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Topic: Politics (Read 99608 times)
Reply #550 on:
February 19, 2011, 05:19:49 PM »
completely OT, but
I cannot but be amazed with what ardent vigor and persistent consistency you guys are contemplating the US political continuum. Simply put, incredible.
On a sidenote it gives me peace of mind, that the politics of the big guys are just as panic driven and burdened by yellow press as they are in our little, dwarven country amidst the Alps.
Reply #551 on:
March 10, 2011, 08:56:20 AM »
March 10, 2011, although the "storyline" goes back a few days.
Politics - Why Bill Clinton was "disliked" in Greece
Reply #552 on:
March 10, 2011, 01:48:19 PM »
Quote from: ccp on March 08, 2011, 01:32:31 PM
Does anyone recall which thread Kostas posted on?
I wanted to ask if he would please clarify his mention of Greeks not liking Bill Clinton.
Quote from: ccp on March 09, 2011, 01:48:49 PM
I think he said they preferred him to Bush and Clinton both of whom they saw as more aggressive.
I was just thinking again about his comments about Clinton.
Never have I heard any group not be happy with Clinton for bombing of Serbia.
Listening to the US MSM Clinton is made out to be the equivalent of a Greek adonis (at least with regards to politics) whose bombing of Serbia was a stupendous success.
There are always two sides to every story and I wanted to hear more of the other side from Kostas if possible.
I'm not much one for discussing politics, but I'll try to give my impressions as best I can, on this issue.
Bill Clinton's bombing of Serbia : It is not that Greeks liked Milosevic - everyone realized he was out of control. But bombing was just too much for them...Firstly, the risk of civilian casualties. Second, the worry by many Greeks that incidents of cancer would rise in Northern Greece because of the bombing.
Bill Clinton's support for Kosovo - Greeks believed this had everything to do with the US furthering its influence, and little to do with genuinely caring about Kosovo
Bill Clinton's support of Skopje, and its calling itself Macedonia.
Greece had been a US ally for years, providing military bases for America. Greeks felt that Clinton did't give a sh** about them and their country.
Hope that helps a bit...I think I'm not giving enough detail but its late and I'm off to bed.
Reply #553 on:
April 26, 2011, 02:51:14 PM »
God Bless John McCain and all the things he has done right in his career, but... He has been cover for many many policies, many of them wrong headed. Two things come to mind right now. He was the spearhead of the Libya mission. Besides the advocates in his own administration, having a senior statesman out front in the opposition party inoculated Obama against partisanship and certainly moved the decision forward. So tied to that now is our unavailability to do anything in Syria.
Mark Alexander's Patriot Post
Reply #554 on:
May 16, 2011, 12:36:40 PM »
"Born in other countries, yet believing you could be happy in this, our laws acknowledge, as they should do, your right to join us in society, conforming, as I doubt not you will do, to our established rules." --Thomas Jefferson
Obama thinks immigration policy is a laughing matter"
bama's most recent invitation to civil discourse -- on immigration -- came just 11 minutes after he accused opponents of moving the goal posts on border enforcement. 'Maybe they'll need a moat,' he said sarcastically. 'Maybe they want alligators in the moat.' Nice touch. Looks like the Tucson truce -- no demonization, no cross-hairs metaphors -- is officially over. After all, the Republicans want to kill off the elderly, throw the disabled in the snow and watch alligators lunch on illegal immigrants. The El Paso speech is notable not for breaking any new ground on immigration, but for perfectly illustrating Obama's political style: the professorial, almost therapeutic, invitation to civil discourse, wrapped around the basest of rhetorical devices -- charges of malice compounded with accusations of bad faith. 'They'll never be satisfied,' said Obama about border control. 'And I understand that. That's politics.' ... There is zero chance of any immigration legislation passing Congress in the next two years. El Paso was simply an attempt to gin up the Hispanic vote as part of an openly political two-city, three-event campaign swing in preparation for 2012. ... [F]or Obama, immigration reform is not about legislation, it's about re-election. If I may quote the president: I understand that. That's politics." --columnist Charles Krauthammer
"[T]he federal government expects to collect $2.2 trillion in revenue this year. The problem is that it wants to spend $3.8 trillion. You can do a lot with $2.2 trillion. You can fund Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, debt service, unemployment, welfare, and national defense at their 2008 levels. My recollection of 2008 is that it was not exactly a time of Spartan fiscal discipline. Funding the majority of the federal government at 2008 levels is not 'default.' It's not anything like default. It's not in the same category of things, events, or concepts as default. ... We like to think that the American people are on our side when it comes to the size and scope of government, but they aren't. Reforming entitlements is still going to be hard. Even reforming stupid spending is going to be hard: We all had a good laugh at Harry Reid's federally subsidized cowboy poetry festival, but there are a million morsels of pork just like it, not to mention big non-pork spending that has to be addressed, too. And now, with a weak economy and a gloomy near-term outlook, conservatives are stuck doing the job we really should have done back in 1994-2000. But it's not going to get any easier. But on the debt ceiling? Let them sweat." --columnist Kevin D. Williamson
"One of the shameful hallmarks of a dictatorship is the restriction of movement -- telling citizens or groups they cannot travel or relocate freely. We are now witnessing a shocking example of that dictatorial practice at the hands of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which is insisting that a major U.S. employer may not move some of its operations from one state to another because to do so might somehow violate workers' rights. The case in point involves famed aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, which is building a second assembly line for its new 787 jetliners in South Carolina. That's a no-no, says the NLRB. ... The NLRB has filed a complaint against Boeing, a firm headquartered in Chicago, for daring to choose where they may locate one of their plants. In this case, Boeing is being told it cannot make the move on the specious grounds that the move constitutes an unfair labor practice. The unfair labor practice? South Carolina has a state right-to-work law, which ensures employees the right to either join a union or not to join a union as they see fit. Imagine that, a law that allows a worker to choose whether or not to join a union! ... When a federal agency takes it into its grubby hands to dictate where a firm may locate some of its facilities America stands at the dividing line between freedom and tyranny." --columnist Michael Reagan
Opinion in Brief
"[T]he Obama administration is gutsily punishing right-to-work states -- even states that merely require secret ballots in order to obviate coercion by union thugs. What are Americans supposed to do to earn money? Obama doesn't care: Ordinary Americans are irrelevant to the Democrats' electoral ambitions -- they exist only to justify the hiring of more government workers. The Democrats have now officially abandoned working-class Americans. Obama is doing what's in his and his party's self-interest, rather than concerning himself with the mass of American citizens. He is using his executive authority to reward gays, illegal aliens, do-nothing government employees, far-left union bosses, abortion industry executives and global warming kooks. Are you on that list of Obama's friends? Democrats blithely act as if big labor, pro-illegal-immigration, pro-government union policies combined with massive government red tape and huge socialist programs will have no effect on jobs. They incessantly repeat 'gutsy call' for 'you'd have to have been brain-dead not to make the call to kill bin Laden,' hoping the Democratic Party will suddenly seem macho. Then, after a few weeks of robotically chanting 'gutsy call,' they can get back to their true passion -- destroying jobs -- at which point they will robotically chant Bush's name to explain why millions of Americans have lost their jobs under Obama. How gutsy." --columnist Ann Coulter
"Without timely expression and emphatic endorsement, our own belief in the principles of human freedom and representative government must eventually atrophy and wither." --Ronald Reagan
Re: The Left
"For a week people have been asking, 'Why won't the president release Osama bin Laden's photo?' That's the wrong question. We should be asking, 'Why was Barack Obama in such a hurry to tell us bin Laden was dead?' The White House says the information in bin Laden's compound is the equivalent of a 'small college library,' potentially containing incalculably valuable and unique data on al-Qaeda operations, personnel and methods. ... I'm no expert on such matters -- though I've talked to several about this -- but even a casual World War II buff can understand that the shelf life of actionable intelligence would be extended if we hadn't told the whole world, and al-Qaeda in particular, that we had it. It's a bit like racing to the microphones to announce you've stolen the other team's playbook even before you've had a chance to use the information in the big game. But that's exactly what President Obama did. ...
t seems that the White House planned to crow as soon as possible. Why? Nobody I've talked to can think of a reason that doesn't have to do with politics or hubris." --columnist Jonah Goldberg
For the Record
"When you look at other countries and the history of the world in general, we are all just amazingly, unbelievably wealthy in this country. We have technology and opportunities that are insane; we can't even comprehend how well off we are compared to people who used to have to live in huts and fight for every meal. When you look at it objectively, every one of us in this country is a billionaire. And what did we do to earn all this incredible wealth? For most of us, the answer is: absolutely nothing. We were just born with it. So we take it for granted. And we demand even more. There is another type of rich person, though -- the working rich. The people who create. These are the people who made all the benefits we enjoy in society today. Thanks to their creativity and initiative, we have all the technological marvels we enjoy today. Because of their hard work, we have all these companies that give us cushy 9-to-5 jobs where we earn sums of money most of the world couldn't even imagine possessing. And are we thankful? Do we say, 'Thank you, rich people, for making all these things so we can benefit from them. I can't even believe how simple and easy my life is because of you'? No, we demand more from them, because we're the idle rich, and we think the working rich owe us everything." --columnist Frank J. Fleming
Faith & Family
"Robert Woodson would probably wince if you called him a 'community organizer.' That's because for the last 30 years as president of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, he has not spent time organizing the poor around ineffective government programs and other addictions; he has been helping them become self-sufficient. 'You can't learn anything by studying failure,' he says. 'If you want to learn anything, you must study the successful.' ... Woodson, who is African-American, as were all of those I met, tells me 'Every black community going back to 1784 had welfare based on morals.' The last 40 years, he says, have transformed the way we look at poverty: 'Until 1965, 80 percent of black families had two parents in the home. The '60s destroyed all that.' ... He is emphatic about what he says and he produces success when so many other programs fail: 'Faith in God transforms the inside and that faith transforms the outside.' ... Republicans could win over the votes of many of the poor who think their future lies with Democrats. It doesn't, not if Democrats continue to spend money on failed programs that have no power to change lives. This will require Republicans getting out of their comfort zones and hanging out with people who not only have found hope, but who can communicate hope to others." --columnist Cal Thomas
Reply #555 on:
May 20, 2011, 04:29:01 PM »
They were open secrets. Everyone knew. And maybe the lesson this week is that people should pay more attention to what they know.
Everyone knew Newt Gingrich was combustible, that he tended to blow things up, including, periodically, himself. He was impulsive, living proof that people confuse "a good brain" with "good judgment." He had bad judgment, which is why he famously had a hundred ideas a day and only 10 were good. He didn't know the difference and needed first-rate people around to tell him. But the best didn't work with him anymore, because he was unsteady, unreliable, more likely to be taken with insight-seizures than insights.
He was the smartest guy in the room, who didn't notice the rooms had gotten smaller. So he was running his own show. Boom.
In his famous "Meet the Press" interview, he was trying to differentiate himself from the field. He was likely thinking he'd go for the Mike Huckabee vote now that Mr. Huckabee is gone. That vote is populist-tinged, socially conservative but generally supportive of big-government programs. Newt's party and competitors support Paul Ryan's budget-cutting plan. Newt didn't think all aspects of that plan would go over with the American public.
Kay Hymowitz of the Manhattan Institute on pols behaving badly: Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Arnold Schwarzenegger. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
.If he'd said that, he would have been fine, and there were lots of ways to say it. Such as: "The Ryan plan is serious and courageous. But I oppose changes in the delivery system of Medicare and think we should go another route, so I do not support that aspect of it."
Instead he used slashing, dramatic language and seemed to damn the entire enterprise. The Ryan plan isn't flawed, it's "right-wing social engineering." It's "imposing radical change."
After the firestorm he went on a political perp walk, more or less denying he'd said what he said, and then blaming it on others. This was followed by reports he had been in hock to Tiffany's—Tiffany's!—for up to half a million dollars. This is decidedly unpopulist behavior, and to Republicans sounded too weird, too frivolous, flaky and grand.
I said last week I had yet to meet a Gingrich 2012 voter. Now I won't have a chance to.
People in journalism are surprised. But they wouldn't have been surprised if they'd been paying attention to what they know: that Newt blows things up, including himself.
The allegations against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who stepped down as chief of the International Monetary Fund after being charged with seven counts including attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment, are just that, allegations. He's been indicted, not convicted. But half the French establishment knew about what they called his woman problem, and at least one previous accusation of harassment. It was an open secret. "Everyone knows that Dominique Strauss-Kahn is a libertine," said Gilles Savary, a member of the European Parliament Socialist party. He "doesn't try to hide it."
DSK, as he's known, is almost a classic villain—elegant, august, satyrlike in his multithousand-dollar suits and his multithousand-dollar suite. He is the perfect "champagne socialist," as they're now calling him, who preys on the weak—for who is less defended and more at the mercy of the world than a 32-year-old hotel maid, a widow, a West African immigrant working to support herself and her daughter?
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.But what is most startling about the story is not the charge that a powerful man did a dreadful thing. It is the utter and profound difference between the U.S. response to the story and the French response.
America was immediately sympathetic to the underdog. The impulse of every media organization, from tabloid to broadsheet to cable to network, was to side with the powerless one in the equation. The cops, the hotel's managers, the District Attorney's office—everyone in authority gave equal weight and respect to the word of the maid. Only in America (and not always in America) would they have taken the testimony of the immigrant woman from Africa and dragged the powerful man out of his first-class seat in the jet at JFK.
In France, the exact opposite. There, from the moment the story broke, DSK was the victim, not the villain. It was a setup, a trap, a conspiracy. He has a weakness for women. No, he loves them too much. Hairy-chested poseur and Sarkozy foreign-policy adviser Bernard-Henri Levy sneeringly referred to "the chambermaid," brayed about DSK's high standing, and called him "a friend to women." Jean Daniel, editor of Le Nouvel Observateur, sniffily asked why "the supposed victim was treated as worthy and beyond suspicion."
Why wouldn't she be treated as worthy, buddy? One is tempted to ask if it's the black part, the woman part or the immigrant part.
As David Rieff wrote in The New Republic, to French intellectuals, DSK deserves special treatment because he is a valuable person. "The French elites' consensus seems to be that it is somehow Strauss-Kahn himself and not the 32-year-old maid who is the true victim of this drama."
Americans totally went for the little guy. The French went for the power.
Lafayette would weep.
Someone once sniffed, "In America they call waiters 'Sir.' " Bien sur, my little bonbon. It's part of our unlost greatness.
More Peggy Noonan
Read Peggy Noonan's previous columns
click here to order her new book, Patriotic Grace
.The French are a very great people. They have filled the world with so much beauty, you have to wonder if God didn't send them down here just for that. As David McCullough observes in his tender new book, "The Greater Journey," generations of Americans, starting in 1820 or so, journeyed to Paris to learn the best in art, medicine, science and literature. They came back and filled our nation with the innovation and expertise they'd acquired there. The French didn't just enrich us, they helped America become itself.
Today they are great talkers, but for all their talk of emotions, and they do talk about emotions, they need, on this story at least, an attitude adjustment. They need to grow a heart. If the charges are true, this isn't a story about sex, romance and the war between men and women, it is about violence, and toward a person who is almost a definition of powerlessness.
Their mindless snobbery is unworthy of them.
We finish with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has finished himself. The scandal surrounding him this week is not precisely a public concern. He is not now holding office, and if he had plans or further ambitions in that area they are over. The story is not shocking—he has admitted bad behavior in the past, there have been longtime rumors, "Everyone knows." But still it took you aback. Why? The level of creepiness and the nature of the breach. The mother of the former governor's child worked for him, for them, for 20 years—another unequal power arrangement—meaning 20 years of fiction had to be maintained. "In my home!" as Michael Corleone said in "Godfather II." "Where my wife sleeps . . . and my children play with their toys." The rotten taste of this story will not fade soon.
Human sin is a constant, none are free, and anyone who is shocked by it is a fool or lying. Even so, what a week, full of human surprises. But we wouldn't be so surprised if we paid more attention to what we know, and built our expectations from there.
Reply #556 on:
May 20, 2011, 04:50:19 PM »
It's not like he was in the running for saint, but disappointing on several levels.
1. Don't cheat on your wife. If you don't want to be married, then don't be married. If Tiger Woods was banging tons of women as a single guy, would anyone have cared? I doubt it.
2. If you are rich and famous, swing for the stars. C'mon Tiger, a waitress at Perkins? WTF, Ah-nold, you are Ah-nold f'ing Schwarzenegger. All the hot women in California and you are banging a woman who most closely resembles the Grimace from McDonald's in a blonde wig? Are you kidding me? I though Bill Clinton was an abberation with Lewinsky. I mean she probably would be the hottest woman in Arkansas, and she was a great deal better looking than co-president Cankles, but still.
At least JFK had a sense of presidential greatness when he hooked up with Marilyn Monroe. I guess it's been a sad decline since Camelot.
Reply #557 on:
May 23, 2011, 11:17:26 AM »
By JAMES TARANTO
The judicial filibuster is back, and it's better than ever! Yesterday the U.S. Senate effectively killed the nomination of hard-left University of California law professor Goodwin Liu to serve on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by rejecting a "cloture" motion that would have cleared the way for an actual confirmation vote. The cloture vote was 52-43 in favor, eight short of the requisite three-fifths majority. It was a near-party-line vote, with Alaska's Lisa Murkowski the only Republican voting "yes" and Nebraska's Ben Nelson the only Democrat voting "no."
The use of the filibuster to kill judicial nominations that a majority of senators support is a fairly new tactic. After Democrats lost the Senate majority in 2002, they used cloture votes to prevent the appointment of several Bush nominees, most notably Miguel Estrada. In 2005, Republicans, who then held a 55-45 majority, threatened to use what was dubbed the "nuclear option," which would change the Senate rules to preclude the filibustering of judicial appointments.
