I have no way of knowing all the facts regarding the New Jersey scandal swirling around Gov. Chris Christie, but I certainly have my suspicions. As the story goes, in retaliation for Fort Lee’s Mayor Mark Sokolich’s refusal to support Christie in his bid for re-election, Christie’s deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly ordered several lanes of the George Washington Bridge shut down, allegedly for the sake of a traffic study.

In his defense, Christie insisted he knew nothing about it, claiming that Ms. Kelly betrayed his trust. That would be easier to swallow if we hadn’t lived through several years of Barack Obama insisting that he knew nothing about his own various scandals until he read about them in a newspaper.

Would Christie have us believe that during the four days of lane closures, and the thousands of calls his office must have received, he never once bothered looking into it? We’re not children. We all know that the boss creates the atmosphere in which his underlings exist. The boss needn’t risk leaving a paper trail, he only has to make his feelings known.

In his press conference, Christie defended himself by stating, “I am not a bully.” An unfortunate choice of words. For one thing, it reminded a lot of people of Nixon’s “I am not a crook.” For another, only bullies ever have reason to deny being one. And, finally, Christie’s political appeal is that he is a bully who doesn’t suffer fools or unions gladly.

The irony is that Mayor Sokolich, the man being punished for not supporting Christie, is not even a Republican. But, then, a lot of us never thought Christie was, either.

Speaking of bullies, a lot of people suspect that the reason John Boehner is so reluctant to appoint a select committee to get to the bottom of the Benghazi massacre is that he was aware that Ambassador Stevens had been begging for additional security, but, like Obama and Hillary Clinton, did nothing about it. For me, though, it begs the question why Senate Democrats and House Republicans allow their majority leaders to completely cow them, as if they were serfs beholden to a feudal lord. Why is there never an uprising or at least a vote of no confidence?

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has gotten a lot of media attention for his book, “Duty.” That’s because he shared some candid insights into the minds of Obama and Mrs. Clinton. But nothing he said should come as a surprise to anyone who has been awake for these past five years. I mean, how big a shock is it that Obama didn’t have his heart in the Afghanistan surge? After all, at the same time the schmuck ordered an additional 30,000 troops be deployed, he set a date for our military withdrawal!

To me, the biggest surprise is that Gates went out of his way to praise the two of them, even going so far as to call Obama’s order to capture or kill Osama bin Laden the most courageous act of his lifetime. Perhaps Mr. Gates would do well to start reading the commendations that accompany Medals of Honor. But, for all I know, Gates was merely hoping he’d continue being invited to White House Christmas parties.

Recently, I was sent a cartoon that showed Obama speaking to someone who had lost his medical insurance: Obama: “If you like your plan, you can keep it.” Poor Schnook: “But I lost my plan.” Obama: “You must not have liked it.”

When I read the exchange, I immediately thought of Jay Carney. He takes the same patronizing tone whenever he replies to the poor schnooks comprising the White House Press Corps, usually adding an eye roll for emphasis.

It has me wondering if the new beard is in preparation for his entering the Federal Witness Protection Program after some day breaking down at the podium, screaming, “Day after day, I stand here and lie, and you all know it. I can see the contempt in your eyes. But I can’t help myself. Joe Biden’s holding my family hostage in the basement of the White House!”

“Kumbaya” Is Not Our National Anthem

Far too often, I hear people, including Republicans, whine about gridlock in Washington. They long for compromise the way Romeo yearned for Juliet. I, on the other hand, applaud gridlock. How can I do otherwise when those on one side of the aisle are always wrong?

If you disagree, tell me one time that Obama and his gang have been right. This administration was wrong about the trillion dollar Stimulus, Cash for Clunkers and shovel-ready jobs. They’ve been wrong about Syria, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Russia and Egypt. They have also been wrong about the national debt, illegal immigrants, defense spending, same-sex marriages, climate change, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” military pensions and a 2.3% tax on medical devices, which will inevitably leave medical innovation entirely up to the Israelis. That’s assuming that Obama’s treaty with Iran doesn’t lead to the mullahs nuking Israel out of existence.

No place have they been further off the mark than when it comes to health care. Heck, these lunkheads even botched it on light bulbs, insisting that we all convert to those ugly twisty things filled with mercury that require technicians decked out in Hazmat suits to deal with their disposal.

