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Saturday, December 31, 2011

KUHNER: Will Obama steal the 2012 election? - Washington Times

Link to entire article:KUHNER: Will Obama steal the 2012 election? - Washington Times

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. claims Jim Crow is returning. In a recent speech, Mr. Holder said that attempts by states to pass voter identification laws will disenfranchise minorities, rolling back the clock to the evil days of segregation. He said that a growing number of minorities fear that “the same disparities, divisions and problems” now afflict America as they did in 1965 prior to the Voting Rights Act. According to the Obama administration, our democracy is being threatened by racist Republicans. Hence, the Justice Department must prevent laws requiring a photo ID to vote from being enacted.

Preamble to US Constitution

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Happy New Year!

Quote of the Day

Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.

Milton Friedman

Friday, December 30, 2011

Mitt Romney pulls even with Newt Gingrich in Florida, poll shows |

Mitt Romney pulls even with Newt Gingrich in Florida, poll shows |

Quote of the Day!

"Let's be real clear. Let's be real clear. President Barack Obama came out to Iowa three years ago, and he talked to you about hope and change. Well, let me tell you, after three years of Obama, we are hopeless and changeless, and we need Mitt Romney to bring us back, to bring America back,"

Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) said in Iowa today at a Romney rally.

New Year, Same Old Crap

Our Hands Off Lazy President!

Worst Quotes of 2011: Yesterday’s Media ‘Thrills’ Replaced by Bitter Anti-Conservative Nastiness |

Back in 2008 and 2009, the Media Research Center’s year-end awards for the Best Notable Quotables were dominated by journalists fawning over the greatness of Barack Obama. In 2008, our winner for “Quote of the Year” was Chris Matthews for his on-air exclamation that upon hearing Obama give a speech, “I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often.”

Then in 2009, one of our winners was ABC’s Bill Weir, who embarrassingly enthused over Obama‘s inauguration: “Never have so many people shivered so long with such joy. From above, even the seagulls must have been awed by the blanket of humanity.”

That was then; this is now. With Obama’s approval rating stuck in the low- to mid-40s for most of the year, the liberal media spent much of their time slashing at the President’s opponents: Republicans, conservatives, the Tea Party and the 2012 candidates. The thrills of 2008 are long gone, along with vague promises of “hope” and “change,” replaced by a scorched-earth nastiness that hints at the brutal election year to come.

A rundown of our 2011 category winners illustrates the point. For our “Grim Reaper Award,” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman “won” for his ridiculous hyperbole about Paul Ryan‘s proposal to change the way Medicare is financed. “[Ryan’s] voucher would kill people, no question,” Krugman insisted in a CNN profile of Ryan that aired September 25. “Tens of millions of older Americans would not be able to afford essential health care....That counts as cruelty to me.”

Link to entire article:Worst Quotes of 2011: Yesterday’s Media ‘Thrills’ Replaced by Bitter Anti-Conservative Nastiness |

Conservative Humor!

Barack Hussein Obama Dies!

George Washington met him at the Pearly Gates.
He slapped him across the face and yelled, "How dare you try to destroy the Nation I helped conceive?"

Patrick Henry approached, punched him in the nose and shouted, "You wanted to end our liberties but you failed."

James Madison followed, kicked him hard and said, "This is why I allowed our government to provide for the common defense!"

Thomas Jefferson was next, beat Obama with a long cane and snarled, "It was evil men like you who inspired me to write the Declaration of Independence."

The beatings and thrashings continued as George Mason, James Monroe and 66 other early Americans unleashed their anger on the radical, socialist, leader.

As Obama lay bleeding and in pain, an Angel appeared. Obama wept and Said, "This is not what you promised me."

The Angel replied, "I told you there would be 72 VIRGINIANS waiting for you in Heaven. What did you think I said? You really need to listen when someone is trying to tell you something!"

Romney braves rain, mocks Obama's Hawaii vacation - Washington Times

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Standing on a stage in a chilly, wet field in Iowa, Mitt Romney on Friday mocked President Obama for being on vacation in Hawaii.

“We’re out in the cold and the rain and the wind because we care about America. He just finished his 90th round of golf,” Mr. Romney told the crowd of hundreds that came despite the temperature which, with the windchill factored in, felt like 24 degrees.

Even as the rest of the Republican presidential field takes aim at each other, Mr. Romney, a former one-term governor of Massachusetts, has been mostly focused on the president — and he on Mr. Romney.

Several protesters tried to interrupt the rally by chanting “Why are you hiding your tax forms?” The Democratic National Committee has been demanding Mr. Romney release those forms — something not required by law, but which many presidential candidates do end up doing. All candidates are required to file financial disclosures, which give voters a general sense of a candidate’s wealth.

Mr. Romney was campaigning with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who braved the weather wearing only a suit jacket.

Link to entire article:Romney braves rain, mocks Obama's Hawaii vacation - Washington Times

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Today's Freedom Quote

"It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood."

-James Madison

Joseph W. McQuaid: Ron Paul is truly dangerous | New Hampshire OPINION01

Ron Paul is a dangerous man. While his domestic libertarian views are quite attractive to some voters fed up with politics as usual, it is Paul’s position on issues of our national security that are truly dangerous.

Those views have been largely overlooked by a news media more interested in the presidential “horse race” than in the candidates’ positions on issues. But we expect New Hampshire primary voters will examine the facts and act accordingly.

A Wall Street Journal columnist notes that Paul is “a leading spokesman for, and recycler of, the long and familiar litany of charges that point to the United States as a leading agent of evil and injustice, the militarist victimizer of millions who want only to live in peace.”

Perhaps this warped view is why Paul believes that al-Qaida terrorists caught in the United States ought to be treated as common criminals, not enemy combatants. He wants them read Miranda rights to which they are not entitled and he wants them tried and sentenced in civil courts rather than by military tribunals.

Link to entire editorial:Joseph W. McQuaid: Ron Paul is truly dangerous | New Hampshire OPINION01

Eric Holder Blocks South Carolina Voter ID Law -

Eric Holder Blocks South Carolina Voter ID Law -

Rasmussen: Romney 45, Obama 39 | The Weekly Standard

Rasmussen: Romney 45, Obama 39 | The Weekly Standard

Mitt Romney has now jumped to his biggest lead ever over President Obama in a hypothetical Election 2012 matchup. It’s also the biggest lead a named Republican candidate has held over the incumbent in Rasmussen Reports surveying to date.

The latest national telephone survey finds that 45% of Likely U.S. Voters favor the former Massachusetts governor, while 39% prefer the president. Ten percent (10%) like some other candidate in the race, and six percent (6%) are undecided...

A week ago, Romney trailed Obama 44% to 41%.  The week before that, he held a slight 43% to 42% edge over the president. The two candidates have been essentially tied in regular surveys since January, but Romney remains the only GOP hopeful to lead Obama in more than one survey. Despite Romney’s current six-point lead, his latest level of support is in line with the 38% to 45% he has earned in matchups with the president this year. However, Obama’s 39% is a new low: Prior to this survey, his support has ranged from 40% to 46% in matchups with Romney.

These latest numbers may be statistical outliers. Or it could signify big gains for Romney as the primary season kicks off next week with the Iowa Caucus. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A new way to make Obamacare unconstitutional | The Examiner | Op Eds | Washington Examiner

In Colorado's State House of Representatives, Rep. David Balmer is preparing to open a new front next month in the battle to repeal Obamacare.
Congress, Obama, and the Supreme Court will be bypassed and Obamacare will be repealed using the ultimate weapon available to the states -- a state-initiated and ratified amendment to the United States Constitution that essentially declares, "Obamacare is repealed."

The Colorado Republican's proposed 28th Amendment reads: "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and any amendments thereto, are repealed."

The direct constitutional repeal of Obamacare would simply erase the law. Since the amendment is retrospective and would not limit future legislation, the majority of Americans who support the repeal of Obamacare can support the amendment.

Moreover, the amendment would be impervious to claims of unintended consequences since it does not prospectively alter any powers, rights or limitations of the Constitution.

Such an amendment is not unprecedented. The 21st Amendment reads, in part, "The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed," and thus repealed the prohibition of alcohol.

As the supreme law of the land, a constitutional amendment repealing Obamacare would be equally unassailable.

The Constitution balances the executive, legislative and judicial branches. Foreseeing potential overreaching by the federal government as a whole, it also balances state and federal power.

This is manifested in Article V, which describes how the Constitution may be amended. Amendments may be introduced by a "Convention for proposing Amendments" that must be called "on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States."

