Wednesday, August 31, 2011



The Magnificent One (too easily confused at times with Carnac the Magnificent) apparently sacrificed a portion of his frugal, but well-earned, Martha’s Vineyard vacation to brainstorm with his assembled jobs experts on his new “Jobs Plan”. Then he nobly sacrificed the last several hours of his vacation to fly to the National Response Coordination Center, where he personally took charge of the national response coordination effort and enlightened the assembled government storm experts that getting through the storm was going to be a "tough slog."

Next, pivoting back to “Jobs!”, the Magnificent One flew to Minnesota, where he delivered an important speech informing the nation that next week he would reveal his “Jobs Plan” in another speech. Modest to a fault, he did not reveal that certain key provisions of his “Jobs Plan” have already gone into effect:

1. His Justice Department, Fish and Wildlife Service, and other key agencies have opened up several thousand job opportunities for potential start-up guitar manufacturers in Memphis and Nashville by shutting down the notoriously lawless Gibson Guitar Corporation.

2. His Homeland Security Department, and several of its subsidiaries, have enacted, by administrative fiat, a program to issue work permits to, by their own estimate, “up to 300,000” illegal aliens (Oops! Illegal immigrants) already apprehended and facing deportation. Presumably this plan would also apply to “immigrants” apprehended in the future, thus making the actual number open-ended. This brilliant provision of the “Jobs Plan”, reminiscent of plans utilized by several failing European socialist countries, will permit potentially millions of poorly educated “immigrants” to legally compete for scarce to nonexistent jobs with the millions of Americans already unemployed, thereby helping the . . . ?!

3. Even more modestly, Carnac (Oops! Obama) did not seek credit for his earlier refusal to allow Americans to drill oil offshore, costing the U.S. Gulf region thousands of jobs, while at the same time guaranteeing billions of dollars in loans to Brazil to create Brazilian offshore drilling jobs. While visiting officials in Brazil he gushed that “…when you're ready to start selling, we want to be one of your best customers."

4. The really good news is that Americans, unemployed, underemployed, or otherwise, have only to wait an additional seven (7) days to hear the Magnificent One’s soaring rhetoric urging “Washington” to put aside politics and start making decisions based on what is best for our country.” By all means, everyone mark your calendars.

MO Atty

* Obama Photo Credit Jeff Dobbs at THE VOICE IN MY HEAD.

Wednesday Bush-a-thon

 For our readers:

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

We're Sorry for the Difficulties

For all of our regular readers, we are very sorry for not writing more articles. Thomas and I are very busy, feeding people who have no food and handing out masks because everything is so dusty. We don't really have time for the blog at the moment (we'll try to write several articles a day). The air, at times, bothers your eyes and rumors are constantly scaring the hell out of people who have lost some or all of their possessions.

Take this picture, for example:
This is before we got hit hard.  It is about two hours before the water rose an extra six feet.  You see those businesses in the background and foreground? They are all ruined.  The road is ripped off of the asphalt in places.  Most of the buildings on Main Street (background) look something like this:
The stores closer to the creek (about ten) are even worse.

Worst of all is the constant fear that a dam, seventeen miles away, will break and kill 10,000 people.  We had to evacuate twice, and twice I thought that my family and I were dead.  It was horrible on Sunday (but it held steady) and the dam is certainly okay now.  But, even though we know everything is fine, there is still an over-arching fear that once we go to sleep or are away from a car, it will break and we are dead meat.


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Picture of the Destroyed Blenheim Bridge

This is the Blenheim Bridge before Hurricane Irene:
This is after:
Horrifyingly, it is gone.

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Video of Hurricane Irene Devastation in Upstate New York; Schoharie, Middleburgh, Breakabeen, and Preston Hollow

Here are several videos of the flooding and destruction that hit Upstate New York in the last two days:

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Technical Difficulties

Since three of our main writers are from Schoharie County and two others are from nearby ones-- the storm has hit us hard. Writing from Middleburgh NY, parts of the Town and Village look like a warzone. Irene has been terrible for us.

So we might be out for a while. We are actually dealing with the response right now. So if you're reading this from Schoharie County, especially Middleburgh, Schoharie, the Valley, or Central Bridge... stay safe and pray.

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Video of Devastation in Middleburgh, NY

Terrible. I was there for much of this:

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Hurricane Irene Schoharie County Photos

Hurricane Irene may have been a breeze for residents along the eastern coast, but inland areas, particularly Schoharie County in Upstate, New York, have been severely battered and are under state of emergencies.


The Village of Middleburgh is accepting donations for the Village flood relief fund. You can donate with a credit card or PayPal below:

Here are some pictures from Schoharie County, New York:
Part of what was fertile farm land in Middleburgh
Downtown Cobleskill flooded; Burger King closed

Farmland and barns flooded in West Fulton
Please keep all of Schoharie County, New York, Vermont and other areas hit by Irene in your prayers. We have been hit hard, but we will not stay down for long.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene Hell in Upstate New York

I have several friends (and co-writers of this blog) evacuated and stuck in Middleburgh, New York tonight. Hurricane Irene has completely flooded Schoharie County - every road is closed; the Gilboa dam is in peril; thousands have fled and our farming communities have likely been destroyed.

This storm has completely overrun my friends and neighbors.

So, to everyone who is calling this storm a dud: please read about the plight of everyone in Upstate, New York, who is afraid of losing their homes and lives tonight - not to mention the very fabric of our daily living.

Please pray for everyone in Upstate, New York - especially my friends in Schoharie County - the co-writers of this very blog.

Obama’s Enablers: The Main Stream Media

An excellent piece:
As a rule, the press is the scourge of presidents. They’re expected to endure unending scrutiny, mistrust, and badgering—plus hostility if they’re Republicans—by a hectoring herd of reporters and commentators in the mainstream media. But there’s an exception to the rule: President Obama.

