Saturday, March 3, 2012

UNC-Greensboro Declares Christianity Not a Religion

By Jay Schalin - NRO
March 2, 2012 8:54 P.M.

A 2010 Supreme Court case, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, is beginning to wreak havoc with the accepted standard (and the First Amendment right to free assembly) that student organizations can restrict membership and leadership roles to those who accept their basic beliefs. Just a few weeks after the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened a task force to explore eliminating the right to exclude non-believers, a second UNC school has started down that path. At UNC-Greensboro, the administration has determined that a Christian student club isn’t really religious and “therefore must allow students of other religions and belief systems to become leaders and members as a condition to being a recognized group.” (There is also this situation going on over at Vanderbilt.)

The Alliance Defense Fund has filed suit on behalf of the UNC-Greensboro student group Make Up Your Own Mind. “Saying that a Christian club isn’t religious is flatly absurd,” said ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. Perhaps Make Up Your Own Mind v. UNC-Greensboro will clarify the matter more sensibly.

Abbott & Costello on Unemployment

Posted by razor - Red State
Thursday, March 1st at 10:15AM EST

And now for something completely different…

I got the following in email of what Abbott and Costello would say if they tried to understand how Obama measures today’s joblessness. There’s enough truth in it to be amusing.


COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.

ABBOTT: Good subject. Terrible times. It’s about 9%.

COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?

ABBOTT: No, that’s 16%.

COSTELLO: You just said 9%.

ABBOTT: 9% Unemployed.

COSTELLO: Right 9% out of work.

ABBOTT: No, that’s 16%.

COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s 16% unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, that’s 9%…

COSTELLO: Wait a minute. Is it 9% or 16%?

ABBOTT: 9% are unemployed. 16% are out of work.

COSTELLO: If you are out of work you are unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, you can’t count the “Out of Work” as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.

COSTELLO: But … they are out of work!

ABBOTT: No, you miss my point.

COSTELLO: What point?

ABBOTT: Someone who doesn’t look for work, can’t be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn’t be fair.


ABBOTT: The unemployed.

COSTELLO: But they are ALL out of work.

ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work… Those who are out of work stopped looking. They gave up. And, if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.

COSTELLO: So if you’re off the unemployment roles, that would count as less unemployment?

ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!

COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don’t look for work?

ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That’s how you get to 9%. Otherwise it would be 16%. You don’t want to read about 16% unemployment do ya?

COSTELLO: That would be frightening.

ABBOTT: Absolutely.

COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means they’re two ways to bring down the unemployment number?

ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.

COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?

ABBOTT: Correct.

COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?

ABBOTT: Bingo.

COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to just stop looking for work.

ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like an economist.

COSTELLO: I don’t even know what the hell I just said!

And now you know why Obama’s unemployment figures are improving!

“Be Breitbart, Baby”

Posted on March 2, 2012
by Kevin DuJan - Hill Buzz

I spent a good portion of today monitoring the positively horrible postings on various Leftist sites and on the Facebook accounts of proud adherents of “The Tolerant Left” — observing the absolute glee they’re taking in Andrew Breitbart’s sudden death yesterday.

If you’re a regular reader here, you’ll know I trot out “the Death Star obliterating Alderaan” analogy quite frequently — because the scene resonates with me in especially trying times, as it’s one of the earliest memories I have of seeing something up on a movie screen (having most likely seen it for the first time during one of the pre-VHS re-releases of Star Wars). The Tolerant Left today is behaving much the way I imagine those in the high echelons of the Galactic Empire behaved upon hearing news of the first successful firing of the Death Star and the obliteration of Senator Leia Organa’s home world. “Ha ha! Take that! That’ll teach her!” is an echo of the jubilation in Leftist ranks today with the loss of the great General of the American Resistance who was Andrew Breitbart — himself a 21st Century echo of a Thomas Payne/Paul Revere/George Thomas hybrid.

If you’re a Star Wars fan, you know well that anyone in the Empire who celebrated the destruction of Alderaan (and the deaths of billions of its inhabitants) was an absolute fool (on top of being a sick and pathetic degenerate who celebrates the death of ANYONE) because the loss of Alderaan galvanized a galaxy and sent millions of talented, creative, and impassioned people into the ranks of the rebellion. “For Alderaan” was their mission statement and clarion call.

Today I sent an email out to my personal list of friends asking them to step up their efforts in whatever way they could to help fill the incalculable void left by Andrew Breitbart’s death. One of my good friends, HB contributor “The Tamminator”, responded by telling me her new personal mission statement in life is to “Be Breitbart, Baby!”. She says she already used it in a conversation she had this afternoon with another conservative activist — and at the close of their talk, he told her to “Be Breitbart!” and she said “Be Breitbart!” back to him instead of “goodbye”.

In whatever way you can, please “Be Breitbart” a little every day from now on.

If you didn’t consider yourself a part of the American Resistance already, please induct yourself with a pledge of “Being Breitbart” too.

Andrew Breitbart was an important part of the Resistance whose unique gifts were crucial to our cause…but I know in my heart there is someone reading this right now whose talents could possibly be even greater — but you just have never put your talent out there.

Maybe you didn’t think you were good enough…or strong enough…or brave enough.

Maybe you were afraid of what the Tolerant Left would do to you or your family if you got involved.

Maybe you sat back because Andrew Breitbart was already out there doing the heavy lifting.

With him gone, it’s time for you to be Breitbart, baby.

I am beyond heartbroken this remarkable man is dead. There are no words to describe how sickened I am that the Tolerant Left has seized his death as a cause for perverse rapture. All I can think to do in response to any of this is to “be Breitbart, baby”.

A little every day.

Then a little more until I get the handle of it.

I’ll never be as in-your-face as he was…or as salty and aggressive…since that’s not my personal style. But I’m going to start challenging myself to do more with video and social networking than I’ve ever done before. My friend Megan Fox and I talked today and we’re going to start our radio show back up, despite the cost to keep it going, because it’s a way for us to “be Breitbart” on the air now that his voice is silenced. “The Tamminator” and I decided to launch a very special project of our own, committing to something we’d talked about many times but never decided to put into action until now…and it’s something Andrew Breitbart would have gotten to himself eventually if he’d lived a little longer.

Whether they realize it or not, I see a lot of other people in the conservative writing world picking up on the spirit of “Be Breitbart, Baby”. I hope above everything else that the verb “to Breitbart” comes into regular usage and it stands for “absolutely bedeviling the Tolerant Left, exposing their hypocrisy, and collapsing the Cocktail Party GOP establishment while driving the Elite Media insane”.

Be Breitbart, Baby!

B3 for short.

In whatever way you can.

© 2012, Kevin DuJan. All rights reserved.

20 Obvious Truths That Will Shock Liberals

Written By : John Hawkins - RWN

Mar 02, 2012

1) The Founding Fathers were generally religious, gun-toting small government fanatics who were so far to the Right that they'd make Ann Coulter look like Jimmy Carter.

2) The greatest evil this country has ever committed isn't slavery; it's killing more than 50 million innocent children via abortion.

3) Conservatives are much more compassionate than liberals and all you have to do to prove it is look at all the studies showing that conservatives give more of their money to charity than liberals do.

4) When the Founding Fathers were actually around, there were official state religions and the Bible was used as a textbook in schools. The so-called "wall of separation between church and state" has absolutely nothing to do with the Constitution and everything to do with liberal hostility to Christianity.

5) The biggest problem with our economy today is Barack Obama. His demonization of successful people, his driving up gas prices, his regulatory overload and threats to increase taxes have terrified businesses into hunkering down, refusing to spend money, and declining to hire new people. Replacing him would do more than any government policy to spur economic growth.

6) Not only are conservatives more patriotic than liberals, but most American liberals "love" America in about the same way that a wife-beater loves his wife.

7) Out of every 100 cries of “Racism” you hear these days, 99 are motivated by nothing other than politics.

8) Anyone paying income taxes is certainly paying his “fair share" -- and then some -- compared to the people who pay nothing.

9) You don't have a "right" to anything that other people have to pay to provide for you.

10) If we can ask people to present an ID to buy alcohol, drive a car, or get on an airplane, then asking them to present identification to vote is a no-brainer.

11) There's absolutely nothing that the government does smarter, better, or more efficiently than the private market with roughly equivalent resources.

12) The biggest problem with education in this country is liberals. They fight vouchers, oppose merit pay, refuse to get rid of terrible teachers, and bend over backwards to keep poor kids trapped in failing schools.

13) Fascism, socialism, and communism are all left-wing movements that have considerably more in common with modern liberalism than modern conservatism.

