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DougMacG
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« Reply #600 on: September 14, 2011, 12:38:15 PM »

19 point gain in NY-9, surpassed only by a 20 point gain for the GOP in Nevada district-2 post-Obama.  McCain and Obama tied at 49-49 in 2008, Mark Amodei R-NV2 just won it 57-37.  Nevada districts 1 & 3 are in the south population centers, NV-2 is all the rest of the state.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #601 on: September 16, 2011, 02:10:27 PM »

Digest · September 16, 2011

   
   

Essential Liberty
Join thousands of Patriots who have already signed on to the Oath Accountability Civil Action for Constitutional Integrity.

To enforce our Constitution's limits on the central government, we believe a formal legal action is necessary. This action, if successful, would require that all members of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches, first and foremost, abide by their oaths "to support and defend" our Constitution, under penalty of law, and comport with its enumerated limitations on the federal government. The current scope of federal activities provides abundant evidence that many members of those three co-equal branches have long since abandoned their oaths, and, at present, there is no recourse for prosecution to enforce compliance.

To that end, please sign on to this action, and join Patriots across the nation in this effort to establish legal standing as citizens, particularly those in our Armed Services who defend their oaths with blood and life. If we are unsuccessful in our effort to seek remedy for the lack of any proscription against, and penalty for breach of oath, it is because the judiciary refuses any such accountability regarding the wanton violation of our Constitution. Such rejection would in effect render Americans once again condemned to the abuse previously characterized in American history as "Taxation Without Representation."

(Problems with page loading due to the site traffic yesterday, have been corrected.)


     


The Foundation
"If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions." --James Madison


Government & Politics
The Social Security Debate
The GOP presidential race this week boiled down to two words: Social Security. Specifically, which candidates have said what about the public retirement program set up by socialist Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression. The kindling has long been there for a fiery debate about the government's massive obligations to an aging population, but Texas Gov. Rick Perry's previous comments about Social Security being a "monstrous lie" and a "Ponzi scheme" lit the spark in Monday's Republican debate when several other candidates took issue with his position. So, is Social Security a Ponzi scheme?

Mitt Romney says no, and he seized the opportunity to cast the rhetoric of his main Republican rival as "over the top" and "frightful to many people." Romney warned, "If we nominate someone who the Democrats can correctly characterize as being opposed to Social Security, we would be obliterated as a party."

Frankly, both men have a point, though Romney used similar language in his own book to describe the program. Numerous figures on the Left have also over the years, dating back at least to a 1967 Newsweek column by liberal economist and Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson.

Strictly speaking, Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme, in part because it's not against the law. Indeed, it is the law. (Try not paying payroll taxes -- i.e., "investing" in the system.) But it is structured exactly like a Ponzi scheme, and it will eventually fail for the same reasons. Today's workers are paying for the checks of today's retirees, and it has always been that way. From the start, politicians have raided the Social Security "trust fund" and spent the money on other general fund projects. What was left were worthless IOUs. Now that benefits paid exceed taxes collected, that problem has become acute. According to the Social Security board of trustees, in 1945, there were 42 workers for every retiree; the current ratio of three workers to every retiree is unsustainable.

Perry later wrote a USA Today op-ed to clarify his position. He thinks Social Security must be reformed so that it can both be saved for those in and nearing retirement, as well as for younger workers. Still, Perry's problem is exactly as Romney indicated: Democrats (and apparently other Republicans) will demonize him for wanting to "destroy" Social Security. The program is still popular, and if voters think that a politician is going to take away their money, they will object vehemently. (Of course, their money has already been taken away, but that seems to escape the notice of far too many people.) Republicans have to walk the tightrope of calling for reform without being successfully demagogued.

The GOP candidates are shying away from any mention of Medicare, however, which is in far worse fiscal condition than Social Security. Annual spending on Medicare and Medicaid is now 5.5 percent of GDP, and by 2030, the Congressional Budget Office predicts that it will reach nearly 10 percent. Medicare by itself is already the biggest spender on medical services in the U.S., and that $525 billion in 2010 is influencing the market for everyone else.

Perhaps Herman Cain said it best: "I don't care what you call it, it's broken." He's right. And no matter what we call these programs, the important thing is to recognize that they will cause the nation to go broke if we don't fix them. But they can't be fixed unless conservatives win elections, and winning elections might require a more tactful approach.

Is Social Security a Ponzi scheme? Share your thoughts

Open Query
"A healthy 30-year-old young man" without health insurance ends up in the hospital. "Who's going to ... pay for that? ... Are you saying that society should just let him die?" --CNN's Wolf Blitzer with a "gotcha" question for Rep. Ron Paul in Monday's GOP debate

Paul's answer is here and it's excellent.

News From the Swamp: Stimulus Jr.
Barack Obama gave details of his "jobs" proposal Monday, and then quickly hit the road, urging everyone at every appearance he made to support its quick and complete passage. "If you love me," he crooned, "you've got to help me pass this bill." Obama maintains that his $447 billion plan will fix America's unemployment problem, which has grown increasingly worse under his watch. The bill will create 1.9 million jobs, he says, and reduce unemployment by a full percentage point. Yet Stimulus Jr. merely repeats many of the proposals that didn't work when they were passed in 2009.

For instance, the employee payroll tax would be expanded. There is also a $49 billion extension of unemployment benefits. The current maximum for the unemployed to draw benefits is 99 weeks (just three weeks short of two whole years), and when that line in the sand was drawn in 2009, Democrats said they would never have to cross it. They now support the extension, however, because they claim the added money will flow back into the economy through consumer spending -- despite all evidence to the contrary. Also, $60 billion will be dedicated to infrastructure spending and the creation of an infrastructure bank to finance projects when and if they become shovel-ready.

Obama maintains that this plan "is fully paid for." How, you ask? Well, the president has rolled out the same solutions for that, too. Tax increases to the tune of $467 billion -- over 10 years. Remember, the spending would occur this year. Tax rates would go up for families making over $250,000 per year, and some deductions such as charitable donations would be limited. (We can all watch charitable giving plummet if that happens.) Obama would also end tax breaks for oil companies and corporate jet owners, and raise the tax paid by hedge funds and investment partnerships. Republicans and some Democrats have previously rejected these proposals because they would hit precisely the small business job creators that are needed to jumpstart the economy. Besides, if wealthy leftists feel guilty about their prosperity and want to give more to the government, they're perfectly free to do so.

House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor have both stated publicly that they won't support any elements of the program that call for more stimulus spending -- and rightly so. Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute said in her House testimony on the subject this week, "Those who believe that the 2009 stimulus simply was not enough ... should admit that if $1 trillion did not work in 2009, then $447 billion is unlikely to solve an even larger problem in 2011." Furthermore, conservatives and far-left Democrats reject the idea of an extended payroll tax cut because it will reduce the amount of money paid into an already fragile Social Security system.

It's hard to imagine that Obama has much of a chance of passing his jobs plan intact with such an array of Republicans and Democrats aligned against him. In fact, that's exactly what he wants, because he can then run against the "do-nothing Congress" in 2012. Indeed, it's a rerun of Harry Truman's 1948 campaign. Obama says, "This Congress, they are accustomed to doing nothing, and they're comfortable with doing nothing, and they keep on doing nothing."

A final note: Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) snagged the name Obama had chosen for his boondoggle -- The American Jobs Act -- for his own piece of legislation, H.R. 2911, which proposes a tax cut to stimulate the economy. Tellingly, no Democrat had yet submitted the president's latest emergency, pass-it-right-away bill. In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has said that other bills will receive attention first -- such as one on bike trails.


This Week's 'Braying Jenny' Award
"I'll put it this way, you don't deserve to keep all of [your money]. It's not a question of deserving, because what government is, is those things that we decide to do together." --Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) pontificating about the money you earn

On Cross-Examination
Obama has a little work to do to gain support for Stimulus Jr. -- from his own party.

"I have serious questions about the level of spending that President Obama proposed." --Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)

"I am not supporting a repeal of tax cuts for the oil industry unless there are other industries that contribute. ... That offset is not going to fly, and he should know that. Maybe it's just for his election." --Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)

"When you start singling out certain industries [oil and gas], there's an unfairness to it. On the pay-fors, I have a problem." --Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK)

"Every dollar that is spent on the jobs bill ... is not going to be available to Congress to deal with the debt. And to me, the top priority of ours should be long-term major debt reduction." --Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT)

Constitution Day 2011
Tomorrow, Sept. 17, 2011, marks the 224th anniversary of the signing of our Constitution at the Philadelphia (Constitution) Convention in 1787. Of course, these days, Memorial Day may be a more apt description.

Share your thoughts

Hope 'n' Change: ObamaCare in Court
U.S. District Judge Christopher Conner ruled this week that the individual mandate in ObamaCare is unconstitutional. Conner, appointed by George W. Bush, wrote that the mandate extends Congress's power under the Constitution too far. At this point, the law has several rulings in its favor and several against it. Why, again, did the Supreme Court insist that, before they take it up, the law must run its course through the lower courts?

New & Notable Legislation
The House passed H.R. 2587 by a 238-186 vote Thursday. The legislation prohibits the National Labor Relations Board from dictating where corporations may establish factories. The law is a response to the NLRB's decision earlier this summer to sue Boeing for opening a manufacturing plant for the 787 Dreamliner in right-to-work South Carolina instead of union-shop Washington state. Unions, predictably, didn't like the move, regardless of how many jobs it might create. The bill is unlikely to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Special Election Win for GOP in Blue Territory
Republican Bob Turner shook the political world this week by winning a special House election in deep-blue New York District 9. Turner, a retired businessman, defeated New York State Assemblyman David Weprin 54-46. Weprin, a machine Democrat whose family has been a mainstay in New York politics for years, was initially expected to handily win the seat recently vacated by scandal-plagued Anthony Weiner. The district, which straddles the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, is predominantly Jewish, and Democrats enjoy a 3-to-1 voter registration advantage there. Voters in the district have not sent a Republican to Washington since 1923, and Weprin and members of his family have served several terms in local and statewide office in the area. These advantages ended up meaning nothing, as Weprin's fortunes diminished rapidly in the closing weeks of the campaign. Democrats even pulled out the big guns in an attempt to save him, but to no avail.

The upset spoke volumes about the current state of affairs for Democrats, but they are unlikely to learn any lessons judging by their response to the outcome. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz provided the most laughable excuse when she claimed, "It's a very difficult district for Democrats." The White House, of course, rejected the idea that it was a referendum on the administration, though they used the opposite spin on the special election victory House Democrats won in upstate New York earlier this year.

The fact is that the race was precisely a referendum on the Obama presidency, and particularly his ghastly economic record. Obama's poor treatment of Israel on the international stage also angered many Jewish voters in the district, and they expressed their sentiment at the ballot box. Turner may not serve long, however, since District 9 is targeted for elimination when redistricting takes place next year, but his victory has sent a clear message as the crucial 2012 campaign season approaches.


National Security
Warfront With Jihadistan: 9/11 Remembrance Omits Key Element
The victims of 9/11 were appropriately remembered and honored in ceremonies across the country last Sunday, the 10th anniversary of the jihadi attacks on America. Yet if you were listening for information about their murders and what motivated them, there was only silence. Even though we're still at war with Jihadistan, political correctness invaded most ceremonies, and any mention of the dreaded "I" word, Islam, was strictly verboten. Indeed, about the only mention of Islam came from the Left, where some did their best to make it seem as if Muslims were actually the main victims of 9/11. Other leftists reported on how benign Sharia law really is, and argued that "jihad" is actually just a nonviolent struggle. It's doubtful that the Americans on Flight 93, or the New York City police and firemen of the World Trade Center, would agree with that definition.

One had to leave the U.S. to find sources that would dare speak the truth. In London, Tony Blair pointed to all of the Middle Eastern countries that harbor terrorist ideologies, saying, "It's completely wrong to think the struggle to defeat extremist ideology is won." Israeli sources were even more blunt, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying, "Therefore, the struggle against radical Islamic terrorism, which is, in effect, a description of the past decade, is at its peak; it is not yet over. We must all unite, countries that aspire to life, certainly the democracies that cherish life, and act in concert against this blight."

Al-Qa'ida certainly noted the anniversary. Its new leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, claimed credit for this year's Arab uprisings, saying the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. paved the way for the "Arab volcano" that is sweeping through the Middle East. A stretch, to be sure, but also an indication that the radical Islamists of al-Qa'ida are still in the game, even if American politicians and the press are afraid to say so.

Testimony Under Pressure
U.S. Air Force Gen. William Shelton dropped a bomb this week when he alleged that the White House had pressured him to modify testimony before Congress to make it more favorable toward a company that made donations to Democrats. The four-star Air Force general oversees U.S. Space Command, and he was scheduled to testify before a House committee on Aug. 3 regarding a new wireless project of a satellite broadband company in Virginia called LightSquared. Shelton's testimony was leaked in advance, revealing that he was prepared to tell the committee that LightSquared's project would interfere with the military's sensitive Global Positioning Satellite capabilities.

The majority owner of LightSquared, however, is an investment fund run by Democrat donor Philip Falcone. The company saw that the testimony could damage their business, and the White House intervened. Shelton says the White House requested that he alter his testimony to voice support for the administration's policy of adding more broadband for commercial use and to say that the Pentagon would work to resolve questions regarding LightSquared with testing in only 90 days. It seems that this administration will stop at nothing to politicize any issue in favor of their donors. Congress has a duty to investigate and find out just who pressured Shelton, and from whom those orders came.

U.S. Air Force Birthday
Relentlessly committed to the defense of liberty, the United States Air Force celebrates its 64th birthday Sunday, Sept. 18. The Air Force began life as the Army Air Corps but became a separate Armed Services Branch when the National Security Act of 1947 created the Department of the Air Force. As the U.S. Air Force continues its critical mission "to fly, fight and win ... in air, space and cyberspace," we ask that you pray for these brave Patriots prosecuting the Long War against Jihadistan, and for their families awaiting their safe return.


Profiles of Valor: U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Dakota Meyer
Former U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Dakota Meyer Thursday became the first living Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for heroism in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, Meyer struggled for words, saying, "It's hard, it's ... you know ... getting recognized for the worst day of your life, so it's ... it's a really tough thing." It was his worst day because of the friends he lost.

On Sept. 8, 2009, Meyer and his platoon were on patrol in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, when they were ambushed. When several team members were cut off from the main group, Meyer sought to rescue them. According to the official citation, "With a fellow Marine driving, Corporal Meyer took the exposed gunner's position in a gun-truck as they drove down the steeply terraced terrain in a daring attempt to disrupt the enemy attack and locate the trapped U.S. team. Disregarding intense enemy fire now concentrated on their lone vehicle, Corporal Meyer killed a number of enemy fighters with the mounted machine guns and his rifle, some at near point blank range, as he and his driver made three solo trips into the ambush area." Despite a shrapnel wound in his arm, Meyer led a total of five trips into the kill zone to "recover more wounded Afghan soldiers and search for the missing U.S. team members."

Meyer's final trip was on foot, and he recovered the bodies of four of his friends -- Marine 1st Lt. Michael Johnson, Marine Staff Sgt. Aaron Kenefick, Marine Gunnery Sgt. Edwin Johnson, and Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class James Layton. Two of Meyer's fellow Marines, Capt. Ademola Fabayo and Staff Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez, the driver, were awarded the Navy Cross.

Voice your support for Cpl. Meyer

Business & Economy
Income Redistribution: Some Energy Bleeds Green
Solyndra is becoming a household name, but not for the intended reasons. Despite being given a 2009 "stimulus" loan of $535 million, the solar panel maker filed for bankruptcy last week -- and it's not the only one, either. Joe Biden spoke at the groundbreaking of the company's new factory and said "renewable energy" is "exactly what the Recovery Act is all about." Barack Obama also praised the company last May at an on-site visit, saying, "companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future." Solyndra CEO and founder, Dr. Chris Gronet, called Barack Obama "instrumental" in securing the loan.

With that high-profile backing, the fallout from the firm's collapse isn't pretty. Congress and the Treasury Department are both investigating what the White House knew and why so much money was invested in a failing operation. There were warnings months before the loan and Obama's photo-op at Solyndra headquarters, including from accountants at PricewaterhouseCoopers, who indicated "substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern." Internal administration emails reveal that some people worried about default -- primarily over how it would affect Obama's re-election campaign. Yet Energy Department officials sat in on the company's meetings and concluded that the loan was worth it.

No doubt more will be revealed in the coming days and weeks, but what is perhaps even more galling is that, despite the malfeasance in the Solyndra case, the Department of Energy is set to issue another $1.2 billion loan to Mojave Solar for a 250-megawatt solar generation project in San Bernardino County, California. Aside from Solyndra, this new move comes after a Washington Post report saying, "A $38.6 billion loan guarantee program that the Obama administration promised would create or save 65,000 jobs has created just a few thousand jobs two years after it began..." While only $17.2 billion has been spent to date, just 3,545 new jobs have been created, at a cost of nearly $5 million per job. Even if all 65,000 jobs had materialized, though, the cost per job is obscene. Perhaps that's still better than $19 billion in erroneous unemployment payments. Some lessons, it seems, are never learned.

What should happen as a result of Solyndra?
Regulatory Commissars: Turn on the Jobs Spigot, Please
Over the last few months Chevron, BP and ExxonMobil have each announced the finding of vast oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico. It's an opportunity to create thousands of real jobs and perhaps begin to dent the persistently high fuel prices and unemployment plaguing the nation. All told, the new discoveries in deep water areas of over 4,000 feet in depth have the potential of producing billions of barrels of oil, and helping our nation achieve a degree of energy independence while at the same time adding to the 9.2 million domestic jobs already provided by the oil and natural gas industry. If only these companies were free to determine areas in which to drill and build up the infrastructure for safe extraction and transport.

Yet an unsustainable pace of regulatory approvals since the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill may force U.S. oil rigs out of the Gulf. As many as 20 rigs could be relocated to other oil hotspots around the globe such as Brazil or Nigeria. We realize that some jobs in the energy industry may not be the "green" jobs Barack Obama desires, but in an era where solar power companies go belly-up and take millions of taxpayer dollars with them, why not speed up the regulatory process and let the oil industry use its own private funding to create lasting employment for thousands of Americans? Seems like a no-brainer to us.


Bank of America to Cut 30,000 Jobs
If you limit the amount of income a service provider can receive, it follows that they will have less money to invest in retaining staff. Over the next three years, 30,000 Bank of America employees will learn this truism the hard way as they're downsized out of the company. An amendment to the 2009 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill will cost the financial giant $475 million in just one quarter this year once the rule takes effect in October, so as part of a makeover to slash an overall $5 billion in corporate expenses, these workers must go.

The Dodd-Frank rule cuts the amount banks can charge retailers in transaction fees by roughly half. While populists from both parties chortled about "exorbitant" debit card transaction fees, they didn't realize this income stream was what kept other fees, such as fees for checking accounts or interest rates on credit cards, lower.

A look at recent history shows this is nothing new for a beleaguered banking industry. Once the boom times of the Bush years went bust and consumers slipped into unsustainable debt, along came federal regulators to stick companies (and responsible credit card holders) with the bill. Beginning with the 2009 Credit CARD Act, which led to general interest rate increases for most creditworthy consumers, the trend of recent federal regulations has served to make the credit card business less lucrative for banks. While average Americans fall prey to the class envy aspect of regulating bank fees, it may be their neighbor who loses his job thanks to the new rules.


Around the Nation: Poverty Increases
Everywhere we turn, we hear grim news about the economic health of this country. In 2010, income in the U.S. was at a 10-year low and poverty was at a 17-year high. The Census Bureau now reports that one in six Americans is now considered poor. In the midst of this economic turmoil, Obama is asking us to spend another $447 billion, in part to help the "disadvantaged youth" by giving their low-income parents "ladders out of poverty." This poverty, however, is the hallmark of Obamanomics.

On the other hand, when most of us hear the word "poverty," we think of hunger and homelessness, a life starved of even basic needs. Yet according to a recent Heritage Foundation report, "Understanding Poverty in the United States," that is not as prevalent as we are often led to believe. The report's authors, Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield, found the following: According to the Department of Agriculture's 2009 statistics, 96 percent of low-income parents reported that their children were never hungry due to lack of money, and 83 percent of poor families have enough to eat. Also, while 4 percent of the poor were temporarily homeless, 42 percent own their own homes. Car, computer and TV ownership is even higher.

The report also speaks to the causes of poverty, and a lack of government aid is not among them. In fact, the government only makes things worse. As blogger Ed Morrissey quipped, "It seems that Obama loves the poor so much that he's going out of his way to create more of them."


Culture & Policy
Second Amendment: The Right to Carry
U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel ruled this week that issuance of concealed carry permits is a matter of discretion for state authorities and isn't an individual right. Furthermore, guns are scary. "The 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," Seibel wrote, quoting a previous decision on the case. Carrying a loaded weapon on a public street, she said, "creates a volatile situation vulnerable to spontaneous lethal aggression in the event of road rage or any other disagreement or dispute. For all these reasons, I hold that the state has an important government interest in promoting public safety and preventing crime." Declaring that people intent on committing a crime don't have legal access to a gun is not going to stop them -- it will only disarm their victims.