It’s counterintuitive, but Obama has been hurt by the media’s leniency. Both his presidency and reelection prospects have suffered. He’s grown lazy and complacent. The media have encouraged him to believe his speeches are irresistible political catnip, though they aren’t. His overreliance on words hasn’t helped.

The kind of media pressure that can cause a president to sharpen his game, act with urgency, or take bolder steps—that has never been applied to Obama. If it had, I suspect he’d be a more effective, disciplined, energetic, and popular president today. Ronald Reagan is a good role model in this regard. When the media attacked him over gaffes in the 1980 campaign, “Reagan responded like all competitive men by working to improve himself,” says Reagan historian Craig Shirley. “Experience taught him to be better and try harder.” He took this lesson into the White House.

I don’t want to exaggerate the media’s baneful influence on Obama. It’s hardly the main reason for his decline. It’s a secondary reason, and it continues to have an impact.

Absent pushing and prodding by the press, the Obama presidency has atrophied. His speeches are defensive and repetitive and filled with excuses. He passes the buck. With persistently high unemployment and a weak economy, Obama recently declared, in effect, “I have a plan. See you after my vacation.” The press doesn’t goad him to lead.
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Hurricane Irene Pictures

Some images from the hurricane ravaging the East Coast.

A boat:
Darkness sets in:
A house losing shingles:
Mickey Mouse gets wet:
Crashing waves:
The storm comes ashore:
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Radar Image of Irene Coming up East Coast

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Live Chris Christie News Conference on Hurricane Irene, August 28, 2011

The speech is supposed to start momentarily:

Streaming live video by Ustream
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Sweet Merciful Internet

As the founders of Pundit Press (Aurelius, Joe C., Mr. K, and Thomas) all live in central New York state, we've all been hit pretty hard by the rains of Hurricane Irene.  Where I live, at the moment, has had about 5" of rain so far today.  Our main street is mostly flooded, a small stream near our house is utterly flooded, and the large river a block away from my house is a few feet from flooding.  That would be really, really bad.

But here's the good news: we lost the internet early this morning and then power for several hours.  But now we have both!  I don't know how long we'll have it, though.

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Rebuilding Tripoli Begins

The Libyan rebels are taking control of more towns and villages than can be named, while Qaddafi's few remaining forces are dwindling every hour. But that doesn't mean the rebuilding/structuring of Tripoli isn't already underway.

Rebel forces have opened vital supply routes between Tripoli, and western cities to relieve the capital of water and food shortages, and the National Transitional Council has called on all police officers to return back to work next week.

Apparently, the law and order aspect of Libya's rebel leadership is very strong in all their considerations, which NATO should take great pleasure in hearing after fighting for the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi these past five months.

The hardest part is just beginning for Libyan rebels - rebuilding and governing, but if Tripoli is any example, western fears of Libya's demise might be greatly exaggerated.

What say you?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

ESPN Scolds Reporter for Anti-Obama Tweet, Promotes Anti-Palin Tweets

Ahh, nothing like hypocrisy:
ESPN is coming down on Paul Azinger for mocking President Barack Obama on Twitter. The golf analyst tweeted Thursday the Commander-in-chief plays more golf than he does — and that Azinger has created more jobs this month than Obama has.

On Friday ESPN ‘reminded” Azinger his venture into political punditry violates the company’s updated social network policy for on-air talent and reporters.

“Paul’s tweet was not consistent with our social media policy, and he has been reminded that political commentary is best left to those in that field,” spokesman Andy Hall told Game On! in a statement.
ESPN’s Hall would not comment on whether Azinger, who won the 1993 PGA Championship, will be fired, suspended or punished in some way. “We handle that internally,” he said.
The tweet:
Tweet that ESPN says is a-okay, however:
Nice to see that ESPN supports acts of vehicular manslaughter, but not playing golf.

Look, I'm not saying that Mr. Azinger should use Twitter as his bully pulpit.  If ESPN has a code of conduct, he should abide by it.  However, the double standard implemented by that network is appalling.

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Interview with Chris Wysocki, Founder of WyBlog

Pundit Press is pleased to present its 43rd interview in our on-going series.  Today we are lucky enough to have Chris Wysocki answer some of our questions.  Mr. Wysocki is the founder of WyBlog, a successful political site that has nearly eclipsed 700,000 pageviews all-time.  I'd like to thank Mr. Wysocki for taking the time to answer our questions.  So, without further ado:

When did you start WyBlog and why?

Well one day I was at home threatening the kids when I looks out through the
hole in the wall and sees this tank pull up and, oh wait, wrong story. Sorry.

Let's see, it was May of 2007, there was this writing challenge set up by some college buddies - 3000 original words a month for 3 years - and I volunteered to moderate it. Each guy put up $1,000. They thought it would be hard to churn out so much material month after month and it was my job to check their word counts, spot plagiarism, and award the pot to the last man standing.

WyBlog was my "me too" effort - I couldn't win the prize but that didn't mean I was going to sit around and let them have all the fun. I started it mostly just to see if I could get Bloxsom to run on VMS using an old Vax I had laying around. I figured I could write about that experience and see what happened.

Then the 2008 election "happened" and, well, here I am.

How would you rate President Obama's job performance? Is it as bad as you were expecting?

After it was clear that Obama was going to win I tried my best to give him the benefit of the doubt. We're all Americans, right? Rally around the flag!

Except Barack Obama doesn't represent any America I want to live in. In terms of job performance, he's done what he set out to do - remake our nation and our economy as one giant engine of wealth transfer predicated on class warfare. I just don't think he envisioned all that wealth being transferred to China which is how things have actually turned out.

History will be his final judge, but I can't think of a president who's been worse for the Founders' vision of America than Barack Obama.

What is the worst thing that President Obama has done since taking office?

And here I thought these were going to be tough questions.

