Friday, September 30, 2011
It's a significant disparity if you compare excitement and enthusiasm that Democrats had for Obama in 2008, where he was near messianic, to now where he actually has a record and he's rather mortal. There will be none of that enthusiasm again, it's almost impossible. It had a lot to do in 2008 with the fact that he was almost entirely unknown and was extremely eloquent and was lightning in a bottle. That is never going to happen again. He's got a record now and it's a bad one. So there is no way that you can ever get near that.
But I think even worse for Obama than the decline in the intensity of support among Democrats--because after all, where they are going to go--on election day they'll be out there for him--is the number on independents. The number on independents is staggeringly bad. 31% approval of independents.
Obama won the election of 2008 on the basis of independents, and the first hint of trouble came in the off-year elections at end of 2009 in Virginia and New Jersey, where independents in states that had gone Obama went 2-1 against Obama. Then in the Senate race for the so-called Kennedy seat in January of 2010 the independents went 3 to 1 against Democrats. And I think if Obama cannot rise from the 31% approval he has among independents he is going to suffer a landslide.
This is for all my fellow conservatives that are looking for a pure and perfect candidate for President, We need someone who can appeal to moderates and independents in order to defeat Obama!
Thursday, September 29, 2011
NJ Governor Chris Christie at the Reagan Library
President Barack Obama's Complete List of Historic Firsts [Updated]
Yes, he's historic, alright.
• First President to Preside Over a Cut to the Credit Rating of the United States Government
• First President to Violate the War Powers Act
• First President to Orchestrate the Sale of Murder Weapons to Mexican Drug Cartels
• First President to be Held in Contempt of Court for Illegally Obstructing Oil Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico
• First President to Defy a Federal Judge's Court Order to Cease Implementing the 'Health Care Reform' Law
• First President to Require All Americans to Purchase a Product From a Third Party
• First President to Spend a Trillion Dollars on 'Shovel-Ready' Jobs -- and Later Admit There Was No Such Thing as Shovel-Ready Jobs
• First President to Abrogate Bankruptcy Law to Turn Over Control of Companies to His Union Supporters
• First President to Bypass Congress and Implement the DREAM Act Through Executive Fiat
• First President to Threaten Insurance Companies After They Publicly Spoke out on How Obamacare Helped Cause their Rate Increases
• First President to Threaten an Auto Company (Ford) After It Publicly Mocked Bailouts of GM and Chrysler
• First President to "Order a Secret Amnesty Program that Stopped the Deportations of Illegal Immigrants Across the U.S., Including Those With Criminal Convictions"
• First President to Demand a Company Hand Over $20 Billion to One of His Political Appointees
• First President to Terminate America's Ability to Put a Man into Space.
• First President to Encourage Racial Discrimination and Intimidation at Polling Places
• First President to Have a Law Signed By an 'Auto-pen' Without Being "Present"
• First President to Arbitrarily Declare an Existing Law Unconstitutional and Refuse to Enforce It
• First President to Tell a Major Manufacturing Company In Which State They Are Allowed to Locate a Factory
• First President to refuse to comply with a House Oversight Committee subpoena.
• First President to File Lawsuits Against the States He Swore an Oath to Protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN, etc.)
• First President to Withdraw an Existing Coal Permit That Had Been Properly Issued Years Ago
• First President to Fire an Inspector General of Americorps for Catching One of His Friends in a Corruption Case
• First President to Propose an Executive Order Demanding Companies Disclose Their Political Contributions to Bid on Government Contracts
• First President to allow Mexican police to conduct law enforcement activities on American soil
• First President to Golf 80 or More Times in His First Two-and-a-Half Years in Office
But remember: he will not rest until all Americans have jobs, affordable homes, green-energy vehicles, and the environment is repaired, etc., etc., etc.
Linked by: Don Surber and Parkway Rest Stop. Thanks!
Labels: Crime, Democrats, Economy, Firearms, Immigration, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Unions
For the second day in a row, MSNBC's Martin Bashir made a statement involving New Jersey governor Chris Christie that should offend Americans on both sides of the aisle.
Discussing Republican presidential candidates with conservative author Pat Buchanan Thursday, Bashir asked, "Why do you think Mr. Christie is the great white hope?"
| September 29, 2011
Since President Obama assumed office two and a half years ago, federal spending has accelerated at a pace without precedent in recent history, taking us from an already staggering $3.5 trillion in federal spending in 2010 to a projected $5.6 trillion within the next decade.
This is the financial equivalent of speeding against traffic on a superhighway. It’s dangerous. It has to stop.
A household cannot become prosperous by spending all its money and running up a credit card bill.
Neither can a government or a country. Instead of putting the United States on a path toward economic recovery, the Obama administration’s spending binge threatens to turn us into another Greece, a chronic debtor state teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.
The indicators are all equally alarming. Since the 1950s, federal spending as a percentage of GDP has hovered around 20 percent.
When President Obama took office, it shot up to 25 percent, a level not seen since World War II. Before the recession, the federal government spent $25,000 per household. That number has now soared past $30,000 and is on track to hit $35,000 within the next decade.
All this money has to come from somewhere. If President Obama stays in the White House for another four years, some of it will come from the higher taxes the administration is seeking to impose. The rest of it will have to be borrowed. Before Obama assumed office, our country’s indebtedness was 40.3 percent of GDP. Current projections have it hitting 69 percent this year.
If anyone wonders why unemployment is stuck above 9 percent, and why some 25 million Americans are unemployed, underemployed, or are no longer looking for work, we should pause on that 69 percent figure. Every dollar that the government borrows for its operations is a dollar that cannot be invested in productive privatesector activity. Runaway federal spending crowds out private investment. At a moment when the public sector is flourishing as never before, it is unsurprising that the private sector has withered.
I have spent most of my life in the private sector, starting companies and turning around failing ones. What the federal government is doing today is a classic formula for ruin. I know how to set priorities and rein in costs.
In 2003, I became governor of a state hobbled by a deficit and shedding jobs as it came out of a recession. Working with a legislature under solid (85 percent!) Democratic control, I cut taxes 19 times, reformed and reorganized state government, and balanced the budget four years in a row. By the time I left office, Massachusetts employers were once again hiring, and the state had a rainy-day surplus of $2 billion.
The steps we must take to undo the damage inflicted by Barack Obama are as obvious as they are politically difficult. We must cut government spending, cap that spending at a sustainable level — 20 percent of GDP is the target I would shoot for — and pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. Cut, cap and balance are three words that are spoken far too rarely in Washington. But they embody my approach.
I will press for full repeal of Obamacare, which will save hundreds of billions of dollars. I will reduce the size of the federal workforce and align the wages and benefits of federal workers with the private sector. And I will set about the hard work of fundamentally restructuring the federal government.