The one thing they finally got right, the execution of Osama bin Laden, not only meant the Pentagon’s overcoming Valerie Jarrett’s dire warnings of the political blowback if the mission failed, but the aftermath led to Obama’s contention throughout the 2012 campaign that al-Qaeda was permanently out of business. That, in turn, led to the Benghazi massacre that left four American patriots dead.

What confounds me is that in spite of the chaos created by he who vowed to fundamentally transform America; the number of cities that have been turned into slums after decades of free-spending Democratic mayors; and a public education/indoctrination system that isn’t even the envy of Nigeria; the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Thomas Friedman, Chris Matthews and David Letterman, will not only turn a blind eye to the horrors wrought by unfettered liberalism, but blatantly lie about the obvious facts.

In defending Obama and his destructive policies, these knuckleheads remind me of Muslims insisting that Islam is a peaceful religion.

Speaking of knuckleheads, the State Department said they were hoping for a democratic and stable society in Egypt. In case nobody at State noticed, Egypt experimented with democracy two years ago and wound up with the Muslim Brotherhood in control. In the Middle East, with the exception of Israel, you can have either democracy or stability, but you can’t have both.

In the meantime, Obama and Kerry refuse to negotiate with the Taliban for the release of Warren Weinstein, a 72-year-old American who has been held captive since 2011 in Pakistan. That’s because it’s our policy not to negotiate with terrorists. So, apparently, it’s only a nasty rumor that we are actively engaged in negotiations these days with Hamid Karzai, Vladimir Putin, Hassan Rouhani and Bashar al-Assad.

It isn’t just the State Department that’s a national embarrassment. There is also the Justice Department, which under Eric Holder is about as colorblind as Jesse Jackson. In its most recent act of blatant racism, it charged Conrad Barrett, a 27-year-old white Texan, with having committed a federal hate crime for sucker-punching a 79-year-old black man. Understand, I’m all for hanging the cowardly and brutish Mr. Barrett from the nearest lamppost, but how is it that his crime is a federal case, when not a single one of the black thugs who introduced the Knockout Game to America has been the victim of Mr. Holder’s righteous wrath?

A friend of mine recently sent me an email in which he praised Fox News commentator Kirsten Powers, a liberal, for occasionally, unlike Juan Williams, Bob Beckel, Geraldo Rivera and Alan Colmes, saying sensible things. Having suffered through Ms. Powers and her smug little smirk for years now, I acknowledged that he was right to single her out from the other left-wing nincompoops. But, I pointed out, she has only recently displayed any balance in her comments, and I attributed it to her having been one of the six million self-insured people who lost their health coverage thanks to ObamaCare. That, I suggested, is the updated definition of a conservative convert, who previously had been defined as a liberal who had just been mugged.

We keep getting reports that the unemployment rates are falling, with nary a mention that it’s because millions of people are happy to receive unemployment checks or fake their way onto the disability gravy train, thus removing their noses from those being tallied by the federal bean counters. The fact remains that whether the unemployment number being tossed around is 9% or 7%, we have millions more people today than we had a decade ago, but far fewer being employed. And if you eliminate those working part time or off the books, the actual unemployment rate is hovering right around 15%.

As Ann Coulter recently reminded us, Kwanzaa was invented in 1966 by a violent black radical named Ron Karenga and, even in the multicultural swampland America has become over the past several decades, is no more deserving of our respect than Saddam Hussein’s birthday.

Another email praised me for telling the truth in an article in which I took LBJ and Hubert Humphrey but, primarily, urban blacks, themselves, to task for their current abominable status in America.

The writer, Frank, whimsically suggested that I should “demonstrate a little humility for always getting things right. Maybe do a little penance like serving up some hot soup in a Salvation Army food line. Have you no shame?”

I replied that “I used to have some, Frank, but I felt that there were others far more deserving. So I deposited mine in a Salvation Army kettle, along with a note suggesting they should forward it to the White House.”

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.

Missing in Action: Stimulus Sheriff Joe Biden

Remember when President Obama bragged about Joe Biden’s fiscal discipline cred in 2009? “To you, he’s Mr. Vice President, but around the White House, we call him the Sheriff,” Obama warned government employees. “Because if you’re misusing taxpayer money, you’ll have to answer to him.”

Fast-forward to 2012. Call in the search teams. Since being appointed the nation’s stimulus spending cop, Sheriff Joe has taken a permanent donut break. He’s AWOL on oversight. In fact, he’s been bubble-wrapped, boxed and kept completely out of sight. The garrulous gaffe machine hasn’t sat down for a national media interview in five months.

