Ouch: African Activists Are Calling Obama ‘Tricky And Mischievous’ After One Comment He Made

Following protests in the days leading up to his African visit, Barack Obama has encountered opposition from numerous locals – including many who believe he addressed Ethiopia out of both sides of his mouth. Earlier this week, Obama stated that the nation enjoys a democratically elected government despite widespread reports of human rights abuses and oppression.

“It was kind of ironic that Obama was singing the praises of democracy in Ethiopia while ignoring its flaws there,” opined Ugandan security analyst Angelo Izama.

Many of those flaws were detailed in a recent U.S. Department of State report that lists “restrictions on freedom of expression, including continued restrictions on print media and on the Internet, and restrictions on freedom of association, including through arrests; politically motivated trials; and harassment and intimidation of opposition members and journalists” among Ethiopia’s most pressing human rights problems.

While Obama’s initial remarks garnered criticism, his apparent attempt to walk them back earned him the reputation among some as a mealy-mouthed politician.

He addressed the African Union Tuesday with a speech encouraging African leaders to embrace democracy, Al Jazeera America reported. Those who saw his comments as an about-face from his previous pronouncement complained that such behavior makes it more difficult to trust him.

“Yesterday he was a tricky and mischievous politician,” declared Ethiopian opposition party spokesman Yonathan Tesfaye. “And today he has become a passionate inspirational human rights activist. Which one should we believe? Which one should we go with?”

h/t: Al Jazeera America

Should Africans trust Obama? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Mark Levin: THIS Is What Obama Wants For Your Children’s Future

Mark Levin’s latest book, Plunder and Deceit: Big Government’s Exploitation of Young People and The Future, hits bookshelves on August 4; and already, it is generating buzz. It currently ranks #26 in Amazon’s rankings.

The Great One recently discussed the work on his radio program. Its premise is that the ruling generation is robbing the rising generation’s present and future. Some chapter topics include: The National Debt, Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare, Education, Immigration, Environment, Minimum Wage, National Security, and the Constitution.

Fellow former Reagan administration official Peter Ferrara highlights that Plunder and Deceit chronicles how today’s younger people are:

the first in modern history to have higher levels of poverty and unemployment and lower levels of wealth and personal income than their two immediate predecessor generations at the same ages. Instead of growing up and starting their own homes and families, record numbers are moving back in with mom and dad after “graduating” from college.

In his discussion concerning the National Debt, Levin offers some sobering numbers:

The nation’s fiscal operating debt was already $10.6 trillion on the day President Barack Obama took office in January 2009. By the end of January 2012, however, the fiscal operating debt had increased 44.5 percent to $15.4 trillion. As of April 12, 2015, the fiscal operating debt was $18.152 trillion — a 71 percent increase in less than six and one half years. Each man, woman, and child in this country’s share of the national debt has grown from $33,220 at the beginning of the Obama presidency to more than $56,900 today. To be sure, the debt habit began long before the Obama presidency, but it is now a full-blown addiction.

The Great One’s book is by no means all gloom and doom. After making sure his readers understand the scope of the problem, like an evangelist, he offers a road to salvation in the form of a “New Civil Rights Movement,” the title of the book’s final chapter. The movement must not be based on statist ideologies, but on the principles of constitutional liberty and economic freedom and opportunity.

“The challenge is formidable and the outcome uncertain, as is the case with most momentous causes, but there is no alternative…” writes Levin.

Levin’s former boss, President Ronald Reagan, once pointedly noted: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Levin promises his book is a guide to that end.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Americans Just Sent Obama A Clear Message Regarding The Iran Nuclear Deal

When roughly 10,000 Americans gathered in New York City’s Times Square to protest the controversial Iranian nuclear deal, it was obvious the proposed agreement was not only unpopular among foreign policy wonks, Republican naysayers and much of Israel’s population.

A recent CNN/ORC poll reveals just how divisive the agreement has become. As legislators continue digging into the deal’s details during a 60-day review period, a clear majority of the poll’s respondents have a clear message for them: reject it.

More than 1,000 adults were asked:

As you may know, the U.S. Congress must approve the agreement the United States and five other countries reached with Iran that is aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons before it can take effect. Do you think Congress should approve or reject the deal with Iran?

Pollsters found that 52 percent of those surveyed would tell members of Congress to vote to block the agreement. Several lawmakers have already voiced their firm opposition to a deal many feel could improve Iran’s chances of developing a nuclear arsenal.

Only 44 percent believe Congress should approve the agreement, while another five percent had no opinion.

Though Obama played an integral role in the negotiations that resulted in the unpopular deal, he fared far more favorably in the poll.

Roughly the same number of respondents approve of Obama’s current job performance as disapprove, according to the latest numbers. This result constitutes a marked improvement compared to a poll conducted almost exactly a year ago in which Obama’s disapproval rate surpassed his approval rate by a 55 to 42 margin.

h/t: Independent Journal Review

Should Congress block the Iran deal? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

After Getting Creamed By Cruz, McConnell Just Did Something That Will Stun Conservatives

Only a few days after repeatedly being called an untrustworthy liar during a floor speech by Sen. Ted Cruz, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has done something that Cruz and other conservatives will likely consider a positive move. The Kentucky Republican has pledged to hold a vote to repeal Obamacare and to do it in such a way that only a simple majority of 51 senators would be needed to turn thumbs down on the unpopular law.

CNS News reports that Sens. McConnell and Mike Lee of Utah, a Cruz ally, have issued a joint statement in which the majority leader promises to use the budget reconciliation process to cut funding to President Obama’s health care takeover law. Sen. Lee apparently came to the agreement with McConnell and other GOP lawmakers in the upper chamber after the Utah Republican dropped his effort to repeal Obamacare by attaching an amendment to the highway funding bill, considered a must-pass piece of legislation.

