Saturday, November 19, 2011

Obama Proposal Could Ban Target Shooters From Public Lands

November 17, 2011
by John Haughey

The Obama Administration apparently thinks it's O.K. for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives to sell automatic weapons to Mexican drug cartels, but it is not O.K. for American citizens to target-shoot with their legally-owned firearms on 245 million acres of public lands that they -- not the government -- own.

Yet, if revised regulations proposed by the Obama Administration are adopted by the Bureau of Land Management, gun owners who have historically been able to use public lands for target practice would be barred from potentially millions of acres.
The draft policy would also limit public access to some BLM lands, severely restricting areas deer, elk and bear hunters can use.

Conservationists and hunting groups, however, are lining up in opposition. The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, National Wildlife Foundation, Cabela's and Ducks Unlimited have all filed protests with the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council, and have drafted their own alternative regulations.

Officials say the administration is concerned about the potential clash between gun owners and encroaching urban populations who like to use same land for hiking and dog walking. "It's not so much a safety issue. It's a social conflict issue," said Frank Jenks, a BLM natural resource specialist, noting that people "freak out" when they hear shooting on public lands.

Others--including recreational shooters themselves--say target-shooters could be their own worst enemy in creating momentum for restricting their use of public lands.

"I don't think this is so much a Second Amendment issue as a 'trash' issue--at least here in Arizona," one gun-owner wrote on a blog. "People drag all kinds of stuff out into the desert, shoot the heck out of it and drive off. If we did a better job of cleaning up after ourselves, it wouldn't be an issue."


Then again, maybe not.

For more links go here

Personal morality and responsibility (McQueary)

Bookworm on Nov 18 2011 at 12:21 pm

11B40 asked a good question, which is why I’m so focused on McQueary, when it was Sandusky who committed the crime. It’s because I have no fellow feeling with Sandusky who, if the allegations are true, is a perverted monster. I therefore don’t need to analyze my behavior or parenting decisions with regard to his conduct. McQueary, however, is Everyman. Each of us could be in his shoes.

McQueary’s response to a horrible, unexpected situation wasn’t perverse or illegal. Instead, it was just the lowest common denominator of acceptable behavior that an ordinary human could commit. I have within me the capacity to do exactly what he did — but I want to be better than that. That’s why I’m also hammering away at columnists who explain what he did, not just to offer explanations, but also to excuse his conduct. Like them, like all of us, I could be McQueary, but I don’t want to be McQueary.

Perhaps my obsession with this is also because I’m a parent in a morally challenging world, attempting to give my children moral lessons. That hit home yesterday. As I hadn’t quite made it back to the house when my 12-year-old son got home from school, he called me, his voice trembling with unshed tears. “Mom, I have to tell you this. I need to confess. There was this old guy handing out little pocket Bibles at school [actually, next to the school, on non-school land]. Then, on the school bus home, one of the kids had candy and I wanted the candy and the kid said he’d give me the candy if I ripped up the Bible — and I did. Another boy threw a bunch of Bibles out the window. I’m so sorry. I know what I did was wrong and I just had to tell you.”

When I got home, my son was still very upset, partially because he knew he’d done something wrong (both destroying a book and destroying a religious symbol) and partially because he was worried about getting expelled from school. Without actually meaning to, I made him even more upset. On my way back home after his call, I’d already called a friend whom I knew was taking her kids to a non-denominational youth night at the local church. I figured it would be good for my son immediately to go to a place where the book of God matters. When I mentioned I’d told her, he completely broke down, sobbing hysterically. “How could you? She won’t respect me any more.” (And I can’t tell you how glad I am to know that he realized that what he did would impair his standing in the eyes of the community.)

It got worse for my little guy when I opened my email and discovered an email from a friend and neighbor who didn’t know that my son had confessed, telling me about what happened and adding that several of the children on the bus were quite upset. “Oh, no! None of the parents will respect me anymore. This is horrible. I wasn’t thinking. I didn’t mean to destroy God’s property.” More sobbing. My son wrote our neighbor an abject apology for having committed an offensive act, and she sent a gracious reply.

I wasn’t pleased with what my son did, but I wasn’t angry at him. It seemed to me that he was angry enough at himself. He knew that he’d done an irresponsible and offensive act, although he did so foolishly and entirely without malice. He also felt very keenly that what he had done might diminish him in the eyes of people he respects and whose respect he desires.

Indeed, I was quite pleased that he was upset and able to identify his own wrongdoing, rather than arrogant and dismissive. He could have gone the other route: “It’s just a book, and people who believe in it are stupid, and I should be able to rip up a book if I want, etc.” That he didn’t, that he immediately realized he’d made a mistake, was a comforting reminder that my son is a fundamentally good person, who is simply a long way from maturity. He is not, thank goodness, a punk or a sociopath. A good (not angry or accusatory) talk about decency and respect, a total media blackout for two days, and a rather pleasant evening for him at a church youth group (he wants to go back) were, to my mind, entirely sufficient responses.

What was really interesting — and here we’re back at my whole obsession with McQueary and a society that passes the back and practices moral relativism — was the response from a liberal friend of mine. Rather than acknowledging that my son had done something wrong, his ire was all focused on the old man who had handed out Bibles.

“That’s illegal.” ”

No, it’s not. He wasn’t on school property, and he wasn’t handing out anything that is illegal or that is prohibited to minors, such as drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or pornography.”

“Well, it ought to be illegal. You can’t just hand out Bibles to people.”

“Um, actually, a little thing called the First Amendment says you can.”

He was shocked.

My friend’s next challenge was that handing out a Bible to school children was entrapment.

“That man was trying to entrap children. He knew that most of them would throw it away and that boys would play with it. There’s no difference between shredding it and throwing it in the garbage can.”

My friend was unconvinced when I pointed out that (a) the fact that many children on the bus were upset shows that treating a Bible with disrespect is not a natural or appropriate act and (b) that there is a difference between respectfully disposing of an unwanted item and deliberately destroying it in public view. Intention matters. And it was because intention matters that I was upset with my son for what he did, but I was neither angry nor perturbed. His intentions weren’t blasphemous. He just wanted candy.

Because issues such as this pop up in one form or another quite often when you have parents, you can see why I think long and hard about the messages we send our kids when it comes to right and wrong, and about responsibility to individuals and to society at large.

What do you all think, whether about my parenting decisions, about my McQueary tie-in, about societal messages, or anything else this post might have brought to mind?

Good Morning, Barack!

Bill O'Reilly

Good Morning, Barack!

With his poll numbers dropping like dissidents in Syria, President Barack Obama has to be hoping the national media will continue to help him out. Last time around, the network news organizations swooned over the junior senator from Illinois and marginalized his opponent, Sen. John McCain, as much as possible.

According to a new study by the conservative Media Research Center, the president has some reason to be optimistic about the media in 2012. The group examined the morning shows on ABC, CBS and NBC in order to ascertain campaign attitudes. The headlines are these:

-- So far in 2011, morning network correspondents have labeled Republican candidates as conservative 49 times. But only once have they referred to Obama as a liberal.

-- By a four-to-one margin, the morning show hosts have used adversarial questioning against Republican interview subjects as compared to Democratic guests.

-- The morning programs routinely run positive "human interest" stories about the president and his family. No Republican contender has received that kind of coverage.

The conclusion reached by the MRC is that the morning programs are not likely to "cheerlead" for the Obama campaign as some did in 2008. Instead, they will be more likely to scrutinize his Republican opposition.

Having worked at both CBS News and ABC News, I can tell you there is a managerial culture that is decidedly liberal. Some places are worse than others. Under Dan Rather, the CBS landscape was openly left. Under the late Peter Jennings, ABC News was more politically correct than agenda-driven. Jennings did not like political advocacy on either side.

Americans can expect a vicious campaign next year. The Republican candidate will have to go after Obama on his record, and that will bring hard blowback. Obama, himself, rarely uses personal attacks. But some of his supporters, especially on the Internet, certainly do. Gutter sniping will be all over the place.

Last time around, McCain did not take the fight to Obama, preferring to highlight his own experience for the country. That was a mistake that the Democrats exploited. Sen. Obama's political record was weak; he was essentially running on charisma. Instead of pinning him down on specific solutions to targeted problems, McCain allowed his young opponent to dazzle the public with rhetoric.

This time around, the Republicans have cold, hard facts to present to the American people. And the only answer to those damning statistics is diversion, pettifogging the issue with ginned up controversy and smoke.

We can expect the national media to embrace the pettifog and flog it all morning (and evening). The media are loath to admit any mistakes, and their support of Obama is on the record. There is little chance the Republican challenger will receive fair and balanced coverage.

Will media support for the president be enough to give him the edge in 2012? If the vote is close, the answer most likely is yes.

What Is a Progressive

John C. Goodman

When is the last time you heard a liberal describe himself as a "liberal"? It’s probably been a long time. These days, those on the left are more likely to call themselves "progressives."

Writing in The New York Times, Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs said there have been two progressive eras — one in the early 20th century and the second under Franklin Roosevelt. He called on modern liberals to usher in a third era.

