Wednesday, August 31, 2011
If the presidential election were held today, just about anybody could wipe the floor with Barack Obama. The number of Americans who think “The One” is failing is at an all-time high. According to Gallup daily polling results released Monday, 55 percent now disapprove of the job President Obama is doing. The liberal media, which is in the tank for the first black president, don’t want voters to come to the conclusion that his defeat is inevitable so they’re cooking up mythical roadblocks in the way of a GOP victory.
By PAUL BEDARD
Under fire from Big Labor, millions of unemployed Americans and Democrats worried about the 2012 election to deliver a bold new jobs plan, President Obama is instead poised to roll out a retread program with some new tweaks.
"Some of these aren't new ideas," Labor Secretary Hilda Solis conceded today.
[Check out editorial cartoons on the economy.]
The strategy appears to be proposing programs that have bipartisan appeal and that might have a chance of passing the GOP-controlled House rather than an innovative plan that will spark a political tug-of-war that could drag on into the 2012 elections. [Read Rick Newman: 7 Ways Obama Can Gain Credibility on Jobs]
Republicans want a greater focus on business tax cuts, but leadership aides said today that they are eager to find common ground on some programs with the president.
"I don't want to upstage anything he's going to do except to tell you which you already know," said Solis. "We are in need of extending some good programs that I think have worked, a payroll tax cut, very important, had the bipartisan support, and an also infrastructure bank...that's a no brainer," she added, citing previously proposed ideas. She also rolled out an old idea to provide businesses with tax cuts or credits if they hire more workers.
The presidents of the AFL-CIO and Teamsters, however, have sharply criticized simple, "nibbly things" to solve the jobs crisis previously proposed by the president. [Read: Teamsters Joins AFL-CIO to Blast Obama.]
Both AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Teamsters boss James Hoffa said the president has been wimpy when faced with GOP opposition and both want more stimulus spending, which the president appears unwilling to propose.
Solis, defended her boss, stating flatly that the president has "absolutely not" been proposing "nibbly" fixes to the economy and employment crisis. One example that she noted was that his auto bailout has resulted in a healthy car industry.
However, she stated that it's the view of the administration that government is only to help employers and partner with business, not rebuild the employment base. "The federal government does not create jobs, we help incentivize, we make I think a concerted effort to coordinate our dollars."
She also brushed aside questions about Obama raising the minimum wage. "I support the federal minimum wage as it is," she said.
As recent news stories explain, the Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI), which gives money to workers who become disabled, will be insolvent in six years. While the causes of this trend are various, a new book suggests that the solution might be simple: Encourage people with disabilities to work, rather than encouraging them not to.
....Like welfare before reform, SSDI benefits are eliminated whenever beneficiaries start making their own money. Today, the cap is about $1,000 a month; once a disabled worker’s earnings cross that threshold, he loses all benefits. In the short run, therefore, it’s best for an SSDI recipient not to work too much.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Marco Rubio's Tide Is RisingBy Cal Thomas
In my high school days before sex and environmental education and the general dumbing down of the population, memorization of some Shakespeare was expected in Miss Kauffman's 12th-grade English class.
A favorite I still recall is this line spoken by Brutus in "Julius Caesar": "There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries ..."
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., repeatedly says in various ways it is too soon, or he isn't ready, for higher office such as vice president. He's been in the Senate for a little more than seven months and has delivered only two major speeches -- his maiden speech on the Senate floor and one last week at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
In the Reagan Library speech, Rubio laid out his philosophical foundation, something that must be at the heart of any policy.
Defining the proper role of government ought to be the central issue in the coming presidential campaign.
Indeed, it should occupy our thoughts between campaigns because those of us who pay income tax are not getting a good return on our investment.
Here's Rubio: "We have the opportunity -- within our lifetimes -- to actually craft a proper role for government in our nation that will allow us to come closer than any Americans have ever come to our collective vision of a nation where both prosperity and compassion exist side by side."
That takes the "compassionate conservatism" of George W. Bush to a different level. To Rubio, prosperity is not the opposite of compassion. Rather, the two are -- or should be -- joined.
Prosperity provides the means by which people can be compassionate to those truly in need, such as the disabled and elderly. It is also the ticket out of dependency for people who can work but have been robbed of their dignity by addiction to a government check.
Dignity leads to many other character qualities, which advance the true welfare of an individual, benefiting society. Someone with dignity, self-regard and respect for others is unlikely to take part in a flash mob attack.
Rubio points to a path beyond the familiar "either-or" debate; beyond envy of the wealthy and multiple and ineffective programs to liberate the "poor." This repetitive scenario has produced, said Rubio, "a government that not even the richest and most prosperous nation on the face of the Earth can fund or afford to pay for. An extraordinary tragic accomplishment, if you can call it that."
Rubio went further than what might be expected of a Republican, acknowledging his party is partly responsible for the growth of government: "I know that it is popular in my party to blame the president, the current president. But the truth is the only thing this president has done is accelerate policies that were already in place and were doomed to fail. All he is doing through his policies is making the day of reckoning come faster, but it was coming nonetheless."
And then there is this, which shatters the left's stereotype about the right: "Conservatism is not about leaving people behind. Conservatism is about empowering people to catch up, to give them the tools ... that make it possible for them to access all the hope, all the promise, all the opportunity that America offers. And our programs to help them should reflect that."
If this is not a speech that lays the foundation for a Rubio run for higher office, it is a speech that ought to begin a major transition from costly and ineffective government programs to a renewed empowerment of individuals.No one, perhaps not even Rubio, can know for certain whether he is "ready" for higher office. President Obama has proven he wasn't ready. Some leaders don't know they can lead until leadership is thrust upon them.
The right philosophy is key and the Reagan Library speech proves that Rubio has the most important ingredient of any leader: vision. Read it, be inspired and then consider whether Rubio's tide is rising.
Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2011/08/marco-rubios-tide-rising#ixzz1WVrWUYFr
Monday, August 29, 2011
House Majority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., outlined his party's plans to lawmakers in a memo in which he said it is "essential that the House continue our focus on the jobs crisis" in the coming weeks and months.
The jobless rate has been stuck above 9 percent for months, and both parties are eager to show they are taking action to reduce unemployment. Obama said Monday he would announce his own proposals next week, but his plan will likely center on more stimulus spending, a nonstarter in the GOP-dominated House.
And Obama is all but certain to oppose the Republican plan, which includes a massive tax cut and an attempt to roll back some of the key environmental regulations his administration put in place to reduce so-called greenhouse gas emissions.
