Tom McLaughlin

A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: tommclaughlin@fairpoint.net

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lying Fool and Amen Media


"Oh no. Our story is crumbling."
Our president is either a liar or a fool - or both. When our Ambassador to Libya was murdered with three other Americans, his administration said it was because of a Youtube movie that sparked a demonstration which got out of hand - a completely bogus story for which there was absolutely no evidence.

Yet, Obama’s lackeys in the Mainstream Media swore to it. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Ambassador Susan Rice did too. They didn’t say that’s what they thought happened, they insisted it was true. Last week, the president was forced to admit that their story wasn’t true, but was not pressed about why he misled us all in the first place. Was he being deceitful or stupid? There’s plenty of evidence he was both, but nobody in the Mainstream Media was digging into it. The president and his surrogates insisted that with the information they had at the time, it was perfectly reasonable to have reached that erroneous conclusion, but now that they have more information, they’ve changed the story. There are no demands for explanations about where their original bogus information came from or why our three top foreign policy officials could get it so wrong when they blamed it on a film. 

Obama campaign logo and murder scene
Last Sunday night, Steve Croft on 60 Minutes let President Obama get away with calling the attack “A bump in the road.” PBS’s Gwen Ifill called it a “dust-up.” Full-scale war is about to break out between Israel and Iran, which threatens to shut down the Strait of Hormuz through which 30% of the world’s oil passes every day. Petroleum prices are already through the roof. Our economy is staggering. So is Europe’s. Shooting in the Persian Gulf will make oil unaffordable and even unavailable with winter approaching. The al Qaeda flag has been flying over American embassies in four Middle Eastern countries. Obama, Ahmadinejad and Netanyahu are all addressing the UN this week, but Obama says he doesn’t have time to meet with any world leaders. He’s too tied up with appearances on Letterman and “The View.”
How does President Obama get away with this? How can he know that the media won’t investigate him? Because it never has. He’s gotten a pass throughout his political career and he still has one. How did the al Qaeda terrorists know that Ambassador Stevens would be vulnerable to an attack in Benghazi? How did they know the location of his safe house where he was murdered? There was a mole in Libyan security - or in the US State Department itself. Remember the accusations five weeks earlier against Hillary Clinton’s close aid Huma Abedin? Five congressmen said she had multiple ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, but they were accused of Islamophobia. Will she be investigated now? Don’t hold your breath.

Abedin and Clinton
I watch the Sunday morning news shows which purport to analyze the week’s events, but that’s not what happens on them. They’re nothing but sub-committees of the Obama campaign, Fox News Sunday being the only exception. They’re ambushes, or set-ups at best. For the second week in a row I suffered through “Meet The Press,” which used to be a respectable news program under Tim Russert, but has devolved into a Democrat pep rally under David Gregory. I have to make myself watch CBS, NBC, ABC and PBS because, depressing as they are for an informed conservative like myself. I have to see what kind of pablum the American people are being fed.

David Gregory puppet
On “Meet The Press,” the invited guests hammered Romney and ignored the festering wounds of the president. They talked only about “Romney’s terrible week” and ignored Obama’s foreign policy debacle and cover-up. Genuine conservative Bay Buchanan was under siege with alleged conservatives Joe Scarborough of MSNBC and David Brooks of the New York Times on a panel with liberals like Democrat adviser Dee Dee Myers and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Brooks and Scarborough were introduced as conservatives, but I wouldn’t call them that. They’re tokens who kiss up to whoever pays them. At best, you could say they’re malleable about their beliefs. Scarborough had a pretty solid conservative voting record as a congressman, but after years on MSNBC he’s gone native. Maybe it’s Stockholm Syndrome, but he’s using his notoriety to slam Mitt Romney more than Barack Obama. There’s little the Mainstream Media like better than getting conservatives to turn. Scarborough and Brooks get way more invitations than genuine, articulate conservatives like Paul Ryan, Charles Krauthammer, or dozens of other possible spokespersons.

Former conservative Joe Scarborough
China is threatening war with both Taiwan and Japan, both of whom we are obligated by treaty to defend. Will we? China doesn’t seem to think we will under President Obama, which is why they’re rattling their swords. Because he refuses to work with Congress on cutting entitlements, massive defense cutbacks are looming for January under "sequestration" which his own Secretary of Defense says would be disastrous.