Taxpayer money is today being used to underwrite a maze of rules, regulations and overlapping government agencies whose complexity defies the understanding even of those who inhabit the system. A first step in reform is acknowledging that the federal government cannot be everything to everyone.
There are many functions that the private sector can perform better than the public sector. Amtrak is a classic example. We can also use block grants to enable states to draw on federal resources while tailoring programs to their specific local needs.
That’s how Medicaid should be handled. It is also precisely what I have proposed in a plan under which the federal government will spend $4 trillion less than what the Obama administration — as detailed in its own mid-year budget projections — plans to spend over the next decade. And $4 trillion is just a down payment on future savings to come.
Getting the federal debt under control in the wake of Obama’s spending spree promises to be an arduous task. The good news is that Americans have awoken to the problem. The even better news is that the American people have always known what Washington can’t seem to learn: we cannot spend our way to wealth.
Cain: Black community 'brainwashed' into voting for Dems
By: CNN's Kevin Liptak
Washington (CNN) - The one African-American running for the GOP presidential nomination said Wednesday the black community was 'brainwashed' for traditionally siding with liberal politicians.
"African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded, not even considering a conservative point of view," Godfather's Pizza executive Herman Cain said on CNN's "The Situation Room" in an interview airing Wednesday between 5-7 p.m. ET. "I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the Republican nomination as a conservative. So it's just brainwashing and people not being open minded, pure and simple."
Cain went on to explain that his interactions with African Americans led him to be optimistic about his own chances with the demographic.
"This whole notion that all African-Americans are not going to vote for Obama is not necessarily true," Cain said.
He continued, "I believe a third [of African-Americans] would vote for me, based on my own anecdotal feedback. Not vote for me because I'm black but because of my policies."
Cain also weighed in on the recent chatter surrounding Chris Christie, saying the recent reports the New Jersey governor is reconsidering a run for president were hurting the electorate.
"It's not insulting as much as it is a disservice to the American people," Cain said. "Chris Christie has been saying for a long time he's not interested in running. The media is trying to create a story by sucking Chris Christie into race, just like they made a story by sucking Rick Perry into the race."
Cain said the media should focus on the candidates who have already declared their candidacy to give voters a better idea of the field.
GOP's Solyndra probe threatens to ensnare Energy Secretary Chu - The Hill's E2-Wire
The controversy over a $535 million loan guarantee to the now-bankrupt California solar firm Solyndra is threatening to dim the star of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a physicist and Nobel Prize winner who has rarely been thrust into the political spotlight.
Republican lawmakers have set their sites on Chu, who for three years has managed to avoid being dragged into a litany of political battles waged by Republicans and the White House on energy and environmental issues.
The GOP has for weeks lobbed a slew of allegations at the administration, arguing officials rushed a final decision on the loan guarantee and missed a series of red flags that hinted at the company’s financial troubles. Solyndra declared bankruptcy two years after receiving the Energy Department loan, resulting in layoffs for 1,100 workers.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
The per person Medicare insurance premium will increase from the present monthly fee of $96.40, rising to: $104.20 in 2012; $120.20 in 2013; And $247.00 in 2014. These are provisions incorporated in the Obamacare legislation, purposely delayed so as not to 'confuse' the 2012 re-election campaigns. Send this to all seniors that you know, so they will know who's throwing them under the bus.
REMEMBER THIS IN NOVEMBER 2012 & VOTE ACCORDINGLY
The chief spokesman for pharmaceutical manufacturers says President Obama has stuck two thorns in the industry’s side at a time marked by uncertainty as lawmakers contemplate cutting health care programs and battles over the new health care law wind their way through the courts.
When the president presented his deficit-cutting plan last week, he included measures that will drive up drug prices and squash investment in companies that develop drugs and medical devices, said John Castellani, president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).
The industry is especially fuming over Mr. Obama’s push to reduce the length of time a company can produce biologic drugs exclusively by paring the patent protection time frame from 12 years down to seven.
“It’s absolutely wrongheaded,” Mr. Castellani said. “It drives the opposite effect that the president stated he wants to reach.”
Peter Orzag, Former Obama Budget Director:
In an 1814 letter to John Taylor, John Adams wrote that “there never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” That may read today like an overstatement, but it is certainly true that our democracy finds itself facing a deep challenge: During my recent stint in the Obama administration as director of the Office of Management and Budget, it was clear to me that the country’s political polarization was growing worse—harming Washington’s ability to do the basic, necessary work of governing. If you need confirmation of this, look no further than the recent debt-limit debacle, which clearly showed that we are becoming two nations governed by a single Congress—and that paralyzing gridlock is the result.
So what to do? To solve the serious problems facing our country, we need to minimize the harm from legislative inertia by relying more on automatic policies and depoliticized commissions for certain policy decisions. In other words, radical as it sounds, we need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions by making them a bit less democratic.
One sunny day in January, 2013 an old man approached the... White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue , where he'd been sitting on a park bench. He spoke to the U.S. . Marine standing guard and said, "I would like to go in and meet with President Obama."
The Marine looked at the man and said, "Sir, Obama is no longer president and no longer resides here."
The old man said, "Okay", and walked away.
The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President Obama."
The Marine again told the man, "Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Obama is no longer president and no longer resides here."
The man thanked him and, again, just walked away.
The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same U.S. Marine, saying "I would like to go in and meet with President Obama."
The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Obama. I've told you already that Mr. Obama is no longer the President and no longer resides here. Don't you understand?"
The old man looked at the Marine and said, "Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it."
The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, "See you tomorrow, Sir."See More
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Harvey Golub: "His understanding of capitalism and free markets and how free people operate in free markets is less than my oldest grandson's. It is evident in almost everything he does."
You have two cows.
Your neighbor has none.
You feel guilty for being successful.
You push for higher taxes so the government can provide cows for everyone.
You have two cows.
Your neighbor has none.
You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor. You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.
You have two cows. The government seizes both and provides you with milk. You wait in line for hours to get it. It is expensive and sour.
CAPITALISM, AMERICAN STYLE
You have two cows. You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.
BUREAUCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE
You have two cows. Under the new farm program, the government pays you to shoot one, milk the other, and then pour the milk down the drain.
You have two cows. You sell one, lease it back to yourself, and do an IPO on the 2nd one.
You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when one cow drops dead.
You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have downsized and are reducing expenses.
Your stock goes up.
You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows. You go to lunch and drink wine.
Life is good.
You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains.
Most are at the top of their class at cow school.
You have two cows. You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour.
Unfortunately, they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.
You have two cows but you don't know where they are.
You break for lunch. Life is good.
You have two cows.
You drink some vodka. You count them and learn you have five cows.
You drink some more vodka. You count them again and learn you have forty-two cows.
The mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.
You have all the cows in Afghanistan — two.
