Monday Catch-Up: Obama Most Well-Traveled, Expensive President In History

 

 

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Matthew Boyle, Big Government: Exclusive – Study: Obama Most Well-Traveled, Expensive President In History Through Five Years:

President Barack Obama has spent more time traveling abroad than other U.S. president in history at this point in their presidencies, according to a forthcoming study from the National Taxpayer Union Foundation (NTUF) provided exclusively to Breitbart News ahead of its public release.

“The most internationally well-traveled President, through five years, is also flying the most expensive-to-operate Air Force One to date,” NTUF wrote.

After five years in the White House, Obama has taken 31 trips for a total of 119 days abroad. At that point in George W. Bush’s presidency, Bush had taken 28 trips for 116 days, while Bill Clinton had taken 27 trips for 113 days. Ronald Reagan, after five years, had taken 14 trips for 73 days while Richard Nixon had taken 12 trips for 60 days after five years in the White House and Lyndon Johnson took 10 trips for 34 days at the half-decade mark. Dwight Eisenhower took 8 trips for 31 days after five years in the White House.

Citing a recent report in the Washington Examiner that found through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that taxpayers are on the hook for about $228,288 per Air Force One flight hour in 2013, a 27 percent increase from the previously confirmed cost of $179,750 per fight hour that NTUF used in its last study, the taxpayer watchdog concludes that Obama’s flights have cost taxpayers more than any other president.

The Hayride: Obama Suggests Leaving Us With No Functional Missiles:

So says the Washington Free Beacon

President Barack Obama is seeking to abolish two highly successful missile programs that experts say has helped the U.S. Navy maintain military superiority for the past several decades.

The Tomahawk missile program—known as “the world’s most advanced cruise missile”—is set to be cut by $128 million under Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal and completely eliminated by fiscal year 2016, according to budget documents released by the Navy.

In addition to the monetary cuts to the program, the number of actual Tomahawk missiles acquired by the United States would drop significantly—from 196 last year to just 100 in 2015. The number will then drop to zero in 2016.

The Navy will also be forced to cancel its acquisition of the well-regarded and highly effective Hellfire missiles in 2015, according to Obama’s proposal.

Charles Cooke, National Review: Power Isn’t Funny:
Obama bombs when he jokes that he’ll sic the IRS or the Secret Service on his critics.

The president’s latest witticism was inspired by his much-debated appearance on Between Two Ferns, during which he traded carefully scripted barbs with actor Zach Galifianakis. “Zach actually was pretty nervous,” Obama explained to Ryan Seacrest in a postmortem interview. “His whole character is to go after the guest, and I think he was looking around and seeing all these Secret Service guys with guns and thinking, I wonder what happens here if I cross the line? But we had a great time.”

Gettit? Because if Galifianakis had said something that the president didn’t like, the president’s armed guards would have killed him. In consequence . . . and prepare yourself, because this is hysterical . . . the comedian self-censored, permitting Obama to get in a nice little barrage of prepared zingers and sitting by quietly while he hawked his vision for the federal government! Nice thing you’ve got going here, matey. Shame if anything were to happen to it. Funny or Die! Ha, ha, ha.
Here’s another rip-roaring yarn from our commander-in-chief, this one aimed squarely at the Jonas Brothers: “Sasha and Malia are huge fans, but boys, don’t get any ideas. Two words for you: ‘Predator drones.’ You will never see it coming.” See, if the Jonas Brothers try to date the president’s daughters, he’ll execute them from the sky. The best part? Like so many Pakistani villagers, they won’t even know what has hit them! Brilliant.

UK Telegraph: Aborted babies incinerated to heat UK hospitals:

The bodies of thousands of aborted and miscarried babies were incinerated as clinical waste, with some even used to heat hospitals, an investigation has found.

Ten NHS trusts have admitted burning foetal remains alongside other rubbish while two others used the bodies in ‘waste-to-energy’ plants which generate power for heat.

Last night the Department of Health issued an instant ban on the practice which health minister Dr Dan Poulter branded ‘totally unacceptable.’

At least 15,500 foetal remains were incinerated by 27 NHS trusts over the last two years alone, Channel 4’s Dispatches discovered.

The programme, which will air tonight, found that parents who lose children in early pregnancy were often treated without compassion and were not consulted about what they wanted to happen to the remains.

A nationalized healthcare system nightmare – and the logical result of publically funded abortions and rationed care… Will we be hearing similar stories in our not too distant future?

Seton Motley, The Daily Caller: Sprint’s crony socialist hypocrisy:

Crony Socialism is, in part, the government cutting special deals for certain companies – at the expense of other companies, and the free market.

It is particularly pathetic when companies publicly troll for this treatment.  It’s almost as if they’ve given up on actually, you know, trying.

