By Mark Esposito, Weekend Blogger
I have been reading about the latest Breitbart-inspired dire prediction of the nefarious ( and possibly illegal) machinations of the Obama Administration. You know “Green Paper-Gate.” It’s the one where the conservative blog, Breitbart, reports that a draft solicitation proposal for purchase of green paper issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services definitely means that the Obama Administration is secretly planning a massive amnesty campaign of undocumented aliens. And, worse still, that it’s keeping that secret until after the mid-term elections as a boon to Democratic candidates. I went back and took a look at the proposal and here is the offending language: “The requirement is for an estimated 4 million cards annually with the potential to buy as many as 34 million cards total. The ordering periods for this requirement shall be for a total of five (5) years.” A draft RFP issued a few days later contains the same language but adds the following: “In addition, the Contractor shall demonstrate the capability to support potential “surge” in PRC and EAD card demand for up to 9M cards during the initial period of performance to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements.” You can view the proposal (here) and the RFP (here) and then read all the GSA bureaucratic verbiage for yourself. Have a good time.
Breitbart tried to put the RFP in a little perspective quoting Jessica Vaughan, an immigration expert at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), who said “currently about 4.5 million individuals [are] waiting for approval for the green cards having followed immigration law and obtained sponsorships from relatives in the U.S. or otherwise, less than the number of id cards contemplated by the USCIS “surge.” (here) The CIS bills itself as a “nonpartisan, politically conservative non-profit research organization that advocates immigration reduction in the United States.” (here) (Not sure how you can be both nonpartisan and conservative in this day and time but, hey, call yourself what you want. It’s a Frank Luntz country, ain’t it?) So while the sky wasn’t falling for the conservative expert on the topic, after all she admitted we need at least 4.5 million, it was for others who demanded to know what about those other 4.5 million pieces of green card stock?
It’s was like that other “scandal” this past January when the Department of Homeland Security was charged by conservatives with increasing its buy of tons and tons of ammo to … what else … shoot citizens. Turns out the GAO said that purchases for the practice ammo had actually been going down for DHS since 2009 but no matter the Right knew better and why let the facts get in the way of a good conspiracy against our freedom. We were all at risk this past Spring. Then the same charge was leveled at the US Post Office in April for ammo buys for its postal inspectors. Same result. A big yawn and another reasonable explanation. Plus no sightings of advancing postal trucks or DHS vans on American cities so far.
The Right’s “reasoning” like with the ammo scandals went like this: Obama said immigration reform will come (here) but he didn’t lay it all out for us and now we uncover (in public documents, mind you) that lots of green paper is ordered for green cards. Aha! Ipso facto, Obama is trying to pull one over on us after the mid-term elections and doing an end run around those diligent, hardworking representatives of the people in Congress with a dirty little Executive order! The conservatives knew it. And they ought to, since their guy, President George W. Bush, issued about 100 more such fiats than Obama. And that secular saint of the Right, Ronald Reagan, proclaimed about 200 more than the current inhabitant of the White House. (here). The White House through its spokesman denied the charge, but, no matter – dogma must be fulfilled.
And the sky is falling once again.
To assess my chances of surviving this latest Obama-borne threat to democracy, I decided to look back at some other historical predictions about Obama by our conservative stallions to figure out their track record. Not wanting to skew the informal poll, I just went back to around the time of 2012 election because I didn’t want to be accused of citing people who really didn’t know much about Obama. And I wanted enlightened conservatives who had some experience with the President and could detect a pattern based on his prior performance.
Boy, I found ’em:
The Great Election of 2012: A Romney Sweep
Conservative pundits from Rush Limbaugh to insider, Dick Morris, to Mr. Romney himself were all but certain of a landslide for the GOP backed candidate. After all, Obama was vulnerable and slipping in the public opinion polls. Here’s the right-wing prognostications: (here)
• Dick Morris: “Prediction: Romney 325, Obama 213”
• Glenn Beck: “321-217 victory for Romney in the electoral college.”
• Rush Limbaugh: “Everything — Except the Polls — Points to a Romney Landslide”
• Michael Barone: “Romney Beats Obama, Handily”
• George Will: Romney 321, Obama 217
• Newsmax: “Expect a Mitt Romney Landslide”
• Larry Kudlow: “I am now predicting a 330 vote electoral landslide.”