The worst thing he's done? You mean besides taking the oath of office? I'd say "Not listening." Or rather, listening only to himself. The guy is in love with the sound of his own voice, and he really does believe that if he can only explain himself better we'll all fall down in obsequious obeisance as the unicorns and rainbows take care of everything.

The worst thing about Barack Obama goes back to an idea from Donald Rumsfeld - "unknown unknowns." Barack Obama doesn't know what he doesn't know, and fatally, he doesn't care that he doesn't know because he's convinced of his own infallibility.

Do you have a favorite Republican for the 2012 race yet? If so, who is it and do you think they could take down Obama?

Rick Perry. He annoys all the right people. And the Perry the President vs Dr. Barack Doofenshmirtz campaign ads pretty much write themselves.

He's got the right temperament to instill confidence among the citizenry. He "gets it," he understands Ronald Reagan's vision of America as a shining city on a hill. Contrast his record with Obama's and there's really no comparison - Texas is thriving while America wilts. If he hooks up with a rising star like Marco Rubio for Veep he'll probably sweep all 57 states.

I think too that a lot of folks subscribe to Glenn Reynolds' Syphilitic Camel Rule - They'll vote for a syphilitic camel before they'd vote for four more years of Barack Obama. So really, whoever the GOP nominates the election is theirs to lose. Which is good for my prognosticating record because at around this juncture last time I was swearing up and down that Fred Thompson would be the next POTUS.

If you were President, what is one thing that you would do to help the economy?


If I were president I'd get government the hell out of the way. Cut red tape. Eliminate bureaucracies and bureaucrats. Streamline the tax code and the regulatory state. The country survived for 150 years without a Department of Education or a Department of Energy or a thousand other petty fiefdoms whose existence is predicated on finding fault with something someone is doing so they can fine him to fatten up their budgets. Put those people to work creating things rather than preventing things and just watch the economy take flight.

Is there an issue that you believe the Obama Administration is ignoring or sweeping under the rug?

Eric Holder's Justice Department is a disgrace to the Constitution. They've willfully ignored voter fraud and intimidation (by the Black Panthers). They're complicit up to their eyeballs in the murder of a US Border Patrol Agent (Operation Gunrunner). The way they mishandle terrorism trials would be comic if it weren't borderline treasonous. I mean you've got the guy who arranged a pardon for the FALN bombers deciding how and when to prosecute terrorists. It just doesn't get any more absurd than that.

Other than the economy, what, in your estimation, is the most important issue facing the country at the moment?

Border security. And not just for preventing illegal immigration, but to keep out infiltrators who are intent on doing us harm. In that respect border security is National Security too. Sadly neither political party seems to have the will to really do what it takes. It's the one issue which is a bipartisan failure.

Is there anything that you would like to add?

I'd like to thank you for this opportunity to showcase my humble little blog. It's been fun! And to all the folks reading this, please don't be a stranger! Stop on by and say "hi." WyBlog, it's a New Jersey institution, like Taylor Ham, egg, and cheese on a hard roll. With it's own exit.

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Al Qaeda #2 Killed in Pakistan

Al Qaeda's new number two, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, was killed in Pakistan this year. According to the Defense Department, al-Rahman was killed in a raid this month that is now becoming public. This comes as former number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was "promoted" by the al Qaeda Shura council after the death of Osama bin Laden.
"Now is the moment, following what happened with bin Laden, to put maximum pressure on them," Panetta said, "because I do believe that if we continue this effort we can really cripple al-Qaida as a major threat."

Al-Rahman was killed Aug. 22 in the lawless Pakistani tribal region of Waziristan, according to the official said, who insisted on anonymity to discuss intelligence issues.

The official would not say how al-Rahman was killed. But his death came on the same day that a CIA drone strike was reported in Waziristan. Such strikes by unmanned aircraft are Washington's weapon of choice for killing terrorists in the mountainous, hard-to-reach area along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
So long, douchebag!

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Video of Union Protests at Scott Walker Event

Douches hating black students succeeding:

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Report: Qaddafi in... Zimbabwe?

There's a report out from the British Daily Mail that Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi may have hopped a flight to go see his dear friend, Zimbabwe's dictator Robert Mugabe.

Photo credit:

The two have been long-time allies and both consider themselves to be leaders of the African continent.

President Mugabe's political opponents claim their spies saw Gaddafi arrive in the country on a Zimbabwe Air Force jet in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
They say the Libyan dictator was taken to a mansion in Harare's Gunninghill suburb, where agents from his all-female bodyguard were apparently seen patrolling the grounds.

This would be very bizarre, indeed.

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Google Tests Ultra-Fast Internet

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Watch Hurricane Irene on Radar

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Inevitable: Liberals Actually Blaming Republicans for Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene, at this moment, is ravaging the East Coast and will continue to do so for the next few days.  It is a hurricane, a natural disaster; it was created by the weather on earth.  It has been that way for thousands of years.

The previous paragraph was common sense.  Unless, that is, you are a liberal.  In that case you might, as unbelievable as it may sound, blame Republicans for causing a storm.  Don't believe me?  Take a look for yourself:  liberals are actually blaming a hurricane on Republicans.

Take this one, for example, which states outright that Republicans "created" Hurricane Irene like they "created economic emergency:"
Or this one, which blames Republican "policies" for "global warming," which then supposed caused Hurricane Irene:
Or these two that are so crazy that they actually blame Governor Perry for praying for rain.  I honestly think the first one is serious, but the second one might be joking.  But then again, I don't know:

This one blames global warming on Hurricane Irene.  Then he blames global warming on Republicans denying its existence.  In other words... well, I'm sure you can figure it out:
And then the even kooky-er.  This fellow ties the existence of the Tea Party to Irene and an earthquake:
While this Tweeter's mother blames either the hurricane or hurricane preparedness on a mass conspiracy by Republicans in order to "f***" with President Obama and Republicans (f-word blurred):
And if you care to go over to the Politico forum, you can read insane commentary like this:
I just don't know anymore.

