Archive for May 5th, 2012|Daily archive page

Historian David Barton Battles Revisionist History and Paints the True Story of Jefferson

CanadianFreePress

Repetition can’t turn slander into truth, and old lies remain false. But when it comes to the legacy of Thomas Jefferson, renowned historian David Barton, who was the #1 trending topic on Google earlier this week, argues that generations of Americans have been deceived into believing slanderous lies about one of the greatest wordsmiths our nation has ever known, the author of the Declaration of Independence, and our third president.

History books routinely teach that Jefferson was an anti-Christian secularist, rewriting the Bible to his liking, fathering a child with one of his slaves, and little more than another racist, bigoted colonist—but none of those claims are actually true.

David Barton is revealing his discoveries about the real Thomas Jefferson in a new book, The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson, which is celebrating its second week on the New York Times Bestseller List.

“I thought I knew Jefferson,” says Barton. “I’d certainly read plenty of books and articles about him, and I’d studied him in school and college. I’d also read much that today’s Christian writers have said about Jefferson. I had developed what I considered to be a fair breadth of knowledge about Jefferson. But over the course of the past two decades as WallBuilders collected original writings and artifacts from the Founding Era (we currently have over 100,000 documents from before 1812), a very different view of him began to appear.”

Over the years our nation has seen an increasing trending towards revisionist history. The Founding Fathers have become victims of this distortion of historical record, often times in an attempt to carve the way for various political agendas. In order to establish a firm foundation on which our country can continue to grow, it is essential to understand the truths about the people and events on which this great nation was built. In the pages of The Jefferson Lies, David Barton is taking a stand for factual history by sifting through the lies that have been planted and now taken root as fact in the general public’s mind. Barton sheds a light of truth on the real Jefferson, a man that many will be meeting for the very first time.

“The Jefferson that was readily visible in his own writings and documents, and in the testimony of those who knew him and intimately worked with him, was so different from the one about which I had been taught,” notes Barton. “I felt compelled to find out why there is a Jefferson that everyone thinks they know, but a genuine Jefferson that no one in this generation seems to really know.”

“As I began to research the answer to that question, I discovered that the current portrayal of Jefferson is a modern one rather than a historical one,” adds Barton. “Most of today’s writers about Jefferson have relied almost exclusively on sources that frankly did not like Jefferson. They have repeated only what his political enemies of the past two centuries have said about him rather than seeking to find out if the charges they made against him were actually true.”

In The Jefferson Lies, David Barton explores how modern writers could get Jefferson so wrong, unpacking the five fallacies of 21st century logic: deconstructionism, poststructuralism, modernism, minimalism, and academic collectivism. Breaking these toxic isms down, he dissects their role in tainting Thomas Jefferson’s reputation and provides tools for recognizing (and counteracting) their insidious influence today.

“As with every disputed issue, there was another side of the story—a side of the story that has not been told to this generation,” notes Barton. “There was a reason that Jefferson was venerated as a hero by American historians until this current generation of writers. Once I found out what Thomas Jefferson had actually done and said, and once I was able to document why and when the false portrayals began, I wanted to share what I found with others. I wanted others to see a true image of Jefferson—to see that much of what we have been taught about him today is not only dead wrong but is almost diametrically opposite of the actual truth.”

Barton’s keen observations illuminate Jefferson’s true heart, faith, character, and rightful place as an American hero. Both painstakingly researched—with hundreds of endnotes citing primary-source documents—and richly absorbing, The Jefferson Lies presents a rousing defense not only of its primary subject, but of the United States’ forsaken history and heritage itself.

Just a Kwanzaa type fiction set to a Latin beat

Research suggests Cinco de Mayo created by American Latinos

Cinco de Mayo – the unofficial U.S. holiday long believed to have been imported, with celebratory beer, from Mexico – isn’t a Mexican holiday at all but rather an American one created by Latinos in the West during the Civil War, according to new research by a California professor.