Instead, a bipartisan "gang" of 14 senators, seven from each party, reached an agreement in which the Republicans promised to abjure the nuclear option and the Democrats pledged to forgo filibusters except in "extraordinary circumstances." Assuming all the gangsters kept their word, there would be no more than 48 votes for the nuclear option and (in "ordinary" circumstances) at least 62 votes to break a filibuster.
The judicial filibuster faded into irrelevance after the 2006 election. In 2007-08, the Democrats had a majority and didn't need to filibuster to block Bush nominees. In 2009-10, the Republicans' numbers were so diminished that the Dems could overcome any filibuster of an Obama pick. But with the Republicans' gains in last year's election, the Senate looks much like it did in 2005, when the president's party had a majority but the minority was big enough to use the filibuster.
There's a certain rough justice in Liu's being kept off the bench by a judicial filibuster, since he earlier made a name for himself by slandering Judge (now Justice) Samuel Alito. As the Associated Press reports:
Liu had said Alito's vision was an America "where police may shoot and kill an unarmed boy . . . where federal agents may point guns at ordinary citizens during a raid, even after no sign of resistance ... where the FBI may install a camera where you sleep . . . where a black man may be sentenced to death by an all-white jury for killing a white man, absent . . . analysis showing discrimination."
Liu told his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee that this "was not an appropriate way to describe Justice Alito." He described his own language as "unduly harsh," and added, "If I had it to do over again, I would have deleted it."
Yeah, we bet he would have! Roll Call reports that Republicans cited "extraordinary circumstances" to justify the blocking of Liu's nomination, The Hill reports that "Democrats on Thursday said the standard for filibustering judicial nominees has been lowered significantly as a result of Liu's defeat":
"It's a bad, bad precedent," said Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), a member of the Judiciary Committee. "If this is not an extraordinarily well-qualified person, I don't know who will be. I'm afraid the phrase 'extraordinary circumstances' will suffer great damage by this action if a filibuster is sustained."
In truth, whatever meaning the rather vague phrase "extraordinary circumstances" might have had, it lost in January 2007, for the gangsters' agreement applied only in the 109th Congress. Thus the nine remaining gangsters were free to vote in favor of the filibuster, as five of them, including Democrat Nelson, did.
Left-wing extremists are predictably accusing GOP senators of hypocrisy. The outfit that styles itself People for the American Way "sent out a list of quotes from Republicans from 2005 declaring that it was unconstitutional not to allow up-or-down votes on judicial nominees," Roll Call notes.
Of course, Democrats back then were championing the filibuster as a vital check on majority power. One may reasonably conclude that both sides are more concerned with substance than with process, although the Republicans have the better of the argument inasmuch as it is hardly reasonable to expect them to disarm unilaterally.
Murkowski stood almost alone in attributing her vote entirely to her view of the procedural question: "I stated during the Bush administration that judicial nominations deserved an up-or-down vote, except in 'extraordinary circumstances,' and my position has not changed simply because there is a different president making the nominations," she said in a statement.
Hatch: "Present" means "no."
.Utah's Orrin Hatch also tried to make a statement against the filibuster, but in a silly way: He voted "present." He did the same thing two weeks ago on a cloture vote for another nominee, John McConnell of Rhode Island (that one made it to the floor on a 63-33 vote). "I just felt that was the only honorable thing I could do under the circumstances," Hatch told the Legal Times after the McConnell vote. "I opposed the nominee, but I didn't want to vote against cloture."
The reason this is silly is that unlike a confirmation vote, which is approved so long as "yes" votes outnumber "noes," a cloture vote requires a three-fifths majority of all seated senators. Assuming no Senate seats are vacant, a cloture motion could theoretically be stopped by a 59-1 vote in favor. That means that a "present" vote, or an absence, is identical in effect to a "no" vote.
Hatch insists there is a symbolic difference. "It's not the same," he told Legal Times. "If it were the same, I'd have voted 'no.' It's the only way I could preserve my integrity on this matter."
But "asked whether he could ever support a filibuster of a judicial nominee, Hatch did not rule out the possibility":
"I have every right to vote 'no' on cloture, because the Democrats have set the standard," Hatch said, alluding to the judge wars of the Bush administration. Still, he said he wouldn't feel good about it, "because I still feel I was right about the filibustering of judges."
Again, the effect of a "no" vote is identical to that of a "present" vote. So Hatch is unwilling to rule out a purely symbolic vote that would violate his stated principles. It's hard to imagine a protest with less of a point.
"Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Thursday he'll use 'cheerful persistence' to overcome the bumps that marked the first formal week of his campaign," the Associated Press reports.
Gingrich said he isn't surprised by the rough start to his campaign. . . . "My reaction is if you're the candidate of very dramatic change, it you're the candidate of really new ideas, you have to assume there's a certain amount of clutter and confusion and it takes a while to sort it all out, because you are doing something different," Gingrich told reporters after he opened an intense three-day campaign swing in Iowa. . . .
"This campaign is very alive and very well with lots of grass-roots support," Gingrich told the crowd.
It gets better:
He said reporters covering his campaign must adjust their thinking.
"It's going to take a while for the news media to realize that you're covering something that happens once or twice in a century, a genuine grass-roots campaign of very big ideas," said Gingrich. "I expect it to take a while for it to sink in."
How bad is Gingrich as a candidate? He doesn't even have John Kerry's comic timing. The stuff he says is so crazy and outrageous that one quickly becomes desensitized to it.
The stuff he's saying now is objectively hilarious, but that's a perilous oxymoron, because it's not nearly as funny as yesterday's material about sheep and the liar's paradox. Even someone who is as much of a genius as Newt can't possibly outdo that.
By contrast, Kerry, the haughty, French-looking Massachusetts Democrat who by the way served in Vietnam, never stops being funny. He has the hat to this day! Kerry's secret is that he has just enough self-restraint to maintain an illusion of dignity among those who sympathize with him politically. That they take him seriously only adds to the humor.
Gingrich would be funnier if he could find other people to say with a straight face things like, "This is something that happens once or twice a century." But good luck with that.
Riding High in April, Shot Down in May
A day after he announced it, Willie Nelson has withdrawn his presidential endorsement of the monotonous libertarian extremist Gary Johnson, RawStory.com reports (apparently quoting Nelson's email verbatim):
"Yesterday, both the Teapot Party and Gary Johnson 2012 sent out press releases announcing the endorsement," wrote Teapot Party member Steve Bloom Thursday. . . .
"My position is it too early for me to endorse anyone," he wrote in an email to Bloom. "And I think every one should vote their own conscience."
Willie went on: "I think I will wait and see where he stands on other things. My bad. Sorry. I still think he is a good guy but so Is Dennis [Kucinich] and if he decided to run I would personally vote for him. If it came down to either him or Gary I'm already committed to Dennis. They both have said they support legal pot."
We're glad he cleared that up. But wait. What if it's Newt Gingrich vs. Russ Feingold--how does Willie vote then? An anxious world holds its breath. An anxious world exhales. An anxious world suddenly feels more mellow. A mellow world scarfs down an entire bag of Doritos. Dude, what was this item about again?
Survival Is Not an Option
After getting off to a "great start," Katie Couric yesterday signed off as anchorman of the "CBS Evening News," reports the network's New York website. If Harold Camping is right, she just missed the story of her lifetime. New York magazine has an interview with Camping, leader of "the Christian movement that believes Judgment Day will occur on May 21":
How certain are you that world is going to end on May 21--do you have any doubts?
God has given sooo much information in the Bible about this, and so many proofs, and so many signs, that we know it is absolutely going to happen without any question at all. There's nothing in the Bible that God has ever prophesied--there's many things that he prophesied would happen and they always have happened--but there's nothing in the Bible that holds a candle to the amount of information to this tremendous truth of the end of the world. I would be absolutely in rebellion against God if I thought anything other than it is absolutely going to happen without any question.
Wow, he's like a Christian Eric Holder. Then again, why should he worry? If he's wrong, it's not the end of the world.
Reply #558 on:
May 23, 2011, 11:29:50 AM »
I hope the dems like that dose of their own medicine.
NY race/referendum?Dem plant?/TeaParty problem4 Repubs?
Reply #559 on:
May 25, 2011, 11:21:15 AM »
Tea Party lost the race for Republicans? Interesting the spoiler in this race is Jack Davis the Tea Party candidate that got several % of the vote while Repub candidate lost ~ 48- 44. This guy Davis was (is?) a Democrat. On the other hand if Americans really cannot accept some adjustments to Medicare while it is going broke as we speak then this country really is screwed.
****Ap Special Correspondent – Tue May 24, 10:56 pm ET
WASHINGTON – Little more than a month after they backed sweeping changes to Medicare, Republicans are on the political defensive, losing a House seat long in their possession and exhibiting significant internal strains for the first time since last fall's election gains.
"We've got to get beyond this," Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said recently after several days of back and forth over the proposal he authored and included in the budget that cleared on a party line vote. "And we've got to get onto a serious conversation about what it takes to fix the fiscal problems in this country."
Under Ryan's proposal, Medicare would remain unchanged for those 55 or older, including the millions who now receive health care under the program. Anyone younger would be required to obtain coverage from a private insurer, with the government providing a subsidy to cover part of the cost of premiums.
In the weeks since the budget cleared, President Barack Obama led a Democratic attack and GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich sharply criticized Ryan's proposal before apologizing a day or two later.
On Tuesday night, Republicans suffered a reversal at the ballot box, losing a House seat long in their possession in upstate New York. The Democratic winner in the multi-candidate race, Kathy Hochul, attacked her Republican rival over Medicare.
Her party and its allies did the same and promised much more of the same strategy in 2012, as Republicans insisted they were not worried.
"To predict the future based on the results of this unusual race is naive and risky," Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, chairman of the House Republican campaign committee, said in a statement that made no mention of Medicare.
While defending his plan in Wisconsin and nationally, Ryan said he is open to changes, and a Senate vote tentatively set for this week on rival budgets has produced two Republican defections so far. Additionally, Republicans say they know of no plans to seek passage of legislation to implement the proposal.
With Congress just back from a week's vacation, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., indicated Monday that Republicans want to change the subject. Without mentioning Medicare, he said the House majority has been focusing recently on "how to address the deficit (by) cutting back on the expenditures."
Now, he said, the GOP will present a "growth agenda."
Several strategists in both parties said in recent interviews the Republican proposals for Medicare are viewed more favorably when they are presented as part of a larger effort to fix the economy and create jobs.
For their part, Obama and other Democrats criticize the GOP proposal in narrow terms, an attack on a program that provides health care to millions.
Obama called the approach radical — the same term Gingrich used. Republicans want "to end Medicare as we know it," the president told an audience of invited guests, Ryan and other GOP lawmakers among them.
Privately, Republicans cite polling suggesting the Democratic charges are finding a receptive audience.
In one private poll circulated among Republicans in the past few weeks, 46 percent of those surveyed said they believed the GOP blueprint would reduce benefits for those over 55, including current beneficiaries. Another 41 percent said they believed it would not.
Beyond the polling and the rhetoric, Democrats seized on the special House election in a conservative New York district between Rochester and Buffalo to test-market their attacks.
The Democratic candidate, Kathy Hochul, aired ads that said she wants to reduce government spending, but Republican rival Jane Corwin favors Medicare cuts "to pay for more tax cuts for multimillionaires." The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and an outside group, the House Majority PAC, aired ads making a similar charge.
Corwin counterattacked, accusing Hochul of wanting to cut Social Security as well as Medicare.
Fearing defeat, the National Republican Congressional Committee has spent more than $400,000 on campaign activities. It aired an ad reminiscent of commercials that aired in 2010, and linked Hochul to House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.
In addition, American Crossroads, a GOP-aligned group, has spent nearly $700,000, much of it attacking Jack Davis, the third candidate in the race. A one-time Democrat, he ran as a tea party advocate.
"Jack Davis' presence is the only reason this is a competitive race," Paul Lindsay, a spokesman for the National Republican Campaign Committee, said before the polls closed.
He said Medicare had not had an impact except that "Jane Corwin has shown that Republicans need to fight back on Medicare and call Democrats out for their scare tactics."
Democrats disputed that.
"I'm not saying we're going to win this but the fact that this is a competitive race in one of the most Republican districts in the country shows how Medicare is shaping" the campaign, Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said before the results were known.
The issue "was a game changer," he said.
Win or lose, Democrats say they intend to take the issue into the 2012 campaign.
"This is a vote tabulation that you will see over and over again," Pelosi, D-Calif., said recently, referring to the 235-193 roll call that passed the budget. Only four Republicans opposed the measure, and no Democrats voted in its favor.
Ryan said last weekend he would "of course" be amenable to changing his proposal, and added, "This is the legislative process. But let's be clear: We are the only ones who have put out a plan to fix this problem" of soaring federal debt.
While Democrats have been relentless in attacking the proposal, Gingrich stirred controversy when he contrasted Ryan's approach to the new health care law Obama won from Congress.
"I don't think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a good way for a free society to operate," he said.
Criticized by fellow conservatives, Gingrich called Ryan to apologize. But a week later, he said he still opposes the Wisconsin lawmaker's call for denying those under 55 access to the current Medicare system.****
Reply #560 on:
May 25, 2011, 11:33:52 AM »
Well, the dems running a bogus tea party candidate to draw votes from the republican is nothing new, and keep in mind this is New York state. They've been detatched from financial reality for generations.
Cantor screws the people of Missouri
Reply #561 on:
May 25, 2011, 05:31:06 PM »
Re: Cantor screws the people of Missouri
Reply #562 on:
May 25, 2011, 05:46:32 PM »
Quote from: bigdog on May 25, 2011, 05:31:06 PM
I know, the magical money tree never runs out and anyone who suggests otherwise is a horrible, horrible person.
FWIW, I'd be quite happy to take every penny from the US Dept. of Education and PBS to use for the storm victims and recovery in the midwest.
Reply #563 on:
May 25, 2011, 06:07:57 PM »
Ummm , , , just what are the standards for determining the line between state and federal responsibility in this sort of thing?
Reply #564 on:
May 25, 2011, 06:20:00 PM »
Quote from: Crafty_Dog on May 25, 2011, 06:07:57 PM
Ummm , , , just what are the standards for determining the line between state and federal responsibility in this sort of thing?
Without researching, my pragmatic orientation says the state has primary responsibility, but the feds should jump in when you have such severe destruction that overwhelms state resources, such as what it appears to be in places like Joplin, Mo. As far as first responders, it's a local/county/state thing. FEMA has most always been a check writing entity more than anything.
Re: Cantor screws the people of Missouri
Reply #565 on:
May 25, 2011, 07:35:50 PM »
Quote from: G M on May 25, 2011, 05:46:32 PM
I know, the magical money tree never runs out and anyone who suggests otherwise is a horrible, horrible person.
Yes, that is exactly what I said. And what I've always said. I named my kid "Magic Money Tree."
Reply #566 on:
May 25, 2011, 07:44:36 PM »
Well, if the magic money tree should ever fail, just whip out the China Express Card (Slogan: My grandkids will get the tab).
No, of course you didn't say that, you did link to a blog that condemned Cantor's pragmatic stance on gov't spending. Now I have no objection to using federal funds for responding to disasters, but I think we are well past the point where we need to make hard choices about all of the spending.
Reply #567 on:
May 25, 2011, 07:59:44 PM »
I linked an article that condemned Cantor's stance on using federal funds for direct aid to American people who have been subjected to a natural disaster. If you have no problem with using federal funds for responding to that disaster, why the hell did you react like you did?
Reply #568 on:
May 25, 2011, 08:28:53 PM »
Perhaps I'm misreading it, but it sure seems like Cantor is getting bashed for suggesting that there are financial constraints on the federal budget.(With my commentary added)
The death toll of the Joplin tornado has risen to 122. It was the deadliest tornado that the country has endured in 60 years, and thousands of people are homeless. It's a complete mess, and it will no doubt cost tens of millions of dollars to get the town of 50,000 back to normal.
President Obama, who was out of the country at the time of the disaster, told victims, "The American people are by your side." And, "We're going to stay there until every home is repaired, until every neighborhood is rebuilt, until every business is back on its feet."
(What a great guy!)
But House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says it's time for penny-pinching!
Before Uncle Sam starts handing out recovery cash, Cantor (R-VA) wants everybody to know that the emergency money will have to be offset by other federal spending.
(What? Cut into vital PBS funds ? How will America survive without "Prarie Home Companion?)
Wait, are we really concerned about saving a little money as crews are searching rubble for survivors and bodies?
(Well, yes, we should always be. Not doing so has got us into this fiscal crisis, more of the same is a real bad idea.)
Politico reports Cantor said, "If there is support for a supplemental, it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental." Apparently going into debt to save a city isn't worth it.
(We are long past the going into debt point. We have the "warp core breach" alarm going off at this point.)
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, who represented Joplin during his time in the U.S. House, had a pretty simple message for Cantor Tuesday afternoon. Politico writes that he released a statement saying, "We need to prioritize spending, and this needs to be a priority." Well, duh!
(Which is why the honorable Senator should agree that some financial triage is in order, just as real world medical triage is taking place in MO. as we speak.)
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill was less reserved in her statement on Cantor's plan. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports she said,"With all due respect to Congressman Cantor, I have a hard time believing that if this were in his congressional district, he would be talking about how additional disaster relief would not be available unless we found some other programs to take it from. It must be available. This must not be a political football. We must provide the assistance. That's what federal tax dollars are for, is to provide assistance when there is no assistance available to communities and states because of the wrath of Mother Nature."
(My turn for the pork! Don't ask how much!)
Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 08:31:18 PM by G M
Reply #569 on:
May 25, 2011, 10:14:02 PM »
I am glad to know that you are supportive of protecting American lives in all situations. You'll forgive me if I don't see federal aid to storm ravaged areas as "pork."
"Wait, are we really concerned about saving a little money as crews are searching rubble for survivors and bodies? (Well, yes, we should always be. Not doing so has got us into this fiscal crisis, more of the same is a real bad idea.)" So, looking for the bodies and survivors of 9/11, or Katrina, or the floods of 1993, or any other disaster is the reason we are in a financial crisis. It must be those activities.