But what exactly is "progressivism"? To many people, the term "Progressive Era" evokes fond caricatures of Teddy Roosevelt and such reforms as safe food, the elimination of child labor and the eight-hour work day. Yet real progressivism was far more sinister. Here is how Jonah Goldbergdescribes the World War I presidency of Woodrow Wilson:

The first appearance of modern totalitarianism in the Western world wasn’t in Italy or Germany but in the United States of America. How else would you describe a country where the world’s first modern propaganda ministry was established; political prisoners by the thousands were harassed, beaten, spied upon, and thrown in jail simply for expressing private opinions; the national leader accused foreigners and immigrants of injecting treasonous "poison" into the American bloodstream; [and] newspapers and magazines were shut down for criticizing the government[?]

It gets worse. According to Goldberg:

[N]early a hundred thousand government propaganda agents were sent out among the people to whip up support for the regime and its war; college professors imposed loyalty oaths on their colleagues; nearly a quarter-million goons were given legal authority to intimidate and beat "slackers" and dissenters; and leading artists and writers dedicated their crafts to proselytizing for the government.

At the time of the Wilson presidency, progressives did not view the exercise of state power and the violation of individual rights as a war-time exception to be set aside in times of peace. To the contrary, Herbert Croly (founding editor of the New Republic), John Dewey (father of progressive education), Walter Lippmann (perhaps the century’s most influential political writer), Richard Ely (founder of the American Economic Association) and many others saw war as an opportunity to rid the country of classical liberalism and the doctrine of laissez faire.

Wilson, our first Ph.D. in the White House, made clear his complete rejection of the ideas of Thomas Jefferson and classical liberalism in his books and other writings. As Ronald Pestritto notes, liberty in Wilson's view was "not found in freedom from state actions but instead in one’s obedience to the laws of the state."

The primary domestic objective of progressives was to create in peacetime what Wilson had accomplished during war. They were able to do so a little more than a decade later. Franklin Roosevelt was assistant secretary of the Navy under Wilson, and when he led Democrats back to the White House in 1932 he brought with him an army of intellectuals and bureaucrats who shared the Progressive-Era vision. Indeed, most of the "alphabet soup" of agencies set up during the Great Depression were continuations of various boards and committees set up during World War I.

At that time it was commonplace for intellectuals on the left to be enamored of Lenin’s communist regime in Russia. And almost everyone who was enamored of Lenin was also an admirer of Mussolini’s fascist government in Italy. For example, General Hugh "Iron Pants" Johnson, who ran Roosevelt’s National Recovery Administration (NRA) kept a picture of Mussolini hanging on his wall. The admiration was often mutual. Some writers for publications in Nazi Germany and fascist Italy wrote of their fascination with Roosevelt’s New Deal. As Goldberg explains:

The reason so many progressives were intrigued by both Mussolini’s and Lenin’s "experiments" is simple: they saw their reflection in the European looking glass. Philosophically, organizationally, and politically the progressives were as close to authentic, homegrown fascists as any movement America has ever produced. [They were] militaristic, fanatically nationalist, imperialist, racist, deeply involved in the promotion of Darwinian eugenics, [and] enamored of the Bismarckian welfare state.

The progressives saw the state as properly involved in almost every aspect of social life. Herbert Croly envisioned a government that would even regulate who could marry and procreate. In this respect, he reflected the almost universal belief of progressives in eugenics. These days, there is a tendency to think that interest in racial purity began and ended in Hitler’s Germany. In fact, virtually all intellectuals on the left in the early 20th century believed in state involvement in promoting a better gene pool. These included H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Sidney and Beatrice Webb (founders of Fabian Socialism), Harold Laski (the most respected British political scientist of the 20th century) and John Maynard Keynes (the most famous economist of the 20th century). Pro-eugenics articles routinely appearedin the left-wing New Statesman, the Manchester Guardian and in the United States in the New Republic.

One of the ugliest stains on American public policy during the 20th century was the internment of 100,000 Japanese Americans during World War II by the Roosevelt Administration. Another stain is the resegregation of the White House under Wilson. Bruce Bartlett argues that these acts were consistent with the personal racial views of the presidents and that the Democratic party has along history of racial bias it would like to forget.

The worst excesses on the right in the 20th century are usually associated with Senator Joe McCarthy; the hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), including pressuring Hollywood actors to reveal their political activities and name the identities of their colleagues; and domestic surveillance of political enemies.

Yet all of these activities have roots in the Progressive Era as well. Joe McCarthy started his political life as a Democrat (and later switched to be a Republican) in Wisconsin — the most pro-progressive state in the union. As Goldberg observes, "Red baiting, witch hunts, censorship and the like were a tradition in good standing among Wisconsin progressives and populists." The HUAC was founded by another progressive Democrat, Samuel Dickstein, to investigate German sympathizers. During the "Brown scare" of the 1940s, radio journalist Walter Winchell read the names of isolationists on the radio, calling them "Americans we can do without."

Civilian surveillance under American presidents in the modern era (for example under Republican Richard Nixon and under Democrats John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson) are extensions of what went on earlier in the century. However, modern surveillance does not begin to compare in magnitude to what went on during the Wilson and Roosevelt presidencies.

Bottom line: the next time you hear someone call himself a "progressive," ask him if he knows the historical meaning of that term.

Now It's Newt's Turn for an Anal Exam, But How Come It's Never Mitt Romney's?

November 18, 2011


RUSH: The story of the day on Newt Gingrich is all of his baggage. You can see that Newt Gingrich is all of a sudden now at the top of the heap in the polling data because he's the focus of all the media attention, all the immediate gotchas. It was Herman Cain last week and the week before. Now it's Newt Gingrich. In the midst of all of this, have you noticed that there's one Republican who constantly escapes any of this media anal exam, escapes all of this vetting, and that's Mitt Romney. The one who is said to be the nominee, I mean all the smart money out there says, "You know, all this stuff, this primary stuff, it's just all academic, Romney's the nominee, everybody knows it.
All of this is just a waste of time, everybody knows when it's all over Romney is gonna be the nominee, right?" Well, Romney is the one guy the media is not vetting.

So there's a pattern out there. Whenever a new Republican, the anti-Romney, the non-Romney, the un-Romney reaches the top or near the top in the polling data, then here come all of the relentless assaults on character, their past, their integrity, from the Drive-By Media. It was Sarah Palin, then it was Michele Bachmann. It has been Herman Cain. They've gone after all of them. Now it's Newt Gingrich, who, a month ago, was considered a laughingstock, somebody just taking up space at the debates, the wise old man who was never gonna go anywhere because he was too undisciplined. Yeah, very smart guy, but never gonna go anywhere. He's just up there. He's serving a role. He's making sure that these Republicans stay focused on Obama. Newt's up there, he's hitting the media, he's hitting Obama while these other Republicans go through the motions here, but it's gonna be Romney, everybody knows it's gonna be Romney.

Meanwhile, Romney is never the subject of any media hit. "What are you saying, Mr. Limbaugh?" I'm not saying anything. I'm just pointing it out. Fill in the blank your own self if you want to draw a conclusion. I could draw a conclusion there 'cause everybody's wondering, where's all this stuff coming from? Where did all the stuff from Herman Cain come from? Where did all the stuff from Sarah Palin come from? You know, who benefits from all this? It's always an interesting question to ask. Who benefits from Cain being taken out, or the effort to take Cain out, who benefits from the effort now to take Newt out? Who benefited from the effort to wipe out Sarah Palin? Now, who is it that's not being vetted?

So let's do something here. Let's forget Newt's baggage for a moment. And what is Newt's baggage? Well, he mighta lobbied. Denies it, but he mighta lobbied for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, one of the two. He did take some money from 'em, gave 'em advice, a little over a million dollars. Doesn't compare to the $90 million that Franklin Raines took out of there. It doesn't compare to $26 million that Jamie Gorelick, an approved Democrat, like Franklin Raines, took out of there. It doesn't compare to the $24 million that Jim Johnson took out of there. And who knows how many other Democrats have gone over to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and scored big time. No, no, no, we're gonna focus on Newt and his one million, he's got some explaining to do, but none of these other Democrats did.

In fact, up 'til now, Fannie Mae's been wonderful. Any effort to stop them, any effort to balance them, any effort to make them behave responsibly was looked upon as an assault on the concept of affordable housing. Any attempt to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, any attempt to bring them in line and make them behave in a standard, common-sense business way was looked at as an assault on the poor. And the left did everything they could with their media to stand up and defend Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as great institutions helping the poor, the great unwashed. Now all of a sudden Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are toxic, worthless scum because they paid Newt Gingrich a million dollars. So that's some of the baggage. And then Newt -- (sigh) I don't know how you put up with this, folks. Newt actually went out there and bought his wife some jewelry at Tiffany and had the audacity to use his own money to pay for it. And for that he deserves an investigation. "Well, that's right, Mr. Limbaugh, who else buys their wife that kind of jewelry in the middle of a political campaign?"

So, we gotta find the reason? "That's right, Mr. Limbaugh, we believe that he paid his wife off because his wife didn't want any part of the presidential run and he had to pay her off in order to get her to go along and that's the purpose of the investigation. And that was also why, Mr. Limbaugh, that he took the cruise to Greece." Okay, so this is the baggage that they've got on Newt, took a cruise, paid Tiffany six figures for some jewelry for his wife, Callista, worked at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and, of course, he sat on the couch with Pelosi. I'm not denying, folks, that there are some things that trouble conservatives here. I want to look past them here for just a second.