Update- And to top it off, a couple extra crazy tweets:

God punishing Republicans:
And I don't even know (expletives blurred, still in original):
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Syrian Protesters Chant "Bye Gaddafi, Bashar Next"

Here's hoping:
Syrian protesters chanted "Bye, bye Gaddafi, Bashar your turn is coming" overnight, but President Bashar al-Assad showed few signs of cracking after months of demonstrations and his forces raided an eastern tribal region again on Thursday.

The new chant, inspired by the apparent collapse of Muammar Gaddafi's rule in Libya, was filmed by residents in the Damascus suburb of Duma after prayers on Wednesday.

But in eastern Syria, tanks and armored vehicles entered Shuhail, a town southeast of the provincial capital of Deir al-Zor, where daily protests have taken place against Assad's rule since the start of the fasting month of Ramadan, they said.

"Initial reports by residents describe tens of tanks firing randomly as they stormed the town at dawn. Shuhail has been very active in protests and the regime is using overwhelming force to frighten the people," a local activist said.

Since Ramadan began on August 1, tanks have entered the cities of Hama, scene of a 1982 massacre by the military, Deir al-Zor and Latakia on the Mediterranean coast, trying to crush dissent after months of street protests.
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Army Banned from Farting in Afghanistan

Marines in Afghanistan have reportedly been told not to pass gas around Afghans to avoid offending the indigenous population.

That’s right, now any leatherneck who lets one rip on patrol with Afghans nearby could receive a a talk from his superior officer.

The new flatulence restriction was first picked up by the Military Times, and has since become fodder for online discussion ranging from the curious to the ridiculous.

A few military bloggers have taken it seriously and found the ban to be indicative of a trend among military brass of bending over backwards to avoid offending the locals.

Others have pointed out that a culture that has allowed stoning, various forms of execution, and amputations as penalties for criminal offenses should be able to withstand a little passed gas.
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Syrian Cartoonist Ali Ferzat Has Hands Broken by Syrian Gov't; His Response is Epic

Syrian artist and cartoonist Ali Ferzat was brutally beaten by the Syrian Government in response to Ferzat's defiance of the Assad regime. He was found lying on a road, bloody and with two broken hands. He was rushed to a hospital. Here is a photo of him right after he got there:
But Ferzat wouldn't rest. Instead, with his broken hands, he drew this image in defiance of Assad, his totalitarian and illegal state, and injustice:

And one more thing: the hospital that he's staying in?  It's in Damascus... the capital of Syria and a government stronghold.  And still Ferzat draws.

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Hurricane Irene Makes Landfall in North Carolina

Hurricane Irene (category one - 85 mph winds) has made landfall on Cape Lookout, North Carolina in the past hour. The center of the storm (the eye) will bring a brief period of calm and relief before the dangerous outer wall slams the battered coast once again.

Irene is far from done.

The hurricane will head quickly back to the Atlantic and maintain her strength until she makes another landfall sometime tonight in New Jersey, or New York, while her outer bands drench the Eastern United States with several inches of rain.

Stay tuned for updates.

Report: Gaddafi may have Escaped into Algeria

From Al Jazeera (take the source with a grain of salt, obviously):
A convoy of six Mercedes cars have crossed from Libya into Algeria, Egypt's state MENA news agency reported on Saturday, quoting a rebel source.

It was impossible to verify the report and it was not immediately clear who might have been in any convoy, but MENA quoted the source as speculating that senior Libyan officials or Muammar Gaddafi himself and his sons may have fled the country.

"It is believed that these vehicles were carrying senior Libyan officials, and possibly Gaddafi and his sons," MENA quoted the source as saying.

Algerian officials were not immediately reachable for comment.
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Flashback: Obama Voters are Idiots

Taken right after the election in 2008:

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Allahpundit Responds to Liberal Writer's Challenge of "Remind me why Obama’s a bad president"

Allahpundit kicking some... Jonathan Alter:
Rather than revisit the endless “did the stimulus help or didn’t it?” debate, though, how about this for something he might have done differently: Instead of jerking around with universal health-care to make his base happy, he could have held off on big-ticket, fantastically expensive new legislation until the country was in the middle of a significant, sustainable economic recovery. Irony of ironies, the guy who packaged himself in the campaign as a problem-solving pragmatist didn’t act that way when faced with the most intractable problem of all. He let Congress take the lead on passing a porky stimulus and then, before anyone had a sense of how that would turn out, he pulled out his agenda wishlist. A true pragmatist would have realized (a) that there was some risk the stimulus wouldn’t be enough and that he’d need to ask for a second, even more politically unpalatable round of spending, and (b) that enormous stimulative bursts of government outlays would accelerate the debt crisis that’s already on the horizon and speeding up.

Instead, what’d he do? He pushed through a leviathan health-care bill on the surreal theory that it would bend the cost curve and reduce spending long-term, which no one to the right of Ezra Klein believed (and with good reason). In other words, in handling America’s two biggest challenges — economic recovery and mounting debt — he was sloppy and neglectful on the former and hideously complicit in the latter. How’s that for a successful presidency?

Imagine if he had come out in the summer of 2009, after the stimulus had passed, and announced that he intended to pursue universal health care — but not until unemployment had dropped below, say, 7.5 percent. No new sudden moves legislatively until job one, putting Americans back to work, had been taken care of. That would have bought him time with his base and endeared him to independents. Then, in preparation for taking up ObamaCare down the line, he could have declared that he wanted to work on bipartisan long-term deficit reduction to put the country back on a stronger fiscal footing. The obvious way to do that? Entitlement reform, of course — something he promised he’d take up as president.

