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Obama's Speeches: Take The Opposite Of What's Said
The Bulletin ^ | February 27, 2009 | Herb Denenberg

Posted on 02/27/2009 9:37:47 AM PST by jazusamo

The most important aspect of President Barack Obama’s speech to Congress this week was not what he said, but what he failed to say or short-changed with excessive brevity.

Whether we like it or not we’re at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we’re also at war with al-Qaida and the rest of the international network of terrorists. What’s more, our security and economy are both endangered by our leaky borders and our failure to close our borders and control immigration.

You wouldn’t know that from President Obama’s speech, as it was almost all devoted to the economy. But you can no longer separate the economy from the war against terror. If the Islamofascists or other international terrorists set off a nuclear, biological or chemical weapon of mass destruction in a major city, that could cripple the economy. Our war against terrorism is just as important as any stimulus package when it comes to protecting the economy. Full employment in Chicago will hardly be a consolation if it gets wiped out by a terrorist’s nuclear bomb.

President Obama had not a single word to say about Iran and North Korea, two rogue nations, about to have nuclear bombs and delivery systems capable of reaching Europe and even the U.S. This development is in the process of setting off an international nuclear arms race and threatens to set off total catastrophe in the Middle East. When you have mad men controlling nuclear weapons, you’re in trouble. No issue could be more urgent or important.

If President Obama had a clue, he would have discussed it. We know enough about his approach — the infamous Obama talking cure, which will be about as successful as Neville Chamberlain’s talking cure for the threat of Hitler and Nazi Germany.

Europe has been talking to Iran for years, with absolutely no results, but President Obama thinks he’ll be more successful.

What he did say about Iraq and Afghanistan is not encouraging: “And with our friends and allies, we will forge a new and comprehensive strategy to defeat al-Qaida and combat extremism.”

He is the commander-in-chief and commands by calling for a conference with friends and allies. He substitutes negotiations, speeches, conferences, committees and commissions for policy — simply kicking the can down the road. He is so busy talking about negotiating and appointing czars, holding conferences and delegating responsibility that you wonder if he ever does something on his own. Even Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., has complained that all his “czars” in the White House constitute a power grab, placing power in those who don’t have to go through a Senate confirmation process.

How else is he going to win our wars and fight terrorism? He’s going to close Guantanamo. That order will still be carried out, even though his own investigation found that Guantanamo was in compliance with the Geneva convention, and even though observers report the prisoners there receive better treatment than afforded those in our homeland prisons.

That closing is just to appeal to the radical left base of the Democratic Party. He doesn’t even know where those prisoners will be moved, but he issued the order as he behaves as if he is still campaigning and not governing. The closing of Gitmo sends signs of weakness to our enemies. And it raises a threat of terrorists among us, in the homeland, who would be more dangerous if they should escape. In any event, I’ve yet to hear one good reason why Gitmo should be closed.

President Obama said he is also going to seek “swift and certain justice for captured terrorists.” Based on President Obama’s previous pronouncements, this suggests he will be giving rights to terrorists that are not required by our laws or any treaties.

This is the equivalent of giving prisoners of war during World War II access to our courts. President Obama apparently doesn’t understand there is no time on the battlefield to read Miranda rights or gather evidence. He’s under the influence of lefty ACLU types who have endless ways to try to assure the success of the terrorists.

He also reasserted his intention to make sure that no prisoner is subject to torture. What if there is reason to believe a captured terrorist knows the location of nuclear bombs set to go off in 10 hours in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City? What if there is reason to believe only torture will get the truth out of the terrorist?

What is more important: the protection of a terrorist from torture or the survival of perhaps millions of Americans? It should be noted that President Obama’s claim that we’re safer by this protection of the comfort of terrorists is a mistaken. The genocidal maniacs and terrorists that want to slaughter as many innocents as possible will not be deterred by our practices or by any other form of President Obama sweet-talk. This is just another bit of evidence that President Obama doesn’t get it when it comes to how and why terrorists behave.

The Obama administration sent another signal of weakness and retreat when his Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, appeared before Congress, and in her opening statement, failed to mention the words terrorism, al-Qaida or vulnerability even once. Previous Homeland Security chiefs mentioned terrorism many times. She is the first not to mention it.