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Link to entire article:A new way to make Obamacare unconstitutional | The Examiner | Op Eds | Washington Examiner

Today's Demotivational Poster

Throw Out the Entire D.C. Establishment

December 28, 2011

Throw Out the Entire D.C. Establishment
By J.R. Dunn

Crony capitalism is the most serious current danger to the American community, a threat not simply to government or the economy, but to our very way of life. It is the worst such threat since the trusts and monopolies of the early 20th century, and in much the same way. Cronyism is one of the major forces behind the establishment of the corrupt pseudo-aristocracy that has been taking shape in this country over the past two decades, a synthetic privileged class made up in large part of politicians, hustlers, and hangers-on who have become expert in exploiting the rest of us.

The legacy media, for some obscure reason, tends to bury discussions about this group. While the reportage on discrete incidents is there -- see the parade of stories on Solyndra, Goldman Sachs, and MF Global for examples -- we find little effort to pull it all together. Academics, with the single exception of Angelo Codevilla, who sounded the alarm two years ago in The Ruling Class, appear oblivious, as if they had no idea what's going on, which may well be the case.

The customary watchdogs having remained asleep, we need to rely on independents. Chief among these in Peter Schweizer, whose latest book Throw Them All Out (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011) gives us the clearest picture we've yet had of the activities of the new crony class.

Schweizer examines the new cronyism through the lens of the old -- specifically, the political philosophy of George Washington Plunkett, 19th-century Tammany stalwart who seen his opportunities and took 'em. Plunkett's modus operandi was based on "honest graft" -- rather than fish for bribes or payoffs, Plunkett would discover what contractor was putting up the new schoolhouse and then mosey over to drop a few hints about his cousin's brick company. It worked every time, and was completely legal. Plunkett was never brought to book on it. The basic axiom of cronyism reads: why break the law when there are plenty of loopholes to use?

Though Schweizer makes an honest attempt to remain bipartisan, the book is dominated by members of a certain political party the name of which I will not mention but which is run by politicians named Kerry, Durbin, and Pelosi among others.

John Kerry specializes in using advance information on upcoming bills to make investments, which Schweizer correctly characterizes as a form of insider trading. During the ObamaCare debate of 2009 Kerry invested $200,000 in the healthcare company ResMed, the value of which shot up over 70%, a tidy little windfall even to a man married into one of the richest families in the United States. At the same time, ObamaCare cut Medicare reimbursements, so Kerry dumped all his shares in United Health, a medical insurance company deeply dependent on Medicare. Kerry, it seems, didn't have to pass the bill to know what was in it.

(John Boehner also played this little game, though not a shiftily as Kerry, actually waiting until the debate was over to purchase, in December 2009, stock in several large health-related companies.)

Dick Durbin attended the now-famous September 2008 meetings in which Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke warned members of Congress of imminent and universal financial collapse. He immediately unloaded large chunks of his stock holdings. A natural reaction; he was a little panicky at the time. You'd do it too.

"We despise professional athletes who bet on their own games." Schweizer tells us. "Why don't we feel the same way about politicians who bet on the outcome of legislation?"

Another tool of corruption is the IPO (which, according to Schweizer, means "Invest in Politicians Often"). Companies about to go public invite certain strategically-placed politicians to make the first purchases in the offering, before the stockbrokers or anyone else. You can't really call it a payoff.

Nancy Pelosi is a particularly avid IPO fan. She and her husband made an incredibly large purchase of the Visa IPO amounting to 10% of their stock portfolio, raking off nearly a 50% profit on the original purchase in only two days. (Nancy Pelosi also had a station built on a light rail line in San Francisco near one of her office buildings. Real estate manipulation is yet another tool of the privileged class.)

Schweizer also offers a complete rundown -- the first one I've seen -- of the actual extent of Barack Obama's "stimulus" program, which he characterizes as the biggest political payoff since the heyday of Boss Tweed. Reading this will make your blood boil. It should be a major topic of discussion in next year's campaign.

The level of corruption revealed here is breathtaking, even to me, and I take a back seat to no one in political realism. This is worse than Plunkett's day. In his time, there were limits on behavior put in place by accepted custom and traditional morality. Both of those factors have been relentlessly undermined in the past century. What is left is only a kind of kindergarten positivism -- if it's not explicitly forbidden, then it's allowed. So Congress, both houses, along with the bureaucracies, and the little layers of government all the way down to Yourtown, are populated by relentless loophole miners. We have not merely returned to the epoch of Tammany and Boss Tweed, we have surpassed it.

(Is there anybody left with clean hands? Well yes -- Schweizer identifies James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, who, though he owned large amounts of health care-related stocks, made not one sale before or after the health-care debate. It's a sad thing to have to praise a man for doing what anybody ought to have done, but that's our situation.)

How do we overcome this? Peter Schweizer's suggestions include an immediate ban on insider trading, defined as any form of trading involving bills that are or may come before Congress. A prohibition on any business deals involving conflict of interest. A ban on land deals involving political contributors. Full and honest transparency in any financial dealings involving a politician. (Schweizer reveals that those so-called "blind trusts" are actually no such thing.) All this is well and good, and some of it is actually in the works. But as long as we have laws, we will have loopholes, and as long as there are loopholes, they will be mined. What we truly require is a return to ethics on the mass scale. How this is to be done I have no more idea than anyone else.

But the first step is knowledge -- read this book and pass it on.

J.R. Dunn is consulting editor of American Thinker.

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Conservative vs Liberal

There is a difference and it's not the party label!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Today's Reaganism

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases : If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."

Ronald Reagan

Boston Herald Endorsement: Nation needs Romney

Endorsement: Nation needs Romney

Hamas Head: 'We Will Lead Intifada After Intifada Until We Liberate Palestine' | The Weekly Standard

With all this talk about how Israel needs to get to the "damn table," one could be forgiven for forgetting about the nature of the other side. But as Palestinian Media Watch reports, "At a ceremony marking the 24th anniversary of the founding of Hamas, Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniyeh said that Hamas may work for the 'interim objective of liberation of Gaza, the West Bank, or Jerusalem,' but that this 'interim objective' and 'reconciliation' with Fatah will not change Hamas' long-term 'strategic' goal of eliminating all of Israel."

Link :Hamas Head: 'We Will Lead Intifada After Intifada Until We Liberate Palestine' | The Weekly Standard

It's That Time Of The Year!

Random Thoughts for the New Year - Thomas Sowell - National Review Online

Random Thoughts for the New Year - Thomas Sowell - National Review Online

Why Americans Support Voter ID Laws

Why Americans Support Voter ID Laws

The state chairman of Indiana's Democratic Party resigned recently as a probe of election fraud in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary widened.

State law requires a presidential candidate to gather 500 valid signatures in each county to qualify for the ballot. Barack Obama may not have met it. Investigators think 150 of the 534 signatures the Obama campaign turned in for St. Joseph County may have been forged.

Yet Democrats say that measures to guard against vote fraud are racist Republican plots to disenfranchise minority voters.

Republicans "want to literally drag us back to Jim Crow laws," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla, chair of the Democratic National Committee.

The NAACP has asked the United Nations to intervene to block state voter ID laws. It may have an ulterior motive for opposing ballot security measures. An NAACP official was convicted on 10 counts of absentee voter fraud in Tunica County, Miss., in July.

Former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis, who is black, said vote fraud is rampant in African-American districts like his in Alabama.

"The most aggressive contemporary voter suppression in the African-American community is the wholesale manufacture of ballots at the polls and absentee, in parts of the Black Belt," Mr. Davis said. "Voting the names of the dead, and the nonexistent, and the too mentally impaired to function cancels out the votes of citizens who are exercising their rights."

Laws requiring photo IDs suppress minority voting, Democrats charge. The facts say otherwise. In Georgia, black voter turnout for the midterm election in 2006 was 42.9 percent. After Georgia passed photo ID, black turnout in the 2010 midterm rose to 50.4 percent. Black turnout also rose in Indiana and Mississippi after photo IDs were required.

"Concerns about voter identification laws affecting turnout are much ado about nothing," concluded researchers at the universities of Delaware and Nebraska after examining election data from 2000 through 2006.

Today's Freedom Quote

"The Constitution of the United States was created by the people of the United States composing the respective states, who alone had the right ."