14) The Democratic Party was behind slavery, the KKK, and Jim Crow laws. It was also the party of Margaret Sanger, George Wallace, and Bull Connor. It has ALWAYS been a racist party. Even today, white liberals support Affirmative Action and racial set-asides because they still believe black Americans are too inferior to go up against whites on an even playing field.

15) A man with good morals who falls short and becomes a hypocrite is still a far better man than a liberal who can never be called a hypocrite because he has no morals at all.

16) The most dire threat to America's future and prosperity in the last 150 years hasn't been the Nazis, the Soviets, or Al-Qaeda;, it's the spending and overreach of our own government.

17) Greed isn't someone wanting to keep more of what he earns; it's people demanding a greater share of money that someone else earns.

18) Most of the time in American politics, the liberal "victim" is really a bad guy who is absolutely delighted by the opportunity to pretend to be "offended."

19) Jesus Christ was not a conservative, a liberal, or a politician. He was also not a capitalist or a socialist. Still, you can say this: Jesus drew sharp lines about what's right and wrong, he wasn't tolerant of what the Bible categorizes as sinful behavior, and there's absolutely no question that he would adamantly oppose abortion and gay marriage.

20) When you demand that other people fund your sexual escapades by buying your contraception, your sex life becomes their business.

Obama rips small oil companies for their $4B in tax relief, which is roughly the same amount he blew on the Chevy Volt

Friday, March 02, 2012


Just yesterday, President Obama called on Congress to end $4 billion in tax breaks for small oil and gas companies. How this is supposed to reduce skyrocketing gas prices is best left as an exercise for the demented.

Speaking before a crowd of 1,000 at Nashua Community College in New Hampshire, Obama defended his energy policies for the second time in as many weeks, saying there were “no quick fixes” to escalating prices at the pump.
But the president insisted that lawmakers should vote in the next few weeks to repeal oil industry’s $4 billion federal subsidies, a demand he has made several times over the past three years. Ending the “industry giveaway,” Obama argued, would spur the development of alternative energy sources that could offer long-term relief from rising gas prices.

Alternative energy sources like Solyndra?

Well, those several billions of dollars were blown by Obama in pursuit of a coal-powered car, which has turned out to be L'Failure Epique, as they say in France.

After Obama Blew $3 Billion on the Chevy Volt – GM Suspends Production & Lays Off 1,300 Workers

Barack Obama blew more money on the Chevy Volt than the entire annual GDP of Belize...

General Motors announced today that the company was suspending production of the Chevy Volt and 1,300 workers would be laid off... The Chevrolet Volt, an extended-range electric car, is both a political lightning rod and a symbol of the company’s technological capability... Chevrolet sold 1,023 Volts in the U.S. in February and has sold 1,626 so far this year.

Of course, GM actually owes taxpayers in excess of $25 billion, so the Volt subsidy is just a down payment.

Occupy Oakland Thugs Charged with Robbery, Hate Crimes

by John - Verum Serum
March 2, 2012 at 8:10 pm

The rolling crime spree is back in business:

On March 2, 2012, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office charged three Occupy Oakland protesters with felony counts of robbery and hate crimes.

On February 22, 2012, at 6:00 p.m., the Oakland Police Department contacted a female victim after responding to a report of a robbery in the 4000 block of Piedmont Avenue. The victim told officers she had been walking down the street, across from the Wells Fargo bank, near a small group of Occupy Oakland protesters calling for a riot. The victim, who has been a resident of the area for over 20 years, suggested to the protesters not to riot in her neighborhood.

She was surrounded by three protestors and battered as they yelled vulgar epithets regarding their perception of her sexual orientation. Her wallet was taken during the crime. The victim broke away from the group, and called police who were able to arrest one suspect near the scene…

The two additional suspects were located and arrested at a February 29th Occupy protest following investigation by the OPD Major Crimes Section.

Here are the three winners charged with the crimes:
Suspect-1, Michael Davis, White male, 3/24/79 [pictured]
Suspect-2 , Nneka Crawford, African American female, 3/29/88
Suspect-3, Randolph Wilkins, African American male, 3/5/87

This is a police report so no one bothered to ask the Occupy Oakland spokestool whether or not these folks were part of his group. Of course the fact that two of them were arrested at an Occupy protest should be a hint.

[Hat tip to Defend Wall St. via Twitter]

Expect a US Price Shock as Black Swans Come Home to Roost

Submitted by Tyler Durden - Zero Hedge
on 03/02/2012 20:33 -0500

American investor (and longtime member) Erik Townsend has spent the past several years living internationally, with an eye to which countries may be good alternatives if economic crisis and/or Peak Oil start to materially impact life in the US.

His main observation as an expat? Through its misguided policies, the US has been exporting inflation to the rest of the world, raising prices all over the globe (as an example, he cites a $57 chicken pot pie from the menu at a 'working class' restaurant in Australia).

This inflation is affecting the rest of the world harshly, but is not yet being felt in the US due to our ability to export it as the issuer of the world's reserve currency. Our immunity will not last forever though, and when it ends, a massive upwards spike in prices is going to hit US markets.

On the Global Economy

As far as I can tell, this whole economy is being propped up by stimulus and money printing, really since 2009. And I think that what is going on is we have forgotten that we are literally changing the—I do not know if you want to call it changing the terminology or changing the paradigm—but what is going on here is, we used to use words like “solution” fairly accurately. Now as we are just creating these Band-Aid fixes to temporarily put symptoms of problems at bay.

We are calling those solutions, and we are actually behaving -- and when I say “we”, I mean collectively market participants -- are behaving now as if the ECB printing money in order to buy some more Greek bonds and put a bid under that market was a solution to the European sovereign debt crisis. And it is obviously nonsense. The ECB printing money just dilutes the value of the Euro and causes more reason in the long term for people to flee away from making investments in Euro-denominated sovereign debt. So it does not solve anything.

But we have gotten to the point where we are so overwhelmed that the market is thinking in terms of these Band-Aid patches as being actual solutions to problems. And I think as long as that is the case, we are going to continue to apply these Band-Aid patches, which are things like printing more money, until it all comes to a head. When it comes to a head and how it comes to a head, I do not think anybody is smart enough to predict accurately.

At some point, though, we are going to get to a point where we cannot handle any more printed money and I think that the black swans that have been leaving the market alone for several years are going to come in force.

On The Market's Willfull Blindness

I do not think that we have ever seen a larger basket of major macro structural risks that everybody is aware of. It is not like nobody sees these things. But we have just somehow put them all on the back burner. Do not worry about China. Do not worry about Europe blowing up. Do not worry about Iran. Do not worry about the carry trade unwind in Japan that you have just written about recently. Do not worry about Peak Oil. Do not worry about the domino effect of China and Japan going down, taking out other economies that depend on them.

It is all fine. The LEIs are looking up. And we just seem to be in this cyclical trading mindset that it is going to continue to last until something breaks. And I think that when something breaks, it is going to break big.

On The China Wildcard

I think China has quite a bit of pull here. In that as QE3 happens—and I am convinced it is going to happen sometime this year, I do not know when—it is going to export so much inflation to China that it is going to be almost intolerable for them.

And I think that we are forgetting that if China says, “Okay, guys, we have had enough of this. If you do any more QE-ing we are going to dump the US Treasury bonds that we are holding and we are going to use the money to save our own economy.” If we see that kind of reaction from China, it really could put a monkey wrench into the plans of the central banks to inflate this all away.

I think that whether it is that mechanism or another one, at some point we are going to get to a hard wall here where you cannot just print money forever without the unintended consequences coming back and biting you.

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with Ben Davies (runtime 51m:56s):

AFL-CIO Boss Wants Unionizing To Be Added To Civil Rights Act

March 3rd 2012

Labor Union Report:

Apparently, Mr. Trumka does not realize that the ‘Right’ to unionize is already protected by the National Labor Relations Act which already provides workers with the protections not to be discriminated against.

Via Daily Caller

By Editor

The High Price of ‘Free’ Health Care

Mar 12, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 25 • By JOHN MCCORMACK

The Weekly Standard Magazine:

Today, in the United States, the federal government does not force insurers to provide free contraception. Yet contraception is as widely available as it is cheap. Most insurance policies cover it. The federal government gives birth control to the poor through Medicaid. The federal government spends an additional $300 million per year to provide it to low-income and uninsured Americans who don’t qualify for Medicaid​—​spending that the staunchest conservatives in Congress supported even when Republicans controlled the presidency, the Senate, and the House. If a middle- or upper-income woman happens to be in one of the small number of plans that don’t cover contraception​—​say, an employee at a college run by Catholic nuns​—​she can buy birth control pills for as little as $9 per month at Target.

