Obama Turns Cabinet Members Loose to Scare the S*#t Out of Everybody About Sequestration

For a few months up to now, President Obama’s Cabinet members had been kept under wraps as far as talking about the effects the looming sequestration could have on the day-to-day lives of Americans. Now, however, is the time for maximum fear mongering, so in addition to the White House’s usual display of human props (firefighters, police, teachers, etc) the gag order has been lifted on Cabinet members:

They’ve even turned their Cabinet members loose, dispatching them across the country after previously keeping them under a gag order on the spending cuts. The White House put the Office of Management and Budget in charge of the messaging on the domestic side of the cuts for agencies, keeping agency heads on a short leash when it came to talking about sequester — leaving Obama to do most of the talking himself. The Cabinet trips suggest the White House realizes they need to bring new voices into the fight as both sides jockey to avoid getting blamed for the cuts in the closing days.

Currently leading the Cabinet member charge is Ray LaHood, who’s telling air travelers that their odds of dying of natural causes while waiting in line at security checkpoints are about to go up:

Outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has a frightening message: Air travel could get worse.

The Obama Cabinet member and former Republican congressman made a surprise appearance at Friday’s White House press briefing to warn that the looming automatic budget cuts set to go into effect on March 1 could lead to even longer air travel delays.

“Travelers should expect delays of up to 90 minutes at peak airports during sequester,” starting on April 1, LaHood said. “It’s going to be very painful for the flying public.”

Maybe the lines would move faster if they’d call a moratorium on comprehensive screenings of wheelchair-bound little kids and their stuffed animals.

LaHood’s currently Obama’s favorite tool because he’s allegedly a Republican (any actual “Republican” would have resigned before agreeing to administer Cash for Clunkers).

And what good scare mongering would be complete without threats to the health of children?

The automatic spending cuts to the federal budget that will take place beginning March 1 unless sequestration is prevented could expose thousands of children to lead poisoning and other toxins, according to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.

“Cuts to our office of healthy homes and lead hazard control and related programs would result in more than 3,000 of the most vulnerable children not being protected from lead poisoning or other hazards in their homes,” Donovan said Thursday at a hearing on the sequester portion of the Budget Control Act of 2012.

So we’ve got Obama pushing for $50 billion more in “stimulus” that apparently we can easily afford no matter what, but the same administration can’t find a way to shift a few dollars around in the budget “for the children”?

The upcoming days and weeks are sure to be a circus.

Update: Candy Crowley on CNN called out Ray LaHood big time this morning.
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Slightly off topic, did you see Kyle Larson & company do their impression of the US economy in the age of Hope & Change at the Nationwide 300 yesterday?

View from the stands here.

Fran Tarkenton Provides Obama with Concrete Evidence That Head Trauma is Clouding the Judgment of Some Former NFL Players

President Obama may well view this column by the former Minnesota Vikings quarterback as proof-positive that the head injuries suffered by football players have totally clouded their thought process and something must be done before it’s too late:

Pro golfer Phil Mickelson has gotten a lot of flak for his recent comments about threatening to make “drastic changes” in his life due to state and federal tax increases. Never mind that he later backed off, saying he should have kept his thoughts to himself and apologized to those he “upset or insulted.”

Mickelson was telling the truth. If there’s anything that should upset or insult Americans, it’s just how much of their money the government takes. Mickelson estimates that more than 60% of his earnings are snatched in federal and state taxes (he lives in California). Should a private citizen, no matter how successful, really owe the government more than half of what he or she makes? Intuitively, this cannot make sense to anyone who believes in the principles of hard work and personal responsibility.

Tarkenton obviously suffered too many blows to the head during his playing days. Don’t worry — Congress will be on it very soon. Hold tight, Fran, help is on the way!

tarkenton

Many Democrats believe trauma caused by repeated blows to the head may have caused Fran Tarkenton to suffer delusions of over-taxation

(h/t Instapundit)

Gridiron Control? Football Will Have to Change to Reduce Some of the Violence, Says Obama

obamafootball

We already know that if President Obama had a son, he’d look like Trayvon, but now we know that Obama’s hypothetical son would also probably not be allowed to play football:

“I’m a big football fan, but I have to tell you if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football,” says the president of the United States, the father of two young girls. “And I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence. In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won’t have to examine our consciences quite as much.”

Do we have “football control” to look forward to? Dianne Feinstein’s gun control bill probably would outlaw use of the “shotgun formation,” but there is obviously more work to be done.

Hey, did the guy who once voted to keep third trimester abortions legal just say football makes him examine his conscience?

For some reason I’m now assuming that Obama’s next big push will be to allow college football players to unionize… for their own safety:

“I tend to be more worried about college players than NFL players in the sense that the NFL players have a union, they’re grown men, they can make some of these decisions on their own, and most of them are well-compensated for the violence they do to their bodies.”