-James Madison

Jesse Jackson 2.0

A Time for Choosing | The Weekly Standard

A Time for Choosing | The Weekly Standard

To the Republicans of the states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida:


At this moment of great peril for our nation, you have the privilege of beginning the process of selecting the 2012 Republican presidential nominee—the individual who will save us from the ghastly prospect of an Obama second term, and who will then have the task of beginning to put right our listing ship of state, setting our nation on a course to restored solvency, reinvigorated liberty, and renewed greatness.

Your responsibility is great. Your votes will affect which candidates survive January’s electoral gauntlet, their likelihood of ultimately prevailing, and even whether others will feel impelled to enter the race. You, the voters of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida, will shape the range of choices for your fellow citizens elsewhere in the nation in this crucial year.

How should you decide for whom to vote?

Vote for the person you think would be the best president of the United States. Ignore the proclamations of the pundits, the sophistries of the strategists, and the calculations of the handicappers. Ignore the ads, the robocalls, and the polls. Be skeptical of those who would seek, whether from national stage or local perch, cavalierly or presumptively to instruct you how to mark your ballot. That ballot is yours alone to cast.

Here the people rule. So you, the Republicans of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida, can step back, consider the individual candidates in the totality of their public lives, study their records and platforms, judge their abilities and views, imagine each of them in the Oval Office making major decisions for the nation .  .  . and choose the individual who you think should be our next president.

Newt Sets Up a Surprise - Conrad Black - National Review Online

It seems to me that I have a duty to write about Newt Gingrich, as I am one who did not think his rise in the polls as a Republican presidential contender would be as durable as it already has been. As interesting as Newt himself is the dumbfounded reaction to his return to the grand tier of political life after a sleep almost as long as Rip Van Winkle’s, and after he had flat-lined for months as a candidate, and had been abandoned by his entire staff. In a year that should be a big Republican sweep, all the more probable and popular Republicans — and the hopeful sprouts of enthusiasm for a sequence of non–Mitt Romneys (Bachmann, Perry, Christie, and Cain) — fizzled, were snuffed out in a pandemic of foot-in-mouth disease, or were pulverized by the wall of fire from the liberal assassination squads. Then Newt levitated like a Frankenstein monster, with Maureen Dowd and Gail Collins shrieking in horror and in excitement: “It’s alive!”

I do not believe that the proverbial Republican base is so perverse or shell-shocked that Newt really is, in these terms, alive. And I write as someone who actually knows Newt Gingrich and his good qualities a little, and, to the extent my acquaintance enables me to comment, likes him; respects his eclectic but effervescent intelligence; and renders him great credit for inaugurating an era of Republican preeminence in Congress.

Link to article:Newt Sets Up a Surprise - Conrad Black - National Review Online

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Freedom Quote

"Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language.. And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

T. Roosevelt, 1907

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Charles Krauthammer Schools Margaret Carlson on Payroll Tax Holidays

Charles Krauthammer Schools Margaret Carlson on Payroll Tax Holidays

Like so many of her liberal media colleagues, Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson believes cutting payroll taxes for a short period of time stimulates the economy.

Fortunately for viewers of PBS's Inside Washington, when she tried to make this absurd conclusion Friday, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer was there to give her and others on the panel a much-needed education (video follows with transcript and commentary):

Yes America there is a Santa Claus!

Today, Freedom Quote

"In this country sovereignty resides in the people,and Congress can exercise no power which they have not,by their Constitution, entrusted to it: All else is withheld."

-- U.S. Supreme Court
Source: Juilliard v. Greenman, 110 U.S. 421 (1884).

Time to end Washington's banana republic budgeting | Washington Examiner

Link:Time to end Washington's banana republic budgeting | Washington Examiner

House Speaker John Boehner caved yesterday and agreed to drop House demands for a one-year extension of the payroll tax cut. Instead, he agreed to the two-month extension backed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. That spares millions of Americans from a tax increase that otherwise would have arrived Jan. 1.

But it also guarantees this whole sorry spectacle will be renewed in March 2012. Will Congress reach a permanent resolution of the issue then? Not likely. And even if it does, the tax code will still be jammed with hundreds of temporary tax provisions. The Joint Committee on Taxation says 84 tax provisions were scheduled to end this year if they aren't renewed. That's 10 times as many temporary provisions as expired in 1999.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Friday, December 23, 2011 » Romney: Elect Me, You’ll Get A Job; Elect Obama, You Won’t

A promise Mitt Romney made on Thursday in New Hampshire to a 21-year-old college student named Kallie Durkit, who wanted to know why college students should support Romney instead of Obama. “What I can promise you is this – when you get out of college, if I’m president you’ll have a job. If President Obama is reelected, you will not be able to get a job,” Romney said. » Romney: Elect Me, You’ll Get A Job; Elect Obama, You Won’t

Today's Freedom Quote

The lust to make money, the desire to get ahead, the shame of failure, the pride of achievement; this amalgam of motives, some of them ignoble, powers a system that produces more public good with personal freedom than any other.

William Safire

Reality Check on Medicare!

According to the 2011 medicare trustees report, the Medicare trust fund will run out in 2024. In 2010 the report said that the fund would run out of assets in 2029!

EPA Proposed Rule To Close Power Plants & Cost Taxpayers Billions!

You're a savvy political appointee. You're bringing out a new regulation that will raise electricity rates all over the country, particularly in battleground states of Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Florida and Michigan. What's your PR strategy?
You choose the Wednesday before Christmas, when most people aren't paying attention.

You schedule the announcement at a place designed to tug at the heartstrings, the National Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C. The hospital's CEO and the national volunteer chairman of the American Lung Association deliver remarks.

You say this costly initiative is for the children, and that millions of children will be protected. You talk about how 15 years ago your son spent his first Christmas in a hospital, suffering from asthma.

Of course, you say nothing about the costs. Your state-by-state interactive map shows benefits for each state, but no costs. (These you bury in a 510-page Regulatory Impact Analysis.)

And you throw in some job creation for good measure, 46,000 new construction jobs and 8,000 utility jobs -- without mentioning lost jobs from higher electricity rates.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson is one smart politician, and that's what she did on Wednesday with the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards for Power Plants rule.

The MATS rule would restrict power plants' and boilers' emissions of heavy metals, including mercury, arsenic, chromium and nickel, and acid gases, such as hydrogen chloride and hydrogen fluoride.

This would make electricity generation far more complex and expensive, especially in the eastern half of the United States. It would require the closure of many coal and oil-fired power plants, and placement of emissions control equipment on others. Forty-five percent of American electricity is produced by coal.

Jackson's EPA estimates its new rules would cost households and businesses $10 billion a year in 2016. Benefits, calculated at $33 billion to $81 billion each year, starting from 2016, supposedly come from improvements in Americans' health, mostly from decreases in asthma.

Read more:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Today's Freedom Quote

"If it be admitted that a man, possessing absolute power, may misuse that power by wronging his adversaries, why should a majority not be liable to the same reproach? Men are not apt to change their character by agglomeration; nor does their patience in the presence of obstacles increase with the consciousness of their strength. And for these reasons I can never willingly invest any number of my fellow creatures with that unlimited authority which I should refuse to any one of them."

-- Alexis de Tocqueville

Obama is achieving his goal of higher energy costs | Washington Examiner

With 14 million Americans either out of work or underemployed, a lot of folks aren't buying Christmas gifts or celebrating with a little holiday cheer this year. As Washington Examiner columnist John Stossel makes clear elsewhere in today's edition, a major reason for the continued high and underemployment is found in the massive economic uncertainties that will result if the U.S. Supreme Court allows Obamacare to go forward. Businesses aren't replacing current workers or adding new ones in great part because they simply cannot know how much doing so would cost them until the future of Obamacare is decided. This is a textbook case of the unintended consequences that inevitably accompany grand Big Government programs.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Obama is achieving his goal of higher energy costs | Washington Examiner

Payroll tax gridlock could actually be a plus –

Congress and the President should not rob Social Security trust funds to score political points and increase the deficit!

Entire editorial:Payroll tax gridlock could actually be a plus –

Romney Says He'd Deport Obama's Uncle - Boston News Story - WCVB Boston

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney says he would deport President Barack Obama's uncle, who police said was arrested in August for drunken driving near Boston and is an illegal immigrant.
In an interview with Boston radio host Howie Carr on Wednesday, Romney said "yes" when asked if Onyango Obama should be deported. Romney at first did not recognize the name, but said the nation's immigration laws should be enforced.

Read more:

Romney Says He'd Deport Obama's Uncle - Boston News Story - WCVB Boston

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gingrich Agonistes-Roger Pilon

Today POLITICO Arena asks:

Can Gingrich rein in “judicial activists”?