Yet by the logic of the Obama campaign and many Democrats in the House and Senate, the current policy amounts to a “ban” on contraception. And the federal government can only right this injustice by forcing private insurers​—​including insurers of religious institutions​—​to provide free contraception, as well as free drugs that can induce abortions early in pregnancy.

“Let’s admit what this debate is really and what Republicans really want to take away from American women. It is contraception,” New York Democrat Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor. He said Republicans were trying to enact a “contraception ban” that would send the country back to the “19th century.” Not to be outdone, Democratic senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey said that Republicans want to take us back to “the Dark Ages .  .  . when women were property that you could easily control, trade even if you wanted to.”

The Obama campaign claimed that Republicans effectively wanted to force women to get a “permission slip” from their employers to “access birth control pills, intrauterine devices, or any other type of contraception.” Obama’s deputy campaign manager wrote in an email to supporters: “If you’re a woman, who do you think should have control over your choice to use contraception: You or your employer?” The New York Times and others in the mainstream press reported Republicans were backing a measure to allow employers to “deny coverage” for contraception, mimicking the Democrats in substance if not in style.

Of course, the bill the Obama campaign and friends were demagoguing wouldn’t have denied anyone access to birth control. The amendment, sponsored in the Senate by Republican Roy Blunt of Missouri and Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska, would merely let private employers or insurers opt out of Obama-care’s benefits mandates for moral or religious reasons​—​taking the country all the way back to .  .  . 2012. Americans currently have this right​—​the mandate doesn’t take effect until August for most employers and next year for religious institutions.

The conscience protections in the Blunt-Nelson bill are identical to the protections included in many federal health care laws on the books and even the 1994 Clinton reform that never became law. The bill wouldn’t affect state birth control mandates or federal laws that already require insurers to cover pregnancy, childbirth, mental health, HIV treatments, and other services.

Before a vote on the Blunt-Nelson bill last week, the New York Times reported that “Republicans appeared to be divided.” In fact, just one Republican, liberal Olympia Snowe of Maine, voted against the measure. Three Democrats​—​Nelson of Nebraska, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia​—​voted for it. The measure narrowly failed in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

The question now is whether supporters of religious freedom will keep up the fight. A number of freshmen Republican senators, like Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Scott Brown of Massachusetts, have tackled the issue head-on. Polls taken before and after the fight over the issue show no erosion of support for Brown in the most liberal state in the country.

Yet other Republicans seem skittish about the issue because polls have supposedly shown support for President Obama’s “accommodation” of religious institutions. A Quinnipiac poll, for example, asked voters: “Do you think the federal government should require private employers to offer free birth control coverage as part of their health insurance benefit plans or not?” The results: 47 percent said the government should require free contraception, 48 percent said it should not. In other words, the federal mandate in general split the country down the middle.

The poll then purports to show that the Obama administration’s method of imposing a mandate on religious institutions is popular. Voters were asked:

As you may know, President Obama recently announced an adjustment to the administration’s health-care rule regarding religiously affiliated employers providing birth control coverage to female employees. Women will still be guaranteed coverage for birth control without any out-of-pocket cost, but will have to seek the coverage directly from their insurance companies if their employers object to birth control on religious grounds. Do you approve or disapprove of President Obama’s decision?

Worded this way, 54 percent approved, 38 percent disapproved. But the question didn’t poll the policy, it polled Obama’s spin. There was no mention that the federal government would require anyone to do anything. At the very least, a fair question would also present the other side of the argument​—​that Obama’s “adjustment” is an accounting gimmick to which religious institutions still object.

Rasmussen polls show that support for Obama’s policy depends on how you ask the question. Although voters are divided 43 percent to 39 percent on the general policy of requiring contraception coverage, voters oppose mandatory free coverage of the “morning-after pill” 50 percent to 38 percent. No polls have yet been taken on Obama-care’s mandatory free coverage of the “five-day-after pill” called “ella” that can induce abortions during early pregnancy, according to animal testing. And how would voters respond when asked if the federal government should fine religious institutions that refuse to comply with the mandate?

The debate may still be won or lost. The pro-mandate Democrats and their allies in the press have framed it as a fight about “denying access” to birth control. But recall that the “health care reform” bill itself was popular in polls in the spring and summer of 2009. Democrats and the press misled the public about how much it would cost, how many would lose their current insurance, how it would use tax dollars to help pay for abortion-on-demand. Yet opponents of Obama-care managed to get the word out and turn public opinion against the law​—​because it is a bad law and the facts are on their side.

The opponents of Obamacare’s newest mandate requiring free coverage of abortion pills and contraception again have the facts on their side. The mandate provides opponents with the opportunity to again make the case against Obamacare. As one popular sign from the 2009 and 2010 Tea Party rallies read, “If you think health care is expensive now, just wait until it’s free.” The price of “free” health care will be steep in terms of dollars, but even steeper in terms of freedom.

Stunner. Georgetown Coed Sandra Fluke Is a 30 Year-Old Women's Rights Activist

Posted by Jim Hoft - Gateway Pundit
on Friday, March 2, 2012, 1:23 PM

What a shock! It was all a BIG PRODUCTION!

The Democrat’s token abused college coed is actually a 30 year-old hardcore women’s rights activist.

Sandra Fluke is also the past president of Law Students for Reproductive Justice.

Jammie Wearing Fool reported:

I put that in quotes because in the beginning she was described as a Georgetown law student. It was then revealed that prior to attending Georgetown she was an active women’s right advocate. In one of her first interviews she is quoted as talking about how she reviewed Georgetown’s insurance policy prior to committing to attend, and seeing that it didn’t cover contraceptive services, she decided to attend with the express purpose of battling this policy. During this time, she was described as a 23-year-old coed. Magically, at the same time Congress is debating the forced coverage of contraception, she appears and is even brought to Capitol Hill to testify. This morning, in an interview with Matt Lauer on the Today show, it was revealed that she is 30 years old, NOT the 23 that had been reported all along.

In other words, folks, you are being played. She has been an activist all along and the Dems were just waiting for the appropriate time to play her.

Unreal. This was all just a big dishonest Democrat ploy to take the attention off of Barack Obama’s assault on religious freedom.
It figures.

Simply delightful: In July 2009, Mitt Romney pressed Obama to use the Individual Mandate to Nationalize Healthcare

Friday, March 02, 2012

Erick Erickson has all of the details.

Had Michigan not been as close, the Democrats would have waited to spring this on us in the general election. Luckily we have it now and I hope Ohio voters are paying attention.

In July 2009, Mitt Romney wrote an op-ed in USA Today urging Barack Obama to use an individual mandate at the national level to control healthcare costs.

Health care cannot be handled the same way as the stimulus and cap-and-trade bills... There's a better way. And the lessons we learned in Massachusetts could help Washington find it.

...Our experience also demonstrates that getting every citizen insured doesn't have to break the bank. First, we established incentives for those who were uninsured to buy insurance. Using tax penalties, as we did, or tax credits, as others have proposed, encourages "free riders" to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others.

On the campaign trail now, Mitt Romney says the individual mandate is appropriate for Massachusetts, but not the nation. Repeatedly in debates, Romney has said he opposes a national individual mandate.

But back in 2009, as Barack Obama was formulating his healthcare vision for the country, Mitt Romney encouraged him publicly to use an individual mandate. In his op-ed, Governor Romney suggested that the federal government learn from Massachusetts how to make healthcare available for all. One of those things was “Using tax penalties, as we did, or tax credits, as others have proposed, encourages “free riders” to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others.”

Friends, if Mitt Romney is the nominee, we will be unable to fight Obama on an issue that 60% of Americans agree with us on.

Just a month after Romney penned his op-ed advocating the Individual Mandate, The Boston Globe ran a breathless report complaining about RomneyCare, headlined "Bay State health insurance premiums highest in country."

Massachusetts has the most expensive family health insurance premiums in the country, according to a new analysis that highlights the state’s challenge in trying to rein in medical costs after passage of a landmark 2006 law that mandated coverage for nearly everyone.

Oh, but that's right: Romney's the "only one who can win".

Of course, that's what they said about McCain and Dole.

SOURCE: Doug Ross - Director Blue

Santorum Could Be Ineligible For 18 Ohio District Delegates

By National Journal staff
Updated: March 2, 2012 10:39 p.m.
March 2, 2012 8:52 p.m.

In a potentially ominous Super Tuesday setback for Rick Santorum, a campaign filing mishap in Ohio could leave him ineligible to be awarded 18 Buckeye State district delegates -- more than a quarter of the total at stake there, ABC News reported Friday.