Conventional thinking has held that the holiday – now a commercial juggernaut – may have grown out of the mass migrations from the bloody Mexican Revolution of the 1910s or even during Chicano Power activism of the 1960s, University of California at Los Angeles Professor David Hayes-Bautista said.

But on the 150th anniversary of the holiday, Hayes-Bautista is announcing that he happened upon the true origins of Cinco de Mayo – May 5 – after poring over Spanish-language newspapers in California from the mid-1800s while working on another research project.

Cinco de Mayo does indeed mark a Mexican military victory over the invading French army on May 5, 1862, but it’s celebrated more in the United States because in 1862, U.S. Latinos of Mexican heritage parlayed the victory as a rallying cry that the Union could also win the Civil War.

That’s because the French sympathized with the Confederacy, and Hispanics sided with the Union in its fight against slavery and elitism, Hayes-Bautista said.

France sought to impose a monarchy over democratic Mexico while U.S. foreign power weakened during the war.

Hayes-Bautista, a UCLA professor of medicine whose family lore holds his great-great grandfather fought in the famous Cinco de Mayo battle, has just published a new book on the discovery, “El Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition,” which one historian also at UCLA describes as “of great significance.”

Hayes-Bautista was culling Spanish-language newspapers in California and Oregon for vital statistics from the 1800s when he noticed how the Civil War and Cinco de Mayo battle were intertwined. He researches the epidemiology and demography of Latinos in California because he’s director of UCLA’s Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture.

“I’m seeing how in the minds of the Spanish-reading public in California that they were basically looking at one war with two fronts, one against the Confederacy in the east and the other against the French in the south,” Hayes-Bautista said in an interview with CNN.

“In Mexico today, Cinco de Mayo means the Mexican army defeated the French army,” he continued. “In California and Oregon, the news was interpreted as finally that the army of freedom and democracy won a big one against the army of slavery and elitism. And the fact that those two armies had to meet in Mexico was immaterial because they were fighting for the same issues – defending freedom and democracy. Latinos were joining the Union army, Union cavalry, Union navy.”

“The French goal was to eliminate democracy, and remember that Mexico had democracy only for 30 or 40 years at that point,” he added. “Remember, Europe was ruled mostly by monarchs.”

French emperor Napoleon III “was no friend of the Union and was definitely a friend of the Confederacy and flirted with the Confederacy constantly with the possible recognition of the Confederate government,” Hayes-Bautista said.

President Abraham Lincoln never referred to the Confederacy as a separate government: they were states in rebellion,” the professor said.

Napoleon III’s plan was to instill a monarchy over Mexico and “have that monarch cooperate with the Confederacy,” Hayes-Bautista said.

In early spring 1862, the Union army was unable to move against the Confederates, and American democracy was “apparently not doing too well,” Hayes-Bautista said.

The French entry into Mexico troubled Hispanics, Hayes-Bautista said.

“Latinos in California were reading about every single battle of the Civil War,” he said. “They were very well-informed, and they were reading with a three-week delay of similarly detailed reports from Mexico. So by early May, the French were about 60 miles from Mexico City as some Latinos feared that the Civil War might be over.”

But the Mexican army prevailed, and the Spanish-language newspapers in California reported the victory with such headlines as “HURRAH FOR MEXICO!!! HURRAH FOR INDEPENDENCE!”

In his book, Hayes-Bautista wrote, “In town after town, camp after camp, mine after mine, ranch after ranch, Latinos eagerly absorbed the news. Those who could read shared the glorious details with their illiterate fellows, and up and down the state, Latinos savored the blow-by-blow reporting from the front lines of the conflict that had so riveted their attention.”

The Cinco de Mayo victory was then memorialized through a network of Latino groups called “juntas patrioticas mejicanas,” or Mexican patriotic assemblies, mostly in California but also in Oregon, Nevada and Arizona, with 14,000 members, Hayes-Bautista said.

The juntas celebrated Cinco de Mayo with monthly parades, speeches, dances, banquets and bull fights as a morale builder for Lincoln and Mexican President Benito Juarez, who, despite the Cinco de Mayo victory, was subsequently engaged in a three-year struggle against foreign occupation until 1867.

