Obama to Deploy Up to 1,200 National Guard Troops to U.S.-Mexico Border–as lip service

President Obama is planning to deploy up to 1,200 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, heeding calls from border state lawmakers that security needs to be improved.

An administration official confirmed to Fox News that Obama plans to deploy the National Guard troops as needed and request $500 million for “enhanced border protection and law enforcement.”

The official said the National Guard would be used to “provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support,” as well as support “counternarcotics enforcement” and provide “training capacity” until the Border Patrol can bring more officers on board. The additional funding would be used to improve border security technology and increase the number of agents, investigators and prosecutors targeting drug, human and weapons traffickers.

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said he’s heard that “the 1,200 border patrol troops are, in effect, desk jobs.”

“They aren’t boots on the ground at the border,” he said, adding that “they were not intended to be deployed to the border.”

“Rather they’ll be investigating, administrative support, maybe training,” he said. “Now that’s all fine…but the real value of the National Guard is to be seen.”

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Obama’s plan represents a “very significant and important shift in the president’s immigration and border security policy.”

“I am pleased that President Obama has now, apparently, agreed that our nation must secure the border to address rampant border violence and illegal immigration without other pre-conditions, such as passage of ‘comprehensive immigration reform,'” she said.

“I am anxious to hear of the details that have not yet been disclosed of where, how, and for how long additional forces will be deployed,” she added. “With the accountability of this election year, I am pleased and grateful that at long last there has been a partial response from the Obama administration to my demands that Washington do its job.”

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., praised the administration for “finally” answering the calls for more troops, while another lawmaker said 1,200 troops is “simply not enough.”

The announcement came as Senate Republicans began introducing several border security amendments to a $60 billion war spending bill under consideration on the floor. They showed no signs of halting that effort in light of the president’s decision.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., proposed an amendment to send 6,000 National Guard troops to the border — a move Republicans want to pay for with unspent stimulus money. McCain said on the floor that he appreciates Obama’s decision to deploy up to 1,200 troops but asked for more.

“I think it is a recognition of the violence on the border which has been really beyond description in some respects,” McCain said. “But it’s simply not enough.”

Senate Republicans confronted Obama on immigration and border security earlier in the day during a rare, private meeting on Capitol Hill. But Obama never mentioned he was sending troops to the border, Kyl said, even after he brought up the McCain amendment.

“I gather that some of our Democratic colleagues were informed,” Kyl said. “Sen. McCain spoke to it…and then I stood up. One of the things I said was we were going to the floor in a few minutes to request additional money for sending troops to the border. But that was the end of the conversation.”

Though top Obama Cabinet officials critical of Arizona’s controversial new law have acknowledged they never read the bill, McCain said Obama told the senators he has read it and still believes it could allow for discrimination.

Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, who described the meeting as “testy,” said the president “wasn’t embracing” the call to secure the borders before pressing forward with a comprehensive immigration policy overhaul.

The administration official described Obama’s announcement Tuesday as “part of his comprehensive plan to secure the southwest border.”

Giffords, who was among several lawmakers who requested more border security after Arizona rancher Robert Krentz was killed by a suspected illegal immigrant at the end of March, praised Obama for the National Guard announcement.

“(Arizona residents) know that more boots on the ground means a safer and more secure border. Washington heard our message,” she said.

ObamCare Will Ration Healthcare…

Sen. Pat Roberts (R.-Kan.) sponsored an amendment to the health-care reconciliation bill that would have repealed the new tax on medical devices included in the health care law signed by President Obama. (Congressional photo)

By Fred Lucas

Sen. Pat Roberts (R.-Kan.) sponsored an amendment to the health-care reconciliation bill that would have repealed the new tax on medical devices included in the health care law signed by President Obama. (Congressional photo)
(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs Medicare, is a strong supporter of the government-run health care system in Britain, who said in a 2009 interview about Comparative Effectiveness Research: “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care–the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”

The $787-billion stimulus law signed by President Obama created a Federal Coordinating Coucil for Comparative Effectivieness research in health care that some critics argue was a step toward rationing of heatlh care in the United States.