Ohio has 66 delegates total, with 63 at stake on Tuesday. Santorum failed to qualify for any district delegates in three Ohio congressional districts representing nine delegates because he didn't turn in names there.

ABC News reported that in six other congressional districts, the former Pennsylvania senator's campaign submitted fewer names than required to be eligible for all three delegates up for grabs in each district. That would put another nine delegates in jeopardy.

Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley responded to the report by issuing a statement that sought to depict the issue as a continuation of a controversy in Michigan. Santorum contends he and Mitt Romney should have split the delegates evenly in that state, but party officials there awarded Romney 16 and Santorum 14 in a move that the latter has decried as dirty politics and is contesting.

"The attempt by the establishment to to deceive the voters of Ohio and further their hand-picked candidate will be met with resistance on Tuesday," Gidley said. "I want to be clear -- Rick Santorum's name will appear on every ballot in the state of Ohio, and every vote cast will go towards his at-large delegate allocation.

"As it relates to individual congressional districts, it's clear we aren't the establishment hand-picked candidate, and back in December we were a small effort focused on Iowa. Now that we've won several states, obviously much has changed, and we feel confident that we will do well in both the delegate and popular vote count on Tuesday."

But a Romney spokesman seized on the report as further evidence that Santorum is a vastly inferior candidate.

"Rick Santorum has failed to get on the ballot in Virginia, has failed to file full delegate slates in Tennessee, New Hampshire and Illinois, and has failed to submit enough delegates in several Ohio congressional districts," said the spokesman, Ryan Williams, alluding to other Santorum logistical pitfalls. "The fact that he cannot execute the simple tasks that are required to win the Republican nomination proves that Rick Santorum is incapable of taking on President Obama's formidable political machine."

If he wins in a district where he failed to allocate a full slate of three delegates, Santorum would be eligible to take only the delegates he has already allocated in that district. But the unallocated delegates would not be awarded to anyone else.

"On Super Tuesday, if Sen. Santorum were to carry a district where he has not seated a full delegate slate, he will be awarded delegates where he has submitted delegate names," Ohio Republican Party spokesman Chris Maloney told The Plain Dealer of Cleveland. "And the additional delegates in that district will be unallocated."

Such a situation, The Plain Dealer said, sets up challenges -- if not from Santorum, then from political rivals such as Romney or Newt Gingrich.

The Ohio state party told the newspaper it has not faced this situation before, but it has been reviewing its bylaws and is prepared, if there is a challenge, to convene what it calls a "committee on contests."

Sarah B. Boxer and Rebecca Kaplan contributed

The Little White Box That Can Hack Your Network

By Robert McMillan
March 2, 2012

Easy to overlook, the PwnPlug offers a tiny back door to the corporate network. Photo: Ariel Zambelich/Wired

When Jayson E. Street broke into the branch office of a national bank in May of last year, the branch manager could not have been more helpful. Dressed like a technician, Street walked in and said he was there to measure “power fluctuations on the power circuit.” To do this, he’d need to plug a small white device that looked like a power adapter onto the wall.

The power fluctuation story was total bullshit, of course. Street had been hired by the bank to test out security at 10 of its West Coast branch offices. He was conducting what’s called a penetration test. This is where security experts pretend to be bad guys in order to spot problems.

In this test, bank employees were only too willing to help out. They let Street go anywhere he wanted — near the teller windows, in the vault — and plug in his little white device, called a PwnPlug. Pwn is hacker-speak for “beat” or “take control of.”

“At one branch, the bank manager got out of the way so I could put it behind her desk,” Street says. The bank, which Street isn’t allowed to name, called the test off after he’d broken into the first four branches. “After the fourth one they said, ‘Stop now please. We give up.’”

Built by a startup company called Pwnie Express, the PwnPlug is pretty much the last thing you ever want to find on your network — unless you’ve hired somebody to put it there. It’s a tiny computer that comes preloaded with an arsenal of hacking tools. It can be quickly plugged into any computer network and then used to access it remotely from afar. And it comes with “stealthy decal stickers” — including a little green flowerbud with the word “fresh” underneath it, that makes the device look like an air freshener — so that people won’t get suspicious.

The basic model costs $480, but if you’re willing to pay an extra $250 for the Elite version, you can connect it over the mobile wireless network. “The whole point is plug and pwn,” says Dave Porcello, Pwnie Express’s CEO. “Walk into a facility, plug it in, wait for the text message. Before you even get to the parking lot you should know it’s working.”

Porcello decided to start making the PwnPlug after coming across the SheevaPlug, a miniature low-power Linux computer built by Globalscale Technologies that looks just like a power adapter. “I saw it and I was like, ‘Oh my god this is the hacker’s dropbox,’” Porcello says. Dropboxes have been around for a few decades, but until now they’ve been customized computers that hackers or pen testers like Street build and sneak, unobserved onto corporate networks.

Now Pwnie Express has taken the idea commercial and built a product that anyone can easily configure and use. It turns out that they’re also a great way for corporations to test out security at their regional offices. Porcellos says that the Bank of America is mailing the PwnPlug to its regional offices and having bank mangers plug them into the network. Then security experts at corporate HQ can check the network for vulnerabilities.

Another internet service provider — Porcello wasn’t allowed to name them — is using the devices to remotely connect to regional offices via a GSM mobile wireless network and troubleshoot networking problems.

The device can save companies big money, Porcello says. “You’ve got companies like T.J.Maxx that have thousands of retail stores and every single one of them has got a computer network,” he says. “Right now they’re actually flying people out to the stores to spot check and do penetration basis, but now with something like this you don’t have to travel.”

Porcello was just a bored security manager at an insurance company when he started building the PwnPlugs back in 2010. But pretty soon he was selling enough to quit his day job. “We started getting orders from Fortune 50 companies and the DoD and I was like, ‘OK I’ll do this now instead.’”

GM suspending Chevy Volt production due to low demand

GM suspending Vega production due to low demand

Published March 02, 2012

General Motors will suspend Chevrolet Volt production from March 19th to April 23rd in order to bring supply of the plug-in hybrid car in line with demand, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Chevrolet sold 1,023 Volts in February, which up from 603 in January, but far from the 60,000-unit annual output originally planned for when the car was launched in December, 2010. Less than 8,000 Volts were sold in all of 2011.

GM spokesperson Chris Lee told the newspaper that 1,300 employees at the Hamtramck, Michigan, assembly plant where the Volt is built would be temporarily laid off during the production freeze.

Volt production was also halted for several weeks from late December until February 6th to reengineer the car to address fire concerns raised during government crash testing.

White House Memo Shows Obama Considering Raising Taxes On Middle-Class If He Wins Second Term

In Second Term, What Will Obama Do About Bush Tax Cuts?

by Noam Scheiber Mar 2, 2012 4:45 AM EST

If he wins in November, the president will again face the Bush tax cuts. A secret meeting in 2009 suggests he may be ready to walk away from his promise to middle-class voters.

Should Barack Obama win reelection this fall, he’ll almost immediately face one of the biggest issues of his second term: the looming expiration of the Bush tax cuts. George W. Bush originally passed the tax breaks in two quick bursts—slashing income taxes in 2001, and lowering taxes on investment income in 2003. Then, just before these cuts were set to expire on Jan. 1, 2011, Obama struck a deal with congressional Republicans to extend them for two more years.

To this day, the tax cuts are a highly emotional issue for partisans on both sides. Liberals regard them as a sop to the wealthy, who receive the largest share of the benefits. When Obama signed off on the extension, the left jeered him with charges of rank capitulation. Among Republicans, meanwhile, the tax cuts stand as one of the few untarnished legacies of the George W. Bush era. Without them, the conservative narrative of the Bush presidency collapses into a sorry tale of big government at home (No Child Left Behind, a Medicare prescription-drug benefit) and miscues abroad.

So how is Obama likely to handle this unwelcome inheritance?

Taken at face value, the president’s position is the same as it’s been since the 2008 campaign: he believes in preserving the Bush tax cuts for individuals making less than $200,000 per year, and for families making less than $250,000. He wants to end them for the very affluent. But while reporting my new book on the Obama economic team, I found evidence that the president’s private views may be at odds with his public statements.

In the fall of 2009, Obama’s chief congressional lobbyist, Phil Schiliro, touted a clever idea for dealing with the tax cuts: introduce a bill that would extend the middle-class cuts for two years while allowing the upper-income portions to expire. After two years, the middle-class cuts would also expire unless Congress paid for them with offsetting savings or tax increases.