The left wouldn’t have liked that, but O’s vow that universal health care would move to the top of the agenda once the economy had recovered would have blunted the backlash. And since Democrats controlled both houses of Congress at the time, they could have engineered an entitlement deal more to their liking than they’d get now. If they pulled it off and got something done with centrist Republicans, Obama would have earned some “fiscal responsibility” capital which he could then burn on either another stimulus as the economy stalled or as an argument to trust him on ObamaCare’s cost-saving measures.

But that would have required convincing the left that a debt crisis is a real possibility and that the only way out of it is repairing Medicare and Social Security pronto, and that’s waaaaay too much reality for the “reality-based community.” So instead O gave up and … embraced an even bigger expansion of our already dangerously bloated government. In the immortal words of the man himself : Solid B+.
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Are you Kidding? Indiana College Bans National Anthem

The stupidity is tremendous:
Tiny Goshen College in Indiana has banned the "The Star Spangled Banner: at all sporting events because the Mennonite school's president considers the National Anthem's words to be too violent.

The 1,000-student school had already banned the words last year, but the band could still play the music for patriots in attendance. Now, the school has banned the song entirely, according to NBC Sports.

The school’s board of directors told college President Jim Brenneman to “find an alternative to playing the National Anthem that fits with sports tradition, that honors country and that resonates with Goshen College’s core values and respects the views of diverse constituencies.”

Brenneman was okay with that.

“I am committed to retaining the best of what it means to be a Mennonite college, while opening the doors wider to all who share our core values,” Brenneman said. “And I invite others to join us at Goshen College as we make peace in all of its forms, even with the national anthem.”
Goshen College: Can't handle the Star Spangled Banner
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Dog who Lay by his Navy SEAL Master's Coffin During Funeral finds a new Home with Best Friend

Loyal until the end:
It was the picture that broke the nation's heart - Hawkeye the Labrador lying longingly by his master's coffin as the Navy SEAL's emotional funeral was conducted.

But Hawkeye will not be alone for long as the deceased soldier's best human friend has stepped in to offer the dog a home.

It has been revealed that Scott Nichols, a close friend of Petty Officer Jon Tumilson, who was killed in the major U.S. helicopter crash in Afghanistan this month, will care for Hawkeye.

Nikki Virgilio, a friend of Mr Tumilson (known as J.T.) who was at the funeral, said Hawkeye was a personal pet rather than a military dog.

'I can happily report to you that Hawkeye was willed to one of J.T.'s good friends, the same one that took care of him whenever J.T. was deployed overseas,' she wrote on Facebook.
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New Yorkers Enjoy Beach before Hurricane

Calm before the storm:
More than 200,000 New Yorkers are under orders to flee a once-in-a-century hurricane, but many in the famed City That Never Sleeps are brushing aside danger -- and heading to the beach.

Hours after Mayor Mike Bloomberg ordered the evacuation from the low-lying Rockaway Beach, the sun-kissed coastline was packed with sunbathers and surfers as city dwellers took the dire warnings about Hurricane Irene in stride.

Roberto Luzuriaga, who was making a brisk business selling Italian Ice desserts to swimmers straight off the sand, echoed the views of many when he said that authorities' warnings were at times self-serving.

"It definitely is a concern, but sometimes things are blown out of proportion. Sometimes the people who make the calls just want to save their asses," said Luzuriaga, who is still debating whether to leave his nearby home.

Jeffrey Rose, a clinical hypnotist strolling the beach dipping onion rings into guacamole, said he was considering leaving the city on a business trip but was not overly concerned about Irene, which is set to barrel down by Sunday.
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Friday, August 26, 2011

"We'd Be Crazy To Turn Backs On Oil Sands"

Robert J. Samuelson makes the case for for Canada's Oil Sands and the Keystone XL pipeline that will be used to transport it. In an editorial published today on Investors Business Daily's website

When it comes to energy, America is lucky to be next to Canada, whose proven oil reserves are estimated by Oil and Gas Journal at 175 billion barrels. This ranks just behind Saudi Arabia (260 billion) and Venezuela (211 billion) and ahead of Iran (137 billion) and Iraq (115 billion).

True, about 97% of Canada's reserves consist of Alberta's controversial oil sands, but new technologies and high oil prices have made them economically viable. Expanded production can provide the U.S. market with a source of secure oil for decades.

We would be crazy to turn our back on this. In a global oil market repeatedly threatened by wars, revolutions, and natural and man-made disasters — and where government-owned oil companies control development of about three-quarters of known reserves — having dependable suppliers is no mean feat.

Emphasis added to highlight the obvious. For so many reasons outlined in the article we would have to be a little crazy not to take advantage of this opportunity. Although crazy isn't the politically correct description of insanity it is apt nonetheless. While I can't read his mind I suspect "crazy" was used as a euphemism. Little did he know how accurate it was.

As you may or may not know there is a "massive" sit-in protest taking place at the White House by a group of environmental activists seeking to pressure President Obama and the State Department to deny permits required to proceed with the project. I have noted here that the groups are failing in amassing any sort of popular support. Today for instance they were only able to 54 participants.

Traveling to the nations capital and sitting in front of the White House in the middle of August, may be thought of as crazy. Doing so when the president in on vacation makes this assertion all the more reasonable. Thinking the President cares enough about this little stunt to drag himself off the golf course long enough to order Tar Sands Protesters jailed makes you certifiable insane.

In negotiations with the police prior to the action that began on Saturday, the police were very clear that what would happen after people were arrested was the vast majority would get what’s called “post and forfeit,” where you put up $100, get released from jail after several hours, and you don’t have to come back again. It’s basically like a traffic ticket.

But this is not what they did. Instead, after arresting the first day’s 70 people, they decided to hold most of them, all those not from within a 25-mile radius of Washington, D.C., in jail until a Monday afternoon arraignment. This works out to 48 or more hours in jail before being released.