My response:

As I wrote in the Daily Caller a week ago, Newt Gingrich’s attack on the judiciary in chapter nine of his 21st Century Contract with America is a mass of constitutional confusions. It’s a direct assault on judicial review and on “judicial supremacy,” in particular — the idea that it falls to the courts to say what the law is. Newt would have us believe that that idea was invented by the Supreme Court in its 1958 decision in Cooper v. Aaron, where a unanimous Court told Arkansas officials resisting a school desegregation order that they couldn’t “nullify” a Court decision. But the power of courts to say what the law is far predates that decision. It’s implicit in our written Constitution with its independent judiciary. It was discussed explicitly and at length in the Federalist Papers. And it was secured by the Court in 1803 in Marbury v. Madison.

There’s no question that courts do not always decide cases correctly. That’s why we have review by higher courts, which doesn’t always solve the problem either. But the answer, in an imperfect world, is not to abolish whole circuits, as Gingrich threatens to do with the Ninth Circuit. It’s to have better judges and better judging — plus better education at all levels about our constitutional system, which is too often woefully lacking, even in our law schools. If the errors of this sometime historian contribute to a better understanding of our system, they’ll have served a purpose. But if this is a serious proposal for governing under our Constitution, it’s deeply misguided — and dangerous besides.
Categories: General, Government and Politics, Law and Civil Liberties
Tags: judicial activism, judicial review, newt gingrich » Dem Rep. Scolds Reporter For Calling Payroll Tax Cut Gridlock ‘Dog And Pony Show’ » Dem Rep. Scolds Reporter For Calling Payroll Tax Cut Gridlock ‘Dog And Pony Show’

Bozell Column: The Year of Krugman Thuggishness

In 2008, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. At that time it wasn’t hard to imagine the Swedes were rewarding Krugman for eight years of blasting George W. Bush. In other words, the Nobel Prize truly matched its namesake: Alfred Nobel invented dynamite. Krugman regularly throws rhetorical dynamite at anything that stands in the way of his radical worldview.

Krugman outdid himself for outrage in 2011. Every year the Media Research Center collects a panel of willing conservative journalists and talk show hosts and puts them on a  sickening roller coaster ride through the worst media bilge of the last twelve months to arrive at the Best Notable Quotables of the Year. Paul Krugman sat in the sulfurous center with three “bests.”

First, Krugman took the “Quote of the Year” for his controversial dynamite-throwing on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. On his blog “The Conscience of a Liberal,” he accused someone else of ruining the unifying force of the attacks. “What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neo-cons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.”

The atrocity was “hijacked” – note the distinct flavor of terrorism in that term – by the neocons. “The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.” What made this commentary perfect in its spoiled-brattiness was the last sentence: “I’m not going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons.” It’s obvious he was a world-class divider on a day of unity. And a coward.

One of the vilest aspects of Obamacare was the inclusion of “death panels” to recommend when medical treatments should be denied because extending Grandma’s remaining life wasn’t cost-efficient. But that never stopped a liberal from posturing. Krugman won the Grim Reaper Award (for Saying Conservatives Want You to Die) for his remarks against the Paul Ryan Medicare proposal on CNN.

“To be a little melodramatic, the voucher would kill people, no question,” said Krugman, as CNN’s Gloria Borger said Ryan “infuriated liberals.” Then came more Krugman. “The cuts in Medicare that he’s proposing, the replacement of Medicare by a voucher system, would in the end mean that tens of millions of older Americans would not be able to afford essential health care. So that counts as cruelty to me.”

Krugman also won the “Tea Party Terrorists Award” for another blast of toxicity, this one less than two hours after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot (and several others murdered) by a young madman. Krugman didn’t need to wait for the evidence. He knew the culprits. He blamed conservatives.

“We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was. She’s been the target of violence before.” This was a reference to her district being “targeted” in a Sarah Palin list of Democrats to defeat. “Her father says that ‘the whole Tea Party’ was her enemy. And yes, she was on Sarah Palin’s infamous ‘crosshairs’ list. Just yesterday, Ezra Klein remarked that opposition to health reform was getting scary. Actually, it’s been scary for quite a while, in a way that already reminded many of us of the climate that preceded the Oklahoma City bombing....Violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it’s long past time for the GOP’s leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers.”

Where were Krugman and his fellow Democratic opponents of “toxic talk” to take a stand against left-wing radio host Mike Malloy, who asked for Bush to be assassinated by Navy SEALs after they killed Osama bin Laden? “So when does SEAL Unit 6, or whatever it’s called, drop in on George Bush? Bush was responsible for a lot more death, innocent death, than bin Laden.” That won the “Damn Those Conservatives Award.”

Conservatives are assumed to be deeply racist by the tolerant Left. The “Ku Klux Con Job Award” was won by MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell for shocking liberal ex-Gov. Jennifer Granholm with the notion that the phrase “Obama and his union bosses” in an ad was racist: “Does that sound to you like they are trying to consciously or subconsciously deliver the racist message that, of course, of course a black man can’t be the real boss?” Granholm confessed she hadn’t thought about that. It takes a Paul Krugman level of “imagination” to smear conservatives with this kind of mud.

Bozell Column: The Year of Krugman Thuggishness

Today's Freedom Quote

"Government is a parasite -- a cancer that by nature tries to spread deeper into society.
Those who want to run others' lives won't give up and start minding their own business."

-- Harry Browne
(1933-2006) American libertarian writer, politician, and free-market investment analyst. Libertarian candidate for US President 1996 & 2000

HURT: Deflecting blame for tax-cut logjam - Washington Times

HURT: Deflecting blame for tax-cut logjam - Washington Times

World economy at a 'very dangerous juncture': IMF chief

IMF chief Christine Lagarde warned Tuesday that the world economy is at a "very dangerous juncture," speaking of the potential impact on poorer nations during her first visit to Africa as head of the fund.
The International Monetary Fund managing director spoke of a crisis of confidence with high unemployment and slowing global growth.

"Currently the world economy stands at a very dangerous juncture," Lagarde told a roundtable on Africa's economic future in the Nigerian city of Lagos.

She said the IMF's revised global growth forecast expected in January looked to be lower than the previous one in September, which was four percent, already down from June's outlook.

"And what's more, there are downside risks on the horizon that are really threatening the recovery process that had started" after the 2008-09 global financial crisis, she said.

The IMF has said Europe's worsening economy and financial market turmoil meant it will revise downwards its predictions for global growth contained in its World Economic Outlook report published three months ago.

Early this month, the UN cut its 2012 world growth forecast to 2.6 percent from 3.6 percent, warning that the global economy is "teetering on the brink of a major downturn".

World economy at a 'very dangerous juncture': IMF chief

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

White House hopeful Gingrich rips rivals over attacks

Republican White House hopeful Newt Gingrich barnstormed the key state of Iowa Tuesday, ripping his rivals' attack ads and declaring himself the best candidate to beat President Barack Obama.
Scarcely two weeks before Iowans cast the first votes in the party's nominating contest, Gingrich has been asking his supporters here to help him fight back as the barrage has battered his once-surging poll numbers.

"The next time you see one of the candidates who's running the negative ads, ask them to take it off the air," he implored some 200 people packed into the warehouse-like space of a clothing maker in Hiawatha, Iowa, on Monday.

Asked about a brutal campaign against him by the independent "Restore Our Future" group aligned with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Gingrich replied: "If you see Romney, ask him to take them off the air."

At an earlier stop in Davenport, Gingrich bemoaned that other candidates for the Republican Party's nomination were blasting "so much negative junk" to tear him down that they were "in effect doing Barack Obama's work."

The former House speaker recently clawed his way to frontrunner status on the strength of a series of well regarded debate performances, drawing sustained fire from the other candidates ahead of Iowa's January 3 caucus.

But his support here has dropped by nearly half over two weeks, from 27 percent to 14 percent among likely caucus-goers, dropping him from first place to third behind second-place Romney and first-place Republican Representative Ron Paul, whose campaign has also been taking shots at the former speaker.

White House hopeful Gingrich rips rivals over attacks

Austerity, This Is Not - Andrew Stiles - National Review Online

Given a lot of the rhetoric coming out of Washington and mainstream media outlets these days, one could be forgiven for believing that the United States has entered a new age of unprecedented austerity. This is hardly the case. Indeed, despite the best efforts of an insurgent Republican majority in the House of Representatives — elected in 2010 as a rebuke to Democratic fiscal recklessness — federal spending continues to rise.