Schiliro figured that, if the bill passed, the whole mess of tax cuts was likely to disappear when all was said and done, since there aren’t exactly trillions of dollars in easy-to-cut spending just lying around the federal budget, while raising other taxes was unlikely. And even if the bill didn’t pass, it would put Republicans on the defensive by shining a light on the huge budget costs of their most cherished accomplishment.

At first, Schiliro’s plan went nowhere—in truth it was as much a stunt as a serious proposal. But Schiliro had an important ally: Peter Orszag, the president’s budget director. Orszag was the administration’s most outspoken deficit hawk. He believed the only practical way to balance the budget was to repeal all the Bush tax cuts, not just the upper-income variety.

What is clear is that, having been tempted to end all of the Bush tax cuts in 2009 or 2010, the idea would only become more attractive were he to win a second term.

By November 2009, Orszag had become so fond of the idea that he insisted on presenting it to the president in the Oval Office. Orszag’s fellow wonks were cool to the plan, having heard him and Schiliro sing its praises repeatedly. But the administration’s chief wonk—Barack Obama—was intrigued. He asked a series of encouraging questions about how the proposal would work. According to two sources in the room, he was taken with both the political merits—that is, putting Republicans on the defensive—and the policy rationale of lopping trillions off the deficit. He gave no indication that he was troubled by the plan’s most explosive feature: that it would likely break a central campaign promise—not raising taxes on the middle class—one Republicans would surely wrap around his neck with populist glee.

It’s not entirely clear why the Schiliro plan never went further. But the sense of alarm that broke out among the noneconomists who attended the Oval Office conclave surely didn’t help. Vice President Joe Biden, for one, was so concerned about violating the 2008 tax pledge that he called one senior official right after the meeting to confess his anxieties. (A White House spokesperson confirmed the meeting but insisted that the president has never seriously considered phasing out the middle-class tax cuts.)

What is clear is that, having been tempted to end all of the Bush tax cuts in 2009, the president would only find the idea more attractive were he to win a second term. At that point, he will never again stand before the voters, at least not as a presidential candidate. There would be nothing to stop him from flouting a campaign promise, even one as sensitive as his tax pledge. Meanwhile, after four straight years of trillion-dollar deficits, the pressure to narrow the budget shortfall would be even more intense than it was during his first term.

Perhaps most important of all, killing the entire zombie army of Bush tax breaks would be far, far easier than only slaying the upper-income portions. To pull off the former, Obama literally has to do nothing—the tax breaks are slated to expire on their own. To do the latter, he would have to pass legislation extending the middle-class elements. As a practical matter, that means rounding up majorities in the House and Senate, which seems unimaginable given the likely balance of power on Capitol Hill after the election. (There is a third option, which entails striking a deal with Republicans to junk the entire tax code and rebuild it from scratch, but it’s hard to envision this happening between Election Day and Dec. 31.)

In the end, the lesson of the Schiliro plan and the Orszag meeting—to say nothing of the months Obama spent petitioning Republicans for a major deficit deal in 2011—is that the president is a true fiscal conservative. Perhaps even a severe one, to paraphrase his likely opponent. For such a breed of politician, the chance to let the Bush tax cuts lapse may simply be too tempting to pass up.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Why No Coverage of This Odd Obama Remark about Religion?

March 2, 2012
By Fred J. Eckert

Why No Coverage of This Odd Obama Remark about Religion?

As the media were blanketing airwaves and newspapers with nonstop coverage of old controversial religion-related remarks by Rick Santorum, something happened that compelled the media to also raise questions about a far more controversial remark that President Obama had made regarding religion.

Did you miss the widespread news coverage these past days in which that really odd comment that Obama made about religion came back to embarrass him and embroil him in great controversy?

Yes, you missed it -- such coverage never occurred. It should have -- and the fact that it didn't tells yet another distressing story about the double-standard of media bias.

That Rick Santorum once told a Catholic college audience that Satan was targeting America, and that he has also said that what John F. Kennedy said about the separation of church and state made him feel like throwing up is -- no question about it -- controversial and something about which he should be questioned and about which it is perfectly legitimate for the news media to ask both supporters and opponents.

The media advanced this story with great zeal. And the consequence of their sharp focus was that many Americans saw Rick Santorum as sort of weird.

To those who maintain that media focus on Santorum's Satan and throwing-up over JFK remarks was a bit excessive, expect this rebuttal: well, the media just loves controversy, so if you say something that is controversial, expect it to be a major news story.

Half-true. Clearly the media is for stirring up as much controversy as it can when it could hurt a conservative. But any controversy that has the potential to hurt a liberal, especially Barack Obama, has nowhere near that kind of appeal for them.

Consider this latest compelling evidence of double-standard bias:

At the very time that the media was so forcefully focusing on religion-related remarks made by Santorum, news broke that a court in Iran had just ordered a 34-year-old married father of two to be put to death for converting from Islam to Christianity. And supposedly, not a single journalist in the mainstream media connected the dots between that action and these incredibly foolish and manifestly false words that Barack Obama had said about Islam:

Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance.

Obama said this in his June 2009 Cairo speech that the media praised to the high heavens -- literally. Remember how Newsweek editor Evan Thomas gushed: "Obama's standing above the country, above-above the world, he's sort of God...he's the teacher"?

How can it be that it did not occur to a single one of the best and brightest of America's major news media journalists that it might be interesting to ask Barack Obama if, in light of an Iranian court's ordering a death sentence for the crime of converting to Christianity, he still stands by his assertion that Islam shows us "the possibilities of religious tolerance"?

While gleefully pouring controversy over Santorum, as they would with any conservative, they covered for Obama by not asking him obvious questions that would have stirred up controversy that would still be raging. Such as:

Which specific words and deeds did Obama have in mind that made him conclude that Islam was demonstrating for us "the possibilities of religious tolerance"?

Does this ordered execution for conversion from Islam cause Obama to reconsider his view that Islam equals religious tolerance?

A media that did not see itself as playing a supporting role in Obama's re-election campaign would have a field day contrasting this stark fact of barbaric intolerance with Obama's mind-bogglingly foolish false praise.

They would be reminding the American people that since his arrest for his conversion to Christianity two years ago, Youcef Nadarkhani's release has been demanded by human rights groups around the world; by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; and by the governments of the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Mexico, and in a bipartisan congressional resolution that has 89 co-sponsors.

They would be reminding us that the Obama White House issued a statement condemning "in the strongest terms" that death sentence that has been imposed "for the sole reason of his refusal to recant his Christian faith" -- and they would be contrasting this with his "controversial" assessment of Islam's record in the area of religious tolerance.

They would be demanding that every leading Democrat -- Biden, Reid, Pelosi, every Democratic member of Congress, every Democratic candidate for office -- declare his or her agreement or disagreement with Obama's viewing Islam as some model of religious tolerance.

They might even, just to keep things going, ask Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan where they stand on Obama's "controversial" view.

Yeah, of course the media will do this only in my dreams. It would smack too much of how they treat conservatives. I get that. Blind followers never question.

The media do not put such tough, embarrassing questions to Obama because they see themselves as his allies and their role as his protectors.

Seventeen-Year-Old Girl's Touching Tribute To Breitbart: `We Need To Keep Fighting For Him'

Felicia Graham -

Andrew Breitbart Tapes Of Obama During His College Yrs to be Released

Giddy Up! Steve Bannon Says They Are Going To Release Breitbart’s Tapes Of Obama During His College Years In 7 To 10 Days …

These are the tapes Andrew said he had during his CPAC speech.

David Frum is a Low-Life Scumbag

Warning: There will be cussing in this post so if you are the type of person who is easily offended please click the next post button at the bottom of this page.

Anybody who saw the old Muppet show will remember the two cranky old men (Statler and Waldoff) who safely sat in a balcony criticizing everything happening on stage. Those two puppets must have mentored David Frum.

Frum is a low-life scumbag. He doesn't have the guts to fight for what is right, so he sits in an ivory tower with other media elitists trashing those of us who take a stand. One of his targets was Andrew Breitbart.

Breitbart represented everything that Frum hates.

Everything Andrew Breitbart did was motivated by the fact he wanted to do the right thing. Everything David Frum does is motivated by the fact that he wants to protect the Republican establishment. Andrew was part of the tea party, Frum despises the Tea Party.

David Frum has been an active "journalist" since 1987. Breitbart started working for Drudge in 1995 but didn't become a "national figure" until after Big Hollywood was launched four years ago. In that very short time Breitbart not only surpassed Frum as a national figure but lapped him a few hundred times, something that must have eaten away at the elitist Frum's very core and possibly motivated his attacks on Breitbart.