You don't milk them because you cannot touch any creature's private parts. You get a $40 million grant from the US government to find alternatives to milk production but use the money to buy weapons.
You have two cows. They go into hiding.
They send radio tapes of their mooing.
You have two bulls. Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them.
You have one cow. The cow is schizophrenic.
Sometimes the cow thinks she's French, other times she's Flemish. The Flemish cow won't share with the French cow.
The French cow wants control of the Flemish cow's milk.
The cow asks permission to be cut in half.
The cow dies happy.
You have a black cow and a brown cow. Everyone votes for the best looking one. Some of the people who actually like the brown one best accidentally vote for the black one. Some people vote for both. Some people vote for neither. Some people can't figure out how to vote at all. Finally, a bunch of guys from out of state tell you which one you think is the best looking
Would it be a violation of Godwin's Law to point out that even the Nazis kept having elections even when we were bombing them? Heck, the United States continued having elections in the Civil War, World War I, and World War II. We didn't put democracy on hold just because we felt like it. There is this thing called the constitution.
But the constitution seems beside the point to one of America's least popular governors, Bev Perdue of North Carolina. Maybe brains and constitutional fidelity go together.
Perdue has declared that we should just suspend elections in 2012 for Congress until congressmen solve our economic problems. Given her lack of popularity and the fact that her unpopularity coupled with Obama's unpopularity will probably swing North Carolina to the GOP in 2012, I'm sure she was privately thinking we might as well suspend all elections next year.
After all, elections may matter, but they cost money.
Already people are suggesting she just had to be joking. Except it doesn't sound like she was joking and to come out now and say she was joking after giving a rather level toned speech in which she did not chuckle about it and, instead, asked people to join with her and support the idea sounds more like post-idiocy spin than truth.
Bev Perdue, Governor of North Carolina, thinks that notwithstanding the Civil War, World War I, the Great Depression, or World War II, our country is in such a terrible place now that by God we don't need no stinking elections because the people who cannot solve the problem right now will some how, miracle of miracles, solve the problem next year if only they don't have to then be held accountable by their constituents -- constituents who very likely will be purging Bev Perdue from politics next year.
Exit point: I think we've just had our first Democratic Governor go on record admitting our present economic situation is worse than the Great Depression.
--Samuel Adams, in the Boston Gazette, 1781
Monday, September 26, 2011
These are difficult times for the American people. The unemployment rate continues to exceed 9 percent. Over 14 million Americans remain unemployed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are now 1.7 million fewer jobs in America than there were when Congressman Ben Chandler voted for the failed trillion dollar stimulus.
Years of reckless overspending has produced the first ever downgrade in the nation’s credit rating. And just last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average tanked 6.41 percent, suffering its worst five-day sell-off since October 2008.
In short, the Obama-Chandler agenda of massive spending, huge debt, burdensome regulations and higher taxes hasn’t worked. In fact, it’s making the economy worse.
Now the President is proposing more of the same—another half trillion dollar stimulus coupled with $1.5 trillion in new taxes on the American people.
Everywhere across the nation, people are rising up, objecting to Washington’s overreach and making their voices heard. Unfortunately, these are voices Ben Chandler repeatedly ignores.
Chandler has continuously voted for the failed policies of Barack Obama. He voted for the failed trillion dollar stimulus—the same stimulus that gave over $500 million of your tax money to the now bankrupt Solyndra. He voted for cap and trade, legislation that would cost Kentuckians over 35,000 jobs. And he voted to save the unconstitutional Obamacare, which Kentuckians overwhelmingly oppose.
While our nation desperately needs jobs, bureaucrats from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) attack Boeing, prohibiting this great American company from building a plant in a right to work state. Meanwhile, Chandler enables the bureaucrats, voting against a bill that would prohibit the NLRB from ordering any employer to relocate, shut down, or transfer employment under any circumstance.
Despite all of Chandler’s incessant double-talk, he continues to vote against private sector job growth while raising money from unions, trial lawyers and liberal special interest groups to fuel his war chest. He will not stop promoting his big government, anti-growth agenda until we send him home.
There are only five days left until our next financial reporting deadline. Please go to andybarrforcongress.com today and help me put a stop to the Obama-Chandler job-killing agenda by contributing
$25, $50, $100, $250 or any amount you can afford. I promise to continue to campaign tirelessly for you as we fight to make Washington more accountable to the American people.
Thank you for your continued support and for joining our cause for jobs, growth and economic freedom.
Paid for by Andy Barr for Congress
Joe Scarborough: There Aren't Enough Republicans in Mainstream Media to Properly Report GOP Issues | NewsBusters.org
"There are not enough people that are either Republican in the mainstream media or talk to people on the telephone at least one a month...who actually understand what the Republican Party is"
Read more: http://newsbusters.org/#ixzz1Z59nLXhG
President Obama’s plan for taxes and spending has been hailed by the media as “populist.” A more accurate word to describe his agenda is “reactionary.” It won’t, to use Obama’s catchphrase, “win the future.” It probably won’t even win the past.
The Obama administration has adopted the fiscal strategy of the Greek government. The Greeks favor raising taxes on the wealthy and massive borrowing to freeze in place the present size, scope, and spending of the government. So does Obama, thus the reactionary nature of his plan.
The Greeks have balked at laying off a single government worker or privatizing any of the immense assets—in land, resorts, and a lot more—owned by the government. When told recently by a visiting delegation from the EU, IMF, and European Central Bank that Greece must cut spending and the bureaucracy deeply to qualify for another bailout, the Greek finance minister abruptly left the room—and didn’t return.
Now Obama has left the room. His speech in the Rose Garden last week vowing to veto any budget compromise without large tax increases means a deal with Republicans is off the table. Assuming he’s serious, the bipartisan congressional “super-committee” assigned to come up with $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction might as well disband. Obama is demanding tax hikes on the wealthy and various business interests—a poison pill to nearly all Republicans and many Democrats who fear a new recession.
The president led a crowd in Cincinnati last week in chants of “Pass this bill,” referring to his $467 billion “jobs bill.” Those in the crowd should have saved their breath. That measure is dead, too, killed by Obama’s insistence it has to be “paid for” entirely by raising taxes.
PRINCETON, NJ -- A record-high 81% of Americans are dissatisfied with the way the country is being governed, adding to negativity that has been building over the past 10 years.
Majorities of Democrats (65%) and Republicans (92%) are dissatisfied with the nation's governance. This perhaps reflects the shared political power arrangement in the nation's capital, with Democrats controlling the White House and U.S. Senate, and Republicans controlling the House of Representatives. Partisans on both sides can thus find fault with government without necessarily blaming their own party.
The findings are from Gallup's annual Governance survey, updated Sept. 8-11, 2011. The same poll shows record or near-record criticism of Congress, elected officials, government handling of domestic problems, the scope of government power, and government waste of tax dollars.