The Democrats’ trillion-dollar “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” however, keeps piling up waste, failure, fraud and debt. Who benefited most? Big government cronies.

According to Investor’s Business Daily this week, a new analysis by Ohio State University economics professor Bill Dupor reported that “(m)ore than three-quarters of the jobs created or saved by President Obama’s economic stimulus in the first year were in government.”

Dupor and another colleague had earlier concluded that the porkulus was a predictable jobs-killer that crowded out non-government jobs with make-work public jobs and programs. Indeed, the massive wealth redistribution scheme “destroyed/forestalled roughly one million private sector jobs” by siphoning tax dollars “to offset state revenue shortfalls and Medicaid increases rather than boost private sector employment.”

Will this Keynesian wreckage come up during Thursday night’s vice presidential debate? It should be a centerpiece of domestic policy discussion. Nowhere is the gulf between Obama/Biden rhetoric and reality on jobs wider.

Remember: Obama’s Ivy League eggheads behind the stimulus promised that “(m)ore than 90 percent of the jobs created are likely to be in the private sector.” These are the same feckless economic advisers who infamously vowed that the stimulus would keep unemployment below 8 percent — and that unemployment would drop below 6 percent sometime this year.

Sheriff Joe rebuked the “naysayers” who decried the behemoth stimulus program’s waste, fraud and abuse. “You know what? They were wrong,” he crowed.

But Biden was radio silent about the nearly 4,000 stimulus recipients who received $24 billion in Recovery Act funds — while owing more than $750 million in unpaid corporate, payroll and other taxes. (Cash for Tax Cheats, anyone?)

He had nothing to say about the $6 billion in stimulus energy credits for homeowners that went to nearly a third of credit-claimers who had no record of homeownership, including minors and prisoners.

And the $530 million dumped into the profligate Detroit public schools for laptops and other computer equipment that have had little, if any, measurable academic benefits.

And the whopping $6.7 million cost per job under the $50 billion stimulus-funded green energy loan program — which funded politically connected but now bankrupt solar firms Solyndra ($535 million), Abound Solar ($400 million), Beacon Power ($43 million), A123 ($250 million) and Ener1 ($119 million).

And the $1 million in stimulus cash that went to Big Bird and Sesame Street “to promote healthy eating,” which created a theoretical “1.47” jobs. (As Sean Higgins of The Examiner noted, “(T)hat comes out to about $726,000 per job created.”)

And the hundreds of millions in stimulus money steered to General Services Administrations junkets in Las Vegas and Hawaii, ghost congressional districts, dead people, infrastructure to nowhere and ubiquitous stimulus propaganda road signs stamped with the shovel-ready logo.

Of course, there’s no example of unfettered stimulus squandering more fitting than the one named after Keystone Fiscal Kop Joe Biden himself. Government-funded Amtrak’s Wilmington, Del., station raked in $20 million in “recovery” money after heavy personal lobbying by the state’s most prominent customer and cheerleader. In return, the station (which came in $6 million over budget, according to The Washington Times) renamed its facility after Biden.

Bloated costs. Crony political narcissism. Glaring conflicts of interest. Monumental waste. This is the Obama/Biden stimulus legacy bequeathed to our children and their grandchildren. Sheriff Joe and his plundering boss need to be run out of town on a rail.

Trust Me this Time

The Obama campaign, and the President himself are making the argument that the economy is headed in the right direction, and we just need to give his policies more time to restore the economy to the growth and strength we want.  This is not what he said when he was pushing his agenda in early 2009.  In order for us to believe this latest appeal, shouldn’t we evaluate what he said before, and how the results matched up with those predictions?

Upon being inaugurated the President set about passing legislation to deal with the bad economic situation.  His priorities were a stimulus package and Healthcare reform.  He passed the stimulus package, which cost taxpayers over $800 billion.  He also passed “Obamacare”, which was supposed to reduce the deficit and help the economy.  In June of 2009 he said, “…we can build a health care system that gives Americans the best care at the lowest cost; a system that eases up the pressure on businesses and unleashes the promise of our economy, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, making take-home wages thousands of dollars higher, and growing our economy by tens of billions more every year.”  How’s that working out?

Republicans at the time disagreed with a majority of the provisions in both packages, so the bills passed with only Democrats in Congress voting for them.  Some say without these laws things would have gotten much worse.  That may or may not be true, but what the President predicted was much better than our current circumstances.  He said that if the stimulus passed, unemployment would not go above 8%, and that we would be down to 5.6% by now.  Unemployment, in fact, went to 8% shortly after the bill passed, and hasn’t fallen below it since.  He said that healthcare reform would reduce the deficit, bring down healthcare costs, and help the economy.  The latest report from CBO is that “Obamacare” will add $2.3 billion in debt, healthcare costs have continued to rise, and one of the biggest reasons that businesses cite for not hiring is the cost of healthcare.