Why am I comparing the two? Today Frum wrote an obituary about Breitbart in the Daily Beast (I refuse to link it) which made me physically ill, in it he told disparaging lies about someone who had just passed away
In fact, it’s hard even to use the word “issues” in connection with Andrew Breitbart. He may have used the words “left” and “right,” but it’s hard to imagine what he ever meant by those words. He waged a culture war minus the “culture,” as a pure struggle between personalities. Hence his intense focus on President Obama: only by hating a particular political man could Breitbart bring any order to his fundamentally apolitical emotions.
Because President Obama was black, and because Breitbart believed in using every and any weapon at hand, Breitbart’s politics did inevitably become racially coded. Breitbart’s memory will always be linked to his defamation of Shirley Sherrod and his attempt to make a national scandal out of back payments to black farmers: the story he always called “Pigford” with self-conscious resonance.
Yet it is wrong to see Breitbart as racially motivated. Had Breitbart decided he hated a politician whose ancestors came over on the Mayflower, Breitbart would have been just as delighted to attack that politicians with a different set of codes. The attack was everything, the details nothing.
Having and empty life with no passion must be hard for Frum. With Breitbart it was never about the attack, it was always about his four kids and all of our children. He wanted to guarantee them a better future. He saw the lies of the media and progressives and was determined to stop it.

Andrew doesn't need me to defend him against the Sherrod and Pigford attacks, I would invite you to go to his posts at Big Journalism and Big Government and let his words speak for themselves.

Breitbart was a "regular guy." If a stranger met him on the street and told him they were thinking of starting a blog, Andrew would give the stranger his card with his cell phone number and urge him to call if he needed help. Frum doesn't "mix with the common folk."

Frum says Andrew didn't have culture because of Breitbart's take no prisoners, tell it like it is style. Andrew would call people putzes and assholes, but for a good reason the people he described were putzes and assholes, that offends Frum's Yale-elitist sensibility.
In time, Andrew Breitbart might have aged into greater self-control and a higher concept of public service. Premature death deprived him of the chance at redemption often sought and sometimes found by people who have done wrong in their lives and work.

And this is where it becomes difficult to honor the Roman injunction to speak no ill of the dead. It’s difficult for me to assess Breitbart’s impact upon American media and American politics as anything other than poisonous. When one of the leading media figures of the day achieves his success by his giddy disdain for truth and fairness—when one of our leading political figures offers to his admirers a politics inflamed by rage and devoid of ideas—how to withhold a profoundly negative judgment on his life and career?
Andrew didn't need redemption, he died way too young but lived a full and productive life. Andrew Breitbart left this world a better place. David Frum observes life from high up in a theater balcony, always criticizing others but never having the guts to appear on the stage himself.

It is Frum who needs some redemption. Compare the comments of this supposed conservative to that of MMFA's Eric Boehlert a man who spent almost every waking hour attacking Andrew Breitbart, and whose organization was regularly exposed on this and other "Big" sites:

Frum is a "self-outed' scumbag. In fact nothing I could say about David Frum could be more offensive than the "obituary" he wrote today.

Thirty years from now Andrew Breitbart will still be remembered as a trailblazer, a person who stuck his neck out, who did the right thing without fear of personal consequences. Thirty years from now David Frum will have long since returned to the anonymity he so richly deserves.

The last name "Frum" is Yiddish, it means pious or righteous. By falsely maligning a man who had just passed away, whose wife and children have just been hit with this horrible and shocking loss, David Frum betrayed his last name, shown his absence of the smallest shred of human decency and proven himself to be a low-life scumbag! May his body of work be quickly erased from memory.

Frum wasn't the only piece of human sewage to malign the memory of Andrew Breitbart. As my friend Tony Katz put it:
But nothing beats Rolling Stone scribe Taibbi, who came out with piece entitled Andrew Breitbart: Death of a Douche. It is a testament to the legacy of Breitbart that Taibbi, a seriously hateful man with a seriously hateful heart delivered some serious hate under the cowardly delusion that no response would be forthcoming due to Breitbart’s death.
I urge you to read Tony's piece on Taibbi, which you can find here.

Some say that if there is ever a nuclear war the only thing remaining will be Twinkies and cockroaches. If that is true then two of those reaming insects may very well be David Frum and
Matt Taibbi.

SOURCE: yidwithlid

Leaders Lawsuit: University Ordered Christian Club to Allow Non-Christian Leaders

By Todd Starnes/TWITTER
March 1st, 2012

The University of North Carolina-Greensboro has ordered a Christian club to allow non-Christians as leaders and members, according to a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday.

“The university has given itself the authority to determine whether a group is religious or not,” said Jeremy Tedesco, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund.

Tedesco filed suit on behalf of “Make Up Your Own Mind,” a Christian club that was denied an exemption from the university’s nondiscrimination policy.

UNC-Greensboro’s nondiscrimination policy includes an exemption for student organizations that select their members based on a shared set of beliefs.

Tedesco said “Make Up Your Own Mind” has a clear religious mission and purpose and requires its members and leaders to agree with its statement of faith and beliefs about the value of innocent human life.

“Saying that a Christian club isn’t religious is flatly absurd, especially when the university has granted its belief-based exception to numerous other clubs,” he said. “The First Amendment forbids the government from determining what is and what is not ‘religious,’ yet the university is doing exactly this by telling a Christian group that it is not religious.”

However, the university contends that the club is not affiliated with a church – and therefore doesn’t meet their criteria for exemption.

A university spokesperson told Fox News they had not seen the lawsuit and would not comment.

“It’s not discrimination for a religious group to say we want to be led by people who agree with our religion,” Tedesco said.

He said religious groups are getting excluded under non-discrimination policies.

“What we are seeing on public university campuses is religious groups routinely getting denied recognition,” he said. “They are denied access to a speech forum that is opened to all other student organizations on campus.”

The university, Tedesco said, must be stopped.

“We should get very nervous when the government decides it has the authority to determine what is and what isn’t religious,” he said. “That’s a dangerous concept.

SOURCE: Todd Starnes - Fox news Radio

President Blameless

World’s most powerful man takes responsibility like a 5-year-old
By Charlotte Hays - The Washington Times
Wednesday, February 29, 2012

As expected, President Obama strode purposefully to the lectern at the University of Miami late last week and, solemnly surveying the crowd, took responsibility for skyrocketing gasoline prices that threaten our struggling recovery.

Of course, that is not quite the way it went down. Shortly before the Florida speech, the Hill newspaper reported that the president was planning to “move aggressively this week to deflect blame for rising gas prices.”

Mr. Obama deflecting blame? You don’t say.

This must be the most blame-deflecting White House in our nation’s history. This is truly the Eddie Haskell presidency, so named after the bratty “Leave It to Beaver” character who always made a mess when adults’ backs were turned and then blamed Wally and the Beav.

For a while, President Blameless could shirk responsibility by pointing fingers at his predecessor. That got old, though I can’t say in a hurry. As late as last July, the White House sought to prove that Dallas resident George W. Bush was still responsible for all the nation’s budget troubles. Atlantic magazine blogger Megan McArdle deliciously characterized this lame attempt at evading responsibility as “The duck starts here.”

Mr. Obama’s roster of the blameworthy is quite eclectic: The Japanese tsunami, the Arab Spring uprisings, the European debt crisis and “bad luck” were fingered as causes of the bad economy in a speech last summer. Of course, Mr. Obama was responsible solely for fanciful successes. “We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, gotten the economy moving again,” the president remarked before ceding the stage to the tooth fairy.

When the president, in a sop to his environmental base, killed the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have created thousands of jobs for U.S. citizens and brought us fuel from a friendly nation, that, too, was cast as the fault of the Republicans: They had had the audacity to try to force the president to make a timely decision.

In announcing that he was scrapping the pipeline, the president said the decision was “not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline” but on the “arbitrary nature of a deadline” Republicans had given him. He can’t possibly decide, at least until after this November.

When China gets the pipeline, you can bet your bottom dollar (assuming you still have a bottom dollar by then) that Mr. Obama will blame somebody else.

Many things presidents get blamed for aren’t their fault. Gasoline prices are a complicated matter in a global economy, although this didn’t stop then-Sen. Barack Obama from blaming Mr. Bush for gasoline prices in 2008.

Yet Mr. Obama’s constant blaming reflects a certain unappealing childishness. Google “Obama” and “It’s not my fault” if you want an idea of how the gasoline speech played last week. Yes, it has become a joke, but there is something decidedly unfunny about the most powerful man in the world attempting to save his skin above all else. Who is to blame, an adolescent concern, seems to be more important than anything else to this president.