Donald Berwick, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and the head of the non-profit Institute for Healthcare Improvement, was nominated by Obama on April 19, 2010.

In choosing Berwick, the Obama administration is implicitly admitting that the health care law passed by the Democrats in March will lead to the rationing of health care, said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) in a May 19 press release.

Concerning Berwick’s 2009 comment about the rationing of health care, the White House released a statement to several news organizations in which spokesman Reid Cherlin said the following:

“No one is surprised that Republicans plan to use this confirmation process to trot out the same arguments and scare tactics they hoped would block health insurance reform. The fact is, rationing is rampant in the system today, as insurers make arbitrary decisions about who can get the care they need. Don Berwick wants to see a system in which those decisions are transparent– and that the people who make them are held accountable.”

The White House statement, according to Roberts, seemed to acknowledge that the new health care law would simply ration care in a transparent way.

“This is really a fascinating response. Instead of flat out denials of government rationing we have excuses,” Roberts said on the Senate floor on May 19.

“And if you read between the lines you will notice that for the first time ever in this debate the Obama White House is admitting that their health care plan will ration health care,” the senator said.

Roberts made it clear that he does not accept health care rationing “transparent or otherwise.”

“I am opposed to rationing whether it is done by the government or by an insurance company,” said Roberts. “I am not defending any of the practices of insurance companies who have unjustly denied claims. But the Obama Administration’s response does nothing to address my concerns that our government will ration care. Instead, we finally have an admission from the White House that this is what they plan to do.”

In a June 2009 interview in Biotechnology Healthcare, Berwick was asked: “Critics of CER (Comparative Effectiveness Research) have said that it will lead to rationing of health care.”

He answered: “We can make a sensible social decision and say, ‘Well, at this point, to have access to a particular additional benefit [new drug or medical intervention] is so expensive that our taxpayers have better use for those funds.’ We make those decisio all the tim. The decision is not whether or not we will ration care–the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”

In the same interview, he also said, “The social budget is limited—we have a limited resource pool. It makes terribly good sense to at least know the price of an added benefit, and at some point we might say nationally, regionally, or locally that we wish we could afford it, but we can’t.”

Berwick also talked about his romantic view of Britain’s socialized health care system on page 213 of a report he wrote entitled, “A Transatlantic Review of the NHS at 60,” published on July 26, 2008.

“Cynics beware: I am romantic about the National Health Service; I love it,” Berwick wrote. “All I need to do to rediscover the romance is to look at health care in my own country.”

In the same article, he wrote, “The NHS is one of the astounding human endeavors of modern times. … It’s easier in the United States because we do not promise health care as a human right.”

He further wrote, “Any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized, and humane must – must – redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and less fortunate.”

Roberts said he personally did not understand this romantic view of socialized medicine.

“With cancer survival rates for women 10 percentage points higher in the U.S. than in England, and over 20 points higher for men, why does he think that their government-run system is superior to our system?” said Roberts.

“Limited resources require decisions about who will have access to care and the extent of their coverage,” Berwick wrote in the Jan. 27, 1999 edition of Nursing Standard.

“The complexity and cost of healthcare delivery systems may set up a tension between what is good for the society as a whole and what is best for an individual patient,” Berwick wrote in an article entitled, “A Shared Statement of Ethical Principle.”

“Hence, those working in health care delivery may be faced with situations in which it seems that the best course is to manipulate the flawed system for the benefit of a specific patient or segment of the population, rather than to work to improve the delivery of care for all. Such manipulation produces more flaws, and the downward spiral continues.”

Does This Regime Want America To Become Like Greece?

by Brad Schaeffer

General strikes in Greece have brought much of the country to a halt as trade unions and government workers stage more protests over austerity measures. A 24-hour work stoppage last week closed much of the country’s public sector and shut down ferries, trains and public transport.