Well, the landslide came but it just piled right on the wrong candidate – Obama 332- Romney 206.
If Obama Is Elected The Economy Will Tank
Well if you had any questions about who you wanted to vote for in the 2012 election, this should have put that to bed:
Rush Limbaugh: “How long does this country have if Obama wins? We’re headed toward an economic collapse and we are the leader of the world. And when it happens to us, there are reverberations all over the world, it’s not like some poll dunk little European country collapsing that goes to another poll dunk European country for a bailout. When we collapse, world-wide reverberation. How long is it going to take? I’m asking a serious question. 18 months? You throw ObamaCare on to what we know what we are going to get from Obama, more debt, more spending, the expansion of the welfare state, how long can this go on?” (here)
Steve McCann: “Since 2008, the nation’s debt has increased by 75% and will, per Obama’s own budget proposal, more than double (up 130%) by the end of an Obama second term, just four years away. The unfunded liabilities of the U.S. are now 14 times larger than the nation’s annual economic output (GDP). Government at all levels (federal, state, and local) is now spending the equivalent of 40% of the nation’s annual GDP. It will increase to 46-plus percent when ObamaCare and other programs are fully implemented. The real unemployment rate today (counting all who dropped out of the labor force) is approaching 19%, and over 50% of recent college graduates are unemployed or grossly under-employed, with no hope in sight. There has been a concerted effort by this administration to centralize economic control in Washington through onerous mandates, regulations, and proposed taxes, thus discouraging wealth- and job-creation and forcing many businesses to contemplate a move overseas. The result of all the above is little or no economic growth, thus diminishing tax revenues and forcing more reliance on borrowing to fund the promised spending.Borrowing that will one day in the not too distant future cost the United States an exorbitant interest rate, combined with a demand for real austerity and a de facto loss of sovereignty, would cement in stone an inevitable collapse.” (here).
David Harsanyi: “To begin with, Conquest, Famine, War, Death—the four horsemen of the Obama Era— are coming, and they are coming in the form of a national debt disaster, an epidemic of government dependence, an erosion of our world standing, and a nihilistic view about the value of human life. If our federal government had been inclined to do anything to avoid these impending catastrophes—and I’m not sure it ever was—that day has now passed. Barack Obama’s reelection ensures we’ll be deal- ing with some level of societal instability and economic calamity in the future.” (here)
Well, let’s take a look at that most sour dish of all, The Proof Pudding:
According to MarketWatch we are in perilous times indeed – if you mean unprecedented growth of national wealth. Here’s the numbers from columnist Paul B. Ferrell writing this year:
Folks, this stock market has been roaring since March 2009 when the DJIA bottomed at 6,547, a painful 53.9% drop from the October 2007 high of 14,164 during the Wall Street bank credit crash in Bush’s last year as president. The S&P 500 also bottomed, at 676, a 56.6% drop.
However, since March 2009 the stock market has been steadily climbing. Over five years. And the DJIA’s made a remarkable recovery, to just under its next big milestone, 17,000. While the S&P500 is nearing 2,000, headed up. Yes, market gains over 250% … and still climbing!
So what can we expect from the stock market by 2016 and the election of the next American president? More! Fabulous 250% gains so far. And bigger gains possible coming in the next couple years till we elect a new president. Maybe over 300%. Gains likely to favor a Democrat. (here)
After a bad couple of weeks, the Dow Jones closed Friday at 16,805.41 or about 10,000 points over the Bush manufactured low in 2009. And US per capita income is up about $3,000.00 since 2007. Not great but hardly a collapse.
The Great Threat To Freedom From the NDAA of 2012
Ok, so this is a little before 2012 but it’s too good to pass up. Liberal leaning Senator Carl Levin backed this money bill and helped inserted a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 calling for anyone who commits a “belligerent act” against the United States or its coalition allies in aid of such enemy forces, under the law of war, may be detained “without trial, until the end of the hostilities authorized by the [act of Congress authorizing military force to kill or capture those responsible for terrorist acts like the one on 911″. The text authorizes trial by military tribunal.” The Administration bucked at language which says that “U.S. citizens and lawful residents would not be subject to this section.” Pundits on both sides of the political spectrum blasted the law as a precursor to tyranny even though the bill added that “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.” A trio of Supreme Court cases had already decided that American citizens were not subject to detention without trial while on American soil( Hamdi, Hamdan and Rasul) and a Presidential Policy Directive had made it clear that “‘covered persons’ applies only to a person who is not a citizen of the United States and who is a member or part of al-Qaeda or an associated force that acts in coordination with or pursuant to the direction of al-Qaeda.”