“From 1862 to 1867, the public memory of Cinco de Mayo was forged in the American West,” Hayes-Bautista said.

Briefly after the Civil War, veterans of the Union and Mexican armies would put on their uniforms and give speeches every Cinco de Mayo, he said.

But by 1890, the grandchildren of the veterans and juntas had to be taught about Cinco de Mayo, Hayes-Bautista said.

The meaning of the holiday changed over time, becoming a David versus Goliath tale among Mexican immigrants in the 1930s and embodying U.S.-Mexico unity during World War II and Chicano Power in the 1960s and 1970s, Hayes-Bautista said.

In his book, he described Cinco de Mayo’s “undeniable commercialization in the late 20th century, a fake holiday recently invented by beverage companies.”

In his interview with CNN, Hayes-Bautista stated, “Now it’s become this big commercial holiday and a wonderful opportunity to get services and products in front of the Latino market and it even got its own postage in 1996 and in 2005 President Bush even had a Cinco de Mayo celebration at the White House.

“But if you ask why is anyone celebrating, no one knows. And then you get some people who say it shouldn’t be celebrated at all because it’s a foreign holiday – and yet it’s as American a holiday as the Fourth of July,” he said.

“No one has seemed to link it to the Civil War,” he added about what he called groundbreaking research.

UCLA history professor Stephen Aron said Hayes-Bautista’s finding is significant.

“For the general public (and even for many historians), the California origins of the Cinco de Mayo holiday come as quite a surprise (since the holiday is so generally presumed to be a Mexican holiday that was only recently imported into the United States),” Aron said in an e-mail to CNN. “That Hayes-Bautista’s book ties these origins to the American Civil War is also of great significance.”

Rounding out the new research into Cinco de Mayo is Hayes-Bautista’s family legend that recounts how his great-great-grandfather Bartolo Bautista was part of local militia supporting the Mexican army in the Battle of Puebla.

His ancestor, who hailed from the town of San Miguel de Atlautla just below the snow line on the volcano Popocatepetl, was taken prisoner but was spared execution by a French army firing squad after it saw he had a birthmark over his heart.

The mark was in the shape of a hand with all five fingers clearly visible, Hayes-Bautista said. The French firing squad had told the prisoners to remove their shirts because the soldiers intended to use the clothing.

Superstitious of the birth mark, the French let the man go, Hayes-Bautista said.

On Saturday, 150 years later, Hayes-Bautista is scheduled to participate in a Cinco de Mayo celebration at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, a Smithsonian affiliate in downtown Los Angeles.

Obama’s shameless electioneering

FredBarnes

President Obama is breaking new ground in his campaign for reelection. He is going where incumbent presidents have never gone before. He is doing things for which President George W. Bush would have been pilloried. And Obama is doing all this in plain view.

Yet the media have rarely found the new ploys and gambits of Obama’s campaign worth mentioning, much less spotlighting. For instance, in his address at the National Prayer Breakfast in February, Obama treated his agenda and Jesus Christ’s as one and the same. Since the media didn’t raise any flags, one might have concluded a comment such as Obama’s was normal for that event. It wasn’t.

Obama offered his own version of the WWJD question—what would Jesus do?—on the issue of raising taxes on the rich. Obama wants to, arguing that seniors, young people, and the middle class shouldn’t be forced to “shoulder the burden alone.”

Instead, “I think to myself, if I’m willing to give something up as somebody who’s been extraordinarily blessed, and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that’s going to make economic sense,” he said. “But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’ teaching that ‘for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.’ ”

Linking his tax plan to Jesus was anything but routine. Presidents have been speaking to the prayer breakfast, a Christian-sponsored event, since the 1950s. Their talks have tended to be mildly Christian, not at all political, and never exploited as a vehicle to claim Christ’s endorsement of their policies.

Obama, however, got off without so much as a slap on the wrist from the press. There’s a double standard here. Had Bush linked his tax policy to Christ, the media would have not only reported it, but no doubt assailed him for breaching the wall between church and state.