Link to entire article:
Austerity, This Is Not - Andrew Stiles - National Review Online

Today's Freedom Quote

"It [government] covers the surface of society with a network of small
complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds
and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd.
The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, guided; men are seldom
forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting: such a
power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but
it compresses, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is
reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of
which the government is the shepherd."

-- Alexis de Tocqueville
[Alexis Charles Henri Maurice Clerel, le Comte de Tocqueville] (1805-1859) French historian

Sen. Coburn Releases New Report on Wasteful Government Spending in 2011: "Wastebook 2011"

Dec 20 2011
Dr. Coburn Releases New Report on Wasteful Government Spending in 2011: "Wastebook 2011"
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) today released a new oversight report, “Wastebook 2011” that highlights over $6.5 billion in examples of some of the most egregious ways your taxpayer dollars were wasted. This report details 100 of the countless unnecessary, duplicative and low-priority projects spread throughout the federal government.

“Video games, robot dragons, Christmas trees, and magic museums. This is not a Christmas wish list, these are just some of the ways the federal government spent your tax dollars. Over the past 12 months, politicians argued, debated and lamented about how to reign in the federal government’s out of control spending. All the while, Washington was on a shopping binge, spending money we do not have on things we do not absolutely need. Instead of cutting wasteful spending, nearly $2.5 billion was added each day in 2011 to our national debt, which now exceeds $15 trillion,” Dr. Coburn said.

“Congress cannot even agree on a plan to pay for the costs of extending jobless benefits to the millions of Americans who are still out of work. Yet, thousands of millionaires are receiving unemployment benefits and billions of dollars of improper payments of unemployment insurance are being made to individuals with jobs and others who do not qualify. And remember those infamous bridges to nowhere in Alaska that became symbols of government waste years ago? The bridges were never built, yet the federal government still spent more than a million dollars just this year to pay for staff to promote one of the bridges.”

Examples of wasteful spending highlighted in “Wastebook 2011” include:

• $75,000 to promote awareness about the role Michigan plays in producing Christmas trees & poinsettias.

• $15.3 million for one of the infamous Bridges to Nowhere in Alaska.

• $113,227 for video game preservation center in New York.

• $550,000 for a documentary about how rock music contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

• $48,700 for 2nd annual Hawaii Chocolate Festival, to promote Hawaii’s chocolate industry.

• $350,000 to support an International Art Exhibition in Venice, Italy.

• $10 million for a remake of “Sesame Street” for Pakistan.

• $35 million allocated for political party conventions in 2012.

• $765,828 to subsidize “pancakes for yuppies” in the nation’s capital.

• $764,825 to study how college students use mobile devices for social networking.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Romney: What kind of society does U.S. want? –

Romney: What kind of society does U.S. want? –

Conservatives should think twice about Newt - Part II | Washington Examiner

Conservatives should think twice about Newt - Part II | Washington Examiner

Conservatives should think twice about Newt - Part II
By: Examiner Editorial | 12/18/11 8:05 PM
Three weeks ago, when we warned in this space that conservatives should think twice before succumbing to the sudden appeal of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, we were, quite frankly, out on a limb. For all his faults, Gingrich occupies a special place in the Republican pantheon, thanks to the electoral success made possible by the Contract with America in 1994. But with his surge in popularity as an alternative to Mitt Romney, we believed it important to speak up. Essentially, our warning was that his flaws "make it difficult not to view Gingrich as an exemplar of Washington's professional Republican politicians who talk the talk to get elected, but often don't walk it once in office."

A lot has happened since that Nov. 29 editorial appeared. As Gingrich built a double-digit lead over Romney, it appeared that perhaps our warning came too late. But last week it became evident that a lot of people -- including many of our media colleagues on the Right and, more importantly, conservative Republican primary voters in Iowa and across the nation -- were indeed thinking twice about the former speaker.

Toward the end of last week, poll data came out suggesting the Gingrich surge was at least leveling out, if not receding. Then on December 14, National Review published an editorial - "Winnowing the field" - that effectively echoed our case for thinking twice before committing to Gingrich. An especially important passage in that editorial said this: "If he is the nominee, a campaign that should be about whether the country will continue on the path to social democracy would inevitably become to a large extent a referendum on Gingrich instead. And there is reason to doubt that he has changed."

Then yesterday our friends on the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal stepped up to put the case against Gingrich as only that august publication can. Like The Washington Examiner and NR, the Journal's editors acknowledged Gingrich's genuine accomplishments but warned: "The real history lesson here may be what the Freddie episode reveals about Mr. Gingrich's political philosophy. To wit, he has a soft spot for big government when he can use it for his own political ends. He also supported the individual mandate in health care in the 1990s, and we recall when he lobbied us to endorse the prescription drug benefit with only token Medicare reform in 2003."

In between those editorials, of course, came The Examiner's endorsement of Romney, a conclusion we reached because we think nothing is more important in 2012 than denying President Obama a second term and then fixing America's broken economy in 2013. In our judgment, the former Massachusetts governor is most likely to accomplish both tasks, especially if he has a genuinely conservative Republican Congress to keep him properly focused. It's been a good three weeks, we would humbly suggest, because the conservative media has done its most important job in this primary season -- insuring that all the facts are placed, without fear or favor, before the people who will decide America's future.

MORE ON THESE TOPICS: 2012 Election 2012 Republican Presidential Nomination mitt romney National Review National Review Online Newt Gingrich Politics The Wall Street Journal

Today's Conservative Quote

"It is no coincidence that some of America’s most lethargic industries --steel, footwear, rubber, textiles -- are also among the most heavily protected."
-- Thomas DiLorenzo
(1954-) American economics professor at Loyola University Maryland

The Gingrich Gestalt - Mark Steyn - National Review Online

I was wrong about Newt. Or, as Newt would say, I was fundamentally wrong.

Fundamentally and profoundly wrong. I was as adverbially wrong about Newt as it’s possible to be. Back in the spring, during an analysis of the presidential field, I was asked by Sean Hannity what I thought of Gingrich. If memory serves, I guffawed. I suggested he was this season’s Alan Keyes — a guy running for president to boost his speaking fees but whose candidacy was otherwise irrelevant. I said I liked the cut of this Tim Pawlenty fellow, who promptly self-destructed.

There would be a lot of that in the months ahead: Michele Bachmann ODing on Gardasil, Rick Perry floating the trial balloon of his candidacy all year long, only to puncture it with the jaunty swing of his spur ten minutes into the first debate. And when all the other Un-Romney of the Week candidates were gone, there was Newt, the last man standing, smirking, waddling to the debate podium. Unlike the niche candidates, he offers all the faults of his predecessors rolled into one: Like Michele Bachmann, his staffers quit; like Herman Cain, he spent the latter decades of the last century making anonymous women uncomfortable, mainly through being married to them; like Mitt Romney, he was a flip-flopper, being in favor of government mandates on health care before he was against them, and in favor of big-government climate-change “solutions” before he was against them, and in favor of putting giant mirrors in space to light American highways by night before he was agai . . . oh, wait, that one he may still be in favor of. So, if you live in the I-95 corridor, you might want to buy blackout curtains.

Link to entire article:The Gingrich Gestalt - Mark Steyn - National Review Online

Biden: 'The Taliban Per Se Is Not Our Enemy' | The Weekly Standard

In an interview with Leslie Gelb in Newsweek, Vice President Joe Biden says: 

Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That’s critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests. If, in fact, the Taliban is able to collapse the existing government, which is cooperating with us in keeping the bad guys from being able to do damage to us, then that becomes a problem for us.

Via Ben Smith. Interestingly, in the rest of the interview on foreign policy, Biden and Gelb never discuss that just a few years ago they co-wrote a proposal to partition Iraq into three separate nations. Fortunately, their advice was ignored at the time. And Biden this time only says he would "look for" an "Iraq united."

The man is a moronic idiot!

Link:Biden: 'The Taliban Per Se Is Not Our Enemy' | The Weekly Standard

Announcing MRC's Best Notable Quotables of 2011: The 24th Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting

Announcing MRC's Best Notable Quotables of 2011: The 24th Annual Awards for the Year's Worst Reporting

Newt's Constitutional Confusions

If the tea party stood for anything when it upset conventional politics a year ago, it was to revive debate about restoring limited constitutional government. Newt Gingrich seems to be tapping into that effort, but the tea party folks better look more closely before they buy what Newt is selling. In his voluminous 21st Century Contract with America he has a long section entitled “Bringing the Courts Back Under the Constitution.” A mass of constitutional confusions, laced with several good points, it’s a throwback to some of the worst elements of Nixonian conservatism. And if its proposals were implemented, far from limiting government, they’d do just the opposite.