The conservatives were in the forefront with even more dire predictions though even the Left got it wrong as well:
Rush Limbaugh: “… you know what this thing does? It allows the United States military to detain anybody for no reason! They don’t even have to charge you. I mean, this is specified. This is not the Patriot Act. This is way beyond. This is total authoritarianism. This is the kind of stuff that exists in Third World banana republics. The government can detain anybody! ” (here).
Glenn Beck: “[Obama] can scoop any American citizen up in the middle of the night and hold them without trial and without charge indefinitely. This is so anti-American ….” (here).
Ron Paul on NDAA: “…bold and dangerous attempt to establish martial law in America.” (here)
Rep. Justin Amash (R:MI): NDAA was “carefully crafted to mislead the public.”(here)
Some conservative bloggers even charged that Andrew Breitbart was murdered by the CIA as a result of his opposition to the NDAA of 2012 despite a death certificate finding death by natural causes.
So where are the barbed-wire ringed gulags? The knocks in the middle of the night? The detentions without trial of American citizens by fatigue -clad soldiers? Well, nowhere because the threats of doom and gloom simply didn’t materialize in the two years since the threat was passed into law. Could they? Sure, but not likely and not because of the NDAA of 2012 as many on the Right predicted with support from the paranoia on the Left.
ObamaCare Will Never Be Popular and Will Bankrupt The Nation
This was a doozy as the Right ciphered long and hard to fight extending any sort of health insurance to the nation’s uninsured pool where about 25,000 Americans each year were dying from little or no healthcare. Though eight times the number of Americans were dying annually compared to those souls lost in the 911 attacks, there was no outcry on the Right to do anything. They were fat and happy with their own healthcare and the huge profits healthcare companies were making even during the recession of 2008-09. To the Right, ObamaCare represented a threat even though the provision most heinous to Big Hospital (single payer) was already out the door. Let’s see how the Right predicted it would go:
House Speaker John Boehner: ” [It’s] a rolling calamity that must be scrapped ….”When you step back and look at the totality of this, I don’t think it’s ever going to work.”
Senator Orrin Hatch: “At this pace, the Obama Administration will never be able to meet their enrollment goals”
Senator John Barrasso: “It looks to me like we are going to end up in what’s called an insurance death spiral. It’s going to go down, down, and then you are looking at, to me, a massive government bailout of this entire health care law.”
Jay Cost of the Weekly Standard, in February: “It is clear by now that the administration will not reach the original CBO estimate of 7 million enrollees by the deadline at the end of March.”
The actual scorecard: 8 million insurance sign-ups before the official end of Obamacare’s open enrollment period. The actual target goal for success set by the Congressional Budget Office in 2007 was 7 million. (here) According to an April Gallup study all about 15 million folks who didn’t have health insurance before the ACA was signed into law in 2010 are now covered dropping the total percentage of uninsured adults in the US from 18% to 13.4%. What a disaster!
Oh, and how popular is ObamaCare? Well, about like free beer. Americans love ObamaCare according to the Los Angeles Times (here) chiming in with an 88% approval rate when asked about its actual provisions.
The President Is Totally Unprepared For The Ebola Plague About To Sweep The Land And Actually Welcomes It
A visitor from Africa walks into and then out of a Dallas hospital emergency department after being cleared with a minor cold. Upon his return, it is discovered he has Ebola. The nation springs into self-defense alert as the New Black Death has finally reached our shores from that third-world, land out-over in Africa and instead of people of color dying, it’s us! America is woefully ill-prepared, we’re told. First a nurse gets the virus, then her dog Bentley. She’s shipped off to the NIH facility near D.C. with a very guarded prognosis. Then another nurse in Dallas and then a doctor in New York. Then, Heaven forbid, a cruise ship can’t dock at a tropical port because an American might have it. Now, we are wanting to race for the hills screaming, our arms waving above our heads. Break out the sulfur pots! The Plague is here! And by the way, why isn’t our President more prepared and quarantining all those people of color from over there?