The article on CNS News quotes Mitch McConnell from the joint statement:

“Earlier this year, Senate Republicans passed a balanced budget, and with it the necessary procedural tools – via the budget reconciliation process – to bring an end to the nightmare of Obamacare,” McConnell said in the joint statement with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

“Americans have faced skyrocketing health care costs, rampant fraud and more government between them and their doctors. And Republicans are united in working to repeal the broken promises of Obamacare and allow our country to start over fresh with real health reform that Americans deserve,” he added.

While CNS News characterizes the McConnell pledge to conduct a simple-majority vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act as a win for Sen. Lee and his conservative colleagues, curiously The Hill takes a different view of this development in the Senate. The opening paragraph of The Hill’s coverage casts Lee’s maneuver in a negative light.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has officially conceded defeat in his effort to force a Senate vote on repealing ObamaCare, which ended Monday night after a tense face-off with leadership.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that Senate Republicans will stand firm and united behind the latest attempt to kill the president’s signature legislative achievement — there’s no certainty that they’ll tally the 51 votes necessary to defund under the reconciliation procedure — but it would seem that the 114th Congress could be closer than ever to sending a kill-the-law bill to President Obama, who is certain to veto it.

With Congress members only days from leaving Washington for their extended summer break, there’s no timetable set for a vote on the budget reconciliation bill that McConnell has vowed to present. There’s also no indication that what Mitch McConnell just pledged to do as an attempt to repeal Obamacare and satisfy frustrated GOP voters was in response to the very public and very passionate assault on his integrity by presidential contender Ted Cruz.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Is Obama Really To Blame For Weak Economic Growth?

Editor’s note: This article first appeared at Forbes.com.

A political science colleague sent me an article documenting President Obama’s dismal economic record, and he asked me for added details and perspective. Here goes:

True, economic growth under Obama has been sluggish, fitful, faltering, historically weak, etc. However, if you look at the charts in the article—especially the second and third—you can see that U.S. economic growth has been trending downward for several decades. Conclusion: Our economic woes did not begin with Barack Obama. However, he has done nothing to reverse the trend; on the contrary, he has doubled down on the very policies that have hampered economic growth.

The headwinds opposing economic growth are generated by what Ronald Reagan referred to as “the government disease.” No president has advocated, championed, and imposed more harmful government intervention than Barack Obama.

Here’s a short list of those interventions:

1.) Government spending. Economists as far back as Adam Smith have noted that the true burden of government is what it spends, not what it taxes. When political decisions about where to allocate scarce economic resources supplant market decisions, production inevitably is diverted from the most highly valued needs to less valued things. Thus, less wealth is produced, economic growth is suboptimal, and the people are poorer than they otherwise would be.

While not having increased federal spending by as large a percentage as his predecessor, Obama undeniably has presided over more market-distorting government spending that any of his predecessors. To be fair, some of this spending was already baked into the cake—particularly the rising spending on Social Security and Medicare. Because federal entitlements operate on a “pay as you go” basis, these increasing expenditures to seniors do not consist of real economic returns on capital invested. Instead, they transfer hundreds of billions of dollars from current workers to mostly retirees. Entitlement expenditures artificially inflate GDP and overstate the real wealth of the country because those dollars represent purchasing power that does not arise from the production of actual goods or services.

2.) Rising debt. The greater the debt load, the more present income is diverted from present consumption to pay for past consumption. After a brief downturn following the 2008-9 financial crisis, total debt has risen by over 15 percent to a shade over $59 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. Over half of the $7.35 trillion increased (some $4.84 trillion) is government debt stemming from Obama’s budgets.

Obama’s policy of encouraging and facilitating loans to college students has seen student debt soar to over $1 trillion with devastating economic consequences for the recipients. Young graduates struggling under the burden of debt have delayed marriage, child bearing, home buying, etc. In too many cases, college debt has stunted young American lives.

3.) Suffocating regulation. The Obama administration has burdened Americans with a record amount of federal regulation as measured by the number of new rules promulgated and pages in the Federal Register. The annual cost of the federal regulatory burden is now approximately $1.9 trillion (only nine countries’ GDPs are larger). As reported in Investor’s Business Daily, “the cost of enforcing federal economic regulations is … up 31 percent since Obama took office, and the ‘Code of Federal Regulations’ is 17,294 pages longer.”

Furthermore, as noted by Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, the Sarbanes-Oxley law (which Obama inherited, but has not revised) and Dodd-Frank (which a Democratic Congress passed in 2010 with Obama’s approval) have “placed significant burdens on the large number of small companies.” Consequently, we are in the unusual and worrisome situation of businesses closing at a faster rate than they are opening, thereby shrinking employment opportunities and slowing economic growth.

4.) Tax policy. Business tax rates have remained unchanged under Obama, and that has had negative consequences in a world that has been shifting toward lower corporate profit taxes. By allowing the United States to have the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world, American businesses are migrating abroad via the corporate inversion maneuver.

5.) The war on work. While constantly professing concern for workers, Obama has consistently supported and implemented policies—ranging from a higher minimum wage to federal jobs programs to anti-business policies—that have shrunk the number of jobs (see the Labor Force Participation Rate). Obama’s prize legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act, has shrunk the number of hours worked (and consequently the amount of wealth created) by incentivizing employers to reduce the number of full-time jobs. According to David Stockman, the United States has two million fewer full-time workers now than it did in 2007.

Bottom line: President Obama’s policies have crippled the American economy.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth