- SCHLAFLY: 'Most important woman in last 100 years'
- Rep. Boehner's "Cliff" Deal Will Return Stupid Party to the Minority
- Speaker Boehner: Repeal Obamacare, Until Then States Must Reject It
- Obamacare Is Still Vulnerable
- Kansas District Court First to Apply "American Laws for American Courts"
- Hobby Lobby sues Obama administration over abortion mandate
- Who is the Stranger?
- Column: What our sons can teach America
- New poll: 68 percent of Nashville voters oppose tax hike
- Poll: 20% of Republicans likely to re-elect Obama
- Smile that melts misconceptions: How Taya, who was born with Down's, became darling of the modelling world
- Put Personhood Amendments Aside, Focus on Ending Abortion
- Another Energy Company Goes Bankrupt, $39 Million Borrowed From Taxpayers
- Top Muslim Declares All Christians Infidels' Quoting the Quran (correctly) may be fueling the recent slaughter of Christians in Egypt.
- State Dept. spends $70K on Obama books
- Meet the real Grover Norquist
- Issa to launch probe of Obama actions on Solyndra, LightSquared
- A major victory, but the battle rages on
- Heat-Seeking Missiles Are Missing From Libyan Arms Stockpile
- PayPal blacklists Christian writer
- Shariah Lobby's Play Action Fake - "Danger, Danger, Danger!"
- United Arab Emirates Donates $500,000 to Joplin Schools
- The Debt-Ceiling Divide
- Founders Without Whom America Would Not Exist
- Radical Islamist groups gaining stranglehold in Egypt
- Unreported Soros Event Aims to Remake Entire Global Economy
- A European's Warning to America
- Extremist cleric to lead White House protest calling for Muslims to 'rise up and establish Islamic state in America
- String of failures' cited in Fort Hood attack Report: Warning signs unheeded
- GOP freshmen are ready to rock 'n' roll
- Big Nannies of the Year
- The Net Neutrality Coup
- Election of black conservatives signals 'awakening'
- Why Liberals Don't Get the Tea Party Movement
- Obama Approval Averages 45% in September
- The Lap Dog Coalition
- Obstacle to Deficit Cutting: A Nation on Entitlements
- Saudi judge considers paralysis punishment
- Feds admit storing checkpoint body scan images
- Another Blind Side: How Compassion Sets The Pro-Life Movement Apart
- Doomsday for Congress' 'old bulls'
- On Presidential Rhetoric
- Poll: 4 out of 5 Americans don't trust Washington
- Lower and Simplify Taxes!
- Who is rewriting history?
- Pupils aged five on hate register: Teachers must log playground taunts for Government database
- Children 'over-exposed to sexual imagery'
- Underreported Stories of 2009
- As the Nation’s Pulse Races, Obama Can’t Seem to Find His
- Obama’s Science Czar John Holdren involved in unwinding “Climategate” scandal
- Owens Breaks 4 Campaign Promises in first hour in Congress
- More than 3 Million Registered Voters are Dead, 12 Million More Ineligible, Analysis Finds
- Harrycare Buckles to Government Option
- Are church leaders affirming Allah?
- Doctors Wage War Against Obama's Health Care Overhall
- Health Care Bill Will Fund State Vaccine Teams to Conduct ‘Interventions’ in Private Homes
- Billions in aid go to areas that backed Obama in '08
- 1st quarter wiped out $1.3 trillion for Americans
- Same-Sex Marriage Bill Signed into Law in New Hampshire
- Baptist Pastor Assaulted After Refusing Police Search
- Steele urged to label Obama a socialist
- Sebelius lowballed donations from abortion doctor
- If that is not socialism, what is?
- Dodd Admits Role in AIG Bonus Scandal
- Tiller trial begins, pro-lifers gather
- Steele disappoints conservatives on abortion, homosexuality
- Pastor Sentenced to Jail
- Teens spend average of 87 hours a year looking at porn online
- The Youngest Congressman
- Family's remarkable string of SAT math aces alive and well
- Obama planning billion-dollar 'bailout' for abortion industry
- Raising some 'Cane'
- Florida Department of Children & Families supervisor gets 17-year sentence for stealing public funds
- Wall Street Journal: Franken Stealing Election
- Preserving the Brilliant Dance Called Freedom
- Success of 'Fireproof' shows appetite for Christian films
- Barack Obama's "Freedom of Choice Act" Would Mean 125K More Abortions
- Boys Punished with detention for refusing to pray to Allah
- Fatherlessness and same-sex parenting
- Abortion Drug Deaths RU 486
SCHLAFLY: 'Most important woman in last 100 years'
NEW YORK –”She is my heroine and my example … She truly is the mother of the modern conservative movement … I think she is the most important woman in the United States in the last 100 years.”