This political impasse will likely mean that no big jobs bill will get signed into law anytime soon.
"I don't think there will ever be a comprehensive jobs bill," Democratic strategist Doug Schoen told The Washington Examiner. "The gap is too wide."
Cantor on Monday outlined a series of bills the House will take up in September, including the repeal of regulations Republicans deem burdensome to businesses. Key among those are new standards and rules about to be implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency that are aimed at curbing pollution from power plants, farms and industry.
The Republican agenda will also take aim at the National Labor Relations Board with legislation that responds to the NLRB's recent decision to try to block Boeing from moving aircraft production to a new plant in South Carolina. The proposed bill, "Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act," would prohibit the NLRB from restricting where a company can move production, Cantor said in the memo.
The GOP agenda will also include a huge tax break for small businesses that would allow them to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income. Cantor said this tax cut would "free up funds for small-business people to retain and hire new employees, and reinvest in and grow their businesses."
Republicans say they want more robust tax breaks than the payroll tax cut that Obama will likely include in his jobs plan.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's office called Cantor's plan "an ideologically driven GOP 'no jobs' fall agenda" and said it would jeopardize clean air and water and make it easier for corporations to send jobs overseas.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Cantor's plan is an effort to respond to criticism from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that Congress has not taken sufficiently aggressive action to revive the economy.
"When they even stall common-sense measures like continuing the payroll tax cut for the middle class, it's clear Republicans are still putting politics ahead of our economic recovery," Schumer said. "Their agenda seems intended only to provide cover for blocking the kind of pro-growth proposals needed to make a difference."
It appears that unless every white person in this country votes for Barack Obama next November, Chris Matthews will believe it's because they're racist.
Either way, the big-thinking Republican, his supporters, and presidential political experts sense that Gingrich, left for dead by the political class weeks ago when his staff abruptly quit and stories surfaced about his big-dollar Tiffany's account, is on the way back. The reason for the emerging Newt 2.0? His effective performance in the last debate that inspired supporters to boost online donations after he assailed the deficit "super committee" while spelling out detailed solutions to fixing the economy.
"He moved out of the irrelevant category and now he has some standing," says a GOP analyst. "His strengths are his ideas and translating them at a debate. Given that there are lots more debates, he has a chance to win."
The Gingrich surge is seen in some polls. In Missouri and Louisiana, for example, he is fourth behind Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Rep. Michele Bachmann.
"The general response to the campaign has gone up significantly since [the Iowa debate]," says Gingrich.
"There's been somewhat of an uptick in polling numbers, not gigantic yet, but starting us back on the road to building a unique case. What I'm trying to do is show leadership now, show how you could actually solve problems and do it in a way that is totally compatible with conservative values but is also common sense and in some ways bipartisan," adds the Georgian.
"A number of people say that I'm just different and that they are glad to see somebody who isn't just articulating slogans without trying to develop solutions and my hope is that will grow," says Gingrich.
He feels he can come back and take the GOP nomination because the economy is so bad that voters more than ever are looking for new ideas.
Some suggest that his effort is similar to Sen. John McCain who in 2008 staged a comeback after being written off. Gingrich rejects that model. "I'm actually closer to [Barry] Goldwater and [Ronald] Reagan," he says. "They were arousing new groups, new organizations, using new issues and doing it new ways and it took a while to build momentum."
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Obama's regulatory flood is drowning economic growth | Examiner Editorial | Opinion | Washington Examiner
One doesn't have to look far for an explanation of why the economy grew at an anemic 1 percent rate during the last quarter.
Businesses large and small face more uncertainty today about the federal regulatory environment than at any point since the New Deal radically increased the role of the government in the nation's economy. Thanks to Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, plus President Obama's decision to use bureaucratic regulation to start major initiatives like cap and trade that Congress refused to pass, the federal bureaucracy has been drafting new regulations at an unprecedented pace. Seeing this tsunami of red tape flooding out of Washington, company owners and executives wisely opt to delay new hires and investments until they have a clearer idea how much their already huge compliance costs will increase and how the markets will be warped by changes mandated by the bureaucrats.
As House Speaker John Boehner noted earlier this week in a blog post, "a simple scan of the Obama administration's current regulatory agenda indicates that the administration currently has 4,257 new regulatory actions in the works, of which at least 219 will have an economic impact of $100 million or more. That is an increase of nearly 15 percent over last year, when a similar search showed 191 new economically significant regulatory actions by the administration to be in the works." Even before those 4,257 new regulations go into effect, the Federal Register shows more than 81,000 pages of regulations, which result in compliance costs in excess of $1.7 trillion, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute's "Ten Thousand Commandments: How much regulation is enough" report for 2010.
But Boehner points to an even scarier fact about this Obama-inspired avalanche of new federal regulation: By the government's own estimates, at least one of the multiple new major rules being proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could cost as much as $90 billion. Some independent analysts put the cost of new EPA regulations at more than $1 trillion. Boehner last year asked Obama to provide Congress with a list of all proposed regulations with estimated costs of $1 billion or more. Obama never produced the requested list, so Boehner is again asking the president to provide it to Congress. We hope the speaker isn't holding his breath waiting.
Nobody expects Obama to instruct the bureaucrats at the EPA and elsewhere in the executive branch to cease and desist, which means there will be no significant economic growth in this country between now and the 2012 election. Unless the EPA delays enforcement of several of its most draconian new rules, unemployment may actually increase between now and the election. It's almost as if Obama thinks the dead hand of regulation -- with all of the economic stagnation that follows -- is good for us.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
"Tell me again why Barack Obama has been such a bad president?” Jonathan Alter writes
in his column.
Alter tells us he’s not talking here about Obama as a tactician and communicator, and he’s not interested in hearing ad hominem attacks or about people’s generalized “disappointment.” (Neither am I.) He wants to know on a substantive basis why Obama should be judged to have failed so far.
In Alter’s words, “Your mission, Jim [or anyone else for that matter], should you decide to accept it, is to be specific and rational, not vague and visceral.”
Consider the mission accepted.
In one sense, the answer to the Alter challenge is obvious: Obama has failed by his own standards. It’s the Obama administration, not the RNC, that said if his stimulus package was passed unemployment would not exceed 8 percent. It’s Obama who joked there weren’t as many “shovel-ready” jobs as he thought.
It’s Obama who promised to cut the deficit in half. It’s Obama who said if we passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the health care cost curve would go down rather than up. It’s Obama who promised us recovery and prosperity, hope and change. What we’ve gotten instead is the opposite.
What makes Alter’s challenge particularly delicious is during the Bush years he spoke out about the importance of a “reality-based” presidency (as opposed to a “faith-based” one). “They [Republicans] could end up winning in November by distorting the argument,” Alter said in 2006. “But on credibility and the facts, they’ve lost.”
With Alter’s devotion to credibility and facts in mind, let’s take an empirical, reality-based look at economic life in America during the Age of Obama:
* Under Obama’s stewardship, we have lost 2.2 million jobs (and 900,000 full-time jobs in the last four months alone). He is now on track to have the worst jobs record of any president in the modern era.
* The unemployment rate stands at 9.1 percent v. 7.8 percent the month Obama took office.
* July marked the 30th consecutive month in which the unemployment rate was above the 8 percent level, the highest since the Great Depression.
* Since May 2009 — roughly 14 weeks into the Obama administration — the unemployment rate has been above 10 percent during three months, above 9 percent during 22 months, and above 8 percent during two months.
* Chronic unemployment is worse than during the Great Depression.
* The youth employment rate is at the lowest level since records were first kept in 1948.
* The share of the eligible population holding a job has declined to the lowest level since the early 1980s.
* The housing crisis is worse than in the Great Depression. (Home values are worth roughly one-third less than they were five years ago.)
* The rate of economic growth under Obama has been only slightly higher than the 1930s, the decade of the Great Depression. From the first quarter of 2010 through the first quarter of 2011, we experienced five consecutive quarters of slowing growth. America’s GDP for the second quarter of this year was a sickly 1.0 percent; in the first quarter, it was 0.4 percent.
* Fiscal year 2011 will mark the third straight year with deficits in excess of $1 trillion. Prior to the Obama presidency, we had never experienced a deficit in excess of $1 trillion.
* During the Obama presidency, America has increased its debt by $4 trillion.
That is to say, Obama has achieved in two-and-a-half years what it took George W. Bush two full terms in office to achieve — and Obama, when he was running for president, slammed Bush’s record as being “unpatriotic.”
* America saw its credit rating downgraded for the first time in history under the Obama presidency.
* Consumer confidence has plunged to the lowest level since the Carter presidency.
* The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Obama’s watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty.
* A record number of Americans now rely on the federal government’s food stamps program. More than 44.5 million Americans received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, a 12 percent increase from one year ago.
There is more that can be said, but you get the point.
What makes this record doubly horrifying is rapid growth is the norm after particularly deep recessions — but under Obama, our recovery has been historically weak. President Obama (and Alter) can blame his predecessor, the Tea Party, the Arab Spring, the Japanese tsunami, events in Europe, ATM machines and even athlete’s foot for his predicament. It doesn’t really matter, as even Obama conceded during the early months of his presidency, when he
declared, “One nice thing about the situation I find myself in is that I will be held accountable.”
Indeed. Obama “owns” the economy, as both his senior aide David Plouffe and the chair of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, have said.
“If you lose a common ground of facts on which to move forward as a society, nobody can agree on anything, and you can’t pull together to solve problems,” Alter told Keith Olbermann during the Bush administration.
I agree. And it is on the common ground of facts that we can declare–in a calm, specific, reasonable, rational and empirical manner–Obama to be an utter failure.
Friday, August 26, 2011
In an interview airing Thursday on PBS’s “Newshour,” Republican presidential contender and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said, if elected, he would consider asking the richest Americans to “sacrifice.”
“As president, I wouldn’t hesitate to call on a sacrifice from all of our people, even those at the very highest end of the income spectrum,” Huntsman said.
This guy cannot be a Republican!
Bernanke, who spoke at an annual economic conference in Jackson Hole, said that record-low interest rates will promote growth over time.
Krugman: Prominent Republicans Like Perry and Ryan Preventing Bernanke From Saving Economy | NewsBusters.org
It often amazes that liberals in this country revere New York Times columnist Paul Krugman as being an expert economist.
Take for example Friday's intellectually challenged piece entitled "Bernanke's Perry Problem" in which the Nobel laureate accuses prominent Republicans such as the Texas governor and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan of preventing the Federal Reserve chairman from enacting monetary policy that would save the economy:
[I]nvestors around the world are anxiously awaiting Ben Bernanke's speech at the annual Fed gathering at Jackson Hole, Wyo. They want to know whether Mr. Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, will unveil new policies that might lift the U.S. economy out of what is looking more and more like a quasi-permanent state of depressed demand and high unemployment.
But I'll be shocked if Mr. Bernanke proposes anything significant -- that is, anything likely to make any serious dent in unemployment or offer any serious boost to growth.
Why don't I expect much from Mr. Bernanke? In two words: Rick Perry.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Senator Marco Rubio
Reagan was commenting on a new interview Cheney has given to NBC in which he reiterates support for waterboarding. The liberal anchor discussed the subject with Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune. Reagan reiterated, "...Any neutral reading of, say, the U.N. Convention Against Torture makes it pretty clear that if you support waterboarding and you enact that sort of a policy, you're guilty of a war crime."
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Infrastructure spending is expected to be one of the chief components of the jobs plan that President Obama will unveil in September. The idea of spending on public works projects like road-building as economic stimulus has been a mainstay of jobs proposals from both congressional Democrats and the White House in recent years. But opponents question its efficiency at creating jobs—and its cost.
According to data from Moody's Analytics, which performs economic analysis and forecasting, infrastructure spending is more effective, dollar for dollar, than many forms of tax cuts at boosting jobs growth. But after passing legislation, going through the appropriations process, identifying projects, planning, and hiring workers, the time it takes the federal government bureaucracy to get that money out the door can mean delayed or even diminished economic impact. Add to that a particularly slow-moving Congress with a propensity for partisan divides that slow or halt much legislation—and the current climate of budget-cutting—and a potentially promising policy move could be greatly undercut or never enacted.
PRINCETON, NJ -- Shortly after announcing his official candidacy, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has emerged as rank-and-file Republicans' current favorite for their party's 2012 presidential nomination. Twenty-nine percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents nationwide say they are most likely to support Perry, with Mitt Romney next, at 17%.
The government will run another $1.3 trillion deficit in fiscal year 2011, Congress’s chief scorekeeper said Wednesday — easily eclipsing the $917 billion in savings over the next decade lawmakers scratched out earlier this month in their debt-reduction deal and underscoring the deep challenge they face going forward.