Why did they do this? One of the police officers told one of the action’s lead organizers that the decision to do this was made “at a much higher level than mine.” Four separate police officers told organizers that it was explicitly to discourage other people from taking part in actions going forward. Personally, I believe this had the hand of the Obama administration all over it. They want this action to fail so as to relieve the rapidly building pressure on them to do the right thing and deny the Keystone XL permit.

This is indeed crazy, but to find out the extent of crazy involved, requires someone to get their hands dirty and mingle amongst the masses. Thankfully the folks at MRCTV has taken it upon themselves so we don't have too.

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Irene Head's Up: Gov. Cuomo Orders Full Shutdown Of MTA Subways, Buses, Trains

The hurricane is coming:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered a system-wide shutdown of the Metropolitan Transit Authority starting at noon Saturday ahead of Hurricane Irene.

In a statement, Cuomo said the shutdown will include subways, buses, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and Access-A-Ride.

“Please do not wait for the last train,” said MTA chairman Jay Walder. There is simply not capacity for everyone to get on the last train. The sooner the people make decisions to be able the leave the better it will be for everyone.”

Walder said it would take at least eight hours to close everything down.

Cuomo also said if wind speeds exceed 60 miles per hour, area bridges will also be closed. Those include the George Washington Bridge, Tappan Zee bridge, all bridges operated by the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority as well as Bear Mountain Bridge, Newburgh-Beacon, Mid-Hudson Kingston-Rhinecliff and Rip Van Winkle bridge.
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Freedom is as Freedom Does

Is there any one political or economic system that God wants everyone to follow?  I do not believe God has ordained any one type of government or economy as the divinely ordained path. 
The only government He ever instituted was a kingdom with Himself as the king and that was rejected by His own people when they instead wanted to be like the people who surrounded them.  And even though God had His prophets warn them that this earthly king would take their lands, their children, their goods and their freedom they persisted in rejecting a divine King for kings who would claim divine rights.
The only economy God has instituted is the divine economy where there is never a lack and always abundance.  With cattle on a thousand hills God does not participate in recessions and He has promised many times that those in His hands cannot be plucked out.  He promises that though a thousand fall on one side and ten thousand on the other destruction shall not consume those who trust in Him.  And though in the eyes of this world it may appear that the evil often triumphs and the good are forsaken He tells us, “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” 
Free choice is a major part of God’s plan.  As a matter of fact that is His plan.  He could have just as easily created humans who had no free choice, could not disobey, never fall and always remain just as He designed them.  But instead He desired the loving family that can only come about from love freely given and freely received.
Individually God has given each of us free choice.  Therefore, I believe freedom to make choices unencumbered by outside interference is a fundamental building block of human nature and thus a required element of any society which matches the reality of the human condition.  Each of us gets to decide which we are going to believe, our eyes of flesh or our eyes of faith.  Is the world true or is God true?  As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  That is my free choice and you are free to make yours.
I believe that God desires us to make free choices with regard to faith and lifestyle.  Therefore, personal freedom is necessary for life as God intended.  And this has a great impact upon the first half of our question, is there any one political system that God wants everyone to follow?
It is apparent that the only form of government ever devised by man that requires personal free choice as a prime component is democracy.  All other forms of government are some variation of the divine right of somebody to tell everybody else what to do.  By the way, that’s democracy as in one-citizen-one-vote not as in Democratic People’s Republic.  And since all forms of direct democracy eventually devolve into a tyranny of the majority the only thing that works over time is a representative republic which operates on democratic principles.  Meaning a system wherein the people have the opportunity to select their own representatives as long as those representatives actually represent the people and do not become the pawns of powerful special interests.
Also based upon the fact that personal freedom is a fundamental component of life as God desires for humanity which brings us to the second half of our question: is there any one economic system that God wants everyone to follow?  It is apparent to even a casual observer that free market capitalism is the only economic system ever devised by man that requires personal freedom to operate.  All other economic systems ultimately translate into some variation of a command economy. Some bureaucrat somewhere decides how many widgets to make and that’s how many widgets are produced regardless of need or demand.  Command economies foster disequilibrium and maladjustments.   There are always either too many widgets or not enough.  In a fee market capitalist system demand always dictates production and inherently guides supply.
America was originally launched as a representative republic based upon democratic principles with a free economy which based upon the above exemplifies the ideal for a nation-state.  This is what we have known.  If the Progressives continue to succeed in their efforts to fundamentally transform America what can we expect?
Look at the areas of American life so far transformed, massive government take-overs either through outright purchase or indirectly through regulation of industry, insurance, and finance. Taking this as a guide we should expect further intrusion of the central government into the economy thus transforming America into a command economy with all the problems inherent in that type of system.
The health care take-over which is scheduled to phase in like boiling water phases in for a frog, feeling so comforting until it’s too late to jump out.  Using the need to modify our behavior to cut health care costs we should expect the central planners to inch-by-inch transform our daily routines of eating and exercise until they are telling us when to jump and how high.  It is often the unintended consequences which have the greatest effects as a result of the Progressive impulse to create a Utopia.
The only way Utopians ever try to create a heaven on earth is to build nanny-states to protect us from ourselves with no thought of how the unintended consequences actually harm the people the intention was to help.  Eventually there is also no limit to the amount of force it takes to compel compliance once the bureaucracy has decreed something is good for the collective. An example from Obamacare is the provision forcing insurance companies to accept pre-existing conditions for all children insured.  This sounds great.  And it will surely protect the Kids.  But what it really does is prompt many insurance companies to quit insuring children because they realize this government mandated provision will cause them to lose money, and despite the progressive belief that people should open and maintain private businesses as non-tax supported social agencies people who own businesses do so to make money. 
Another example is businesses either dropping insurance for their employees because the fines imposed will be cheaper than the insurance or seeking an exemption.  It is projected that 30% of employers will drop their employee healthcare once Obamacare is fully instituted.  So much for “If you have your plan and you like it,… or you have a doctor and you like your doctor, that you don't have to change plans.”
The Financial take-over through regulation has not been unwrapped yet and even the politicians most involved in writing it say they don’t know what’s in it so its long term impact can only be imagined.  Does anyone imagine it will be good for free-enterprise, competition, and capitalism?  As the Progressives continue to experiment looking for some way to accomplish the impossible, heaven on earth, the uncertainty keeps people from investing, businesses from growing and the economy from recovering.  After two and a half years it should be apparent the current administration has successfully turned a recession into a new normal of lower expectations and a loss of hope.
But then again my hope was never in the government to begin with, and since they didn’t give it to me they can’t take it away.  My hope is in Jesus and He never fails.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ © 2011 Robert R. Owens  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens.