Reply #570 on:
May 25, 2011, 10:25:53 PM »
Priorities. Just as reacting to disasters takes priority, the funds for it take priority over less essential things we spend a godawful amount on. If we need to gut next year's budget for the National Endowment of the Arts to rebuild Joplin, that's what we should do. If my transmission goes out, the funds come out of my beer and Vegas trip fund. Choices, priorities.
Reply #571 on:
May 26, 2011, 12:01:50 PM »
Crafty wrote: "... just what are the standards for determining the line between state and federal responsibility in this sort of thing?"
I would add that charity and neighborly assistance used to be the norm.
During Katrina, the US Coast Guard helicopters flew from rooftop to rooftop until there was no one left to rescue. I do not know of any purse tightening, scary conservative who opposes that type of use of federal resources.
Monday morning after our tornado I bought a chain saw with my 'self-insurance settlement' and began cutting a path to get a ladder to a roof to start rebuilding. Nowhere else within sight or earshot had work begun within 24 hours of the twister. The work that began was to see office dressed people wandering through with clipboards and cameras preparing their cases for third party pay.
I was impressed to see our postal carrier climb through the debris between homes right on schedule. He told me the mayor and councilman were on the block (safely above the damage). Mark me down as a cynic and a skeptic, but they weren't looking for survivors or helping people dig out of their homes; it was a photo opp to begin the case for federal emergency assistance.
When is it federal, when is it state, when is it local, when is it private, when is it charity, when do neighbors pull together and lend a hand ... there is no easy answer or criteria but when we are talking about money and checks after the fact, rather than equipment emergency and manpower to save lives, there will be pork, waste and fraud within those funds. Discussing that should not be off-limits. The 'quote' under Cantor's picture is not what he said. The "Duh" that the writers put to "priority" apparently don't know the meaning of that word. You put a priority AHEAD of something else, not just with everything else. The further away the money comes from the more abuse I would expect to find. I couldn't help but ponder from my roof with helicopters for gawkers circling, where is
bailout? So I took the free bottle of water that the Salvation Army tossed up. (It was the electricity, not the water, that was off.)
North Minneapolis may be near blight now, but when these neighborhoods were built 90 years ago, homes were built solid - with basements well below frostline. No comparison to Joplin with a type 5, but only 4% of tornadoes are stronger than what cut right through this major metro, yet no one who was able to take cover in their homes and basements was killed.
Like the argument of smaller efficient cars taking the brunt in a crash, the feds will pay you to build homes with energy star ideas like in floor heat instead of basements with no consideration for where to take caver when the storm hits.
I can't tell the shame I feel when the Minnesota politicians petition the federal government for cold weather assistance. Who knew about cold weather? But in winter it is our turn to dip into the sugar jar if we are going to pay the rest of the year for hurricane damages to people who build in hurricane zones, earthquake funds to people who live on fault lines, tornado assistance to people who build to in 'tornado alley', flood payments to people who build in the flood plain, etc etc.
Horrific in Joplin are the deaths IMO, not the property damage no matter how devastating. Money after the fact does not bring the deaths back to life and Cantor did not say no federal money. I'm sure no one yet knows what part of this loss is insured. $3 billion to Washington is a rounding error and who says the feds should pay all of it and why is not okay to question in Washington whether that will be a priority, putting it ahead of something else, or a debt or mini-QE that we will never repay.
Mpls damage estimated at a couple hundred million dollars means that 0.000001 of total assets in MN were wiped out, most of it insured. That is not something that that a local community could not absorb or rebuild - at least if not for the $44 billion/yr MN already sends to the federal government alone. JMHO.
Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 12:18:02 PM by DougMacG
Reply #572 on:
May 26, 2011, 02:12:19 PM »
Good post Doug.
Reply #573 on:
May 26, 2011, 02:17:01 PM »
Crafty wrote: "... just what are the standards for determining the line between state and federal responsibility in this sort of thing?"
"I would add that charity and neighborly assistance used to be the norm."
Doug & Crafty, great point about this. I am not certain when it became a political necessity for the Prez to fly arond showing how he feels everyone's pain but it must have become a high art form aka Clinton.
Now we also have the liberal media disaster squad led by Anderson Cooper flying to every disaster in seconds demanding for the Feds to role in the military rescue crews at once replete with housing, TV dinners(a comment you made some years back on the DMG board during Katrina), unemployment forms etc.
Bigdog's point about the horror of it all is well stated. But I kind of tend to agree with Doug that I am not convinced this need be a Federal responsibility.
Of course any President who denies Fed assistance is demogagued, unless you are the Democratic Prez who is denying poltical adversaries who the MSM dislikes (Texas).
Reply #574 on:
May 26, 2011, 02:21:48 PM »
Good point about Texas, ccp.
federal response to disaster
Reply #575 on:
May 26, 2011, 03:00:40 PM »
Some high points:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.
FEMA can trace its beginnings to the Congressional Act of 1803.
The 1960s and early 1970s brought massive disasters requiring major federal response and recovery operations by the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration, established within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Hurricane Carla struck in 1962, Hurricane Betsy in 1965, Hurricane Camille in 1969 and Hurricane Agnes in 1972. The Alaskan Earthquake hit in 1964 and the San Fernando Earthquake rocked Southern California in 1971. These events served to focus attention on the issue of natural disasters and brought about increased legislation. In 1968, the National Flood Insurance Act offered new flood protection to homeowners, and in 1974 the Disaster Relief Act firmly established the process of Presidential disaster declarations.
which is somewhat supportive of you guys, though it does note that federal support began pretty early. "Federal involvement in emergency relief began soon after the country's founding.... In 1793, Congress approved a special appropriations bill to send financial aid to east coast cities burdened by an influx of thousands of refugees from Santo Domingo."
Reply #576 on:
May 26, 2011, 04:29:27 PM »
Interesting historical points, BD.
Reply #577 on:
May 27, 2011, 09:00:54 AM »
Born and bred on the Democrat party. Pelosi gone. Now another woman who plays the sex card every chance she opens her mouth.
The female version of Chuck Schumer:
Re: Wasserman Schultz
Reply #578 on:
May 27, 2011, 09:36:07 AM »
Quote from: ccp on May 27, 2011, 09:00:54 AM
Born and bred on the Democrat party. Pelosi gone. Now another woman who plays the sex card every chance she opens her mouth.
The female version of Chuck Schumer:
The new chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee was criticizing Republicans who opposed President Obama's bailout of the American automakers union, oh, no, make that American automakers.
"If it were up to the candidates for president on the Republican side," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, "we would be driving foreign cars. They would have let the auto industry in America go down the tubes."
So Michael O'Brien of The Hill newspaper went and checked what kind of automobile loyal-American-car-supporter Debbie Wasserman Schultz owns.
Yup, you guessed it -- Japanese.
Drive as she says, not as she does.
-- Andrew Malcolm
Reply #579 on:
May 27, 2011, 10:59:42 AM »
IMHO more to the point than her hypocrisy is the fact that having followed the bankruptcy laws would not have vaporized the companies in question; they would have been re-organized-- a far different matter.
Reply #580 on:
May 27, 2011, 02:06:45 PM »
A friend's take on the selecetion processes of state courts.
Reply #581 on:
May 27, 2011, 02:15:57 PM »
Would you also post that in the Legal Issues thread as well please?
Reply #582 on:
June 06, 2011, 01:38:41 PM »
"No country upon earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wondrously strange, then, and much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly." --George Washington
This is what bread and circuses get you"The president and his supporters call for tax increases as a means to cover the deficit, but higher tax revenues cannot eliminate the deficit. Controlling for inflation, federal tax revenue today is 23 times greater than it was in 1960, but congressional spending is 42 times greater. During the last half-century, except for five years, the nation has faced a federal budget deficit. It's just simple math. If tax revenues soar, but congressional spending soars more, budget deficits cannot be avoided. People ask what can be done to save our nation from decline. To ask that represents a misunderstanding of history and possibly a bit of arrogance. After all, how different are Americans from the Romans, Spaniards, French and the English? These were once mighty nations standing at the top of civilization. At the height of these nation's prosperity, no one would have predicted that they'd become third-rate nations, especially England. ... One chief causal factor for the decline of these former great nations is what has been described as 'bread and circuses,' where government spends money for the shallow and immediate wants of the population, and civic virtue all but disappears. For the past half-century, our nation has been doing precisely what brought down other great nations. We might have now reached the point of no return. If so, do we deserve it?" --economist Walter E. Williams
"With an emphasis on enterprise, investment, and work, on jobs and opportunity, we turned around economic decline and national malaise and set in motion one of the longest periods of peacetime economic growth and job creation in postwar history. The pundits ... told us that we couldn't expect to get anything accomplished, even before we got to Washington. Now, they're trying to bring the curtain down before the show is over. ... The notion that government controls, central planning, and bureaucracy can provide cost-free prosperity has now come and gone the way of the hula-hoop, the Nehru jackets, and the all-asparagus diet. Throughout the world the failure of socialism is evident." --Ronald Reagan
For the Record
"Can America's defense budget be cut? Yes. Unfortunately, President Obama is going about it exactly backwards. He has asked the Pentagon to identify $400 billion in savings. But coming up with an arbitrary figure and telling our military to find some way to hit it isn't the smart -- or safe -- way to make the necessary cuts. ... Never mind that cutting-edge weaponry is a key component to ensuring that our military is the best in the world. It's not simply next-generation programs that fall by the wayside. The military also tries to cuts costs by forgoing upgrades and by extending the life of equipment that might otherwise be replaced. ... Readiness aside, we're setting ourselves up for big expenses down the road when, eventually, we have to rebuild. It's happened before: in the 1980s, after the procurement holiday of the Carter years, and again after the post-Cold War cuts of the Clinton era. In the long run, we spend more than if we'd never made the cuts to begin with. And in the meantime, we grapple with an over-stretched military and needless vulnerabilities. ... Like any area of government, defense has waste that could be eliminated. But we need to start by taking a hard look at our defense programs... Mission first. Then cuts. That's the only way to ensure that we both spend wisely and keep ourselves safe." --Heritage Foundation president Ed Feulner
U.S. Marine Corps bandana
Semper Fi! Give your Marine a little something to tuck into a pocket or use as a headcover! Made from 100% cotton, bandana measures approximately 22" square.
"More than two months ago, President Obama abruptly took the nation to war against Libya, a country that had not attacked us or threatened us. ... [P]residents of both parties have often trampled over their original limits, and Congress has usually let them. This has not gone over well with all lawmakers -- like the senator who said in 2007 that the president has no right to go to war on his own, barring an actual or potential attack. His name was Barack Obama. But President Obama has thoroughly repudiated the naive and simplistic notions voiced by Sen. Obama. ... A rare attempt by Congress to reassert its authority came in 1973, when it passed a law called the War Powers Resolution. It places mild restrictions on the president, requiring him to report to Congress when he puts American forces 'into hostilities.' If Congress doesn't give approval of the operation within 60 days, the law says, he has to bring it to a swift conclusion. But the 60th day came and went last month.... Can someone direct me to the provision of the Constitution that blesses 'limited military engagements' authorized by the White House in conjunction with NATO? Or the section in the War Powers Resolution that says, 'Invalid in cases when the president claims a national interest'? The Constitution says the president 'shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.' But when Obama executed this law, he did it with a firing squad." --columnist Steve Chapman
Opinion in Brief
"For tens of millions of Americans, Memorial Day is a time for remembrance of the huge sacrifices made by servicemen and women on the battlefield. The president did pay his respects in the morning, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, but later in the day traveled to Fort Belvoir to play golf. ... Does it matter if the president chooses to play golf on Memorial Day, and for the second time in his presidency (he did so as well in 2009)? I think it does, and it displays extraordinarily bad judgment, not only by Obama himself but also by his advisers. ... President Obama is not just any American but Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces. The United States is currently engaged in a major war in Afghanistan with over 100,000 troops on the ground, and more than 1,500 have already laid down their lives for their country. The least the president can do on Memorial Day is spend the whole day with veterans and servicemen's families while acknowledging their sacrifice. ... The president's actions smack of poor taste, as well a lack of empathy and support for the US military, hardly the kind of leadership the White House should be projecting at a time of war." --columnist Nile Gardiner
Faith & Family
"For the first time in history, less than half of Americans now live in married-couple households. The new finding by the Census Bureau reflects the most profound change in the nature of American society ever to have occurred, yet practically no one talks about it. Only 48 percent of American households are made up of married couples. ... What all this means is that increasing numbers of children are growing up without two parents, and few policymakers seem to care, even though the societal consequences bode ill for the future. Myriad studies have documented that children who grow up without two parents are more likely to do worse in school, drop out, commit crimes, and earn less during their lifetimes than those who are raised with both parents, even adjusting for economic status and race. They are also far less likely to have stable relationships and marriages as adults, thus fueling the cycle of marriage breakdown. Perhaps the most alarming result of this family breakdown comes from a new analysis of longitudinal data from a large cohort of young children -- primarily bright, white children born to middle-class and affluent parents -- who were followed throughout their lives. The study found that even relatively privileged children suffered when their parents divorced. ... In the end, it's the children who pay for the devastating effects of divorce. It's time we start putting our kids first." --columnist Linda Chavez
"Take the 'tea parties,' which have been accused of racism by the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus, mainstream media outlets and entertainer-activists such as Janeane Garofalo, who proclaimed they are 'about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up.' So, after nearly two years of 'experts' telling us that the typical tea party member is two holes in a white sheet shy of being a Klansman, guess who is arguably the most popular tea party candidate for president? Herman Cain, a black businessman. Perhaps the most telling sign of the changing racial landscape comes with voting patterns, though not at the ballot box. Blacks -- particularly among the young and educated -- are voting with their feet by leaving cities like New York, Chicago and Detroit in huge numbers and moving to places like Atlanta, Charlotte and Dallas. Clement Price, a Rutgers history professor, told the New York Times, 'The black urban experience has essentially lost its appeal with blacks in America.' ... For years, liberals have glibly smeared the GOP as racist because it is disproportionately Southern. Obviously there are historical reasons behind the charge, but in 2011? If the region is so racist, why are blacks so eager to flee to the less 'progressive' South?" --columnist Jonah Goldberg
Re: Headlines from the future.....
Reply #583 on:
June 30, 2011, 07:51:17 AM »
Quote from: G M on February 19, 2011, 02:11:33 PM
Quote from: G M on February 02, 2011, 08:35:04 AM
Quote from: G M on November 28, 2010, 08:24:44 PM
Quote from: G M on June 06, 2008, 03:59:30 PM
A headline from the future with President Obama: "The Sunni-Shia Nuclear Arms Race Escalates".
I wonder how much gas will be then....
America is not short of allies in its quest to thwart Iran, though some are clearly more enthusiastic than the Obama administration for a definitive solution to Iran's nuclear designs. In one cable, a US diplomat noted how Saudi foreign affairs bureaucrats were moderate in their views on Iran, "but diverge significantly from the more bellicose advice we have gotten from senior Saudi royals".
In a conversation with a US diplomat, King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain "argued forcefully for taking action to terminate their [Iran's] nuclear programme, by whatever means necessary. That programme must be stopped. The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it." Zeid Rifai, then president of the Jordanian senate, told a senior US official: "Bomb Iran, or live with an Iranian bomb. Sanctions, carrots, incentives won't matter."
In talks with US officials, Abu Dhabi crown prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed favoured action against Iran, sooner rather than later. "I believe this guy is going to take us to war ... It's a matter of time. Personally, I cannot risk it with a guy like [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad. He is young and aggressive."
In another exchange , a senior Saudi official warned that Gulf states may develop nuclear weapons of their own, or permit them to be based in their countries to deter the perceived Iranian threat.
No US ally is keener on military action than Israel, and officials there have repeatedly warned that time is running out. "If the Iranians continue to protect and harden their nuclear sites, it will be more difficult to target and damage them," the US embassy reported Israeli defence officials as saying in November 2009.
There are differing views within Israel. But the US embassy reported: "The IDF [Israeli Defence Force], however, strikes us as more inclined than ever to look toward a military strike, whether launched by Israel or by us, as the only way to destroy or even delay Iran's plans." Preparations for a strike would likely go undetected by Israel's allies or its enemies.
The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, told US officials in May last yearthat he and the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, agreed that a nuclear Iran would lead others in the region to develop nuclear weapons, resulting in "the biggest threat to non-proliferation efforts since the Cuban missile crisis".
The cables also expose frank, even rude, remarks about Iranian leaders, their trustworthiness and tactics at international meetings. Abdullah told another US diplomat: "The bottom line is that they cannot be trusted." Mubarak told a US congressman: "Iran is always stirring trouble." Others are learning from what they describe as Iranian deception. "They lie to us, and we lie to them," said Qatar's prime minister, Hamad bin Jassim Jaber al-Thani.
WikiLeaks: tension in the Middle East and Asia has 'direct potential' to lead to nuclear war
Tension in the Middle East and Asia has given rise to an escalating atomic arms and missiles race which has “the direct potential to lead to nuclear war,” leaked diplomatic documents disclose.
If Iran becomes a nuclear weapons state, would U.S. offer deterrence for Middle East allies?
If Iran is successful in developing a nuclear weapons capability, would the United States be willing to extend its umbrella of nuclear deterrence to protect allies in the Middle East?
That is a question the United States needs to start evaluating, according to Franklin C. Miller, a principal with the Scowcroft Group and a former member of President George W. Bush's National Security Council and special assistant to the president.
"I certainly believe people need to be thinking about that," Miller said today during a speech on the second day of the Nuclear Deterrence Summit being held just outside Washington in Crystal City, Va. The summit is hosted by Nuclear Weapons & Materials Monitor, part of ExchangeMonitor Publications.