Why should we think that today’s predictions will be accurate?  Has he made any changes to the plans due to the lack of results?  Has he made adjustments?  Has acknowledged what he has learned from the failure of these initiatives?  Actually, he has proposed a “jobs bill” that would spend $100 billion that looks an awful lot like the stimulus bill only smaller.

In judging the likelihood that the President knows what he is talking about in terms of the economy, we must look at his record.  The President assessed the problem, enacted his solutions, predicted the effect, and we have seen the results.  He was incorrect then, and has not changed course, so how can we trust his prescriptions going forward?  If your mechanic worked on your car, took twice as long, cost ten times more than estimated, and your car didn’t run, would he still be your mechanic?

When It Comes to Clueless, Pelosi is A Real Star

You remember the movie Sleepless in Seattle with Meg Ryan in the female lead. Well, now there’s a new one out in the same genre. This one is called Clueless in San Francisco, currently playing in Washington D.C, and starring Nancy Pelosi.

How clueless is Ms. Pelosi? Well, look at it this way: In the midterm elections, 50 incumbent Democratic members of Congress lost their seats while only two incumbent House Republicans lost. Politico called it a “bloodbath of a night for Democrats.” So what does the Democratic leader of the House do? She throws a party, what else!

The theme of the shebang was a celebration of the “accomplishments of the 111th Congress” while she was Speaker. Yes, my friends, you read that right.

But you may be wondering, just what accomplishments they might be? Well, there was healthcare reform, better known as Obamacare, which a majority of Americans never wanted. According to a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation only 25 percent of Americans think their families will be better off under Obamacare.

Good one, Speaker Pelosi.

Then there was that stimulus legislation that Speaker Pelosi muscled through the House; the one that cost nearly a trillion dollars, was filled with lots and lots of liberal Democratic goodies, but didn’t stimulate very much in the way of jobs. According to a CBS News exit poll, 65 percent of Americans think “stimulus” either hurt the economy or made no difference.

Strike two.

How about cap and trade? Pelosi pushed that one through the House, too. Most Americans don’t want that, either.

Strike three and you’re out – as Speaker of the House.

And right after the election, Ms. Pelosi sat down with Diane Sawyer on ABC demonstrated why she got the lead in Clueless. She told Ms. Sawyer that “this election wasn’t about me.” Really? Then why did so many Repbublicans run on the “Fire Pelosi” plank – and win?

And now Nancy Pelosi wants her fellow Democrats – those who are still left, that is – to confirm her as House minority leader when the Republicans take over.

Every Republican I know hopes they do.

No, you can’t blame the election night debacle entirely on Nancy Pelosi. But who are we kidding? Nancy Pelosi is one of, if not the most polarizing politicians in America. She is the Democrats’ answer to Dick Cheney, without the charm.

But don’t tell that to the gods on Olympus who write editorials at the New York Times. One of those post-election editorials praised Ms. Pelosi for being “an extremely effective speaker,” but then said her only problem was in getting the message out about how great she was. “If Ms. Pelosi had been a more persuasive communicator,” the Times reasoned, “she could have batted away the ludicrous caricature of her painted by Republicans across the country as some kind of fur-hatted commissar jamming her diktats down the public’s throat.”

What am I missing here? Okay, maybe she didn’t wear a fur hat on the floor of the House, but she did behave like a commissar jamming her diktats down the public’s throat, didn’t she?

Nancy Pelosi, like President Obama, have become disconnected from a majority of the American people. They shove legislation down our throats and are shocked when we don’t say “Thank you, may I have more, please.” They think they know better. In Ms. Pelosi’s case, the disconnect stems from the fact that she represents a touchy-feely district in San Francisco that is so liberal they think Denis Kucinich is a fascist. In Mr. Obama’s case it’s because of his elitism. He’s smarter than the rest of us, more sophisticated, and knows better. And if you don’t believe me, just ask him or the sycophants who surround him.

But at least the president had the good sense not to throw a party after the Democrats took a “shellacking.” He may also be clueless, but he’s not nearly as clueless as the soon-to-be former Speaker of the House. When it comes to clueless, she’s a real star.