And over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office said, the federal government will rack up nearly $6 trillion in new deficits — far outstripping the $1.5 trillion in future savings the new deficit super committee is charged with recommending to Congress.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
"Let us all remember who the real enemy is. The real enemy is the Tea Party -- the Tea Party holds the Congress hostage. They have one goal in mind, and that's to make President Obama a one-term president," Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) said at a Miami town hall with constituents.
Rep. Frederica Wilson blamed "racism" for the high black unemployment rate on MSNBC yesterday.
The Rasmusen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 19% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-five percent (45%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -26 (see trends
August 23, 2011
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says that liberals like the vice president, Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Barney Frank, and others are "smearing" the Tea Party to hide their lack of a solution to sky-high unemployment and historic budget deficits.
When in doubt play the race card!
Monday, August 22, 2011
Senator Santorum told WOR Radio’s Steve Malzberg, “ Maxine Waters is a “Caricature of what’s wrong with Congress, she is vile.” He also went on to address the double standard which allows a Democrat to say such a thing without the media scrutiny that a Republican would get.
Let's say you come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your home, and you have sewage up to your ceilings.
What do you think you should do……raise the ceilings, or pump out the crap?
By Eric Cantor, Published: August 21
Our country is facing two related but separate crises. The first is the federal government’s debt crisis, the result of decades of fiscal mismanagement by both political parties as well as unsustainable entitlement commitments. The second is the jobs crisis, which has resulted in painful levels of unemployment and underemployment. President Obama is wrong to think that the answer is to increase spending or raise taxes when so many millions of Americans are out of work.
In fact, the Obama administration’s anti-business, hyper-regulatory, pro-tax agenda has fueled economic uncertainty and sent the message from the administration that “we want to make it harder to create jobs.” There is no other conclusion for policies such as the new Environmental Protection Agency regulations, including the “Transport Rule,” which could eliminate thousands of jobs, or the ozone regulation that would cost upward of $1 trillion and millions of jobs in the construction industry over the next decade. The administration’s new maximum achievable control technology standards for cement are expected to affect nearly 100 cement plants, setting over-the-top requirements resulting in increased costs and possibly thousands of jobs being offshored. There is the president’s silence as the National Labor Relations Board seeks to prevent Boeing from opening a plant in South Carolina that would create thousands of jobs. Such behavior, coupled with the president’s insistence on raising the top tax rate paid by individuals and small businesses, has resulted in a lag in growth that has added to the debt crisis, contributing to our nation’s credit downgrade.
The debt crisis threatens our long-term future: the ability of our children and their children to have the same opportunities to succeed that this and previous generations enjoyed. Republicans passed a budget this spring, written by Rep. Paul Ryan, that would address our challenges head-on by putting in place common-sense reforms to manage our debt over the short and long term.
Unfortunately, we have found President Obama to be an unwilling partner when it comes to getting America’s fiscal house in order. Since taking office, he has added trillions to the debt, ignored the recommendations of his own fiscal commission and put forth a budget that failed to address the drivers of our debt. Then we had to drag him to the table to make even the modest spending cuts that Standard & Poor’s says don’t go far enough.
The president has acknowledged that without reform, spending on entitlement programs is unsustainable. But he has also made clear that he would never support the type of structural changes to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security needed to make these programs solvent as envisioned in our budget — even if Republicans agree to his demand for tax increases. While a compromise on the way to strengthen entitlements may be one thing, raising taxes in this economy is another. Doing so would exacerbate the jobs crisis for the 14 million Americans out of work. It would negatively affect the businesses across America that we are counting on to get our economy going.
Friday, August 19, 2011
by KEITH KOFFLER on AUGUST 19, 2011, 10:26 AM
Michelle Obama and President Obama traveled to Martha’s Vineyard just hours apart, costing taxpayers thousands in additional expenses so she could have just a bit of extra vacation time.
Mrs. Obama and her daughters arrived just before 2 pm Thursday on a U.S. government jet, according to the Martha’s Vineyard Times, which got its information from the local airport. The first lady’s office has been silent on her travel. President Obama arrived in the evening along with the family dog Bo.
The extra costs related to Mrs. Obama’s solo trip mainly include the flight on a specially designed military aircraft she took instead of Air Force One, as well as any extra staff and Secret Service that had to be enlisted to go with her. She would also have had her own motorcade from the airport to her vacation residence.
Mrs. Obama’s separate jet travel sends the wrong message on a host of issues, from global warming to the budget deficit to the economy – in which currently so many people can’t afford to take a vacation at all.
This is not the first time Michelle has gone on vacation ahead of the president on the taxpayers’ tab. Last December, she racked up what was likely more than $100,000 in expenses leaving early for their Hawaii vacation.
Bowing to pressure from immigrant rights activists, the Obama administration said Thursday that it will halt deportation proceedings on a case-by-case basis against illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria, such as attending school, having family in the military or having primary responsible for other family members’ care.
The move marks a major step for President Obama, who for months has said he does not have broad categorical authority to halt deportations and said he must follow the laws as Congress has written them.
But in letters to Congress on Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she does have discretion to focus on “priorities” and that her department and the Justice Department will review all ongoing cases to see who meets the new criteria.
“This case-by-case approach will enhance public safety,” she said. “Immigration judges will be able to more swiftly adjudicate high-priority cases, such as those involving convicted felons.”
The move won immediate praise from Hispanic activists and Democrats who had strenuously argued with the administration that it did have authority to take these actions, and said as long as Congress is deadlocked on the issue, it was up to Mr. Obama to act.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Edmund L. Andrews | August 18, 2011
“There is nothing wrong with our country’’ except for the “broken” political system, President Obama declared at many stops on his Midwest bus tour this week. “We’ve still got the best workers in the world. We’ve got the best entrepreneurs in the world. We’ve got the best scientists, the best universities.”
Well, fine. Presidents have to profess confidence about the country and its long-term prospects, even when the news is bleak. But in repeatedly insisting that there is “nothing wrong,’’ Obama put himself at odds with current reality and with what most people think is true.
It’s not just that unemployment and underemployment are sky-high. It’s also that the economic recovery is sputtering and in serious danger of slipping into a second recession. A wide variety of polling shows that about 75 percent of Americans think the country is on the “wrong track.” Consumer confidence is at the lowest level since 1980, and consumer spending is depressed. Global stock markets, which plunged again on Thursday, are more volatile than at any time since the depths of the financial crisis in late 2008. Gasoline prices are still near $4 a gallon, and gold prices have now pushed above $1,800 an ounce.
