We don't currently have 60 votes identified in the Senate," he said during the interview with Ramos, which was conducted in Spanish for "Al Punto," Univision's Sunday public affairs show. "We need to add more votes on the floor." "  (ABC)

This is very interesting because there are 53 Democrats plus a couple of independents who usually vote with them in the US Senate.   All they need is 5 GOP Senators to get over the line.

My guess is that some of the "55 Democrats" must be having second thoughts about voting for this bill. 

I'm talking about Democrats running for reelection in states like North & South Dakota, Arkansas, Alaska, Louisiana, North Carolina,West Virginia & Virginia.    There are Democrats retiring in Iowa, Montana and Michigan or open seats.

There is also the ObamaCare hangover.  I don't think that many of these Democrats want to explain another controversial vote on top of the aforementioned Obama Care. 

Democrats will be facing an electorate paying higher premiums for health insurance and losing their coverage, or exactly the opposite of what Obama promised.   Add to this the mess with the exchanges as outlined by Sally Pipes at Forbes:

"Delays, wasteful spending, and cost overruns have already popped up. And it’s becoming increasingly likely that the exchanges won’t be ready by October 1, when they’re supposed to open for enrollment. Mass confusion and excessive costs will result."

This is not the kind of electorate that wants another 1,000 page bill that no one really understands.

Add to this landscape an angry Tea Party and 2014 is starting to look a lot like 2010, or a year that most Democrats would rather forget.

Is immigration reform dead?  I hope not but the patient is weak. 

The mistake is writing these "comprehensive bills" rather than focus on areas where bipartisan support is strong, such as border security and a guest worker visa program.  Both of these would pass quickly and go a long way toward assuring the public about the border and giving people already here a chance to work legally in the US.

Again, trying to do it "comprehensively" produces a 1,000 page bill that no one really understands or can identify its costs.  Can you say ObamaCare and all of the unintended consequences popping up from that law?

The Congress should take immigration reform bit and bit and something sensible will happen.  The current version of immigration reform will have a hard time getting support from Democrats running for reelection.



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Ron Washington & The Texas Rangers looking good!


Ron Washington is certainly a candidate for "Manager of the Year" this season.  He was overlooked the last two times that he took the Rangers to the World Series.  He can not be overlooked this year.

Memorial Day is one the many "markers" in the baseball season.  It is almost the "one third" point of the season, or roughly 50 games.

The Rangers are 32-20 and sitting comfortably in the AL West.  They are doing it as a team since no hitter is having a super season so far.  We must add that pitching has been solid, from Yu Darvist to Joe Nathan.

We will look at this team around the All Star Game break.  Let's see where they are then but they are looking great so far.

Click here for Monday's sports show:


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Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day 2013


We remember today all of the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice, from the Revolutionary War to Iraq/Afghanistan.  

Please remember their families this weekend.

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

A speech to "kiss and make up" with his base






 
What do you do when your base is angry about GITMO?   I guess that you promise to close it again.  You also blame Congress for not giving you the money to do it.  The problem is that it was a Congress controlled by Democrats that did not provide the funding. 
 
What about drones?  You promise that we will "drone" more carefully from now on.  Let's hope that the terrorists will cooperate by keeping children away from them.
 
What about tapping reporters phones?  You say that it was about national security and because that "darn Congress" didn't pass the media shield law. 
 
By the way, does anyone remember President Obama persuading members of Congress to pass the media shield law?  I don't!
 
Overall, I rate this as a speech trying to win back the left.  I did not hear much more than that.  My guess is that it will be largely forgotten when the next IRS official comes to Congress and says "I don't know".
 
President Obama's basic problem is that reality does not allow him to keep the base happy.   Are you listening Pink Ladies?
 
Let's go back to GITMO.  Where are you going to put these people?  We don't know and no other country has stepped up to the plate requesting to have their nationals back.  I don't see much enthusiasm from Senate Democrats to put this on their agenda before the 2014 elections.  They already have their hands full with ObamaCAre.
 
Overall, the message about the war on terror was just silly.
 
He claims that the US has not been attacked in a large scale since 9-11.  Well, I would argue that Ft Hood and Boston were pretty big.  There were about 200 people injured in Boston!  Ask the relatives of the 19 people killed at Ft Hood about it.
 
He blames the "Internet" for the new wave of terrorism.    I agree that the Internet has facilitated "training" and "recruiting".  However, President Obama did not put forward any ideas on fighting this new kind of terrorism learned from the Internet.
 
Unfortunately for President Obama, and specially the millions who bought into "hope and change", the war will continue because the bad guys are still determined to kill Americans.  This war will go on for a long time and we better come to the terms with that. 
 

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Guess who is angry about ObamaCare?