Sprint, T-Mobile US, Dish Network and other smaller carriers are already lobbying [Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler]. 

In a letter to Wheeler on Thursday, the companies’ top executives…urged Wheeler to adopt rules for the (spectrum) auctions that would ensure “that the two dominant wireless incumbents not be allowed to lock competitive carriers out of acquiring…spectrum.

But — it’s an auction. Everyone bids, and the best bids win. Everyone has equal access. Problem preemptively solved. Except that’s not what these guys mean. More from their begging letter:

“To be clear, none of us has ever suggested excluding the largest two carriers from theauction.

AoSHQ: Pew Polling Reports That Even Among Obamacare Opponents, Most Want Their Congressmen to “Make Obamacare Work.” Here’s How They Got The Answer They Wanted.

Here are the options — two of them — that Pew gave respondents to choose from:

What do you think elected officials who oppose the health care law should do now that the law has started to take effect? Should they [X] or should they [Y]?Do what they can to make the law work as well as possible

Do what they can to make the law fail

Emphases added.

Pew gave them a binary choice between “doing what they can to make the law work” and actively working to subvert and sabotage the law, and they present it as a meaningful bit of data that 30% supported the former choice, and only 19% the latter.

Good God.

CNN: Does the Big Bang breakthrough offer proof of God?

The prevalent theory of cosmic origins prior to the Big Bang theory was the “Steady State,” which argued that the universe has always existed, without a beginning that necessitated a cause.

However, this new evidence strongly suggests that there was a beginning to our universe.

If the universe did indeed have a beginning, by the simple logic of cause and effect, there had to be an agent – separate and apart from the effect – that caused it.

That sounds a lot like Genesis 1:1 to me: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.”

So this latest discovery is good news for us believers, as it adds scientific support to the idea that the universe was caused – or created – by something or someone outside it and not dependent on it.

Atheist-turned-agnostic astronomer Fred Hoyle, who coined the term “Big Bang,” famously stated, “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics.”

As Hoyle saw it, the Big Bang was not a chaotic explosion, but rather a very highly ordered event – one that could not have occurred by random chance.

We also need to remember that God reveals himself both through scripture and creation. The challenge is in seeing how they fit together. A better understanding of each can inform our understanding of the other.

Stanley Kurtz, the Corner, The Truth About Obama’s ‘Catholic Roots’:

I suspect Obama and his acolytes think of Pope Francs as a “fellow traveler.”

In advance of his Thursday meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, the New York Times is portraying President Obama’s community organizing as a kind of Catholicism in practice.  In a front page, above-the-fold piece titled “The Catholic Roots of Obama’s Activism,” Jason Horowitz highlights the close alliance between Obama, his organizing mentors Greg Galluzzo and Gerald Kellman, and the Catholic Church. Obama’s frequent invocation of Chicago’s Cardinal Bernardin is referenced, along with Obama’s ties to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Horowitz notes that the alliance reached the point where young Obama was effectively proselytizing for the Catholic Church. A fuller and more accurate account of Obama’s organizing paints a very different picture, however.

Before we get to the reality of Obama’s organizing connection with the Catholic Church, let’s have a quick look back at the founder of community organizing, Saul Alinsky. Obama’s Chicago organizing mentors, after all, were consciously trying to replicate Alinsky’s church strategy. In fact, they were working in some of the same Catholic churches originally organized by Alinsky.

Paul Mirengoff, Powerline: Obama shows his foreign policy resolve against a has-been African warlord:

President Obama is unwilling to engage militarily in Syria. Assad’s butchery has not moved him, nor have the 150,000 deaths produced thus far by the civil war. When Assad and his Hezbollah/Iran backers crossed the “red line” by using chemical weapons, Obama punted. He has even been unwilling to provide meaningful assistance to Assad’s non-radical opponents.

In Iraq, Obama opted for a total U.S. pullout. He appears poised for a similar pullout in Afghanistan, which would mean abandoning those Afghans who put their life on the line to support his surge.

In addition, Obama has thus far turned down requests for arms and other military assistance by the government of Ukraine. He did engage militarily in Libya for a brief time. But that was a NATO operation, sanctioned by the United Nations, in which the U.S. “led from behind.”

Now, Obama has found someone against whom he is willing to commit U.S. troops without NATO. The target is Joseph Kony, a Ugandan warlord. Pursuant to the War Powers Act, the president has notified Congress that approximately 300 U.S. forces will be deployed to assist in the hunt for Kony. He will also deploy Osprey aircraft. Obama previously had deployed 100 Special Operations troops to assist in the search.

In a sense, Kony is a worthy target. For years, his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has attacked central African villages, mutilating civilians and stealing children.

But according to the Washington Post, LRA attacks have decreased significantly (probably by 75 percent) since 2010. Three of its five commanders have been taken out since 2012, including Kony’s second in command.