From National Journal:
Where Presidents Go on Vacation
First Family Won’t Leave Controversy Behind
Libya's Rebels Reopen Embassy in Washington
VIDEO: Perry is Skeptical of Global-Warming
15 Things You Didn't Know About Congress
Obama’s line is eerily reminiscent of John McCain’s infamous remark during the 2008 presidential campaign -- during the same week that Wall Street was imploding – that “the fundamentals of the economy are strong.”
McCain, like Obama, was simply trying to project an underlying confidence that this, too, would pass. For political and economic reasons, it’s not a good idea for a president or presidential candidate to trash the state of the nation. It both deepens the crisis of confidence and projects a lack of leadership.
But McCain’s comment seemed so utterly at odds with the financial collapse that he came across as clueless and disingenuous. Obama’s comments this week had a similar ring. It’s one thing to assure voters that the country still has underlying strengths and will eventually recover. It’s something else to say, as the president did on numerous occasions, that only political gridlock was to blame. And Obama didn’t just say it once. It was a central line he repeated at his bus stops in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois.
Does that inspire confidence? It’s true that the debt-ceiling fight highlighted a political standoff, and that Standard & Poor’s cited the stalemate as the primary reason for downgrading the United States’ AAA credit rating.
(RELATED: The Recent White House Strategy Shift)
But it’s also true that the economy has real problems. On Wednesday, Morgan Stanley sharply lowered its economic forecast for the United States through 2012 and warned that both the U.S. and Europe were “dangerously close to a recession.” Among the reasons: declining business and consumer confidence; weak investment and hiring; and “policy errors’’ on both sides of the Atlantic in the form of premature budget austerity.
Polls indicate that American voters blame Republicans more than Democrats for the debt-ceiling debacle, and approval ratings for Congress are down as low as 13 percent. But a new Gallup Poll released on Wednesday showed that public approval for Obama’s handling of the economy is also down to a new low of 26 percent.
What is the line between projecting confident leadership and out-of-touch cheerleading? Every president since at least Ronald Reagan has declared at one point or another that the fundamentals of the economy are sound, and they usually did so amid signs that the economy had problems.
(RELATED: Stocks Fall on Double Dose of Bad News)
“The American economy is the envy of the world, and we need to keep it that way," President Bush declared in August 2007, just as the first wave of the mortgage meltdown was wreaking havoc on credit markets. "The fundamentals of our economy are strong.... Job creation is strong. Real after-tax wages are on the rise. Inflation is low."
To be sure, public confidence is crucial, and the truth is that the economy does have an underlying resilience and capacity to recover.
Presidents have to be careful, keeping in mind President Carter’s speech in July 1979 about the crisis of American spirit – often referred to as his “malaise’’ speech, though Carter didn’t actually use that word.
“The erosion of our confidence in the future is threatening to destroy the social and the political fabric of America,” Carter lectured in prime time. “Too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption…. We've learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose.”
Carter’s speech did nothing to boost confidence and everything to cement his unpopularity. He seemed to be blaming the American people for his inability to push his legislation through Congress and, implicitly, for the nation’s deep economic woes.
But happy talk, particularly at a moment when new fears are spiking, can hurt confidence and sour the public too. Bush’s bland reassurances in the summer of 2007 did nothing to postpone the crisis, and his administration’s belated recognition of it may well have made things worse than they had to be.
Americans have not forgotten. As recently as September 2010, a Gallup Poll showed that 71 percent of respondents still blamed Bush for the country’s financial problems. For Obama, that should be a sobering precedent.
Gallup began measuring Americans' satisfaction with national conditions in 1979. Since then, satisfaction has been lower than the current 11% in only a few measurements in the final months of 2008. The all-time low of 7% came in an Oct. 10-12, 2008, poll, conducted shortly after stock values plummeted following Congress' passage of the TARP legislation in response to the September 2008 financial crisis.
The current figures represent the continuation of a long slump in national satisfaction, which has been below 30% since September 2009, below 40% since August 2005, and below 50% since January 2004. The historical average satisfaction rating since 1979 is 40%. The all-time high is 71% in February 1999.
Democrats are somewhat more likely to say they are satisfied (19%) with conditions in the United States today than are Republicans (9%) and independents (8%).
Economic Concerns Paramount in Americans' Minds
In all, 76% of Americans mention some economic issue as the most important problem facing the country, the highest percentage since April 2009.
The most commonly mentioned specific problems are all economic in nature, including the economy in general (31%), unemployment or jobs (29%), and the federal budget deficit and federal debt (17%). The top non-economic problem is dissatisfaction with government and political leaders, mentioned by 14% of Americans.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
George Soros: Media Mogul: Executive Summary
By Dan Gainor and ... | August 17, 2011 | 11:23
George Soros is arguably the most influential liberal financier in the United States, donating more than $8 billion just to his Open Society Foundations. In 2004, he spent more than $27 million to defeat President George W. Bush and has given away millions more since to promote the left-wing agenda. But what goes almost without notice is Soros' extensive influence on and involvement with the media.
Since 2003, Soros has donated more than $52 million to all kinds of media outlets - liberal news organizations, investigative reporting and even smaller blogs. He has also been involved in funding the infrastructure of supposedly "neutral" news, from education to even the industry ombudsman association. Many other operations Soros supports also have a media component to what they do.
His media funding has helped create a liberal "echo chamber," in the words of one group he backs, "in which a message pushes the larger public or the mainstream media to acknowledge, respond, and give airtime to progressive ideas because it is repeated many times." The goal is "Taking Down Fox News," as the Soros-supported "Mother Jones" described it.
Despite his denials, Soros has extensive reach into the media. The Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute conducted a detailed analysis of George Soros and his influence on the media. It found:
Soros Spends More Than $52 Million on Media: Since 2003, Soros has spent more than $52 million funding media properties, including the infrastructure of news - journalism schools, investigative journalism and even industry organizations. That's a low estimate because many organizations have a media component to what they do but it is impossible to separate the operations.
Ties to Major Media: Soros has connections to more than 30 mainstream news outlets - including The New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press, CNN and ABC.
Breach of Ethics: Prominent journalists like ABC's Christiane Amanpour, New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson and former Post editor and now Vice President Len Downie serve on boards of operations that take Soros cash. But according to the Society of Professional Journalists' ethical code, journalists should 'avoid all conflicts real or perceived.' Reporters and editors serving on boards of groups funded by Soros openly violate both aspects of this guideline.
Reaching More Than U.S. Population: Every month, reporters, writers and bloggers at the many outlets Soros funds - from big players like NPR to the little known Project Syndicate and Public News Service, both of which claim to reach millions of readers - easily reach more than 332 million people around the globe. The population of the entire United States is less than 310 million.