(My new American Thinker post)


We could not say it any better than this:

""It makes an untruth out of what the president said — that if you like your insurance, you could keep it," said Joe Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.
"That is not going to be true for millions of workers now.""

Maybe we should invite Mr Hansen to our next Tea Party rally.  He may be one of the most credible critics of ObamaCare in the world. 

Mr Hansen has one big advantage over most people in the White House or Congress.

First, he has read the bill and is in the process of implementing it.  In other words, he gets the "train wreck" warning.

Second, Mr Hansen and the unions live in the real world, or the same place where most Americans live every day.

Wonder how all of those people paying union dues feel about this?

First, their dues go to support the Democrats who passed the bill in 2010.

Second, their dues go to finance the Obama reelection campaign or to keep Romney and the GOP from repealing it.

Third, their dues are paying the salary of leaders who are now warning them that ObamaCare may not be so good after all.
 
I don't know about you but I'd be very angry at the next union meeting!   

Click here for Friday's show about ObamaCare:



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ObamaCare and unions


Guess who is claiming that ObamaCare is not what it was made out to be?  Can you say unions?  Yes "unions" like in labor unions.

Here is a rather amazing story about the latest problem implementing ObamaCare:

"Union leaders warn that unless the problem is fixed, there could be consequences for Democrats facing re-election next year.

"It makes an untruth out of what the president said — that if you like your insurance, you could keep it," said Joe Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. "That is not going to be true for millions of workers now.""
 
No one on our side could have said this any better.

Click here for Friday's ObamaCare show with Dr Ileana Johnson-Paugh:


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Friday, May 24, 2013

Only President Obama can stop the IRS "drip, drip, drip...."


(My new American Thinker post)

It's time for President Obama to make a "Bay of Pigs" type statement and accept full responsibility for the IRS scandal.  He should say that "the buck stops with him" and that it happened on his watch.    
 
I believe that the statement should also include the dismissal of key IRS people and the White House Chief Counsel who kept the president in the dark.  
 
President Obama should deliver a prime time speech and assure the public that he is committed to a resolution of the IRS crisis. 
 
After that, President Obama should commit to an independent prosecutor who will issue a report that people will believe.  No one is going to buy a DOJ investigation. 
 
By the way, thousands of good people who work at the IRS deserve nothing less.  Morale must be very low at the IRS after this scandal.  Wonder what customer service calls must be like these days between taxpayers and telephone representatives? 
 
It was good to see Bill Keller of The NY Times call for an independent prosecutor:
 
"Republicans are howling for President Obama to name a special prosecutor to investigate the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of Tea Party groups. The president should call their bluff."
 
Yes, Mr Keller is right about this.
 
Appoint Patrick Fitzgerald and let him get to the bottom of the scandal.  I think Fitzpatrick is well regarded by both sides.
 
At the end of the day, the IRS scandal is the biggest threat to the Obama presidency.  There is no easy way to get out of this mess.
 
My message to President Obama is simple:  Take responsibility, hold key personnel accountable and let an independent prosecutor settle this mess.
 
Otherwise, it will be "drip, drip and drip" until the cup overflows.  
 
And overflow it will!

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Let's take a look at CURE (Citizens United for Responsible Education)


CURE (Citizens United for Responsible Education) is about concerned parents, educators and others who want  "....to ensure our children have access to a fair, balanced and classical education."

We spoke with Dawn Wildman and Alice Linahan about the group's mission.  There are now chapters all over the country, and you can find your local contact in the group's website.

Click here for Thursday's show:


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Thursday, May 23, 2013

The tragedy is that millions bought into 'hope and change'


(My new American Thinker post)

Over the weekend, I saw an article by Heather Long complaining that Obama has turned out to be a lot like Bush:
"This isn't the president so many took to the streets to cheer on in 2008. And the blame for that can't be placed solely on partisan politics or the media's thirst for a good scandal."
Miss Long reminisces about the excitement of election night 2008.  She saw people in the streets celebrating the coming of Obama.  She recalls the anticipation of a new day, here, there and everywhere.

Well, I also remember election night 2008.  Unlike Miss Long, I was disappointed because McCain lost and could not believe the hysterical reaction of so many in Chicago that night.  I looked at the TV screen and could not find the white smoke coming from the cathedral.

Let me send a nice message to Miss Long and the millions who fell for the Obama magic. 

Sorry but it was never really magic at all, unless you still believe that Peter Pan was a little boy who never grew up or that 3 little bears live in some enchanted forest.  

He was nothing but another politician telling Miss Long and so many what they desperately wanted to hear.  What did they want to hear?  They wanted to hear that it was all Bush's fault.

Miss Long actually had a bad case of "Bush derangement syndrome".  She invested so much in the idea that Obama was the dawning of a new day.  It was adults buying into the garbage that you could fix all of the world's problems by replacing Bush with Obama.