- 82% of Americans disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job.
- 69% say they have little or no confidence in the legislative branch of government, an all-time high and up from 63% in 2010.
- 57% have little or no confidence in the federal government to solve domestic problems, exceeding the previous high of 53% recorded in 2010 and well exceeding the 43% who have little or no confidence in the government to solve international problems.
- 53% have little or no confidence in the men and women who seek or hold elected office.
- Americans believe, on average, that the federal government wastes 51 cents of every tax dollar, similar to a year ago, but up significantly from 46 cents a decade ago and from an average 43 cents three decades ago.
- 49% of Americans believe the federal government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. In 2003, less than a third (30%) believed this.
Ronald Reagan -First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981
Sunday, September 25, 2011
‘This Congress, they are accustomed to doing nothing, and they’re comfortable with doing nothing, and they keep on doing nothing,” President Obama whined at a September 15 Democratic National Committee gathering in a private Washington residence.
Now that his “Blame Bush” hobby horse finally has retired to the glue factory, Obama resorts to pinning America’s woes on the “Do-Nothing Congress.” If only these parliamentarians would stop taking endless lunches, sipping cocktails at Capitol Hill happy hours, and napping at their desks, America might have some chance of returning to normal.
Obama speaks as if the entire Congress were in lock-step Republican opposition to his every initiative. Damn those pesky elephants! Of course, Obama’s rhetoric cynically turns things upside down.
Congress consists of a do-something House of Representatives, run by Republicans, and a do-nothing Senate controlled by Obama’s very own Democrats. Obama evidently believes that if he can keep spouting clever lies and distortions, no one will call him on it. Well, it’s time to do so.
The 112th Congress has been characterized by a very active legislative pace in the Republican House, featuring the passage of many measures designed to revive America’s exhausted economy.
The Democratic Senate, meanwhile, is a much lazier place, where House Republicans’ measures go to die.
The figures bear this out, beyond debate.
Through September 15, the Republican House had been in session for 120 days. The Democratic Senate through the same date had been in session only 115 days.
In terms of recorded votes, the two bodies are as different as Times Square and the Everglades. Through September 15, the GOP House had voted 711 times. Meanwhile, across the same period, the Democratic Senate had only 137 recorded votes. So, the allegedly lethargic GOP legislators whose sloth dooms the nation actually are five times as energetic as their indolent counterparts in the Democratic Senate.
This distinction might discredit House Republicans if they wasted their time voting on National Apricot Yogurt Month and similar matters of national urgency. In fact, Republicans have approved serious legislation designed to get America moving.
“Our new majority has passed more than a dozen pro-growth measures designed to address the jobs crisis,” Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor wrote Obama on September 6. “Aside from repeal of the 1099-reporting requirement in the health care law, however, none of the jobs measures passed by the House to date have been taken up by the Democrat-controlled Senate.”
These have included bills to reduce anti-business regulations, accelerate offshore oil production, and speed the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry Canadian oil to refineries in Texas. The pipeline alone would create 20,000 jobs.
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid seems to be in no rush to consider Obama’s American Jobs Act, even though Obama wants it enacted “right now!”
“We’ve got to get rid of some issues first,” Reid said. For now, he is not sure “exactly what I’m going to do yet with the president’s jobs bill,” especially since some of Reid’s own Democrats, such as Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Jim Webb of Virginia, seem ho-hum about Obama’s $447 billion Stimulus Jr.
While House Republicans adopted a budget last April 15, the Democratic Senate has not approved a budget since April 29, 2009. This Democratic inaction seems to violate the U.S. Congressional Budget Act, which requires passage of an annual budget resolution. Indeed, the Senate rejected Obama’s budget in May by a vote of 0 to 97 — with every Democrat in the chamber voting nay.
Obama can disagree with every piece of paper passed by the GOP House. But when he slyly bashes Republicans by accusing “this Congress” of “doing nothing,” he simply is lying through his teeth. If Obama wants the entire Congress to get something done, he should tell Harry Reid to wake up and do his job.
GOP to sink its teeth deeper into Solyndra and White House
By Andrew Restuccia
House Republicans have sunk their teeth into the bankruptcy of an Obama administration-backed solar firm, and they made it clear this week that they’re not letting go.
Unlike other GOP-led probes of the White House that quickly faded away, Republicans are vowing to intensify their investigation into the California-based Solyndra.
Read the complete story here.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Solyndra gave feds 22 pages of reasons why the firm could fail | Diana Furchtgott-Roth | Columnists | Washington Examiner
Solyndra, a California solar power company that filed for bankruptcy earlier this month, demonstrates the perils of "industrial policy" where the government decides which new industries or start-up companies to support with federal money.
But it's not like the government wasn't warned ahead of time.
Solyndra, in a public S-1 filing at the Securities and Exchange Commission in September 2009 before a public offering that was subsequently withdrawn, offered 22 pages of reasons why it might fail.
The report included a table of historical financial and operating data from 2006 to 2009, showing six different measures of gross and net losses. Not one positive number.
And still federal officials opted to give Solyndra a $535 million loan from the Federal Financing Bank, guaranteed by the Energy Department under its economic stimulus program funding for innovative clean-energy technologies.
The company, founded in 2005, had used $460 million of these loans by January 2011 to build a second factory, even though it still had excess capacity at its first plant.
By January 2011, it was clear that the company was going to fail. Still, the Energy Department helped shore up Solyndra by allowing it to draw on another $68 million in government loans.
In addition, the Obama administration allowed $385 million in government loans to take a back seat to $75 million in new investors' funds.
This was done because the Energy Department thought that the January deal represented the highest net benefit for the taxpayer, according to government reports. The $75 million from investors became senior to all government debt except $143 million.
Palestinian president submits statehood bid to UN chief, addresses General Assembly; earlier, Abbas declares he will not recognize Jewish state, Hamas says Palestinians shouldn’t be begging for state at UN, He also says they will never accept a Jewish state!
Sometimes, media bias is all about the headline . . . The New York Times has a decent piece this morning detailing the background that led to the approval by the Obama admin of more than a half-billion in loan guarantees to the soon-to-go-kaput Solyndra solar firm. The article paints a picture of an Obama admin that was eager to get the money out the door and was heavily lobbied by Solyndra and its major player who was a big Obama fund-raiser.
But check out the headline: "In Rush to Assist Solyndra, U.S. Missed Warning Signs." What do you mean, "U.S.", Gray Lady? That "U.S" suggests that perhaps the previous Bush admin also let itself get bamboozled by Solyndra.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
These southern boys will be dropped in Afghanistan knowing only these facts about terrorists:
1. The season opened today.
2. There is no limit.
3. They taste just like chicken.
4. They don't like beer, pickups, country music, or Jesus.
5. They are directly responsible for the death of Dale Earnhardt.
The Pentagon expects the problem in Afghanistan to be over by Monday...