Take a step back. Because Newt is high atop the polls in Iowa, outta nowhere. And there has to be a reason for this. Despite the baggage, there's gotta be a reason why Newt's polling near the top. (interruption) Well, you seem to act like you know what it is in there. What do you think the reason is, Snerdley? Okay, you're close. Close. Okay. Okay. So, Snerdley, says, well, it's understandable why he's at the top. He's actually talking like a conservative consistently and he's not Romney. Those are your two reasons. Not hard to figure out.

But it's a little deeper than that. Take a step back, understand why Republican voters are responding to Newt now, as opposed to a month ago, six weeks, two months ago. I mean Newt's been in the race since it began. Why now? Why now is Newt Gingrich at the top of the heap in Iowa and in some national polls as well? Why? We are three years into Barack Obama's war on prosperity and I think Americans are coming to grips with the upside, if not the necessity, of limited government. And now that people understand or are beginning to understand the deceit that is liberalism, including its standard-bearer, Barack Hussein Obama, mmm, mmm, mmm, they're looking for somebody to clearly articulate a way out, and they want to hear it said with strength and passion and power and intelligence.

Mitt Romney is a fine person. Mitt Romney is as nice a guy as you would ever run into. He's made mistakes, but who hasn't? The problem that he's facing is an electorate that wants to know if he has learned from them. And his defense of Romneycare is troubling, especially when this Gruber guy, Jon Gruber, who helped Romney put it together, and also went to the White House and helped Obama put together Obamacare, is out there saying Mitt's not telling you the truth, it's the same bill. The only difference in Romneycare and Obamacare is that Romneycare used taxpayer dollars to pay for a state program. Obamacare obviously uses taxpayer dollars. In other words, Romneycare could go elsewhere for the money for it. Obamacare couldn't, but it didn't matter. The federal program, the money's obviously going to be paid for by federal funds or taxpayer dollars. He continues to defend Romneycare, Mitt does. That troubles a lot of people.

To draw an analogy, let's say that Newt, to this day, was defending his couch time with Pelosi, he'd be toast, right? He'd be absolute toast. Well, Romney is continuing to defend Romneycare and it's troubling to people, just as if Newt were defending the couch time with Pelosi would be troubling. The difference is Newt would be toast. Mitt is not toast yet. Newt would be. If Newt tries to revive the era of Reagan is over, he's toast. But despite having said these things and having this so-called baggage, and one of the elements of baggage, you know, Newt was an early adopter and supporter of health care mandates, along with the Heritage Foundation. When Romneycare was the health care de jour we had a lot of Republican support at the outset. I remember that Romneycare plan being touted throughout the Republican Party.

Theoretically and on paper everybody in the party loved it, the mandate and all that. Now all of a sudden Newt has got to explain that. Imagine if Newt today were saying, "Hey, I haven't changed my mind on the mandate." He'd be toast. So Romney is still in some trouble. That's why the polling data is what it is because people are troubled by his steadfast glue that keeps him attached to Romneycare, people don't like it because they do think it's much the same thing as Obamacare. (interruption) I don't know, if he abandoned it totally would they call him a flip-flopper. What do you mean? They're already calling him a flip-flopper. I mean there's not an "again" to it. He already has that as his baggage, and so forth. But he's not being vetted on that.


RUSH: By the way, Newt, this mandate business, it was as recent as May of this year, Meet the Press, that Newt supported a mandate in health care. Gingrich said he agreed with key aspects of Romneycare. This was on Meet the Press in May of this year. And Newt said, "I agree that all of us have a responsibility to help pay for health care. I've said consistently we ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance or you post a bond." That's in May of this year. Now, despite that, Newt is way ahead in Iowa and has now tied Romney, statistically, margin of error, in New Hampshire.

I am here to tell you, that is a big deal. New Hampshire was considered slam dunk for Romney to the point that nobody needs to even go there. No other candidate needs to spend a dime there because it's not winnable. Romney owns it. Newt's tied him, with this baggage. Not commenting on the baggage. There's a reason why this is happening, and I'm going to be 'splain it to you as the program unfolds. That's why I'm bringing it up. But I think one of the problems with Romney is that the whole thing is called "Romneycare." How do you abandon something with your name on it? Imagine if sitting on a couch with the Speaker of the House as a Democrat was called a "Newtie"? Could you just easily disavow a Newtie if it was your name on the thing? It's something to consider here.


RUSH: It was May 15th of this year, Newt was on Meet the Press, wildly supporting the whole concept of a mandate in health care. And here he is high atop the Republican polling.

RUSH: Yeah. By the way, folks, that May 15th appearance this year of Newt Gingrich on Meet the Press where he said that we all have a responsibility to help pay for health care. Quote: "I have said consistently we ought to have some requirement you either have health insurance or you post a bond." He came out and supported the mandate. That was also the appearance in which he called Paul Ryan's budget plan for Medicare "right-wing social engineering," and he got into big trouble. Those were two controversial things to say as recently as May, and his campaign imploded. If you recall, it was going into it summertime for Newt Gingrich's campaign. His staff abandoned him and everybody thought it was over, but he said, "We're in it forever." The controversy over buying the wife off from Tiffany, and now here he is tied in New Hampshire with Mitt Romney and leading in Iowa.


RUSH: Yeah, by the way, folks, that May 15th appearance this year of Newt Gingrich on Meet the Press where he said that we all have a responsibility to help pay for health care, quote, "I have said consistently we ought to have some requirement you either have health insurance or you post a bond," he came out and supported the mandate. That was also the appearance in which he called Paul Ryan's budget plan for Medicare right-wing social engineering. And he got into big trouble. Those were two controversial things to say as recently as May, and the campaign imploded. If you recall, going into it summertime, Newt Gingrich's campaign, his staff abandoned him, everybody thought it was over, but he said we're in it forever. The controversy over buying the wife the stuff from Tiffany, and now here he is tied in New Hampshire with Mitt Romney and leading in Iowa.


RUSH: This New Hampshire journal story, polling data, Newt and Romney tied in New Hampshire, "When asked why people felt Gingrich was moving up in the polls, 44% of respondents said his depth of knowledge on the issues; 10% said his strong debate performances; 6% said that they liked he was challenging the media." All the ingredients are there to explain why. And you don't read anything about the baggage here.

I'll tell you something else, folks. Newt -- all these guys -- Newt, Romney, Cain all make people feel good about this country. Every one of our nominees, potential nominees has the ability and they pull it off to make people feel good about this country. I'll never forget that one of the things people answered about Reagan back in his eight years, "What is it about Reagan?" He makes me feel proud. Coming off similar circumstances after four years of Jimmy Carter.

Here's Sharon in Dallas, and I'm on her excrement list, it looks like. Hi, Sharon. You're up first on Open Line Friday. Hi.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. Look, I'm bugged, I'm really bugged that you all -- I feel like the reason the people are backing Newt, and I'm so scared of Newt, is because you all are talking about his baggage. I've forgotten, everyone's forgotten his baggage. Like I went and looked at his Wiki entry and he's a scumbag, he like cheated on two wives --

RUSH: Wait a second. Hold it, people have not forgotten his baggage and it's not gonna take much for people to remember it if he slips. There are things that are gonna cause people to overcome it and not care about it. There are things that are deemed more important right now, it's all I'm saying. I am not yet backing any of these people over anybody else. I know you're a big Romney chick.

CALLER: But you bash Romney constantly and like bring up Cain and Newt --

RUSH: I do not bash Romney constantly! Only sometimes.

CALLER: (laughing) Look, Newt has all the negatives of Romney. The only thing he has is he's good at debating and debates don't win elections. Everyone, all these Republicans who watch the debates, me included, like it, and I was like getting on board the Newt train, but the reality is that doesn't win election. I'm telling you, women are not gonna vote for Newt.

RUSH: Normally, I would agree with you out there, Sharon, but because of a previously unnamed president it really matters that we have somebody who does debate well and sounds smart. Ticks me off, frustrates me to have to say that.


Breaking the Back of the GOP Base

Hugh Hewitt

There are three "keystone deductions" in the IRS code that matter more than all others to Americans who itemize deductions.

They are keystone deductions because they help the middle and upper middle class and they promote extraordinarily important social policies which have long been at the center of the traditional values held by most Americans.

The first is the deduction for contributions to qualified charities, such as hospitals, high schools and colleges, charities serving everyone from children to the homless to the old and infirm, and of course churches of every denomination.

The second keystone deduction allows homeowners with mortgages to deduct the interest on that mortgage from their income before calculating the ta they owe. This deduction encourages people to buy houses and is in fact a key component of the value of every house in America. The deduction is a valuable part of every home. If it is ended or limited, the value of every house in America falls, even if that home has no mortgage on it. The same downward pressure on home values occurs even if the deduction is only limited for some houses or some owners --say second houses or homes costing more than $500,000. The housing market doesn't distinguish between who owns what, but cares mostly about what buyers are willing to pay, and a lower or eliminated deduction means fewer buyers which means falling house values.