Even though official government policy at this time is to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state, Miller said it's important to start looking at whether the U.S. would want to offer a nuclear shield to that region and, if so, what steps would be needed to accomplish it.
There is a long history of U.S. providing nuclear deterrence in Europe, where weapons are deployed in multiple countries, and Asia, where the United States considered the use of nuclear weapons during the Korean War. There is no history, however, of providing a nuclear umbrella in the Middle East.
Would Congress and the American people be willing to put the homeland at risk to protect a Middle Eastern state? And, if Iran does develop nuclear weaponry, would its neighbors in the region be sufficiently assured by the U.S. offer of deterrence that they would give up their own nuclear option?
Miller's presentation created a buzz at the summit, which has attracted some of the leading voices in the nuclear weapons community.
One audience member quizzed Miller about why he thought it was necessary to raise the specter of using nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
"If you're comfortable having four or five new nuclear states in the Middle East, then that's fine. I'm not comfortable with that," Miller said.
Another audience member asked whether he thought Israel, which has a well known but undeclared nuclear capability, would accept an offer of protection under the U.S. nuclear umbrella.
"No," Miller responded bluntly.
Riyadh will build nuclear weapons if Iran gets them, Saudi prince warns
Prospect of a nuclear conflict in the Middle East is raised by senior diplomat and member of the Saudi ruling family
Jason Burke in Riyadh
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 29 June 2011 17.19 BST
Prince Turki al-Faisal: he said that if Iran came close to developing nuclear weapons Riyadh would not stand idly by. Photograph: Hassan Ammar/AFP/Getty Images
A senior Saudi Arabian diplomat and member of the ruling royal family has raised the spectre of nuclear conflict in the Middle East if Iran comes close to developing a nuclear weapon.
Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to Washington, warned senior Nato military officials that the existence of such a device "would compel Saudi Arabia … to pursue policies which could lead to untold and possibly dramatic consequences".
He did not state explicitly what these policies would be, but a senior official in Riyadh who is close to the prince said yesterday his message was clear.
"We cannot live in a situation where Iran has nuclear weapons and we don't. It's as simple as that," the official said. "If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, that will be unacceptable to us and we will have to follow suit."
Officials in Riyadh said that Saudi Arabia would reluctantly push ahead with its own civilian nuclear programme. Peaceful use of nuclear power, Turki said, was the right of all nations.
Reply #584 on:
June 30, 2011, 10:34:59 AM »
Umm , , , very interesting of course, but why is this in this thread instead of Nuclear War or Iran?
Reply #585 on:
June 30, 2011, 10:49:04 AM »
Quote from: Crafty_Dog on February 19, 2011, 03:57:11 PM
The Nuclear War or the Mid-East War, Peace, and SNAFU threads would be a better place for this.
« Reply #547 on: February 19, 2011, 02:07:48 PM »
The original post from June 6, 2008 was in this thread.
Reply #586 on:
July 13, 2011, 01:01:54 PM »
The Patriot Post
Chronicle -- Wednesday, July 13, 2011
On the Web:
"[W]hen all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be
drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks
provided of one government on another." --Thomas Jefferson
"Republicans seemed warily confident that they might get a [debt-ceiling] deal over
the weekend on cutting future spending without raising taxes -- a deal that would
likely lead to smaller future deficits, the possibility of badly needed tax reforms
and the resumption of economic and jobs growth. No such luck. Not only did Obama not
really put any specific major cuts on the table, he reportedly surprised negotiators
by asking them to agree to a 'balanced approach' to deficit-cutting by including a
job-killing $1.7 trillion in potential new tax hikes. ... As a new Heritage
Foundation study shows, the government's tax take under Obama's current budget plans
will 'increase rapidly' from its long-term average of about 18% of GDP to a ruinous
26% of GDP in coming decades. That's why he seemed desperate, saying we need to
'tear the Band-Aid' off and 'eat our peas' to get a deal done by Aug. 2, the phony
deadline established by Democrats for fiscal Armageddon. ... During the press
conference Monday in which he made his case for 'revenue increases' -- that is, tax
hikes -- in deficit talks, Obama suggested why: He wants to spend even more in the
future. He's not shy about airing his many ideas for this, among them what he calls
'investments' in Head Start and student loan programs, more government funding of
medical research, and even an 'infrastructure bank.' Such programs aren't possible,
Obama said, 'if we haven't gotten our fiscal house in order.' This almost defies
belief. This is how we got into the problem in the first place. Too much government,
too much spending, too many regulations, too many taxes. Is Obama really that out of
touch with Americans? It seems so." --Investor's Business Daily
"The ignorance about our country is staggering. According to one survey, only 28% of
students could identify the Constitution as the supreme law of the land. Only 26% of
students knew that the first 10 amendments to the Constitution are called the Bill
of Rights. Fewer than one-quarter of students knew that George Washington was the
first president of the United States. ... Ignorance and possibly contempt for
American values, civics and history might help explain how someone like Barack Obama
could become president of the United States. At no other time in our history could a
person with longtime associations with people who hate our country become president.
... The fact that Obama became president and brought openly Marxist people into his
administration doesn't say so much about him as it says about the effects of decades
of brainwashing of the American people by the education establishment, media and the
intellectual elite." --economist Walter E. Williams
"It's a common refrain among those who lust to increase government's size and power:
Every failed measure justifies more of the same. Poverty programs make it harder to
escape poverty? We need more poverty programs! Racial preferences heighten racial
division? We need more racial preferences! And a diversity manual for every janitor
in the country! When ObamaCare ends up driving the costs of medicine up and the
quality and availability down, you can bet the people who created that monstrosity
will claim it failed only because it didn't go far enough. Let's generalize this
into the First Rule of Liberalism: Government failure always justifies more
government." --Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto
"Speaking for himself on July 11, the president offered that he had 'hundreds of
thousands of dollars that I don't need.' The president is of course welcome to
donate as much of his extra money as he likes to the federal treasury. He knows
Timothy Geithner personally and can probably get a guarantee that his check will be
cashed without delay. And since the president is so ready to impute unpleasant
motives (like greed) to those who oppose tax increases, perhaps we should impute
some sort of moral failing to him for not having thus far contributed his spare
change to the government." --columnist Mona Charen
"[T]he sheer incompetence and, in some cases, mendacity, of the current crop of
statist politicians in both the legislative and executive branches seem likely to
bring on an economic crisis that will actually force Americans to decide between a
constitutional restoration and a full embrace of statism. ... This pantomime
deficit-reduction process is evidence that those in charge have lost their mental
grip on the true dimensions of the fiscal crisis. Once they have lost their mental
grip, their economic grip -- and then their political grip -- also will soon slip
away, followed, perhaps, by a restoration of liberty." --columnist Tony Blankley
"Welfare mostly subsidizes people in poverty, helping few escape from it. In their
hearts, most people who are poor would like to be rich, or at least self-sustaining,
but this president never talks about how they might achieve that goal. Instead, he
criticizes those who made the right choices and now enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Rather than use successful people as examples for the poor to follow, the president
seeks to punish the rich with higher taxes and more regulations on their
businesses." --columnist Cal Thomas
Patriot News Review
We value your time. As a service to you, our editorial team evaluates hundreds of
reputable news sources each day for headlines that are relevant to our mission --
the advancement of Liberty. We post links to the most notable news by 0800 ET,
weekdays, and throughout the day. This page is also updated over the weekend. Don't
waste time surfing news sites. Visit the Patriot News Review
Deal now, spend more later: "Let's get this [debt ceiling] problem off the table ...
[and] with a solid fiscal situation, we will then be in a position to make the kind
of investments that I think are going to be necessary to win the future." --Barack
A great GOP campaign ad: "So, when you hear folks saying 'Well, the president
shouldn't want massive job killing tax increases when the economy is this weak.'
Nobody's looking to raise taxes right now. We're talking about potentially 2013 and
the out years." --Barack Obama
Hypocrisy: "You go talk to your constituents and ask them, 'Are you willing to
compromise your kids' safety so some corporate-jet owner can get a tax break?'"
--Barack Obama (Obama and his jet-setting entourage are the biggest spenders in the
world. How about we reverse the question?)
Constituents don't know anything: "Let me distinguish between professional
politicians and the public at large. You know, the public is not paying close
attention to the ins and outs of how a Treasury auction goes. They shouldn't.
They're worrying about their family, they're worrying about their jobs. They're
worrying about their neighborhood. They have got a lot of other things on their
plate. We're paid to worry about it." --Barack Obama, scoffing at the fact that more
than two-thirds of the electorate oppose increasing the debt ceiling
It's okay to mix religion and politics when Democrats do it: "What would Jesus do
this weekend? Or Moses? Or Allah? Or anyone else? I don't want this [debt
negotiations] book closed without the clergy having an opportunity to forcefully
express themselves as well as I know they can do." --Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)
Belly laugh of the week: "Now, without re-litigating the past, I'm absolutely
convinced, and the vast majority of economists are convinced, that the steps we took
in the Recovery Act saved millions of people their jobs or created a whole bunch of
jobs. And part of the evidence of that is as you see what happens with the Recovery
Act phasing out." --Barack Obama arguing that current job losses are proof that the
Throwing granny off a cliff: "I cannot guarantee that those [Social Security] checks
go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this [debt debate issue]. Because there
may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it. This is not just a matter of
Social Security checks. These are veterans checks, these are folks on disability and
their checks. There are about 70 million checks that go out." --Barack Obama
And it's right-wingers employing extremist rhetoric: "Is the Republican Party
willing to risk economic Armageddon in the name of religion, that is the religion of
no taxes? Well, the GOP has become the Wahhabis of American government, willing to
risk bringing down the whole country in the service of their anti-tax ideology. ...
The Party's being driven by fanatics and they're determined to bounce America's
savings bonds and have the United States begin to become like Greece." --MSNBC's
The BIG Lie: "Every fresh report of 'progress' on the debt-ceiling talks produces
new reasons to feel profoundly uneasy. The talks were misbegotten from the
beginning, made necessary only by the irresponsible refusal of Republicans to pay
the nation's bills unless they got everything their way on government spending and
taxes. ... It is already clear that the Republicans have succeeded spectacularly in
their insistence that the agreement be mostly about spending cuts rather than
building back the money lost from the Bush tax cuts that was the principal cause of
the deficit." --The New York Times
Blame game: "Wall Street wants to make it look like Fannie [Mae] and Freddie [Mac]
were the drivers behind the mortgage collapse, when in fact Wall Street led the way
and Fannie and Freddie basically caught up. I think, you know, Fannie and Freddie
were the product of government policy, both parties, and President Bush championed
the ownership society, and pushing low-cost mortgages were part of the Republican
inroad into the Hispanic community. So this wreaks of politics, but you cannot say
that Fannie and Freddie led the way with all those financial instruments."
--Newsweek's Eleanor Clift
Out on a Limb: "Obama Really Might Have Made It Worse" --Reuters
Coming This Fall on the Discovery Channel: 'Dreary Jobs': "Obama Asks Congress for
Help on Dreary Jobs Front" --NationalJournal.com
That's Racist: "Mello Yello Returns to Japan" --JapanToday.com
He Was Just Trying to Put a Little Spark Back Into the Marriage: "Jilted Husband
Built Electric Chair in Garage in Attempt to Kill Wife" --Daily Telegraph (London)
Questions Nobody Is Asking: "Why Does Dominique Strauss-Kahn Have White Hair and
Black Eyebrows?" --Slate.com
Answers to Questions Nobody Is Asking: "What Obama Wants" --The New York Times
(Thanks to The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto
Recovery is a long time coming: "I think it will take a long time still. This is a
very tough economy. And I think for a lot of people, it's going to feel very hard,
harder than the experience in a lifetime for some time to come. And that is because
that is the tragic effects of a crisis this deep and this bad caused by a long
period of lost opportunities to do things that made the country stronger."
--Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner
Spread the wealth: "This is about bringing fiscal soundness so the world and
Americans can know that we can solve our problems ourselves, and do it in a way that
there is shared pain, and there is shared responsibility. And that is what the
president is fighting for." --White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley
Race bait: "There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax
and all the voter Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit a
franchise that we see today. ... Why should we disenfranchise people forever once
they've paid their price? Because most of them in Florida were African Americans and
Hispanics and would tend to vote for Democrats, that's why." --Bill Clinton on voter
Gun Grabbers: "For years, Americans and Mexicans have watched in horror as Mexican
drug cartels have used assault rifles trafficked from America to kill thousands of
people and export drugs to our country. Now, after some in Congress unsuccessfully
tried to block this new reporting tool, the Department of Justice has finally
announced they are implementing it to help investigators take down illegal gun
traffickers. It's an encouraging sign that the administration is taking the
bloodshed at the border seriously -- and taking action to address it." --Boston
Mayor Thomas Menino of "Mayors Against Illegal Guns"
"As the late Joseph Sobran quipped, 'The Constitution poses no threat to our form of
government.' That is, unless We the People begin to apply it to hold the Obama
administration and its toadies accountable for unleashing legal and fiscal anarchy
on our country." --columnist Robert Knight
"[F]or those of you who want [to] spread the blame equally between the parties,
understand this: Republicans have proposed a budget for this year and the next.
Democrats have proposed nothing. Republicans have proposed fixes for entitlements.
Democrats have proposed nothing. Republicans have proposed reforming the tax system.
Democrats have proposed nothing. Why? Because something, with a healthy dollop of
media assistance, can be demagogued to death, detail after media-skewed detail.
Nothing? Nothing is nothing." --columnist Arnold Ahlert
"The U.S. is now in serious danger of defaulting on our foreign loans, which
explains why today, China showed up and broke the Statue of Liberty's kneecaps."
"You know what the scary part is? Not that the government will cease to function,
[but] that they think this is actually the government functioning. They think it is
working well." --comedian Jay Leno
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
The Patriot Post Editorial Team
Reply #587 on:
July 14, 2011, 07:33:22 AM »
Reply #588 on:
July 14, 2011, 10:27:37 AM »
For 51st state I was thinking Puerto Rico and hoping maybe Alberta. South California is interesting. Wouldn't it be great if we could mostly govern closer to home among people who have a more common interest, and have a strong central government limited to functions that require that, at the state as well as the national levels.
Over here in flyover country I can't get anyone to even consider the idea of splitting into a separate county. The outlying part of our county with the largest city removed (Minneapolis) is just half of one county of a medium sized state, but has a population and economy larger than 6 states. If split it would still be the state's two largest counties out of 88. We live further from the central city where the big expenses are than all of the next county over (St. Paul) and parts of 3 other counties. We cannot split because the failed inner city is financially dependent on the productive outlying areas. That isn't local government. That kind of financial support is a role for state government or federal disaster relief, not other localities, or they could fix their own problems.
Reply #589 on:
July 14, 2011, 10:41:54 AM »
Quote from: bigdog on July 14, 2011, 07:33:22 AM
I think this belongs in the humor section. The odds of it happening are zero and none. Proposed by a disgruntled Riverside County Supervisor,
a county that frankly is worthless; I wouldn't live there if I was paid and given a free home.
Politics: Wisconsin 'Recall' vote
Reply #590 on:
August 06, 2011, 11:11:49 AM »
I don't suppose anyone, anywhere is following this, but there is a campaign going on right now that is the preview to the 2012 House, Senate and Presidential campaign and election. It is very, very ugly. The money being spent is unbelievable and the message on both sides is 100% negative: Moore means More Taxes and Harsdorf is backing [Gov.]Scott Walker's agenda every step of the way.
In the case of one western Wisconsin legislative district, they have to pay for the entire 3 million person Twin Cities (MN - wrong state) media market in order to reach their own district with television and radio ads, and they are nearly continuous on every channel - in August. New records for spending, they are spending more in one state senate district than was spent statewide in a real election a short time ago, and (believe it or not) the money is not all local:
The Minnesota AFL-CIO will run buses of union volunteers into the district Aug. 8 and 9, assisting get-out-the-vote efforts on Moore’s behalf. And the Minnesota State Council of the Service Employees International Union already is operating phone banks out of its St. Paul headquarters.
Who knows what the outcome will mean for having a special election at such a strange time.
For unbiased coverage
there is a blog at Huffington Post covering the campaign. For current liberal governing views, just read the comments.
Also Hudson WI newspaper:
Reply #591 on:
August 08, 2011, 10:58:23 AM »
Brief · August 8, 2011
"No country upon earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wondrously strange, then, and much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly; I cannot believe it will ever come to pass." --George Washington
For the Record
"The Obama administration and congressional Democrats are betting their political futures on the hope that the American electorate is ignorant and forgetful, and hence the memo has gone out to functionaries hither and yon, from David Axelrod to John Kerry: This is to be called the 'tea-party downgrade.' That this is said with straight faces bespeaks either an unshakable contempt for the mind of the American voter or an as-yet unplumbed capacity for Democratic self-delusion. Let us revisit the facts. The original debt-ceiling deal put forward by the Democrats totaled $0.00 in debt reduction. This would have fallen approximately $4 trillion short of the $4 trillion in debt reduction the credit-rating agencies suggested would constitute a 'credible' step toward maintaining our AAA rating and avoiding a downgrade. ... The Democrats have suggested that Republicans' refusal to accede to tax hikes is the main reason Standard & Poor's felt it necessary to issue a downgrade, the first in American history, last Friday evening. In their assessment of Standard & Poor's reasoning, the Democrats are acutely at odds with Standard & Poor's. The credit-rating agency did not call for tax hikes in its assessment. ... But S&P, along with the other credit-rating agencies, has long taken a position on one aspect of our fiscal troubles: entitlement reform. ... As anybody who has looked at our long-term deficit projections knows, entitlement spending is the major driver of our future deficits. ... Tea-party leaders, far from being a barrier to entitlement reform, have demanded it. ... The deal that finally did pass would have contained significantly more in deficit-reduction, except for the fact that Democrats categorically refused to consider -- is this sounding familiar? -- entitlement reform, the most important issue. ... Democrats believe that they have discovered a cartoon villain in the Tea Party, and they are hoping that American voters are gullible enough to be distracted by the political theatrics. Come November 2012, Americans should keep in mind both the insult and the injury -- to the nation and its credit." --National Review
What does the downgrade mean?