In related news, Reps. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Heath Shuler (D-NC) have introduced H.R. 822, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011. The bill would ensure that all state-issued concealed carry permits are recognized by all other states. Illinois is the only state that still maintains that the Second Amendment doesn't exist.

Are guns themselves an endangerment to public safety?
Climate Change This Week: Gore's 24
Continuing his quest to rid the world of global-warming skeptics, Al "It's Not Easy Being Green" Gore has announced that he will air 24 straight hours of global warming television this week. "24 Hours of Reality" will play on Current TV, which Gore co-founded (after all, what other channel would give Gore 24 hours of airtime?). According to Trewin Restorick, chief executive of Global Action Plan, the broadcast's UK partner, "There will be a full-on assault on climate skeptics, exploring where they get their funding from." This approach is hardly surprising, as "assault" is the only option available to the crusade that is steadily losing in the court of public opinion. A recent opinion poll, for example, showed that concern over climate change has dropped in the U.S. from 62 percent in 2007 to 48 percent this year.

All that aside, let's assume for a minute that man-made climate change is real. Does Gore really think his leftist partisan approach is going to turn the masses in his favor? If he hasn't been able to convince the world through three decades of scare tactics and selective science, 24 hours of hot air isn't going to do the job. Just in case you're thinking of tuning into Gore's production, though, you should probably know that the broadcast has been rated "U" for "Unsubstantiated."


And Last...
In an effort to help supporters "get the facts" and "fight the smears," the Obama campaign has launched a new website called AttackWatch. Arrayed in warning colors of red and white, with a black background for added eeriness, the goal is for people to rat out their neighbors for saying naughty things about the Obama administration. For example, saying, "The stimulus was supposed to keep unemployment below 8 percent; it's now over 9 percent," could get you reported. "ObamaCare is a regulatory nightmare that is already costing jobs," is another reportable smear. Various charges are countered with the same old platitudes regurgitated at every teleprompter recitation.

We're not alone, however, in getting a good laugh out of the Obama campaign's paranoia. Even The Washington Post called the site a "laughingstock." Meanwhile, Misfitpolitics came up with a hilarious parody, and others are lining up to mock the effort. For our part, we're just hoping that we'll get reported.

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
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Crafty_Dog
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Posts: 29552


« Reply #602 on: September 20, 2011, 11:19:31 AM »



September 19, 2011

Essential Liberty
Join thousands of Patriots who have already signed on to the Oath Accountability Civil Action for Constitutional Integrity.

To enforce our Constitution's limits on the central government, we believe a formal legal action is necessary. This action, if successful, would require that all members of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches, first and foremost, abide by their oaths "to support and defend" our Constitution, under penalty of law, and comport with its enumerated limitations on the federal government. The current scope of federal activities provides abundant evidence that many members of those three co-equal branches have long since abandoned their oaths, and, at present, there is no recourse for prosecution to enforce compliance.

To that end, please sign on to this action, and join Patriots across the nation in this effort to establish legal standing as citizens, particularly those in our Armed Services who defend their oaths with blood and life. If we are unsuccessful in our effort to seek remedy for the lack of any proscription against, and penalty for breach of oath, it is because the judiciary refuses any such accountability regarding the wanton violation of our Constitution. Such rejection would in effect render Americans once again condemned to the abuse previously characterized in American history as "Taxation Without Representation."

Our goal is 500,000 signatures, which is minimally necessary because if the federal judiciary refuses to hear this action, then we will take it to the national legislature for codification into federal law. A large support base will be necessary if we are forced to exercise that alternative.


     


The Foundation
"[T]here is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust." --James Madison

Government

Obama stimulus recipient Solyndra has gone under"Solyndra was the first company to receive a loan guarantee from the Department of Energy as part of the 2009 stimulus package. This wasn't small potatoes. The loan guarantee was for $535 million. ... As my Washington Examiner colleague David Freddoso reported, an audit of the company performed by PriceWaterhouseCoopers two months before Obama's visit noted that the firm had accumulated losses of $558 million in its five years of existence. The auditor noted that Solyndra 'has suffered recurring losses from operations, negative cash flows since inception and has a net stockholders' deficit that, among other factors, raises substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.' One of the original investors in Solyndra was Oklahoma billionaire George Kaiser, who was also a major contributor to Obama's 2008 campaign. In early 2011, Kaiser and other investors provided an additional $75 million in financing to Solyndra. They did so on condition, approved by the Energy Department, that they receive priority over previous creditors, including the government. ... But let's assume for the time being that there was no criminal conduct here, no violation of government procedures, no fraud. Let's assume everyone in the administration acted with good faith. There's still a scandal -- the scandal of the government handing out hundreds of millions of dollars to unproven and speculative businesses. ... The real scandal is the 'green jobs' loan guarantee program itself. And the ones getting scammed are American taxpayers." --political analyst Michael Barone

How can we stop crony capitalism?

Essential Liberty
"[W]hile interest in the Constitution is growing, few Americans actually know much about what it says. And that has serious downsides. It means that many Americans don't really understand the rights the Constitution protects or the powers it grants. For example, in 2009, Oklahoma tested its high school students on their knowledge of civics -- including basic ideas about the U.S. Constitution. They failed miserably. Only 28% knew that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and just 26% identified the Bill of Rights correctly. ... American adults -- including those serving in politics -- fare no better when it comes to their knowledge of the Constitution. In early 2011, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute surveyed adults and college students to assess their civic knowledge. They discovered that ordinary Americans actually scored higher on their knowledge of the Constitution than the elected officials surveyed. ... Citizens who do not understand their rights -- or the limitations of government -- can neither defend those rights nor participate meaningfully in the political process." --columnist Rebecca Hagelin

Insight
"[Tyrannical] power is absolute, minute, regular, provident and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?" --French historian Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

Re: The Left
"New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, in a radio interview on Friday, warned that high unemployment could lead to widespread rioting. That's right. He actually said that. At a time when European cities have suffered massively from hooliganism, and at a time when U.S. towns like Philadelphia and Kansas City have suffered huge human and commercial tolls from so-called flash riots. For Bloomberg to come out with this statement is irresponsible and incendiary. But you know what? He's got a personal agenda. This is a desperate talking point to sell President Obama's jobs plan, which Bloomberg favors as a solution to high unemployment and zero growth. There's a whole history here of liberals threatening riots if they don't get their way. ... Riots are not the answer to our economic problems. Promoting private-sector investment is." --columnist Lawrence Kudlow

Political Futures
"Suddenly, liberal op-ed writers are trashing ... Barack Obama as a one-term president ('one and done'). Centrist Democrats up for re-election in 2012 openly worry about inviting a kindred president into their districts, lest the supposed new pariah lose them votes. ... [W]hat Obama's supporters are mad about is that the public is boiling over chronic 9 percent unemployment, a comatose housing market, escalating food and fuel prices, near nonexistent economic growth, a gyrating stock market, record deficits, $16 trillion in aggregate debt, and a historic credit downgrading. And voters are not just mad, but blaming these hard times on the liberal Obama agenda of more regulations, more federal spending, more borrowing, more talk of taxes, and more 'stimulus' programs. ... Voters may or may not like Obama, but they surely do not like what he is still trying to do." --historian Victor Davis Hanson


Opinion in Brief

"President Obama's official re-election campaign has set up a website ostensibly to defend him against false attacks, but its obvious purpose is to smear Republicans and propagandize. What could be more shameless? ... [It's] called 'AttackWatch.com,' but it should be called 'AttackDog.com.' It has already proved that in its first few days of existence. When I opened the website for the first time, I saw revolving pictures of Obama's currently front-running GOP rivals, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, with the accompanying captions 'Rick Perry's massive jobs lie' and 'Romney's job chart shows flawed understanding of the facts.' ... The recent New York and Nevada elections and Obama's ever-cratering approval ratings show how desperately he is hemorrhaging support. He has no choice but to divert our attention from the record and onto red herrings he can generate through false characterizations of his opponents. That's what AttackWatch.com is about. That's what the entire re-election effort is about." --columnist David Limbaugh

What are you doing to get reported to AttackWatch?
For the Record
"Even a mandatory Ponzi scheme like Social Security can fail if it cannot rustle up enough new entrants. You can force young people into Social Security, but if there just aren't enough young people in existence to support current beneficiaries, the system will collapse anyway. When Social Security began making monthly distributions in 1940, there were 160 workers for every senior receiving benefits. In 1950, there were 16.5; today, three; in 20 years, there will be but two. Now, the average senior receives in Social Security about a third of what the average worker makes. Applying that ratio retroactively, this means that in 1940, the average worker had to pay only 0.2 percent of his salary to sustain the older folks of his time; in 1950, 2 percent; today, 11 percent; in 20 years, 17 percent. This is a staggering sum, considering that it is apart from all the other taxes he pays to sustain other functions of government, such as Medicare whose costs are exploding. The Treasury already steps in and borrows the money required to cover the gap between what workers pay into Social Security and what seniors take out. When young people were plentiful, Social Security produced a surplus. Starting now and for decades to come, it will add to the deficit, increasingly so as the population ages. Demography is destiny." --columnist Charles Krauthammer

Culture
"A group known as Brookline Political Action for Peace, or Brookline PAX as members like to be called, claims, among other things, that the recitation of the pledge smacks of anti-Americanism or even McCarthyism, and more compellingly, may even promote bullying. Therefore, they argue, the pledge should be banned. The organization, led by peacenik and noted anti-pledge activist Marty Rosenthal, seeks to petition town meeting voters in November to urge the school committee to end the requirement that principals in Brookline allow a weekly recitation of the pledge. ... According to reports, Mr. Rosenthal claims the pledge has no educational value and is 'literally and psychologically a loyalty oath, reminiscent of McCarthyism or some horrific totalitarian regimes.' He also said, 'The pledge is at odds with America's most important traditions.' ... State Rep. Frank I. Smizik, a Democrat and co-signer of the resolution, claims banning the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of our nation is an anti-bullying measure, saying it would protect students who do not want to participate and also would promote their First Amendment rights. ... The day it becomes possible to argue that the recitation of the pledge to our flag is an anti-American act of indoctrination, there is nothing these folks won't do to undermine the sense of American unity or character that reciting the pledge fosters and promotes." --columnist Marybeth Hicks

Reader Comments
"I just tweeted the link to the article and the link to affirm support of the class action lawsuit. I also sent it to friends and family. This is outstanding! This is where the rubber meets the road. Either the judicial branch scorns us or it supports us based on the Constitution. At least we'll know where things stand at that point." --Joel

"Have you established a legal fund so those who are interested can contribute for this noble and necessary cause? I for one would like to see a separate fund for this fight other than the general fund The Patriot Post operates with. If there is anything other than spread the word, let me know. I will do all in my power to help facilitate this endeavor that must succeed." --Anton

Editor's Reply: At present this effort is being funded by the Essential Liberty Project Fund.
"Of course Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Almost every large federal program, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid (the list goes on) makes promises to current recipients based on revenues expected in the future. Social Security promises a steady paycheck in retirement, not based on what was paid in and earnings invested by the individual, but an amount unrelated to investments and earnings. Health care programs promise medical care regardless of what the premiums are and regardless of the true costs. Of course they are Ponzi schemes." --Bruce

"As the father of a Marine, I salute Medal of Honor recipient Cpl. Dakota Meyer for his selfless devotion to his fellow Marines and to his duty as a warrior. I mourn with him for the loss of his brothers in arms. May he find peace, secure in the knowledge that he did his very best. Well done, good and faithful servant. Semper Fidelis." --Mark


The Last Word

"To tell you the truth, when I first heard tell of the awards that allegedly awaited Islamic martyrs, even I began to see the attraction. I mean, on the face of it, moving from Jenin or Tehran, say, to Paradise sounds like an awfully good deal. Toss in six dozen beautiful virgins, and what healthy, red-blooded nincompoop wouldn't gladly blow himself to Kingdom Come? The problem, of course, is that, like most youngsters, they never bother thinking things through. For instance, in the natural course of events, what the impetuous young idiot will inevitably have on his hands are six dozen ex-virgins. And if he thinks he has it bad now, just wait until he winds up spending eternity with 72 women who while away each and every day complaining that he's always leaving his burnoose on the floor, doesn't help out with the kids, and never takes them dancing." --columnist Burt Prelutsky

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

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« Reply #603 on: September 23, 2011, 02:37:24 PM »

The Oath Accountability Civil Action
Join the tens of thousands of Patriots who have already signed on to the Oath Accountability Civil Action for Constitutional Integrity.

To enforce our Constitution's limits on the central government, we believe a formal legal action is necessary. This action, if successful, would require that all members of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches, first and foremost, abide by their oaths "to support and defend" our Constitution, under penalty of law, and comport with its enumerated limitations on the federal government. The current scope of federal activities provides abundant evidence that many members of those three co-equal branches have long since abandoned their oaths, and, at present, there is no recourse for prosecution to enforce compliance.

To that end, we urge you to join this action with Patriots across the nation in this effort to establish legal standing as citizens, particularly those in our Armed Services who defend their oaths with blood and life. If we are unsuccessful in our effort to seek remedy for the lack of any proscription against, and penalty for breach of oath, it will be because the judiciary refuses any such accountability regarding the wanton violation of our Constitution. Such rejection would in effect condemn Americans once again to the abuse previously characterized in American history as "Taxation Without Representation."

Our goal is 500,000 signatures. Please join us, and encourage other like-minded Patriots to do so. A large support base will be necessary if the federal judiciary refuses to hear this action and we are forced to take it to the national legislature for codification into federal law.


    


The Foundation
"The natural cure for an ill-administration, in a popular or representative constitution, is a change of men." --Alexander Hamilton


Government & Politics
Chicago-Style Government
The Era of Obama was supposed to be a time of Hope and Change, transparent and accountable government, and bipartisan song-singing -- indeed, as Obama himself put it, "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." Reality has been wholly different. A recession that, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, ended in June 2009 but has given way to crippling economic stagnation, with no end in sight. Promised transparency quickly gave way to unaccountable czars and closed-door dealings, and bipartisanship was cast aside for the Democrat partisan ramrodding of hard-left legislation through the chambers of Congress. We don't pretend to speak for the planet, but nothing much seems healed.

Amid that bleak picture, there are (at least) three administration scandals that continue to simmer, despite the fact that the Leftmedia and Obama Re-Election Outlets (but we repeat ourselves) have given them scant attention. First is the story of Solyndra's bankruptcy following a $535 million federal loan guarantee from the Obama Department of Energy (part of the 2009 "stimulus"). The hastily issued loan to the California-based solar cell producer was greater than the amount given to 35 states to complete their respective lists of "shovel-ready" infrastructure jobs. When even that wasn't enough, Solyndra sought another $469 million. "Green energy" sure does seem to require an awful lot of green.

Solyndra went bankrupt when its unworkable business model collapsed. Yet, consistent with leftist cronyism, certain creditors who happened to be Democrat donors were placed in front of the taxpayers in the line of recovery -- much as unions were placed in the front of the line for the GM and Chrysler bailouts. Lost in the cover-up are the 1,100 workers abruptly laid off in August who will have a tough time finding jobs, as California is already reeling from high unemployment and is hardly a climate conducive to economic recovery.

Former employees are beginning to tell all, too. "After we got the loan guarantee, they were just spending money left and right," said former Solyndra engineer Lindsey Eastburn. "Because we were doing well, nobody cared. Because of that infusion of money, it made people sloppy." No wonder Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison and CFO W.G. Stover Jr. have announced that they will invoke their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when they testify before Congress today.

Second is the administration's widening venture socialism scandal involving wireless network company LightSquared, which is financed by billionaire Democrat donor Philip Falcone. Military, civilian and government experts are objecting to LightSquared's potential to interfere with the military's GPS network. Air Force Commander Gen. William Shelton blew the whistle last week, claiming that the White House pressured him to modify testimony before Congress to make it more favorable toward LightSquared. He didn't.

LightSquared executives insist that their proposed system's wavelength won't interfere with the adjacent wavelengths used by the military's GPS on the available broadcast spectrum. Despite industry-wide protests, however, LightSquared received fast-track approval for an FCC waiver granting them the right to construct a 4G wireless network for far less capital than the billions the government would extract from its competitors. To address the industry's concerns about GPS interference, LightSquared proposed that everyone else pay to retrofit their GPS devices instead of revising its network to avoid broadband spillover.

Prior to its current incarnation, LightSquared was known as Skyterra, and its ownership included major Obama backers going back to 2004. Obama sold his Skyterra stock in 2005. Along with so much in the president's background, the Leftmedia seem content to characterize such connections as coincidental.

Finally, and most serious, is the continuing cover-up of Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious. As our readers well know, this project of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has resulted in more than 2,000 American weapons illegally crossing into Mexico, not only under the nose of the ATF, but with its consent, fueling the raging drug war south of the border. Reports this week indicate that a third gun linked to Fast and Furious was recovered at the scene of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry's murder in December. Furthermore, according to Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee investigating this scandal, Fast and Furious guns were used in at least 200 murders in Mexico -- and that's a conservative estimate. The administration is in full rear-covering mode, and the Leftmedia have, predictably, remained virtually silent.

Is it too much to ask that the media start doing their jobs? It's high time the Chicago thugs in the White House are held accountable for their actions.

What can be done about the thugs in Washington?
Obama's Novel Debt Plan: Raise Taxes
On Monday, Barack Obama put forward his plan for the congressional debt-reduction super committee to consider. Not surprisingly, it's heavy on tax increases and light on actual debt reduction. To read the full story, don't miss Mark Alexander's essay, Taking Down Socialist 'Tax Fairness' Rhetoric.


News From the Swamp: Spending and Jobs
Late Thursday night, the House barely passed a short-term continuing resolution to authorize spending for FY2012. The vote was 219-203. Earlier in the week, Republican leaders were dealt a defeat by conservative members of their own caucus when a similar CR failed with 48 Tea Party conservatives opposed. Those 48 wanted to stick with the House's April spending deal, while the leadership was putting forward the August bipartisan agreement. Some two dozen Republicans were brought back into the fold with an amendment that included $100 million in cuts to the Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program, the Department of Energy program responsible for the Solyndra debacle.

In the Senate, Barack Obama's much touted jobs bill is lacking the support it needs to pass -- among Democrats. Reports are that Democrats Mark Begich (AK), Jim Webb (VA), Mary Landrieu (LA) and Barbara Mikulski (MD) outright oppose the bill, with some others not entirely decided yet. Administration officials met with several Democrats on the Hill this week to try to persuade them, but even if all Democrats are on board, the president's bill is in trouble.

Quote of the Week
"We're home alone. There's no adult in charge." --Larry Summers, former director of Obama's White House National Economic Council, as quoted in Confidence Men, Ron Suskind's newly released book about the Obama economic team

From the 'Non Compos Mentis' File
A number of federal agencies and departments are proudly making an effort to cut costs in these trying economic times by taking stock of their stationery and office equipment and buying in bulk. The plan adopted by the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Justice and Treasury is expected to save $600 million over four years. Wow. We hate to criticize cost savings, but this amount won't even register on the chart compared to the government's multi-trillion-dollar debt. Sure, buying in bulk makes sense, but the trouble with government is that it took them so long to figure out basic business economics. Perhaps the whole thing is merely an offset for the new Washington Post report that, "In the past five years, the Office of Personnel Management has made more than $601 million in benefits payments to deceased federal annuitants."

New & Notable Legislation
The Senate Appropriations Committee has added a measure to the 2012 appropriations package that would provide for taxpayer-funded abortions in the District of Columbia. The House version maintains the abortion ban that has been in place since April, so now all eyes are on what deal may be hammered out. The National Right to Life Committee estimates that removing the Dornan Amendment, which prevents congressionally appropriated funds for abortion, would mean an additional 1,000 abortions a year in DC alone paid by taxpayers. The ban was originally in place from 1996-2009, but Barack Obama lifted it when he took office. Republicans reinstated it earlier this year after winning the House, but once again it's up for debate.


 

Hope 'n' Change: Finding Out What's in It
Add CLASS (Community Living Assistance Services and Support) to the growing list of Obama administration scandals. CLASS was ostensibly designed to be the long-term care component of ObamaCare. Its real purpose was to allow the administration to claim that the health care reform package was "deficit neutral." CLASS would collect premiums upwards of $75 billion during a 10-year period beginning in 2012, but those premiums would not go back to the citizens who paid them. Instead, they would be funneled into other parts of ObamaCare that are short on cash. When the bill for CLASS comes due in 2021, taxpayers will take a big hit to keep the "deficit neutral" ObamaCare afloat -- unless, of course, 2012 provides opportunity for repeal.