Obama, by the way, also said his plan to tax the rich “mirrors the Islamic belief that those who’ve been blessed have an obligation to use those blessings to help others, or the Jewish doctrine of moderation and consideration for others.”

In April, speaking to newspaper editors in Washington, D.C., the president took a unique approach to the 2013 budget passed by the House. “I want to actually go through what it would mean for our country if these [spending] cuts were to be spread out evenly,” he said. “So bear with me.”

The editors and the media covering the speech did just that. From all appearances, they accepted the spread-the-cuts-evenly tactic as perfectly legitimate. It wasn’t. It was neither honest nor fair.

The GOP budget, which would increase the national debt by
$3 trillion over 10 years, distributed cuts quite unevenly. That’s the way budgets are put together: Some programs are cut, others have their spending increased. In both cases, changes are imposed from a higher spending base, reflecting inflation and expected growth in programs.

That didn’t stop Obama. He insisted college students would lose $1,000 in aid, 1,600 medical grants to research Alzheimer’s, cancer, and AIDS would disappear, and two million mothers and babies would be dropped from a program that “gives them access to healthy food.”

That’s not all. Weather forecasts would be less accurate because fewer satellites would be launched. There would be flight cancellations, plus shutdowns of air traffic control systems at some airports.

“This is math,” Obama said. Only it wasn’t. It was make-believe. “This is not conjecture,” he said. “I am not exaggerating. These are facts.” In truth, they were facts based on a false premise. Which means they were fiction.

Another departure by Obama began last September when he summoned a joint session of Congress to unveil his new “jobs bill.” This has two twists. It was crafted to be rejected by Republicans in hopes of creating the impression of a “do-nothing Congress.” To make sure Republicans wouldn’t seek a compromise, Obama said he wouldn’t negotiate. It was take it or leave it. The media barely blinked.

The president devoted weeks to traveling the country and demanding that Congress “pass this bill.” Indeed, Majority Leader Harry Reid could have brought it to the Senate floor for a vote. And if Obama had wanted him to, he would have. But Obama’s urgent-sounding plea was a sham. There was no vote, though several individual parts of the bill were passed later.

Obama has used similar fakery again and again. He’s relentless in touting the Buffett Rule, despite zero chance of its passage. It would require those making more than a million dollars to pay at least 30 percent of their annual earnings in federal income taxes. He’s threatened to veto a Republican bill to prevent a doubling of the interest rate on college loans on trumped-up grounds, hoping to tag them as opposed to the popular aid program.

And last month, the White House spread the word about its need for executive action to govern, as the New York Times put it, “in the face of Congressional obstructionism.” This is a straw man. Obama is eager to create the illusion he’s been forced to rely on executive orders because Republicans are blocking his agenda.

But it’s the Senate, controlled by Democrats, that has become the graveyard of legislation. It has refused to pass a budget for the third straight year, and Reid has said he’ll call as few votes as possible this year. Rather than a do-nothing Congress—in other words, Republicans—there’s a do-nothing Senate, led by Democrats.

In running for reelection, Obama has already set records. As of March 6, he’s held more fundraising events (104) than the previous five presidents combined (94). And I suspect Obama has set the record for blaming his predecessor for his own troubles. If he hasn’t, there’s still time. The election is six months away.

Gov. Brewer signs Arizona ban on Planned Parenthood funding

FoxNews

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed into law a bill to cut off Planned Parenthood’s access to taxpayer money funneled through the state for non-abortion services.

Arizona already bars use of public money for abortions except to save the life of the mother, but anti-abortion legislators and other supporters of the bill have said the broader prohibition is needed to make sure that no public money indirectly supports abortion services.

“This is a common sense law that tightens existing state regulations and closes loopholes in order to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to fund abortions, whether directly or indirectly,” said Brewer, a Republican. “By signing this measure into law, I stand with the majority of Americans who oppose the use of taxpayer funds for abortion.”