The third deduction allows taxpayers to deduct from their income before calculating their federal tax all the state and local taxes they paid in the previous year. Americans in high tax states, already staggering along under punitive tax regimes, would be smashed by any limit on this deduction. Some would call such a move a last straw, and leave the already reeling states like California, but most would simply be trapped where their jobs and (suddenly less valuable) homes are, paying higher and higher taxes.

Thus a Pennsylvania family of six with two kids in college, with a mortgage that has been refinanced to help pay tuition, but which still makes a tithe to their church is looking at a triple whammy tax hike if these deductions go away or are limited. So would millions of other Americans.

Which is why reaction ranged from shock to anger when two Republicans on the so-called Supercommittee proposed attacking those very deductions this week. Pennsylvania's Senator Pat Toomey and Texas Congressman Jeb Hensarling, both credentialed conservatives, stunned their center-right supporters and Republicans across the country by proposing a plan to raise hundreds of millions of dollars of new revenues financed by the assault on these keystone deductions.

The AP's Stephen Ohlemacher described the Toomey-Hensarling ta hikes this way:

A GOP plan to raise taxes by $290 billion over the next decade would limit deductions for mortgage interest, charitable donations and state and local taxes as part of a deficit-reduction deal. Some workers could also see their employer-provided health benefits taxed for the first time, though aides cautioned that the plan is still fluid....

The top income tax rate would fall from 35 percent to 28 percent, and the bottom rate would drop from 10 percent to 8 percent. The rates in between would be reduced as well. A GOP congressional aide said the plan is designed to raise taxes on households in the top two tax brackets. That would affect individuals making more than $174,400 and married couples making more than $212,300.

The plan has already split the Congressional GOP, but its dire consequences are just beginning to be felt across the country. I have spent much of this week's radio shows talking to experts and callers about the Toomey-Hensarling tax hikes, and while an occasional supporter will speak in favor of all or part of its provisions --former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman for example-- the vast majority assailed the plan as bad policy, horrible politics and, crucially, a breach of faith with voters who sent the GOP back to Congress in November 2010 with a mandate to cut spending, not raise taxes and in the process of raising taxes, changes many of the crucial rules by which the country has operated for decades.

On my show Rick Santorum called the proposed package another "Read my lips" moment, harkening back to the promise which the first President Bush made and then disastrously broke in a "big deal" with Democrats 20 years ago.

Callers were fuming. One retired sheriff living in Calfiornia berated me for leading him to contribute to Pat Toomey's 2010 Senate campaign. Many others simply stated they would lose their house to which they were barely hanging on if the deduction was lost. A wise accountant friend laughed at the idea that slashing the charitable deduction wouldn't dramatically impact high income giver's giving. And when contributions fell, so would the services delivered by those groups and employment within the vast not-for-profit sector.

Where could such a horrific idea have come from? Why, from three economists of course, all from the National Bureau, and beloved by the purists at the Wall Street Journal and the Club for Growth.

Good for them. Let them put their plan before the GOP Convention and have it adopted as a platform.

Let them ask Speaker Boehner to amend, republish and then campaign on a revised Pledge to America, because the 2010 version said nothing about these radical measures.

That is the biggest problem with the plan: The new Congress was sent to D.C. to represent the cut spending/shrink government movement in the country, and it instead has produced a secret committee that is hurtling towards a massive tax hike --authored by Republicans!

Some Republicans argue it is either this or the automatic "sequestration" built into last summer's debt ceiling deal which would hammer defense spending with an unimaginable $600 billion in more cuts on top of the hundreds of billions already unwisely slashed from DoD's funding.

But the sequestration doesn't take effect until 2013, and there is an election between now and then which could empower a new president, with a new GOP majority in the Senate working alongside a the GOP majority in the House, to actually reform entitlements and control spending without raising taxes or slashing defense.

If the GOP that is already inside the Beltway embraces tax hikes, especially this ruinous trio of deeply damaging hikes, the message will be clear to many millions of voters: You cannot trust Republicans who promise to cut spending and keep a lid on taxes.

Not even for one year.

Students fight back against chocolate milk ban

By Elizabeth Dinh Published: Nov 18, 2011 at 5:25 PM PST

MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. -- A local school district has removed chocolate milk from its menus, but students aren't giving up their sugary drink without a fight.

The Tahoma School District has spent the past three years reworking its lunch menu to offer students healthier foods. It already did away with canned fruit, and now officials are taking chocolate milk off the menu.

"Chocolate milk was looked at because it's something that kids would drink every day, and there's a lot of sugar in chocolate milk," said district spokesman Kevin Patterson.

Angry students at Rock Creek Elementary School have voiced their displeasure with the ban in the form of a petition asking the school board to bring back the chocolate milk.

More than 130 kids have signed the petition, but the district so far hasn't budged on its decision.

In the meantime, kids in need of a sugar fix can still bring their own chocolate milk to school, or they can make do with the 1-percent, fat free and soy milk that the district is offering.

85 Call for Kagan Recusal on Obamacare

Bob Beauprez

The call for Congress to hold hearings on the need for Justice Elena Kagan to recuse herself from the ObamaCare case now on the docket of the Supreme Court has exploded. The number of organizations signing on to a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith has more than tripled in just 48 hours since our original blog post calling for her to stand aside. Following is a link to the final draft of the letter signed by the leaders of 85 citizens organizations and related other articles and documents.

Leaders of two dozen citizen organizations are urging the House Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on the need for Elena Kagan to recuse herself from the ObamaCare case now scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court. In a letter to Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith............


Avoiding Leftist Indoctrination at American Colleges and Universities

Daniel Doherty
Web Editor,
Nov 19, 2011

One of the greatest dilemmas facing American students today is the perennial threat of leftist indoctrination on college campuses. In recent years, institutions of higher learning – which have historically been places for enlightened thought and dissenting opinions – have increasingly become breeding grounds for radical liberalism. College courses, which are often taught by biased professors who espouse leftist ideology, fail to adequately challenge undergraduate students and often leave many of them woefully unprepared for the real world.

In his most recent work, Please Enroll Responsibly: Avoiding Indoctrination at College, attorney turned political activist Lee Doren examines pragmatic ways students can excel on college campuses without compromising their beliefs. He explains through his own personal experiences how students – including many conservatives – invariably hide their political views out of fear that their professors will penalize them. His book, which serves as an authoritative text on ways undergraduates can disagree with their liberal professors and maintain high grades, is a must-read for any conscientious citizen pursuing a postsecondary degree.

And yet, like many students today, Doren recounts in unvarnished detail how his political philosophy was shaped by leftwing professors in college.

“Being a liberal was easy,” he writes. “My professors rewarded me for agreeing with their political views, and I felt morally superior on the Political Left. Since I rarely listened to anyone who differed with me politically, I assumed all intelligent people were liberals too.”

Alas, according to a George Washington University survey published in The Washington Post, 72 percent of professors teaching at American universities and colleges are liberal. Conservatives, by contrast, comprise only 15 percent. Hence, the pervasiveness of liberalism in higher education, in Doren’s view, is not merely a product of rightwing hysteria – but is, by all estimations, an empirical fact.

Nevertheless, after reflecting upon his own unique personal experiences, Doren suggests several ways undergraduates can deal with this reality. One method, he contends, is to build positive relationships with professors by acting friendly and participating in class.

“After you established good rapport with your professor, [he/she] may tolerate some political disagreement,” he argues. “On the other hand, had you never participated, and then decided to object…the only thing the professor would remember about you would be your opposition.”

More important, Doren opines, one must be well read and willing to consult outside materials in order to address the prevalence of liberal bias in the classroom. At a time when nearly one-third of college students – according to a recent survey – confess they do not take courses requiring more than forty pages of reading per week, self-study can have innumerable benefits when expressing a dissenting opinion in class. While students, for example, may instinctively recognize their professors are wrong, Doren reminds us that unsubstantiated invective will do little to win political arguments.

Moreover, when confronted with the prospect of writing a paper from a leftist position, he urges students to embrace the assignment with zeal and enthusiasm.

“My advice may surprise you: Do exactly what the professor wants,” he argues. “This is not abandoning principle. In fact, if you write a quality paper, it will improve your writing and make you more prepared to argue politics in the real world.”

In other words, writing from a different point of view – albeit undesirable – will improve one’s grasp of the English language and help students fully comprehend the nuances of different political perspectives. Thus, when engaged in a debate, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of two disparate positions, he explains, can be the difference between winning and losing a philosophical argument.

While the aforementioned examples are only a few ways college students can resist indoctrination at institutions of higher learning, Doren writes extensively and persuasively on the subject. Indeed, when the failed economic policies of the current administration threaten the livelihood and prosperity of the United States, we need college graduates – now more than ever – who comprehend the ramifications of big government policies. His book, I believe, underscores a ubiquitous problem – and provides bold solutions based on numerous and thorough discussions with students, parents, and concerned citizens.

It’s also worth mentioning that because Doren published the work himself, his exposition is exceedingly inexpensive and includes a supplementary reading list of conservative and libertarian writers. As an affordable and invaluable resource for combating leftist professors on college campuses – his book is also a compelling narrative about his own political transformation and a welcomed reminder why conservative principles matter in the 21st century.