Fox News is Target No. 1: Nearly 30 groups funded by the liberal billionaire have attacked Fox News in the six months since the beginning of December, 2010. Soros-funded media operations claim Fox News has a "history of inciting Islamophobia and racial and ethic animosity" and that it tries to "race bait its viewers."
The Business & Media Institute has some recommendations for the media to better handle their obvious conflicts of interest when it comes to Soros:
Just Say No to Soros Cash: No purportedly "objective" journalist should serve on a board or advise any outlet that is financed by Soros. If academics do so, they should be open about their affiliations. But working journalists like Downie, Amanpour and Abramson should divorce themselves from the conflict.
Question Motivations of News Sources: Reporters and editors should be aware when a story is being deliberately hyped by a web of linked organizations. Such times should always have reporters questioning not just the motives, but the facts of the case - whether it's on the right or the left.
Spend Time Investigating the Left: Journalists have no trouble finding incentive to do detailed analysis of conservatives, but spend little time questioning the motives or funding of liberal organizations. Reporters should do a more detailed investigation into the Open Society Foundations and their influence throughout the media.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
But if we raise taxes on the 500 richest Americans, or alternatively on all Americans earning over $10 million a year, I want something in return. For every dollar we confiscate from the super-rich, I want to lower the tax burden on small businesses and on those persons making between $250,000 and, let’s say, $3 million (often they are one and the same). We can debate specific income amounts after we have an agreement in principle.
Regulation Business, Jobs Booming Under Obama
Under President Obama, while the economy is struggling to grow and create jobs, the federal regulatory business is booming.
Regulatory agencies have seen their combined budgets grow a healthy 16% since 2008, topping $54 billion, according to the annual "Regulator's Budget," compiled by George Washington University and Washington University in St. Louis.
That's at a time when the overall economy grew a paltry 5%.
Meanwhile, employment at these agencies has climbed 13% since Obama took office to more than 281,000, while private-sector jobs shrank by 5.6%.
Michael Mandel, chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute, found that between March 2010 and March 2011 federal regulatory jobs climbed faster than either private jobs or overall government jobs. (See chart.)
Regulatory production is way up, too, if you measure that by the number of rules federal agencies churn out.
The Obama administration imposed 75 new major rules in its first 26 months, costing the private sector more than $40 billion, according to a Heritage Foundation study. "No other president has imposed as high a number or cost in a comparable time period," noted the study's author, James Gattuso.
The number of pages in the Federal Register — where all new rules must be published and which serves as proxy of regulatory activity — jumped 18% in 2010.
This July, regulators imposed a total of 379 new rules that will cost more than $9.5 billion, according to an analysis by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.
And much more is on the way. The Federal Register notes that more than 4,200 regulations are in the pipeline. That doesn't count impending clean air rules from the EPA, new derivative rules, or the FCC's net neutrality rule. Nor does that include recently announced fuel economy mandates or eventual ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank regulations.
But what's good for regulators isn't necessarily good for the private sector, as compliance burdens impose ever-increasing costs on businesses.
"Our economy is continuing to sink," Sen. Barrasso said, "and it's being weighed down by regulations coming out of this administration."
By 2008, the cost of complying with federal rules and regulations already exceeded $1.75 trillion a year, according to a 2010 study issued by the Small Business Administration.
Monday, August 15, 2011
His approach may have appeared basic, but the results were unassailable. Over the next eight years, more than 16 million new private-sector jobs were created, a payroll expansion of 17.6 percent.
It was called the “American Miracle” and was replicated by world leaders across the globe, who met with similar success.
Looking back at it from a distance, it’s remarkable to me that the concepts that worked so amazingly well just a short time ago have fallen so far to the wayside.
Perhaps during this time of unrivaled Keynesian influence - an era of bailouts and budget-busting “stimulus” packages - the idea that you can improve the future by revisiting the lessons of the past seems overly simple, even quaint.However, if America is going to pull out of the economic death spiral in which it’s locked, we have to return to the basics Ronald Reagan preached.
If you don’t believe Reaganomics can still work in this day and age, for whatever reason, I say you should look no further than the state of Texas.
Under the leadership of Gov. Rick Perry, Texas has championed and built upon the concepts my father used to rebuild America in the 1980s.
The results, again, are unassailable.
Over the decade between April 2001 and April 2011, more than 730,000 private-sector jobs were created in the Lone Star State. During that same stretch of time, the next-best state added just over 90,000 and the nation as a whole lost 2.2 million.
By almost any measure, Texas survived the global economic recession in dramatically better shape than any other state, continuing to add employers seeking to expand or relocate from across the country or around the world.
What’s the secret behind the Texas Miracle? Low taxes, predictable and limited regulation and restrained government spending. Sound familiar?
Texas stands as an example the rest of the nation should be emulating. In fact, many states want to do so. Earlier this year, a contingent of lawmakers from California traveled to Austin to meet with Mr. Perry to try to figure out just what Texas was doing to make it such an attractive destination for relocating California businesses and residents.
As the son of the former governor of California, I can appreciate the irony of a Golden State contingent traveling to Texas to learn the lessons originally taught by Ronald Reagan.
Texas has not slowed down, either. Analyzing weaknesses in its already jobs-friendly climate, Mr. Perry and other state leaders recognized the need for further tort reforms to make the state even more attractive. Just last month, shortly after signing off on a budget that dramatically cut state spending, Mr. Perry put pen to paper and signed into law a “loser pays” component to the Texas court system that adds further protections to victims of lawsuit abuse.
Mr. Perry is smart enough to realize that endless - and often frivolous - lawsuits are just another hurdle standing in the way of private companies seeking to grow their businesses.
Dallas Federal Reserve President and CEO Richard Fisher described the importance of tort reform earlier this week on CNBC, saying companies pay close attention to such things. “The most important thing that’s happened to [Texas] is tort reform,” Mr. Fisher said. “Regulation-making, rule-making and the way the law works and how it’s applied have a tremendous impact on capital formation and employment.”
Mr. Perry is continuing the Reagan tradition of removing senseless roadblocks and allowing free enterprise to do what it does best: hire employees and generate wealth.
During a time when most companies appear to be insecure about adding to their payrolls because of the uncertainty surrounding our economy, this country would be wise to carefully study why Texas employers seem to be largely immune to this insecurity.
In short, the Reagan Revolution is alive and well - deep in the heart of Texas.