In fact, the most striking feature of Newt’s manifesto is its failure even to notice that. Its focus is on what he sees as an out-of-control judiciary that’s frustrating the popular will, which he’d remedy with everything from judicial impeachments to abolishing whole circuits. Yet as his first example of what he calls “judicial supremacy” — the power of the court to say what the law is, which Marbury v. Madison made explicit in 1803 — he offers the Supreme Court’s 2005 decision in Kelo v. New London, which upheld, as a “public use,” the city’s transfer of Ms. Kelo’s home to a private developer. Mistaken as the court’s reading of the Constitution’s Takings Clause was in that case, the decision hardly frustrated popular government. Indeed, it upheld the city’s actions.

Link:Newt's Constitutional Confusions

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Des Moines Register Endorses Romney

The Des Moines Register, Iowa's highest-circulation newspaper, backed Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination in an endorsement published online Saturday evening. "Sobriety, wisdom, judgment," the board wrote, citing the qualities it found in the former Massachusetts governor that make him "stand as the most qualified Republican competing in the Iowa caucuses."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

James Madison on Separation of Powers

“It is agreed on all sides, that the powers properly belonging to one of the departments ought not to be directly and completely administered by either of the other departments. It is equally evident, that none of them ought to possess, directly or indirectly, an overruling influence over the others, in the administration of their respective powers. It will not be denied, that power is of an encroaching nature, and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it.”

Federalist Paper 48; James Madison

New Flash from the World's Worst Legislative Body!

Congressional leaders finalized a deal on Thursday to fund the government through next fall and are now considering a short-term extension of a payroll tax holiday and jobless benefits that would affect millions of Americans next year.

After a marathon round of negotiations, Democrat signed off on a $1 trillion spending bill to keep the government funded through next fall, and that plan is expected to be approved by the full House and Senate on Friday, hours before many federal agencies would have been forced to shutter their doors.

It is a damn shame that we can't throw them all out!

Obama’s Regulatory Burden - Fred Upton - National Review Online

In the next few days, President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is expected to issue another final regulation directed at electricity utilities. This rule, known as the Utility MACT, will impose an estimated $11 billion each year in new costs on our economy. It will threaten electricity-generating capacity in many parts of the country. And it’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this administration’s runaway rulemaking.

Link to entire article:Obama’s Regulatory Burden - Fred Upton - National Review Online

A Nightmare of a Dream Team | The Weekly Standard

A Nightmare of a Dream Team | The Weekly Standard

Romney Now Leads in Iowa!

DES MOINES -- A new survey from pollster Scott Rasmussen shows support for Newt Gingrich in Iowa has fallen sharply in recent days.  The poll shows the former House speaker with the support of 20 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers -- down from 32 percent in the last Rasmussen survey released November 15.

Gingrich has now fallen into second place in the Iowa race, behind Mitt Romney, who is at 23 percent, up from 19 percent in the last Rasmussen survey.

The complete poll results are: Romney, 23 percent; Gingrich 20 percent; Ron Paul, 18 percent; Rick Perry 10 percent; Michele Bachmann, 9 percent; Rick Santorum, 6 percent; and Jon Huntsman, 5 percent.  Ten percent of likely caucus-goers said they support some other candidate or are not sure how they will vote.

In the new survey, every candidate but Gingrich gained support in the last few weeks. The biggest gainers were Romney, up four points; Paul, up eight points; and Perry, up four points.  Michele Bachmann climbed three points, as did Jon Huntsman, who has been to Iowa a grand total of one time in the campaign.

Gingrich, on the other hand, fell 12 points.

Terrorist attack survivors outraged by White House guest - Washington Times

Terrorist attack survivors outraged by White House guest - Washington Times

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Winnowing the Field - The Editors - National Review Online

Winnowing the Field

A hard-fought presidential primary campaign is obscuring the uncharacteristic degree of unity within the Republican party. It has reached a conservative consensus on most of the pressing issues of the day. All of the leading candidates, and almost all of the lagging ones, support the right to life. All of them favor the repeal of Obamacare. Most of them support reforms to restrain the growth of entitlement spending. All of them favor reducing the corporate tax rate to levels that will make the U.S. a competitive location for investment. Almost all of them seem to understand the dangers of a precipitate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, and of a defense policy driven by the need to protect social spending rather than the national interest. Conservatives may disagree among themselves about which candidate most deserves support, but all of us should take heart in this development — and none of us should exaggerate the programmatic differences within the field.

Just as heartening, the White House seems winnable next year, and with it a majority in both houses of Congress, so that much of this conservative consensus could actually become law. A conservative majority on the Supreme Court, a halt to the march of regulation, free-market health-care policies: All of them seem within our grasp. But none of them is assured, and the costs of failure — either a failure to win the election, or a failure to govern competently and purposefully afterward.

We fear that to nominate former Speaker Newt Gingrich, the frontrunner in the polls, would be to blow this opportunity. We say that mindful of his opponents’ imperfections — and of his own virtues, which have been on display during his amazing comeback. Very few people with a personal history like his — two divorces, two marriages to former mistresses — have ever tried running for president. Gingrich himself has never run for a statewide office, let alone a national one, and has not run for anything since 1998. That year he was kicked out by his colleagues, the most conservative ones especially, who had lost confidence in him. During his time as Speaker, he was one of the most unpopular figures in public life. Just a few months ago his campaign seemed dead after a series of gaffes and resignations. That Gingrich now tops the polls is a tribute to his perseverance, and to Republicans’ admiration for his intellectual fecundity.

Winnowing the Field - The Editors - National Review Online

The Gingrich Gamble - Victor Davis Hanson - National Review Online

All the Romney-alternatives — Bachmann, Cain, Christie, Giuliani, Palin, Perry, Rubio, Trump — came and went, or never came at all, except the most unlikely one, Newt Gingrich. With the implosion of the Cain campaign, and the realization that there are for now no more great conservative hopes on the horizon, Gingrich has pulled off one of the more unlikely comebacks in presidential-primary history, and finds himself ahead in the Republican polls.

Link:The Gingrich Gamble - Victor Davis Hanson - National Review Online

Ronald Reagan On Libertarianism

"If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals -- if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is."

Ronald Reagan
(Reason Magazine, July 1, 1975)

Iraqi's Burn US Flags!

FALLUJAH, Iraq — Hundreds of Iraqis set alight U.S. and Israeli flags on Wednesday as they celebrated the impending pullout of American forces from the country in the former insurgent bastion of Fallujah.Shouting slogans in support of the “resistance,” the demonstrators held up banners and placards inscribed with phrases like, “Now we are free” and “Fallujah is the flame of the resistance.”

Ungrateful Bastards!

Today's Freedom Quote

"It has been said that the greatest threat to our liberty is from well-meaning,and almost imperceptible encroachments upon our personal freedom."

-- John Louis Coffey
(1922- ) Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Newt's Past and Future Leadership

Almost all political commentators agree on one thing. The Republican presidential campaign is unlike any we have experienced. It is not a campaign of steady trends and continuities, but rather of emotional reversals and discontinuities. Perhaps this is so because the last 3 to 4 years have been a shocking time of discontinuities and reversals for America. Really, America has been bewildered, shocked and disoriented since Sept. 11, 2001. The economic collapse and the unprecedentedly statist policies of the last three years have just compounded the anxiety. The rise of China, the fall of Europe and the chaos in the Middle East have been startling in their swiftness -- and the lack of American leadership as these dramatic events unfold is sending a shudder throughout the world.

We don't know what to make of events. We have not been convinced that either President George W. Bush or incumbent President Obama have had a clue about how to make things right.

The GOP primary voters reflect this helter-skelter search for leadership. And I predict that when the general electorate is engaged in the general election campaign next year, the independents and some Democrats will reflect the same desperate confusion and search for the right kind of leadership for these treacherous times. But what kind of candidate is most likely to make sense of the terrible events and forces that weigh down our country; be capable of vividly describing our plight and what needs to be done; and convince the public that he or she has the intelligence, courage, experience and sheer willful capacity to force events favorably to America's historic interests and needs?

As I have chosen to phrase that question, the question answers itself. It is the GOP candidate currently at the top of the polls -- my former boss, Newt Gingrich.