Source: Pataki Will not Run For President

Will he or won't he?  Apparently, he won't:
Former New York Gov. George Pataki will not run for the Republican presidential nomination, a source close to him told CNN.

Pataki, who had been flirting with a White House bid for months, was scheduled to appear this weekend in the key early voting state of Iowa.

Speculation was that the former three-term governor would announce his candidacy Saturday at the Polk County Republican fundraiser.

But the source said that Pataki, who seriously considered running, has decided instead to forgo a run for the GOP nomination.
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Amnesty International Petition Actually Doing more on Syria than Obama Administration?

Possibly. Here's a petition that Amnesty International is circulating that calls on the Security Council to actually do something to stop the bloodshed in Syria:
Since largely peaceful protests began in March, Syrian authorities’ have brutally responded to their people’s demands with bullets and bloodshed.

The UN Security Council’s response, however, has been completely inadequate. Its August 3rd statement fell short of taking decisive action. It must follow up with a firm and legally binding position. This position must include imposing an arms embargo, freezing the assets abroad of the Syrian President and his senior associates and referring the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.

Three of the six Security Council members which have opposed tougher action on Syria, Brazil, South Africa and India, are sending a joint delegation to Syria to intercede with the Syrian authorities to try to end the violence. Please call on Brazil, South Africa and India to support a firmer position on Syria and help end the bloodshed there.
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Amtrak Train Carrying 178 People Derails in Nebraska

From the Washington Post:
An Amtrak spokesman says one person has been taken to a hospital after a train carrying about 175 passengers hit a vehicle and derailed in southwest Nebraska.

Amtrak’s Marc Magliari said the person’s injuries were considered non-life-threatening. He didn’t have information on any other injuries to passengers or crew members aboard the eastbound California Zephyr train from San Francisco to Chicago.

The train derailed around 8 a.m. Friday near Max, not far from the state’s borders with Kansas and Colorado. Two locomotives and the first three of 10 passenger cars left the tracks.

Magliari says the other passengers were being loaded onto school buses that would take them to a nearby high school. He says Amtrak will rent private buses so the passengers can continue their trips east.
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Harlem Pastor Preaches 'Obama is Evil' on Church Signs

Gotta love it:
Harlemites have had enough of a local pastor posting signs at his prominently located church spewing hateful messages about President Obama.

Pastor James David Manning has put up "Obama Is Evil" and "He Used Black Vote to Uncle Tom For Wall St." on the towering sign outside the ATLAH World Missionary Church on the bustling corner of Lenox Ave. and W. 123rd St.

A church next to Manning's was so put off by the signs, officials posted their own - to make sure nobody thought their church had anything to do with ATLAH.

"This church is not affiliated with the church on the corner. We Support President Barack Obama," reads a sign above the front door of Greater Bethel A.M.E. Church.

The controversial sign at ATLAH, which Manning changes from time to time, has targeted Obama since he took office - and has become an attraction for pedestrians, as well as tourists passing by on double-decker buses.

"It's not something that represents this community," said Belynda M'baye, 53, who lives near the church and walks past the sign every day. "It sends out a message that all of Harlem is not supporting [Obama] and that's not true. I don't think that's the case in Harlem."
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Uh-Oh for Fundamentalist Environmentalists: "Climate models will need to be substantially revised"

When global warming is your religion, this has got to hurt:
CERN's 8,000 scientists may not be able to find the hypothetical Higgs boson, but they have made an important contribution to climate physics, prompting climate models to be revised.

The first results from the lab's CLOUD ("Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets") experiment published in Nature today confirm that cosmic rays spur the formation of clouds through ion-induced nucleation. Current thinking posits that half of the Earth's clouds are formed through nucleation. The paper is entitled Role of sulphuric acid, ammonia and galactic cosmic rays in atmospheric aerosol nucleation.

This has significant implications for climate science because water vapour and clouds play a large role in determining global temperatures. Tiny changes in overall cloud cover can result in relatively large temperature changes.

Unsurprisingly, it's a politically sensitive topic, as it provides support for a "heliocentric" rather than "anthropogenic" approach to climate change: the sun plays a large role in modulating the quantity of cosmic rays reaching the upper atmosphere of the Earth.

CERN's director-general Rolf-Dieter Heuer warned his scientists "to present the results clearly but not interpret them". Readers can judge whether CLOUD's lead physicist Jasper Kirkby has followed his boss's warning.

"Ion-induced nucleation will manifest itself as a steady production of new particles that is difficult to isolate in atmospheric observations because of other sources of variability but is nevertheless taking place and could be quite large when averaged globally over the troposphere."
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Q2 GDP Revised Downward to 1.0%

As Hot Air put it, quite succinctly I might add, "hide the decline:"
Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 1.0 percent in the second quarter of 2011, (that is, from the first quarter to the second quarter), according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 0.4 percent.

The GDP estimates released today are based on more complete source data than were available for the “advance” estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP was 1.3 percent (see “Revisions” on page 3).