Arizona has said a funding ban would interrupt its preventive health care and family planning services for nearly 20,000 women served by the organization’s clinics. The organization has said it will consider a legal challenge.

The measure targeting funding for Planned Parenthood for non-abortion services was one of several approved by Arizona’s Republican-led Legislature related to contentious reproductive health care issues during a 116-day session that ended Thursday. Brewer is a Republican.

Other approved Arizona bills include one generally banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, which Brewer has already signed, and one loosening a state law that generally requires health care plans to cover contraception.

On the funding issue, similar attempts in Texas, Kansas and Indiana have resulted in litigation.

States that considered versions of the legislation this year included New Hampshire where lawmakers effectively killed a bill as they heeded warnings that blocking public funding to abortion providers could jeopardize New Hampshire’s Medicaid program.

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that Texas cannot ban Planned Parenthood from receiving state funds, at least until a lower court has a chance to hear formal arguments. At issue is funding for a Texas program that provides basic health care and contraception to 130,000 poor women.

Texas lost federal Medicaid funding for its Women’s Health Program after the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said a state law prohibiting funding for clinics affiliated with an abortion provider violated a federal law that guarantees women the right to choose their health care providers.

Texas’ attorney general sued the federal government to have the funding restored, while clinics have sued the state.

Obama the boyfriend

Neo-NeoCon

Although I’m heartily sick of the topic of Barack Obama right now, I can’t quite ignore this piece about Obama’s college and immediate post-college years, as seen through the eyes of his girlfriends and the love letters they saved (or perhaps I should say “correspondence”), and the journal entries they turned over to David Maraniss, author of a new biography of Obama that has just been excerpted in Vanity Fair.

I only skimmed the piece, which is long and not really all that interesting. But I read enough to say the following:

Assuming that the letters and other writings are authentic—and I have no reason to doubt that at the moment—we can say that Obama was a not-atypical bright young guy who wrote pretentiously about Literature and Life and Love in classic student style. We can also say that he’s clearly heterosexual, and that much of his personality back then seems very familiar to those who study him now. The coolness, the distance, the sense of someone behind a veil and profoundly unknowable, were already evident even to the women who got closest to him.

I also think it’s interesting to compare and contrast Obama with Romney at approximately the same age. They were almost opposites. Obama was still searching for a father and an identity; Romney had an unusually strong dose of both. Obama was drifting; Romney was a family man who already was married with children and focused on his future (Romney married at 22 and became a father at 23). Obama smoked and drank, and more; Romney was a teetotaler and non-smoker. And yet they both were the products of similar educations: private prep schools and Harvard Law (and in Romney’s case, Harvard Business as well).

Sununu: Obama Should Return About 70 Percent of His Salary

JimGeraghty

I just spoke to John Sununu, the former governor of New Hampshire and chief of staff to President George H. W. Bush, who’s bringing his legendarily genteel and diplomatic nature to assist the Romney campaign as a surrogate.

On the Obama campaign’s “official” kickoff this weekend:

“If you look at what [President Obama] has done since last September, he really ought to return about 70 percent of his salary to the American taxpayers, since about 70 percent of his time has been spent campaigning. I assume with the official start of his campaign, it will move to 100 percent. He clearly has a strategy of talking about everything but what people want to hear, which is how he’s going to create jobs and how he’s going to get the economy moving. Instead he’s on a mission to hype himself, and blame everybody else.”

On Romney’s current standing in the polls:

“Right now, Governor Romney is still in the process of bringing the rest of the conservatives in the Republican party and the independents back together. Those are the ones who will recognize that they don’t want Barack Obama back again, and the only way to make that happen is to vote for Romney. Right now, as you look at the polls, there are still about 13 percent of Republicans who are not yet giving their vote to Governor Romney. So in a sense, Obama’s in even worse shape than he appears, because Governor Romney will eventually pick up most of those Republicans who are not supporting him right now, and most of those independents.”