That’s how Minnesota congresswoman and former GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann describes WND’s 2012 “Lifetime Achievement Award” recipient – Phyllis Schlafly.
A guiding light in the conservative movement for at least a half century, Schlafly’s life-long interest in politics was kindled almost accidentally – that is, if one believes in accidents. Schlafly unfolded her amazing story during an interview with WND.
“During World War II, I worked my way through college at Washington University in St. Louis by working on the night shift testing .30 and .50 caliber ammunition for St. Louis Ordnance Plant, one of the largest ammunition manufacturers in the country at that time,” she recalled in an interview with WND.
“Since I worked half the time 4 p.m. to midnight, and half the time midnight to 8 a.m., as a ballistics tester for an ammunition plant, I had to pick my class schedule to fit my work schedule. That’s what led me into a political science major, and I’ve been hooked ever since.”
After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Washington University in St. Louis in 1944, Schlafly earned her master of arts degree in government from Harvard in 1945.
“From there, I worked for the brand new American Enterprise Institute when it was just a little four-room office on 9th Street in Washington,” she recalled.
“Then I came home to St. Louis, I ran the campaign of Claude Bakewell, a Republican candidate for Congress in 1946, which was our biggest Republican year. Things were simpler then – I was the campaign manager, the scheduler, the speech writer – and he won.”
“After I married Fred Schlafly in 1949, we moved to Alton, Ill., where he practiced law, and I became a full-time homemaker,” she recalled. “I never had another job.” Read more here.
Rep. Boehner's "Cliff" Deal Will Return Stupid Party to the Minority
12/21/2012 -By John Tamny
Though the alleged "fiscal cliff" negotiations are ongoing, it appears the Republicans have yet again been duped by Barack Obama and the Democrats. When evil matches up against stupid, evil tends to win.
In this case House Speaker John Boehner has offered tax increases on incomes over $1 million in return for spending cuts that are essentially "to be determined." In short, Boehner offered Obama the one good thing anymore about the Republican brand (the Party's reputation for being viscerally opposed to tax increases) in return for spending cuts that anyone with a pulse knows will never materialize; that, or they'll be erased by bursts of spending elsewhere.
About spending cuts, it should first be acknowledged that they are stimulative. Supply-siders are no doubt correct that marginal reductions in tax rates provide more rocket economic fuel than do reductions in spending, but for some of them to presume that wasteful government spending is prized by the electorate absent tax cuts is for those same individuals to ignore basic economics.
Put simply, big government is itself austerity for government spending to varying degrees depriving the more productive private sector of limited capital. It's no mistake that the biggest recession most of us have never heard of (1920-21) is largely unknown precisely because Congress wisely slashed the federal spending burden from $6 billion to $3 billion on the way to a major economic boom. This was done without any major changes to the tax code. Spending cuts work when it comes to boosting economic growth.
The problem now is that there's not much definitive about the supposed cuts. Unless immediate they rarely ever happen given the tautological reality that future Congresses will not allow themselves to be hamstrung by deals made by past Congresses.
After that, implicit in the notion of future spending cuts is a static world free of global uncertainty, free of natural disasters, and free of poorly run banks and car companies suddenly in need of emergency cash necessary to "save" the financial system. Without getting into the U.S.'s wrongheaded role as the world's policeman, or into the similarly wrongheaded notion that local disasters should have national spending implications, or into the tragically wrongheaded view that commercial failure should be cushioned by the unwise hand of government, it's inevitable that the alleged spending cuts of tomorrow will essentially be sterilized by the war, natural disasters and financial crises that serve as food and water for the ever growing state.
As for Boehner's proposal to "only" raise taxes on incomes over $1 million, a proposal the Wall Street Journal's editorial page very oddly proclaimed to be "better than the scheduled increase on incomes above $200,000 a year", nothing could be further from the truth. Boehner of course thinks he's being clever here, that very few Americans earn over $1 million so we can raise taxes on them without tears and without a hit to growth. What a laugh, that is unless, you're poor, middle class, or in search of a job. Then Boehner's tax-the-rich scheme is not so funny. Read more here.