A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security said this is just a question of semantics. Call it what you will, but when you can’t call the central problem of our time by its name, you’re in trouble. Here is another example of how political correctness interferes in our ability to fight the war on terrorism.

Columnist Charles Krauthammer made a telling point: When a reporter calls the Department of Defense and asks about the prisoners at Guantanamo, he is referred to the Department of Justice. This indicates that the Obama administration, like the Clinton administration, is going back to approaching terrorism as a law enforcement issue instead of a defense and war issue.

The Clinton approach led to a series of terrorists attacks on American interests around the world culminating in 9/11. President Obama is starting down that same path of weakness and folly. After Pearl Harbor, he would have called a grand jury to investigate the Japanese admirals instead of going to war.

There was another security-related issue not even mentioned in the Obama speech: immigration and border security. This also has important economic implications, especially for border states like California and Texas. This was not mentioned, as President Obama probably didn’t want to offend Hispanic voters.

What he did say is just as disconcerting as what he avoided talking about. President Obama’s speech was a series of Orwellian inversions — describing the things he is talking about by using words that are the opposite of the truth. Orwell would make evil into good, the false into the true, slavery into freedom, imprisonment into liberty, immoral into moral and idiocy into genius. This was described in George Orwell’s novel 1984, in which the totalitarian protagonists used Newspeak to communicate in code language to disguise the truth.

President Obama is clearly a master of Newspeak, as he again demonstrated in his speech before Congress:

• He says he’s against big government and is in the process of the largest expansion of government in history.

• He says we’ve got to pare down the deficit, but he’s off on the greatest spending spree in history. Estimates run as high as $4 to $5 trillion in history but he’s spending more money than anyone in history. As I was writing this column,  I learned he’s coming forth with his universal health insurance plan that will cost $1 trillion. And history suggests the estimates of costs of such health programs are only a small fraction of the real costs.

• He says he’s against earmarks and pet projects, but he’s about to back a budget bill with close to 9,000 earmarks and has already passed his stimulus bill totally stuffed with earmarks and pet projects. In fact, his massive stimulus law has been described as one big earmark. If he was a leader instead of a blowhard, he could put an end to earmarks, pork and pet projects here and now.

• He also changes what is actually welfare, into what he calls tax cuts. When he says that 95 percent of Americans will get a tax cut, many of those aren’t even paying taxes. So this part of the stimulus law merely provides for more welfare payments in the guise of tax reductions.

• Where is all this money going to come from? He is going to repeal the Bush tax cuts and place the tax burden for this new spending on those making over $250,000 a year. The new universal health insurance bill will also be financed in part by another new tax on those making over $250,000. President Obama’s approach will put such a heavy burden on that small segment of the population that they will give up as businessmen, entrepreneurs and innovators. This is ridiculous at any time, but what is more ridiculous in a time of recession. The Wall Street Journal (Feb. 26) figured out that if you take everything earned by those making more than $250,000, you still won’t have enough money to pay for President Obama’s spending plans. President Obama is doing the opposite of what is called for and what Ronald Reagan did to get us out of the Carter recession he inherited. He is raising taxes instead of lowering them, and he is increasing spending instead of cutting it. His words are the opposite of the truth, and his policies are often the opposite of what works.

• He says almost everyone will get a tax cut, but he proposes cap and trade, which provides a tax on carbon emissions and regulations of them. This will amount to a tax increase on everyone, and it will amount to further regulatory burdens on business that will help slow economic recovery. It is the usual Democratic approach of piling on higher taxes and mor e regulation, one more strategy sure to stifle the economy.

• He says we got into the financial mess because regulation was gutted. But the key was that President Obama and his ilk refused reforms to put a stop to Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s irresponsible lending. He was too busy running for president and taking campaign contributions from the culprits to be interested in reform. President George W. Bush actually pushed for needed reforms but was opposed by the Democrats including President Obama.

• He blames the housing melt down on people who bought homes they couldn’t afford “from banks and lenders who pushed those loans anyway.” He conveniently forgets that he was among the leading opposition in attempts to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who were pushing loans for everyone, without following standard lending practices, as suggested above.