Even President Blameless‘ serial apologies have an it’s-not-my-fault air: When he apologizes to other nations or their leaders, he is apologizing for us. When accepting blame for the country, he is deflecting blame from himself. In this, his shame on our behalf is genuine.

Even after Mr. Obama has been president for three years, we are supposed to hope that he will blossom into the true leader we were sold. Even now, his fans still customarily cite him for having been president of the Harvard Law Review as a major achievement. Elected at age 47, Mr. Obama seems perhaps a little younger than that: What other president would kick off his tenure in office with “date night” or be quite so overtly enamored of the perks of office?

I am hoping that come November, somebody will take the car keys away from this startlingly immature president. We need a grown-up who won’t blame others for his failings.

Charlotte Hays is a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum.

Debbie’s Date with Radicalism

DNC chair to attend fundraiser hosted by man on terror watch list

BY: Adam Kredo - March 1, 2012 9:47 am

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is facing criticism for her upcoming appearance at a fundraiser hosted by an American Muslim leader who was placed on the Federal Terrorist Watch List.

Wasserman Schultz is set to keynote an annual fundraising dinner for EMERGE USA, a Muslim community group led by Khurrum Wahid, a controversial attorney with a track record of defending accused terrorists and associating with Muslim Brotherhood-backed groups.

Democrats and Republicans alike are wondering why Wasserman Schultz, described by the Jewish Daily Forward as a “proud Jewess,” would associate with Wahid.

Born in Pakistan, Wahid honed his legal chops post-9-11 when he started “representing immigrants detained for questioning in the wake of the terrorist attacks,” according to the Miami News Times. He also co-founded Florida Muslim Bar Association and serves as its current president.

Since 2004, Wahid has represented a man convicted of plotting a subway station bombing, as well as a Florida doctor who was sentenced for “conspiring to treat wounded al Qaeda militants,” the News Times reports.

Wahid currently represents a father-son team of imams who stand accused of providing material support to the Pakistani Taliban. The 20-page federal indictment against the duo claims that they bankrolled the purchase of guns and paid to send kids to an Islamic school that taught them how to slay Americans in Afghanistan.

According to a report by the Sunshine State News’ Kenric Ward, “Wahid has spoken at an event sponsored by the American arm of the South Asian Muslim Brotherhood (Jamaat-e-Islami) and the Islamic Circle of North America, an organization that has been connected to the financing of both al-Qaida and Hamas.”

One prominent Jewish Democrat told the Washington Free Beacon that Wasserman Schultz’s actions are troubling.

“I’m not sure how much money they will raise at this event, but there is no amount that is worth having the head of the Democratic Party associated with anyone who appears to have a soft spot for terrorism,” the Democrat said.

Wasserman Schultz’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

Joe Kaufman, a Florida Republican who hopes to unseat Wasserman Schultz in November’s elections, told the Sunshine State News that the DNC chair has a “false pro-Israel persona.”

“Wasserman Schultz likes to flaunt her Jewish identity and false pro-Israel persona, but how can she begin to do so when the organization she will be addressing maintains staff who display animosity toward the Jewish state?” Kaufman told the paper.

The Democratic National Committee did not return multiple requests for comment.

UPDATE: Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz may be backing out of a scheduled appearance at a fundraiser hosted by an American Muslim leader who has been on the Federal Terrorist Watch List, according to a press release from her Republican opponent Joe Kaufman.

Jonathan Beeton, a spokesman for Wasserman Schultz, tells the Free Beacon “there was a miscommunication, she is not speaking to the organization,” clarifying that “we never agreed to do a fundraiser, nor this event.”

In a statement to the Free Beacon, Kaufman said “I’m happy that, based on my information, Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz will no longer be speaking at EMERGE USA’s fundraiser. Even though the group has an innocuous sounding name, no doubt, its leadership consists of persons who spread anti-Jewish and anti-Christian bigotry and who actively support terror-related individuals and organizations who target America and Israel. Debbie should never have agreed to help raise money and be the keynote speaker for such a radical group, and it is unfortunate that it took criticism from myself and others for her to finally decide not to do it.”

The Free Beacon will update as events warrant.

The War on Tricare

Panetta defends Tricare cuts as House leaders call them ‘another hit on the military’

BY: Bill Gertz - March 1, 2012 5:00 am

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Wednesday defended the Pentagon’s plan to increase healthcare fees for military personnel as a senior House Republican called the increases another Obama administration “hit” on the military.

“On Tricare costs for health care, we have recommended increased fees,” Panetta said during a hearing of the House Budget Committee.

“We have not increased those fee levels since 1990,” he said. “We’ve looked at … the retirement area with the proviso that we grand-father those benefits so that those that are serving will not lose the benefits that were promised to them, but at the same time try to look at what reforms can be made on retirement for the future.”

Military pay will not be cut and pay raises are planned for the next two years but limited in later years, he said.

“That’s the package that we’ve presented,” Panetta said. “This has not been easy. This is a tough and challenging responsibility.”

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday criticized the Obama administration’s plan to cut healthcare benefits for both active duty and retired military service members.

Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R., CA) said some healthcare costs for military retirees will be raised 345 percent over the next several years and will include “means-tested” increases based on pay at retirement.

“It is just another hit on the military,” McKeon said on Fox News, commenting on a report published Tuesday in the Washington Free Beacon.

“You know, the military accounts for 20 percent of our overall budget, but 50 percent of the savings have come out of defense, and these people that have given so much for us … why are they to be singled out?” McKeon asked.

He also noted that civilian defense employees are not being hit with these same increases and are not being means-tested to gauge whether they can pay more.

McKeon said the military health care increases are a “fairness issue.”

“I don’t know why we just keep trying to solve our financial problems on the back of the military,” he said. “If we keep doing that, who will have our backs the next time we get attacked?”

The fiscal 2013 defense budget submitted to Congress calls for increasing the cost of pharmaceuticals for families of active duty military and for sharp increases in premiums for military retirees.

The objective is to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system this year and $12.9 billion by 2017.

Critics of the cuts, including Republicans in Congress and military service organizations, say the fee increases violate promises made to military personnel for their service to the country.

Congress must approve the increases.

The cuts are part of the Pentagon’s program to cut $487 billion from defense spending over the next 10 years. An additional cut of nearly $600 billion is also looming as a result of recent budget control legislation.

If the cuts are approved, the increases will be tiered by rank at retirement. Air Force Gen. Norton Schwartz, the service chief of staff, said during a hearing Tuesday that these tiers were necessary to make the increases fair.

“It was a recognition … that there were those among our alumni who were less able to accommodate the increases in the fees than others,” Schwartz said. “And so this simply was, in my view, a recognition of reality in that enlisted retirees were certainly not as capable of absorbing these costs as retired flag officers.”

Jo Ann Rooney, acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, was asked during a hearing of the House Armed Services personnel subcommittee on Wednesday why cost increases were limited to military retirees and not civilians.

Rooney said civilians are not part of Tricare. “So we are proposing those increases in the Tricare system which impacts the particular increases, those that are retired of working age as well as those that are over 65,” Rooney said. “There are two very, very different systems first off. So we’re just focusing in this particular on those costs with a program that is administered within the Department of Defense.”

Tricare Director Jonathan Woodson said during the hearing that civilian government employees currently pay more for health care than retired military personnel.

The administration has said the increases are targeted at so-called “working” retirees under the age of 65.

After the cuts were reported in the Free Beacon on Tuesday, numerous active-duty military, both officers and enlisted troops, criticized the plan as a breach of faith for those who signed up to join the military.

Rep. Adam Smith (D., WA), ranking member on the Armed Services Committee who also appeared on Fox on Wednesday, defended the healthcare cuts and denied that the Pentagon was forcing military retirees to join President Obama’s health care program, dubbed Obamacare, by upping rates.

“We’re maintaining Tricare; we want them in Tricare,” Smith said.

However, during a recent briefing, a Republican congressional aide revealed that the administration said the increases were aimed at trying to reduce the number of people receiving Tricare benefits and to switch to other health plans.

“They did tell us that part of the savings comes from beneficiaries using their healthcare benefits less because of higher fees,” said the aide. “Raising fees in Tricare may incentivize the retirees to use a different health care provider.”

Under Obamacare, beginning in 2014 a federally financed health care entitlement will subsidize premiums for low and moderate income Americans. The amount paid will be pegged to family income and administered through state-based “exchanges” that will replace current small group and individual health insurers.

Administration officials briefed House members recently that military retirees will be eligible for the exchanges, the aide said.