Speaker Boehner: Repeal Obamacare, Until Then States Must Reject It
“President Obama has won re-election, but his health care law is still driving up costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire workers. As was the case before the election, ObamaCare has to go.
“As I told Diane Sawyer of ABC News in an interview following the election, the tactics of our repeal efforts will have to change. But the strategic imperative remains the same. If we’re serious about getting our economy moving again, solving our debt, and restoring prosperity for American families, we need to repeal ObamaCare and enact common-sense, step-by-step reforms that start with lowering the cost of health care.
“The president’s health care law adds a massive, expensive, unworkable government program at a time when our national debt already exceeds the size of our country’s entire economy. We can’t afford it, and we can’t afford to leave it intact. That’s why I’ve been clear that the law has to stay on the table as both parties discuss ways to solve our nation’s massive debt challenge.
“Congress has a constitutional responsibility to conduct thorough oversight of the Executive Branch, and congressional oversight will play a critical role in repealing ObamaCare going forward. Read more here.
Obamacare Is Still Vulnerable
By refusing to implement these exchanges in their states, governors have the power to stop nationalized healthcare. Phone: 615.741.2001; Email:
President Obama has won reelection, and his administration has asked state officials to decide by Friday, November 16, whether their state will create one of Obamacare’s health-insurance “exchanges.” States also have to decide whether to implement the law’s massive expansion of Medicaid. The correct answer to both questions remains a resounding no.
State-created exchanges mean higher taxes, fewer jobs, and less protection of religious freedom. States are better off defaulting to a federal exchange. The Medicaid expansion is likewise too costly and risky a proposition. Republican Governors Association chairman Bob McDonnell (R.,Va.) agrees, and has announced that Virginia will implement neither provision.
There are many arguments against creating exchanges.
First, states are under no obligation to create one.
Second, operating an Obamacare exchange would be illegal in 14 states. Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia have enacted either statutes or constitutional amendments (or both) forbidding state employees to participate in an essential exchange function: implementing Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates.
Third, each exchange would cost its state an estimated $10 million to $100 million per year, necessitating tax increases. Read more here.
Kansas District Court First to Apply "American Laws for American Courts"
PLEASE NOTE: Tennessee was the first state in the nation to pass this legislation, Tennessee Law for Tennessee Courts. We led the way, and then were followed by Louisiana, Kansas and Arkansas. We ARE making a difference!!
A Kansas district court is the first to recognize the possible application of the American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) law in a case where a party sought to enforce a sharia-law based contract. ALAC was adopted in Kansas earlier this year and it is based upon the model legislation drafted by AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi. The case at hand, Soleimani v. Soleimani, involves an Iranian-American couple who had been married according to both sharia and later by state law. At some point the woman divorced her husband (for cruelty and abuse) and sought to enforce a sharia-based prenuptial agreement called a mahr. The mahr required the man upon a divorce that was no fault of the woman’s to pay 1,354 gold quare, which are coins valued at $500 apiece or the equivalent of $677,000.
In this case, the court held that the mahr was unenforceable for many reasons so the woman was not able to extract $677,000 from her otherwise bankrupt husband (obviously even if the woman had won, it would have been a victory on paper only).
Now, in most cases, sharia is used to abuse the woman. Thus, as the court pointed out in Soleimani, sharia allows the husband to unilaterally divorce his wife with but an utterance of “I divorce you” three times–a fiat divorce not granted to the wife. Also, the woman loses custody of her children automatically under sharia when the children are still quite young irrespective of the best interests of the children (the latter “best interests” being the U.S. and international standard). Finally, even the mahr is often used against the woman because the negotiated amount is typically a pittance and far less than she might receive under state law marital dissolution distributions, especially if the couple had amassed even modest means.
In Soleimani, it just so happens that this case was about the woman trying to enforce a sharia agreement against the man. The court in Soleimani produced a well-considered and solid analysis of the problems associated with applying foreign contracts based upon foreign religious laws like sharia. First, the court noted that the woman’s lawyer had failed to provide a properly authenticated translation of the Farsi-language document so there was no way he could actually ascertain the meaning or the legality of the document. Read more here.