Perry Pledges to Take Only Half Salary

Saturday, 19 Nov 2011 06:41 AM
By Paul Scicchitano

Pledging to lead by example, presidential hopeful Rick Perry of Texas says he will take only half of the $400,000 annual commander in chief’s salary if elected and he called on Congress to do the same.

“I think you lead by example,” said Perry, appearing Friday on “Your World With Neil Cavuto” on Fox. “Washington congressmen need to have their salaries cut in half. They need to spend half as much on budget. They need to be in Washington half time.”

The longest serving governor in America also shot back at House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi who turned Perry’s invitation to debate his planned overhaul of Congress into a one-liner.

In declining the offer, Pelosi mocked Perry's recent memory lapse at a GOP debate, when he couldn't recall the third of three federal departments he wanted to eliminate.

"I'm going to be in Portland in the morning. I'm going to be visiting some of our labs in California in the afternoon. That's two. I can't remember what the third thing is I'm going to be doing,” said Pelosi as to why she couldn’t debate the Texan.

Perry was not joking when he took Pelosi to task amid questions as to whether she benefitted from inside trading.

Pelosi was granted access to the Visa IPO back in 2008 while the House was considering credit card legislation that would hurt the credit card industry. Her initial $220,000 investment went up $100,000 in two days.

The insider trading probe gained steam with the publication of a new book, “Throw Them All Out,” by conservative author Peter Schweizer, a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and one-time aide to Sarah Palin, who details alleged abuses by politicians on both sides of the House and Senate.

The book was heavily featured on Sunday’s "60 Minutes" with reporter Steve Kroft going after leaders of the two parties in the House on camera. Pelosi denied she had done anything wrong.

“I don’t doubt why she wanted to say no” to the debate, snapped Perry. “This insider trading — this straight up corruption. When a member of Congress can take inside information and invest and enrich themselves.”

Perry urged Congress to pass a law against such conduct in the future. “I think they ought to pass a law right now that if you’re in Congress, or you’re in the United States Senate, and you use inside information to enrich yourself, you go to jail — period,” he said. “That’s what the American people are sick of.”

He called the balanced budget amendment that failed to pass the House by a margin of 261-165 on Friday a “weak bill” without teeth and pressed for the notion of a part-time Congress, similar to the legislature in his home state, which meets every other year.

“Let them go have a job. Let them go back into their communities and spend time with the people they represent. That’s what we do in Texas,” explained Perry. “We pay our legislators $600 per month. They come into town, do the business and they go back and they live under the laws that they pass.”

Despite his poor debate showing, Perry says there’s plenty of time to make up lost ground. “We’re a long way from having the election over with,” he said. “I will guarantee you — Iowa, South Carolina, even New Hampshire — those states are wide open.”

Perry also said that he is prepared to support the GOP nominee regardless of who wins the nomination.

“I’m going to support the Republican nominee. That isn’t even a question,” said Perry. “Our country is on the precipice of a huge economic disaster and foreign policy wise none of our allies know where America is going to be on any given day. We’ve got huge issues facing this country today and [Obama’s] in Burma talking about relations with a country that — I’ll be real honest with you — I don’t know what America’s interest is there.”

He also criticized the president for delaying a decision on the 1,700-mile pipeline from Alberta to Texas until after the 2012 election so a study can be carried out with respect to its impact on an environmentally sensitive area of Nebraska.

“That Canadian oil is going to go one of two ways,” said Perry. “It’s either going to go west to China or it’s going to go south to the United States. That’s not even a question about where that ought to be going. Our national security is in jeopardy with this president.”

© Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Calendar of Doom

Any physician in business for more than a few months knows how difficult it is to work on the business. Between keeping pace with caring for patients, insurance company demands, government regulations, and the latest medical technology, there are never enough hours in a day. That's why TMA developed the Calendar of Doom, a web-based regulatory compliance tool giving you and your staff a big-picture view of upcoming state and federal compliance timelines and key health policy issues that impact Texas physicians.

Click on the compliance date to review background information, regulations, penalties and incentives, and suggested steps to help you meet the compliance date. Questions?


Friday, November 18, 2011

DHS Launches Obama’s Amnesty Plan

Last Updated: Thu, 11/17/2011 - 2:00pm

The Obama amnesty plan officially begins this week, according to a mainstream newspaper that obtained internal Homeland Security documents outlining “sweeping changes” in immigration enforcement that will halt the deportation of illegal aliens with no criminal records.

Much has been reported about the administration’s intention to implement a stealth amnesty plan if congress doesn’t act to spare the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal aliens, but this is the first confirmation that it’s come to fruition. Beginning this week the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will review all deportation cases and start a nationwide “training program” to assure that enforcement agents and prosecuting attorneys don’t remove illegal immigrants who haven’t been convicted of crimes.

About 300,000 immigration cases are currently pending before overwhelmed U.S. courts and the goal is to expedite them, according to DHS officials cited in the news report. To accomplish this, the agency will focus on removing only those who committed serious crimes or pose a national security risk. Immigration agents will be instructed to close deportations that “fall outside” these department “priorities,” which means a large class of illegal aliens will be granted de facto amnesty.

This backdoor amnesty plan has been in the works for some time and has actually been implemented unofficially for more than a year. In fact, in 2010 Texas’s largest newspaper published an exposé about a then-secret DHS initiative that systematically cancelled pending deportations. The remarkable program stunned the legal profession and baffled immigration attorneys who say the government bounced their clients’ deportation even when expulsion was virtually guaranteed.

Judicial Watch has been a front runner in investigating the Obama Administration’s stealth amnesty program by pursuing DHS records concerning “deferred action” or “parole” to suspend removal proceedings against a particular group of individuals. Earlier this year JW sued DHS to obtain information because the agency ignored a federal public records request that dates back to July 2010.

#OWLS Protester Discovers Free Speech Doesn't Cover Firebombing Macy's

Posted on | November 17, 2011

Man identified by police as Nkrumah Tinsley, 29

Not the sharpest tool in the shed:

A protester was arrested in Zuccotti Park Wednesday after he threatened to fire bomb the city — and his rant went viral on YouTube, police said.
Nkrumah Tinsley, 29, was busted after cops saw a video of him claiming he would torch the city during Thursday’s mass protest posted online, police said.
“On the 17th (of Nov.), we’re going to burn New York City to the f—ing ground,” an angry Tinsley told a crowd of demonstrators in the video posted on Tuesday.
“In a few days, you’re going to see what a Molotov cocktail can do to Macy’s.”
When officers from the NYPD’s intelligence division saw the video, they immediately began working on trying to identify the raging man, police said.

And now, the exclamation point on the sentence:

Tinsley’s parents described their son as mentally ill and [said he] recently started leaving the family’s University Heights, Bronx, home to support protesters downtown.
“I was really happy — he was going meeting people and talking to others, instead of sitting in his room talking to himself,” said his father, James Jacob, 66.

I’m sure the Occupy Wall Street leaders will seize on this datum to say, “Well, see, he really wasn’t one of us. He just showed up.” Except for the fact that, while Nkrumah was ranting, he was collecting high-fives from those around him:

What does it say about your movement when your protests attract 29-year-old schizophrenics who would otherwise be at their parents’ homes, sitting in their rooms, talking to themselves? Or perhaps sitting in Congress, talking to the media.

UPDATE: John at Verum Serum compiles a list of reported crimes involving the “Occupy” movement. Has it occurred to anyone — it has certainly occurred to me — that a movement which attacks capitalism and condemns profit as theft must necessarily, by its essential nature, be lawless?

To argue (or to chant) that private property is illegitimate, and that the rich should be viewed as predatory criminals, is a message guaranteed to attract the very worst sort of people with the worst sort of motives.

Another Obama Scandal In the Making

Posted on November 16, 2011 by John Hinderaker

Peter Schweizer disclosed this “green” boondoggle in his new book, Throw Them All Out. Big Government has the story.

It has to do with a “green energy” company called BrightSource Energy Inc., which develops solar energy products (or intends to someday, anyway). In 2010, BrightSource was in deep trouble. It was $1.8 billion in debt and was losing money hand over fist–a $71.6 million loss on a mere $13.5 million in revenue. A company destined to go down the drain, one would think. But no! The Obama administration bailed out BrightSource to the tune of a cool $1.4 billion in loan guarantees.

How could that possibly have happened? Well, start with the fact that the principal investor in BrightSource is VantagePoint Partners. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is a Venture Partner in VantagePoint. But BrightSource had an even more valuable contact than that:

Sanjay Wagle…was one of the principals in Kennedy’s firm who raised money for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. When Obama won the White House, Wagle was installed at the Department of Energy (DOE), advising on energy grants.

Well, that was convenient! So BrightSource got its $1.4 billion. BrightSource isn’t out of business yet, but how promising was the Obama administration’s investment? Check out the registration statement for the company’s IPO. This is from the discussion of risk factors:

This offering involves a high degree of risk. … We have generated substantial net losses and negative operating cash flows since our inception and expect to continue to do so for the foreseeable future as part of the development and construction of solar thermal energy projects using our systems.