On the latest unemployment numbers:

“I recommend people go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics table A-15. It talks about the other ways of calculating unemployment. There are two very interesting ones, one is U-5 and one is U-6. U-5 takes the recently discouraged workers and adds them to the total, and it’s 9.5 percent this month. Then U-6 takes people who have left the workforce for other reasons and that one’s at 14.5 percent. So there are a whole host of unemployment numbers that are readily available to the public, that people ought to start looking at on a monthly basis and talking about and recognizing what a disaster — what an unmitigated, incompetent disaster this president has been.”

On reaching voters who may not be paying attention as closely as primary voters:

“Remember there’s about 25 million unhappy people at home. Really unhappy people, who have no jobs or who are dramatically under-employed. You don’t have to work hard to get them to pay attention to the real issue in this election cycle.”

On the business community and the election:

“This over-regulation that has come out of the Obama administration has created a climate in this country where the business community has more cash than at any other time in history and yet they are not spending it to create jobs, because they are petrified that Barack Obama might get reelected. The minute it is clear, one way or the other, they will decide where to spend that money. If it looks like Romney’s going to win, they will spend that money to create jobs in America; if it looks like Obama is going to win, they’ll spend that money creating jobs somewhere else.”

On Obama’s trip to Afghanistan this week:

“That was the self-aggrandizement tour for the Obama administration. The president finally discovered that one of the responsibilities of the presidency is to make decisions. After avoiding decisions on how to deal with entitlement reform, after avoiding decisions on the budget — no budget for three years! — avoiding decisions on how to cut spending, avoiding decisions on how to deal with some of the serious issues like what’s going on in Syria and the Iran issue lurking out there as well . . . After going three and a half years without making any serious decisions except shoving Obamacare down people’s throats, the president made one more decision. And it was a slam-dunk decision in my opinion, in my opinion, having been in the White House and having seen how a real president operates. He makes a slam-dunk decision and now wants to brag about having discovered how to make a decision. I find it a little bit demeaning to those who did the hard work: the intelligence community that put thousands if not millions of bits of information together to find out where Osama bin Laden was, and the extremely skilled and truly brave young men and women who were involved and in the SEAL teams. The angry reactions you’re hearing from the SEALs underscores how unseemly it was for the president to do those interviews, saying ‘Look at me, I finally made a decision, aren’t I wonderful.’”

On life as a surrogate for the campaign, and whether he’s one of the designated attack dogs:

“I am like the old crazy uncle that [the campaign] calls on every once in a while. (laughter) When they need some strong clarity, they have me do some television and radio. The county is in such desperate straits right now, instead of sitting at home and watching everyone else do it, I told them I’d be an active part of whatever they need.”

On whether he’s freer to speak more pugnaciously than other Romney surrogates who are still in elected office:

“That would be a more valid thesis if I had been any different when I was in office. Life is too short to be . . . too subtle at times.”

Ticking Bomb in Kashmir

AmericanInterest

Kashmir may be the most dangerous place in the world. It is the only place where two nuclear powers have an active boundary dispute, and terrorism and political violence are also in the mix.

Things may be about to get much, much worse.

Kashmir is a Muslim-majority province which ended up in India back when Pakistan and India parted ways. Many Kashmiris want that to change; some would like to become independent, some want to join Pakistan. Some would like to remain in India with more local control.

Fortunately, the form of Islam most widely followed in Kashmir is Sufism; sufis are often mystical in spirituality, open to other faiths in spirit, and moderate in politics. But that could be changing. Salafi Islam is spreading in Kashmir, supported by Saudi money and, in some cases, Pakistani influence.

Tariq Mir’s article in the Boston Review, which profiles Saudi-educated Abdul Lateef Al Kindi, the main missionary in Kashmir, does well to highlight the fact that this targeted conversion does not just have implications in radicalizing Muslims against their Indian overlords, but also in cultivating distrust of the West and its clients—Israel, most obviously.