It would appear, then, that Obama is participating in a mop-up operation.

Watcher Of Weasels: Forum: What Is The Meaning Of ‘Spirituality’ To You?

Every week on Monday morning , the Watcher’s Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question:What Is The Meaning Of ‘Spirituality’ To You?

Liberty’s Spirit:Spirituality is the understanding that the universe is greater than yourself, but at the same time, you are obligated to better the world around you as if you, and you alone, are responsible for the continuation of all living creatures. It matters not to me how any one person comes to this realization. I do not believe that a person has to have a religion to be a good person (unfortunately there are too many people in the world who use religion as a weapon to hurt others instead of a path to goodness). What matters is that individuals understand that their singular actions effect everyone around them and that there is a ripple effect in the dynamics of the universe. The constant desire to be kind to all living creatures around you is the epitome of spirituality. Every little action can have a positive effect on a stranger. A simple smile at a passing individual could bring joy to their world in ways you will never know. Trying to be a better person than you were the moment before is the path to spirituality and the constant challenge of humanity.

Simply Jews:That one sent me to the dictionary.

The first meaning (“Property or income owned by a church”) is hardly relevant to me.
The second one (“Concern with things of the spirit”) is somewhat more interesting, although, I suspect, much easier to deal with for religious people, which I am not.

So, I shall have to define it for myself, then. I would say that spirituality means several activities that a person occupies him/herself during the breaks in the daily mundane pursuit of happiness in its material aspect.

Our spiritual pursuits could be the main difference between us and the animals, although as a definition this statement doesn’t add much understanding of spirituality.

So, to be more specific, let’s go by example: fine arts, literature, music and, (unfortunately I have to say it), the elements of popular culture such as pop, heavy metal and similar kinds of musics, should be all named as part of our spirituality.

As, of course, the religious person’s study of things religious and praying, equivalent of which for a secular person would be philosophy – provided the secular person indulges in this field of activity.

And, if you want to take the root of the word “spirituality” more literally, a good bottle of spirit, like the one distillated by the magicians of Scotland, has something to do with spirituality too. Depending on the dosage, of course.

The Noisy Room: The meaning of ‘spirituality’ to me is simply my lifelong walk with God. As a child, my father was in construction and we moved constantly. My father was agnostic and my Grandmother was a devout Christian. However, we were never forced to go to church. From the time I can remember walking and talking, I have always gravitated to the Bible and its teachings. I went to church myself from the time I was very young – always alone. I have always felt Him with me – in the good and bad times and he has sustained me through many battles during my life. I could no more separate my life and being from my belief in God, than I could stop fighting against Communism. Most of my life, I have felt led by my spirituality to pursue the work I am ensconced in. It is my belief that I follow a calling from God and each and every day I pray for guidance. I gladly follow my path and His lead… I always will until I leave this world for the next.

JoshuaPundit: Spirituality is the horse that takes you on your journey towards Almighty G-d. Faith and acceptance is the reward at journey’s end. And should you be so fortunate as to be so close to the Father of Us All to be blessed with faith and acceptance, the next step is the self discipline to practice and live that faith and acceptance in this world, as an offering.

My Latest At The Conversation:

A Rebuttal To First Lady’s Claim That They Welcome Criticism

In response to Michelle Obama: My Husband and I Welcome ‘Criticism’ from ‘Media’ and ‘Our Fellow Americans’:

Uh-huh.

They sure have a strange way of showing their “welcome.”

What was the IRS scandal but a project to “shut up conservative voices” that criticize the president?

The IRS is now in the process of codifying the rules they used to illegally target conservative 501 (C) (4) groups.

This president has been at war with Fox News since the early days of his administration, and has called out Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity by name.

This is the president of “Fight the Smears,” “Attack Watch,” “Truth Team,” and Linda Douglass’s ghastly “snitch network” which was set up to squelch “misinformation” (aka “the truth”) about ObamaCare.

And just last month the FCC had to shelve their plans to have “news police” monitoring newsrooms, only because of the huge public outcry.

The best rebuttal to the First Lady nice-sounding but ludicrous claim actually came from Senator Mitch McConnell in a speech he made, last June.

Say what you will about Mitch McConnell – he is a longtime First Amendment hawk, and he didn’t hold back in this AEI speech in which he called out in a very striking and memorable way, the tyrannical president and his willing accomplices for attempting to silence his critics. McConnell said, “this administration has institutionalized the practice of pitting bureaucrats against the very people they’re supposed to be serving, and it needs to stop.”

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church haven’t changed their hateful ways just because their hateful ringleader passed away. According to KSHB, more than 20 members staged a demonstration to protest the pop star, Lorde, who was appearing at the Midland theater in Downtown Kansas City, Friday evening. 

 

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