So here is one unfunded social utopia’s score card so far: Three have died already this month in massive riots in the streets of Athens which are in danger of re-erupting anew. Paralyzing strikes from civil servants, so used to getting so much largess for doing so little for so long. A $145 billion bailout is in jeopardy with the big dogs of the EU, Germany chief among them, expressing serious concerns that the austerity measures demanded of Greece as a condition to merit the loans will ever come to fruition. Given the revised deficit projections and a public that seems unwilling to admit that their free ride brand of socialism as expressed in a financially unsustainable pension structure is collapsing, who can blame Europe?

Greece is bankrupt. Their debt is 108% of GDP and will climb to almost 150% by 2013 when the bailout loans would come due. 25% of Greek taxes will go to service its debt — to mostly foreign investors. Currently that nation’s government spending amounts to 50% of its GDP.

Consider then that in 2009 US debt was 86% of GDP and climbing. It will go past 100% by 2012. 20% of U.S. federal taxes go to service the interest on the national debt. That number too will rise. Our major social entitlement programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, are bankrupt. We are waging foreign wars almost entirely on our own—so that Europe doesn’t have to. And now we have just enacted the mother of all entitlements in Obamacare that only the most wishful of thinkers (or a cynical Democratic Congress and White House) would argue is anything but a multi-trillion dollar debt dog pile on top of an already strained budget.

Of course our gargantuan economy is much more vibrant, diverse and robust than Greece’s. But we are already seeing within our borders mini-Greeces popping up at the state level. 41 states currently face budget shortfalls and the effects are already being felt. Here in New Jersey, school districts have suffered state aid cuts of 95%. (And in a little taste of the new entitlement mentality, our teachers’ union insisted on ramming through a contractually obligated pay raise anyway that would benefit the union bosses most of all; Trenton’s financial woes be damned. So to make the numbers work, several teachers and other staff got the axe—fortunately without any rioting.)

What is currently unfolding on the chaotic streets of Athens is an immovable force of a deep-seeded entitlement culture unwilling to give up its government goodies standing up to the irresistible force of simple mathematics. Care to bet on what side will ultimately prevail?

I am not saying that the United States is making the exact mistakes as the Greeks. But we are on a parallel course in that we are spending more on government programs than we are taking in in revenue. So whereas Greece is collapsing under the weight of unfunded pensions and ridiculously generous retirement packages and entitlements, while at the same time suffering a shrinking tax base, we have our own issues as I said before with Social Security (bankrupt seven years earlier than predicted just two years ago), Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare.

Edwin LeFevre once wrote that:

“A man, if he is both wise and lucky, will not make the same mistake twice. But he will make any one of the ten thousand brothers and cousins of the original mistake.”

As we watch the inevitable fissures in European style socialism breaking wide open for all to see, this is a most propitious time to turn inward and ask ourselves if the model that American left seems so stubbornly intent on replicating here even works, let alone is best for our nation? The Tea Partiers are but one expression of this necessary dialog — shameful left-wing race-baiting notwithstanding. Ponzi schemes always come to the same dismal end, leaving some poor unfortunates to pay the bill.

I would just like to know what makes liberal Democrats think that the inevitable reality of a seriously flawed socio-economic dogma now violently on display in the streets of Athens (and poised to spread throughout Europe) will somehow pass us by if we follow the same path? And if we continue down their road who do they believe will bail us out when the bill comes?

Surprise, Many Legal American Latinos back the AZ Immigration law…

Mary Marin holds a scrapbook of photos from her childhood in a South Phoenix barrio. Her father was an illegal immigrant and was threatened with deportation in the 1940s. Still, Marin favors Arizona's tough new law against illegal immigration.

by Peter O’Dowd

Though Latinos in Arizona and nationwide have mobilized in protest against the state’s new immigration law, not all Hispanic Americans are opposed to it. In Arizona, many Latino voters see it as a much-needed crackdown.