We have generated substantial net losses and negative cash flows from operating activities since we commenced operations. We have incurred losses of approximately $204.1 million from our inception through March 31, 2011. For the year ended December 31, 2010 and three months ended March 31, 2011, we incurred a net loss of $71.6 million and $26.8 million, respectively, and our operating activities used cash of $64.1 million and $28.8 million, respectively.

We expect that our net losses and our negative operating cash flows will continue for the foreseeable future, as we increase our development activities and construct solar thermal energy projects. …

Our proprietary technology has a limited history and may perform below expectations when implemented on utility-scale projects.

We use proprietary technology that has not been previously implemented on utility-scale projects of the size and complexity of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, or Ivanpah, and Ivanpah may experience technological problems that neither we nor any of the third-party independent engineers that have reviewed our projects are able to foresee. The systems that we will implement on utility-scale projects include a solar field with heliostats controlled by advanced software systems that concentrate sunlight onto a receiver to produce high-temperature steam. If the implementation of our proprietary technology is unsuccessful, it could negatively impact the successful operation of projects using our systems and may result in additional payments, deductions or defaults under key project documents, including our PPAs or other financing arrangements.

Ivanpah is being primarily financed by a U.S. Department of Energy, or DOE, guaranteed loan facility, which requires the project companies to remain in compliance with numerous financial, construction and operational covenants to draw funds under the loan facility, compliance with which are within the control of NRG Solar, the majority equity owner and operator of Ivanpah….

Furthermore, adoption of our systems for use in solar-to-steam applications, such as thermal EOR, depends on successful implementation of the 29 MWth EOR project for Chevron in Coalinga, California that is expected to begin operations in the second half of 2011. We have recently experienced significant cost overruns related to the project. If the Coalinga Solar-to-Steam for EOR project does not meet expectations, our ability to sell additional thermal EOR systems may be negatively impacted.

How on Earth does a company like this survive for 15 minutes? Crony capitalism. This risk disclosure conveys a sense of how deep the rot runs:

We depend heavily on government policies that support renewable energy and enhance the economic feasibility of developing solar energy projects. Renewable energy sources currently benefit from various federal, state and local governmental incentives such as investment tax credits, or ITCs, cash grants in lieu of ITCs, loan guarantees, renewables portfolio standard programs, or RPS programs, modified accelerated cost-recovery system of depreciation and bonus depreciation. For example, the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, provides an ITC of 30% of the cost-basis of an eligible resource, including solar thermal energy projects placed in service prior to the end of 2016. Additionally, many states have adopted RPS programs mandating that a specified percentage of electricity sales come from eligible sources of renewable energy.

Companies like BrightSource can survive only as long as governments continue to pursue foolish “green energy” policies. If the voters ever wise up, they are finished:

However, the regulations that govern the RPS programs, including pricing incentives for renewable energy, or reasonableness guidelines for pricing that increase valuation above conventional power (such as a projected value for carbon reduction), may change. If the RPS requirements are reduced or eliminated, we could sustain fewer future power contracts or receive lower prices for the sale of power in future power contracts, which could have a material adverse effect on us and our project development plans. Such material adverse effects may result from decreased revenues, reduced economic returns on certain project company investments, increased financing costs, and/or difficulty obtaining financing. Furthermore, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, or ARRA, included over $80 billion in incentives to encourage investment in the renewable energy sector, such as cash grants in lieu of ITCs, bonus depreciation and expansion of the DOE loan guarantee program. Although the ARRA expanded the DOE loan guarantee program, this program faces challenges and may not continue past the projects already financed such as Ivanpah. In addition, the cash grant in lieu of ITCs program only applies to projects that commence construction prior to December 31, 2011.

Notice how the stimulus act makes an appearance. BrightSource isn’t a scandal like Solyndra yet, but give it time.

Here is a full copy of the Tea Party Debt Commission plan


(36 pages)


NEW YORK POLICE OFFICER SLASHED!… #OWS Protesters Throw Chemicals at Cops
Posted by Jim Hoft on Thursday, November 17, 2011, 4:03 PM

The protesters were chanting “peaceful” as they attacked the cops.
My friend Kenny took this video earlier today:

A police officer was slashed today at the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City.
FOX News reported:

A New York City police officer was slashed during Thursday’s “Occupy Wall Street” action– and a second cop was taken to a local hospital with an eye injury– after clashes between protesters and activists across lower Manhattan, sources told

Both officers are said to be in stable condition, although the incident marked an escalation of tension in the uneasy give-and-take between NYPD officers charged with maintaining order, and protesters determined to be heard.

The officer sustained the injury after a long day of marches and demonstrations by protesters across Manhattan’s Financial District. Here’s what happened, according to law enforcement sources.

Prompted by unknown reasons, a single officer, on-duty at the time, waded into a mass of protesters in Zuccotti Park. Once there, the officer called for back-up. Two additional officers responded to the call for help and joined the original one.

Something was thrown at eye of the original officer, perhaps an irritant, said law enforcement sources at the scene. Then, moments later, something “sharp” was thrown at one of other officers providing back-up, causing a deep gash on this thumb, the source said.

The officer hit in the eye was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where his injured eye was “flushed out,” said a law enforcement source. The second cop was taken to an as-yet unidentified local hospital, where he was due to receive numerous stitches to close the gash on his hand, law enforcement sources told

The Obama-endorsed protesters threw chemicals at several police officers in the morning.
The New York Post reported:

In total, seven police officers were injured in today’s chaotic series of events. One of them suffered a cut on his hand that required 20 stitches after a protester tossed an unknown object at him.

Four others were hurt this morning when a demonstrator threw liquid — possibly vinegar — in their eyes.

Organizers have said they were energized by Bloomberg’s decision to clean out the squalid tent city at Zuccotti Park this past Tuesday, resulting in 230 arrests.

Prepare Yourself for Obama's Second Term

November 18, 2011
Prepare Yourself for Obama's Second Term
By Michael Filozof

(See also: The Prism of Electoral Reality)

For some time now, many conservatives have thought that President Obama is the Second Coming of Jimmy Carter. They think that chronic 9% unemployment, creeping inflation, and a foreign policy of self-abasement and weakness will doom Obama to a single term, and that he'll slink off with his tail between his legs in disgrace, just like Carter did after the election of 1980.

Maybe they should be thinking about the election of 1996 instead.

Does anyone remember the disaster that was Bill Clinton's first term? The first attempt to put gays in the military, the first attack on the World Trade Center by Muslim fanatics, and the "Assault Weapons" Ban? The proposal to raise taxes, increase spending, and downsize the military? Hillary arrogantly proclaiming that she was no little Tammy Wynette standing by her man and baking cookies? That she would revamp the entire health care system, by herself, in secret, without congressional input? Does anyone remember the Waco debacle, which led directly to the Oklahoma City bombing, and Clinton's allegation that it was the fault of talk radio? Does anyone remember the landslide Republican victory in the House in 1994, breaking forty straight years of Democratic control -- a massive rebuke of the Clinton administration?

And yet...Clinton got re-elected in 1996. He didn't just squeak by, either -- he won a crushing 379-159 victory in the Electoral College and beat the Republican ticket by eight and a half percent in the popular vote.

Conservatives were in shock. How could this happen? Answer: after the 1994 conservative revolution in the midterm elections, the Republican 1996 presidential campaign turned into the Revenge of the Flaming Moderates. The Republican primaries featured banal, milquetoast candidates like Lamar Alexander (whose campaign strategy was to don a flannel shirt and stand in front of a sign proclaiming, appropriately enough, "Lamar!"), Steve Forbes, Richard Lugar, and the doddering Washington insider Bob Dole. Pat Buchanan fought an insurgent battle against the GOP moderates, finishing second in the primaries just to keep it interesting, but he quit the party soon thereafter.

The 2012 crop of GOP candidates is no better; quite arguably, they are a good deal worse.

I'm sure Herman Cain is a great guy and that the sexual harassment allegations against him are either overblown or outright false. Nonetheless, he demonstrated that he's in over his head the other day when he couldn't answer a simple question on Obama's illegal war in Libya. Cain has no political experience whatsoever. A couple of terms in the Senate or a stint as secretary of commerce would burnish his credentials. But frankly, right now, he has none. The last person to become president without having previously held elective office was Eisenhower, and he had "Supreme Allied Commander on the Winning Side of the Biggest War in Human History" on his resume, not "pizza salesman."

Rick Perry showed some promise early on. As governor of the second-largest state in the country with a healthy economy, low taxes, and fiscal stability, he might've been a contender. But he managed to become an example of the left-wing caricature of the Texas redneck all by himself, without the usual dirty tricks from the likes of Dan Rather and the Travis County Democratic Party to set him up. His latest flub -- the inability to remember which Cabinet agencies he'd cut -- finished him. Never before has the cliché "He shot himself in the foot" been more apropos.

There's Newt Gingrich, who lost the 1995 budget battle to Clinton. His political negatives were so high that he resigned after only four years as speaker so that the left couldn't use his own infidelity against him during the impeachment of Clinton. In 2000, two years after Gingrich left office, Hillary Clinton carpetbagged her way into New York and campaigned against the "Newt Gingrich Republicans." She promised to bring 200,000 jobs to New York. Six years later, the state had lost 50,000 jobs. She was re-elected. Newt hasn't held office since 1998.