Michael Reagan, the son of the 40th president of the United States, is author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (Thomas Dunne, 2011).
Saturday, August 13, 2011
America is owed an honest Obamacare cost estimate | Examiner Editorial | Opinion | Washington Examiner
America is owed an honest Obamacare cost estimate
By: Examiner Editorial | 08/13/11 8:05 PM
Would Obamacare force millions of middle-class Americans to buy health insurance they can't afford, or would Obamacare end up costing taxpayers $500 billion more over 10 years? That was the question facing President Obama before the Treasury Department issued new regulations implementing his mammoth health reform law on Friday.
The problem begins with Obamacare's individual mandate, which forces every American to buy a federally approved health insurance policy. Obamacare then makes all insurance policies more expensive by forcing insurance companies to insure every customer who wants a policy, while also limiting the prices they can charge. But Obamacare attempts to soften the financial blow of the mandate by subsidizing insurance premium payments for those with annual incomes 133 percent to 400 percent above poverty level. The government defines the poverty level as $22,000 for a family of four. Those below 133 percent of poverty are forced into Medicaid.
The $777 billion that Obamacare is slated to pay in subsidies to insurance companies through 2021 is by far the most expensive part of the program. But it could have been even more expensive. Americans who are offered "affordable" insurance coverage by their employers are not eligible for Obamacare subsidies. But what is the definition of an "affordable" insurance plan?
Section 1401 of the Affordable Care Act says an insurance plan is unaffordable if the employee portion of an employer-offered health insurance premium "exceeds 9.5 percent of the applicable taxpayer's household income." So a family of four whose breadwinner earned $80,000 would be eligible for subsidies if the nominal premium for the plan that his employer offered exceeded $7,600 a year. The average family premium in 2010 cost $13,770, so millions of Americans would have been eligible for generous Obamacare subsidies.
But when the Congressional Budget Office scored the Obamacare legislation, analysts were instructed to use a different definition of affordable coverage. Instead of comparing a family's income to the cost of insuring a family, the CBO scored a family's income to the cost of insuring just the individual employee. The average premium for an individual policy costs far less than the average family premium ($5,049 compared with $13,770). So, all of a sudden, our typical family with household income of $80,000 would not have qualified for Obamacare subsidies. However, it still would have been on the hook for expensive health coverage because of the individual mandate. A recent study estimated that it would have cost $47.5 billion a year to close this subsidy gap.
Instead, the Treasury Department "fixed" this apples-to-oranges problem Friday by simply exempting affected families from the individual mandate. But while this regulatory fix may save the government hundreds of billions of dollars, it puts affected families in a worse position than they were before the reform law was passed. They may not have to buy insurance, but if they do want coverage their options are now more limited and more expensive. How many families are hurt by the Treasury Department's new regulations? We don't know. Members of Congress should call on the CBO to rescore Obamacare using the more accurate family
Howdy. Thank you, Erick (Erickson, editor of RedState). It is great to be at RedState. And I’ll tell you what, it’s even better to be governor of the largest red state in America.
It’s sure good to be back in the Palmetto State, in South Carolina. I enjoy coming to places where people elect folks like Nikki Haley, true conservatives. And also where they love the greatest fighting force on the face of the earth…the United States Military.
And I want to take a moment and ask you to just take a silence, think about those young Navy SEALs and the other special operators who gave it all in the service of their country. Just take a moment to say Thank you, Lord, that we have those kind of selfless, sacrificial men and women. Their sacrifice was immeasurable, their dedication profound, and we will never, ever forget them.
I stand before you today as the governor of Texas. But I also stand before you the son of two tenant farmers, Ray Perry, who came home after 35 bombing missions over Europe to work his little corner of land out there, and Amelia who made sure my sister Milla and I had everything that we needed, including hand-sewing my clothes until I went off to college.
I am also the product of a place called Paint Creek. Doesn’t have a zip code. It’s too small to be called a town along the rolling plains of Texas. We grew dryland cotton and wheat, and when I wasn’t farming or attending Paint Creek Rural School, I was generally over at Troop 48 working on my Eagle Scout award.
Around the age of 8, I was blessed – didn’t realize it, but I was blessed to meet my future wife, Anita Thigpen, at a piano recital. We had our first date eight years later. And she finally agreed to marry me 16 years after that. Nobody says I am not persistent.
There is no greater way to live life than with someone you love, and my first love is with us today, my lovely wife Anita. We’re also blessed to have two incredible children, Griffin and Sydney, and they are also with us today, and our wonderful daughter-in-law Meredith. I’d just like to introduce those two. Thank you.
What I learned growing up on the farm was a way of life that was centered on hard work, and on faith and on thrift. Those values have stuck with me my whole life. But it wasn’t until I graduated from Texas A&M University and joined the United States Air Force, flying C-130’s all around the globe, that I truly appreciated the blessings of freedom.
To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, I realized that the United States of America really is the last great hope of mankind. What I saw was systems of government that elevated rulers at the expense of the people. Socialist systems cloaked maybe in good intentions but were delivering misery and stagnation. And I learned that not everyone values life like we do in America, or the rights that are endowed to every human being by a loving God.
You see, as Americans we’re not defined by class, and we will never be told our place. What makes our nation exceptional is that anyone, from any background, can climb the highest of heights. As Americans, we don’t see the role of government as guaranteeing outcomes, but allowing free men and women to flourish based on their own vision, their hard work and their personal responsibility. And as Americans, we realize there is no taxpayer money that wasn’t first earned by the sweat and toil of one of our citizens.
That’s why we reject this President’s unbridled fixation on taking more money out of the wallets and pocketbooks of American families and employers and giving it to a central government. “Spreading the wealth” punishes success while setting America on course to greater dependency on government. Washington’s insatiable desire to spend our children’s inheritance on failed “stimulus” plans and other misguided economic theories have given us record debt and left us with far too many unemployed.
But of course, now we’re told we are in recovery. Yeah.
But this sure doesn’t feel like a recovery to more than nine percent of Americans out there who are unemployed, or the sixteen percent of African Americans and 11 percent of Hispanics in the same position, or the millions more who can only find part-time work, or those who have stopped even looking for a job.
One in six work-eligible Americans cannot find a full-time job. That is not a recovery. That is an economic disaster.
If you think about it, for those Americans who do have full-time jobs, they aren’t experiencing economic recovery with the rising fuel costs and the food prices that are going up. Recovery is a meaningless word if the bank has foreclosed on your home, if you are under water on your mortgage, or if you are up to the max on your credit card debt. Those Americans know that this President and his big-spending, big-government policies have prolonged our national misery, not alleviated it.