Looming defense cuts when "sequestration" kicks in this January

















Although he’s the president, Obama has no plans to deal with imminent medicare or Social Security bankruptcy. Instead, he takes pot shots at his opponent’s plans.

Our president smoking weed

Foreign countries won’t lend to us anymore, so the Federal Reserve is printing money to pay for our ever-expanding entitlements. Then our president wonders why food and gasoline prices rise so fast.

    Romney has to show some chutzpah and challenge Obama on all these fronts even if the media doesn’t. If not, he’s going the way of McCain and America will be left with the lying fool for another four years.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Obama Policy Meltdown


It’s not about the film.

Radical Muslims kill us because we’re Americans. That’s what their sheiks and imams tell them to do. Jews, Americans, and the British are at the top of their hit list - and in that order. All other westerners are on the list too, along with all other infidels (non-Muslims) which comprise about five out of six people on earth. That’s what it’s all about and I’m going to assume Obama doesn’t understand this, because the alternative is just too scary to contemplate.The president’s spokesman, Jay Carney, said last Friday: “This is a fairly volatile situation, and it is in response not to U.S. policy, not to, obviously, the administration, not to the American people. It is in response to a video – a film – that we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting.”

He’s in La-La Land. Not to the Obama Administration? They must be deaf at the White House because across the Middle East thousands are chanting: “Obama! Obama! We are all Osama!

The Obama Administration and its supporters in the Mainstream Media still insist, however, that it’s all about the film. On “Meet The Press” Sunday, Obama’s UN Ambassador, Susan Rice, repeated the mantra: “This is a response to a hateful and offensive video.”What shocks me most about all this is how deeply the Mainstream Media is in the tank for Obama. I’ve known for years that they were biased, but I see now that they have no shame, none. They’re Obama whores. Rather than acknowledge that Obama’s foreign policy is a shambles, they go after Mitt Romney for saying the US Embassy in Egypt shouldn’t apologize. Within an instant, the entire Mainstream Media were repeating the same thing: that Romney was the fool here, not their brilliant, beloved president.And just what was the Obama Middle East policy? I refer to it in the past tense because it’s over, even if neither he nor the Mainstream Media know it yet. It was essentially this: When Muslims realize how nice Barack Obama is, and they realize that a majority of Americans elected him in 2008, they’ll like Americans and they’ll stop trying to kill us.

That’s it. It sounds like I’m being sarcastic, but that was the extent of Obama’s plan. As a candidate he said that he lived in Muslim country, went to a Muslim school, and has Muslim family members, that he was uniquely qualified because those were “powerful tools” to “make us safer.” After he was elected, he went to Cairo in 2009 for a 7000-word speech called “New Beginning” saying: “There were very few moments in our lives when we can witness history taking place. This is one of those moments.” It’s embarrassing to watch, especially after last week’s events.

Americans were so impressed by Obama’s ability to read from a teleprompter that 52% voted for him. They expected the rest of the world to be as enthralled as they were. especially the Muslim world. But it wasn’t. Why? Because the Muslim world knows that President Obama is all talk. They do not fear the United States with him as its commander-in-chief.

The Obama Administration is oblivious to how pervasive Radical Islam has become - not only in the Muslim world, but here in the United States itself. When US Army Major Nidal Hasan shouted “Allahu Akbar!” as he shot 42 fellow American soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13, the FBI bent over backwards to avoid offending Muslims. Their investigation downplayed Islam as the cause for Hasan’s murderous rampage even though he exchanged twenty emails with Anwar al Awlaki leader of al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula!

The linguistic legerdemain employed by the Obama Administration would be comical if it weren’t so deadly serious. It removed words like “Radical Islam”; “jihadist” and “terrorism” from national security documents. Hasan’s murderous rampage wasn’t Radical Muslim terrorism according to Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, it was “Workplace Violence.” The War on Terror became “Overseas Contingency Operations.” The illegal war Obama waged to topple Kaddafi last year? It wasn’t a war; it was a “kinetic military action.”

In that "kinetic military action," our president claimed to be "leading from behind," but that wasn't quite right. It's plain now that he's leading from his own behind - while the Mainstream Media kisses it.