The Federal Reserve’s comments about "significant downside risks" coupled with weak manufacturing reports from China and the eurozone sparked a broad sell-off that spilled into copper, oil and gold.
As investors rushed out of stocks, they poured money into bonds, sending the yield on the 10-year Treasury note to a record low.
At this rate, the Dow is on track for its worst week in nearly three years!
Ron Paul second, Jon Huntsman third, Rick Perry embarrassed in New Hampshire poll - The Hill's Pundits Blog
If the new Suffolk University poll predicts future trends, things get interesting. Mitt Romney will get some credit for being far ahead, but since he is a neighbor to New Hampshire, the benefit is limited. What is really interesting is that Ron Paul is now in second place, and what could prove more significant is that Jon Huntsman is in third place in the poll, and Rick Perry is nowhere, in fourth. Will any pundits suggest New Hampshire is now a two-way race between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul (wink)?
The Future of Social Security
Sixty-two percent of U.S. registered voters say they would definitely vote for Mitt Romney or would consider doing so, a higher percentage than say this about Barack Obama (54%) or Rick Perry (53%).
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
September 19, 2011 3:00 P.M.
It could almost make your head spin. With an economy on the front end of another recession, President Obama's tax attack on the folks who are most likely to succeed, invest, start new businesses, and create jobs is nothing short of staggering. Only liberal-left class-warfare ideology can explain this.
In his speech on Monday, Obama laid out $1.5 trillion in tax hikes over ten years, aimed almost entirely at America's well-to-do. This includes $800 billion from rolling back the top rates in the Bush tax-cut plan, $470 some-odd billion to reduce itemized deductions for upper-bracket payers, and -- oh yes -- a millionaire's tax called the "Buffett Rule."
Pause a moment on the Buffett Rule. Almost all of Warren Buffett's income comes from capital gains taxed at 15 percent. He only pays himself $100,000 a year, which would be taxed at the top rate. Most of his wealth is untaxed as unrealized capital gains. So his effective income-tax rate is lower than his secretary's.
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The vast majority of millionaires pay a 35 percent current tax rate on personal income from salaries, bonuses, and small-business income. Their effective tax rate is around 30 percent, much higher than the roughly 20 percent effective rate for the so-called middle class (depending, of course, on how you define the middle class).
Remember that the top 1 percent of income-tax payers shoulders 40 percent of all income taxes. They are paying their fair share. Then remember that 50 percent of income-tax filers don't pay any income tax at all.
Obama refuses to tell us what the new millionaire tax rate would be, or what the formula might be in relation to middle-class taxpayers. But one thing's for sure: This new Buffet tax is a penalty on investment, risk-taking, and job-creation.
No one even knows what the targeted group is going to be. A New York Times story suggests that the Buffet tax will hit three-tenths of 1 percent of taxpayers, which could be 450,000 people out of 144 million tax returns.
A Wall Street Journal story suggests the Buffet tax would have hit just 22,000 people in 2009, those households making more than $1 million annually and paying less than 15 percent of income in federal income taxes. According to the Tax Policy Center, doubling the tax burden of those 22,000 would raise just $19 billion a year. How silly is this?
And let's also not forget that over the past four decades the evidence is absolutely clear that a lower capital-gains tax produces huge gains in revenues. Raising the cap-gains tax lowers revenues. It's a pure Laffer-curve effect.
Clearly, the logic here is political, not economic. And it's equally clear that Mr. Obama is now catering to his liberal-left base. I guess his logic is that even though so many people don't have jobs, they'll feel much better knowing that 22,000 rich people will have a higher tax rate.
Adding to this bizarre scenario, Obama knows full well that the debt-ceiling deal now moving to the phase-two super committee rules out tax increases. He also knows full well that none of these tax hikes will ever get through the GOP House. Perhaps, as Congressman Paul Ryan notes, class warfare makes for good politics. Perhaps.
But Ronald Reagan was branded a class warrior for the Kemp-Roth tax cuts, and he was overwhelmingly reelected. Why? Because low tax rates reignited economic growth and job-creation. Today, the president's militant tax-hike threats, along with Obamacare and unmanageable regulatory costs, are holding back job-creators.
And Paul Ryan makes another key point: Tax investment more, and you'll get less of it. If these kinds of tax hikes are ever passed, the economy will be doomed to stagnation over the long-run. Penalizing incentives will do that. And lower growth means higher deficits.
Why in the world doesn't President Obama follow the overwhelming consensus for fundamental tax reform to lower marginal rates and broaden the income base? Economists of all stripes agree on this.
At the end of the day, it sure looks like our president wants to raise taxes on wealthy Americans and large corporations in order to spend more and enlarge the size and scope of government. From the standpoint of jobs, growth, and prosperity, it just won't work.
Larry Kudlow, NRO's economics editor, is host of CNBC's The Kudlow Report and author of the daily web log, Kudlow's Money Politic$.
CBC Chairman Cleaver: If Obama wasn't president, we would be ‘marching on the White House’ - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room
Unhappy members of the Congressional Black Caucus “probably would be marching on the White House” if Obama were not president, according to CBC Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).
"If [former President] Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably would be marching on the White House," Cleaver told “The Miami Herald” in comments published Sunday. "There is a less-volatile reaction in the CBC because nobody wants to do anything that would empower the people who hate the president."
"We’re supportive of the president, but we getting tired, y’all,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said in August. “We want to give [Obama] every opportunity, but our people are hurting. The unemployment is unconscionable. We don’t know what the strategy is."
Rather than targeting Obama’s leadership, many CBC members aimed their fire at the Tea Party movement over the summer’s congressional recess. Waters said in a public meeting in her district that the Tea Party "can go straight to hell." Another member, Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.), called the Tea Party “the real enemy” seeking to hold Congress “hostage.”
Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), the only Republican member of the CBC and also a member of the Tea Party Caucus, objected to hostile language used by members targeting the Tea Party movement and threatened to leave the caucus unless Cleaver condemned remarks made by other members. West singled out comments from Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.), the CBC’s whip, who said that Tea Party-affiliated members of Congress see African-Americans as "second-class citizens" and would be happy to see them "hanging from a tree."
Cleaver persuaded West to remain a member of the caucus, with West indicating later that one reason he decided to stay was that the CBC membership needed a conservative presence.
According to West, he is working with Cleaver to produce a plan to confront the rate for unemployment amongst African-Americans, which at 16.7 percent is nearly double the rate nationwide.
Cleaver acknowledged that some of the things members of his caucus say might not be in the best interests of the “aggressive agenda” he said he is seeking to develop as chairman.