It was rather silly and infantile but that's what 2008 was largely about!

It was grown ups like Miss Long who got caught up in the rhetoric of a man who had never run anything or accomplished much.    He was the most unqualified man seeking the presidency in 2008 and was elected because millions wanted to believe in fairy tales and voodoo spells.

Well, it's 2013 and too many people like Miss Long can not believe what they are watching.  GITMO is still open and we are still fighting wars.  There are still people willing to blow up Americans despite the Cairo speech or all of those nicely crafted admissions that America has made mistakes in the past. 

Miss Long's article takes me back to something I saved from October 2008.  It was "Obama and the crowds" by Professor Fouad Ajami of Johns Hopkins University.  He made these comments about the Obama candidacy when Miss Long and so many were drunk in "Obamamania":
1) "The political genius of the man is that he is a blank slate. The devotees can project onto him what they wish."
2) "In recent days, those vast Obama crowds, though, have recalled for me the politics of charisma that wrecked Arab and Muslim societies. A leader does not have to say much, or be much. The crowd is left to its most powerful possession -- its imagination."
3) "The morning after the election, the disappointment will begin to settle upon the Obama crowd. Defeat -- by now unthinkable to the devotees -- will bring heartbreak. Victory will steadily deliver the sobering verdict that our troubles won't be solved by a leader's magic."
Sorry Miss Long but there were too many of you who wanted to believe in the fairy tale!  I guess that too many will have to accept that the prince won't be knocking on your door to see if the shoe fits your foot.

Fairy tales are for little children.  Politics are for adults.  We got that confused when millions voted for Obama in 2008.

Tags: "Hope and change", 2008 election, President Obama  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Venezuela in a chaotic state


Venezuela just got crazier with the Silva episode.  According to Fausta's Blog, the "leaked" tape suggests that ".....military – at the prodding of Diosdado Cabello – is plotting against Maduro."

The bottom line is that Venezuela is on the margin of chaos.

We spoke about this and other US-Latin America issues with Fausta Wertz and Michael Prada in Wednesday's show:


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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Obama administration does not like reporters who work outside of "the tank"!


President Obama "selective appreciation" of the First Amendment is in full display again.  Check out your neighborhood store because the dark side of "hope and change" has just been released! 

It's hard to believe that there is anybody out there still caught up in the "hope and change" farce! 

Yes, it was always a farce and the last two weeks confirm it!

"The Fox News Channel is outraged over new revelations that three of its reporting staffers were targeted by the U.S. Department of Justice in criminal investigations related to their attempts to obtain information from government sources."

Add to this the IRS targeting conservative groups, going after AP phone records, intimidating whistle-blowers over Benghazi & "Fast & Furious" and you have an administration with a very "thin skin". 

At the end of the day, the Obama administration does not like reporters, whistle-blowers or anyone who challenges their narrative. 

The name of this movie is "My way or we will get you"!   

However, a free press is part of an open society. 

In fact, this is why many of us criticized the media over the last couple of years.  We felt that the media was "in the tank for Obama" and not doing its job of challenging those in power, whether there is a "D or R" after their names.  

For example, I was extremely critical of Spanish media reporters who would not challenge President Obama's talking points about immigration. 

In ocher words, President Obama was allowed by Spanish speaking media reporters to get away with blaming the GOP despite having Democrat majorities to vote up and down on a reform.

Of course, President Obama's selective interpretaion of the First Amendment did not start in May 2013.  The seeds for this were planted a few years ago.

We take you back to the early days of the Obama administration and how they singled out FOX News and Rush Limbaugh.   Of course, it does not matter whether you like FOX or Limbaugh.  I don't like MSNBC & The New York Times but support their right to exist and do whatever they choose to do.  It's a free country for me and those who I disagree with!

The message was clear from the day that "hope and change" came to town!  

This is an administration that does not like people who refuse to drink their Kool Aid.

This is a president who likes people to scream "yes we can" no matter what he says or what he accomplishes.   

He also has a selective sense of civility.  He gave a speech in Arizona after that terrible shooting but has never challenged his base to stop name calling.

This is a man who loves adoring crowds and reporters who carry his water.  He does not care for those reporters who choose to do their jobs outside of the tank!

We are watching some rather amazing episodes of abuse of power.  I just hope that there are enough Americans willing to say "enough is enough"!

Again, the dark side of "hope and change" has just been released and it includes a special foreword from Saul Alinsky and a complimentary sermon from Rev Wright!

By the way, wonder what Senator Obama would be saying from the US Senate floor if the Bush administration had targeted NY Times reporters for talking to government sources?  I think that he would have made a big deal of it!
 
Click here for the Tuesday show with Richard Baehr of American Thinker:


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