The Obama Administration won’t call our enemy what it is for fear of offending them! That’s bad enough by itself, but when US Marines guarding our Cairo Embassy in the now-Muslim-Brotherhood-controlled Egypt requested live ammunition for their weapons, their request was refused by Anne Patterson, Obama’s Ambassador to Egypt. Have you heard anything about that in the Mainstream Media? Didn’t think so.It's easy now for many of us to imagine what it feels like to be a Marine with an unloaded gun standing off hordes of radical Muslims. Every day it's more evident that our whole country is being led by a pop-gun president, not a commander-in-chief.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Disturbing Democrats

Silly things, these national conventions are - part costume party, part Halloween. I enjoy political conferences like CPAC - the Conservative Political Action Conference - because there’s a lot of intelligent debate by informed participants, and without the silliness. Conventions seem more like masquerade parties at which people have too much to drink and behave accordingly.
I was unhappy with the Republican convention because it didn’t go after Democrats strongly enough on how they’re driving our country to bankruptcy. I expected Governor Chris Christie to do that, but he didn’t. I expected Congressman Paul Ryan to do it more vehemently, but he was way too easy on them. I was disappointed.

At the Democrat convention, people on the floor who were panned by TV cameras brought back memories from when I belonged to that party. They looked like hero-worshipers. There was something in their eyes that told me they were looking for someone to follow and were ready to abandon themselves in the process. They were people in whom feelings trumped thought. As they responded to different speakers, I saw envy and anger and grievance. They wore funny costumes with flags, stars and stripes, buttons. Funny hats too. It all seemed relatively harmless though until I saw some of them interviewed. One said Christians want to murder Jews. Another said corporate profits should be banned. Still another said says she wants to kill Romney. Talk about screwballs. What really troubled me though was how they reacted to the floor vote to put God back into their platform.

It’s not clear exactly who removed God’s name or why, but Republicans noticed it right away and pounced on it. The Mainstream Media tried to ignore it - as they always have when something reflects negatively on liberal Democrats - but conservative outlets like AM radio, the Drudge Report, the blogosphere, and Fox News are getting more and more audience share and the story went out so widely that the Dems had to do something. So, President Obama told convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa to fix it. "He wanted both God and Jerusalem back in the platform," said the chairman, who is also mayor of Los Angeles.

I don’t believe that. This is the President Obama who repeatedly leaves God out when quoting the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed (here he leaves out ‘by their Creator’) with certain unalienable rights . . .” Was he really upset that God was left out of the platform?
Villaraigosa did his best to fix the problem, but he inadvertently made it worse. The reaction from hundreds of rank-and-file delegates on the floor was downright scary. First, he asked that the change to be read aloud, and cameras focused on a dignified-looking man who read the amendment, which included language endorsing Jerusalem as capital of Israel and the following: “I am here to attest and affirm that our faith and belief in God is essential to the American story and informs the values we’ve expressed in our party’s platform."Then Villaraigosa called for a voice vote to accept it. Many said yes, but when he asked who was opposed, many others shouted “NO!” Although it took a 2/3s majority to change the platform, it sounded like a majority were quite vehemently opposed. Villaraigosa looked very troubled up there on the podium. Because he knew what a public-relations disaster was unfolding before him? You’d have to ask him, but that’s the way it looked to this writer. Anyone watching with a belief in the Almighty had to be dismayed. No, not dismayed. Repulsed. They had to be asking themselves what kind of party Democrats had become.Twice more Villaraigosa asked how many were opposed. Each time, the anti-God and anti-Israel contingents shouted louder. It was bad, very bad, and one Republican took advantage of it immediately. Congressman Allen West, who is targeted by Democrat billionaire George Soros for defeat in his Florida district, edited it down to a 60-second commercial that is, in my opinion, the most effective political ad I’ve seen in decades. After depicting the above-described events, text appeared saying: “That’s [West’s opponent] Patrick Murphy’s party.” It then asked the question: “Who would have thought that the word ‘God’ would be that controversial?”
Allen West and me at CPAC 2009

As indicated, I used to belong to the Democrat party, but resigned twenty years ago. It had changed and so had I. It moved left even faster than I moved right. For decades, Democrats had been driving out anyone who didn’t support abortion, just as they’re now calling those who oppose so-called gay marriage “hateful.” They’re driving America off a fiscal cliff and blaming the “rich” for it.Then there's Democrat Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz . . .
Nah. Let's not go there.