I’m sure an excited Richard Trumka has already been on the phone to the White House giving Obama his proposal to unionize NCAA football players.

Doofus Sports Writer: Tea Party Types are the Reason No Players Were Nominated This Year for the Hall of Fame

For people like this, when it comes to finding excuses to take swipes at the Tea Party, no topic is too ridiculous:

While lamenting how perpetually-snubbed candidate pitcher Jack Morris seems to get a bad rap from sabermetric analysts, Rosenthal felt it the opportune moment to invoke the Tea Party movement as an analogy for the divisiveness of the baseball insiders who prevent the pitchers’ nomination:

I will say this about Morris. I don’t vote for him, but the level of discourse against him by certain segments of the sabermetric community right now is over the top. It’s almost a crusade and it’s ridiculous. And one thing that has bothered me at times, some of us, is the polarized view of the world now that has come to pass. And it’s as if the Tea Party has taken over one part of baseball discussion. And that’s not right.

Rosenthal’s bitching about Tea Party-ish people being the reason there were no inductees voted in this year, but he voted against Jack Morris? Welcome to the Tea Party, pal!

By the way, I think Jack Morris should be in the Hall, but I’m biased:

Tuesday Morning/Afternoon Open Thread: Brent Musburger Mentors Boys on How to Pick Up Chicks as Hot as AJ McCarron’s Girlfriend

Lots going on this morning and early afternoon, so I doubt I’ll be able to get to anything of political substance until a little later.

Until then, here’s Brent Musburger’s mind (and other things) wandering during last night’s Notre Dame/Alabama game. When I was a kid I don’t recall Tom Brookshier giving pointers like this during his play-by-play calls:

For a minute there I thought Brent was going to start diagramming with the telestrator ala John Madden. “Boom!”

I’ll be back in a while. For some reason my son wants to go out into the backyard and throw the football around.

ESPN Panelist: Robert Griffin III Might Not Be ‘One of Us’ Because He’s Got a White Girlfriend and Might Be a Republican

Translation: “RGIII could have a mind of his own, and we can’t have any of that!”

When asked about what RG3 had to say about being an African American quarterback, ESPN panelist Rob Parker, an African American himself, (Twitter handle @RobParkerESPN) had this to say. Transcriptions came from Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post.

‘But time and time we keep hearing this, so it just makes me wonder deeper about him,’ Parker said. ‘And I’ve talked to some people down in Washington D.C., friends of mine, who are around and at some of the press conferences, people I’ve known for a long time. But my question, which is just a straight honest question. Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother?’

He continued with, ‘Well, [that] he’s black, he kind of does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause, he’s not one of us,’ Parker explained. ‘He’s kind of black, but he’s not really the guy you’d really want to hang out with, because he’s off to do something else.’

And then when he was asked why, he answered with this.

‘Well, because I want to find out about him,’ Parker said. ‘I don’t know, because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancée. There was all this talk about he’s a Republican, which, there’s no information [about that] at all. I’m just trying to dig deeper as to why he has an issue. Because we did find out with Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods was like I’ve got black skin but don’t call me black. So people got to wondering about Tiger Woods early on.’

Parker used to write for the Detroit News and was often trying to say things with the intent of making a national splash, and obviously he’s succeeded:

Bob Costas Agrees: Handguns Have to Go

You knew it would be said, but I thought Bob Costas might have been one that would have at least waited until all the facts are known before going off in this direction. I was wrong:

BOB COSTAS: Well, you knew it was coming. In the aftermath of the nearly unfathomable events in Kansas City, that most mindless of sports clichés was heard yet again: Something like this really puts it all in perspective. Well, if so, that sort of perspective has a very short shelf-life since we will inevitably hear about the perspective we have supposedly again regained the next time ugly reality intrudes upon our games. Please, those who need tragedies to continually recalibrate their sense of proportion about sports would seem to have little hope of ever truly achieving perspective. You want some actual perspective on this? Well, a bit of it comes from the Kansas City-based writer Jason Whitlock with whom I do not always agree, but who today said it so well that we may as well just quote or paraphrase from the end of his article.

“Our current gun culture,”Whitlock wrote, “ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy and that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead.”

“Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it. In the coming days, Jovan Belcher’s actions, and their possible connection to football will be analyzed. Who knows?”

“But here,” wrote Jason Whitlock,” is what I believe. If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”

Yeah, just like O.J. Simpson. If he hadn’t had a… wait, nevermind.

The author quoted by Costas notes Belcher’s actions could have a “possible connection to football” — and yet Whitlock and Costas never once claimed that it might be necessary to ban football?

There’s a tremendous hole in the argument of those pushing to make handguns illegal everywhere. Murder is also illegal. If someone isn’t dissuaded by the latter law, what makes anybody think the former will deter them? Designing more laws to stop people who don’t pay attention to laws seems stupid, but what do I know? I’m just a bitter clinger.