Then there's Ron Paul -- interesting, sincere. Would've been a perfect running mate for Calvin Coolidge in 1924.

That leaves us with the blow-dried Janus, Mitt Romney. Romney is from a high-tax liberal state and has backtracked on almost every position he's ever taken. Why would Democratic voters cross party lines to vote for a white, pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-government health care Republican graduate of Harvard Business and Law Schools when they can vote for a black, pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-government health care Democratic incumbent -- also a graduate of Harvard Law? Answer: they won't. Romney bent over backwards to appeal to left-wing voters in the Senate campaign against Ted Kennedy, and Romney lost.

Not only is the Republican field extremely weak, but it has little appeal to the average voter. Tea Party activists -- whom political scientists refer to as "attentive publics" -- are not average voters. The average schlub will vote for the most ubiquitous political face he sees while channel-surfing between the football game, the porno channel, and Judge Judy after yet another trip to the refrigerator. That means for Obama. Beyond that, the primordial concern of the average American is "What kind of government freebee can I get, and who's going to give it to me?"

A recent Bloomberg News article by Brian Fuller stated that "a record 49% percent of Americans live in a household where someone receives at least one type of government benefit, according to the Census Bureau." Forty-nine percent! All Obama has to do is get another two percent, and he's in for a second term.

I could be wrong, of course. I've been wrong before. In 2008, I publicly stated that there was no way in hell the American public was going to vote for a man named "Hussein," who spent his youth in a Muslim country, only seven years after 9/11.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong again. But I doubt it. Instead of Obama looking like the Second Coming of Jimmy Carter, it looks like Romney may be the Second Coming of Bob Dole.

SHOCK CLAIM: Energy Dept. Kickbacks Make Obama America's Biggest Crony Capitalist

SHOCK CLAIM: Energy Dept. Kickbacks Make Obama America’s Biggest Crony Capitalist… Ever
by Wynton Hall

At least ten members of President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign finance committee, plus more than a dozen of his campaign bundlers, benefited from sweetheart loans through the Department of Energy (DOE) that collectively dwarfed those given to Solyndra and Fisker.

Investigative journalist Peter Schweizer, who is also a Breitbart editor, reveals the full extent of the DOE scandal in his explosive new book, Throw Them All Out. The book is featured in this week’s Newsweek, and was the subject of 60 Minutes this past Sunday, Nov. 13.

Schweizer’s research reveals that of the $20.5 billion in the DOE’s 1705 Loan Guarantee Program, $16.4 billion in taxpayer money–roughly 80% of all loans in the program–went to green enterprises “either run by or heavily owned by Obama financial backers–individuals who were either bundlers, members of Obama’s national finance committee or large donors to the Democratic Party.”

In 2009, President Obama had promised that the allocation of all federal stimulus monies would be nonpartisan, ethical, and fair. “Let me repeat that: Decisions about how Recovery money will be spent will be based on the merits. They will not be made as a way of doing favors for lobbyists,” Obama said.

However, Schweizer alleges, the Obama administration may be guilty of “the greatest–and most expensive–example of crony capitalism in American history.”

The details of how the DOE loan scheme was apparently conducted are almost as shocking as the billions bagged by Obama’s backers.

Instead of appointing a team of scientists or engineers to direct the DOE’s loan program office, Schweizer contends, the Obama administration placed some of the president’s biggest fundraisers in control. For example, Steve Spinner, who served on the Obama campaign’s National Finance Committee and was himself a top bundler, was tapped as the “chief strategic operations officer” for the DOE’s loan programs. Spinner was joined at DOE by another Obama fundraiser, Sanjay Wagle, and by Democrat donor Jonathan Silver, who would serve as executive director of the program.

With the scientists and engineers effectively out of the way, and the President’s top backers at the levers of the DOE’s loan program, the Obama administration was able to funnel billions of taxpayer dollars back to green energy companies associated with the President’s political and financial patrons.

For members of Obama’s national finance committee, the returns on investing in Obama’s 2008 campaign were incredibly lucrative, according to Schweizer. For every dollar committee members raised, they received $24,783 in return in the form of DOE sweetheart loans, on average.

Other top winners in the Obama campaign donor giveaway included several familiar billionaires. For example, a company indirectly owned in part by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the founders of Google (Sergei Brin and Larry Page) landed a loan almost three times as large as the Solyndra loan, at $1.4 billion. And Ted Turner and Paul Tudor Jones snagged a jaw-dropping $4.7 billion loan for their green company, First Solar–a sum almost nine times as big as the controversial loan given to Fisker Automotive.

The Government Accountability Office red-flagged this apparent–and historic–pattern of crony capitalism in its March 2011 report, which found that the DOE’s loan and grant programs had doled out federal monies through a process that appeared “arbitrary,” lacked proper documentation, and that “had treated applicants inconsistently in the application review process, favoring some applicants and disadvantaging others.”

In Throw Them All Out, Schweizer writes that untangling and uncovering every instance of Obama’s crony capitalism would “take a large team of investigative reporters.” Moreover, according to Schweizer, despite the fact that some successful companies were among the beneficiaries, the DOE loans and grants appear to have failed to create any significant short-term job gains.

“The true short-term effect of this money,” Schweizer concludes, “has been to enrich cronies of the party in power.”

#OWS Goons Terrorize Small Children – Harass Parents & Children at NY School

Posted by Jim Hoft on Thursday, November 17, 2011, 9:17 PM

School kids caught in the middle of Obama endorsed Wall Street protest

One parent told reporters, “These guys are terrorists.”
CBS News reported:

They were caught in the middle of madness.

Some grade school students were forced to walk a gauntlet of screaming “Occupy Wall Street” protesters just to get to school on Thursday.

It was a wild day in lower Manhattan for most everyone involved, including elementary school children who had to brave the mayhem just to get to class on the other side of Wall Street.

Occupy San Diego Has A Moment of Solidarity for the White House Shooter

November 17, 2011
Occupy San Diego Holds Moment of Silence, Support, and Solidarity For White House Shooter

Well! I guess he "blended in" even better than ABCNews thought.

Video here if you cannot watch it here. Yes, this happened.

I don't even want to write the obvious words, but I'll do it: If anyone in the Tea Party expressed solidarity with Jared Loughner (and if a group of Tea Partiers than bowed their head in respectful silence for him), do you imagine the media would have been interested?

GE Filed 57,000-Page Tax Return, Paid No Taxes on $14 Billion in Profits

1:11 PM, Nov 17, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK

General Electric, one of the largest corporations in America, filed a whopping 57,000-page federal tax return earlier this year but didn't pay taxes on $14 billion in profits. The return, which was filed electronically, would have been 19 feet high if printed out and stacked.

The fact that GE paid no taxes in 2010 was widely reported earlier this year, but the size of its tax return first came to light when House budget committee chairman Paul Ryan (R, Wisc.) made the case for corporate tax reform at a recent townhall meeting. "GE was able to utilize all of these various loopholes, all of these various deductions--it's legal," Ryan said. Nine billion dollars of GE's profits came overseas, outside the jurisdiction of U.S. tax law. GE wasn't taxed on $5 billion in U.S. profits because it utilized numerous deductions and tax credits, including tax breaks for investments in low-income housing, green energy, research and development, as well as depreciation of property.

"I asked the GE tax officer, 'How long was your tax form?'" Ryan said. "He said, 'Well, we file electronically, we don't measure in pages.'" Ryan asked for an estimate, which came back at a stunning 57,000 pages. When Ryan relayed the story at the townhall meeting in Janesville, there were audible gasps from the crowd.

Ken Kies, a tax lawyer who represents GE, confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD the tax return would have been 57,000 pages had it been filed on paper. The size of GE's tax return has more than doubled in the last five years.

Ryan used the data point to underscore the irrationality of the corporate income tax code. He also contrasted GE with UPS to make the point that the corporate income tax code doesn't make sense. "UPS paid a 34 percent effective tax rate," while its biggest foreign competitor, DHL, paid a 24 percent tax rate, Ryan said.

The problems with the corporate taxes occur because "Republicans and Democrats, both parties, sit in Congress and they're picking winners and losers," Ryan said. The solution, according to the Wisconsin congressman: "Get rid of those loopholes and lower tax rates by a corresponding amount. Don't lose revenue, but for every loophole you pull out, and deny a company from being able to get this little carveout, you can lower the rates so we can be more competitive with our competitors overseas. We want to stem the bleeding of jobs going overseas, of foreign companies buying U.S. companies and taking headquarters overseas."

Ryan is hopeful that President Obama will work with Republicans on corporate tax reform. "This is the one thing I think we've got some bipartisan agreement on," he said.

Update: GE responds.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Huffington Post rules to be applied over entire web

Stop the Great Firewall of America

Published: November 15, 2011

China operates the world’s most elaborate and opaque system of Internet censorship. But Congress, under pressure to take action against the theft of intellectual property, is considering misguided legislation that would strengthen China’s Great Firewall and even bring major features of it to America.

The legislation — the Protect IP Act, which has been introduced in the Senate, and a House version known as the Stop Online Piracy Act — have an impressive array of well-financed backers, including the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Motion Picture Association of America, the American Federation of Musicians, the Directors Guild of America, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Screen Actors Guild. The bills aim not to censor political or religious speech as China does, but to protect American intellectual property. Alarm at the infringement of creative works through the Internet is justifiable. The solutions offered by the legislation, however, threaten to inflict collateral damage on democratic discourse and dissent both at home and around the world.