CLASS recently folded up shop, but a public airing of several internal emails regarding the program reveals that the White House knew all along that it was unsustainable, and that they had no way to fix it. A congressional investigation led by Sen. John Thune (R-SD) notes that, within the Department of Health and Human Services, "the program was repeatedly referred to as 'a recipe for disaster' with 'terminal problems.'" The only viable solution to fix CLASS would be for Congress to repeal it immediately. It doesn't work, it never worked, and it never will work.

From the Left: Staying in Touch With the Little Guy
Remember the flap about Nancy Reagan's red dress? Well, in hard-times America, the current First Lady showed up at a DNC fundraiser (the one for millionaires at $35,000 a plate) wearing jewelry including a Lotus cuff priced at $15,000 with 2.9 carats of diamonds, her Gothic cuff at $15,350 with 2.17 carats in diamonds, and the Quatrefoil bracelet at $11,800 with 1.73 carats in diamonds. Total value -- $42,150.

Let them eat cake. No coverage in the Leftmedia for our modern-day Marie Antoinette.


National Security
Palestinian Statehood Takes Center Stage
The muddled mess that is the Middle East continued to churn this week, threatening to splatter the rest of the world, via the United Nations, with its toxic ooze. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is pushing the UN Security Council to grant Palestinian statehood during the current General Assembly meeting. On Wednesday, however, Barack Obama tried to head off Abbas by giving yet another of his platitudinous speeches and declaring the painfully obvious: "Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations. If it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now." Interestingly, it was this same Obama who, at last year's UN meeting, breezily said that he wanted a sovereign Palestinian state established by this year's UN meeting. So in the span of one year, a completely inept Obama managed to stab both the Israelis and the Palestinians in the back.

The Palestinians won't get their state just yet, as the U.S., even under Obama, cannot allow it. (That doesn't mean he doesn't support the idea.) However, reports are that the Security Council needs only two more votes for statehood from countries such as Bosnia (the Muslim country we created in the Clinton years), Gabon and Nigeria, which would force the U.S. to veto it. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has introduced legislation to defund the UN if it votes to recognize a Palestinian state.

Ultimately, what the Palestinians want out of a UN vote isn't so much a state as much as another weapon in their arsenal to ultimately destroy Israel. "We are going to complain that as Palestinians we have been under occupation for 63 years," Abbas said this week. In other words, that "occupation," began with the creation of Israel in 1948, and it won't end until Israel is destroyed. So goes the Middle East "peace process."

What do you make of the Palestinians' efforts?
It Would Be a Comedy of Errors If It Weren't So Serious
This week, the Obama administration proved yet again that Hope 'n' Change is no substitute for wisdom and experience. After dragging out discussions for almost two full years on whether to provide new F-16 fighter-bombers to Taiwan, the White House decided instead to upgrade Taiwan's existing F-16s without providing new aircraft. In typical fashion, Obama managed to anger both Taiwan and China. Our largest foreign creditor is angry over any U.S. upgrades to Taiwan's military, while Taiwan is rightly angry that the United States caved in to communist pressure and stiffed a democratic ally. China was going to complain no matter what -- why not get our money's worth and provide new F-16s to a friendly democracy?

Meanwhile, in another transparently cynical move to placate the president's leftist base, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the administration remains committed to closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The January 2010 deadline for doing so flew by without fanfare, so now they promise to close it by Election Day 2012. Holder at least had the courtesy to provide the obvious motivation -- the election. Obama's base has been increasingly disenchanted with his performance lately, and he obviously wants some highly visible leftist dream to come true just in time for the election. Congress will have a great deal to say about Guantanamo's final disposition, but for the White House even to float this idea -- and so explicitly tie it to the next election -- is dangerously amateurish.

Department of Military Correctness: Orientation Genie Out of the Closet
At the stroke of midnight Tuesday, the Pentagon laid out the welcome mat for homosexual members of the military and for those in civilian life to join. After an 18-year "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" interregnum during which homosexuals were allowed in the military as long as they stayed "in the closet," the long-standing ban on their serving openly in the United States military formally came to a close. Obviously this came as a relief to service members such as "J.D. Smith," who in real life is Air Force First Lieutenant Josh Seefried. He adopted the pseudonym last year when he founded OutServe, a heretofore underground network of homosexual service members that has grown to 4,300 members. It's estimated that there are around 65,000 such members of the military, a presumption likely drilled into the 2.3 million active-duty and reserve members around the world who sat through an hour-long sensitivity course on accepting homosexuals within their ranks earlier this year.

Critics saw the change as an attempt to "reshape social attitudes" and warned that the number of military personnel may drop further than the 14,346 members discharged over the years by running afoul of the old DADT rules. Those who had been so discharged will be eligible to rejoin but won't have any specific preference over others who want to re-enter the service, the Pentagon announced.

It isn't clear whether benefits given to the spouses and families of married service members will eventually be extended to same-sex partners. A proposal to allow Navy chaplains to conduct "marriage" ceremonies in states where civil unions are allowed was scrapped after lawmakers objected.

  
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Business & Economy
Income Redistribution: Bonuses for GM Workers, the Shaft for Taxpayers
Last week General Motors and its UAW workforce reached a tentative four-year labor agreement, which is likely to be ratified overwhelmingly by the rank and file. As usual, the devil is in the details. Despite the fact that the automaker is still on the hook for billions of dollars to the federal government, which remains the owner of about one-quarter of GM's stock, the agreement includes a provision that UAW workers will receive a $5,000 "signing bonus" in lieu of a cost-of-living increase this year and maintain their health care and pensions. Newly hired workers will get a significant raise from their current $14 per hour to perhaps $17 per hour over the life of the contract. All workers will have "improved" profit sharing. In addition, the automaker will reopen the former Saturn assembly line in Spring Hill, Tennessee, which was idled in 2009.

Undoubtedly union leaders are thrilled about these concessions from the company, but they also knew whom to thank. As UAW Bob King noted, "None of this would have been possible without the efforts of President Obama, who invested federal funds to help turn the company around, protect the auto supplier base, and keep good-paying jobs in America." Unfortunately, those efforts have cost taxpayers roughly $15 billion that is yet to be repaid.

Have you driven a Ford lately?

Regulatory Commissars: Don't Create Jobs
With all the talk of saving and creating jobs, we find it disturbing that someone has been punished for doing just that. Peter Schiff, president and CEO of EuroPacific Capital, committed the unpardonable offense of hiring more brokers than regulations allow. "In my own business, securities regulations have prohibited me from hiring brokers for more than three years," Schiff testified before Congress. "I was even fined $15,000 expressly for hiring too many brokers in 2008. In the process I incurred more than $500,000 in legal bills to mitigate a more severe regulatory outcome as a result of hiring too many workers. I have also been prohibited from opening up additional offices. I had a major expansion plan that would have resulted in my creating hundreds of additional jobs. Regulations have forced me to put those jobs on hold."

Furthermore, says Schiff, "[T]he added cost of security regulations [has] forced me to create an offshore brokerage firm to handle foreign accounts that are now too expensive to handle from the United States. Revenue and jobs that would have been created in the U.S. are now being created abroad instead." As National Review's Andrew McCarthy quipped, "He's in finance. I guess he should have tried solar panels."

In related news, the EPA's overzealous regulators will soon cost another 500 workers their jobs. Texas energy company Luminant will be forced to stop generating energy at two of its power plants and shutter three lignite mines, thanks to requirements within the EPA's recently mandated Cross-State Air Pollution Rule in 2012. In a statement, the company said that while it is "launching a significant investment program to reduce emissions across our facilities" it couldn't otherwise comply with the "unrealistic deadline" without eliminating the 500 jobs. Also, it has taken the step of suing the EPA to overturn the edicts.

  
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Culture & Policy
Around the Nation: Ground Zero Mosque 'Opens'
In August 2010, we noted the controversy over the building of an Islamic cultural center (a.k.a. mosque) two blocks from Ground Zero. It was sometimes called The Cordoba Initiative, which was a thinly veiled religious reference to the long-ago Muslim conquest of the Christian city of Cordoba, Spain. Most commonly, however, the project is known by the more palatable -- and secular -- Park51.

On Wednesday, the project launched its first public exhibit featuring the work of New York City photographer Danny Goldfield. For the past seven years, Goldfield has been working on a collection of photographs of children from every country in the world who are living in New York City. The exhibit is a sorry attempt to soften the blow of the timing of the mosque's opening. Who could be opposed to children? Not only is it less than two weeks since the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, but it also comes during a week of tense meetings between Barack Obama and Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

Last year, in the midst of the heated debate, Obama felt it was his duty to impart his wisdom on the subject. What he said, of course, completely missed the point. Everyone knows that Park51 is legally viable, but that knowledge does little to assuage the hurt and rage of the thousands of people directly affected by 9/11, let alone the millions of Americans who were forever changed by that day. Against their protests, construction continued, but apparently the message didn't go completely ignored, considering the whitewash that is taking place now. "Looking forward to welcoming you to the NY Children's opening," Park51 tweeted, "We have a surprise guest to cut the ribbon. Make sure you're there!"

On Sept. 27, PBS will air the documentary "The Man Behind the Mosque" profiling developer Sharif El-Gamel. Last January, Park51 booted Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam best known for his statements that America brought the terrorists attacks upon itself. Despite the feel-good PR, this mosque is nothing more than a thumb in the eye from the very extremists who want to punish the "Great Satan."

Village Academic Curriculum: No Such Thing as a Free Lunch
Reading, writing, 'rithmetic and recipes? Since the launch of the federal school lunch program in 1946, the government has required schools to provide low-cost or free lunches to qualifying students. Now, under the new child nutrition law signed by Barack Obama late last year, the feds are mandating that schools make these meals more nutritious. In other words, not only are Washington bureaucrats subsidizing school lunches, they're also packing them. And that's not all. For the first time, the government is now inserting itself into the pricing process, and, as happens when Washington steps in, costs are going up. As The New York Times notes, under the law "school districts are required to start bringing their prices in line with what it costs to prepare the meals, eventually charging an average of $2.46 for the lunches they serve." Although the law says that price increases should be capped at 10 cents per year, some school districts have raised prices by as much as a quarter.

Districts across the country are preparing for backlash against the price hikes, but it's Washington bureaucrats who really should be taken to task for assuming "food service" is found anywhere in the Constitution. They say it's bad having two cooks in the kitchen. It's downright scary, though, when one of them is Barack Obama.

In related news, the administration will soon detail plans to revamp No Child Left Behind through waivers, not through Congress. Specifically, the White House wants to waive the requirement that students be proficient in math and reading by 2014 or risk sanctions.

  
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Faith and Family: City Orders Halt to Home Bible Study
The city of San Juan Capistrano, California, was founded as a mission in the late 1700s. Now, more than 200 years later, a couple in that city is facing fines for holding weekly Bible studies in their home. CBS Los Angeles reports, "Homeowners Chuck and Stephanie Fromm ... were fined $300 earlier this month for holding what city officials called 'a regular gathering of more than three people.'" They could face another $500 fine for every additional gathering. According to Section 9-3.301 of the city code, "religious, fraternal, or service organizations (non-profit)" cannot meet in residential areas without obtaining a conditional use permit. We question, however, whether the city would have enforced this ordinance against a similarly sized "fraternal" gathering.

The Fromms appealed the fine to the city but were denied, and now the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) is taking the ruling to the California Superior Court. PJI President Brad Dacus noted, "An informal gathering in a home cannot be treated with suspicion by the government, or worse than any other gathering of friends, just because it is religious. We cannot allow this to happen in America, and we will fight as long and as hard as it takes to restore this group's religious freedom." If the court has any understanding of our nation's foundation of religious liberty, it will agree.

Share your thoughts on this banned Bible study
Catholic Archbishop Writes in Support of Marriage
Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York sent a letter to Barack Obama this week to seek an end to the administration's campaign against traditional marriage and religious liberty. Dolan specifically sited the Obama Justice Department, which claims that supporters of the Defense of Marriage Act, signed by Bill Clinton, are motivated by "prejudice and bias." Such language presents a threat to religious liberty. "The institution of marriage is built on this truth," Dolan wrote, "no other relationships provide for the common good what marriage between husband and wife provides. The law should reflect this reality." Dolan further warned, "The Administration's failure to change course on this matter will ... precipitate a national conflict between Church and State of enormous proportions and to the detriment of both institutions." When has "conflict ... to the detriment" of anything stopped Obama before?

And Last...
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) was censured by the House (333-79) just nine months ago for several ethics violations, including tax evasion. Yet Thursday, Rangel hosted a ceremony to unveil his official portrait in the Longworth House Office Building. The list of speakers at the ceremony included Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), as well as New York Democrat senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer. After getting an "OK" from the FEC, Rangel paid for the $65,000 portrait using campaign cash.

Truly, this is beyond words. These people really do live in a parallel universe -- one in which, as Pelosi once put it, they "drain the swamp" apparently by hanging portraits of swamp creatures. What next? Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize? Oh, wait...

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

« Last Edit: September 23, 2011, 02:47:23 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #604 on: September 28, 2011, 09:12:27 AM »

One scenario:

"If Republicans were to sweep the tossups, they would have a 55-45 majority, tying them for their largest advantage since 1928. With a large number of Democrats up for re-election in 2014, many of whom occupy seats in red states, that would probably give Republicans working control of the chamber." 

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/09/28/odds_favor_gop_gaining_senate_control_in_2012_111492.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #605 on: October 06, 2011, 08:09:41 AM »

The Foundation
"The natural cure for an ill-administration, in a popular or representative constitution, is a change of men." --Alexander Hamilton
Government & Politics
Chicago-Style Government

The Era of Obama was supposed to be a time of Hope and Change, transparent and accountable government, and bipartisan song-singing -- indeed, as Obama himself put it, "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." Reality has been wholly different. A recession that, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, ended in June 2009 but has given way to crippling economic stagnation, with no end in sight. Promised transparency quickly gave way to unaccountable czars and closed-door dealings, and bipartisanship was cast aside for the Democrat partisan ramrodding of hard-left legislation through the chambers of Congress. We don't pretend to speak for the planet, but nothing much seems healed.
Amid that bleak picture, there are (at least) three administration scandals that continue to simmer, despite the fact that the Leftmedia and Obama Re-Election Outlets (but we repeat ourselves) have given them scant attention. First is the story of Solyndra's bankruptcy following a $535 million federal loan guarantee from the Obama Department of Energy (part of the 2009 "stimulus"). The hastily issued loan to the California-based solar cell producer was greater than the amount given to 35 states to complete their respective lists of "shovel-ready" infrastructure jobs. When even that wasn't enough, Solyndra sought another $469 million. "Green energy" sure does seem to require an awful lot of green.
Solyndra went bankrupt when its unworkable business model collapsed. Yet, consistent with leftist cronyism, certain creditors who happened to be Democrat donors were placed in front of the taxpayers in the line of recovery -- much as unions were placed in the front of the line for the GM and Chrysler bailouts. Lost in the cover-up are the 1,100 workers abruptly laid off in August who will have a tough time finding jobs, as California is already reeling from high unemployment and is hardly a climate conducive to economic recovery.
Former employees are beginning to tell all, too. "After we got the loan guarantee, they were just spending money left and right," said former Solyndra engineer Lindsey Eastburn. "Because we were doing well, nobody cared. Because of that infusion of money, it made people sloppy." No wonder Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison and CFO W.G. Stover Jr. have announced that they will invoke their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when they testify before Congress today.
Second is the administration's widening venture socialism scandal involving wireless network company LightSquared, which is financed by billionaire Democrat donor Philip Falcone. Military, civilian and government experts are objecting to LightSquared's potential to interfere with the military's GPS network. Air Force Commander Gen. William Shelton blew the whistle last week, claiming that the White House pressured him to modify testimony before Congress to make it more favorable toward LightSquared. He didn't.
LightSquared executives insist that their proposed system's wavelength won't interfere with the adjacent wavelengths used by the military's GPS on the available broadcast spectrum. Despite industry-wide protests, however, LightSquared received fast-track approval for an FCC waiver granting them the right to construct a 4G wireless network for far less capital than the billions the government would extract from its competitors. To address the industry's concerns about GPS interference, LightSquared proposed that everyone else pay to retrofit their GPS devices instead of revising its network to avoid broadband spillover.
Prior to its current incarnation, LightSquared was known as Skyterra, and its ownership included major Obama backers going back to 2004. Obama sold his Skyterra stock in 2005. Along with so much in the president's background, the Leftmedia seem content to characterize such connections as coincidental.
Finally, and most serious, is the continuing cover-up of Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious. As our readers well know, this project of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has resulted in more than 2,000 American weapons illegally crossing into Mexico, not only under the nose of the ATF, but with its consent, fueling the raging drug war south of the border. Reports this week indicate that a third gun linked to Fast and Furious was recovered at the scene of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry's murder in December. Furthermore, according to Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee investigating this scandal, Fast and Furious guns were used in at least 200 murders in Mexico -- and that's a conservative estimate. The administration is in full rear-covering mode, and the Leftmedia have, predictably, remained virtually silent.
Is it too much to ask that the media start doing their jobs? It's high time the Chicago thugs in the White House are held accountable for their actions.
What can be done about the thugs in Washington?
Obama's Novel Debt Plan: Raise Taxes
On Monday, Barack Obama put forward his plan for the congressional debt-reduction super committee to consider. Not surprisingly, it's heavy on tax increases and light on actual debt reduction. To read the full story, don't miss Mark Alexander's essay, Taking Down Socialist 'Tax Fairness' Rhetoric.

News From the Swamp: Spending and Jobs
Late Thursday night, the House barely passed a short-term continuing resolution to authorize spending for FY2012. The vote was 219-203. Earlier in the week, Republican leaders were dealt a defeat by conservative members of their own caucus when a similar CR failed with 48 Tea Party conservatives opposed. Those 48 wanted to stick with the House's April spending deal, while the leadership was putting forward the August bipartisan agreement. Some two dozen Republicans were brought back into the fold with an amendment that included $100 million in cuts to the Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program, the Department of Energy program responsible for the Solyndra debacle.
In the Senate, Barack Obama's much touted jobs bill is lacking the support it needs to pass -- among Democrats. Reports are that Democrats Mark Begich (AK), Jim Webb (VA), Mary Landrieu (LA) and Barbara Mikulski (MD) outright oppose the bill, with some others not entirely decided yet. Administration officials met with several Democrats on the Hill this week to try to persuade them, but even if all Democrats are on board, the president's bill is in trouble.
Quote of the Week
"We're home alone. There's no adult in charge." --Larry Summers, former director of Obama's White House National Economic Council, as quoted in Confidence Men, Ron Suskind's newly released book about the Obama economic team
From the 'Non Compos Mentis' File
A number of federal agencies and departments are proudly making an effort to cut costs in these trying economic times by taking stock of their stationery and office equipment and buying in bulk. The plan adopted by the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Justice and Treasury is expected to save $600 million over four years. Wow. We hate to criticize cost savings, but this amount won't even register on the chart compared to the government's multi-trillion-dollar debt. Sure, buying in bulk makes sense, but the trouble with government is that it took them so long to figure out basic business economics. Perhaps the whole thing is merely an offset for the new Washington Post report that, "In the past five years, the Office of Personnel Management has made more than $601 million in benefits payments to deceased federal annuitants."
New & Notable Legislation
The Senate Appropriations Committee has added a measure to the 2012 appropriations package that would provide for taxpayer-funded abortions in the District of Columbia. The House version maintains the abortion ban that has been in place since April, so now all eyes are on what deal may be hammered out. The National Right to Life Committee estimates that removing the Dornan Amendment, which prevents congressionally appropriated funds for abortion, would mean an additional 1,000 abortions a year in DC alone paid by taxpayers. The ban was originally in place from 1996-2009, but Barack Obama lifted it when he took office. Republicans reinstated it earlier this year after winning the House, but once again it's up for debate.