Ben Stein made some good points in this article published over the summer:

In Sandpoint, North Idaho, where I live for most of the summer, it’s extremely easy to buy a gun. You can buy them at stores and at gun shows, or just at yard sales. Yet there are almost no gun deaths in Bonner County, Idaho.

The last ones of note in North Idaho were done by the FBI at Ruby Ridge, and that’s a different story.

On the other hand, in my beloved Los Angeles, where I live most of the year, there’s extremely strict gun control. It’s a real project to buy a gun.

Here, we have gang shootings and death by guns on a terrifying scale. In my native city of Washington, D.C., the same goes: Strict gun control and lots of shootings.

The same goes for Chicago. Strict gun control and a lot of killing.

Obviously, Sandpoint, Idaho, is a very much calmer place than Chicago, and I’m not saying that people in Chicago should be allowed to just tote guns in their cars the way many can, and do, in North Idaho.

But my point is that there is nothing easy or simple about the relationship between gun control and crime. If a man had started shooting in a crowd in North Idaho, probably several men in the crowd would have shot him down immediately. Maybe a woman, too.

I’m not for vigilante law enforcement. But I am also not for government disarming everyone but criminals.

Here’s Costas from last night, presumably spoken while guards carrying handguns kept NBC’s perimeter secure:

Update: It had to be said.

Obama Saves the NFL!

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At least that’s the spin at the top of this ESPN story about the regular NFL officials getting back to work as of Thursday evening:

The negative backlash from the Green Bay Packers’ loss to the Seattle Seahawks on “Monday Night Football” pressured the NFL into getting this deal done. With President Obama expressing his disappointment with the replacement officiating and poor officiating being the lead story of network news coverage, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had to act — and he did.

Gutsy call. Chris Matthews will no doubt be fondling himself over this for the next several weeks. Obama is reported to be pleased, though I don’t know why — there’s now one less thing not related to the lousy domestic economy or the Middle East powder keg with which to try to distract voters.

Take an anti-nausea pill, because I expect a large chunk of the MSM (and select sports outlets) to run with the “Obama saves the NFL” angle all weekend. It beats talking about things that really matter.

(h/t Ace of Spades)

Golf Lovers Democratic Lobbyists Ask Republicans to Stop Making Jokes About Obama’s Golfing

It was his 100th round of golf since taking office … Obama’s staff is a little concerned. They’re concerned all this golf is cutting into his fund-raising.
Jay Leno
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At the GOP convention in Tampa, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said the following: “Our problem with President Obama isn’t that he’s a bad person. By all accounts, he too is a good husband and a good father and — thanks to lots of practice — a good golfer. Our problem is not that he’s a bad person. Our problem is that he’s a bad president.”

A few days ago, “We Are Golf,” which is a pro-golf lobby group, wrote a letter urging Senator Marco Rubio (and others) to stop cracking wise about President Obama’s “passion for golf”:

“As we enter the final stretch of campaign season,” the group writes, “we write to make a request we hope you will receive in the same spirit in which it is offered. Please reconsider your political strategy of criticizing President Obama’s passion for golf.” (Emphasis theirs.)

Have you ever heard anybody say “I’m not going to the course today because Marco Rubio made a joke about Obama’s golfing”? Me neither. Besides, if “We Are Golf” wanted to help the industry, they should have sent a letter to President Obama last year after he advised people forced to cut back during this “recovery” to skip going out to dinner and put off taking vacations — which would presumably in many cases include a few rounds of golf. If anything’s a detriment to the golfing industry, it’s the Obama economy. Before too long the only way golf courses will be able to make money will be if they start accepting food stamps.

But this might help explain the real motivation behind the laughable effort to put the kibosh on more “Obama golfing while the world burns” mockery:

The Daily Caller has learned that Tony Podesta, a well-known Democratic lobbyist with strong ties to the Obama White House, is behind the We Are Golf coalition of golfing organizations that has sent letters to Republicans such as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio asking them to cut out the criticism of Obama’s golfing habits.

Melissa Low, a spokeswoman for the Club Managers Association of America, confirmed to TheDC on Thursday that Podesta was hired to help with the coalition. Other groups supporting the coalition include the PGA of America, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and the National Golf Course Association of America.

“The Podesta Group was retained to assist with advocacy and public relations for the coalition in early 2010,” Low said in response to an email from TheDC.

Tony Podesta formed the Podesta Group in 1988 with his brother, John Podesta, who led Obama’s transition effort.

I’m thinking about starting an organization that would more effectively help the industry: “The Coalition of People Seeking to Defeat Obama and Improve the Economy so More People Can Afford to Play Golf.” On November 6th, join the CPSDOIESMPCAPG in making a real change that will be beneficial to all industries, including golf. That’s no joke.

Podesta can rest easy, because there will be no “Obama is golfing again” jokes to be made today. Instead, cue the “Obama’s got more fundraisers today” jokes.