The increase in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from nonresidential fixed investment, exports, personal consumption expenditures (PCE), and federal government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from state and local government spending and private inventory investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.
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Islamists Attack UN Compound in Nigeria

Nigerian Islamists attacked an United Nations office complex with deadly results this morning: 5 dead and 20 wounded. The United States Embassy was in the same neighborhood, and thankfully, wasn't impacted by the blast.

Nigeria is the largest nation in Africa, but due to ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Somalia, hasn't received the same amount of press attention of its Islamic terrorism, even though 14,000 people have died since 1999 in religious clashes between the muslim north and the Christian south.

We can only hope the wounded survive this vicious attack and that President Goodluck's administration will crack down on the Islamists terrorizing his country.

What say you?

White House Twitter Discusses Important Things: Libya, Hurricane Irene, The "First Dog" Bo

The White House having its own twitter is ridiculous enough.  This may be foolish, but I would have some sort of expectation that they would discuss the important things.  You know, using social networking to spread news, etc. Well, I was wrong:

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Free Republic Down Temporarily

Update- Free Republic is back online!

One of the best conservative forums on the internet, Free Republic, is down at the moment and I'm not sure why.  I haven't been able to access it since yesterday.  I found this group of messages which might provide some light on the situation.

Here's one of the messages:
Bad news. FR is down hard. John says he can't even communicate with the system.
He's going to have to drive up to the data center to get hands on. Hopefully,
it'll be back online later tonight. Sorry about the downtime.
And then later:
The clock was fixed. And the server has been up solid all this year since John
finally found and fixed the problem that had been plaguing us. Haven't been down
in many moons -- until today.
Hopefully it's online again soon.

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Interview with Vox Day, WND Author and Founder of Vox Popoli

Pundit Press is very pleased to present our 42nd interview in our on-going series.  Today we are honored to ask questions to Vox Day, a popular writer on World Net Daily and the founder of the successful website Vox Popoli.  So, without futher ado, here is the interview:
The image that accompanies Vox Day on WND
When did you start Vox Popoli and why?

To cut down on both the hate mail and the fan mail, as it was very tiresome responding to ten or twenty iterations of the same email. Being able to address all of them at once and direct them to the blog was a much more effective way to deal with it. It worked very well, as I now have significantly more traffic and yet significantly less email.

What is the most satisfying part of having a website? What is the worst part?

Being able to receive fast and substantive criticism. This can be incredibly useful when one is writing a book. The worst part is the delusional drive-by critics. They never have anything meaningful to say and inevitably attempt to steer the debate towards themselves.

In your estimation, has President Obama been even more of a failure than you expected, about what you expected, or did he somehow exceed your expectations? Why?

About what I expected. Before he was sworn in, I said he would prove to be the most amusing and incompetent president in American history to date and he has absolutely delivered. In spades.

What is the worst thing that President Obama has done in office? Has he done anything right?

It's a toss-up between his stimulus plan and his betrayal of the anti-war left. The only reason he won the Democratic nomination was because he promised to get us out of Afghanistan and Iraq, and now we're in Pakistan, Somalia, and Libya as well. The only thing he has done right is to avoid making things worse with Russia. Most people have forgotten, but McCain wanted to go to war with them over Georgia. So, there is that.

You've written that you believe that Mr. Obama will not be the Democrat nominee for President in 2012. Why?

I believe the Democratic leadership is deeply concerned about his negative coattails dragging down the electoral performance of the various senators, representatives, and governors. He's a lame duck in his first term and his unpopularity is approaching the historic. They're desperate to push him out in favor of someone like Hillary Clinton, even if they have to manufacture the reason. If he falls another 10 points in the polls, I don't see how he can stay in.

Do you have any favorites for the Republicans in 2012? If they nominate a moderate, would you consider voting for a third party?

I've never voted for a Republican candidate for president in my life. I was too young to vote for Reagan, I was out of the country in 1988, and there was no chance I was going to vote for Bush the Elder after the "No New Taxes" fiasco.

You are a popular author on World Net Daily. What has your experience with WND been like?

Great. I write what I want and they publish it. It's hard to beat that.

Is there an issue that you believe that the Obama Administration is intentionally ignoring?

I don't think ignoring would be the term I would use. They are actively attempting to retroactively legalize the mortgage fraud committed by the mortgage banks and interfere with the state attorney generals who are responsible for prosecuting them. But what can you expect of an administration of a man who has never met a Goldman Sachs employee he didn't want to name to his Cabinet? Of course, the janitor at Goldman would probably make a better Secretary of the Treasury than Turbo Timmy Geithner.

Would you like to add anything?

Live free or else.

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Poll: Majority of NJ Voters say Obama Doesn't Deserve Reelection

Not good for Obama:
The majority of voters in New Jersey say President Obama does not deserve a second term, according to a new Rutgers poll.

Only 43 percent of New Jersey voters in the poll said Obama deserves to be reelected, while 47 percent said he deserves to be voted out of office.

Those findings are a troubling sign for Obama, since New Jersey has traditionally been a stronghold for Democrats. In an earlier Rutgers poll taken in February, only 39 percent of New Jersey voters said he did not deserve reelection.

The poll comes on the heels of a Quinnipiac poll last week that showed New Jersey voters disapprove of Obama’s job performance by a 52 percent to 44 percent margin, the president's lowest score ever in the state.

“The continuing economic climate, coupled with voter frustration at Washington, has created feelings of discontent that are clearly hurting the president’s chances for reelection,” said David Redlawsk, a professor of political science at Rutgers University. “The dramatic decline in support for Obama comes mostly from independents."

The New Jersey poll mirrors a nationwide trend for the president. His approval rating in the latest Gallup poll slipped to 38 percent, his lowest ever. Gallup is also showing him running even with almost all of the leading Republican candidates.
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