“Maxine Waters represents central Los Angeles first and she has to represent her constituents first and she's going to say things in order to represent them,” he said.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Jim Cramer, a Democrat and Wall Street insider, made a statement on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Friday morning that most definitely turned heads in the White House.
Speaking about the disappointing data released by the Conference Board, Cramer said that traders hate President Obama "like Jimmy Carter was hated" because they believe he's "destroying this country" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
JIM CRAMER, CNBC: Let's take the Conference Board at face value. Let's say that's right. That means that the American people would be joining business leaders who have so turned on Obama. I mean, look, you don't understand. When you are off camera, I mean -- the disdain for this guy. I often find myself saying like Trump did, “Hey, come on, it’s America. He's our president. Support him.” But the disdain is off the charts.
I mean, this guy is just hated. Okay? He is hated like Jimmy Carter was hated. I think we have to tell our viewers that because when these mikes are off, these guys are saying, “Listen, it’s Obama that's destroying this country.”
I always say, “Come on, come on. The Democrats and the Republicans are destroying the country.” But we all know that a lot of this rally I think is a subtext. The subtext is, “You know, maybe we won't have been Obama to kick around anymore,” a la Governor Nixon.
For those not understanding the Conference Board reference, Reuters reported early Friday:
Consumer sentiment inched up in early September, but Americans remained gloomy about the future with a gauge of expectations falling to the lowest level since 1980, a survey released on Friday showed.
That survey came from the Conference Board which in Cramer's view means Americans have turned on Obama. I'm not sure I'd go that far as August was a horrible month for stocks which always reduces confidence.
As for what Wall Streeters are saying about the President, since Cramer is possibly one of the biggest media insiders to such folks given his prior career as a hedge fund manager, he likely knows what he's talking about.
His point concerning this rally's political connection is on shaky ground, though. Did stocks rally this week because traders believe Obama's days in the White House are numbered?
I find that a little dubious because we're still almost fourteen months away from Election Day, and investors are far shorter term in their thinking than that. Even the folks at Intrade are currently 50/50 on Obama's relection. I don't see a lot of money coming in yet strongly betting on his defeat.
Even so, if Cramer is right how traders are looking at the current White House resident, this doesn't only mean Obama will lose the votes of Wall Streeters - he'll also lose their financial backing which was so crucial to his election in 2008.
By: Examiner Editorial | 09/15/11 8:05 PM
On Thursday, an investigative team representing Republicans in both chambers of Congress released a sweeping report detailing how President Obama, his top appointees in the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services, and leading congressional Democrats ignored repeated internal warnings about the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act. That's the long-term care entitlement program buried within the 2,000-plus pages of Obamacare. The warning from knowledgeable experts was that the CLASS Act was another government-spawned financial disaster-in-the-making for American taxpayers. These revelations ought to be the final nail in the coffin for this latest ill-conceived government scheme to put federal bureaucrats in charge of your health care.
As with so many other milestones along the way to Obamacare, the CLASS Act was the brainchild of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. The program is similar to Social Security in the sense that participants pay premiums that finance payments to current beneficiaries. Unlike Social Security, however, CLASS is supposed to be voluntary and fully funded by premiums. Having CLASS as a voluntary program certainly made for a more compelling sales pitch, but, as Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Chief Actuary Richard Foster warned in a May 2009 email revealed in the report, the idea "doesn't look workable." The problem, according to Foster, was that there likely won't be enough participants to keep the program afloat. Two months later, Foster was even more emphatic: "Thirty-six years of actuarial experience lead me to believe that this program would collapse in short order and require significant federal subsidies to continue."
As the email trail exposed in the report shows, Foster wasn't alone in airing such concerns. But Obama and company pressed ahead anyway, just as they did when warned by other experts that giving Solyndra $535 million in federal loan guarantees wasn't a good idea because it would likely go bankrupt. Because the CLASS Act would collect five years of premiums before paying out any benefits, Democrats could claim $72 billion in deficit reduction from the program over the Congressional Budget Office's 10-year budget window, ignoring the fact that it would become a budget buster over time.
Not only does the program represent another ticking entitlement time bomb for taxpayers, but it imposes a heavy administrative burden on states and businesses. And, in order to increase enrollment, emails show that the Department of Health and Human Services has contemplated imposing additional mandates on employers. Under Obamacare, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has wide leeway to impose new requirements, which are expected to be finalized this fall.
Unlike other parts of the national health care law, there's actually some bipartisan support for repealing the CLASS Act. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., called it "a Ponzi scheme of the first order, the kind of thing that Bernie Madoff would have been proud of." Though he eventually voted for it, the budget proposal he unveiled this July as part of the bipartisan Gang of Six called for repeal of the CLASS Act. There's no time to waste, because once the government starts collecting premiums, the program will be all but impossible to unwind.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
They have been losing businesses and workers.
What do Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Texas have in common?
They have been gaining workers.
As Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore wrote in The Wall Street Journal, the states shedding workers tend to be heavily unionized.
Those gaining workers tend to be right-to-work states.
From 2000 to 2009, consider these facts regarding the 22 right-to-work states and 28 union-shop states:
Gross state product: Up 54.6 percent for right-to-work states, up 41.1 percent for union-shop states.
Personal income: Up 53.3 percent for right-to-work states, up 40.6 percent for union shop states.
Population: Up 11.9 percent for right-to-work states, up 6.1 percent for union shop states.
From 2000 to 2008, 4.8 million Americans moved from union-shop states to right-to-work states, according to a study from the Cato Institute.
Unions by their nature are effective political forces in protecting their own interests.
But they don't help much in job creation.
People are voting with their feet.
Florida Times Union
On Tuesday and Wednesday's World News, reporter Brian Ross exposed e-mails indicating that the Obama administration gave a $535 million loan to the green company Solyndra, despite deep misgivings inside the government about its viability. Yet, Good Morning America has declined to follow-up on the ABC scoop.
GMA completely ignored the story, failing to even mention it in a news brief. The morning show did, however, find time to devote over five minutes to the divorce of reality TV star Michaele Salahi. While his own network minimized the new developments, Ross was able to explain the details on Wednesday's O'Reilly Factor.
He warned that the controversy goes "right to the door of the White House. New e-mails that came out today at a congressional hearing revealed the pressure put on people inside the White House to move up the timing" of the loan.
Ross told Bill O'Reilly that he was stunned to learn that "early in the year, the White House became aware the company was about to go bankrupt. Now, the government, the White House told us and the company told people in Congress, everything was great, rosy projections at a time they knew they were running out of cash."
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
By: Cal Thomas | 09/12/11 8:05 PM
If you live long enough, you'll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you'll be a better person." -- Bill Clinton
Nearly every time President Obama delivers a speech about the economy or jobs, something bad happens. The day after his speech to Congress Thursday night, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 303 points, a decline replicated in other indexes in the U.S. and overseas.