Opinion in Brief
"It seems to me that, on any reasonable assessment, the gulf between the parties on fiscal policy is becoming more difficult to bridge, not less. Pessimism on that score seems entirely justified, so it's hard to argue with S&P['s credit rating downgrade] on at least that specific point. I do think the outlook for fundamental fiscal agreement before the 2012 election is bleak. After that, things could change dramatically for the better, or not. In any case, whether S&P is being fair or unfair to move at this juncture, the political standoff we're in is, sadly, necessary right now, despite its costs. Americans are in the midst of a great debate on the future of our society. Everyone seems to agree that the outcome of the next election will have a decisive impact on what kind of country we are -- or become. Will we retain our distinctively American characteristics, or move irrevocably toward the European model? ... Whether or not Barack Obama is reelected will be the single most important factor determining the direction we take. Nothing much will happen until that question is resolved, S&P notwithstanding. And for all the problems it causes, that is the way it has to be." --Ethics and Public Policy Center senior fellow Stanley Kurtz
"[On Friday] it was announced that the unemployment rate is 9.1 percent. The unemployment rate has now been above 9 percent in 25 of the last 27 months. [On Thursday] stocks fell 512 points. Consumer confidence has fallen again as has consumer spending. Manufacturing has slowed to the slowest pace in more than two years. GDP growth is a sickly 1.3 percent. Meanwhile, the national debt has risen to $14.8 trillion. Federal spending has risen to $3.6 trillion -- $700 billion more than just three years ago -- and continues to rise, despite the fact tax receipts have fallen to $2.2 trillion -- $300 billion less than three years ago. [Obama] promised that if Congress passed the $812 billion stimulus bill in 2009, the unemployment rate would be approximately 5.5 percent by November 2012. That would require that between 800,000 and 1,000,000 jobs per month (depending on the labor participation rate) be created between now and election day. Given that over the last quarter we've been running between 750,000 to 950,000 jobs per month short of that goal, what are [his] plans to boost the employment rate? [Obama has] announced [he's] going on a Midwest bus tour beginning the week of August 15 to focus on job creation. How many jobs [will his bus tour] create? Isn't it reasonable for Americans to conclude that [his] jobs-creation program consists primarily of borrowing money, deficit spending, and giving speeches?" --National Review's Peter Kirsanow
"Greater freedom for tax payers would be seized from tax consumers, in an act of terrorism against the sacred machinery of redistribution. This mindset flows from the fundamental leftist misunderstanding of freedom. They view the essence of freedom as action. ... In reality, freedom is property. Every form of collectivism, from fascism to socialism, is an offense against property rights. The early philosophers of socialism railed bitterly against the private ownership of property. They hated the notion of a middle class with independence secured through ownership. The perilous financial situation of the United States government illustrates how closely private property rights are connected to all other forms of liberty. The less absolute your rights of ownership over your land, labor, and fortune become, the more easily the other rights can be dismissed at the convenience of the State. ... Now we are told that we have no choice but to allow the State to become larger, spending and borrowing more as it extends its control over our lives. Those who disagree are denounced as 'terrorists.' ... In a nation where the government fully respected private ownership, the notion of citizens becoming 'hostages' to federal budget cuts would be laughable, rather than insulting. Freedom is not something to be granted, rationed, allocated, or redistributed. It is not won or lost in an election. Freedom is something you own." --columnist John Hayward
"Now it doesn't require expropriation or confiscation of private property or business to impose socialism on a people. What does it mean whether you hold the deed or the title to your business or property if the government holds the power of life and death over that business or property? And such machinery already exists. The government can find some charge to bring against any concern it chooses to prosecute. Every businessman has his own tale of harassment. Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, unalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment." --Ronald Reagan
"[T]he most fundamental reality is that the average wealth of the elderly is some multiple of the average wealth owned by people in the other age brackets. Why should the average taxpayer be subsidizing people who have much more wealth than they do? If we are concerned about those particular elderly people who are in fact poor -- as we are about other people who are genuinely poor, whatever their age might be -- then we can simply confine our help to those who are poor by some reasonable means test. It would cost a fraction of what it costs to subsidize everybody who reaches a certain age. But the political left hates means tests. If government programs were confined to people who were genuinely poor in some meaningful sense, that would shrink the welfare state to a fraction of its current size. ...
ld age is not some unforeseeable misfortune. It is not only foreseeable but inevitable for those who do not die young. It is one thing to keep people from suffering from unforeseeable things beyond their control. But it is something else to simply subsidize their necessities so that they can spend their money on other things and leave a larger estate to be passed on to their heirs. People who say they want a government program because 'I don't want to be a burden to my children' apparently think it is all right to be a burden to other people's children." --economist Thomas Sowell
"The power to determine the quantity of money ... is too important, too pervasive, to be exercised by a few people, however public-spirited, if there is any feasible alternative. There is no need for such arbitrary power. ... Any system which gives so much power and so much discretion to a few men, [so] that mistakes -- excusable or not -- can have such far reaching effects, is a bad system. It is a bad system to believers in freedom just because it gives a few men such power without any effective check by the body politic -- this is the key political argument against an independent central bank.'' --economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006)
Politics - We should have picked Hillary??
Reply #592 on:
August 11, 2011, 01:32:23 PM »
There is a myth circulating (
) that America just picked the wrong leftist to lead - that's what's wrong. Hillary, one might recall, had identical policies but was personally not liked. For Obama, it is the policies that failed, he is still personally well-liked.
What went wrong in 2006-2008 was that some people with certain failed poicies damaged the Republican brand almost beyond repair. Because no prominent conservative Republican really stood up successfully against Bush and said enough is enough, no one had the stature or experience to do that later upon his retirement.
Same goes now for Democrats.
Last Edit: August 11, 2011, 01:33:54 PM by DougMacG
Politics: Pawlenty v. Franken, 2014
Reply #593 on:
August 21, 2011, 10:35:12 AM »
If a Republican beats Obama in 2012, Pawlenty is young enough (50) to wait 8 years to run again. Defeating Sen. Al Franken, the once 60th vote, in a most liberal state would move forward his prominence and experience (and readiness). This is just me speculating.
I also predict Michele Bachmann will run for her own congressional seat in 2012.
Reply #594 on:
August 24, 2011, 11:50:43 AM »
"Of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants." --Alexander Hamilton
Obama implements DREAM Act by executive fiat"Following a pattern of making law by regulation and executive order, the Obama administration [last week] announced it will impose a version of the Dream (development, relief and education for alien minors) Act on America through administrative fiat. This is blatant political pandering in an election cycle at the expense of American citizens. On Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress she has authority to halt deportation of illegal aliens not perceived to be a criminal threat as long as they meet certain criteria, such as attending school or having family in the military. The new rules would cover up to 300,000 illegal aliens. In 2010, the government deported 200,000 with no criminal records. Under the new rules, most would now likely be allowed to stay and apply for permits. Opposed by a majority of Americans and twice defeated in Congress, the federal Dream Act essentially grants amnesty to any illegal alien in America if they agree to enlist in the military or attend a U.S. college. It's called a 'path to citizenship,' a path that leads right past the U.S. Border Patrol. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, a sponsor of the federal Dream Act, praised the DHS announcement. 'These students are the future doctors, lawyers, teachers and maybe senators who will make America stronger,' he said in a statement. So are the children of America's jobless. ... 'If you look at immigrants from Mexico, they register 3-to-1 Democrat, so the Democratic Party is for easy citizenship and allowing them to vote,' says Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. This is about making the Democratic Party, not America, strong." --Investor's Business Daily
"Our Founders warned us that all republics have eventually fallen into tyranny -- the only difference being the relative timeline of each republic's descent. ... From the summer of 1787 when our Framers deliberated over their magnificent Constitution, we have recognized that the clear statement and equal application of the Law is among the most critical duties of any government. If we allow ourselves to lose this, we may as well be back in ancient Rome, subject to the whim of every petty tyrant in the taxing bureau or the zoning board. For it doesn't matter whether the regulator's foot is shod in a jack boot or a Roman sandal; if he can hold you down with that boot upon your neck, then we are no longer in the America that our Founding Fathers intended for us." --columnist John F. Di Leo
"President Obama is chilling out at the beach while the country's economic engine is headed for a deep freeze. ... The fact is this guy is simply detached from normal Americans. Even when he wants to give the appearance of being with the common man in the hard-hit Midwest, the bus he took was a $1.1 million ultra-luxury model custom-built at taxpayer expense. Now he's jetting off to take advantage of the kind of glamorous lifestyle otherwise only open to A-list celebrities and billionaires. Mr. Obama is holding off giving a big jobs speech until after his return. If he were serious about his own job, he'd return to the White House and give his TV address instead of sipping Prosecco in the sand with his pampered buddies." --columnist Emily Miller
"Let us take these whiny excuses at face value and accept for the sake of argument that Obama's Recovery Summer would now be going gangbusters had not the Libyan rebels seized Benghazi and sent the economy into a tailspin. Did no one in the smartest administration in history think this might be the time for the president to share in some of the 'bad luck' and forgo an ostentatious vacation in the exclusive playground of the rich? When you're the presiding genius of the Brokest Nation in History, enjoying the lifestyle of the super-rich while allegedly in 'public service' sends a strikingly Latin American message." --columnist Mark Steyn
"I seem to recall a presidential candidate who told his followers back in 2008 'we are five days away from completely transforming the United States of America.' That, we were told, was the essence of 'hope and change.' More than a few Americans have figured out it was nothing more than nihilism with some media PR attached to it. ... But I am sure of one thing: you can't run a country when you're attached to the idea that it is fundamentally flawed. That is the essence of nihilism. That nihilism is virtually indistinguishable from progressivism. --columnist Arnold Ahlert
"A man who misleads must choose his words carefully lest his real agenda be exposed. Obama's public persona has to disguise his true feelings. Thus, his private persona is in constant conflict with the words he utters. That is why he hesitates. He is watching every word lest he slip and expose yet another dictatorial predilection. That is not stupidity; instead it indicates his conflicted emotions running headlong into themselves. He hopes to continue to fool the people. He lies and prevaricates and it is only when he is angry that you see the real Obama emerge. Then when he realizes that he may have gone too far, he removes himself from the fray. He blames others hoping that no one will actually catch on." --columnist Eileen F. Toplansky
"A society that puts equality ... ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom." --economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006)
"Private capitalism makes a steam engine; State capitalism makes pyramids." --American author Frank Chodorov (1887-1966)
We couldn't have said it better: "What was remarkable was to see outside of Washington the enthusiasm, the energy, the hopefulness, the decency of the American people. And what I said to them is you deserve better. You deserve better than you've been getting out of Washington over the last two-and-a-half months -- for that matter, for the last two-and-a-half years." --Barack Obama at a New York fundraiser
Belly Laugh of the Week: "I make no apologies for being reasonable." --Barack Obama in Iowa
Nice sentiment: "I'm not afraid of anybody. This is a tough game. You can't be intimidated. You can't be frightened. And as far as I'm concerned, the Tea Party can go straight to hell." --Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
"Let us all remember who the real enemy is. The real enemy is the Tea Party. ... The Tea Party holds the Congress hostage." --Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL)
"We appreciate and welcome your concluding that the United States is such a safe haven because we appreciate your investment in U.S. treasuries. And very sincerely, I want to make clear that you have nothing to worry about in terms of their -- their viability." --Joe Biden to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao
Utilitarian reasoning: "Your policy has been one which I fully understand -- I'm not second-guessing -- of one child per family. The result [is] that you're in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable." --Joe Biden, whose only argument against forced abortion is that there won't be enough taxpayers
The BIG Lie: "Nothing is unconstitutional until courts declare it to be so." --an Associated Press "fact check" on Michele Bachmann's charge that ObamaCare's individual mandate is unconstitutional
Wrong diagnosis: "The grandees of the [Republican] party are once again trying to find some new candidates to get into the race. Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, anybody. And that tells me that the party, in basic terms of philosophy, doesn't believe in science, doesn't believe in government, at any level. Or is just a bunch of patriotic anarchists that in terms of orientation is in disarray." --Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson
Dumb and dumber: "If the president thinks more should be done, if he thinks there should be more stimulus, why doesn't he just go for broke? Why doesn't he go out there and ask for it, make a case for it?" --NBC's Samantha Guthrie (Um, he HAS gone for broke.)
Sometimes they get it right: "Cruising white Midwestern hamlets in his black bus, Obama tried to justify not calling lawmakers back to D.C. by saying they'd just continue to bicker. But what does he think they'll do in September? The truth is, he doesn't want them back in the capital any more than they want to be back. It would have screwed up his vacation and upset Michelle, who already feels trapped in the Washington bubble." --New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd
Reading am hard: "Tonight is the measure of whether the country begins, in the state of Wisconsin, a national drive to push back or whether we have more to go to build a movement of resistance. But resist we much. We must and we will much ... about ... that ... be committed." --MSNBC's newest host Al Sharpton having difficulty reading the teleprompter about Wisconsin's recall elections
Breaking News From 2008: "Narcissists Rise to the Top Because People Mistake Their Confidence and Authority for Leadership Qualities" --Daily Mail (London)
Out on a Limb: "Obama Bus Tour Has Campaign Overtones" --USA Today website
Amazing Advances in Nanotechnology: "Keith Olbermann's Current TV Ratings Drop to New Low" --TheWrap.com
Because Sinatra Didn't Have a French Accent: "Why Frogs Don't Sing Like Sinatra" --The Wall Street Journal
Bottom Story of the Day: "President Obama: I Will Introduce Specific Plan in September to Boost Economy -- and If Congress Doesn't Act, We'll Run Against Them" --ABCNews.com
(Thanks to The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto)
Incomprehensible metaphors: "Black voters gave the first votes and the most votes [to Obama] and now have the most pain. The highest infant mortality rate, the shortest life expectancy, least access to jobs and capital, so obviously it must be targeted for more than just for votes. If I can use the analogy of the great Titanic: There are those in the Tea Party that want to destroy the captain and preserve those on the deck and preserve those in the cabins but the water is gushing up the bottom and more and more people are falling in the sink." --professional race hustler Jesse Jackson, who must be reading off Al Sharpton's teleprompter
Non Compos Mentis: "Why did Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a Muslim psychiatrist at Ft. Hood, go on a shooting spree after being assigned to debrief soldiers who came back from the theatre of war and they're telling him of the things that they did that were against their conscience now, and a Muslim psychiatrist is hearing them talking about the rape of Muslim women, the killing and sodomizing of families. He couldn't take it anymore so he just shot up the soldiers. They want you to think that he's a terrorist but he was debriefing terrorists and unfortunately it took his balance." --Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, who must have been reading John Kerry's 1971 Senate testimony accusing his fellow soldiers of war crimes
"[Obama's foreign policy has] been really good as commander in chief and that's not what the election is going to be fought on. It's going to be fought on the economy. But, he's getting our troops out of Iraq. They'll be almost all gone by the end of this year, if not all of them. The Afghan war is being drawn down. Osama bin Laden is dead and Moammar Gadhafi is on his way out. Nobody's had a foreign policy record like that since -- I don't know how far back you'd have to go. Not Ronald Reagan, not George W. Bush. Nobody. I don't know, you'd have to go back to Harry Truman before -- or Franklin Roosevelt before you get a record like that." --former DNC chair Howard Dean
Reply #595 on:
August 26, 2011, 10:56:39 AM »
"Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm." --James Madison
Government & Politics
The Obama Plan to -- Hold On -- Fore!
It's August, which means much of Washington is shut down for recess, but even then, there's always something going on. While members of Congress are at home avoiding town hall meetings and the president is out on the golf course at Martha's Vineyard skipping holes to avoid photographers, the capital is recovering from the earthquake Monday (they're calling it "Bush's Fault") and preparing (along with the entire East Coast) for a weekend hurricane. You might say that what goes around comes around.
Out here in flyover country, the economy is still stagnant and jobs are hard to come by. Not that we're looking to Washington to create jobs, but to truly get out of the way so entrepreneurs can do so. No such luck. Out on the eighth fairway, Barack Obama came up with a plan to create jobs. He will make a big announcement about it, too ... in September. As usual, though, some details were leaked. It turns out that his grand plan is -- drum roll please -- to repeat the stimulus. Yes, that stimulus, which cost nearly $1 trillion and delivered, well, nothing.
Speaking in Iowa on Aug. 15, the president plugged his "new" plan (same as the old plan) to "invest in infrastructure." That same day, The Wall Street Journal reported that Obama hopes "to create a new 'infrastructure bank' to finance highway and rail construction, create jobs and jump-start the stalled economy." Sound familiar? It should, because it's the same rhetoric the president used to tout Stimulus 1.0 back in 2009.
Even Obama strategist David Axelrod said, "These are not all new ideas." Not new, but definitely failed. As National Review's Jim Geraghty notes, "Somehow Obama made 'the largest new investment in America's infrastructure since the Interstate Highway System' and yet nearly three years later the roads and bridges of his rhetoric are still falling to pieces." When Thomas Edison repeatedly came up short in his quest to create a working light bulb, he contended he hadn't failed but rather found 10,000 ways that didn't work. In his quest to fix the economy, Obama has found one way that doesn't work but seems determined to try it 10,000 times.
As for federal spending, the Congressional Budget Office released a new report that spending will reach a new high of $3.6 trillion this year, and the deficit will near $1.3 trillion, despite Democrat claims in 2009 that stimulus spending would be temporary. CBO predicts that, as taxes are increased massively when the Bush tax rates expire, federal revenue will skyrocket from 15.3 percent of GDP today to 20.2 percent in 2014. This assumes no behavioral changes for the tens of millions who will be paying those higher taxes. Stunningly, CBO also predicts economic growth between 4.4 percent and 5 percent in 2014 and 2015 -- after those massive tax increases. Oh, and they also have some oceanfront property in Arizona to sell.