Hope 'n' Change: Finding Out What's in It
Add CLASS (Community Living Assistance Services and Support) to the growing list of Obama administration scandals. CLASS was ostensibly designed to be the long-term care component of ObamaCare. Its real purpose was to allow the administration to claim that the health care reform package was "deficit neutral." CLASS would collect premiums upwards of $75 billion during a 10-year period beginning in 2012, but those premiums would not go back to the citizens who paid them. Instead, they would be funneled into other parts of ObamaCare that are short on cash. When the bill for CLASS comes due in 2021, taxpayers will take a big hit to keep the "deficit neutral" ObamaCare afloat -- unless, of course, 2012 provides opportunity for repeal.
CLASS recently folded up shop, but a public airing of several internal emails regarding the program reveals that the White House knew all along that it was unsustainable, and that they had no way to fix it. A congressional investigation led by Sen. John Thune (R-SD) notes that, within the Department of Health and Human Services, "the program was repeatedly referred to as 'a recipe for disaster' with 'terminal problems.'" The only viable solution to fix CLASS would be for Congress to repeal it immediately. It doesn't work, it never worked, and it never will work.
From the Left: Staying in Touch With the Little Guy
Remember the flap about Nancy Reagan's red dress? Well, in hard-times America, the current First Lady showed up at a DNC fundraiser (the one for millionaires at $35,000 a plate) wearing jewelry including a Lotus cuff priced at $15,000 with 2.9 carats of diamonds, her Gothic cuff at $15,350 with 2.17 carats in diamonds, and the Quatrefoil bracelet at $11,800 with 1.73 carats in diamonds. Total value -- $42,150.
Let them eat cake. No coverage in the Leftmedia for our modern-day Marie Antoinette.
National Security
Palestinian Statehood Takes Center Stage
The muddled mess that is the Middle East continued to churn this week, threatening to splatter the rest of the world, via the United Nations, with its toxic ooze. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is pushing the UN Security Council to grant Palestinian statehood during the current General Assembly meeting. On Wednesday, however, Barack Obama tried to head off Abbas by giving yet another of his platitudinous speeches and declaring the painfully obvious: "Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations. If it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now." Interestingly, it was this same Obama who, at last year's UN meeting, breezily said that he wanted a sovereign Palestinian state established by this year's UN meeting. So in the span of one year, a completely inept Obama managed to stab both the Israelis and the Palestinians in the back.
The Palestinians won't get their state just yet, as the U.S., even under Obama, cannot allow it. (That doesn't mean he doesn't support the idea.) However, reports are that the Security Council needs only two more votes for statehood from countries such as Bosnia (the Muslim country we created in the Clinton years), Gabon and Nigeria, which would force the U.S. to veto it. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has introduced legislation to defund the UN if it votes to recognize a Palestinian state.
Ultimately, what the Palestinians want out of a UN vote isn't so much a state as much as another weapon in their arsenal to ultimately destroy Israel. "We are going to complain that as Palestinians we have been under occupation for 63 years," Abbas said this week. In other words, that "occupation," began with the creation of Israel in 1948, and it won't end until Israel is destroyed. So goes the Middle East "peace process."
What do you make of the Palestinians' efforts?
It Would Be a Comedy of Errors If It Weren't So Serious
This week, the Obama administration proved yet again that Hope 'n' Change is no substitute for wisdom and experience. After dragging out discussions for almost two full years on whether to provide new F-16 fighter-bombers to Taiwan, the White House decided instead to upgrade Taiwan's existing F-16s without providing new aircraft. In typical fashion, Obama managed to anger both Taiwan and China. Our largest foreign creditor is angry over any U.S. upgrades to Taiwan's military, while Taiwan is rightly angry that the United States caved in to communist pressure and stiffed a democratic ally. China was going to complain no matter what -- why not get our money's worth and provide new F-16s to a friendly democracy?
Meanwhile, in another transparently cynical move to placate the president's leftist base, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the administration remains committed to closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The January 2010 deadline for doing so flew by without fanfare, so now they promise to close it by Election Day 2012. Holder at least had the courtesy to provide the obvious motivation -- the election. Obama's base has been increasingly disenchanted with his performance lately, and he obviously wants some highly visible leftist dream to come true just in time for the election. Congress will have a great deal to say about Guantanamo's final disposition, but for the White House even to float this idea -- and so explicitly tie it to the next election -- is dangerously amateurish.
Department of Military Correctness: Orientation Genie Out of the Closet
At the stroke of midnight Tuesday, the Pentagon laid out the welcome mat for homosexual members of the military and for those in civilian life to join. After an 18-year "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" interregnum during which homosexuals were allowed in the military as long as they stayed "in the closet," the long-standing ban on their serving openly in the United States military formally came to a close. Obviously this came as a relief to service members such as "J.D. Smith," who in real life is Air Force First Lieutenant Josh Seefried. He adopted the pseudonym last year when he founded OutServe, a heretofore underground network of homosexual service members that has grown to 4,300 members. It's estimated that there are around 65,000 such members of the military, a presumption likely drilled into the 2.3 million active-duty and reserve members around the world who sat through an hour-long sensitivity course on accepting homosexuals within their ranks earlier this year.
Critics saw the change as an attempt to "reshape social attitudes" and warned that the number of military personnel may drop further than the 14,346 members discharged over the years by running afoul of the old DADT rules. Those who had been so discharged will be eligible to rejoin but won't have any specific preference over others who want to re-enter the service, the Pentagon announced.
It isn't clear whether benefits given to the spouses and families of married service members will eventually be extended to same-sex partners. A proposal to allow Navy chaplains to conduct "marriage" ceremonies in states where civil unions are allowed was scrapped after lawmakers objected.



   
Business & Economy
Income Redistribution: Bonuses for GM Workers, the Shaft for Taxpayers
Last week General Motors and its UAW workforce reached a tentative four-year labor agreement, which is likely to be ratified overwhelmingly by the rank and file. As usual, the devil is in the details. Despite the fact that the automaker is still on the hook for billions of dollars to the federal government, which remains the owner of about one-quarter of GM's stock, the agreement includes a provision that UAW workers will receive a $5,000 "signing bonus" in lieu of a cost-of-living increase this year and maintain their health care and pensions. Newly hired workers will get a significant raise from their current $14 per hour to perhaps $17 per hour over the life of the contract. All workers will have "improved" profit sharing. In addition, the automaker will reopen the former Saturn assembly line in Spring Hill, Tennessee, which was idled in 2009.
Undoubtedly union leaders are thrilled about these concessions from the company, but they also knew whom to thank. As UAW Bob King noted, "None of this would have been possible without the efforts of President Obama, who invested federal funds to help turn the company around, protect the auto supplier base, and keep good-paying jobs in America." Unfortunately, those efforts have cost taxpayers roughly $15 billion that is yet to be repaid.

Regulatory Commissars: Don't Create Jobs
With all the talk of saving and creating jobs, we find it disturbing that someone has been punished for doing just that. Peter Schiff, president and CEO of EuroPacific Capital, committed the unpardonable offense of hiring more brokers than regulations allow. "In my own business, securities regulations have prohibited me from hiring brokers for more than three years," Schiff testified before Congress. "I was even fined $15,000 expressly for hiring too many brokers in 2008. In the process I incurred more than $500,000 in legal bills to mitigate a more severe regulatory outcome as a result of hiring too many workers. I have also been prohibited from opening up additional offices. I had a major expansion plan that would have resulted in my creating hundreds of additional jobs. Regulations have forced me to put those jobs on hold."
Furthermore, says Schiff, "[T]he added cost of security regulations [has] forced me to create an offshore brokerage firm to handle foreign accounts that are now too expensive to handle from the United States. Revenue and jobs that would have been created in the U.S. are now being created abroad instead." As National Review's Andrew McCarthy quipped, "He's in finance. I guess he should have tried solar panels."
In related news, the EPA's overzealous regulators will soon cost another 500 workers their jobs. Texas energy company Luminant will be forced to stop generating energy at two of its power plants and shutter three lignite mines, thanks to requirements within the EPA's recently mandated Cross-State Air Pollution Rule in 2012. In a statement, the company said that while it is "launching a significant investment program to reduce emissions across our facilities" it couldn't otherwise comply with the "unrealistic deadline" without eliminating the 500 jobs. Also, it has taken the step of suing the EPA to overturn the edicts.
   
Culture & Policy
Around the Nation: Ground Zero Mosque 'Opens'
In August 2010, we noted the controversy over the building of an Islamic cultural center (a.k.a. mosque) two blocks from Ground Zero. It was sometimes called The Cordoba Initiative, which was a thinly veiled religious reference to the long-ago Muslim conquest of the Christian city of Cordoba, Spain. Most commonly, however, the project is known by the more palatable -- and secular -- Park51.
On Wednesday, the project launched its first public exhibit featuring the work of New York City photographer Danny Goldfield. For the past seven years, Goldfield has been working on a collection of photographs of children from every country in the world who are living in New York City. The exhibit is a sorry attempt to soften the blow of the timing of the mosque's opening. Who could be opposed to children? Not only is it less than two weeks since the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, but it also comes during a week of tense meetings between Barack Obama and Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
Last year, in the midst of the heated debate, Obama felt it was his duty to impart his wisdom on the subject. What he said, of course, completely missed the point. Everyone knows that Park51 is legally viable, but that knowledge does little to assuage the hurt and rage of the thousands of people directly affected by 9/11, let alone the millions of Americans who were forever changed by that day. Against their protests, construction continued, but apparently the message didn't go completely ignored, considering the whitewash that is taking place now. "Looking forward to welcoming you to the NY Children's opening," Park51 tweeted, "We have a surprise guest to cut the ribbon. Make sure you're there!"
On Sept. 27, PBS will air the documentary "The Man Behind the Mosque" profiling developer Sharif El-Gamel. Last January, Park51 booted Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam best known for his statements that America brought the terrorists attacks upon itself. Despite the feel-good PR, this mosque is nothing more than a thumb in the eye from the very extremists who want to punish the "Great Satan."
Village Academic Curriculum: No Such Thing as a Free Lunch
Reading, writing, 'rithmetic and recipes? Since the launch of the federal school lunch program in 1946, the government has required schools to provide low-cost or free lunches to qualifying students. Now, under the new child nutrition law signed by Barack Obama late last year, the feds are mandating that schools make these meals more nutritious. In other words, not only are Washington bureaucrats subsidizing school lunches, they're also packing them. And that's not all. For the first time, the government is now inserting itself into the pricing process, and, as happens when Washington steps in, costs are going up. As The New York Times notes, under the law "school districts are required to start bringing their prices in line with what it costs to prepare the meals, eventually charging an average of $2.46 for the lunches they serve." Although the law says that price increases should be capped at 10 cents per year, some school districts have raised prices by as much as a quarter.
Districts across the country are preparing for backlash against the price hikes, but it's Washington bureaucrats who really should be taken to task for assuming "food service" is found anywhere in the Constitution. They say it's bad having two cooks in the kitchen. It's downright scary, though, when one of them is Barack Obama.
In related news, the administration will soon detail plans to revamp No Child Left Behind through waivers, not through Congress. Specifically, the White House wants to waive the requirement that students be proficient in math and reading by 2014 or risk sanctions.
   
Faith and Family: City Orders Halt to Home Bible Study
The city of San Juan Capistrano, California, was founded as a mission in the late 1700s. Now, more than 200 years later, a couple in that city is facing fines for holding weekly Bible studies in their home. CBS Los Angeles reports, "Homeowners Chuck and Stephanie Fromm ... were fined $300 earlier this month for holding what city officials called 'a regular gathering of more than three people.'" They could face another $500 fine for every additional gathering. According to Section 9-3.301 of the city code, "religious, fraternal, or service organizations (non-profit)" cannot meet in residential areas without obtaining a conditional use permit. We question, however, whether the city would have enforced this ordinance against a similarly sized "fraternal" gathering.
The Fromms appealed the fine to the city but were denied, and now the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) is taking the ruling to the California Superior Court. PJI President Brad Dacus noted, "An informal gathering in a home cannot be treated with suspicion by the government, or worse than any other gathering of friends, just because it is religious. We cannot allow this to happen in America, and we will fight as long and as hard as it takes to restore this group's religious freedom." If the court has any understanding of our nation's foundation of religious liberty, it will agree.
Share your thoughts on this banned Bible study
Catholic Archbishop Writes in Support of Marriage
Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York sent a letter to Barack Obama this week to seek an end to the administration's campaign against traditional marriage and religious liberty. Dolan specifically sited the Obama Justice Department, which claims that supporters of the Defense of Marriage Act, signed by Bill Clinton, are motivated by "prejudice and bias." Such language presents a threat to religious liberty. "The institution of marriage is built on this truth," Dolan wrote, "no other relationships provide for the common good what marriage between husband and wife provides. The law should reflect this reality." Dolan further warned, "The Administration's failure to change course on this matter will ... precipitate a national conflict between Church and State of enormous proportions and to the detriment of both institutions." When has "conflict ... to the detriment" of anything stopped Obama before?
And Last...

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) was censured by the House (333-79) just nine months ago for several ethics violations, including tax evasion. Yet Thursday, Rangel hosted a ceremony to unveil his official portrait in the Longworth House Office Building. The list of speakers at the ceremony included Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), as well as New York Democrat senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer. After getting an "OK" from the FEC, Rangel paid for the $65,000 portrait using campaign cash.
Truly, this is beyond words. These people really do live in a parallel universe -- one in which, as Pelosi once put it, they "drain the swamp" apparently by hanging portraits of swamp creatures. What next? Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize? Oh, wait...
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
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ccp
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« Reply #606 on: October 07, 2011, 04:04:36 PM »

The title of this should be Dems seeking revenge and to deflect attention away from Brock's corruption issues with Solar and Fast and Furious by making a mountain out of a non issue over a conservative judge:

****Democrats mobilize over Clarence Thomas ethics investigation
Clarence and Ginni Thomas (Charles Dharapak/AP)

Forty-six House Democrats have joined forces this week to ask the chamber's Judiciary Committee to investigate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for ethics violations. The Democratic lawmakers' complaint argues that reports of Thomas' actions--including those related to the high-profile political activism of his wife, Virginia "Ginni" Thomas--have raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest.

"Public records clearly demonstrate that Justice Thomas has failed to accurately disclose information concerning the income and employment status of his wife, as required by law," Democrats led by Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) wrote in a letter (pdf) Wednesday to leaders of the Judiciary Committee. The Democrats also question whether Thomas accurately reported gifts and inappropriately solicited donations.

Blumenauer's office confirmed to The Ticket Thursday afternoon that 46 lawmakers have signed on.

Liberal watchdog group Common Cause recently reported that Thomas' wife earned around $1.6 million between 1997 and 2011--and that Justice Thomas did not report her income over the same time span. Thomas said he "inadvertently" failed to file information on wife's employment "due to a misunderstanding of the filing instructions."

 A Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg told the Huffington Post this week that justices are not required to disclose the amount earned by spouses--only the source of their spouses' income.

But Democrats argue that Thomas may have been intentionally withholding the information.

"There is now more than enough evidence to merit a formal inquiry as to whether Justice Thomas willfully failed to make legally required disclosures, perhaps for as long as 13 years," Common Cause president Bob Edgar said in a statement Wednesday. "Given that we now know he correctly completed the reports in prior years, it's hardly plausible--indeed, it's close to unbelievable--that Justice Thomas did not understand the instructions."

Democrats contend that the Supreme Court's protocols for such disclosures should be more transparent. "Because the Court continues to operate without a binding code of ethics or a transparent recusal process, it is time for Congress to exercise its Constitutional role and become involved in this process," Blumenauer said in a statement.

Ginni Thomas has become embroiled in several scandals over the past year.

In Oct. 2010, Thomas made headlines for calling the office of Anita Hill-- the woman who gained national exposure 20 years ago when she testified during Clarence Thomas' confirmation hearing that the nominee sexually harassed her. In last year's call, Ginni Thomas left a voicemail message seeking an apology from Hill.

Soon after, Ginni Thomas stepped down from conservative group Liberty Central, which she founded, citing "distractions" caused by her celebrity.

Her role at Liberty Central and her work with other conservative advocacy groups had raised questions about possible conflicts-of-interest for her spouse. The New York Times' Jackie Calmes last year said Thomas had "the most partisan role ever for a spouse of a justice on the nation's highest court."

Common Cause reports that most of the undisclosed funds earned by Ginni Thomas came from the conservative Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Washington.***


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #607 on: October 11, 2011, 12:06:25 AM »

The Patriot Post
Brief -- Monday, October 10, 2011
=================================
On the Web: http://patriotpost.us/edition/2011/10/10/brief/
Printer Friendly: http://patriotpost.us/edition/2011/10/10/brief/print
PDF Version: http://pdf.patriotpost.us.s3.amazonaws.com/2011-10-10-brief.pdf

-------------

The Foundation

"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

-------------

Government

"One of my favorite economics essays from which I've drawn bottomless inspiration is
Leonard Read's 'I, Pencil.' ... Read traces the family tree of the pencil from the
Oregon loggers who harvest its cedar wood, to the California millworkers who cut the
wood into thin slats, to Mississippi refinery workers, to the Dutch East Indies
farmers who produce an oil used to make erasers. ... Read illuminates: 'There is a
fact still more astounding: The absence of a master mind, of anyone dictating or
forcibly directing these countless actions which bring me into being. No trace of
such a person can be found. Instead, we find the Invisible Hand at work.' ...
Appreciating this voluntary configuration of human energies, Read argued, is key to
possessing 'an absolutely essential ingredient for freedom: a faith in free people.
Freedom is impossible without this faith.' Indeed. Without that faith, we are
susceptible to the force of class-warfare mobs and the arrogance of
command-and-control bureaucrats in Washington who believe the role of private
American entrepreneurs, producers and wealth generators is to 'grow the economy' and
who 'think at some point you have made enough money.' The progressives who want to
bring down 'Wall Street' will snipe that [Apple co-founder Steve] Jobs was one of
'theirs,' not 'ours.' He belonged to no one. He was transcendently committed to
excellence and beauty and innovation. And yes, he made gobs of money pursuing it all
while benefiting hundreds of millions of people around the world whom he never met,
but who shed a deep river of tears upon learning of his death [last] week. From 'I,
Pencil' to iPhone, such is the profound, everlasting miracle of iCapitalism -- a
triumph of individualism over collectivism, freedom over force and markets over
master planning. To borrow an old Apple slogan: It just works." --columnist Michelle
Malkin
(http://patriotpost.us/opinion/michelle-malkin/2011/10/07/the-miracle-of-icapitalism/
)

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For the Record

"From [his Thursday news] conference we are reminded that Obama believes that: Only
'big and bold' intervention by the government can get an economy moving.... Anyone
who disagrees with or opposes him is engaging in partisan politics rather than
acting in good faith, on principle and in the best interests of the country. ... It
doesn't matter that he famously breached his promise that unemployment would not
exceed 8 percent if Congress passed his stimulus bill or that studies show that only
7 percent of the stimulus money went toward infrastructure despite his commitments
to the contrary. ... His good intentions also exempt him from accountability on the
Solyndra scandal, because his ideology inclines him toward a blind faith in the
existence of cataclysmic man-made global warming, which in turn requires him to
mandate government subsidization of 'green technologies.' ... He has complete
confidence in Eric Holder, so he doesn't need to worry about the facts on 'Fast and
Furious,' either.... Thursday, he told us yet again that our economic mess was
created by George W. Bush, the Japanese tsunami, the two wars, the Republicans'
gamesmanship over the debt ceiling, and Europe's financial instability. ... Our
chief executive either is a mastermind at Machiavellian manipulation or has deep
psychological and emotional problems. I've never seen an adult in an important
leadership position -- especially not the president of the United States -- show
such frightening immaturity and self-absorption." --columnist David Limbaugh
(http://patriotpost.us/opinion/david-limbaugh/2011/10/07/obamas-behavior-is-getting-worse/
)

-------------

Essential Liberty

"Freedom frightens some people. They say if no one is in charge there would be
chaos. That is intuitive, but think about a skating rink. Before rinks were
invented, if you proposed an amusement in which people strap blades to their feet
and skate around on ice at whatever speeds they wish, you'd have been called crazy.
There's got to be speed limits, stoplights, turn signals. But we know that people
navigate rinks safely on their own. They create their own order, with only minimal
rules. Society would work the same way -- and does to a large extent even today.
'Great part of that order which reigns among mankind is not the effect of
government,' Thomas Paine, the soul of the American Revolution, wrote. 'It has its
origin in the principles of society and the natural constitution of man. ... Common
interest (has) a greater influence than the laws of government.'" --columnist John
Stossel
(http://patriotpost.us/opinion/john-stossel/2011/10/05/government-makes-us-poor/ )

-------------

Opinion in Brief

"Dan Rather opened a CBS Evening News broadcast in 1991 declaring, 'one in eight
American children is going hungry tonight.' Newsweek, the Associated Press and the
Boston Globe repeated this statistic, and many others joined the media chorus, with
or without that unsubstantiated statistic. When the Centers for Disease Control and
the Department of Agriculture examined people from a variety of income levels,
however, they found no evidence of malnutrition among those in the lowest income
brackets. Nor was there any significant difference in the intake of vitamins,
minerals and other nutrients from one income level to another. That should have been
the end of that hysteria. But the same 'hunger in America' theme reappeared years
later, when Senator John Edwards was running for Vice President. And others have
resurrected that same claim, right up to the present day. ... We have now reached
the point where the great majority of the people living below the official poverty
level have such things as air-conditioning, microwave ovens, either videocassette
recorders or DVD players, and own either a car or a truck. Why are such people
called 'poor'? Because they meet the arbitrary criteria established by Washington
bureaucrats. ... Those who believe in an expansive, nanny state government need a
large number of people in 'poverty' to justify their programs. They also need a
large number of people dependent on government to provide the votes needed to keep
the big nanny state going." --economist Thomas Sowell
(http://patriotpost.us/opinion/thomas-sowell/2011/10/05/the-hunger-hoax/ )

-------------

The Gipper

"The economic welfare of all our people must ultimately stem not from government
programs, but from the wealth created by a vigorous private sector." --Ronald Reagan
(http://reagan2020.us/ )