This president is such a prisoner of his leftist ideology he seems incapable of pulling a Clinton and triangulating to get something done that motivates the private sector to hire workers and spur economic growth.
How many more of these speeches must we endure before everyone realizes his ideas and proposals aren't working? In his Thursday speech, the president repeatedly appealed to Congress to "pass" his "jobs bill." From the White House Rose Garden Monday, he announced that the bill was on its way to Congress. Let the political posturing begin!
The president claimed to have signed within a month of taking office "the biggest middle-class tax cut in history." Washington Post Fact Checker columnist Glenn Kessler called his claim "ridiculous." Kessler gave him four Pinocchios, his highest award for dissembling.
The president's approval numbers continue to fall because the public is slowly getting it. In 2009, in another speech, the president promised his stimulus policies would create 3 million to 4 million new jobs by the end of 2010. They didn't come close, and they still haven't. In fact, jobs were lost, leaving a net deficit of 6.7 millions jobs since the recession began, according to Heritage Foundation calculations and Bureau of Labor Statistics figures.
Obama is like a lost man who refuses to ask for directions. That's because he has never worked in the real world with people who create real jobs. He operates on theories and an ideology that is incapable of achieving his goals.
For example, he speaks mostly of redistributing wealth, not creating wealth. He wants us to hate the wealth creators, rather than follow their example. The result has been a growing dependency on government, robbing too many of their liberty and opportunity.
Like the floodwaters that have devastated the Northeast, the federal government has overrun its constitutional limits. It should not be spending and borrowing more, but less.
The biggest contributor to economic uncertainty is Obamacare. Businesses don't know what their costs will be and so some are either getting waivers (if they are politically friendly to the administration) or ending private insurance for their employees.
Ask yourself: If the federal government has made such a mess of Medicare and Medicaid (not to mention stretching Social Security to the breaking point), what reasonable hope is there that it will do better with an even larger national health care monstrosity? One might just as well spring Bernie Madoff from prison and put him in charge of stock portfolios.
There was a time in America not too long ago when people mostly looked out for themselves and their relatives. Parents cared for their children when they were little and the children returned the favor when their parents got old. Now we dump the kids in day care and they return the favor by dumping their elderly parents in nursing homes. The biblical commandment about honoring your mother and father was once taken seriously. Now it's the government's responsibility because too many think we are constitutionally mandated to be free of "burdens."
If we want government to become smaller and perform within its constitutional boundaries, we are going to have to expect less from it and more from ourselves. President Obama understands none of this because others have largely aided him throughout his life and unremarkable pre-presidential career. He has great form, but little substance, except his failed ideology. The tragedy is he has learned nothing from failure.
If the wisdom of Bill Clinton isn't sufficient for him, there is also Sophocles, who wrote in "Antigone": "All men may err; but he that keepeth not his folly, but repenteth, doeth well; but stubbornness cometh to great trouble."
CBO Sees Slower Growth, Continued Unemployment
Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2011/09/13/cbo-lowers-us-economic-outlook/#ixzz1Xqfthxi5
Monday, September 12, 2011
Memo to GOP: Social Security demagoguery is the province of liberals | David Limbaugh | Columnists | Washington Examiner
It is very disheartening to see Republican presidential primary candidates racing to out-demagogue one another in denouncing Texas Gov. Rick Perry's accurate description of Social Security as a Ponzi scheme. It used to be that Republicans at least waited until the general election campaign to pander to liberals.
I admire Perry both for telling it like it is and for having the guts to stand by his statement when under fire. That shows character.
Honest people have been warning for years that our entitlement programs, as structured, are imminent train wrecks. Democrats were even saying it for a while, as Bill Clinton and Al Gore made a phony fuss about placing Social Security in a lockbox.
It's nothing short of outrageous that our politicians' instincts are to attack those who are talking realistically about entitlements instead of join them in talking realistically. I understand Democrats not doing so; I don't even expect them to anymore. But it's unacceptable for Republicans to pile on.
Surely, everyone knows by now that our out-of-control entitlement spending poses a greater threat to the nation's future even than the unbelievably dangerous path of discretionary spending we are currently pursuing. Indeed, isn't the main reason most of the Republican candidates claim to be running that they want to help save America's financial future and get the economy going again?
Then why would some of them opportunistically embellish and even distort Perry's statement about Social Security? Politics is one thing, but their decision to grovel on this critical issue does long-term damage to our ability to defeat Democrats on the issue of entitlement reform and otherwise to secure passage of legislation that would restructure reforms.
For decades, the straight shooters among us have been pointing out that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. What would you call a plan that has forced Americans to entrust a significant portion of their earnings to politicians who have raided them as if they were general revenue?
Don't you dare tell me that there is nothing wrong with this practice because these greedy, do-gooder politicians have substituted government IOUs in place of the Social Security revenues, which should have been earmarked for recipients. An IOU from the government is a fraud; it's a chimera; it's a phantom asset, especially when the government itself is bankrupt.
Wolf Blitzer will serve as the host of tonight’s “Tea Party debate” on CNN, co-sponsored by the Tea Party Express. But while Blitzer’s show plans to present questioners from the Tea Party, it’s likely Blitzer will "balance" that by pressing Republicans from the left, just as NBC’s Brian Williams did last week on MSNBC.
For example, four years ago, at the June 5, 2007 presidential debate, Blitzer asked Rep. Duncan Hunter why the party couldn’t be more liberal like movie-star governors: “Arnold Schwarzenegger, your Governor in California, has become very popular out there by bringing in independents and moderates, and trying to forge a consensus among Republicans and Democrats in your state. Shouldn’t the GOP nationally be following that Arnold Schwarzenegger example in California?” Blitzer also implied the sponsors of this CNN debate might be racists:
Anchor Wolf Blitzer: “Within the [tea party] movement you’re going to find individuals outraged over taxes, health reform, gun control and more. But, most disturbing, a very small but vocal minority, they’re targeting President Obama’s race....”
Reporter Elaine Quijano: “Within the larger tea party movement that’s gained steam across the country, a small but passionate minority is also voicing what some see as racist rhetoric....[Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence] Page says the vehement racial resistance that’s emerged is another sign any notion of a post-racial society after Barack Obama’s election was wishful thinking.”
— CNN’s The Situation Room, September 14, 2009. The onscreen graphic asserted: “Racial Tinge to Tea Movement.”
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Jenifer Rubin Washington Post
Before 9/11 from time to time we might have mused: What if you found out you had a hour to live? Who would you call and what would you do? On Sept. 11, 2011, and afterward, we saw what people chose to do when death stared them in the face.