For all this spending, the CBO sees unemployment remaining above 8 percent until 2014 (Democrats promised that it wouldn't top 8 percent with the first stimulus). If taxes go up, however, it could remain over 9 percent well into the future. If you don't believe us, ask the people of Illinois, who are hemorrhaging jobs after that state's major tax increases. Meanwhile, according to a new Associated Press survey, economists are also painting a none-too-rosy picture. While they "foresee economic growth, job creation, consumer spending, and home prices all rising over the next year ... the gains they expect are so slight that many Americans won't notice." Quarter 2 GDP growth was just revised downward from 1.3 percent to 1.0 percent. In fact, economists have pessimistically put the likelihood of another recession within the next 12 months at 26 percent, up from 15 percent in June. This begs the question: Who exactly thinks the last recession ever ended?
Finally, it's interesting that several federal buildings in DC, as well as the Washington Monument, suffered some damage in Monday's earthquake. In fact, we think it's quite symbolic that the cracks in the monument to our first and greatest president occurred just after our nation's credit rating was downgraded because of the reckless policies of his utterly unworthy successor.
Really, though, what's all this compared to the trouble Obama's having finding his ball in the rough? Indeed, one might say he's showing courageous leadership by refusing to cut his vacation short, even as Hurricane Irene heads his way. Way to stand your ground, sir. Now would you like the 9-iron, or the pitching wedge?
How is the economy?
Quote of the Week
"The problem is that the way [President] Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion dollars for the first 42 presidents -- number 43 added $4 trillion dollars by his lonesome -- so that we now have over $9 trillion dollars of debt that we are going to have to pay back. [That's] $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic." --Barack Obama on July 3, 2008
Apparently, Bush was unpatriotic because adding $4 trillion to the debt took him eight years. Obama needed just two.
Don't Miss Mark Alexander's Essay
Ballots or Bullets? Ballot Box Barriers to Restoring Constitutional Integrity
Hope 'n' Change: Another Court Defeat for ObamaCare
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit recently ruled as unconstitutional ObamaCare's mandate for all Americans to carry health insurance. This is the biggest defeat for the law so far, and it affirms a January ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson of Florida in a case brought by 26 state attorneys general. The Obama administration's appeal of Vinson's ruling maintained that the government can compel everyone to purchase health insurance because of its power to regulate interstate commerce. This view was soundly rejected by 11th Circuit Court Judges Joel Dubina and Frank Hall, appointed by George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, respectively. Dubina and Hall wrote in their 207-page opinion that such reasoning suggests the government has the power to regulate every part of a person's life because all persons influence interstate commerce by virtue of their existence.
The decision conflicts with the Sixth Circuit's complete affirmation of ObamaCare in June, further assuring that the Supreme Court will make the final call. It won't be a matter of just ruling ObamaCare constitutional or striking it down in total. The 11th Circuit decision introduced the concept of "severability." While they agreed with Vinson on the mandate, Dubina and Hall decided that the mandate could be removed from the law while leaving the rest of its provisions intact. Vinson ruled the entire ObamaCare law as unconstitutional, believing that the mandate is too integral to the law to be removed and still leave the remaining provisions functional. Insurance companies would be compelled to accept all potential new customers, but people would have no incentive to buy insurance until they're sick. The market would be turned upside down, and costs would necessarily skyrocket.
Despite this latest legal setback, ObamaCare continues to chug along with the Department of Health and Human Services granting another 106 waivers in July. Many of the 1,472 waivers will now last until 2014, whereas they were originally set to expire a year from their issuance. The latest batch will last three years. There is still no explanation forthcoming of the process of accepting or rejecting applicants, although the disproportionate number of unions and public sector groups already in the pool does suggest one important criterion.
We Still Hold These Truths Leader's Guide pack
The leaders' guide is a companion to We Still Hold These Truths. It provides everything you need to take your group on a journey through history to discover what defines us as a nation, asking thought-provoking questions to get our country back on track. We Still Hold These Truths Leader's Guide pack, published by The Heritage Foundation, includes We Still Hold These Truths softcover, a spiral bound 141 page Leader's Guide plus a free inspirational DVD.
On the Campaign Trail: Perry Up, Pawlenty Out
The Republican presidential field experienced some major changes in the aftermath of the Aug. 13 Iowa Straw Poll. Michele Bachmann came out the winner, with Ron Paul trailing her by less than 200 votes. Tim Pawlenty needed a big showing to revive his moribund campaign, and he pushed all his resources into the contest, but he came in a distant third with less than half the votes received by Bachmann and Paul; he accordingly dropped out the next day. Frontrunner Mitt Romney received just 567 votes, though he didn't actively participate in the Straw Poll. Texas Governor Rick Perry received 718 votes as a write-in candidate.
The day of the Iowa Straw Poll, Perry was in South Carolina, where he officially announced his candidacy. Perry has been suffering steady attacks in the press ever since, particularly for his Christian views. Other GOP candidates, including Romney, are aiming for him too -- a sure sign that he has everyone worried. The other sure sign is that he has double-digit leads on even Romney in a couple of recent polls.
From the Left: Muddying the Waters
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) doesn't appear too worried about keeping a low profile while the House Ethics Committee investigation of her lumbers on. At a recent gathering of unemployed people in Los Angeles, Waters accused House Republicans of deliberately stalling jobs bills that she claims would help reduce California's 12 percent unemployment rate. "As far as I'm concerned," Waters raged, "the Tea Party can go straight to hell." So much for civility!
The event was attended by more than 1,000 jobless people who were allowed to vent and share their struggles. It's unknown whether any information was shared that would have actually led to jobs. More troubling is that taxpayers will have to pay $500,000 for the aforementioned House Ethics Committee to hire an outside law firm to rule on Waters' abuse-of-power case. The internal committee inquiry stalled in November 2010 when Waters accused the panel of fixing the investigation against her. Billy Martin, a prominent defense lawyer, will first examine Waters' accusation. If he finds she's right, then the whole thing gets thrown out. If Martin finds that the case can go forward, then his firm will handle the investigation. In the meantime, Waters remains at large.
Looking to Libya's Future
Obama and GadhafiCol. Moammar Gadhafi's days as dictator of Libya appear to be over, even though he promises to keep fighting in the wake of Tripoli's fall to rebel forces Monday. Earlier this year, Libyan rebels began a sixth-month campaign to topple Gadhafi after 42 years of his brutal rule. For various reasons, the Obama administration deemed this North African civil war worthy of our time, energy and nearly $1 billion that we don't have. Rather than take the issue to Congress, however, Barack Obama cited a non-unanimous 10-vote nod from the United Nations Security Council as all the justification he needed for what White House officials called a "kinetic military action."
In March, we wrote, "To be sure, a long list of reasons support America's desire to oust Gadhafi and his regime, especially his role in state-sponsored terrorism. It was Gadhafi that ordered the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270, most of whom were Americans. That said, a number of countervailing arguments counsel against intervening in Libya's civil war," including no congressional approval, a glaring lack of vital national interest or imminent threat, Gadhafi's more recent cooperation with the West and an unclear picture of who will lead Libya post-Gadhafi. The latter will be of utmost importance going forward.
Given that the U.S. "led from behind" in the effort, and that using ground troops is extremely unlikely, it will be difficult to exert great influence over the rebels who will now control Libya. Rebel efforts turned out to be fairly unified and impressively persistent after NATO saved them from annihilation in their stronghold of Benghazi. However, questions remain about the size and influence of Islamists among the rebel forces. There are rumors of Sharia law as being foundational in a new constitution, news that bodes ill for the nation's future and for U.S. national security. Even without Sharia, Libya will almost certainly not become a beacon of liberty. Instead, it could descend into anarchy and perpetual tribal infighting, thus creating an excellent opportunity for al-Qa'ida to establish a haven. Based on previous Middle East history, anything bad is possible.
Furthermore, NATO and U.S. reputations suffered for their waffling, and for their disorganized and half-hearted effort, particularly in the early going. That likewise isn't good for our national security. NATO's task now is to secure Libya's weapons stores, including chemical weapons and heat-seeking missiles -- pretty handy for shooting down civilian airliners -- and to try to ensure that Islamists don't take control of the country. Extraditing Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the Pan Am bomber the British released to Libya in 2009, would be a good thing to add to the list as well. The verdict is undoubtedly mixed, but we suppose as the old adage goes: Time will tell.
Post your thoughts on Libya
Warfront With Jihadistan: Staying in Iraq, Calling for Change in Syria
Nothing to see here; move along. In one of the classic moves for dealing with such news, the Obama administration chose a Friday afternoon during a slow Washington news week to let slip an inconvenient truth: U.S. troops will almost certainly stay in Iraq in significant numbers past the end of 2011. Despite Obama's campaign pledges and numerous other pronouncements promising to remove U.S. troops, the Iraqi government will likely agree to the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq well into 2012 and possibly beyond -- a position that, ironically, was John McCain's in 2008. It won't be just advisers and trainers, either, but combat formations and support troops. Cynical observers would say that Obama has decided it's less damaging for his re-election chances to have troops in Iraq in November 2012 than it is for the voting public to see nine years of blood, sweat and tears thrown away for the sake of an arbitrary withdrawal date. We would agree.
In other news, U.S. and European leaders screwed up their courage and finally called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to surrender his power, but just as surely as the sun rises in the east, the Russians tried to throw a wrench into the works. "We do not support such calls and believe it is necessary now to give President Assad's regime time to realize all the reform processes that have been announced," said the Russian Foreign Ministry. It's impossible to caricature a statement so absurd, so we won't bother. Suffice it to say that old habits die hard, and Moscow seems perfectly willing to support a pariah in the face of pressure from the free world.
Red, White and Blue Remembrance brooch
Red and blue enamel goldplate with Swarovski crystals unify in this lovely Remembrance pin. Whether you want to show your support for our troops or just celebrate being American, you'll love wearing this brooch which measures approximately 2.25" in length and 1.25" in width. Each pin comes in a red drawstring pouch.
Immigration Front: How 'Our' System Works
What a difference a month makes. Way back in July -- that's right, a whole month ago -- Barack Obama had this to say about Rule of Law in America: "I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books. ... I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own -- that's not how our system works."
However, in a shameless ploy to secure the Hispanic vote by hook or crook, and unfazed by congressional rebuffs, Obama has resorted to fiat execution of the wildly unpopular Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM Act -- a.k.a. the "Amnesty Bill." Specifically, the Department of Homeland Security just announced that it will halt all deportation proceedings against illegal immigrants who attend school, who have family in the military or who are primarily responsible for the care of other family members, allowing them to apply for work permits. This means that only illegal aliens who have committed serious criminal offenses in the United States -- setting aside of course the first serious criminal offense of entering the U.S. illegally -- will now be candidates for detention and deportation.
The same president who swore an oath on his inauguration to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" is thus continuing to trample it by refusing to enforce existing immigration laws and by making up his own. Apparently, that's how "our system" works.
The Founders made every effort to protect that most precious commodity of individual liberty. Article II, Section 3 directs the president to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed." That is, it directs the Executive Branch to ensure that laws Congress enacts are carried out. It does not direct the president either to write his own laws or to carry out laws Congress itself has refused to pass. To do so is a blatant violation of the "Separation of Powers" doctrine that the Founders integrally wove throughout the fabric of the Constitution.
This doctrine is not merely a "nice-to-have" element; it is fundamental to individual liberty. As Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia noted in the landmark Morrison v. Olson case, "The Framers of the Federal Constitution viewed the principle of separation of powers as the absolutely central guarantee of a just Government. ... Without a secure structure of separated powers, our Bill of Rights would be worthless, as are the bills of rights of many nations of the world that have adopted, or even improved upon, the mere words of ours." When the doctrine of separation of powers is usurped -- as here, by a president who reserves for himself a unilateral power to enact and enforce immigration laws -- America's freedoms are in grave jeopardy.
Profiles of Valor: Marine Corps Cpt. Jeremy Henwood
While America's troops continue to take the fight to jihadis in Afghanistan and elsewhere to protect our country, other Americans, walking that thin line between barbarism and civilization, also try to protect Americans at home from our own criminal element. Occasionally, some individuals will serve nobly in both capacities and, sadly, where the jihadis fail, our own homegrown vermin may not.
This past May, Marine Corps Captain and Iraq War veteran Jeremy Henwood returned home from a one-year deployment in Afghanistan, where he survived without a scratch in a hostile region full of roadside bombs and snipers. Picking up where he left off, he rejoined the San Diego Police Department, patrolling the City Heights area, a blue-collar neighborhood that has seen a sharp decrease in crime recently. But his life of serving soon came to a tragic and violent end. Just minutes after buying lunch for a 13-year old boy, Officer Henwood was shot in cold blood, dying a day later. San Diego police said that after Henwood left the restaurant, he was at a stop sign in his patrol car. The driver of a nearby Audi flashed his lights, drawing the officer's attention. The Audi's driver then pulled alongside Henwood's cruiser, lowered his front window, leveled a shotgun at Henwood and fired, striking his head. The shooter, later identified as Dejon Marquee White, 23, turned out to be the suspect in another shooting minutes earlier. White was later shot dead in a confrontation with police.
Given that both Hanna and Henwood were white and the killer was black, race may have been the motivation, but don't look for any mention of that in the Leftmedia, as they continue to ignore the issue of race in black-on-white crime, and even black-on-black crime. This tragic story is especially noteworthy because after a career of service to his nation and community, the officer's last act on this earth, buying a meal for a needy black boy, was one of compassion and racial harmony. Rest in peace.
Business & Economy
Downgrade at Their Peril
In a development that once would have been surprising but now barely turns heads, it was revealed in recent days that the Obama Justice Department has set its investigative sights on Standard & Poor's rating agency, turning over stones to find misdeeds in their rating of mortgage-backed securities. The timing is certainly suspicious, given the recent S&P downgrade of government debt from the platinum standard of AAA to AA+.
The probe was under way a few weeks before the debt downgrade, but certainly the federal government was warned that a shift was imminent well before the actual change in status unless significant spending cuts to the tune of $4 trillion were made. While economists agree that spending cuts are needed, Obama and Congress failed to deliver, so our rating was lowered. Given that S&P is the only rating service under scrutiny, the "sour grapes" aspect can't be overlooked.
We really should be asking, though, just why securities backed by mortgages, many given to borrowers with poor or no credit or job histories and then bundled into grab bags of toxic assets, were given such a high rating in the first place. With housing values fueled by a bubble that burst back in 2006, analysts should have sounded warning bells much earlier -- in fact, many experts did but were ignored. Downgrading these securities would have made them less lucrative for the sellers. It's an investigation that needed to take place much sooner, but the thought of "better late than never" still doesn't come to mind.
In the meantime, the message is clear: If you do something this administration doesn't like, watch your back.
What do you think?
Income Redistribution: TARP Recap
The Treasury Department reported this week that the actual level of lending by the Federal Reserve to banks under 2008's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was much higher than previously reported. It seems the true number is $1.2 trillion, not $700 billion. Then again, the Fed received $13 billion in interest payments, and most of the money was paid back.
So who got the money? For one thing, almost half of the top 30 borrowers were foreign-based entities, including a real-estate holding company (i.e., not a bank). It seems to us that this is an exception to the Fed's authority, and there should be some accountability. Domestically, the big three recipients were Bank of America ($91 billion), Citigroup ($99.5 billion) and Morgan Stanley ($107 billion). All three either lost billions in market capitalization or required more than their shareholder equity to keep the lights on, or both. Indeed, all three of these firms have seen their market value halved over the past year as revelations of bad mortgages continue to surface. The continued economic weakness, combined with impediments to the liquidation of bad loans, will continue to undermine the efforts of management to correct and collect the sins of the past. It appears that being members of the "too big to fail club" also means being too big to manage.
Addressing the crisis of confidence resulted in the Federal Reserve Bank providing liquidity as the lender of last resort to the banking system. What we find especially troubling, though, is the secrecy that surrounds all Fed operations, as well as the dubious list of recipients. It's extremely difficult to sell the American public on the idea of an economic recovery when information like this continues to drip into the public consciousness.
Regulatory Commissars: Obama Strikes Back at Big Oil (Again)
Four years ago, Exxon Mobil made a thrilling find: an oil field under the watery depths of the Gulf of Mexico that may hold a billion barrels of black gold. Yet when gold is in them thar hills, so are those out to plunder it; in this case the bandits are the Obama administration. Regulators at the Department of the Interior have set up roadblocks that will prevent Exxon Mobil from creating jobs and energy, claiming that because the oil giant asked for a brief suspension of drilling operations in 2008 it had essentially abandoned three of its five permits. Ironically, the interregnum was safety-related and made voluntarily by Exxon Mobil. Never mind that they sank $300 million into these "abandoned" wells.
So instead of Exxon Mobil perhaps just now bringing this new domestic oil to market and sending gas prices down to more reasonable levels, they're forced to head off to court to fight what they call the government's "arbitrary and capricious" action to secure what is rightfully theirs through hard work and risk-taking. Unfortunately, this is the result of electing a socialist president. Turns out he's not much of a friend to job creation of any sort, despite 9.1 percent reported unemployment and the prospect of thousands of potential jobs securing and refining those billion barrels of oil.
Tax Evader stamp
Add a little bit of fun to our country's current financial cesspool. While we would not advocate defacing currency, we know you will think of many amusing and satisfying uses for our RED self-inking stamper, Tax Evader, especially with Tim Geithner as our present Secretary of the Treasury.
Say Goodbye to the Fairness Doctrine
In 1987, the Federal Communications Commission under President Ronald Reagan voted to revoke the Fairness Doctrine, setting the stage for a massive growth in conservative talk radio and other alternative media. No longer did stations need to be careful to present "equal time" to all sides of an issue, an edict that generally led stations to shy away from presenting editorial opinion at all, effectively stifling free speech. Yet the rules never actually came off the books until last week. In a rare trimming back of government regulation, the Fairness Doctrine was one of 83 obsolete rules erased from the federal register by the FCC.