Kalifornia Democrat big caught in sex tape scandal

Treasurer Lockyer Reportedly Sent Sex Tape Of Wife, Another Man
February 29, 2012 11:02 PM

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a fixture in the capital for 40 years, is at the center of an emerging sex scandal between his wife, who’s an Alameda County supervisor, and another man.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Treasurer Lockyer was sent a sex tape of his wife with the man.

And the treasurer, thinking he was being blackmailed, called the Alameda district attorney to get his wife a stay-away order imposed against the man, identified by the Chronicle as 35-year-old Stephen Chikhani, a construction worker from San Jose.

But the DA’s investigation concluded her relationship with the man was consensual and that no crime occurred.

According to the Chronicle, that affair became public only after Nadia Lockyer called the cops on her boyfriend at a Newark hotel room, accusing him of assault. But no charge was filed in that case either.

Supervisor Lockyer, 40, is now back in rehab, where she first met Chikhani, her political career in question.

Nate Miley is also an Alameda County supervisor, and he doesn’t like the attention his colleague has generated.

“We are very concerned about how the county looks and is perceived,” he said. “We want to go about our business in a professional manner.”

Meanwhile, when asked about concerns over how the treasurer looks or is being perceived in the ordeal, his communications director told CBS13 the career politician is “focused on doing the job he was elected to do.”

Tom Dresslar added there was “no comment other than to say we’re in the middle of a $2 billion dollar bond sale to save the state a boatload of money.”

The fallout between the Lockyers comes after the treasurer bankrolled his wife’s campaign for supervisor with massive amounts of money, a practice political watchdog group Common Cause has tried to end.

“It’s a priority of ours that we can see and track where all our money’s going,” Common Cause’s Phillip Ung said.

From his own election war chest, Lockyer gave his wife $1.5 million dollars for a county race.

“I can’t point to any other instance where that amount of money has been used in a local race,” Ung said.

A Democrat, Bill Lockyer first won a State Assembly seat in 1973. He served 25 years in the legislature and also served two terms as the state attorney general.

Senators call for investigation into 'taxpayer-funded spin' by Obama administration

Published March 01, 2012

Two senators have launched a bipartisan investigation into "taxpayer-funded spin" by the Obama administration, following reports that the administration was devoting millions to promote the health care overhaul and other policies.

Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., on Wednesday blasted out letters to 11 federal agencies asking for detailed information about public relations and advertising contracts over the past three years.

Portman said the probe is "not a partisan exercise." Rather, he said the senators want to bring "to the light of day" how much money the administration is spending to promote its own policies.

"It's a longstanding concern. ... The question is, what are they paying for public relations services?" Portman told Fox News on Thursday. "Sometimes it's legitimate, to help educate the public about something that the government is doing. ... but often it's spin. And that's the question -- is how much of it is spin, how much of it is inappropriate?"

Portman, a former Office of Management and Budget director for George W. Bush, said that administration ran into similar concerns after spending on promotional efforts for the No Child Left Behind law and other policies. But Portman said it's important for lawmakers to be able to "decipher" what promotional campaigns are still being funded -- he cited the ubiquitous side-of-the-road signs promoting the 2009 stimulus law as one example of waste.

Among the many recipients of the senators' letters was the Department of Health and Human Services. A Portman aide, who said the "major document request" was aimed at probing publicly funded "spin," cited a report last summer by watchdog group Judicial Watch that flagged millions of dollars spent on promotion of the federal health care overhaul.

That report detailed documents that showed federal health officials discussing their campaign with the public relations firm The Ogilvy Group. The officials discussed ways to draw Americans to the website to inform them about provisions in the law. The conversations reflected in part a strategy of targeting women and minorities. One 2010 email from an Ogilvy executive noted that officials wanted to use the "bulk" of paid media efforts "on media that reaches African Americans and Hispanics."

At the time of the report, HHS confirmed that $3.5 million was spent promoting the site, but argued that the campaign was not out of the ordinary. According to HHS, it was a "critical" way to make sure people are aware of their "rights, protections and benefits" under the health care law.

The Portman and McCaskill investigation, though, goes far beyond the health department. The senators also sent requests to the Department of Energy, Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Defense, National Labor Relations Board and other agencies.

The senators are asking for the names of contractors, the amount of money spent, descriptions of the work and other details. The senators are the top lawmakers on the contracting oversight subcommittee within the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

The Portman aide, in explaining the broad request, also pointed to a 2010 report by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that claimed that "ordinary Americans have financed and been exposed to an unprecedented number of public relations and propaganda efforts" since the start of the Obama administration.

"The Obama administration frequently used federal resources to promote the president's agenda," the report said. "The president's right to sell his policy recommendations to Congress and the public is not disputed; however, using the resources of the federal government to activate a sophisticated propaganda and lobbying campaign is an abuse of office and a betrayal of the president's pledge to create 'an unprecedented level of openness in government'."

Michael Savage: Was Breitbart assassinated?

Media activist recently promised to publish revealing Obama videos

March 1st, 2012

Noting that the cause of Andrew Breitbart’s unexpected death yesterday was being examined by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office, talk-radio host Michael Savage raised the question of whether the conservative media powerhouse – who recently announced he had videos that could politically damage President Obama – was murdered.

On his top-rated show today, Savage played an audio clip of Breitbart telling an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington last month that he had obtained videos that shed light on Obama’s ties to radicals in the early 1980s who helped propel him to the presidency.

“Maybe my overly active imagination kicked into overdrive,” Savage told his listeners of his decision to raise the question. “But you heard what Breitbart said – he has videos … we’re going to vet the president.”

Breitbart reportedly was walking near his home in Brentwood, Calif., just after midnight this morning when he collapsed. A neighbor saw him fall and called 911. Emergency crews tried to revive him and rushed him to the emergency room at the UCLA Medical Center.

It’s entirely plausible, Savage acknowledged, that Breitbart simply collapsed of a heart attack because of overwork and a reported history of health problems.

“I’m asking a crazy question,” Savage said, “but so what? We the people want an answer. This was not an ordinary man. If I don’t ask this question, I would be remiss.”

Breitbart told the CPAC crowd last month that the videos would reveal Obama during a time when he was meeting a “bunch of silver ponytails” – referring to Weather Underground terror group members Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

Ayers and Dohrn reportedly launched Obama’s political career with a fundraiser in their Chicago home.

Savage noted that Breitbart had dinner with Ayers and Dorhn three weeks ago at the couple’s Hyde Park residence on Chicago’s South Side, which is near Obama’s home. Breitbart was invited by Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson, who won an Internet auction for a dinner party with the couple.

“I’ve got videos – this election we’re going to vet him,” Breitbart said at CPAC, promising they would show how “racial division and class warfare are central” to the “hope and change” that Obama”sold in 2008.”

“He threatened the president at CPAC with video that could derail the president’s campaign,” Savage said.

“I pray it was natural causes, but we’ll never know the truth.”

Savage said that if Breitbart’s colleagues have the videos, they should post them as soon as possible and make them viral “or they’ll never see the light of day.”

Savage said he hadn’t spoken with Breitbart for the past two years, but he recalled the media mogul’s visited to his home in the Bay Area.

“He spoke for three straight hours,” Savage said. “I was unable to say a word.”

Savage also attended a party at Breitbart’s Los Angeles home.

“I told him two years ago to get a body guard. Never be alone in the street,” Savage said.

Savage, the author of the bestselling novel “Abuse of Power,” put on his novelist hat and speculated about ways a murderer could remain undetected by inducing a heart attack that didn’t leave any traces.

A caller from Savage’s native New York City said there’s a simple way to find out what happened.

“If the tapes come out, he died of a heart attack,” the caller said. “If the tapes don’t come out, they whacked him.”

“The Savage Nation” airs live Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern. It can be heard online through stations such as KSTE in Sacramento.

Breitbart at CPAC

Andrew, from three weeks ago at CPAC

Rush attacks media over Breitbart coverage

'Even in death' they lie

March 1st, 2012

(THE BLAZE - Jonathon M. Seidl) -- Conservative titan Rush Limbaugh opened his radio show today by paying tribute to the “bulldog” Andrew Breitbart. But while Limbaugh was sure to give Breitbart due praise, he also was quick to accuse the media of distorting the story.

He opened by telling how Breitbart sent Limbaugh a giant portrait of Reagan every year — a touching tradition that started at Rush’s wedding. But the fond memories soon gave way to an expose on the media.

“Even today, the AP…misrepresents him,” Limbaugh explained. “Even in death.”

“This AP article is a textbook example of the kind of outrageous mendacity in the news media today that he fought against. Even in death the AP cannot refrain from lying about him and misrepresenting him.”

You can listen to Limbaugh deliver his thoughts and go through the AP article below (via Daily Rushbo):