Twelve percent of second-generation Latino voters in the state say they support S.B. 1070, according to a recent Latino Decisions poll. That jumps to nearly 30 percent in the fourth generation.

Jesse Hernandez, a second-generation Mexican-American, a product of public housing and a proud Phoenix Republican, is one of those in Arizona who favor the law.

Hernandez says he knows many Latinos who feel just like he does.

“I just don’t like the fact that they’re going to say that an American Latino has the same concerns as a Latino from Mexico. No, we don’t,” Hernandez says.

Hernandez says his Mexican-born parents came to the U.S. after years of waiting at the border to secure papers. He says illegal immigrants need to get in line, just like they did.

“We don’t have time to be marching down the street waving the Mexican flag saying we want rights,” he says. “Because you know what? We did it the right way, and we have rights.”

Too Long A Wait

But Luis Avila says for some, waiting is not a realistic option. It took Avila, who’s originally from Mexico, two decades to get his U.S. citizenship.

“The reality is it takes 15, 20 years for anyone to get their documents,” Avila says.

He says he was lucky. Avila’s middle-class family could afford to wait. Not so, he says, for the many illegal immigrants who once lived in poverty back in Mexico.

“People make $4 or $5 a day. They are not able to go to the big city to apply for residency. I mean, that line is way, way too long,” Avila says.

Avila says he is saddened to hear that some Latinos would favor a bill that he considers morally wrong. To him, these Latinos are denying their culture.

“If I had a daughter or a son who was in favor of S.B. 1070, I’d have to sit down with them and remind them of our struggles,” Avila says. “It’s like an African-American person forgot that two or three generations ago they were unable to vote, and they are direct descendants of slaves.”

But even critics recognize that the Latino community is not monolithic. Matt Barreto is a pollster with Latino Decisions.

“We still tend to see in public opinion polls differences in opinions among Latinos, and we don’t see the same uniformity of opinion that we do in African Americans,” Barreto says.

In fact, Barreto says Latinos are likely to be split down the middle on less controversial immigration issues in Arizona. That is not the case, though, with Arizona’s new law. Barreto says the community is strongly unified in protest against it.

‘They Have To Go Back’

Like Hernandez, Marín says she loves her people and her culture. She grew up in a South Phoenix barrio in the early 1940s. Her late father Guadalupe came from Mexico as part of the Bracero Program, which allowed thousands of laborers to enter the U.S. and work in American fields.

“He was supposed to report back to immigration, but he didn’t. He stayed, and he thought he could get away with it,” Marin says.

Federal agents nearly deported her father when he was caught. Regardless, Marín says she supports Arizona’s new law. She says her father did his part for the country. To stay in the U.S., he agreed to join the Navy. She says he paid his dues, unlike so many of today’s new immigrants.

“They’re here without permission. So in a way, they have to go back,” Marin says.

Opponents are trying to stop Arizona’s law with a handful of lawsuits. It’s scheduled to go into effect on July 29. Just don’t expect every Latino to protest if it does.

Is the Left Pushing for Violence in America?

By Matt Welch

Via commenter Smoovev comes the latest example of well-respected former war correspondent Chris Hedges advocating political violence in America:

Here’s to the Greeks. They know what to do when corporations pillage and loot their country. They know what to do when Goldman Sachs and international bankers collude with their power elite to falsify economic data and then make billions betting that the Greek economy will collapse. They know what to do when they are told their pensions, benefits and jobs have to be cut to pay corporate banks, which screwed them in the first place. Call a general strike. Riot. Shut down the city centers. Toss the bastards out. Do not be afraid of the language of class warfare—the rich versus the poor, the oligarchs versus the citizens, the capitalists versus the proletariat. The Greeks, unlike most of us, get it.

Greek rioters have killed three so far.