Of course, leftists are apoplectic over the demise of the Fairness Doctrine because conservatives have benefited, using talk radio as a means of bypassing the once-dominant mainstream media. Yet they could never muster the votes to restore it, even when they controlled Congress, because voters never saw it as a priority. Conservative media has succeeded because the market is there for it, not because of government favor. Of course, axing the Fairness Doctrine and the other FCC rules means there are 83 regulations down but countless thousands to go.
Culture & Policy
Second Amendment: Fast and Furious Promotions
We have noted on numerous occasions the scandal that is Operation Fast and Furious. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began the operation, part of which was Project Gunrunner, ostensibly to track firearms headed from the U.S. to Mexico. At least 2,000 guns have been lost, however, and many have turned up at crime scenes, including numerous instances in the U.S. Such guns were also used to kill two American officials, ICE Agent Jaime Zapata and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Despite this egregious incompetence, none of the ATF's players involved has been held accountable. In fact, three of the agents responsible for this disastrous operation were just promoted. According to Pajamas Media's Bob Owens, "The three supervisors have been given new management positions at the agency's headquarters in Washington. They are William G. McMahon, who was the ATF's deputy director of operations in the West, where the illegal trafficking program was focused, and William D. Newell and David Voth, both field supervisors who oversaw the program out of the agency's Phoenix office." The whistleblower, Vince Cefalu, was fired. Somehow, the Obama administration, the Justice Department and the ATF must be held accountable for this continuing outrage.
What should happen at the ATF?
From the 'Non Compos Mentis' File
Just when they thought it was safe to take off the muzzle, Joe Biden has done it again. This time he has exposed yet another leftist myth: that being "pro-choice" is about ... well, choice. The Obama administration has always gone out of its way to let female voters know that it supports their "right to choose" abortion. Yet on Biden's recent visit to China, he made it perfectly clear that he was "not second-guessing" that nation's one-child policy, whereby women are subjected to forcible sterilizations and abortions as the government dictates to its citizens how many children they can have.
His comments have once again sent the administration rushing into the spin zone. The White House defended Biden, pointing out that he also called the policy "unsustainable" and that he has since said he "believes such practices are repugnant," but Biden's initial assessment was clearly based on utilitarianism and finances, not individual freedom. The White House's defense is that he meant the opposite of what he said.
Meanwhile, an Associated Press dispatch entitled "One Child Policy a Surprising Boon for China Girls" highlights the many ways in which females have "benefited" from this policy. In particular, it noted that girls are being educated at a rate never before seen in China. This result is indeed surprising, but, essentially, it means that if a family's only permitted child happens to be a girl, that girl will be showered with the support and guidance that would have been reserved for a son. As problematic as that notion is in and of itself, it also ignores the fact that due to this policy, countless female babies have been murdered so that the parents could go on to try for a boy. Perhaps this is the Left's way of kowtowing to our largest foreign creditor. Yet if we ignore China's long list of human rights violations because we owe them money, then we as a nation have truly sold our soul.
Faith and Family: Full Cultural Assault
Three disturbing stories surfaced this week that we believe illustrate a trend in the sexualization of our society (CONTENT WARNING). First up, the Department of Health and Human Services has offered "Questions and Answers About Sex," a link on their "Quick Guide to Healthy Living." If you think the questions are scary, the answers are worse. The premise is, "Children are human beings and therefore sexual beings. ... [E]ven infants have curiosity about their own bodies, which is healthy and normal." HHS therefore tells parents not to worry about teen experimentation with sex, homosexuality or masturbation, as these are healthy steps for children to take. On the contrary, Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the conservative Family Research Council, puts it bluntly: "The idea that 'children are human beings and therefore sexual beings' is one of the most destructive myths of the sexual revolution."
Meanwhile, B4U-Act, a 501(c)(3) organization in Maryland that was established "to publicly promote services and resources for self-identified individuals (adults and adolescents) who are sexually attracted to children," held a "scientific" symposium last week. The topic was a proposed new definition of pedophilia in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Some actually pushed the idea that pedophilia should be decriminalized, a position HHS, for one, might have a hard time arguing against given the aforementioned story.
Finally, a Florida Teacher of the Year was suspended for posting comments on Facebook objecting to New York's legalization of same-sex marriage earlier this year. He cited "biblical principles" -- specifically, "Romans chapter one" -- for his opposition. It is not known whether any students are his "friends" on Facebook, but, apparently, the "sexual beings" in his classroom mustn't be given the information necessary to decide right from wrong for themselves. As a side note, in 2008, 62 percent of Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
For 200 years, the Bonnie Blue flag, with the single white star in a blue field, has signified states' rights. Our Patriot Post and Patriot Post Shop seal was developed from this theme and design. We are regularly adding to this selection of high-quality items, a great way to show where you stand! All purchases at The Patriot Post Shop support our Mission of Service to America's Armed Forces.
A recent paper authored by a NASA-affiliated scientist and two professors from Penn University explores the possibilities of first contact with an alien race. Among the scenarios the trio imagines is that aliens might launch a pre-emptive strike to stop us from committing the galactic sin of global warming, "which therefore changes the spectral signature of Earth" (i.e., affects other planets). Not only that, but the likely reason we haven't yet been contacted by these aliens is that we're not sufficiently "progressive," and they want us to reach a "societal benchmark such as sustainable development or international unity" before contact. Aside from the pre-emptive strike over global warming, they write that "an advanced society capable of interstellar travel may be less likely to turn to humans as a source of food or labor because they should have already solved these problems through some combination of machine labor, artificial synthesis, and conservation." Well that's a relief.
On the other hand, New York Times economist Paul Krugman theorizes that a looming alien attack would stimulate the economy. "If we discovered that, you know, space aliens were planning to attack and we needed a massive buildup to counter the space alien threat and really inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months," he said. That would be useful, he added, "in order to get some fiscal stimulus." Krugman once won a Nobel Prize for economics. We suspect, however, that he was abducted by aliens soon thereafter, and that the "Paul Krugman" now writing loony columns and making bizarre TV appearances is actually an alien mole.
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
The Patriot Post Editorial Team
Reply #596 on:
September 05, 2011, 10:30:40 AM »
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Brief · September 5, 2011
"To cherish and stimulate the activity of the human mind, by multiplying the objects of enterprise, is not among the least considerable of the expedients, by which the wealth of a nation may be promoted." --Alexander Hamilton
Labor Day? Hardly."President Obama enter[ed] this Labor Day weekend with a serious problem on his hands. For all intents and purposes, the economy appears to be stuck in neutral, with news out [Friday] that the U.S. economy created a grand total of zero jobs in August. This followed two months of near zero growth. Not surprisingly then, the unemployment rate in August remained at 9.1 percent, virtually unchanged since April. In fact, it was completely unchanged, and for the first time since 1945, no new jobs were created -- Zero. America now has the weakest labor market in a generation, and the American people know it. ... [W]hile the U.S. economy is creating no net new jobs, President Obama is offering no new ideas to fix the problem. In a speech to a joint session of Congress [on] Thursday, the President is expected to rehash the same expensive, ineffective policies he has tried since his presidency began. And it's an economic philosophy that America has come to know all too well. The President hopes that through the sheer force of spending taxpayer dollars, he can turn the economy around. It isn't working -- and neither are nearly 14 million Americans. ... The two-and-a-half-year Keynesian experiment of flooding the economy with taxpayer dollars has failed, yet the President and his union allies continue to peddle the myth that the only way to save the economy is to spend more." --Heritage Foundation's Mike Brownfield
Where are the jobs?
For the Record
"Will Barack Obama become the first president in the post-World War II era during whose term real gross domestic product never grew in any quarter at an annual rate greater than 4 percent? With less than optimistic recent forecasts from the Federal Reserve System's Federal Open Market Committee and the Congressional Budget Office, it now seems like a very real possibility. Having been inaugurated in January 2009, Obama has served as president in 10 quarters. ... In three of the quarters of 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, real GDP grew at a negative annualized rate, dropping as low as -8.9 percent in the fourth quarter of that year. At the beginning of Obama's term, real GDP remained negative in the first two quarters, hitting -6.7 percent in the first quarter of 2009 and -0.7 percent in the second quarter. But two full years have passed since then. During that time, real GDP peaked in the first quarter of 2010, hitting an annualized rate of 3.9 percent. Since that modest peak a year and a half ago, the economy has been on a generally downward trend, with growth of real GDP hitting a dismal 0.4 percent in the first quarter of this year and a nearly as dismal 1 percent in the second quarter. Now both the FOMC and the CBO are indicating they do not expect vigorous economic growth to resume any time soon." --columnist Terence Jeffrey
Opinion in Brief
"The biggest star in the Obama firmament of green-jobs companies has just imploded. Solyndra, a California-based firm that produced solar panels, declared bankruptcy [last] week, putting more than a thousand additional workers on the unemployment line. The Solyndra story tells you all you need to know about President Obama's ability to 'create' jobs -- green or otherwise. ... The company received over half a billion dollars in federal loan guarantees for the project. But U.S. taxpayers will likely never see a dime repaid now that the company has gone into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. ... Solyndra is one of three major solar companies to declare bankruptcy this summer alone. No matter how many speeches the president gives, he can't turn an economically unsustainable enterprise into a profitable one, even if he siphons from the U.S. treasury to do so. ... If Solyndra's technology, which rested on a new design for solar panels, was as promising as the Obama administration seemed to think, investors willing to risk their own money should have been plentiful. Where were Warren Buffet and the president's other billionaire supporters? ... What doesn't work is commandeering other people's money in a crapshoot where there are more losers than winners." --columnist Linda Chavez
"I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. This is the chief meaning of freedom. Until we can reestablish a condition under which the earnings of the people can be kept by the people, we are bound to suffer a very severe and distinct curtailment of our liberty." --President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)
"America seems to be facing a pivotal moment: Do we move ahead by advancing or by receding -- by reaffirming the values that made us exceptional or by letting go of those values, so that a creeping mediocrity begins to spare us the burdens of greatness? As a president, Barack Obama has been a force for mediocrity. He has banked more on the hopeless interventions of government than on the exceptionalism of the people. His greatest weakness as a president is a limp confidence in his countrymen. He is afraid to ask difficult things of them. Like me, he is black, and it was the government that in part saved us from the ignorances of the people. So the concept of the exceptionalism -- the genius for freedom -- of the American people may still be a stretch for him. But in fact he was elected to make that stretch. It should be held against him that he has failed to do so." --Hoover Institution's Shelby Steele
"Only when the human spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefiting from their success -- only then can societies remain economically alive, dynamic, prosperous, progressive and free." --Ronald Reagan
Re: The Left
"On Tuesday, the Justice Department announced it was shuffling Kenneth Melson, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, out of his job. The disclosure comes amid continued GOP investigations into the administration's fatally botched straw gun purchase racket at the border and spreading outrage over legal obstructionism and whistleblower retaliation by DOJ brass. ... Internal documents earlier showed that Melson was intimately involved in overseeing the program and screened undercover videos of thousands of straw purchases of AK-47s and other high-powered rifles -- many of which ended up in the hands of Mexican drug cartel thugs, including those who murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last December. Fast and Furious weapons have been tied to at least a dozen violent crimes in America and untold bloody havoc in Mexico. ... Melson has been kicked back to DOJ's main office in a flabbergasting new slot as 'senior adviser on forensic science in the department's Office of Legal Policy.' ... DOJ is run by Eric Holder, the Beltway swamp creature who won bipartisan approval for his nomination -- even after putting political interests ahead of security interests at the Clinton Justice Department in both the Marc Rich pardon scandal and the Puerto Rican FALN terrorist debacle. Remember: Holder won over the Senate by arguing that his poor judgment made him more qualified for the job. Screw up, move up, cover up: It's the Holder way, the Obama way, the Washington way. And innocent Americans pay." --columnist Michelle Malkin
"Regardless of the public image they may convey, Barack Obama and his wife never fail to take full advantage of a lifestyle that would be the envy of any modern-day monarch while the bulk of the American populace struggles to afford life's necessities. He is but another in a long line of those who promote socialism and proclaim to be 'of the people' with only the interests of the citizens at heart -- as they duplicitously pursue a personal agenda. ... [Obama's] sense of entitlement stems not only from a deep-seated belief in socialist theory and an overweening sense of superiority, but also as a man obsessed with his skin color and payback for his perception of Western colonialism (as detailed in his autobiography Dreams from My Father). ... He is much too busy enjoying the trappings of royalty, despite his oft-declared disdain for that class, to be bothered about the dismal future of the United States." --columnist Steve McCann
Faith & Family
"The New York Times' executive editor, Bill Keller, in a piece in The New York Times Magazine, argues that presidential candidates should be asked tough questions about their faith. Keller wants to know whether a candidate will place 'fealty to the Bible, the Book of Mormon ... or some other authority higher than the Constitution and laws of this country' and 'whether a president respects serious science and verifiable history.' He wants to make sure 'religious doctrine' does not become 'an excuse to exclude my fellow citizens from the rights and protections our country promises.' ... [K]eller's concern isn't with the religious beliefs of all candidates, only Christians, and not all Christians, just those who take the Bible seriously. ... The reality is that throughout our history, the halls of American government have teemed with Bible-believing Christians, and they've never pushed for theocracy. Ironically, it is leftists who are far likelier to use the power of government to selectively suppress political and religious liberties." --columnist David Limbaugh
"[T]he Left considers itself the undisputed champion of 'science,' but there are scads of issues where they take un-scientific points of view. Sure they can cite dissident scientists -- just as conservatives can -- on this or that issue. But everyone knows that when the science directly threatens the Left's pieties, it's the science that must bend -- or break. During the Larry Summers fiasco at Harvard, comments delivered in the classic spirit of open inquiry and debate cost Summers his job. Actual scientists got the vapors because he violated the principles not of science but of liberalism. During the Gulf oil spill, the Obama administration dishonestly claimed that its independent experts supported a drilling moratorium. They emphatically did not. The president who campaigned on basing his policies on 'sound science' ignored his own hand picked experts. ... His support for wind and solar energy ... isn't based on science but on faith. And that faith has failed him dramatically. The idea that conservatives are anti-science is self-evident and self-pleasing liberal hogwash. I see no reason why conservatives should even argue the issue on their terms when it's so clearly offered in bad faith in the first place." --columnist Jonah Goldberg
Reply #597 on:
September 09, 2011, 11:18:36 AM »
"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." --Thomas Jefferson
Government & Politics
Obama's Speech Job
In case you were busy washing your hair, rewinding your CDs or getting a root canal last night, Barack Obama gave a speech. Yes, another one, and with warmed-over recycled ideas, to boot. He made sure we all knew his speech was about jobs because he used the word "jobs" 44 times. (Given his narcissism, we wonder if that number was intentional.) Indeed, he centered the speech on his "American Jobs Act," which, by the way, aims to create jobs. He hasn't yet sent an actual bill to Congress, though he called for Congress to "pass this bill right away" (or some variant) 17 times, but ... jobs.
In the spirit of bipartisan comity, we'll start by lauding something with which we agreed: "Those of us here tonight can't solve all of our nation's woes," the president said. "Ultimately, our recovery will be driven not by Washington, but by our businesses and our workers." We couldn't have said it better. Government doesn't create jobs; it can only create conditions under which the economy can flourish. Unfortunately, it was downhill from there, because Obama's very next sentence began, "But..."
Obama repeatedly framed his proposals as "nothing controversial" because "everything in here" has already been proposed by "both Democrats and Republicans." We hate to disagree, but nearly everything in the speech was controversial. From tax hikes on job creators in exchange for gimmicky tax credits, to more money dumped into the bottomless pit of education and infrastructure, to the very premise that government must grow in order for the economy to grow -- the ideas presented last night were the wrong ones.
Taxes were a major theme, but instead of proposing permanently lower rates and a broader base -- something that would actually work -- the president called for more temporary complications and supposed sweeteners. Obama said that Congress must extend the temporary payroll tax cut they passed last year, because, he warned, "If we allow that tax cut to expire -- if we refuse to act -- middle-class families will get hit with a tax increase at the worst possible time." That's interesting: A tax cut expiration is a tax increase. Funny how that didn't apply to the Bush tax cuts, which were good for 10 years, not just one. And funny how it doesn't apply to increasing the taxes of job creators "at the worst possible time." Indeed, that was his next proposal.
"[T]here are many Republicans who don't believe we should raise taxes on those who are most fortunate and can best afford it," he said, but, "We need a tax code where everyone gets a fair shake, and everybody pays their fair share. And I believe the vast majority of wealthy Americans and CEOs are willing to do just that, if it helps the economy grow and gets our fiscal house in order." Of course, "everybody" means the top 2 percent. He then declared with a straight face, "This isn't class warfare." Republicans in the chamber gave him the only appropriate response: laughter.
Estimates are that this stimulus package as proposed would cost about $447 billion. That's about half of the first stimulus, and we saw how well that worked. (Little wonder that Democrats have stricken the word "stimulus" from the lexicon.) How on earth will another few hundred billion dollars suddenly fix anything? "Everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything," Obama insisted, but how?
First of all, through the aforementioned tax increases on a select and punishable few. Primarily, however, Obama wants the debt reduction committee, created in the debt ceiling deal to find $1.5 trillion in savings over 10 years, to come up with even more savings, again over 10 years. In other words, let's spend another $450 billion now and have future presidents and Congresses pay for it later. Also, "a week from Monday," Obama will release "a more ambitious deficit plan." If this all wasn't so preposterous, it would've been another laugh line.
Obama also mocked those who think that government is too big. He trotted out his predictable straw-man arguments about Republicans wanting to cut "most government spending" or eliminating "most government regulations." He certainly intends to fight hard for the new floor of government spending and regulation he has established. He may offer a concession here or there, but by and large the damage has already been done. Even rolling back to the bloated and costly -- but still far smaller and cheaper -- government of 2008 will be impossible while he occupies the White House. Finally, there's a big difference between limited government and no government. It is the former that we must seek.