I asked him why Salafism was suddenly gaining popularity in Kashmir. “Before, we didn’t have the support that we have now,” he said. The Saudis provide free literature to anyone who cares to read, and they distribute the Salafi message over the Web, cell phones, and satellite television. One popular video clip shows Tauseef u Rehman, a Salafi cleric in Pakistan, attired in the style of a Saudi sheikh and calling for the implementation of Islamic law in all Muslim societies—a perfect synthesis of strict, old-time religion and modern technology.

Al Kindi is acutely aware of Salafism’s outsider status in Kashmir. “You know how much pressure we’re working under in Kashmir,” he explained. “You have to be careful about what you say in sermons, speeches. We have been instructed by our leadership not to talk politics.” In his sermon he whipped worshippers into a frenzy over Western aggression in Muslim lands, decried the acceptance of Western values among the population, and blasted Palestinians for harming their aspirations toward statehood by “living like Jews.” But he steered clear of the complex affairs of Kashmir, even as he ridiculed Sufi customs.

Read the whole thing here. Radical Islam in Kashmir will make the world an uglier and more dangerous place. It is a trend that needs to be watched.

Former AG Michael Mukasey: Obama Officials Drafted Memo to Blame Military If OBL Mission Failed

GatewayPundit

Leadership: Obama Administration Drafted Memo to Blame Military if OBL Mission Failed

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey told Sean Hannity tonight that the Obama Administration drafted a memo to protect the president from blame if the mission to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden would have failed. That way Obama could blame the general instead of taking the blame himself. Mukasey wrote about it this week in The Wall Street Journal.

“That was a highly lawyered memo (designed to protect the president politically)… I think there’s going to be more that’s going to be tumbling out about that escapade but so far that memo is enough.

And, of course, this surprises no one who is familiar with Obama’s leadership style.

Mukasey also contrasted Obama’s leadership style tonight to Lincoln and Eisenhower as he did in his WSJ Opinion piece earlier in the week.

Lincoln took responsibility in August 1862 for failures that had been attributed to General George McClellan—eventually sacked for incompetence—and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Lincoln told a crowd that McClellan was not at fault for seeking more than Stanton could give, and “I stand here, as justice requires me to do, to take upon myself what has been charged upon the Secretary of War.”

Dwight Eisenhower is famous for having penned a statement to be issued in anticipation of the failure of the Normandy invasion that reads in relevant part: “My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”

A week later, when the success of the invasion was apparent, Eisenhower saluted the Allied Expeditionary Forces: “One week ago this morning there was established through your coordinated efforts our first foothold in northwestern Europe. High as was my preinvasion confidence in your courage, skill and effectiveness . . . your accomplishments . . . have exceeded my brightest hopes.

Eisenhower did mention himself at the end: “I truly congratulate you upon a brilliantly successful beginning. . . . Liberty loving people everywhere would today like to join me in saying to you, ‘I am proud of you.’”

BlackLash

AnnAlthouse

This is a scurrilous article! Where’s the evidence? It’s just creepy, New York aversion to the fly-over people.

While Mr. Obama will always be known to the history books as the country’s first black president, his mixed-race heritage has only rarely surfaced in visible and explicit ways amid the tumult of a deep recession, two wars and shifting political currents.

Exactly. It’s remarkable, the absence of racism. But the NYT is just so eager to rake some up anyway.

The Obama campaign aggressively monitors any racial remarks made against the president, but officials rarely openly discuss Mr. Obama’s race….

Don’t you think this material, searched for so diligently, would be passed on to the NYT if something could be made of it?

Researchers have long struggled to quantify racial bias in electoral politics, in part because of the reliance on surveys, a forum in which respondents rarely admit to prejudice. In 50 interviews in this county over three days last week, 5 people raised race directly as a reason they would not vote for Mr. Obama. In those conversations, voters were not asked specifically about race, but about their views on the candidates generally. Those who raised the issue did so of their own accord.

I’d like to see the text of these interviews. They give us some quotes that are not fairly characterized as someone saying she wouldn’t vote for Obama because of his race, but statements of belief that other people voted out of enthusiasm for having a black President

“I’ll just come right out and say it: he was elected because of his race,” said Sara Reese, a bank employee who said she voted for Ralph Nader in 2008, even though she usually votes Democrat….