-------------

Re: The Left

"I agree with the Obama administration's decision to kill the American-born al-Qaeda
recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki. What I can't fathom is why the administration agrees with
me. ... The Constitution empowers the president to put down insurrection, and what
was Awlaki if not an insurrectionist? ... But here's where I am confused. According
to Attorney General Eric Holder, the administration is committed to treating
captured terrorists as criminals, entitled to all of the rights and privileges of a
civilian criminal trial. It seems the Defense Department disagrees, given that some
lesser-known prisoners are allegedly kept on ships -- call them floating Gitmos --
without trials. Meanwhile, President Obama keeps ordering that the more famous
terrorists be killed on sight. That's fine with me. But as far as I can tell, he's
never disagreed with Holder's view about the need for civilian trials for terrorists
we don't kill, like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. ... If captured alive, terrorists pose
political problems for Obama. Where do we put them? How do we interrogate them? And,
most pressingly, how do we try them? I don't think those are tough questions. But
Obama does. So he prefers to kill these people outright, avoiding the questions
altogether." --columnist Jonah Goldberg
(http://patriotpost.us/opinion/jonah-goldberg/2011/10/05/obamas-terrorist-dilemma/ )

-------------

Political Futures

"In this election cycle, the battle isn't between the old media and the new media
anymore. It is between the Tea Party and the GOP establishment. ... But the
establishment GOP sees the Tea Party as a threat, for two reasons. First, they think
that the Tea Party is more interested in principle than victory. ... Second, the
establishment GOP is not aligned with the philosophy of the Tea Party. They like the
philosophy of a Democrat-lite: more efficient, effective government, but not
necessarily a smaller one. ... When conservatism is politically inconvenient, it
sometimes wins (see Reagan) and it sometimes loses (see Goldwater). But when
conservatism embraces the politics of convenience, it always loses." --columnist Ben
Shapiro
(http://patriotpost.us/opinion/ben-shapiro/2011/10/05/the-tea-party-vs-the-establishment/
)

-------------

Faith & Family

"Why is it so hard to become a better person? I have -- unfortunately -- come up
with 13 reasons. 1. Most people don't particularly want to be good. ... 2. Confusion
exists about what goodness is. ... 3. Goodness is not about intentions. ... 4. We
don't learn how to be good. ... 5. We think too highly of ourselves. ... 6. We think
we will be taken advantage of. ... 7. There are few personal models. ... 8. We don't
believe that there are rewards for being good. ... 9. We have to battle our nature.
... 10. 'I'm a victim.' ... 11. Few people were raised to be good people. ... 12. In
our formative years, the least impressive are rewarded. ... 13. We have
psychological blocks. ... The sad irony is that while goodness is the thing that
everyone wants most from everyone else, few people want it most for themselves."
--radio talk-show host Dennis Prager
(http://patriotpost.us/opinion/dennis-prager/2011/10/04/thirteen-obstacles-to-becoming-a-better-person/
)

-------------

Culture

"All the numbers that are supposed to document the rise of the modern university may
only disguise its decline. And obscure the deterioration of liberal education under
the care of those who are supposed to be its stewards. Increasingly, college
students are expected to know more and more about less and less -- everything about
their specialty, not that much about the arts and sciences that compose the core of
education, and of civilization. In his preface to 'Culture and Anarchy,' Matthew
Arnold said the purpose of education was to pass on 'the best which has been thought
and said.' That choice -- between culture and anarchy -- is still before us. Look
about at an educational system in which pop culture steadily replaces the real
thing, and various new capital-S Studies (Black, Gender, Women's, Ethnic, Gay,
Trans-Gender, pick your favorite) supplant traditional disciplines. When the best of
what has been thought and said is demoted to just another elective, you have to
wonder if anarchy isn't getting the upper hand." --columnist Paul Greenberg
(http://patriotpost.us/opinion/paul-greenberg/2011/10/05/letter-to-a-businessman/ )

-------------
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Cranewings
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« Reply #608 on: October 11, 2011, 09:17:07 PM »

Went to my first 99% rally today. They had a meeting early on about how to do fliers, what to advertise. I'm pretty curious to see where they are going to take it.

Right now it is just about 20-25 people at any one time, 15 in the early morning. I just went out for an hour or two.

There is a lot of immaturity. I hope some real leadership pops up for them.

Evidently a large church and a couple of unions are planning on joining in. Courthouse square isn't that big. If they can get 300 people it will look awesome.
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G M
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« Reply #609 on: October 11, 2011, 11:53:50 PM »

Went to my first 99% rally today. They had a meeting early on about how to do fliers, what to advertise. I'm pretty curious to see where they are going to take it.

Right now it is just about 20-25 people at any one time, 15 in the early morning. I just went out for an hour or two.

There is a lot of immaturity. I hope some real leadership pops up for them.

Evidently a large church and a couple of unions are planning on joining in. Courthouse square isn't that big. If they can get 300 people it will look awesome.

Be sure to get your "Soros stash" money!
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G M
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« Reply #610 on: October 12, 2011, 12:17:45 AM »



I bet her resume is awesome!
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bigdog
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« Reply #611 on: October 12, 2011, 05:33:21 AM »

When you focus on a small portion of the entire crowd to make a (snarky) point, you do the same thing that liberals do with the Tea Party when they only take pictures of the signs with misssspelinggs.  I think that both the Tea Party and the OWS have beefs, that if others managed to actually listen to what they are saying, there might (shock!) be a lesson in it. 
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G M
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« Reply #612 on: October 12, 2011, 07:37:04 AM »

When you focus on a small portion of the entire crowd to make a (snarky) point, you do the same thing that liberals do with the Tea Party when they only take pictures of the signs with misssspelinggs.  I think that both the Tea Party and the OWS have beefs, that if others managed to actually listen to what they are saying, there might (shock!) be a lesson in it. 

The Tea party has a point, meaning Taxed Enough Already. What is the point of the OWS?

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G M
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« Reply #613 on: October 12, 2011, 07:44:22 AM »

A liberal organizer told the Daily Caller on Thursday afternoon that he paid some Hispanics to attend “Occupy DC” protests happening in the nation’s capital.
 
TheDC attended the protest event, an expansion of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement that began in New York City. Some aspects of the protest, it turned out, are more Astroturf than grassroots.
 
One group of about ten Hispanic protesters marched behind a Caucasian individual from the DC Tenants Advocacy Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting rent control in Washington, D.C.
 
Asked why they were there, some Hispanic protesters holding up English protest signs could not articulate what their signs said.
 
Interviewed in Spanish, the protesters told conflicting stories about how their group was organized. Some said it was organized at their church, and that they were there as volunteers. Others, however, referred to the man from the DC Tenants Advocacy Coalition — the only Caucasian in the group — as their “boss.”
 
TheDC asked that organizer whether he was paying the group to attend the protest, and he conceded that some protesters “aren’t” volunteers.
 
“Some of them are volunteers. Some of them aren’t,” he explained. “I can’t identify them. I’m not going to get into an identification game.”


Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/10/06/organizer-admits-to-paying-occupy-dc-protesters-video/
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Cranewings
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« Reply #614 on: October 12, 2011, 10:08:35 AM »

Went to my first 99% rally today. They had a meeting early on about how to do fliers, what to advertise. I'm pretty curious to see where they are going to take it.

Right now it is just about 20-25 people at any one time, 15 in the early morning. I just went out for an hour or two.

There is a lot of immaturity. I hope some real leadership pops up for them.

Evidently a large church and a couple of unions are planning on joining in. Courthouse square isn't that big. If they can get 300 people it will look awesome.

Be sure to get your "Soros stash" money!

I'm looking for it, believe me (;

Seriously, they have tents and a pile of signs. A couple of the organizers don't have jobs. One main person is a social work professor, but I don't think she was bringing the tents. Someone rented that crap. I wonder who.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #615 on: October 12, 2011, 10:36:05 AM »

So far 'Occupy' looks to me like a continuation of the anti-capitalism demonstrations that go back to anti-WTO in Seattle and others.  From a bias-right point of view, I wish for them full exposure to cameras and microphones. Real corporate welfare is one area where far right and far left should be able to come to agreement and get real reform done.

Tea party rallies grew out of tax cut rallies of the past.  After the overspending deficits of Bush, a Republican,  into the escalation on steroids of TARP, Obama stimulus, QE  and healthcare, the emphasis changed to opposing the massive size and scope of what was supposed to be a limited government.  Taxes have become a minor part of the damage now being done.

Bigdog wrote: "When you focus on a small portion of the entire crowd to make a (snarky) point, you do the same thing that liberals do with the Tea Party when they only take pictures of the signs with misssspelinggs.  I think that both the Tea Party and the OWS have beefs, that if others managed to actually listen to what they are saying, there might (shock!) be a lesson in it."

That seems like a fair point to me.  We will see if the kooks are a small portion or the main portion, and what valid points they make. 

Cameras at tea party rallies didn't really find what they were looking for - bigots and racists, mostly just hard working people who came out to express frustration and work toward positive change. Some cameras found too many white people in view but never did I see any racism as reported, and the main leader to come out of it for the moment seems to be Herman Cain. Allen West is another, and Marco Rubio.  The movement became a political force when they began organizing to take down big spending, unprincipled incumbents inside their own party.  Some tea party candidates won, some, lost, but people in these cases were offered a clearer choice.

If the 'Occupy' crowd is a serious movement, where are their candidates? We will see. Where is their opposition to Obama Corporatism?  He certainly is a corporatist, perhaps the biggest one, by their own standards.  Same with Dodd and Frank.  What were the Fannie and Freddie top salaries of their cronies at the time that they succeeded in destroying the market they took over.

Regarding valid points, my own beef with the obscene profits on Wall Street come from two things: a) when they take in a boatload of money for failure, and b) when the big comes from the cozy relationships of crony governmentalism.  Besides government direct investment, we have created a regulatory system so overly complex in so many industries that only entrenched players with their huge political contributions can survive and new entrants with smaller resources are functionally locked out.  That is the objection of the occupy crowd. Their philosophy would take us to a system where Derek Jeter and his batboy should make a similar wage, if I am reading them correctly.

You will never build a better economic system by ignoring concepts like value added and work done. 
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DougMacG
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« Reply #616 on: October 12, 2011, 11:34:15 AM »

Cranewings:  "Went to my first 99% rally today"

I am curious, CW, as to what the 99% rally main political points are to you or at least what points you wish they were effectively making?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #617 on: October 12, 2011, 12:16:56 PM »

IMHO many of us of the American Creed are missing a real opportunity to take leadership on a vast inchoate and correct sense that many on Wall Street and in banking acted very badly (e.g. packaging bad mortgages and shovelling them out the door, knowing that the FMs would be there as a back-up.).  Our system is intended for a virtuous people and many have acted very unvirtuously in all of this.

The point we need to make to these people is that in a large sense they are right, there WERE bailouts, and bonuses for the nefarious.  The next point we need to make is that this happened PRECISELY because the government was involved (artificial interest rates, guaranteed mortgages, etc) and that this involvement is the essence of liberal fascism.
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G M
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« Reply #618 on: October 12, 2011, 12:29:51 PM »

IMHO many of us of the American Creed are missing a real opportunity to take leadership on a vast inchoate and correct sense that many on Wall Street and in banking acted very badly (e.g. packaging bad mortgages and shovelling them out the door, knowing that the FMs would be there as a back-up.).  Our system is intended for a virtuous people and many have acted very unvirtuously in all of this.

The point we need to make to these people is that in a large sense they are right, there WERE bailouts, and bonuses for the nefarious.  The next point we need to make is that this happened PRECISELY because the government was involved (artificial interest rates, guaranteed mortgages, etc) and that this involvement is the essence of liberal fascism.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #619 on: October 12, 2011, 01:52:28 PM »

There is no mystery where the Occupy Wall Street movement came from: It is an offspring of the same false narrative about the causes of the financial crisis that exculpated the government and brought us the Dodd-Frank Act. According to this story, the financial crisis and ensuing deep recession was caused by a reckless private sector driven by greed and insufficiently regulated. It is no wonder that people who hear this tale repeated endlessly in the media turn on Wall Street to express their frustration with the current conditions in the economy.

Their anger should be directed at those who developed and supported the federal government's housing policies that were responsible for the financial crisis.

Beginning in 1992, the government required Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to direct a substantial portion of their mortgage financing to borrowers who were at or below the median income in their communities. The original legislative quota was 30%. But the Department of Housing and Urban Development was given authority to adjust it, and through the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations HUD raised the quota to 50% by 2000 and 55% by 2007.

It is certainly possible to find prime borrowers among people with incomes below the median. But when more than half of the mortgages Fannie and Freddie were required to buy were required to have that characteristic, these two government-sponsored enterprises had to significantly reduce their underwriting standards.

Fannie and Freddie were not the only government-backed or government-controlled organizations that were enlisted in this process. The Federal Housing Administration was competing with Fannie and Freddie for the same mortgages. And thanks to rules adopted in 1995 under the Community Reinvestment Act, regulated banks as well as savings and loan associations had to make a certain number of loans to borrowers who were at or below 80% of the median income in the areas they served.

Research by Edward Pinto, a former chief credit officer of Fannie Mae (now a colleague of mine at the American Enterprise Institute) has shown that 27 million loans—half of all mortgages in the U.S.—were subprime or otherwise weak by 2008. That is, the loans were made to borrowers with blemished credit, or were loans with no or low down payments, no documentation, or required only interest payments.

Of these, over 70% were held or guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie or some other government agency or government-regulated institution. Thus it is clear where the demand for these deficient mortgages came from.

The huge government investment in subprime mortgages achieved its purpose. Home ownership in the U.S. increased to 69% from 65% (where it had been for 30 years). But it also led to the biggest housing bubble in American history. This bubble, which lasted from 1997 to 2007, also created a huge private market for mortgage-backed securities (MBS) based on pools of subprime loans.

As housing bubbles grow, rising prices suppress delinquencies and defaults. People who could not meet their mortgage obligations could refinance or sell, because their houses were now worth more.

Enlarge Image

CloseAssociated Press
 
Millionaire rap mogul Russell Simmons (center) joins the anti-Wall Street protests.
.Accordingly, by the mid-2000s, investors had begun to notice that securities based on subprime mortgages were producing the high yields, but not showing the large number of defaults, that are usually associated with subprime loans. This triggered strong investor demand for these securities, causing the growth of the first significant private market for MBS based on subprime and other risky mortgages.

By 2008, Mr. Pinto has shown, this market consisted of about 7.8 million subprime loans, somewhat less than one-third of the 27 million that were then outstanding. The private financial sector must certainly share some blame for the financial crisis, but it cannot fairly be accused of causing that crisis when only a small minority of subprime and other risky mortgages outstanding in 2008 were the result of that private activity.

When the bubble deflated in 2007, an unprecedented number of weak mortgages went into default, driving down housing prices throughout the U.S. and throwing Fannie and Freddie into insolvency. Seeing these sudden losses, investors fled from the market for privately issued MBS, and mark-to-market accounting required banks and others to write down the value of their mortgage-backed assets to the distress levels in a market that now had few buyers. This raised questions about the solvency and liquidity of the largest financial institutions and began a period of great investor anxiety.

The government's rescue of Bear Stearns in March 2008 temporarily calmed the market. But it created significant moral hazard: Market participants were led to believe that the government would rescue all large financial institutions. When Lehman Brothers was allowed to fail in September, investors panicked. They withdrew their funds from the institutions that held large amounts of privately issued MBS, causing banks and others—such as investment banks, finance companies and insurers—to hoard cash against the risk of further withdrawals. Their refusal to lend to one another in these conditions froze credit markets, bringing on what we now call the financial crisis.

The narrative that came out of these events—largely propagated by government officials and accepted by a credulous media—was that the private sector's greed and risk-taking caused the financial crisis and the government's policies were not responsible. This narrative stimulated the punitive Dodd-Frank Act—fittingly named after Congress's two key supporters of the government's destructive housing policies. It also gave us the occupiers of Wall Street.

Mr. Wallison is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He was a member Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and dissented from the majority's report.
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Cranewings
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« Reply #620 on: October 12, 2011, 08:49:56 PM »

Cranewings:  "Went to my first 99% rally today"

I am curious, CW, as to what the 99% rally main political points are to you or at least what points you wish they were effectively making?

I'm mostly interested in aggravating politicians that are in bed with large corporations. I'd also like to see something more tangible to prevent things like the 2008 crash. It was just used as an excuse to rob the treasury. Hell, Obama is still doing it.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 08:54:50 PM by Cranewings » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #621 on: October 12, 2011, 11:41:13 PM »

Thank you CW.

"I'm mostly interested in aggravating politicians that are in bed with large corporations. I'd also like to see something more tangible to prevent things like the 2008 crash. It was just used as an excuse to rob the treasury. Hell, Obama is still doing it."

I agree on these points.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #622 on: October 13, 2011, 12:32:43 AM »

Be careful CW, you may have the makings of a Tea Partier!  shocked cheesy
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G M
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« Reply #623 on: October 13, 2011, 12:45:26 AM »

I'm torn looking back at the 2008 bailouts. On a visceral level, I want to say there is no "too big to fail". It's about creative destruction. Capitalism means bad choices mean going out of business. Then again, credible people have said that if the bailouts hadn't happed, we'd have a global meltdown. Then again, we may have just delayed that and made it worse when it comes.

Overall, the less gov't involvement in business, the better.
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Cranewings
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« Reply #624 on: October 13, 2011, 07:37:54 AM »

Be careful CW, you may have the makings of a Tea Partier!  shocked cheesy

The main points I don't agree with the tea party on are really just the EPA, social issues, and deregulating the monopolies. If all they were about was government spending, taxes and corruption, I'd be on board.
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G M
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« Reply #625 on: October 13, 2011, 07:51:38 AM »

Be careful CW, you may have the makings of a Tea Partier!  shocked cheesy

The main points I don't agree with the tea party on are really just the EPA, social issues, and deregulating the monopolies. If all they were about was government spending, taxes and corruption, I'd be on board.
http://www.pacificlegal.org/page.aspx?pid=1652

Bloomberg Businessweek reports on PLF’s Sackett v. EPA case at Supreme Court
 

Sacramento, CA; August 18, 2011: The current issue of Bloomberg Businessweek magazine reports on Sackett v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pacific Legal Foundation’s high-profile property rights case that the U.S. Supreme Court has accepted for review in the coming term.
 
The article, by Bloomberg News Supreme Court reporter Greg Stohr, is titled, “Mike and Chantell Sackett vs. the EPA.” It notes that the Sacketts’ case has the potential “to bolster the rights of landowners facing costly demands from the federal government.”
 
The litigation raises a fundamental question: When EPA declares private property to be “wetlands,” does the owner have the right to meaningful judicial review of the agency’s determination, or may EPA put a freeze on private property without effective court oversight?
 
Donor-supported PLF is the leading watchdog organization that litigates for limited government, property rights, and a balanced approach to environmental regulations, in courts nationwide. PLF attorneys represent the Sacketts free of charge, thanks to the generosity of PLF donors.
 
The Sacketts’ story — and their fight for their right to their day in court
 
The Sacketts have to live in a rented home, because EPA has blocked them from building a house on their own property in Priest Lake, Idaho.
 
Their parcel is in a residential area, with sewer and water hookups, and they got the needed permits to build. But then EPA swooped in, without notice, and announced that the property is “wetlands.” The Sacketts were ordered to return their land to EPA’s liking on pain of ruinous fines.
 


The Sacketts were stunned, and they dispute EPA’s claim. They hired a soil expert and a biologist, and got a certification that their parcel is not a wetland.
 
But EPA – and the Ninth Circuit – say they can’t challenge the agency in court! Instead, they would first have to seek a “permit” costing hundreds of thousands of dollars (more than the value of the land!), and bring a legal case when the permit was denied. Or they could violate EPA’s orders and be crushed with penalties of $37,500-plus per day — and then seek court review.
 
Either way, the courtroom doors are slammed in their faces — unless they pay massive fees or fines!
 
So this is the crucial issue as PLF attorneys take the Sacketts’ case to the Supreme Court: Can EPA regulators take control of people’s property, simply by issuing a “compliance order” declaring it “wetlands,” without having to justify their actions? Or do Americans still have the right to defend their property rights, in court?



Damien M. Schiff
Senior Staff Attorney
 

“This case is garnering a lot of attention because it’s a case that could happen to you,” said PLF Senior Staff Attorney Damien M. Schiff, who will argue the Sacketts’ case at the High Court. “The Sacketts are not big developers. They just wanted a family home.”
 
In Bloomberg Businessweek, Catholic University law professor Amanda Cohen Leiter is quoted saying something similar. Even though she is reported to side with EPA in the case, she admits that the Sacketts “feel like the mom and pop who are getting the heavy hand of government brought down on them.”
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DougMacG
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« Reply #626 on: October 13, 2011, 10:13:12 AM »

The 99% to me infers a class war war against the top 1% of earners.  I don't feel any of that.  I wish every family could have at least one million-plus dollar earner.  That reminds me to talk to my daughter about careers.