And what do we say to our children? Y’all figure it out? Don’t worry, Washington’s created 17 debt and entitlement commissions in 30 years, but the fact of the matter is they just didn’t have the courage to make the decisions to allow you to have the future that you actually deserve? That Washington wouldn’t even make modest entitlement program reforms in this last debate? And the President even refused to lay out a plan, for fear of the next election? How can the wealthiest nation in the history of civilization fail so miserably to pay its bills? How does that happen?
Well, Mr. President, let us tell you something: you can’t win the future by selling America off to foreign creditors.
We cannot afford four more years of this rudderless leadership. Last week, that leadership failed, and the tax and spend and borrow agenda of this President led to the first ever downgrade of the credit rating of the United States of America.
In reality though, this is just the most recent downgrade. The fact is for nearly three years President Obama has been downgrading American jobs. He’s been downgrading our standing in the world. He’s been downgrading our financial stability. He’s been downgrading our confidence, and downgrading the hope for a better future for our children. That’s a fact.
His policies are not only a threat to this economy, so are his appointees – a threat. You see he stacked the National Labor Relations Board with anti-business cronies who want to dictate to a private company, Boeing, where they can build a plant. No president, no president should kill jobs in South Carolina, or any other state for that matter, simply because they choose to go to a right-to-work state.
You see, when the Obama Administration is not stifling economic growth with over-regulation, they are achieving the same through their reckless spending. Debt is not only a threat to our economy, but also to our security.
America’s standing in the world is in peril, not only because of disastrous economic policies, but from the incoherent muddle that they call foreign policy. Our president has insulted our friends and he’s encouraged our enemies, thumbing his nose at traditional allies like Israel. He seeks to dictate new borders for the Middle East and the oldest democracy there, Israel, while he is an abject failure in his constitutional duty to protect our borders in the United States.
His foreign policy seems to be based on alienating our traditional allies, while basing our domestic agenda on importing those failed Western European social values. We don’t need a president who apologizes for America. We need a president who protects and projects those values.
Look, it’s pretty simple: we’re going to stand with those who stand with us, and we will vigorously defend our interests. And those who threaten our interests, harm our citizens – we will simply not be scolding you, we will defeat you.
One Trackback to “Gov. Rick Perry: America Needs New Leadership (Full Text of Announcement Speech)”
Friday, August 12, 2011
George Orwell is no doubt smiling down from the heavens after witnessing last night’s Republican “debate” in Ames, Iowa. Why, you might ask? This event featured more doublethink (if not hypocrisy) than any other in recent history.
Recall that Orwell defined doublethink in 1984 as “The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them…” The Ames Debate offered several instances of this very thing, many relating directly to the Tenth Amendment.
Congresswoman Bachmann, for example, has positioned herself repeatedly as a leader in the tea party, state’s rights, and Tenth Amendment movements. Asked last night whether there was a difference between the state or federal government mandating that an individual buy a product (referring primarily to health care insurance), Bachmann responded that there was no difference. It is “unconstitutional,” she maintained, regardless of whether it is imposed by the state or federal government. She did not cite which part of the Constitution denies states this authority.
Of course, that’s because no clause in the Constitution prevents states from doing it, as Congressman Paul rightly noted in response to Bachmann’s doublethink. Paul stated that the federal government is not empowered to go in and stop states that do bad things.
Editor's Note: What follows is NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell's thoughts on who won, who lost, and who should just pack it all in following last night's Republican presidential debate in Ames, Iowa.
Gingrich: The winner. Wasn't even close. Showed why Obama would pee in his pants having to debate this man.
Santorum: Also a winner. Showed most passion, and took on and beat up other candidates. But was it enough to keep him alive?
Romney: Draw/Win. Played not to lose and in that sense succeeded. Didn't accomplish anything, but no one laid a hand on him either.
Bachman: Draw. Up in that she very successfully deflected attacks. Down in that she came out with plastic speeches when asked to "speak from the heart."
Cain: Draw. Answered some questions well, others not so well. In the end it wasn't enough to save him.
Paul: Loser. Time to go home, Ron. His attacks on the US vis-a-vis Iran were insulting.
Pawlenty: Like the boxer told in the 12th round that he needed a knock-out, Pawlenty threw wild punches everywhere -- and never scored. It's over.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
An Obituary printed in the London Times - Interesting and sadly rather true..
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why the early bird gets the worm;
- Life isn't always fair;
- and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion..
Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.
He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I'm A Victim
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.
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"The president's failure to put our nation's fiscal and economic house in order has caused a massive loss of confidence that resulted in an embarrassing downgrade," former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said in a statement Monday. "In the Carter era, it was called 'malaise.' Under President Obama, it's called meltdown." [See a slide show of the 2012 GOP candidates.]
Reps. Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann, who both voted against the deal to raise the debt ceiling, blamed the deal itself—both have said the debt ceiling shouldn't be raised in the first place. "We were told by proponents of increasing the debt ceiling that a credit downgrade would come if we didn't raise the limit, but the opposite was true," Paul said in a statement, adding a firm campaign promise: "If elected President, I pledge to veto any unbalanced budget and to balance the federal budget in the first year of my term."
Bachmann added a harsh judgment on Obama. "This President has destroyed the credit rating of the United States through his failed economic policies and his inability to control government spending by raising the debt ceiling," she said in a statement. "President Obama is destroying the foundations of the U.S. economy one beam at a time." [Check out a roundup of political cartoons on the deficit.]
The assessment by Bachmann and Paul that raising the debt ceiling is to blame, however, seems to contradict S&P's analysis of their own decision, which they said was partially due to the "prolonged controversy" over raising the debt ceiling. In a "why can't we all just get along" type of plea, S&P reported that, "the political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America's governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed."
Other GOP candidates pointing the finger at what they see as a lack of leadership from the White House included former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, ex-pizza magnate Herman Cain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Sen. Rick Santorum, and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson also pointed the finger at "What we should be talking about is downgrading Barack Obama from President of the United States," Pawlenty said at an Iowa campaign event over the weekend. [Check out political cartoons about the 2012 GOP field.]
S&P's report indicated that the credit rating agency expects the upcoming elections will make political compromise over fiscal policy even more difficult, and that's likely, if the campaign responses are any indication. "A new political consensus might (or might not) emerge after the 2012 elections," the report said, "but we believe by then, the government debt burden will likely be higher," and the demands on fiscal policy will be greater.