“He was like, ‘Here I am, I’m black and I’m proud,’ ” said Lesia Felsoci, a bank employee drinking a beer in an Applebee’s. “To me, he didn’t have a platform. Black people voted him in, that’s why he won. It was black ignorance.”

Drinking a beer in an Applebee’s… oh, the horror!

But the main quarrels Democratic voters here have with Mr. Obama have nothing to do with race….

Exactly. How disappointing for the enlightened elite in New York City!

Republicans say Obama is running out of excuses to delay Keystone pipeline

Tick Tock

Republicans on Friday ramped up pressure on President Obama to quickly approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline after developer TransCanada Corp. formally reapplied for a key federal permit.

“Today there is just one person standing in the way of tens of thousands of new American jobs: President Obama,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement.

“After nearly four years of review, delay and politics, he is out of excuses for blocking this job-creating energy project any longer.”

Republicans know their efforts are unlikely to persuade the president to immediately approve the pipeline, which would carry oil sands crude from Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

Instead, the GOP hopes to score political points going into the election by painting Obama as an obstructionist on energy who is standing in the way of oil-and-gas development at a time when voters are worried about high gasoline prices.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Friday that the president has run out of excuses to delay approval of the pipeline.

“With millions of Americans out of work in the Obama economy and a growing need for a stable supply of energy, the president turned his back on the Keystone XL pipeline that would have helped with both,” McConnell said in a statement.

“The Obama administration cited a need for a new application from TransCanada and a new route in Nebraska. Now that he has both, what will his excuse be?”

TransCanada’s new application comes just days before House and Senate negotiators are slated to duke it out over transportation legislation that includes a GOP-backed provision to immediately approve the pipeline.

Republicans called on lawmakers to preserve the provision in the final version of the transportation bill, stressing that they have little confidence in Obama to approve the pipeline.

“[G]iven the president’s track record, I am not confident the administration will get the job done without congressional action,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said in a statement.

“The president’s record on Keystone suggests he will let the decision slip past Election Day.”

The first formal session of House-Senate talks on the transportation bill is set for Tuesday afternoon. The House version of the bill approves the pipeline, while the Senate’s plan omits the provision.

But advocates face a tough climb getting Keystone in a final transportation bill. Democrats outnumber Republicans 8-6 among the Senate negotiators.

Among those Democrats, only Sen. Max Baucus (Mont.) has voted in favor of including Keystone in the bill, and Baucus has signaled through aides that he’s unlikely to insist on the provision.

TransCanada filed a permit Friday with the State Department, which is charged with reviewing the permit because the project crosses an international border, to carry oil sands crude to Steele City, Neb.

The company said it will provide the State Department with an alternate route through Nebraska once it is approved by state officials.

Nebraska officials had previously raised concerns that the original pipeline route would threaten the state’s Sandhills, an environmentally sensitive region, and the Ogallala Aquifer.

TransCanada submitted an alternate route to state officials earlier this year that avoids the Sandhills, but still crosses part of the aquifer.

The company’s decision to reapply for the permit was met with immediate opposition from environmental groups and others, which have long raised concerns about the project. They have warned of increased greenhouse gas emissions from oil sands production and oil spills along the pipeline route, among other things.

“I feel like we’re stuck in some terrible movie about zombie pipelines that just won’t die,” Sierra Club Beyond Oil Campaign Director Kate Colarulli told reporters on a conference call.

The State Department has estimated it will make a final decision on the project after a thorough review, likely in the first quarter of 2013, well after the upcoming election.

In January, President Obama rejected the same permit application TransCanada refiled on Friday. Republicans have spent months blasting Obama for the decision.

But the president has insisted that the decision was based not on the merits of the pipeline, but on a GOP-backed deadline to weigh in on the project included in legislation to extend the payroll tax cut.

Obama welcomed TransCanada to reapply for the permit. But he has said his administration will re-evaluate the permit based on a full review of the project.

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