Link to article:Newt's Past and Future Leadership

Coulter: Romney The "Most Conservative" Candidate In GOP Field

"What I changed my mind about is whether -- by the way I changed my mind three months after that on a FOX News show because the economy was so bad. I said, look, I'm generally a pessimist for running against -- actually, maybe I'm not. We have a popular Democratic president, who does has an attractive family, has the entire mainstream behind him, and he's an incumbent. That is why I thought the candidate we ran would lose. I no longer think. I now think Obama has a glass jaw, and I said that a few months after that statement, by the way. It's not really that big of change -- we don't know if my prediction was wrong now -- what I am saying now is of the available candidates, Romney is by far the most conservative, tied with Michele Bachmann. And he has the proven ability to win in a state like Massachusetts," Ann Coulter said on "Hannity" on Tuesday night.

Coulter: Romney The "Most Conservative" Candidate In GOP Field

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Today's Founding Father Quote: Thomas Jefferson

“I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others.”

Thomas Jefferson

Iran must chose between a bomb or survival: Israel

A senior Israeli cabinet minister on Monday said Iran must be forced to face an existential question over its nuclear drive: choose between getting an atomic bomb, or survival.
"We believe that in order to stop the Iranian military nuclear project, the regime in Tehran should face a dilemma -- whether to have a bomb or to survive," Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon told reporters in Jerusalem.

Yaalon said however it was for the international community, rather than Israel, to apply what he called an "achievable" policy.

"We prefer that the international community led by the United States will bring about this dilemma in order to convince the regime to give up its military nuclear programme," he said, stressing the need for political isolation and economic sanctions aimed at the banking and oil sectors.

Israel and much of the international community fear that Iran's nuclear programme masks a drive for a weapons capability.

Tehran denies any such ambition and says the programme is for peaceful civilian energy and medical purposes only.

"Our policy is very clear -- by one way or another, the military nuclear project in Iran should be stopped," Yaalon said, indicating it "might be 12 months, might be 24 months" until Iran was able to reach a military nuclear capability.

Link to article:Iran must chose between a bomb or survival: Israel

Obamanomics:Child homelessness up 33% in 3 years –

One in 45 children in the USA — 1.6 million children — were living on the street, in homeless shelters or motels, or doubled up with other families last year, according to the National Center on Family Homelessness.

The numbers represent a 33% increase from 2007, when there were 1.2 million homeless children, according to a report the center is releasing Tuesday.
"This is an absurdly high number," says Ellen Bassuk, president of the center. "What we have new in 2010 is the effects of a man-made disaster caused by the economic recession. … We are seeing extreme budget cuts, foreclosures and a lack of affordable housing."

Link to article:Child homelessness up 33% in 3 years –

Dem lawmaker blasts ‘Professor Obama’ as arrogant, alienating - The Hill's Congress Blog

Dem lawmaker blasts ‘Professor Obama’ as arrogant, alienating - The Hill's Congress Blog

CNN Guest Accuses Network of Waging 'War on Republicans' |

Conservative columnist Rich Galen lampooned CNN for its liberal bias during his appearance on Monday's The Situation Room. During the bottom of the 4 p.m. hour, anchor Wolf Blitzer threw water on right-wing claims that President Obama is waging a "war on religion," and Galen called him out for one-sided coverage of the matter.

GOP candidate Rick Perry had recently produced a campaign ad accusing Obama of running a "war on religion." Blitzer, noting the accusation, played a moving montage of performances from Sunday's "Christmas in Washington" pageant, attended by the President, and then asked how Obama could be considered anti-Christmas if he had attended such a public display.

Galen called his bluff as he mocked the lengths CNN was willing to go to defend Obama. "CNN just couldn't be more on one side of this thing," he attested while laughing. Galen did relent to Blitzer's point that CNN had given Perry a voice by playing his campaign ad, but continued to insist that the network was biased.

Read more:

CNN Guest Accuses Network of Waging 'War on Republicans' |

In U.S., Fear of Big Government at Near-Record Level

Americans' concerns about the threat of big government continue to dwarf those about big business and big labor, and by an even larger margin now than in March 2009. The 64% of Americans who say big government will be the biggest threat to the country is just one percentage point shy of the record high, while the 26% who say big business is down from the 32% recorded during the recession. Relatively few name big labor as the greatest threat.

Entire polling results:

In U.S., Fear of Big Government at Near-Record Level

Monday, December 12, 2011

Today's Quote

“Newt Gingrich comes from the world where politicians are paid millions after they retire to influence their friends in Washington. Mitt Romney comes from the private sector, where the economy is built by hard work and entrepreneurial drive. It’s clear that after 30 years as a Washington insider, Newt Gingrich has no clue how the real world economy works.”

~Tom Stemberg, Founded Staples w/Mitt Romney

Time to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment

Time to pass a balanced budget amendment

Orrin Hatch | Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2011 12:04 am

Our nation is now over $15 trillion in debt. This is forcing a historic debate about the proper size and scope of our government. This debate is an enduring one in our great Republic. The people of Utah and people across the country are demanding dramatic action. 
There is only one answer to our spending-fueled debt crisis and that is a constitutional balanced budget amendment that would put a straightjacket on our nation's addiction to spending money we simply do not have.

In 1997, a balanced budget amendment I put forward came one vote short of the necessary two-thirds votes to pass the Senate. Think where we'd be if we'd succeeded and sent this constitutional amendment to the people for ratification. 

This week, the Senate will once again consider a balanced budget amendment I authored to make sure we never face this level of debt again.  It will be a divisive debate, because those who stand against this constitutional amendment want to grow government, encroach on liberty, and expand our debt to levels we simply cannot sustain. 

Backed by 47 United States Senators, this constitutional amendment makes sense.  It requires Washington to balance its budget every year like Utah families do, ensures that any tax increase only occurs with supermajority approval in Congress, limits Congress' ability to raise the debt ceiling, and caps spending at 18 percent of our nation's economy. 
Opponents say a balanced budget amendment is unnecessary and that Congress should make the tough fiscal decisions to reduce deficits and rein in our debt.

But history is a stark reminder that without a constitutional amendment that simply will not happen. Congress simply lacks the political will to make the tough decisions necessary to get our fiscal house in order. In fact, every grand compromise over the past three decades to tackle our debt has been undone almost immediately after being enacted by Congress, with massive spending increases being forced onto taxpayers almost as soon as the ink dried.

The real truth is that opponents don't want to let the American people decide how they want their government to function.  The American people want a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, but Congress continues to deny them the opportunity to debate and ratify such an amendment.  I suspect this is because they don't want to adhere to the fiscal discipline they know the American people want.

We are at a true crossroads as a nation ­-- the fiscal path we take today will define the future we leave for our children and grandchildren.   It is time we pass a balanced budget amendment so that the American people can decide whether to impose fiscal restraint on Congress, and help define the economic reality we want to face as a nation. Utahns deserve an opportunity to vote on the amendment, and I'm going to continue to do everything I can to make sure Congress gives them one.
• Orrin Hatch is Utah's senior U.S. senator.
Copyright 2011 Daily Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read more:

Obama on jobs: Words, not action - Chicago Sun-Times

President Barack Obama rolled out his 2012 campaign theme the other day, a populist message with the tired mantra of Republicans as the party of the wealthy while casting himself as the defender of the middle class. “This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class,” he declared. The problem is that, as usual, his record doesn’t match his rhetoric.

A make-or-break moment for the middle class “and all those who are fighting to get into the middle class” would cry out for immediate decisive action to protect that cherished status and give a boost to all those knocking on the door of the American dream.

But that’s not the case when it comes to good-paying energy jobs.

Link to entire article:Obama on jobs: Words, not action - Chicago Sun-Times







Sunday, December 11, 2011

Today's Freedom Quote: James Madison

"Liberty and order will never be perfectly safe, until a trespass on the constitutional provisions for either, shall be felt with the same keenness that resents an invasion of the dearest rights."

-James Madison

I Vow To Thee My Country

I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,

Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

I heard my country calling, away across the sea,
Across the waste of waters she calls and calls to me.
Her sword is girded at her side, her helmet on her head,
And round her feet are lying the dying and the dead.

I hear the noise of battle, the thunder of her guns,
I haste to thee my mother, a son among thy sons.
And there's another country, I've heard of long ago,
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;

We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.