Wall street as an issue to me is only: what should the laws be and are we investigating and prosecuting all the violations.

Other than that, get rid of all the preferences so that businesses can concentrate on business instead of lobbying.  Start with getting it preferences of the tax code.  Then out with all the preferential spending.  Then comb through all regulations to make sure only what is necessary and can't be achieved a better way is regulated.  Obscene profits indicates a lack of competition for those services.  It is over-regulation and overly-complex regulations that pull our best and brightest into things like SEC compliance and employee benefit law instead of inventing, building and innovating.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #627 on: October 19, 2011, 11:43:43 AM »



Chronicle • October 19, 2011
The Foundation
"[A] wise and frugal government ... shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government." --Thomas Jefferson
Editorial Exegesis
 
"A majority of Americans disapprove of what President Obama has done in office. He promised hope and change but delivered disappointment and stagnation. The unemployment rate is stuck at 9.1 percent. The poverty rate is at 15.1 percent, tied for the worst performance since the Census started tracking numbers in 1959. White House policies of class warfare and redistribution are impoverishing America, and the public is starting to feel worked over. ... During the recession, the average duration of unemployment increased from 16.6 weeks in December 2007 to a shade over 24 weeks by June 2009. That figure is now 40.5 weeks, the longest it has been in more than six decades. The longer a person is unemployed, the harder it is for him to find a job, as job skills erode and potential employers question whether it might be more prudent to hire someone else without big gaps in their work history. Mr. Obama's solution involves having the federal government declare the long-term unemployed a legally protected class. His American Jobs Act would subject businesses to frivolous lawsuits if they decide against hiring someone who has been jobless for an extended time. Doing so would serve as one more disincentive for companies to hire or hold interviews for open positions, making it even harder for the jobless to find work. ... Ultimately, Americans will not find their pocketbooks thickening so long as Uncle Sam strangles entrepreneurs with regulatory red tape. Companies need to have certainty that they will be able to keep the proceeds of their investments in the future before they will start hiring again and pay their employees more." --The Washington Times
Will the job market improve any time soon?
Upright
"Whenever the substance of the Occupy Wall Street movement troubles Democratic politicians their response is to hide behind platitudes about free speech. 'It's about their right to express themselves!' Well, no it's not. Free speech is important, but it's really not the issue. It certainly wasn't even much of a concern when it was the Tea Party expressing itself -- which it managed to do without inviting mass arrests. Back then, leading Democrats considered dissent racist or un-American. Now they celebrate free speech so they can hide from dealing with the issues at hand honestly. Democratic politicians think that this gives them cover. It doesn't. It just shows that they're afraid to disagree with the protesters either because they agree with them or because they know the protests are popular among their own supporters. Either way, it's proof that the much ballyhooed wall between mainstream radicalism and mainstream liberalism is more like a speed bump." --columnist Jonah Goldberg
"The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced in a fundraising letter that it is seeking 100,000 signatures on a petition declaring 'I stand with the Occupy Wall Street protests.' And David Plouffe, the president's senior campaign advisor, sounded upbeat for the first time in a while. 'We intend to make it one of the central elements of the campaign next year,' he told the Washington Post. 'One of the main elements of the contrast will be that the president passed Wall Street reform and our opponent and the other party want to repeal it.' ... OWS is America's version of the Greek throngs in the streets -- screaming for more bailouts and subsidies when the well has run dry. It's a depressing image of self-delusion and national suicide. But far from the '99 percent,' OWS represents only a sliver of the electorate -- and the president's embrace of them only confirms his marginality in American politics." --columnist Mona Charen
"Obama entered office unorganized and unstructured. Nothing in his background suggested that he knew anything about management, organization, or leadership. Nor did anyone see the need for bringing in talent with these skills. As a result, the Hollywood mannequin was almost immediately exposed as nothing but flair, hype, and hot air. The public had bought a product that did not perform. Marketing can do many things, but it cannot sell a product that people have tried and rejected. ... Obama's reelection problem can be expressed in one simple sentence: 'Now, too many people know him.'" --columnist Monty Pelerin
Insight
"Beware of those who would use violence, too often it is violence they want and neither truth nor freedom." --American author Louis Lamour (1908-1988)
"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid." --Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
 
The Demo-gogues
They are not the same: "In some ways, [Occupy Wall Street protests are] not that different from some of the protests that we saw coming from the Tea Party. Both on the left and the right, I think people feel separated from their government. They feel that their institutions aren't looking out for them." --Barack Obama
Echo chamber ... from a Republican: "I think that if you look at the Occupy Wall Street folks and the Tea Party folks, they come from the same perspective. They just have different solutions. What they're saying is, 'government is not working for me anymore.'" --New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
Dumb Republicans: "Maybe [Republicans] just couldn't understand the whole [American Jobs Act] thing all at once. So we're going to break it up into bite-size pieces so they can take a thoughtful approach to this legislation." --Barack Obama
Shameless and crass: "The other thing I've hear from my friends who oppose this -- this whole jobs bill -- [is] that this is just temporary. Well let me tell you, it's not temporary when that 911 call comes in and a woman's being raped, if a cop shows up in time to prevent the rape. It's not temporary to that woman. It's not temporary to the guy whose store is being held up and there's a gun pointed at his head, if a cop shows up and he's not killed. ... I wish these guys who thought it was temporary, I wish they had some notion of what it was like to be on the other side of a gun, or [to have] a 200-pound man standing over you, telling you to submit." --Joe Biden
Bailouts galore: "On several occasions now, we've seen, quite frankly, the Congress is in rebellion, determined, as Abraham Lincoln said, to wreck or ruin at all costs. I believe, quite frankly, in the direct hiring of 15 million unemployed Americans at $40,000 a head, some more than $40,000, some less than $40,000 -- that's a $600 billion stimulus. It could be a five-year program. For another $104 billion, we bailout all of the states. ... For another $100 billion, we bailout all of the cities." --Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL)
Questioning patriotism: "[Republicans] are not patriots, people who love this country want to see jobs created. ... They're not concerned about the economic well being of the country as a whole." --Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA)
Questioning every other motive: "Republicans think if the economy improves it might help President Obama. So they root for the economy to fail, and oppose every effort to improve it." --Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
Are you rooting for Obama to fail, or the economy to fail?
 


Dezinformatsia
Non Compos Mentis: "The other thing [the Occupy Wall Street movement] needs, and I don't want this to come out the wrong way -- not needs, but what will happen -- if we think back to the late 60s, what is the most stirring image of all the rebellion that happened? What do we remember? Kent State. Now, I'm not saying someone has to get killed. ... I'm not saying a death. I'm just saying we are a visual society." --MSNBC's Donny Deutsch
An albatross for Obama: "Well, [the Occupy Wall Street protest] certainly is going to dovetail nicely into a big message that the president's selling, which is that the wealthy should pay more. He's also sort of picked up that banner of going after Wall Street and the banks, talking about unfairness that a lot of protesters that are complaining about. Unfairness in the economy and the tax code, in the ways of Wall Street with bank fees. ... I think the president's in a mode right now where he'd like to get out in front of this parade and really harness some of this energy." --NBC's David Gregory
Good question: "I want to ask you about the thinking within the White House. Yesterday at a press conference one of my colleagues asked the president to respond to something Mitt Romney said. The president said, 'I didn't realize you were a spokesman for Mitt Romney.' Is the president feeling under siege from events right now?" --CNBC's John Harwood to Obama's Chief of Staff Bill Daley
Bizarre: "Herman Cain is pandering to white Republicans out there who don't like black folks." --MSNBC's Ed Schultz
Newspulper Headlines:
Two Presidents in One!: "Obama Won't Negotiate With Republicans on Jobs" --USA Today website ++ "Obama Says He Is Prepared to Work With Republicans on Jobs" --Bloomberg
Questions Nobody Is Asking: "Would You Get a Tattoo for a Discounted Sandwich?" --Globe and Mail website (Toronto)
He's Lost Middle America: "Obama Loses Hulk Hogan's Support" --Politico.com
Too Bad Ted Kennedy Drove an Oldsmobile: "Chinese Keep Saab Afloat" --Deutsche-Welle website
We Blame George W. Bush: "Anita Perry Blames Obama for Son Quitting His Job" --Yahoo! News
Bottom Story of the Day: "Al Gore Backs Occupy Wall Street Protests" --TheHill.com
(Thanks to The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto)
Village Idiots
Class warfare: "Here's the Republicans' problem. Everybody knows they're not for the middle class. They're mad at the president because the economy is in bad shape even though they don't blame him, they're still mad because they have to be mad at somebody. The president positioned himself now as a champion in the middle class, a champion of ordinary working Americans. That really is 99 percent." --former DNC chairman Howard Dean
Wrong analysis: "Whereas much of the Tea Party's programmatic ire seems directed at the very idea of government -- and instead trumpets the virtue of self-reliance and the inexorable righteousness of the free market -- Occupy Wall Street more sharply decries the collusion of corporate and political elites in Washington. ... To the outside observer, that may seem foolishly utopian -- and impracticable on a larger scale -- but it's a sign of the deep political commitment of many of the protesters gathering under Occupy Wall Street's banner. They want to fix government, not escape from it." --TIME magazine's Ishaan Tharoor
Resumé embellishment: "He said he was going to end the war in Iraq. In a few months, we will have all our troops home from Iraq. He said he was going to up the ante and go after al-Qa'ida in a serious way in Afghanistan. Osama bin laden is gone. The leadership of al-Qa'ida is on the run. So when you say he wasn't prepared, maybe you should go ask Osama bin Laden if he thought he was prepared." --Obama's senior adviser David Axelrod
 

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Short Cuts
"After years of being exposed to the American media in all its forms, I've concluded that conservatives resent being lied to nearly as much as liberals hate being told the truth." --columnist Burt Prelutsky
"Maybe the smartest thing the protesters, and perhaps of lot of other Americans, could do would be to pressure businesses to stop making a college degree the ultimate criterion for getting a job. If one considers where the so-called 'best and brightest' among us have taken this country in the last few years, one could make a compelling argument that a college degree is the most over-rated product on the planet." --columnist Arnold Ahlert
"Occupy Wall Street protesters entered their third week of New York park sit-ins this week following a march down Broadway. Interviews with the protesters make two things very crystal-clear. They don't know what they want and they want it now." --comedian Argus Hamilton
"Warren Buffett's company reportedly owes the IRS a billion dollars in back taxes. When he said he wasn't paying enough taxes, he wasn't kidding." --comedian Jay Leno
Publisher's Note: For anyone attending Game 1 of the World Series tonight in St. Louis -- given that Michelle Obama and Jill Biden will be there -- here's an idea for a sign: "Forget the first pitch, throw out Obama!"
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« Reply #628 on: October 20, 2011, 08:36:02 PM »



http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/102011.jpg
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bigdog
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« Reply #629 on: October 21, 2011, 06:22:20 AM »

Ditching the 2 term presidency?

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/10/11/first_times_a_charm
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G M
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« Reply #630 on: October 21, 2011, 06:34:42 AM »


I think we will, next year.  wink
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« Reply #631 on: October 21, 2011, 06:46:52 AM »

http://www.verumserum.com/?p=31000

Report: Occupy Oakland Devolves into “Lord of the Flies”

John on October 20, 2011 at 12:01 am

From the Oakland Tribune:
 

The next thing Hughes knew he was in a headlock, then he was being punched, and then he was on the ground as a large man began to choke him.
 
This happened as Hughes, a substitute teacher and Occupy Oakland resident, tried to keep a larger man who also lived in the camp from threatening a woman there. Finally, after another threatening incident involving the same individual, the occupiers had had enough:
 

About 3:30 Tuesday afternoon, a group of roughly 50 people gathered by the man’s tent and told him he had to leave. Some were speaking calmly. Others weren’t. It was then that the man pulled out a large kitchen knife and threatened the whole group…It was only when someone picked up a piece of wood and cracked him across the head that the ordeal ended.
 
Self-realization dawns on at least one of the occupiers:
 

“At some point, we have to recognize that we can’t control everything,” said Boomer Frank, a 24-year-old tent resident and ad hoc camp organizer. “I’m anti-authoritarian, but we need to acknowledge that some things are out of our control.”
 
If only they could apply that lesson a little more broadly, e.g. to the police, to the economy as a whole even. Appropriately, it’s the cops who patrol the camp that get it. One officer compared the scene to “Lord of the Flies.” His supervisor was even more insightful:
 

One Oakland police supervisor said that the participants first appeared to him as “freethinking activists” but have since devolved into something more sinister. He said it was “interesting for a group that claims to be against current civilization and rules to set up a far more oppressive society than our own.”
 
Very interesting indeed.
 
Update: One of the wags at American Glob created this Photoshop to illustrate this story:

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« Reply #632 on: October 21, 2011, 04:57:28 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/10/20/occupy-baltimore-to-sex-assault-victims-we-dont-encourage-the-involvement-of-police-in-our-communities/

Occupy Baltimore to sex assault victims: We support you in reporting the abuse, but we don’t encourage the involvement of police in our community
 

posted at 9:33 pm on October 20, 2011 by Allahpundit

 
Via JWF, who makes the obligatory Joe Biden shout-out so that I don’t have to. The news here isn’t really that they’d rather have a “Security Committee” deal with alleged rapists than the local P.D. The whole point of starting a utopian commune is that it’s as insular as possible.
 
No, the news here is that there’s apparently enough of a problem that they felt obliged to publish a pamphlet dealing with the subject at all. I confess, I haven’t been to any tea-party rallies so you’ll have to tell me: Are there a lot of “here’s what to do if you’re raped today” fliers circulating at those too?
 

Efforts by the Occupy Baltimore protest group to evolve into a self-contained, self-governing community have erupted into controversy with the distribution of a pamphlet that victim advocates and health workers fear discourages victims of sexual assaults from contacting police.
 
The pamphlet says that members of the protest group who believe they are victims or who suspect sexual abuse “are encouraged to immediately report the incident to the Security Committee,” which will investigate and “supply the abuser with counseling resources.”
 
The directive also says, in part, “Though we do not encourage the involvement of the police in our community, the survivor has every right, and the support of Occupy Baltimore, to report the abuse to the appropriate authorities.”…
 
Lewis said there have been no reports of sexual assaults or rapes at the Baltimore protest site. But she said that members of the “security committee” have mediated several disputes involving allegations of sexual harassment.
 
That’s what Biden wants that new jobs-bill funding for, if I’m not mistaken — “mediating” between sex-crimes victims and their alleged attackers.
 
Now that you’re done here, go back over to JWF’s site and read about the residents near Zuccotti Park who have about had it with the heroes of the revolution literally crapping on their doorsteps. One of the challenges of blogging the “Occupy” movement is that there’s so much funny/creepy video being churned out every day — see, for example, Charles Cooke’s new stuff or a half dozen examples at Breitbart TV — that it’s hard to decide on just one to post for our readers. The following, though, from the MRC seems pretty well in line with the theme of this post, so let’s go with that. Ace is giving it “up twinkles” so it must be good.

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99%
« Reply #633 on: October 22, 2011, 10:34:43 PM »



http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/102111.jpg
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DougMacG
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« Reply #634 on: October 23, 2011, 11:23:31 AM »

A post-Katrina Republican, does anyone remember Kathleen Blanco or when Louisiana was a swing state?  Jindal cut taxes, outsourced government services to private companies, supports drilling. Louisiana’s jobless rate of 7.2 percent ranks below the national average of 9.1 percent.  Democrats outnumber Republicans in Louisiana 44 percent to 41 percent.  A poll conducted by WWL-TV on Oct. 5 gave Jindal an approval rating of 63 percent.  Jindal is 40 heading into his second term.
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-10-23/louisiana-s-jindal-wins-second-term-as-governor-in-open-primary.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #635 on: October 25, 2011, 08:14:28 AM »

Subscribe to The Patriot Post — It's Right and It's FREE: click here.
Brief • October 24, 2011
The Foundation
"I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." --Benjamin Franklin
For the Record
 
Gaga, Woods and Oprah -- not exactly living in the poor house

"According to Forbes' Celebrity 100 list for 2010, Oprah Winfrey earned $290 million. Even if her makeup person or cameraman earned $100,000, she earned thousands of times more than that. Is that fair? Among other celebrities earning hundreds or thousands of times more than the people who work with them are Tyler Perry ($130 million), Jerry Bruckheimer ($113 million), Lady Gaga ($90 million) and Howard Stern ($76 million). According to Forbes, the top 10 celebrities, excluding athletes, earned an average salary of a little more than $100 million in 2010. According to The Wall Street Journal Survey of CEO Compensation (November 2010), Gregory Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media, earned $87 million, Oracle's Lawrence Ellison ($68 million) and rounding out the top 10 CEOs was McKesson's John Hammergren, earning $24 million. It turns out that the top 10 CEOs have an average salary of $43 million, which pales in comparison with America's top 10 celebrities, who earn an average salary of $100 million. When you recognize that celebrities earn salaries that are some multiples of CEO salaries, you have to ask: Why is it that rich CEOs are demonized and not celebrities? ... It's not about the amount of money people earn. If it were, politicians and leftists would be promoting jealousy, fear and hate toward multimillionaire Hollywood and celebrities and sports stars, such as LeBron James ($48 million), Tiger Woods ($75 million) and Peyton Manning ($38 million). But there is no way that politicians could take over the roles of Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga and LeBron James. That means celebrities can make any amount of money they want and it matters not one iota politically. The Occupy Wall Street crowd shouldn't focus its anger at wealthy CEOs. A far more appropriate target would be the U.S. Congress." --economist Walter E. Williams

Essential Liberty

"Non-leftists who cherish the American value of liberty over the left-wing value of socioeconomic equality, as well as those who adhere to Judeo-Christian values, do not regard the existence of economic classes as inherently morally problematic. If the poor are treated equally before the law, are given the chance and the liberty to raise their socioeconomic status and have their basic material needs met, the gap between rich and poor is not a major moral problem. Of course, if the rich got rich through deceitful or violent means, they must be prosecuted. But America is a place where the way in which 'poor' is defined renders most poor Americans materially equivalent to much of Europe's middle class. America is also a place where the rich by and large legally acquired their wealth through hard work and entrepreneurial enterprise. So here, the existence of rich and poor is not a problem that demands governmental action." --radio talk-show host Dennis Prager

What do you make of income disparity?