The Right knows the answer and how to deal with it:
christwire.org: “Obama is Infecting Christians with Ebola To Destroy Jesus and Start A New Age of Liberal Darkness” (here)
Donald Trump via Twitter: “If this doctor, who so recklessly flew into New York from West Africa,has Ebola,then Obama should apologize to the American people & resign!”
WND’s Aaron Kline: “Obama brings in 1,900 people from another Ebola nation.” [Do any have Ebola? No mention in the article here]
Rep. Dan Issa (R.Cal); “’When the head of the C.D.C. says you can’t get it with somebody on the bus next to you, that’s just not true,’ Mr. Issa said, adding that a person carrying the virus could transmit it on public transportation by vomiting on another passenger.” (here)
And my favorite, here is the resident “Leader of the Loyal Opposition,” Rush Limbaugh explaining how the liberals in the media will spin the Ebola Plague: “If Ebola starts spreading quickly in the United States, and if the death toll rises rapidly, I want you to be prepared for the fact that this will be a disease created by the CIA or other powerful majorities for the purposes of wiping out minorities. That is how it will be — and not in kookville. This will be mainstream stuff. College professors will tell their students this. Others will discuss it on cable television, much like they discuss the “art” in a movie on how to assassinate George W. Bush. They will discuss whether or not we need to consider such theories; could they, in fact, be possible. In fact this prediction’s already beginning to come true because Calypso Louie, “Minister Farrakhan” of the Nation of Islam, is already saying so. The CIA created AIDS, too. It’s out there now, and Calypso Louie, think of him as a kook, if you will, but he’s got followers that believe everything he says. They tell other people who believe what they say and it mushrooms. If we, the United States of America, come up with, at some point, a pretty widespread available treatment for Ebola — if we, with our advanced medical research systems in this country are able to come up with a massive amount of that serum which comes from the tobacco plant….”
Now for the truth: Here is Dallas Nurse Nina Pham, fresh out of quarantine and showing her feelings to the President after being declared “Ebola Free” by those unprepared folks at NIH:
All the rest of the hospital staff have now cleared quarantine and are disease free. The death count so far from this scourge: 1 dead, 3 sick. In any given year, about 200,000 people are hospitalized from the flu and between 3,000 to 49,000 people will die according to the CDC (here).
So what to make of the most recent tissue paper prediction of doom and gloom? Well, it’s certainly shooting fish in a barrel to pick out the silly conservative prognostications that are made of whole cloth and designed solely to discredit the twice-elected President. There’s so damn many of them. Lots of dumb things being said by lots of seemingly smart people. The curiosity is that there just aren’t a lot of conservative voices saying anything different. That shoves credibility right out the window.
The conservative credibility problem is two-fold: First, these predictions are, by and large, made by mainstream conservative policy makers, office holders and shapers of public opinion not the fringe crazies. Second, they are never rebutted by any other segment of the mainstream conservative movement even when they go terribly wrong.
Does the Left make crazy predictions to serve their own ends? Sure they do and have done so — especially in the case of the NDAA of 2012 as well as in many instances involving George W. Bush (remember the “October Surprise” to give Bush a third term? Oh, the Right is predicting that about Obama, too (here)), but the difference is that, for the Left, it’s not monolithic and the silliness doesn’t march unrebutted or uncriticised in its own camp. For all it’s flaws, the Left has never been monolithic nor has it ever preached the mantra of never criticizing it’s own. That’s the Reagan Doctrine not the Will Rogers Doctrine, the American humorist who once presciently quipped, “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”
Prediction is a very tricky thing to be sure as nuclear physicist Nihls Bohr reminded us “especially if it’s about the future.” So when confronted with yet another atomic prediction about the Obama Administration suggesting that it, yet again, runs rough-shod over the Constitution like the predictions about the Benghazi attacks or the IRS E-mails or the most recent Green Paper-Gate, excuse me if I’m more than a little … excuse the pun … jaded.
~Mark Esposito, Weekend Blogger
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