This whole program to give everyone home ownership (regardless of ability to pay for it) came out of Democratic legislation, was perpetuated by Democratic support and survived without reform because of Democrats like then-Sen. Obama and Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., now famous for taking a sweetheart deal from one of the mortgage lenders in the middle of the whole mess. President Obama bashes everyone, except the worst culprits.

• He says, and keeps saying, he’ll go over every budget and bill on a line-by-line basis to eliminate waste. But he passes the biggest spending bill in history, not only without doing that, but also gets it passed so fast that no one had a chance even to read it.

He says the stimulus bill is so big and so important that we’ve got to get it right. But no one had a chance even to review it and discuss it. And the stimulus package is so big and important that he’s putting Vice President Joe Biden in charge of its administration. He is unaware that Slow Joe rarely gets anything right and he started by not even knowing the address of the Web site where the stimulus law is to be monitored.

He said he was “embarrassed.” Finally someone apparently whispered to him that the Web address was Yes, Mr. Biden was embarrassed and so should America be for electing him as veep. Incidentally, he called the address of the Web site (technically a URL) a number. So he seems to get everything wrong, including the most basic things.

• President Obama says he is going to call out any mayor or anyone else who wastes stimulus law money. But he didn’t call himself out when he launches billions in pork, earmarks and pet projects without batting an eye.

• He says the answers to our problems “exist in our laboratories and universities, in our fields and our factories, in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on earth.” But instead of letting them do their thing, he expands government and acts as if government is to do everything for everybody. His spending and socialism will crowd out business and entrepreneurship that has made our economy the most prosperous in the world.

• He says we need to be energy independent and we need new sources of energy. Yet he doesn’t even mention the quickest and easiest way to get more energy and that’s offshore drilling. He also doesn’t even mention nuclear. He proposes billions for alternative energy and doesn’t have the foggiest idea if they will all work.

• He says it’s time for the country to take “responsibility for our future.” But he seems to think government, not people, will best carry out that responsibility.

• He complains in recent years that “we still managed to spend more money and pile up more debt, both as individuals and through our government than ever before.” That’s his complaint, but his answer is to keep living on a credit card mentality, as though there is no tomorrow.

And where was he on fiscal responsibility when he served in the U.S. Senate. He was going for earmarks and voting for spending following the Democratic Party line. His sudden frugality comes with a heavy coating of hypocrisy.

• He says his home mortgage plan will help “responsible owners,” not speculators and those who bought homes they couldn’t afford. This is just another bold-faced Obama lie, as there is no way to determine the responsible owners from what President Obama might consider the irresponsible ones. He seems to think that the 92 percent of those paying their mortgages on time won’t mind financing the 8 percent who don’t. He’s wrong on that.

• He warns us about passing debt onto the shoulders of our children and yet that’s exactly what he is doing on a grand scale never before seen in American history.

A key deficiency of the Obama approach is the lack of specificity. We still don’t know how he will deal with the banking crisis. As Sen. Lindsay Graham, R.-S.C., said, he condemns executives who fly off on their private jets and use taxpayer money to pad their paychecks, but doesn’t tell us what he will do with the banks.

In other words, he is big on demagoguery, but short on real solutions. He says he’ll set up a lending fund to grant auto loans, college loans and small business loans. But that’s all he says. Is that just another socialist government agency to dole out money to all comers? He doesn’t explain. It just sounds good to be giving everyone loans so they can buy cars, etc.

This Obama program is a grand brew of Orwellian logic, unmitigated hypocrisy and bold-faced lies. What is most disheartening is that it is being swallowed hook, line and sinker by so many Americans. Maybe they really believe that President Obama can give almost everyone tax cuts, spend trillions of dollars, reduce the deficit, give everyone health care, provide all students with a college education and finance the creation of the alternative energy industry to make us energy independent.

He’s going to give everybody everything except the Brooklyn Bridge and a chicken in every pot. If they believe that, they probably also believe he is the Messiah. My only recommendation is that the President Obama lovers should listen to his words, not just the music of his oratory. There is often a dramatic difference between reading a speech and just listening to the oratory. Listen to what he says, not just how he says it.

Too many people, even pundits, seem to be overly impressed by how it’s said rather than what is said. Bill O’Reilly, the most watched pundit on cable TV, started his comments about the speech by saying that it was a “good speech and wasn’t boring.”