Colleagues and friends stayed in fiery buildings with their office mates or went back to rescue them. The defense secretary went to drag employees out of the Pentagon. Firefighters rushed into burning buildings. A mayor seized the city and the country by the scruff of the neck and prevented abject panic. A president in the days that followed found his purpose and delivered some of the most compelling rhetoric in presidential history. Men and women left the safety of home and the embrace of loved ones to fight wars with determination that their countrymen sometimes lacked. For 10 years we've seen example after example of grace, courage, kindness and decency.
Sept. 11 stays with us not only because it was among the deadliest days in U.S. history, not only because it changed the nature of the fight against jihadists, and not only because it revolutionized our intelligence agencies and military, but because it was an event with profound moral consequences. In a world of moral relativism we had an experience that defined our enemy and ourselves. They are for death; we are for life. They are for domination; we are for tolerance. It elevated heroic, dare I say "manly," qualities in a free people who had been accused of going "soft" and it challenged us to be at least a faint echo of the best citizens among us.
There was before 9/11 and there is after 9/11. For thousands who lost parents, children, spouses, siblings and friends, the atrocity marked a gash through their lives. Before they had their loved ones, and then they didn't. For the rest of us (but unknown to our younger children), before there was the utter ordinariness of airplane travel, the "end of history," the landmark Twin Towers and peace. And then there was the maddening hassle of flying, the battle for our civilization, the open wound at the base of Manhattan and war. The raft of "forget 9/11" or "look how we injured ourselves since 9/11" thumb-sucking commentary is, perhaps, the futile effort to turn the clock back. We feel deprived and want our pre-9/11 world back again.
The day is about loss. But besides mourning, it is also an occasion for gratitude. We marvel at the good fortune to live among citizens who risk life and limb for one another. We are thankful for the gifts of liberty and decency in a country of unparalleled goodness.
The serendipity by which some live (missed the bus, went to drop the kids off at school) and others die (had the meeting at Windows on the World) can be horrifying. But it reminds us to cherish life and those we love. Never part without a hug or kiss or an "I love you."And never take any of it for granted.
"Goodbye, Al Qaeda's Rose
Your beard never seemed too clean to me
So I'm glad they washed you off
Before they dumped you in the sea.
In the afterlife
Six dozen virgins sure sounded swell
So it must've burned your ass
When you ended up in hell.
It seems to me you lived your life
Like a bastard in the sand
Never knowing when the U.S. Navy SEALs would land
They caught you by surprise inside your secret base
Could've shot you anywhere
But why not in the face?
Goodbye, Al Qaeda’s Rose
To the world you were mad
And to your kids and 22 wives
You were also a deadbeat dad.
Multi-million dollar bounty
Placed on your head
You were wanted 'dead or alive'
But in the end we went with 'dead'."
For the husband who told his wife "I love you" one last time before his plane went down in a field, for the wife who stopped in the stairs to call her husband to say "I will love you forever", for the mothers and fathers who kissed their kids goodbye the morning they died, for the policemen who rushed in with the firemen to help get others out only to die themselves, for the soldiers who fought back and lost their lives. Today, tomorrow, ten years from now, WE WILL REMEMBER..God Bless you all ♥
Friday, September 9, 2011
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani insists he doesn't want to be a vice-presidential pick on a GOP ticket in 2012, suggesting that Vice President Joe Biden looked like a puppet during President Obama's jobs speech.
In an interview with NBC New York Friday, the one-time Republican presidential candidate said the no. 2 job is not for him.
"I think Biden must have a sore neck by now," Giuliani said. "He was shaking his head so much it looked like he was on a string. It would be hard to sit there and shake your head all the time."
Biden has also had harsh things to say about Giuliani. During a Democratic presidential debate in 2007, when Biden was a candidate, he said Giuliani is "the most underqualified man since George W. Bush to seek the presidency."
"There's only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun, a verb and 9/11," Biden said.
When pressed by NBC New York on Friday about reports that he would consider joining a Rick Perry ticket, Giuliani said he is not.
"I'm not considering the no. 2 spot," he said. "That's not something that I feel real comfortable with."
Giuliani left office at the end of 2001 after gaining a national reputation for his leadership of New York City during the 9/11 terror attack.
He ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, but his campaign flamed out after he staked everything on winning the Florida primary.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
President Obama can’t shake his stimulus addiction. In his Thursday joint-session speech, he’s expected to announce $300 billion in additional spending, adding to the $4 trillion he’s already borrowed from future generations since taking office.
As with Mr. Obama’s $825 billion spending spree in 2009, the ostensible goal of the latest giveaway is to jump-start job creation. At least he has the priority straight. The economy failed to create any jobs at all last month, the unemployment rate has been stuck above 9 percent for most of this year, and the rate of long-term joblessness has been growing steadily while labor-force participation has declined. It’s his “solution” that will make the situation worse. Temporary tax cuts and permanent spending on “shovel-ready” infrastructure didn’t work in 2009, and they won’t work now. This time around, instead of pretending to build roads and bridges, the administration’s gimmick is to direct a big chunk of the spending to states and local governments to improve school infrastructure and hire more staff in schools.
This has more to do with payoffs to union allies than economic growth or helping little Johnny read. Expenditure on public education, kindergarten through 12th grade, has increased steadily over the past 40 years. Employment in public schools increased 10 times as fast as enrollment between 1970 and 2010. The extra cash and swelling ranks of dues-paying educational union members have failed to make kids smarter. As the cost of sending a child through the public school system has nearly tripled, performance in reading and math has remained stagnant. Achievement scores in science actually have declined.
According to a 2000 Department of Education study, the most recent available, almost one-quarter of public schools had at least one building in “less than adequate” condition. This is a misleading statement. As a 2005 Goldwater Institute study discusses in rigorous detail, the reason for the widespread maintenance issues in public schools has less to do with the level of funding and more to do with the incentives created within the public school system.
Arizona’s private schools successfully maintain their buildings and infrastructure on far smaller budgets than public schools in the same areas. That’s because parents will refuse to send their children to a private school with buildings so poorly maintained as to pose a risk. That forces administrators to undertake repairs and maintenance in a timely fashion. Not surprisingly, only about 16 percent of Arizona’s private schools surveyed had a building in less-than-adequate condition, even with less operating cash than their government-subsidized competitors.
Public school administrators face no such incentive to undertake maintenance promptly. There is unlikely to be large-scale withdrawal of students even if facilities deteriorate. Salaries are not tied to enrollment. In fact, administrators have an incentive to use their maintenance budgets to cover other expenses, secure in the knowledge that taxpayers will cover any gap.
Lavishing even more money on this fundamentally broken system, whether borrowed or taxed, is not going to rescue us from Mr. Obama’s Great Malaise. True stimulus requires permanent simplifications in the tax code and a regulatory overhaul designed to reduce uncertainty and encourage investment. Keynesian tax-and-spend programs borrowed from Jimmy Carter will only increase our already unsustainable debt levels. This country needs real change.