Culture

"Call it an occupational hazard, but I can't look at the Occupy Wall Street protesters without thinking, 'Who parented these people?' As a culture columnist, I've commented on the social and political ramifications of the 'movement' -- now known as 'OWS' -- whose fairyland agenda can be summarized by one of their placards: 'Everything for everybody.' Thanks to their pipe-dream platform, it's clear there are people with serious designs on 'transformational' change in America who are using the protesters like bedsprings in a brothel. Yet it's not my role as a commentator that prompts my parenting question, but rather the fact that I'm the mother of four teens and young adults. There are some crucial life lessons that the protesters' moms clearly have not passed along. Here, then, are five things the OWS protesters' mothers should have taught their children but obviously didn't, so I will: Life isn't fair. ... Nothing is 'free.' ... Your word is your bond. When you demonstrate to eliminate student loan debt, you are advocating precisely the lack of integrity you decry in others. ... A protest is not a party. ... There are reasons you haven't found jobs. The truth? Your tattooed necks, gauged ears, facial piercings and dirty dreadlocks are off-putting. Nonconformity for the sake of nonconformity isn't a virtue. Occupy reality: Only 4 percent of college graduates are out of work. If you are among that 4 percent, find a mirror and face the problem. It's not them. It's you." --columnist Marybeth Hicks
 
Re: The Left

"Another day, another jobs bill/economic stimulus. And another presidential tour to promote it. This time our president and partisan-in-chief chose North Carolina for the setting, and who can blame him? Who wouldn't want to drive through its mountains and vistas these beautiful fall days -- instead of actually working out a compromise with those tiresome types in Congress? The kind who are always raising irritating questions, like whether the president's programs will actually work. Unlike those that have succeeded mainly in raising the country's unemployment rate to 9 percent or more. No matter how many times his presidential prescriptions have failed to do much for the economy, Dr. Obama assures us that the same old approach (spend still more) will work this time -- if we'll just increase the dosage and suspend disbelief. ... It strikes some of us as passing strange that Mr. Obama should now be campaigning in a part of the country and culture whose people he used to describe/deride as hopelessly bitter types. Their only response to hard times, he claimed at one point, is to 'cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.' ... t's not what a president says that matters so much in this always practical-minded country, but what he does. And this president is not doing well." --columnist Paul Greenberg

Government

"Following a series of failed votes on a number of President Obama's jobs proposals, Senate Democrats plan to keep pushing. The Senate is on recess [this] week, but when they return, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) plans to hold another vote on the 'infrastructure' portion of the president's plan. The legislation would allocate $50 billion for 'investment' in transportation and infrastructure projects -- e.g., highway restoration, airport development, Amtrack, high speed rail, etc. -- and establish a federal infrastructure bank as a 'wholly owned government corporation' that would hand out federally-backed loans for infrastructure projects. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood predicted that the legislation would create about 800,000 jobs at a cost of $75,000 per job. Which is perplexing, given that a recent Bloomberg survey of 34 leading economists yielded a median estimate of 288,000 jobs 'kept or added' over the next two years. And that's based on the entirety of the president's $450 billion proposal, which works out to a rate of about $1.6 million per job. Democrats plan to cover the cost the infrastructure 'investment' with a 0.7 percent surtax on household earning more than $1 million a year. The measure isn't any more likely to succeed that the others before it, but the bill's inevitable failure will provide Democrats with at least another week's worth of class-warfare talking points. And that's leadership you can believe in." --National Review's Andrew Stiles

Insight
"I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible. The reason I am is because I believe the big problem is not taxes, the big problem is spending. The question is, 'How do you hold down government spending?' Government spending now amounts to close to 40% of national income not counting indirect spending through regulation and the like. If you include that, you get up to roughly half. The real danger we face is that number will creep up and up and up. The only effective way I think to hold it down, is to hold down the amount of income the government has. The way to do that is to cut taxes." --economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006)

The Gipper

"We are a nation that has a government -- not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed. ... Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it." --Ronald Reagan
Political Futures
"Moammar Gaddafi got what was coming to him. Of course, the concern now is the jihadist and al-Qaeda elements that are positioned to replace him. Years ago, Ronald Reagan called Gaddafi the 'mad dog of the Middle East' and said that his goal was a worldwide 'Muslim fundamentalist revolution.' Many others besides Gaddafi shared that goal, including those who opposed him, and with Gaddafi's death, that goal is closer than ever to being realized. Here we are, thirty years after Reagan made these remarks, in the throes of a worldwide Muslim fundamentalist revolution. Reagan said that those who wanted this 'Muslim fundamentalist revolution' were enemies of the United States -- for them it was 'like climbing Mount Everest, because we are here.' And in a sense, that is exactly the reason why ... Reagan's warning of a worldwide 'Muslim fundamentalist revolution' was prescient. Can you imagine the Muslim Brotherhood stooge in the White House ever uttering those words? ... Reagan spoke before there was a significant Muslim presence in Europe. Now the threat and intimidation by Muslims throughout the countries of the European Union is growing at every level. And now Gaddafi is gone, but the threat of a worldwide 'Muslim fundamentalist revolution' remains, and is stronger than ever, thanks to Barack Obama." --author and columnist Pamela Geller

Faith & Family

"Egyptian violence against Christians is intolerable. When peaceful demonstrators demanding only protection of the law are attacked, we see a complete breakdown of civil order. More than that, the fact that Egypt's Christians are being killed with impunity means there is no Arab Spring. ... Obama is building an unenviable record in foreign policy. He is the most anti-Israel president in our history and also, de facto, the most anti-Christian. He is washing his hands of the fate of millions of minority Christians in the Mideast. This cannot be beneficial to the United States or to the countries involved. ... Is this what we are fighting for? ... Has the U.S. Department of State forgotten who we Americans are? Millions of Americans disbelieve and abhor what is being taught in Afghan schools, what is being done on the streets of Cairo, and what is likely to be done in Syria when Assad is toppled. Isn't it time for a total reassessment of U.S. foreign policy and aid?" --columnists Ken Blackwell & Bob Morrison
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G M
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« Reply #636 on: October 26, 2011, 09:01:06 AM »

When you focus on a small portion of the entire crowd to make a (snarky) point, you do the same thing that liberals do with the Tea Party when they only take pictures of the signs with misssspelinggs.  I think that both the Tea Party and the OWS have beefs, that if others managed to actually listen to what they are saying, there might (shock!) be a lesson in it. 

So BD,

What was the point of OWS? Rapes? Public sh*tting? Anti-semitism? Riots?
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« Reply #637 on: October 26, 2011, 09:53:31 AM »

Although I am not BD, I'll take a stab at that:

The starting impetus is a sense that folks who had quite a bit to do with the excrement storm in which we find ourselves got bailed out by the government.

In point of fact there is considerable truth in this-- as we have been pointing out on these pages for years now.  What the decent folks amongst the OWS are missing is that what the are protesting the the natural and inevitable result of "public-private partnerships", "encouraging home ownership" via govt. guarantees of mortgages, and other forms of liberal and corporate fascism.   What WE are missing is a golden opportunity to reach out to these people.  Instead many/most of us are focused on snarky comments painting the whole thing as a progressive commie monolith instead of looking to peel off the goodly percentage of folks who are rightly mad and need our help in understanding WHY they are mad and WHAT TO DO about it.
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G M
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« Reply #638 on: October 26, 2011, 09:56:06 AM »

I see 60's retreads, various other leftist loons and the generation that grew up with soccer games where score wasn't kept and everyone got a trophy.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #639 on: October 26, 2011, 10:16:34 AM »

You ARE right.  They ARE there.  AND we are pushing a lot of folks in search of answers towards them.
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« Reply #640 on: October 26, 2011, 10:17:38 AM »


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySnYbitzrg4&feature=player_embedded


Below is the quote from the poster of the youtube video:

This is one of the best uses for a U.S. flag I've seen to date. I missed recording the best part where the dog and owner were really playing a fierce game of tug o' war!
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« Reply #641 on: October 26, 2011, 10:29:55 AM »

http://pjmedia.com/zombie/2011/10/24/is-occupy-oakland-as-bad-as-they-say/

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« Reply #642 on: October 26, 2011, 10:46:08 AM »



http://bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1376084

Health conditions ripe for disaster, officials fear

Occupational hazards

By Laurel J. Sweet, Dave Wedge and John Zaremba
 Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - Updated 10 minutes ago


Food-borne illnesses, a flu outbreak, hypothermia, sexually transmitted diseases and vermin are just some of the hazards experts say make Occupy Boston a public health disaster waiting to happen — as City Hall turns a blind eye.
 
“The longer you’ve got a big group of people in an unsanitary location, the more at risk they’re going to be for infectious diseases. Time is only beginning to tell where this is going to go,” said Janelle Vaesa, a public health researcher who has studied similar deteriorating conditions at Occupy Wall Street in New York.
 
San Francisco health officials report they’ve subjected that city’s two Occupy sites to twice-daily inspections, and have found a rash of food, garbage and other sanitation issues.

 

Yet, even as a strong stench has begun rising from Occupy Boston’s site in the heart of the city and a weekend snowfall looms, the Boston Public Health Commission told the Herald yesterday it has no plans to inspect the month-old encampment, where dozens of activists are sleeping in abutting tents, without on-site toilets, and food donations are sitting in crates on wet ground, though hand sanitizer appears to be readily available.
 
BPHC spokeswoman Ann Scales said Boston will offer Occupiers a free on-site flu clinic Friday and is mindful of the potential for “pest infestation.” There are no plans to conduct health inspections, she said, though she noted, “From our standpoint, any time people are living in close quarters, the odds of transmittable diseases is there.”
 
After a Herald inquiry yesterday, the Inspectional Services Department will pay Occupy Boston a visit today to check out its makeshift food preparation area, spokeswoman Lisa Timberlake said. City officials said no permits have been issued to the tent city established by anti-corporate protesters who say they are modeling a new society.

**The filth, crime and chaos is what their "society" would look like.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #643 on: October 26, 2011, 11:12:26 AM »

Looking past the people with bad behavior, I too am interested in BD's view of the legitimacy of the views of the movement.  

I like Crafty's points made while I was writing.  Yes we need to capture the legitimacy of the anger at special treatment by government.  We need to do it carefully though because the main thrust is BS IMO - that those who worked hard, took big risks and accomplished large things should not make more than those who attempted or achieved very little.  

One valid point is that special interests with all their money get special powers and favors out of Washington and state capitols; those marches should be on Washington and the state capitols.  Of those most powerful interests, number one I think is the public employee union special interest.  Start there, shut them down and move down the list.  Goldman Sachs type companies get special treatment.  OWS'ers should demand that candidates like Obama refuse big interest money to isolate and defeat Republicans as the party of big money influence.  But in fact the rich are politically divided.  It is the 99% who control our elected government.  Most of the already rich lean left while the R's are more the party of entrepreneurial spirit of the want to be rich, people wanting to risk it all but want some real hope of a return from it someday.  Of the 99%, half are helping to pull the wagon and half are riding on it - a sad fact of our society.

The biggest force that big government uses to sustain and protect the biggest businesses ironically is over-regulation.  Due to the heavy heavy burden of all encompassing regulations, there is little or no chance for entrepreneurs to move in and disrupt the market share of the largest businesses in this country, whether it is auto makers, investment banks, hospitals or oil companies.  Regulatory compliance comes before revenues and profits in a new business so it is almost impossible for a startup from within our borders to have a chance.  Companies like Microsoft, Cisco, Google all had to invent a new industry in order to start.

The main point IMO is that the hate the rich campaign is intentional divisiveness pursuing an anti-economic freedom political agenda.  We saw it in Seattle and a large part of this is organized from outside our borders.  Economic freedom and growth enables wealth and it happens to different people at different times at different rates.  All facts that expose disparity become evidence to them supporting the need for more policies that pursue economic decline.  Extending legitimacy to that argument is a big mistake.

There is a piece in the NY Post (http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/why_we_must_lose_the_darn_percent_cfz8wKQQgEymfuZ58OImVO) that had some right wing sites up in arms this morning.  It calls for the elimination of the top 1%.  The nonsense was so similar to the demands of OWS that people were not noticing it was satire.  If you could eliminate the top 1%, wouldn't there still be a top 1%, and if you eliminate them isn't there still a top 1%.   As long as making money is allowed, won't there always still be people who make more money than you - unless or until you are one of them.
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ccp
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« Reply #644 on: October 26, 2011, 11:44:23 AM »

to their advantage if they hit the airwaves in a unified manner akin to the Jornolist.

Some like Huckabee and my sister asked why does not the OWS crowd protest at the White House where they belong.  Why protest the banks for getting Fed money?  The SHOULD be protesting the government that gave it to them and allowed them to cause the crises to begin with in regards to not enforcing the laws that already existed.  They should be picketting and smoking their dope at the White House not at WS.

Well the answer is very simple.  The OWS is not a populist or fundamental movement.  It is at its core a *Democrat party* movement.  They will not protest at the WH precisely because of the liberal minority President who occupies it.  Does anyone think for one second the dole crowd at WS would not be all over the WH lawn if Bush were still there.  That said the Republicans would be wiser to hyjack the OWS about big corporations (Like the fat repugnant Michale Moore and other hypocritical Hollywooders) as being the problem and turning the argument to go along with conservatives that it is BIG government being corrupted with big money that is a big (though far from only ) problem.  The right would do better turning the argument and shaping the argument rather than simply making fun of it.

These are not conservatives, not Republicans and probably few truly self described independents.  These people down there are almost ALL core dependency types who as Herman Cain points out would gladly love to have the big shots cut them all free checks.  They run around as though they are entitled, this would be fair, etc.:

****EXCLUSIVE: ACORN Playing Behind Scenes Role in 'Occupy' Movement
By Jana Winter

Published October 26, 2011
Oct. 17, 2011: Members of New York Communities for Change, in orange t-shirts with orange banner, attend a press conference in New York with union leaders, including United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew.
The former New York office for ACORN, the disbanded community activist group, is playing a key role in the self-proclaimed “leaderless” Occupy Wall Street movement, organizing “guerrilla” protest events and hiring door-to-door canvassers to collect money under the banner of various causes while spending it on protest-related activities, sources tell FoxNews.com.

The former director of New York ACORN, Jon Kest, and his top aides are now busy working at protest events for New York Communities for Change (NYCC). That organization was created in late 2009 when some ACORN offices disbanded and reorganized under new names after undercover video exposes prompted Congress to cut off federal funds.

NYCC’s connection to ACORN isn’t a tenuous one: It works from the former ACORN offices in Brooklyn, uses old ACORN office stationery, employs much of the old ACORN staff and, according to several sources, engages in some of the old organization’s controversial techniques to raise money, interest and awareness for the protests.

Sources said NYCC has hired about 100 former ACORN-affiliated staff members from other cities – paying some of them $100 a day - to attend and support Occupy Wall Street. Dozens of New York homeless people recruited from shelters are also being paid to support the protests, at the rate of $10 an hour, the sources said.

At least some of those hired are being used as door-to-door canvassers to collect money that’s used to support the protests.

Sources said cash donations collected by NYCC on behalf of some unions and various causes are being pooled and spent on Occupy Wall Street. The money is used to buy supplies, pay staff and cover travel expenses for the ex-ACORN members brought to New York for the protests.

In one such case, sources said, NYCC staff members collected cash donations for what they were told was a United Federation of Teachers fundraising drive, but the money was diverted to the protests.

Sources who participated in the teachers union campaign said NYCC supervisors gave them the addresses of union members and told them to go knock on their doors and ask for contributions—and did not mention that the money would go toward Occupy Wall Street expenses. One source said the campaign raked in about $5,000.

Current staff members at NYCC told FoxNews.com the union fundraising drive was called off abruptly last week, and they were told NYCC should not have been raising money for the union at all.

Sources said staff members also collected door-to-door for NYCC’s PCB campaign — which aims to test schools for deadly toxins —but then pooled that money together with cash raised for the teachers union and other campaigns to fund Occupy Wall Street.

“We go to Freeport, Central Islip, Park Slope, everywhere, and we say we’re collecting money for PCBs testing in schools. But the money isn’t going to the campaign," one source said.

"It’s going to Occupy Wall Street, and we’re not using that money to get schools tested for deadly chemicals or to make their kids safer. It’s just going to the protests, and that’s just so terrible.”

A spokesman for the United Federation of Teachers told FoxNews.com, "The UFT is not involved in any NYCC fundraising on the PCB issue.”

Multiple sources said NYCC is also using cash donations through canvassing efforts in New York’s Harlem and Washington Heights neighborhoods for union-backed campaigns to fund the Wall Street protests.

“All the money collected from canvasses is pooled together back at the office, and everything we’ve been working on for the last year is going to the protests, against big banks and to pay people’s salaries—and those people on salary are, of course, being paid to go to the protests every day,” one NYCC staff member told FoxNews.com.

Those who contribute don't know the money is going to fund the protests, the source said.

“They give contributions because we say if they do we can fix things - whatever specific problem they’re having in their area, housing, schools, whatever ... then we spend the contributions paying staff to be at the protests all day, every day. That’s where these contributions - the community’s money – is going,” the source said.

“They’re doing the same stuff now that got ACORN in trouble to begin with. And yes, we’re still ACORN, there is a still a national ACORN.”

Another source, who said she was hired from a homeless shelter, said she was first sent to the protests before being deployed to Central Islip, Long Island, to canvass for a campaign against home foreclosures.

“I went to the protests every day for two weeks and made $10 an hour. They made me carry NYCC signs and big orange banners that say NYCC in white letters. About 50 others were hired around my time to go to the protests. We went to protests in and around Zuccotti Park, then to the big Times Square protest,” she said.

“But now they have me canvassing on Long Island for money, so I get the money and then the money is being used for Occupy Wall Street—to pay for all of it, for supplies, food, transportation, salaries, for everything ... all that money is going to pay for the protests downtown and that’s just messed up. It’s just wrong.”

Neither Kest, NYCC executive director, nor his communications director returned repeated email and telephone requests for comment, nor did his communications director. A Fox News producer who visited the Brooklyn office on Tuesday was told, "The best people to speak to who are involved with Occupy Wall Street aren't available."

In a phone interview on Tuesday, Harrison Schultz, an Occupy Wall Street spokesman, said he knew nothing about NYCC’s involvement in the Occupy movement.
“Haven’t seen them, couldn’t tell you,” he said.

He said he couldn’t comment on the Occupy the Boardroom website’s relationship to the movement and to NYCC.

“It’s a horizontal organization, a leaderless organization, it’s difficult to explain it,” Schultz said, “difficult to explain it to people who haven’t worked in this, who haven’t been part of it.”

Kest publicly threw his organization’s support behind the movement in a Sept. 30 opinion piece on HuffingtonPost.com. But top ex-ACORN staff members and current NYCC officials have been planning events like the Occupy Wall Street protests since February, a source within the group told FoxNews.com.

That’s when planning began for May 12 protests against Chase bank foreclosures, which were followed by the formation of the Beyond May 12 campaign, targeting Wall Street and big banks. That campaign was rolled out by a coalition of community groups and unions and led by the revamped former ACORN group.

“What people don’t understand is that ACORN is behind this — and that this, what’s happening now, is all part of the May 12 and Beyond May 12 plans to go after the banks, Chase in particular,” a source said.

Sources said NYCC was a key player behind a series of recent Occupy Wall Street events, including the Oct. 11 Millionaires March, which brought protests and union and community groups on walking tours of Upper East Side homes of wealthy New Yorkers; and the launch of the “Occupy the Boardroom” website, registered to Kest, which encouraged protesters to contact high-profile bankers, among others.


Fox News’ Shira Bush contributed reporting.***
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ccp
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« Reply #645 on: October 26, 2011, 12:19:07 PM »

If anyone is stupid enough to doubt the OWS thing is nothing then a Dem party Brobrock scheme than just consider the timing of the whole thing.  The Brockster is short on poll support as we all know.  Very few polling issues does he garner much support.

One issue easy for him is the populist rant about the rich don't pay enough taxes.  Well it is certainly easy to get over 50% on board with that kind of message.  So he is campaigning around the country on our dime screaming and yelling about a jobs bill that is more like a birbe you constuency base bill pointing the blame on the fat catters and the big monied "rich".

Well low and behold all of a sudden there is this sudden "out of nowhere" groundswell from the masses that just happens and coincidentally forms on - you got it - right at the offices and homes of the big bad rich WS people.

The MSM which of course is in the tank for Brobrockster takes the bain gleefully and romotes the whole thing.  In their own blow back to the Fox network support of the Tea Pary movement which of course they tried their best to bellitle.

Republicans need to be more coordinated like the Jornolist/DNC/WH message machine.

They could spin this to their advantage as the OWS whether they realize it or not or preaching some of the same values the Tea Party is preaching.

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G M
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« Reply #646 on: October 26, 2011, 12:28:04 PM »



http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/102511.jpg
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #647 on: October 27, 2011, 03:53:30 PM »

The Occupy Wall Street protests have drawn huge numbers of confused and directionless young people, but maybe that's not all bad. Some of them at least seem to be getting a remedial course in economics.

Nan Terrie learned an expensive lesson last week about the importance of property rights. "Stealing is our biggest problem at the moment," the 18-year-old protester told the New York Post. "I had my Mac stolen—that was like $5,500." Why? Because she left it in a public place, amid a crowd demanding the redistribution of wealth. Imagine that.

Perverse incentives were at work at Occupy Boston, where 36-year-old Andrew Warner told the Boston Herald: "It's turning into us against them." By "them" he didn't mean rich bankers but street vagrants: "They come in here and they're looking at it as a way of getting a free meal and a place to crash, which is totally fine, but they don't bring anything to the table at all." The same is true in New York, where "sanitation committee" member Lauren Digioia told the Daily News: "There's a lot of takers here and they feel entitled."

The makeshift government at Manhattan's Zuccotti Park is also dealing with the problem of externalities, in the form of percussionists who irritate neighbors and fellow protesters alike by drumming at all hours. That has inspired both regulations (drumming is permitted only at certain hours) and taxes. New York magazine reports that the "finance working group" had levied a "percussion tax" of 50% on tips.

Drummer Shane Engelerdt sounds like a tea party member complaining about taxation without representation: "They didn't even give the drummers a say. . . . They're like the banks we're protesting." Actually, they're like the government the protesters are trying to expand—but perhaps that will become clear in the next lesson.

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« Reply #648 on: October 27, 2011, 04:11:45 PM »

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2011/10/occupy-wall-street-food-servers-get.html

October 27, 2011
Occupy Wall Street food servers get sick of the "professional homeless people."
 
"They know what they’re doing."

For three days beginning tomorrow, the cooks will serve only brown rice and other spartan grub instead of the usual menu of organic chicken and vegetables, spaghetti bolognese, and roasted beet and sheep’s-milk-cheese salad.