Hedeges’ recent apocalyptic tear (which has resonance for at least some libertarians, not to mention Pagans) includes urging on sabotage two months ago, and calling corporations “little Eichmanns” last week. And this is no fringe character here–Hedges continues to receive respectful hearings in the Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Vancouver Sun, et al, and just last week he was named a finalist for the L.A. Press Club’s Online Journalist of the Year. You will search in vain for any mention of Hedges by the scores of journalistic commenters who have been warning for more than a year now (inaccurately, in my opinion) about impending political violence, inciteful right-wing rhetoric, and borderline sedition.

Fawning press now gets cold shoulder from Obama

By: Byron York

Will Barack Obama go an entire year without holding a formal news conference? He’s getting close: The president’s last full-scale session with the press was on July 22, 2009, which was 307 days ago.

When Obama last held a big news conference, there had not yet been terrorist attacks at Fort Hood, Detroit, and Times Square. Scott Brown was an unknown Massachusetts state senator. There was no national health care bill, much less national health care law. Tiger Woods appeared to be a model family man.

A lot can happen in 307 days, which is far longer than George W. Bush or Bill Clinton ever went between news conferences.

In its defense, the White House says Obama answers a lot of questions from reporters, just not in the traditional news-conference setting. In fact, the president does a lot of one-on-one interviews, frequently with sympathetic reporters. But even in terms of brief question-and-answer sessions with the White House press corps, he has still done fewer than Bush or Clinton.

More troubling is that Obama makes no secret of his disdain for the press. Just look at the scene in the Oval Office May 18, when Obama invited a few journalists to watch him sign a new bill — it just happened to be the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act.

“Speaking of press freedom, could you answer a couple of questions on BP?” CBS’s Chip Reid asked Obama after the signing.

“You’re certainly free to ask them, Chip,” Obama said.

“Will you answer them?” Reid continued. “How about a question on Iran?”

“We won’t be answering — I’m not doing a press conference today,” Obama said. “But we’ll be seeing you guys during the course of this week. OK?”

And that was that. In the spirit of the day, Obama conceded that the press had the freedom to ask questions — he just didn’t have to answer them. (By the way, Obama aides edited the exchange with Reid out of the video of the signing posted on the White House Web site.)

When the president hinted he would answer questions “during the course of this week,” he was referring to his meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderon a few days later. After the leaders made joint statements, Obama allowed questions from just two reporters, both from Spanish-language news outlets. Obama took more than 11 minutes to respond to the questions, then said their time was up, leaving reporters frustrated yet again.

While Obama dodges questions, his spokesman stonewalls them. There’s simply no other word to describe the White House handling of Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak’s charge that the Obama administration offered him a job if he would not challenge Sen. Arlen Specter in the state’s recent primary.

Sestak, a former Navy admiral, first mentioned the matter on Feb.18. In the following weeks, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked about it repeatedly. Gibbs didn’t deny the story; he simply said over and over that he didn’t have any information. Finally, on March 16, Gibbs said he had talked to “several people” in the White House and had been told that “whatever conversations have been had are not problematic.”

After Sestak beat Specter, the question arose again. “You never really explained what the conversation was,” ABC’s Jake Tapper said to Gibbs. “Then I don’t have anything to add today,” Gibbs snapped. The spokesman grew noticeably irritated when other reporters tried to follow up. Gibbs had said all he would say.

The situation amazes veterans of previous administrations. “I think it is astonishing that there isn’t carping about this from the press every day,” says former Bush White House press secretary Dana Perino. “Believe me, they would have nailed us to the wall.”

In one sense, the press, or at least some members of the press, have only themselves to blame. Obama treats them with contempt because he knows that when big tests come, they’ve always been on his side. There’s no reason for him to think they won’t be there in the future. “Most of you covered me,” he told the media elite at the 2009 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. “All of you voted for me.”

That’s the attitude coming out of the Oval Office every day. Why does Obama do it? Because he can.

Byron York, The Examiner’s chief political correspondent, can be contacted at byork@washingtonexaminer.com. His column appears on Tuesday and Friday, and his stories and blog posts appears on http://www.ExaminerPolitics.com