Democrats and I became fundamentally incompatible. How many more have seen the events at their convention last week and came to the same conclusion? We’ll see in November.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Government Is The Problem - Not The Solution


Do you know people still living in their homes after defaulting on their mortgage payments? I do, and I wonder what that must be like. Some have been doing this for two years or more, so why doesn’t the bank evict them and auction the house?

Because it’s afraid to. Because then the bank would have to sell the house for whatever it would bring on today’s real estate market - and that would be much less than what the bank pretends it’s worth. Because it’s likely the bank has several such properties - along with other banks - and all those houses are valued at what they were worth five years ago and would sell today only at far less than the amount owed on them. They’re counted as assets on the bank’s books at no-longer-realistic prices. If banks dumped all that on the market, it would further depress real estate prices and put more mortgages underwater.

How long can this go on? Not forever. The banks keep putting it off hoping the economy will turn around and real estate prices will bounce back. Soon-to-be-former mortgagees can’t live rent-free indefinitely and they know that sooner or later they’ll be evicted - but they ride it as long as they can. They keep heating the place, shoveling the snow and mowing the lawn. The bank allows this to prevent values from sinking even further should the occupants move out and nobody took care of anything.Consider the uncertainty these circumstances generate. What if the roof leaks? The occupant thinks: “I should fix the roof, but this isn’t my house anymore. I’m a squatter here.” Will he tell the bank or just put a bucket under the leak? Bank and occupant let it ride. They wait to see what happens.That uncertainty is very similar to what most Americans feel about our country. We know we’ve dug ourselves into a deep, deep hole we may never climb out of, but we’re letting it ride to see what happens. Serious investors won’t make moves until they see what happens in November’s election while the “Hope and Change” guy presides over a country increasingly hoping for change in who occupies the White House.I began writing this column on Sunday. On Monday, the Daily Caller published a story titled: “Obama: Subprime Pioneer,” and subtitled: “With landmark lawsuit, Barack Obama pushed banks to give subprime loans to Chicago’s African Americans.” It details the crucial role now-President Barack Obama played to accelerate the subprime mortgage crisis while a “community organizer” in Chicago. He was lead attorney in a lawsuit against Citibank on behalf of 186 black clients. Obama claimed Citibank was refusing to lend to his clients because they were black, and not because they were bad credit risks. He won and got his fee. His 186 clients got cash settlements and got their loans too.

What has happened since? According to the Daily Caller: “by July 2012, Obama’s 186 clients had received at least 188 bankruptcy and foreclosure notices.” Only nineteen continue to own homes.

That is simply staggering. By his actions in 1994, our community-organizer-in-chief helped engineer the sub-prime disaster and resultant collapse in real estate prices at the root of America’s economic debacle he’s been blaming on Bush for four years now.

Barack Obama used the government court system to force banks to lend to people who should never have gotten loans because they were unqualified to pay them back. Then government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bought those shaky loans and guaranteed them. Unscrupulous Wall Street investment banks rolled those government-backed sub-prime mortgages into other financial products to be bought and sold willy-nilly and few of them understood who would be ultimately responsible when the bad mortgages defaulted. It ended up being the taxpayers of course. We bailed out almost all of them and now we’re left with a government-created “Great Recession” as it’s being called now.How did this story of the our community-organizer-in-chief’s involvement go unreported so long? Well, we should know the answer to that question. The Mainstream Media gave him a pass. Candidate Obama wasn’t vetted - not publicly anyway. They’re not vetting now-President Obama either even though he’s blaming banks for doing exactly what he sued them for not doing! His administration claims the banks wrote “predatory loans.”Our president claims he “inherited” the massive problem he actually helped create. He would use government to get us out of what he used government to get us into. He's knowingly guaranteeing mortgage loans on homes for more than they're worth! It takes a lot of brass, but that’s what he’s doing. Will he get away with it? We’ll see in November.The newest Democratic National Convention video claims “Government is the only thing we all belong to.” That’s what is fundamentally wrong with the Democrat Party. We don’t belong to government. Government belongs to us.

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