They will also provide directions to local soup kitchens for the vagrants, criminals and other freeloaders who have been descending on Zuccotti Park in increasing numbers every day.
What if everyone suddenly got sick of freeloaders?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #649 on: October 29, 2011, 10:15:35 AM »

The Foundation
"Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government." --James Madison
Government & Politics
Bypassing Congress to 'Fix' the Economy

Barack Obama wants everyone to know that he's the president, and by golly he's getting impatient. "We can't wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job," he told a Las Vegas crowd Monday. "Where they won't act, I will." What does that mean? "I've told my administration," he explained, "to keep looking every single day for actions we can take without Congress, steps that can save consumers money, make government more efficient and responsive, and help heal the economy. And we're going to be announcing these executive actions on a regular basis."
Obama, formerly a "senior lecturer" in constitutional law, apparently thinks it's fine to thumb his nose at the separation of powers and simply enact legislation by executive fiat, on the grounds that "we can't wait." No more "yes, we can," which is so 2008. Yet this is the same old arrested development that is endemic on the Left.
There are three overarching areas in which Obama promises to take action: Jobs, mortgages and student loans. We've seen this movie before. Obama has been demanding a "jobs" bill since early September, by which he means another half-trillion dollars of so-called "stimulus" spending on various Democrat constituent groups, not least of which is public unions. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) agreed that indeed we can't wait -- and that the Democrat-controlled Senate should therefore act on the 17 House measures passed already this year (including part of Obama's proposed bill) that would, in various ways, enable entrepreneurs to create jobs.
The president proposes an overhaul to an existing government program to help people refinance their government-guaranteed mortgages. The Federal Housing Finance Agency simultaneously released detailed changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program, known as HARP. Helping people who are "underwater" on their mortgages -- they owe more than their homes are worth -- sounds like a noble goal. In reality, however, the program won't help that many people and it won't mean much for the economy at large. Enrollment requirements include that one's mortgage must have been owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac since at least May 2009, the current loan-to-value ratio must be greater than 80 percent, and the homeowner must be current on payments. In other words, this will hardly help those facing foreclosure or lift falling home prices.
Besides, foreclosures aren't caused by underwater mortgages; they're caused by homeowners not making payments, often because they're out of work. In other words, they are the symptom, not the disease. Deregulate, lower and stabilize taxes, grow the economy and the number of jobs, and housing problems will be alleviated as a result. (The economy did grow at 2.5 percent in the third quarter, but that's not even a maintenance level, much less a signal of real recovery.)
Obama's other proposal is to help students with their education loans, which indeed are astronomical (more on that below). He believes that by adjusting the cap on payments each month and lowering interest rates slightly, graduates will have more money at their disposal, so they will spend more and boost the economy. It's the same old demand-side theory, and we can expect the same old result. What's more, the impact would be negligible.
The Atlantic crunched the numbers: "How much would an interest rate reduction of up to 0.5% affect payments? For the average borrower, the impact would be small. In 2011, Bachelor's degree recipients graduating with debt had an average balance of $27,204, according to an analysis done by finaid.org, based on Department of Education data. That average has ballooned from just $17,646 over the past decade. Using these values as the high and low bounds of average student debt over the last ten years, the monthly savings for the average student loan borrower would be between $4.50 and $7.75 per month. Clearly, this isn't going to save the economy."
That last sentence pretty well sums up the entire Obama presidency.
What do you think of Obama's plan to circumvent Congress?
Nanny State
"The one thing that we absolutely know for sure is that if we don't work even harder than we did in 2008, then we're going to have a government that tells the American people, 'you are on your own.' If you get sick, you're on your own. If you can't afford college, you're on your own. If you don't like that some corporation is polluting your air or the air that your child breathes, then you're on your own. That's not the America I believe in. It's not the America you believe in." --Barack Obama, shameless promoter of the nanny state
The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto responded, "[D]o you know what they call people who rely on themselves? Adults."

The Oath Accountability Act for Constitutional Integrity
To restore the Constitution's strict enumeration of the central government's "few and defined powers," we must, first and foremost, require that all members of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches abide by their oaths "to support and defend" our Constitution -- under penalty of law. At present, there is no legal penalty for Breach of Oath or legal obligation to abide by the plain language of our Constitution.
Please help us enact, through judicial or legislative action, strong penalties obligating all elected and appointed federal officials to abide by their oaths. If the federal judiciary refuses to hear this action, then we will take it to the national legislature for codification into federal law. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, "Bind [them] down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

   
News From the Swamp: Debt Committee Update
The congressional "super committee" tasked with identifying $1.2 trillion in budget savings over the next 10 years as part of the most recent debt-ceiling deal has been meeting for weeks behind closed doors. The committee's Democrats threw back the curtain this week, though, when they issued a proposal to cut $3 trillion from the deficit. Of course, to the average headline reader, it appears that Democrats actually want to cut $3 trillion. Great news, right? Not really. For one thing, roughly half of the savings would come from tax hikes -- above and beyond those already hidden in ObamaCare. Furthermore, entitlements are "off the table" and all the savings are spread out over 10 years, as if this Congress can bind a future one to a spending plan.
On the one hand, we're glad to see Democrats working with multi-trillion-dollar figures. On the other hand, enough with the tax increases already. That's nothing more than a political ploy to portray Republicans as obstructionist when they don't go along. Class warfare won't fix anything, and tax hikes certainly aren't budget cuts.
This Week's 'Alpha Jackass' Awards
"[L]ast week, we had a separate vote on a part of the jobs bill that would put 400,000 teachers, firefighters and police officers back on the job, paid for by asking people who make more than $1 million to pay one-half of 1 percent in additional taxes. For somebody making $1.1 million a year, that's an extra $500. Five hundred bucks. And with that, we could have saved 400,000 jobs. Most people making more than $1 million, if you talk to them, they'll say, I'm willing to pay $500 extra to help the country. They're patriots. They believe we're all in this thing together. But all the Republicans in the Senate said no." --Class-Warrior-in-Chief Barack Obama
"We have lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge." --Obama, blaming the American people at a fundraiser in San Francisco
New & Notable Legislation
The Senate this week completed work on an appropriations bill to fund the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Science, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development. The package, called the 3-in-1 minibus, combines three separate spending bills and will be voted on when the Senate returns from recess in November. The debate process reportedly went smoothly and stayed on schedule, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) waxed nostalgic for the good old days: "This is the way we did things in the past. It is difficult, but it moves legislation."
The minibus concept seems palatable to both Republicans and Democrats. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell likes it because it breaks spending bills into manageable pieces that can be debated and amended. Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense notes that the minibus appeals to Reid because it makes the Senate relevant on spending. However, the unusually smooth legislative process that led to the 3-in-1 minibus is unlikely to last. The Senate still has to debate the most controversial spending bills -- those funding health and human services, financial regulation and the environment. There will be more than enough floor fights as Republicans attempt to defund all the obstacles to an economic recovery -- ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, and the EPA juggernaut.
The next government shutdown is scheduled for Nov. 18, leaving little time to hammer out the rest of the budget with minibuses. Reid remains undeterred by the ticking clock, insisting on using valuable floor time to put up piecemeal bills related to Obama's jobs plan. To paraphrase the Majority Leader: This is the way we do things now. (And this from the man who hasn't passed a budget in more than 900 days.)
   
RNC vs. Florida
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is happy with the Republicans' new primary schedule. Up until this week, several states were battling for early placement in the schedule, instigated by Florida officials moving their primary from early March to Jan. 31. This led to an absurdly front-loaded schedule in which New Hampshire, obsessive about its first-in-the-nation status, threatened to move its primary to this December. Priebus lobbied to get the states back in line, but insists that Florida, along with New Hampshire and South Carolina, will lose half their delegates at the convention as a penalty for moving up their dates. Priebus promises that the punishment will stick, but the convention is taking place in Tampa. It's hard to believe that the RNC would embarrass Florida on its home turf, particularly when the state will figure prominently in the national contest.
Jindal Sweeps to Re-Election
Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal effectively won a second term last week when he claimed 65.8 percent of the vote in the Louisiana open primary. Under the state's election laws, his strong majority showing against nine other candidates negated the need for a general election in November. Jindal maintains a strong popular appeal in Louisiana for his continued work to clean up corruption, reduce taxes and move government jobs into the private sector. Additionally, unemployment under Jindal is down to about 7 percent, much better than the federal government's numbers. Perhaps that's why the national media has all but ignored his impressive victory. Jindal certainly thinks so. He says his record "runs contrary to the political thinking in Washington, which is about more spending and bigger government."
Gov. Jindal's success has inevitably led to speculation about whether he might appear next year as a vice presidential candidate, or in 2016 or 2020 as a presidential candidate. He's only 40, which leaves him plenty of time to decide what his next political move might be.
National Security
Warfront With Jihadistan: Iraq Withdrawal Is Official
Barack Obama has now made official the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year. While the Obama administration portrays this as the fulfillment of a campaign promise, the reality is quite different: A U.S. foreign policy dramatically weakened by a committed socialist. As U.S. and Iraqi negotiators struggled to reach an agreement on a continued U.S. presence in Iraq, Obama ignored the process. In fact, according to logs released by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, he never even tried to contact top Iraqi officials to help reach a deal. Given the high priority the U.S. had given to reaching an agreement, and given that even Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other senior Pentagon officials spoke about the need for a continued presence in the volatile country, this dereliction of duty is inexcusable. Obama didn't even have the guts to vote "present."
Naturally, he's now claiming the withdrawal actually helped locate Osama bin Laden by allowing the military to refocus its assets on the al-Qa'ida leader. Yet according to a report in the May 3 New York Times, the crucial intelligence that allowed the U.S. to locate and kill bin Laden actually came from an al-Qa'ida operative who was captured in 2004 by U.S. forces in Iraq. If Obama had had his way, the U.S. would not have even been in Iraq in 2004 to gather this intelligence. To claim that abandoning Iraq is what led to finding bin Laden is preposterous.
Sitting back and watching this debacle is Iran. With many close ties within the Iraqi government, Iran watches and plots for Iraq to fall under its influence. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Iran not to view the U.S. withdrawal as an opportunity to exploit. "No one, most particularly Iran, should miscalculate about our continuing commitment to and with the Iraqis going forward," Clinton said with a straight face. No word yet on whether the Iranians have stopped laughing. This administration certainly hasn't given them reason to.
   
The French -- er, Arab -- Spring
The so-called "Arab Spring" was supposed to have ushered in a new wave of democracy and "freedom for all." In reality, the results resemble the French Revolution that literally left heads rolling in the street. A brief survey of fallen Arab regimes includes those of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, with Syria, Yemen, Jordan and perhaps Bahrain teetering. A number of others continue enduring constant protests as well as pressure from the rest of the Arab Spring movement. With Moammar Gadhafi dead, Libyans rightfully rejoice. Unfortunately, what makes anyone think the "new" Libyan regime will be different from the old one? What within these new regimes gives anyone under their charge hope that "things will be different this time"?
Without Rule of Law -- the concept that laws apply equally across the board to everyone, from the nation's leader to the lowliest citizen -- freedom is a dead letter. The American Founders understood this. They instituted a representative republic -- not a democracy -- wherein political power is vested in the people, and secured there by diffusing power throughout the government by applying the separation of powers doctrine: separating legislative, executive and judicial governmental functions. The Rule of Law issue returns us to the original question: What evidence exists that despotism is really dead in these new "Arab Spring" regimes? Has anyone evidenced any intent to implement time-tested Rule of Law principles among the ashes of any of these failed systems? Pardon our pessimism, but we have seen nothing to indicate progress toward civil government.
Perhaps a better question is, to what degree, if any, should the U.S. intervene in these restless cauldrons? While it's true we don't want to sit idly by while potential terrorist threats stake out turf from which to attack U.S. interests, we must also be careful in being the "world's policeman." Obama's intervention in a growing list of African nations hardly meets our nation's fundamental criterion of "vital interest."
From a Patriot's perspective the answer to most of these issues is straightforward. First, protect vital U.S. national interests. Second, do not intervene in civil wars unless those interests are genuinely at stake. Third, encourage development of Rule of Law representative governments. Fourth, keep the military out of the nation-building business. The military's job is to kill people and break things, so send them in only when State Department efforts fail. No one fully understands yet what "Arab Spring" means, but other than those populating much of our Executive and Legislative branches, most Americans understand "vital national interest."
What will the "Arab Spring" yield?
Business & Economy
Around the Nation: States Could Be in $4 Trillion Hole
Almost every state in the nation is required by law to balance its budget every year, Vermont being the lone exception. Yet according to figures compiled by the group State Budget Solutions, all 50 states are in debt, with California leading the way. The Golden State might be in the red by over $600 billion long-term if the most pessimistic pension liability calculations used by SBS are true. Interestingly, Vermont has the least debt, with only $6 billion in accrued liabilities.
In the case of many states, part of the problem stems from using Uncle Sam as a financial crutch during this last recession. Borrowers from a federal fund to ease the burden of spiraling unemployment benefits are again liable for both interest and repayment to the federal government, with California again leading the way by owing $8.6 billion. This payback most affects their short-term bottom lines.
Meanwhile, bean counters in some states are trying to limit the damage by trimming services, with Medicaid a prime target. Next April, Hawaii will limit Medicaid recipients to 10 hospital days a year in an effort to reduce costs. Other states have similar, but somewhat more generous, yearly limits on hospital stays, as health care funding gobbles up an increasing percentage of their budgets and competes with other outstanding obligations, such as those unfunded pension mandates for state retirees. Unfortunately, many states are considering the same old job-killing "solution" of raising taxes; the only question being which groups will be targeted.
Student Loan Debt Reaches $1 Trillion
We know the story well, thanks to Occupy Wall Street: A young person goes deeply into debt to attend a college, only to find upon graduation that the anticipated jobs aren't there. Many grads expected to walk from college right into a specific position, never considering the state of the economy. Many will accept nothing less than a dream job -- but their loans still need to be repaid. Multiply that story by millions of graduates and that's why, collectively, they owe about $1 trillion in loans, a sum that is now greater than the aggregate total of credit card debt. Moreover, federal law says student loans can't be discharged in bankruptcy proceedings.
The consequences are much more than monetary, although that albatross of debt around a graduate's neck is a hefty burden. New graduates are forced to wait longer to buy a car or a home, and they often must delay even such life choices as getting married or having children. That's one reason these adult children are staying in the parental nest for a much longer period of time -- at least when they're not sleeping in a park in a major city.
Yet the blame can't be placed solely on the colleges, the lenders, or even the government, which now controls the student-loan industry. In some respects, those who told our youth a college degree is the price of admission into the middle class -- regardless of how useful the degree is in the real world -- may have sold everyone a bill of goods. Obviously those in the ivory tower of academia weren't going to kill the golden goose of "free" money that's built a series of educational empires from coast to coast.
Furthermore, lost in all the hype about jobless graduates occupying Wall Street is a simple fact: The world still needs tradesman such as plumbers, electricians and other people who know how to make stuff and make it work. Those who made the choice for a less glamorous livelihood don't have the fancy trappings -- but they aren't saddled with the debt either. Call them the proud graduates of the school of hard knocks, where the tuition is paid with sweat equity but the experience they gain is priceless.
Are you still paying off your student loans?
Dealing With USAJobs.gov: A Job in Itself?
In 2003, the website USAjobs.gov was created as a means to allow those who wanted to explore working for the government to search for jobs in various fields and post their resumés. Shrewdly, those in charge back then allowed a private contractor to set up the site, using a contractor that was already in the field of matching job seekers and employers. Overall, the site worked relatively well.
However, in 2010, the Obama administration decided to put the government back in charge. Imagine that. Eighteen months and $6 million later, the "new" USAjobs.gov debuted -- and promptly went down thanks to overwhelmed servers. That inauspicious debut only began a tide of complaints mainly revolving around the user-unfriendliness of the site and poor response from those government workers who deal with the customers. "Over one week now and I still haven't received my password reset email!" cried a user on the website's Facebook page. Presumably that user isn't finding any shovel-ready jobs in the meantime.
The old system worked fine, but someone, inspired by "change he could believe in," had the bright idea of wresting the website from the private sector and having the government run it, spending millions of borrowed dollars in the process. What could possibly go wrong with that?

Europe Dealing With Debt Crisis
"European leaders said they secured a deal to reduce Greece's debt after they labored overnight and into Thursday morning to find agreement on what they had billed as a blockbuster package to stem the Continent's debt crisis," reports The Wall Street Journal. "French President Nicolas Sarkozy said after the marathon negotiating session that the leaders had reached agreement with private banks on a 'voluntary' 50% reduction of Greece's debt in the hands of private investors." The nations further agreed to expand the European Financial Stability Facility, a bailout vehicle for the European Union, to roughly one trillion euros.
Greece, of course, is the lightning rod of Europe's overarching debt crisis -- a situation brought on by the same policies Barack Obama and his Democrat lemmings are enacting here in the U.S. European Union nations are now trying to rescue Greece in a desperate attempt to prevent the fall of more dominos. Obviously, the solution to Europe's -- or our own -- debt crisis is not to merely tax the rich or throw out debt, it's for nations to live within their means and expand economic freedom. Perhaps it will take collapse for some to learn that lesson. Sadly, though, any suggestion that we allow the free market free rein, such as not intervening in foreclosures as Mitt Romney suggested this week, results in a firestorm of protest from all the usual suspects.
The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace certainly hasn't learned. Long a source of Marxist teaching in the Catholic Church, the Council issued a statement, "Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems In The Context Of Global Public," calling for, in essence, the end of economic freedom in the world. According to Richard Viguerie of ConservativeHQ, "The plan, while couched in terms of a voluntary change for greater world good, would actually require that nations surrender their sovereignty to a new world body endowed with the authority to tax and manage all movement of capital between counties." It is tragic to watch as one of the very institutions that helped to bring down Soviet communism is now pushing globalist Marxism a scant 20 years later.



   
Culture & Policy
Second Amendment: A Win for Gun Rights in Canada
Canada has finally learned a lesson in liberty. This week, conservative Members of Parliament (MPs) introduced a bill to end Canada's long-gun registry and to destroy all the records that have amassed during the registry's history. National Post reports, "Since the long-gun registry came into force, lawful gun owners have faced increasing scrutiny from police authorities. The surveillance has increased particularly since the Firearms Registry database went online. In the second quarter of 2003, the database was searched 95,503 times by police. By the first quarter of 2011, the number of searches had reached nearly 1.3 million." The results have been harassment, arrest and even imprisonment.
One Toronto man recalls that police came to his home one night, led him into the street in his underwear, seized his properly licensed guns, and leveled 14 criminal offenses against him. It seems a prospective buyer touring the man's apartment had seen the guns and reported them to police. Also, a New Brunswick man brought his legally owned unloaded gun to a neighbor's house when drunken teenagers created a disturbance. The gun owner made a citizen's arrest of the teens, but soon after, he himself was arrested and jailed.
Tony Bernardo, executive director of the Canadian Sports Shooting Association, notes that the 144-page legislation at the root of the registry focuses on law-abiding citizens while not even mentioning criminal firearms use. According to MP Candice Hoeppner, who has championed the repeal, the registry has cost almost $2 billion -- money that should have gone toward targeting criminals. Should the repeal pass, law-abiding gun owners will be able to rest a bit easier north of the border, and Canadian police will be free to turn their attention to the real criminals.
What do you think of gun registries?
Faith and Family: Planned Parenthood and the Shredded Documents
It seems there's no end to the underhanded activities of Planned Parenthood. Not too long ago, its staffers were caught advising people they believed to be pimps and sex traffickers on how to circumvent the law. Now, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri is on trial for 23 felonious counts of "false writing." Specifically, the abortion provider is accused of falsifying the records of patients who have had late-term abortions. Prosecutors have revealed that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment shredded documents critical to the case. Coincidentally, at the time these crimes were committed, the governor of Kansas was none other than Barack Obama's Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius.
The case began in 2003, when at the behest of pro-life groups the state investigated Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers for not reporting child rape. These providers are bound by state law to follow certain protocols: In addition to reporting child rape, they must keep detailed patient records and determine the viability of late-term fetuses to be aborted. They must also give these files to the health department. But when the state requested documents critical to their failure-to-report case, both the health department and Planned Parenthood dragged their heels. The health department caved in 2004, as did Planned Parenthood in 2006. However, this opened up an entirely different can of worms, for the files didn't match.
The state later learned that the original health department records had been shredded years earlier. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment neglected to mention this fact when it was refusing to comply with the state's demand. The agency claims it was a "routine shredding," but its long history of subterfuge says otherwise. The state now has until Nov. 9 to show that -- as the judge so eloquently put it -- Planned Parenthood "committed felonies to cover up misdemeanors." We think they have a good case.

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And Last...
Democrats are finally coming to realize that the Obama "brand" is badly damaged. As Roll Call reports, "In the latest battle in the Congressional franking wars, Democrats have been vetoing use of the word 'Obamacare' in taxpayer-financed mass mailings, saying it violates rules against using the franking privilege for 'personal, partisan or political reasons.'" The truth is, Democrats are concerned that Republicans' use of the word as a pejorative to refer to the "Affordable Care Act" is harmful to their 2012 election prospects. At least congressional Democrats are concerned; Obama himself embraced the term on the campaign trail in August, saying, "I have no problem with folks saying, 'Obama cares.'" Funny, but that's not what they're saying at all. Not using the shorthand presents another problem, as well: How in the world are they going to fit "The Affordable You-Have-To-Pass-It-To-Know-What's-In-It-And-If-You-Don't-Like-It-Here's-a-Waiver-Because-We-Care Act" on the stationery?
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