Just how half-baked was this speech?
The Heritage Foundation's policy experts offered their responses to Obama's proposals, from refinancing mortgages to infrastructure spending and tax gimmicks.
The Cato Institute explains in an outstanding video why Keynesian government spending won't actually help.
"What here hasn't already been tried and failed before?" --GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann
On the Campaign Trail: The GOP Debate
Eight of the Republican presidential candidates gathered at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Wednesday night for the first of five fall debates. All eyes were on newly entered candidate Rick Perry. The Texas governor, who spent the week in his state managing wildfire response, is not the slickest debater in the field. That honor would likely go to Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich. Yet Perry did well enough to solidify his status as the new frontrunner. Michele Bachmann, on the other hand, performed well but continued to fade after Perry's entrance took a huge bite out of her support. Of course, with the media placing Perry and Romney front and center and focusing most of their attention on the two pack-leaders, everyone else on the stage took a backseat. That's what they get for allowing MSNBC to carry the debate.
Some observations about the other candidates: Jon Huntsman continued his disappointing run to the left, apparently under the mistaken impression that independents and Democrats will decide the Republican primary. He will not win the nomination on this course.
Newt Gingrich won't win the nomination, but he won some points in the debate by attacking the moderators for their inane questions. He correctly pointed out that any candidate on the stage would be better than Barack Obama, and that they are in a sense a team working toward winning the White House.
Herman Cain is still struggling to get noticed, and he missed a golden opportunity immediately after Gingrich's answer to attack Obama, instead choosing to attack Romney. He wasn't wrong, but he seemed to have completely missed what Gingrich said and failed to play off of it.
Rick Santorum also won't win the nomination, but wins the award for stupidest question asked of him by the moderators: Where do the poor fit among Republicans? The implication is that Republicans don't care about the poor. Unfortunately, Santorum's answer -- talking in the third person about how much he has done for the poor -- wasn't the best answer.
Ron Paul's contribution is that he leaves no stone unturned, no orthodoxy unchallenged and no candidate unassailed. His questions and points are important for conservatives to consider in fine-tuning positions and policies. All the same, he won't be the nominee. (Yeah, we know -- we might as well be Soviets for saying so.)
In fact, unless something changes drastically, this race is between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.
Quote of the Week
"If 10 percent is good enough for God, 9 percent should be good enough for government." --Herman Cain at the GOP presidential debate Wednesday night
What did you think of the debate?
This Week's 'Alpha Jackass' Award
Whatever happened to civility? Democrats were certainly quick to call for it when Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was shot, along with several others, in Tucson in January. In spite of the facts, the Left blamed the Right for heated political rhetoric. Yet when a union leader spews hatred and calls for "war," Democrats suddenly don't mind so much.
"We gotta keep an eye on the battle that we face: A war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party," thundered Teamster president Jimmy Hoffa Jr. at a Labor Day rally. "They got a war, they got a war with us and there's only going to be one winner. It's going to be the workers of Michigan, and America. We're gonna win that war." Then he promised, "President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let's take these son of a b-----s [sic] out and give America back to an America where we belong."
Not only was he vulgar, but he also botched the grammar.
Barack Obama took the stage later, saying he was "proud" of Hoffa and other labor leaders. The White House and other Democrat leaders have pointedly refused on multiple occasions to repudiate or even question Hoffa's words. Hoffa himself doubled down, later insisting that he would say it again "because I believe it. They've declared war on us. We didn't declare war on them, they declared war on us. We're fighting back. The question is, who started the war?" Maybe that's why 500 union members in Seattle stormed the Port of Longview with baseball bats and crowbars taking six security guards hostage over hiring objections.
Speaking of a war on "them," the newest rage on Internet is a video game called "Tea Party Zombies Must Die," in which the player kills zombie versions of the Left's favorite conservative bogeymen. "DON'T GET TEA-BAGGED!" reads the description. "The Tea Party zombies are walking the streets of America. Grab your weapons and bash their rotten brains to bits! Destroy zombie Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck, the Koch Brothers, and many more!" (National Review's Daniel Foster has screenshots.) We're just glad to see the juveniles on the Left channeling their angst in such productive ways.
Hope 'n' Change: ObamaCare Wins With Stacked Deck
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld ObamaCare Thursday, overturning a lower court's decision in favor of the state of Virginia. The Fourth Circuit ruled that Virginia lacked standing in the case, though at least two judges would have upheld it on the "merits." The Sixth Circuit Court likewise upheld the law earlier this year, though the 11th Circuit Court struck down the individual mandate last month as unconstitutional. Although the Fourth Circuit is roughly evenly divided between Republican and Democrat appointees, this particular three-judge panel consisted of one Clinton appointee and two appointed by Obama. Certainly not a fair hearing. Again, the bottom line is that ObamaCare is headed to the Supreme Court.
New & Notable Legislation
House Republicans are working on legislation that will block a recent proposed ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regarding unionization. The ruling speeds up the process of union elections, offering little time for employers and workers to debate union organization. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups have blasted the ruling as an infringement on workers' rights. Another bill has been drafted to keep the NLRB in check by preventing the board from ordering a company to relocate its employees. Senate Republicans have vowed to block any nominations to the NLRB until these issues are resolved.
From the Left: Politicizing Hurricanes
Congressional Democrats manufactured a scandal out of thin air this week, blaming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for blocking disaster funding in the wake of Hurricane Irene. There haven't been many stories about people being denied aid, however, because it's simply not the case. Yet Democrats are charging that Cantor is doing exactly that. On the contrary, the GOP added $1 billion to FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund in June, and offset the increase by cutting spending on the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Program, a liberal pet project to create luxury electric cars. Cantor has noted on separate occasions that the federal government plays too large a role in disaster relief, but, despite Democrats' claims, his efforts to fund FEMA have been more generous than even the White House proposed. The only thing he's guilty of is hobbling Joe Biden's dream project to create electric cars that nobody will buy anyway.
So Help Me God
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Warfront With Jihadistan: Iraq Withdrawal on Steroids
Seeking to shore up plummeting poll numbers and pander to its anti-military base, the Obama regime is reportedly set to drastically reduce U.S. troop strength in Iraq to just 3,000 by year's end, a major reduction in strength in the still highly volatile country. When asked about this report, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta tried to sidestep, saying "no decision has been made" on the number of troops to stay in Iraq, but multiple sources confirm that Obama has already made the decision.
There are currently about 45,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. American commanders recommended a somewhat lower number to remain there by year's end, but the Obama regime, ever thinking of 2012, whined about "the cost and the political optics" of that many troops remaining in Iraq. U.S. commanders then further reduced their recommendation to 10,000, saying that number could work "in extremis," meaning in reality our troops would be hard pressed to continue training Iraqi forces while also maintaining security in large sections of Iraq. Still, even that low troop level was too much for Obama.
U.S. commanders are rightly angry. "We can't secure everybody with only 3,000 on the ground, nor can we do what we need to with the Iraqis," argued one. Another senior military official said that by reducing the number of troops to 3,000, the Obama regime has effectively reduced the U.S. mission in Iraq to training only, at best, while leaving a still-insufficient Iraqi security force to fend for themselves, all of which will endanger the remaining 3,000 U.S. troops -- for nothing more than supposed political gain.
Thankfully, there was some good news for our troops, as August marked the first month since March 2003 that not one U.S. military member died in either combat or non-hostile circumstances while supporting Iraqi operations. Sadly, Obama's latest move seems destined to ensure that August will be the last month we lose no troops in Iraq, at least until he completely surrenders Iraq and brings the handful of remaining troops home.
What will withdrawal from Iraq mean?
Politics: Weiner Seat - Brooklyn and Queens go Republican!
Reply #598 on:
September 14, 2011, 10:14:32 AM »
Nice coverage by Prentice on this:
This is a big deal. 8 point R victory, 19 point swing in the district since Obama won it by 11 in 2008. In a Dem year, Weiner ran unopposed in 2006 and won 100% of the vote.
This means that Obama is a net loss if he campaigns for a senate and congressional candidate in districts and states as conservative as NYC! We already saw him have to drive around Wisconsin where he won by 14% just 3 years ago.
The Duck is not Lame, he is radioactive.
(If someone else on the Dem side would like to enter the Presidential nomination race, today would be a good day to jump in.)
Last Edit: September 14, 2011, 10:17:48 AM by DougMacG
Reply #599 on:
September 14, 2011, 10:44:55 AM »
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Chronicle · September 14, 2011
"An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation." --John Marshall
"President Obama unveiled part two of his American Jobs Act on Monday, and it turns out to be another permanent increase in taxes to pay for more spending and another temporary tax cut. No surprise there. What might surprise Americans, however, is how the President is setting up the U.S. economy for one of the biggest tax increases in history in 2013. Mr. Obama said last week that he wants $240 billion in new tax incentives for workers and small business, but the catch is that all of these tax breaks would expire at the end of next year. To pay for all this, White House budget director Jack Lew also proposed $467 billion in new taxes that would begin a mere 16 months from now. The tax list includes limiting deductions for those earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for couples), limiting tax breaks for oil and gas companies, and a tax increase on carried interest earned by private equity firms. These tax increases would not be temporary. What this means is that millions of small-business owners had better enjoy the next 16 months, because come January 2013 they are going to get hit with a giant tax bill. ... For the White House, the policy calendar is dictated above all by the political necessities of the 2012 election. Mr. Obama will take his chances on 2013 if he can cajole the private economy to create enough new jobs over the next year to win re-election, even if those jobs and growth are temporary. Business owners and workers who would prefer to prosper beyond Election Day aren't likely to share Mr. Obama's enthusiasm once they see the great tax cliff approaching. Look out below." --The Wall Street Journal
What do you think of Obama's proposed tax hikes?
"When President Obama outlined his $450 billion jobs plan in a speech before Congress last week, he promised it would all be 'paid for,' and assured us he would present another plan outlining how he planned to do so. ... So much for the 'balanced approach' Obama was so fond of during the debt ceiling debate. The administration will cover the cost of the spending in its new jobs proposal solely by increasing taxes. ... Sound familiar? Recall this line from Obama's speech last week: 'This isn't political grandstanding. This isn't class warfare. This is simple math.' Republicans chuckled when he said that. And now the administration has shown why their laughter was warranted." --National Review's Andrew Stiles
"President Obama's jobs program calls for cuts in both sides of the payroll tax. That tax finances Social Security and Medicare. Social Security and Medicare are already taking in less money than they need to pay retirees. So they will have to cash in more of the Treasury IOUs left behind when previous surpluses were used to finance general expenditures. But the Treasury is also already running a deficit, a trillion dollars-plus. So it will have to borrow more in the capital markets in order to pay back the Social Security and Medicare funds. Unless Obama makes up the lost revenue by changing the tax code. But then money will be withdrawn from the economy in the form of higher taxes so it can be put back into the economy through the payroll-tax cut. Somehow that's supposed to stimulate the economy." --Freeman editor Sheldon Richman
"The White House's proposed means of paying for the 'jobs bill' the president called on Congress to adopt last week really sheds light on the cynicism and confusion at the heart of the president's new campaign theme. In order to be able to insist that he is proposing ideas but Republicans are unwilling to act, the president will apparently propose exactly the same set of massive tax increases that even Democrats in a Democratically-controlled Congress were unwilling to consider in the midst of the Obamacare debate in 2009. ... If telling voters you're unable to do your job were a wise re-election strategy, this might be a clever way to do it. But it isn't." --Yuval Levin of the Ethics and Public Policy Center
"The fact that a mere seven years after being attacked by Muslims, we elected a guy who spent his early years in Islamic schools in Indonesia; his most formative years being raised in Hawaii by white socialists and tutored by a black communist; and his adulthood, attending a black racist church in Chicago, while hanging around with unrepentant radical terrorists, strongly suggests that America should have had its head examined." --columnist Burt Prelutsky
Point: "Many people think that when the government takes payroll tax from their paychecks, it goes to something like a savings account. Seniors who collect Social Security think they're just getting back money that they put into their 'account.' Or they think it's like an insurance policy -- you win if you live long enough to get more than you paid in. Neither is true. Nothing is invested. The money taken from you was spent by government that year. Right away. There's no trust fund. The plan is unsustainable." --columnist John Stossel
Counterpoint: "Americans might listen to someone who calls Social Security a 'Ponzi scheme,' if he goes on to explain that what he means is that it cannot deliver the benefits it promises without significant reforms. But someone who seems eager to get the federal government out of the business of ensuring retirement security altogether will find a less receptive audience." --National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru
"Regardless of whether you believe the Social Security system, as now structured, satisfies the precise elements of a Ponzi scheme, you have to admit that if it had been correctly designed and administered, it would not be approaching insolvency and threatening our liberty and prosperity." --columnist David Limbaugh
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." --British Prime Minister William Pitt (1759-1806)
"Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone." --French economist, statesman and author, Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)
Broken record: "This is the bill that Congress needs to pass. ... No games. No politics. No delays." --Barack Obama, gamer and hardball politico
From the campaigner in chief: "[M]y job as president of the United States is not to worry about my job." --Barack Obama, who plans to spend $1 billion campaigning to keep his job
Hope: "Now, my hope is that when we are on the other side of it, folks will look back and say, 'You know, he wasn't a bad captain of the ship.'" --Barack Obama, U.S.S. Titanic
False choices: "I urge reasonable Republicans to resist the voices of the Tea Party and others who would oppose this legislation and [instead] root for our economy. We must not continue to bow to the Tea Party Republicans willing to do anything to hurt the president. [We] cannot allow their radical agenda to crowd out America's jobs agenda." --Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) urging Congress to resist the Tea Party and pass Obama's jobs plan
Civility: "What I saw [Monday night] in that debate, Andrea, was Republican candidates for president worshiping at the altar of the Tea Party." --DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Blind partisanship: "What happened after 9/11 -- and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not -- was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. ... The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it." --New York Times columnist Paul Krugman
Misunderstanding sacrifice: "But this is a war -- if you use the Bush terminology, the war against terrorism -- that has been very costly to this country and continues to be costly. ... And when the president goes before the Congress and has to beg for money to modernize schools and build science labs, that's just one small example of the cost we've paid with the obsessive focus on terrorism this last decade." --Newsweek's Eleanor Clift
Sycophants: "Occurs to me we are sitting 30 feet from Harry Truman's official White House portrait. Members of your base are asking: 'When are you going to get your Harry Truman on?'" --NBC's Brian Williams to Obama
Conservatives are dangerous: "This is what [the Tea Party] wanted to hear from these candidates [in Monday night's GOP debate]. There are a lot of people around the country who are just like the folks in this room. And yet there are a huge number of people, an equal number of people, who I think were horrified by what they heard in this room. I was getting notes about they ought to keep these people locked up and not let them out. Don't let them do anything to the country." --CNN political analyst David Gergen
Out on a Limb: "FACT CHECK: Obama's Jobs Plan Paid For? Seems Not" --Associated Press
We Blame Global Warming: "Obama Gets Cool Response From Republicans, Even Some Dems" --TheHill.com
Questions Nobody Is Asking: "Can Obama's Rhetoric Lift the Economy?" --Christian Science Monitor
Math Is Hard: "Hillary Clinton Says Chances She Will Run Against Barack Obama 'Below Zero'" --Mediaite.com
News You Can Use: "Waving Robotic Crab Arm Attracts Females" --BBC website
Bottom Story of the Day: "Al Gore in 24-Hour Broadcast to Convert Climate Skeptics" --Reuters
(Thanks to The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto)
Twisted "logic": "I have to say that I think the president's team has been rather brilliant putting this [jobs bill] together. If the American Jobs Act -- that's a terrific name for it -- and he's paying for it by doing something that 70 percent of Americans believe would be the right thing to do, which is to raise taxes on the people who got us into this mess in the first place. So now the Republicans are going to have to vote to, if they want to kill this bill, they're gonna have to vote to give all the people that Americas can't stand more money. And in doing so they'll keep ordinary Americans from getting jobs." --former DNC head Howard Dean
All or nothing: "We want [Congress] to act now on this [Obama jobs] package. We're not in a negotiation to break up the package. And it's not an a la carte menu. It is a strategy to get this country moving." --former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod
Gun grabbers: "[T]he underlying activity of possessing or transporting an accessible and loaded weapon is itself dangerous and undesirable, regardless of the intent of the bearer since it may lead to the endangerment of public safety. Access to a loaded weapon on a public street creates a volatile situation vulnerable to spontaneous lethal aggression in the event of road rage or any other disagreement or dispute....
hold that the state has an important government interest in promoting public safety and preventing crime. ... As crafted, the statute seeks to limit the use of handguns to self-defensive purposes -- a use which, although in this context existing outside the home, is nonetheless a hallmark of Heller -- rather than for some other use that has not been recognized as falling within the protections of the Second Amendment." --Southern District Judge Cathy Seibel of New York claiming that gun carry permits are not a constitutional right
"Has Obama ever grown even a potted plant, much less a business, a bank, a hospital or any of the numerous other institutions whose decisions he wants to control and override?" --economist Thomas Sowell
"Obama is like the guy in the bar who says, 'I'll stand drinks for everyone in the house,' and then adds, 'Those guys over there are going to pay for them.'" --political analyst Michael Barone
"L.A. is considering a ban on both plastic AND paper grocery bags. Fine. If I ever go shopping in L.A., my bags will be made from the fur of animals I killed myself." --former Senator Fred Thompson
"President Obama's speechwriter Jon Lovett resigned to pursue what he called a more fulfilling life in Los Angeles writing comedy. He helped write the stimulus bill, the health care law and the president's jobs plan. His work as a comedy writer in Washington is done." --comedian Argus Hamilton
"Government statistics show the U.S. economy created zero jobs in August. President Obama now says he's confident this month he can double that." --comedian Jay Leno
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
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