Why Americans no longer trust Washington | Washington Examiner

Why Americans no longer trust Washington
By: Examiner Editorial | 12/10/11 8:05 PM
Survey after survey in recent months has shown an alarming decline in public confidence in the nation's chief federal institutions, as well as a deepening pessimism about America's future. Congressional approval is at an all-time low of 13 percent, according to the Gallup Poll, and three-quarters of the public wouldn't re-elect most members of Congress. There is cold comfort in the numbers for President Obama. Barely 41 percent of the public approves of his job performance, according to Gallup. Most worrisome is the fact that a majority of Americans, 52 percent, told pollster Scott Rasmussen this week that they believe the country's best days are behind it, the first time a majority has so responded.
Anybody puzzled by these trends, however, need look no further than the performance of some of our leaders in recent days. Obama gave a bitterly partisan address in Kansas, which featured, as The Washington Examiner's Michael Barone pointed out, a crude, straw-man caricature meant to portray Republicans falsely as believing "we are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules." The chief executive also claimed -- without evidence, his aides later conceded -- that "some billionaires have a tax rate as low as one percent." Such deceptions and inventions destroy a president's credibility.

Next, there is Attorney General Eric Holder, the man Obama appointed as the nation's chief law enforcement official. For months Holder has claimed, in the face of steadily mounting evidence to the contrary, that he knew nothing about Operation Fast and Furious until he read about it in the newspapers earlier this year. Fast and Furious is the Justice Department program in which officials allowed thousands of weapons to be sold by U.S. dealers to Mexican drug cartels. Just before Christmas, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered with one of those weapons. Hundreds of Mexican citizens, including multiple government officials, have also been killed with Fast and Furious guns.

As Examiner legal affairs contributor Ken Klukowski pointed out Friday, a steady drip-drip of evidence has become public in recent months as Justice Department officials grudgingly released documents sought by Congress. Those documents make clear that many senior Justice Department officials knew about Fast and Furious from soon after its inception in 2009, as did high-ranking officials at the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the White House. Yet if Holder is to be believed, he was the last man in Washington to know about something happening right under his nose.

Then we learn from Examiner columnist Diana West in today's edition that National Archivist David Ferriero recently sealed for 20 years millions of documents from the U.S. Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. There have been hundreds of credible reports in recent years of outrageous waste and corruption in such spending, yet it will now be decades before we will learn all of the facts. Last year alone, according to the New York Times, federal officials sealed 77 million official documents. Something else was recently sealed -- the court records concerning Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry's murder. Washington's solution is to bury potentially embarrassing documents. No wonder America no longer trusts Washington.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Why Americans no longer trust Washington | Washington Examiner

A Nightmare of a Dream Team | The Weekly Standard

Link to article :A Nightmare of a Dream Team | The Weekly Standard

Is it possible that the people who run the Obama administration aren’t as smart as we’ve been led to believe?


Stay with me here, seriously. I’m thinking now of the administration’s much-publicized devotion to behavioral economics. Not long after his election, Time magazine noted that Barack Obama had surrounded himself with a “dream team” of behavioral economists, outside-the-box envelope-pushers like Peter Orszag, who became the administration’s first head of the Office of Management and Budget, and Cass Sunstein, whom the president appointed as his “regulatory czar.”

Behavioral economics is très chic. All the coolest economists are into it. It partakes of the obsession with social science that has lately gripped the  country’s smart people, who exhibit a grinding need to quantify human behavior so that it will become more predictable, describable, and controllable. To meet demand, a steady flow of “studies” in human behavior passes through the sluice gates of university departments of accounting, psychology, marketing, sociology, business, and of course economics. From these the behavioral economists build vast edifices of theory and now, thanks to President Obama, public policy too.
Gingrich and Romney poised for drawn-out fight for delegates
By Alexander Bolton
The 2012 GOP presidential primary is poised to become a protracted battle over delegates, such as the one that consumed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008.

A little-noticed change in Republican Party rules last year means almost all of the states holding caucuses and primaries before April 1 will allocate their delegates proportionally.

This will make it very difficult for Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney to land a lights-out punch early in the contest. Unless one candidate dominates the first several caucuses and primaries, the race could easily stretch into April and beyond, say GOP veterans.

Saturday, December 10, 2011 » Rand Paul: Newt’s Politics ‘Goes Against Everything That The Tea Party Stands For’ » Rand Paul: Newt’s Politics ‘Goes Against Everything That The Tea Party Stands For’

"The Tea Party was about people unhappy with Republicans voting for bank bailouts. We thought they sold out our limited government views when they voted to send taxpayer money to the big banks. Unfortunately, Newt Gingrich was right there with them being paid by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It goes against everything that the Tea Party stands for."

Today's Reaganism

"The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program."

Ronald Reagan

Statist Delusions - Mark Steyn - National Review Online

The bill for the cradle-to-grave welfare state has come due!

Statist Delusions - Mark Steyn - National Review Online

Friday, December 9, 2011

Just As We Suspected, The Fast And Furious Program Was A Gun-Control Plot After All -

Newly obtained documents show that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives discussed using its covert operation Fast and Furious to argue for new rules about gun sales. We told you so.

As we observed in June, the way Fast and Furious — the government's gun-running operation that resulted in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry — was conducted made no sense unless its intent was to facilitate violence with U.S. weapons in the interests of pursuing the administration's gun-control agenda.

Now documents obtained by CBS News confirm that our first suspicions were correct.

As CBS' Sharyl Attkisson reports, emails show ATF officials discussed using the deliberate transfer of weapons to Mexican drug cartels to justify a new gun regulation known as "Demand Letter 3."

Link to entire article:Just As We Suspected, The Fast And Furious Program Was A Gun-Control Plot After All -

Today's Quote: The Patriot Act

"The PATRIOT Act and its progeny are the most abominable, unconstitutional governmental assaults on personal freedom since the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798." — Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, The Constitution in Exile

Fudging results with jobs at stake is no laughing matter

Fudging results with jobs at stake is no laughing matter

By Jim Waters

Have you heard the one about the analysts bullied by a powerful president to change their findings that a proposed clean water regulation by the federal government would cost 7,000 American coal miners their jobs?

The punch line: The firms employing the analysts who refused to “soften” their numbers have been told “the contract would not be renewed,” according to testimony offered during a congressional hearing in Washington by Steve Gardner, president of ECSI, a Kentucky consulting firm and one of the project’s subcontractors.

Why? Because when the unemployment rate is higher in America’s premier coal-producing states than even the nationwide rate, telling 7,000 coal miners they are going to have to stand in the unemployment line is especially bad for business … reelection business, that is.

Gardner’s testimony contains too many details to simply dismiss these contractors-turned-whistleblowers’ claims as “sour grapes.”

For example, he testified that after the technical experts initially offered their conclusions about the job losses the nation’s coal industry would suffer as a result of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement’s plans to regulate mining near waterways, the administration instructed them to “revisit” the matter and use different assumptions that “obviously lead to a lesser impact.”

Obama’s environmental statists didn’t like the initial conclusions, so they told the analysts to concoct different ones. But those analysts “unanimously refused,” Gardner said.

He went a step further and explained in detail how the Obama administration pressured the analysts to operate from the assumption that a Bush-era 2008 mining regulation was in effect even though it is not.

So, who do you believe?

This administration, who, if beating up on a Bush-era regulation makes them look better will pound on it all day long, but which also is just as willing to use – to its benefit – the same regulation to “soften” bad news if that’s politically beneficial?

Or, do you believe technical experts hired to do a job and when the results did not politically benefit the administration stood by their work – like professionals do – and were kicked out but still willing to blow the whistle?

I’m putting my money on the experts for several reasons.

First, while Joseph Pizarchik, director of the surface mining office, accused Gardner and the other subcontractors of lying, he did so “without going into specifics,” according to published reports. Yet those who worked on the project offered specifics to support their claims.

Also factored into my view is this administration’s default anti-coal position. Even before he was elected, Obama openly spoke on the campaign trail about “bankrupting” coal-fired plants. What happened to these analysts fits tightly with the president’s ideology on energy in general and coal in particular.

Finally, even Obama-supporting Kentucky Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear castigates Washington for its regulatory absurdity.

Beshear was bamboozled after negotiating for eight months with the EPA to get the administration to approve some of the more than 100 coal-mining permits it has delayed. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson falsely assured the governor that those permits would be approved.

“Kentucky has experienced tremendous frustration over the uncertainty and overreaching policies of the EPA surrounding the Clean Water Act,” Beshear wrote in a recent letter to President Obama.

When you consider that this administration’s refusal to approve those permits is hindering the creation of hundreds of new jobs along with the fact that it has placed under siege an industry that provides coal miners an average weekly wage of $1,200, it makes Obama’s claims that he is a “a warrior for the middle class” the real joke here.

And a really bad one at that.

— Jim Waters is vice president of communications for the Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky’s free-market
think tank. Reach him at Read previously published columns at