I don’t tune into people like Mr. O’Reilly to hear it was a “good speech” and wasn’t boring. Most people can figure that out on their own. I want to hear what the proposals will do to the country. I’m tired of hearing about Mr. Obama’s oratory, his charisma and his likeability. I want pundits to tell me what he’s doing to the country.

Herb Denenberg is a former Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner, and professor at the Wharton School. He is a longtime Philadelphia journalist and  consumer advocate. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of the Sciences. His column appears daily in The Bulletin. You can reach him at

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: denenberg; economy; obama; terrorism
The Bulletin is a small but growing Conservative newspaper in Philadelphia and has other good articles, try checking it out at link.
1 posted on 02/27/2009 9:37:47 AM PST by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo

Obama speaks with a forked tongue. He uses phrases that are going around the public and concerns that people have. He puts them in his speeches and that’s what people hear. The devil is in the details however. His policies are the complete opposite of what he claims his concerns are. His speeches are full of this but the media fails to call him on this. They are so in-love.

2 posted on 02/27/2009 9:41:52 AM PST by crymeariver (Good a way)
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To: jazusamo

“I’m tired of hearing about Mr. Obama’s oratory, his charisma and his likeability. I want pundits to tell me what he’s doing to the country.”
- - - - - - - - - - -

It’s not happening. The MSM is deliberately keeping the dunces and sheeple in the dark. It’s part of the strategy of the treasonous propaganda machine.

3 posted on 02/27/2009 9:44:10 AM PST by Canedawg (Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.)
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To: jazusamo

Liberals views on terrorism and the military are stupidly similiar to the views on crime/prison.

“Crime is down despite increase in prisoners”. They lack the fundamental ability to add two plus two or see a correlation between the two things.

“We haven’t been attacked by terrorist in a really long time, therefore the threat is over and we don’t need to do the same things that prevented terrorism from attacking us again”. They cannot grasp that the things that kept us from being attacked are the very things they want to remove.

And when there are likely tens of thousands of death NEXT time (and there will be a next time, you can be assured of that) they will sit back and wonder what we did to make those darn terrorists so angry. I mean we left the middle east!

4 posted on 02/27/2009 9:46:30 AM PST by autumnraine (Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose- Kris Kristoferrson VIVA LA REVOLUTION!)
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To: crymeariver

An example of his forked tongue is “the answer is not big government” yet his plans are 100% big government. Whatever he hears the public is saying “why should I pay for someone’s mortgage?” he will put in his speeches. I bet he has someone that monitors bumper stickers. Obama is the bumper sticker president!!

5 posted on 02/27/2009 9:46:49 AM PST by crymeariver (Good a way)
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To: crymeariver

You’re correct. He’s very good at one liners that appeal to his worshipers and the enemedia will not bring out the fact that everything he is proposing simply cannot be done.

6 posted on 02/27/2009 9:51:09 AM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: autumnraine

Sadly I believe you’re correct, talking to these terrorists as he wants to do only shows his weakness in their eyes and will ensure new attacks.

7 posted on 02/27/2009 9:55:34 AM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: crymeariver

I agree with you Obama cant talk about deficeit reduction when you introduce a 3 trillion dollar budget. I cant believe people voted for this guy who ants to throw money at everything and truely believes that money will solve the problem. I goto the to seek answers all of the time because they dont hold back the trueth at that website.

8 posted on 02/27/2009 10:08:12 AM PST by exposeliberalpolicy
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To: jazusamo

Didn’t they already refer to him as a “house boy”?

9 posted on 02/27/2009 10:44:50 AM PST by GWMcClintock ("When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Ps. 11:3)
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To: GWMcClintock

They may have, I’m not sure but it sounds familiar. I am sure of one thing and that is terrorists are very happy he was elected.

10 posted on 02/27/2009 10:51:01 AM PST by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: autumnraine

“And when there are likely tens of thousands of death NEXT time (and there will be a next time, you can be assured of that) they will sit back and wonder what we did to make those darn terrorists so angry. I mean we left the middle east!”

You are overly optimistic about the ability of leftists to discern reality. They will say: See what George Bush’s policies caused! or,

Now, we must give the messiah more power!

or both.

11 posted on 02/27/2009 11:19:24 AM PST by marktwain
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