The bills would empower the attorney general to create a blacklist of sites to be blocked by Internet service providers, search engines, payment providers and advertising networks, all without a court hearing or a trial. The House version goes further, allowing private companies to sue service providers for even briefly and unknowingly hosting content that infringes on copyright — a sharp change from current law, which protects the service providers from civil liability if they remove the problematic content immediately upon notification. The intention is not the same as China’s Great Firewall, a nationwide system of Web censorship, but the practical effect could be similar.

Abuses under existing American law serve as troubling predictors for the kinds of abuse by private actors that the House bill would make possible. Take, for example, the cease-and-desist letters that Diebold, a maker of voting machines, sent in 2003, demanding that Internet service providers shut down Web sites that had published internal company e-mails about problems with the company’s voting machines. The letter cited copyright violations, and most of the service providers took down the content without question, despite the strong case to be made that the material was speech protected under the First Amendment.

The House bill would also emulate China’s system of corporate “self-discipline,” making companies liable for users’ actions. The burden would be on the Web site operator to prove that the site was not being used for copyright infringement. The effect on user-generated sites like YouTube would be chilling.

YouTube, Twitter and Facebook have played an important role in political movements from Tahrir Square to Zuccotti Park. At present, social networking services are protected by a “safe harbor” provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which grants Web sites immunity from prosecution as long as they act in good faith to take down infringing content as soon as rights-holders point it out to them. The House bill would destroy that immunity, putting the onus on YouTube to vet videos in advance or risk legal action. It would put Twitter in a similar position to that of its Chinese cousin, Weibo, which reportedly employs around 1,000 people to monitor and censor user content and keep the company in good standing with authorities.

Compliance with the Stop Online Piracy Act would require huge overhead spending by Internet companies for staff and technologies dedicated to monitoring users and censoring any infringing material from being posted or transmitted. This in turn would create daunting financial burdens and legal risks for start-up companies, making it much harder for brilliant young entrepreneurs with limited resources to create small and innovative Internet companies that empower citizens and change the world.

Adding to the threat to free speech, recent academic research on global Internet censorship has found that in countries where heavy legal liability is imposed on companies, employees tasked with day-to-day censorship jobs have a strong incentive to play it safe and over-censor — even in the case of content whose legality might stand a good chance of holding up in a court of law. Why invite legal hassle when you can just hit “delete”?

The potential for abuse of power through digital networks — upon which we as citizens now depend for nearly everything, including our politics — is one of the most insidious threats to democracy in the Internet age. We live in a time of tremendous political polarization. Public trust in both government and corporations is low, and deservedly so. This is no time for politicians and industry lobbyists in Washington to be devising new Internet censorship mechanisms, adding new opportunities for abuse of corporate and government power over online speech. While American intellectual property deserves protection, that protection must be won and defended in a manner that does not stifle innovation, erode due process under the law, and weaken the protection of political and civil rights on the Internet.

Rebecca MacKinnon, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and a founder of Global Voices Online, is the author of the forthcoming “Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom.”

Occupy THIS: Time to Read the Riot Act

By David C. Stolinsky | November 7, 2011

Occupy Wall Street mob shuts down Port of Oakland and loots stores.
News item

There is no system right now that exists;we’re going to create that system.
Michael Moore

Freedom is too demanding for some people, and they will hanker after communism even after it has irrefutably demonstrated its moral, political, and economic bankruptcy.
− David Pryce-Jones

U.S. Constitution © 1787, all rights reserved.
− Anon.

Years ago, “read the riot act” was a common expression. When a boss set an employee straight, we often called that “reading the riot act.” The expression has its origin in Great Britain. In the early 18th century, there was social unrest as industrialization began.

Local police forces were in the early stages of development or not yet in existence. There was reluctance to call in the military, but often there was no choice. In 1714, Parliament passed the Riot Act. If people assembled and acted in a disorderly or violent manner, force could be used to disperse them.

But first, the crowd had to be informed that the assembly was unlawful. The local mayor or sheriff had to announce the following:

Our Sovereign Lord the King chargeth and commandeth all persons, being assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the act made in the first year of King George, for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies. God save the King.

This was “reading the riot act.” The custom survives to this day in Britain and America, where the police are required to announce that an assembly is unlawful, so that people have the opportunity to leave. But if they do not, the police can then use reasonable force to disperse them.

The U.S. Militia Act of 1792 was titled, “An act to provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions.” This is in accordance with Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. The Act provided that the president could “…command the insurgents to disperse, and retire peaceably to their respective abodes, within a limited time,” and it authorized the president to use the militia if they failed to disperse.

Otherwise, we would descend into mob rule. Although mob rule is sometimes confused with democracy, it is nothing but a violent minority imposing their will on the majority − the direct opposite of democracy. And democracy itself is majority rule, which may − or may not − be compatible with freedom. If you doubt this, look at Egypt or Iraq.

To believe that all people desire freedom is, as a lawyer would say, stating something not in evidence. Many people prefer other things to freedom − for example, Sharia law, or economic equality. And they may resort to violence to get it.

Those who condone mob rule may pose as friends of freedom, but in reality they are its enemies. In the face of mob violence, we must be prepared to read the riot act if necessary. Of course, in order to read the riot act, one first has to recognize that there is a riot. The Occupy Wall Street movement, and it offshoots in other cities, are not only destructive, they are also anti-American and anti-Semitic.

The demonstrators hope to provoke the police and then complain of police brutality. But we cannot go to the opposite extreme, and under-react for fear of over-reacting. This leads to paralysis and to more rioting. Yes, some of the demonstrators’ grievances are legitimate. Some Wall Street big shots have acted irresponsibly, to say the least. But the demonstrators’ methods are not legitimate.

The demonstrators claim they want to overthrow “the system,” yet most have no idea of what they want in its place. But those who back the demonstrations may have a very clear idea of what they want. Many of the signs are professionally printed, and reportedly the SEIU, ACORN, and others − perhaps including George Soros − are funding the demonstrations.

I know a little about riots. My wife and I were living in Los Angeles during the 1992 riot following the Rodney King verdict. The verdict was announced on Wednesday, and localized rioting began. By Thursday morning, we could see multiple fires through our bedroom window, in a line coming closer − clearly carefully planned. We drove to a market to get a week’s groceries, but others had the same idea, so the lines were long.

While waiting, I listened to a pocket radio and learned that a sporting-goods store less than a mile away was being looted at that moment. I regretted that I had been unable to break my habit of obeying the law. It is impossible to obtain a permit to carry a firearm in Los Angeles, but who would have known if I had a small revolver in my jacket pocket?

As is universally true, strict gun-control laws restrain only the law-abiding, but do nothing to reduce violent crime, and even less to control a riot. The police were overwhelmed, and in addition were inhibited by political correctness. The California National Guard was mobilized, but they could not deploy promptly. Their M16 rifles retained their full-automatic capability, and politicians did not trust the guardsmen with them. So armorers had to alter them, one-by-one, to fire only semi-automatically, and this took days.

Finally, even politically correct politicians realized that something had to be done. President Bush the elder sent in Marines from Camp Pendleton and soldiers from Fort Ord. But to comply with the Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act, he first had to order the rioters to disperse.

I recall a vehicle with a pedestal-mounted machine gun on the streets of Westwood near UCLA. I don’t recall what kind of vehicle it was − I was concentrating on the .50-caliber “Ma Deuce.” A colleague had to sleep on the floor of his office at USC for three days, because the streets were impassible. The tire store I patronize kept their window with the bullet hole for years as a memento. Medical clinics and businesses moved out of the area. Some never returned.

The riot finally ended after six days, but not before 53 were dead and perhaps $1 billion in damage had been done. Those who grumble about insurance companies should recall that fire, business, and home policies exclude damage resulting from war or insurrection. The companies might have refused to pay, and called the riot an insurrection − as did Congresswoman Maxine Waters. This would have intensified the economic damage. Those who make light of mob violence should consider these facts.

Serious damage was done to inter-racial relations. Korean American merchants felt − with some justice − that the police had abandoned them. In one revealing incident, the TV showed merchants on the roofs of their stores, defending their property and their lives with rifles − while talking heads called them “vigilantes” in a disparaging tone.

And it was months before I could look out our bedroom window and not remember the fires. Trust takes years to build, but it can be destroyed in a short time. In the end, loss of trust may be the most destructive effect of mob violence. If enough people no longer trust their fellow citizens to act in a non-violent manner, and they no longer trust their liberal mayors, liberal governors, and liberal president to suppress mob violence, what will they do?

They may turn to a leader who promises to restore order − even at the expense of their freedom. If high unemployment, a weakening currency, increasing disorder, and decreasing confidence in the government do not make you uneasy, perhaps you should study the history of Germany in the 20th century.

Before that happens, we should read Occupy Wall Street the riot act.

Author’s Note: For a discussion of the role of the military during the Los Angeles riot, and the difficulties and confusion involved, click here and here (pages 56-68).

Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. Contact: You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.