Hobby Lobby sues Obama administration over abortion mandate
Just announced from the religious liberty defenders at The Becket Fund:
Today, Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., a privately held retail chain with more than 500 arts and crafts stores in 41 states, filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, opposing the Health and Human Services “preventive services” mandate, which forces the Christian-owned-and-operated business to provide, without co-pay, the “morning after pill” and “week after pill” in their health insurance plan, or face crippling fines up to $1.3 million dollars per day.
“By being required to make a choice between sacrificing our faith or paying millions of dollars in fines, we essentially must choose which poison pill to swallow,” said David Green, Hobby Lobby CEO and founder. “We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate.”
Hobby Lobby is the largest and only non-Catholic-owned business to file a lawsuit against the HHS mandate, focusing sharp criticism on the administration’s regulation that forces all companies, regardless of religious conviction, to cover abortion-inducing drugs.
“Washington politicians cannot force families to abandon their faith just to earn a living,” said Lori Windham, Senior Counsel, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “Every American, including family business owners like the Greens, should be free to live and do business according to their religious beliefs.” Read more here.
Who is the Stranger?
By Former Arizona State Senator Karen Johnson
March 17, 2012
Open-borders advocates like to claim that the Bible supports comprehensive immigration reform (amnesty) for illegal aliens, and they frequently quote scriptures to prove it. Their favorite scripture is:
"And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt." (Leviticus 19:33-34)
Faithful Christians and Jews feel concerned when they read a passage like that. They want to do the right thing. The key question is, "Who is the stranger?" Some religious leaders will tell you that a stranger is any foreigner who emigrates, including those who broke the law. According to these pastors, we should forgive those who come to the U.S. in violation of the law. Welcome the stranger, dude. Pass comprehensive immigration reform and square them with the law. Open-borders proponents quote such Bible passages so often that "Welcome the Stranger" has now become code for amnesty, joining the lexicon of other terms, such as compassion, humane, and families, which now also imply amnesty when speaking in a political context.
Thus, the Christian Reformed Church, "following our scriptural calling to welcome the stranger, encourages churches to consider advocating for comprehensive immigration reform." [Link]
Thus, the Presbytery of Genessee Valley, (a collection of 69 Presbyterian churches in the Rochester, New York, area) states, "as Christians we are called to continually show love for the stranger .... comprehensive immigration reform is the solution." [Link]
Thus, NETWORK, a Catholic organization, "believes that comprehensive immigration reform is imperative .... [because] 'You must not oppress the stranger; you know how a stranger feels, for you lived as strangers in the land of Egypt.'" (Exodus 23:9) [Link]
Thus, the Disciples of Christ Church tells its members that "Jesus, who had nowhere to lay his head, also calls upon us to make the welcome of strangers central to our faith" and counsels them to "urge action on federal legislation that will bring comprehensive immigration reform."
Now, it so happens that I have a Bible, too, and I'd like to know if the Bible really says that we should ignore the law and welcome people who enter our country illegally. I'd like to know if "welcome the stranger," includes welcoming illegal immigrants. So, I checked my Bible. There are indeed lots of passages that talk about the stranger. There is also a dictionary in my Bible (a King James version) that defines the word stranger as follows:
"... a man of non-Israelite birth, resident in the promised land with the permission of the Israelite authorities." [emphasis mine]
What!? Did I read that correctly? Let me look at that again:
"Stranger: a man of non-Israelite birth, resident in the promised land with the permission of the Israelite authorities."
Thus, according to my Bible dictionary, a "stranger" in Israel in Bible times was an immigrant who was in the country with permission. Interesting. That would be the equivalent of a resident alien in our time. A foreigner who is here with permission. So, anytime a stranger is mentioned in the Bible, it refers to a LEGAL alien, not an illegal alien. Welcome the legal alien. Let's try that out: Read more here.
Column: What our sons can teach America
This spring, the Obama administration threatened to veto the 2013 Defense Authorization Act. Of all the reasons given for the threat, the objection to granting the Purple Heart to Pvt. Andy Long stands out as strange. That is, unless you know the story.
On June 1, 2009, Pvt. Long was killed outside an Army recruiting office in Little Rock by Carlos Bledsoe, who had become Abdul Hakim Mohammed after converting to Islam. Since then, we, the fathers of Carlos and Andy, have been trying to tell our story so that other parents do not experience our tragedy.
Carlos grew up in a loving, church-going family. There's a picture of Carlos at his high school graduation with a huge smile on his face, ready to go off to Tennessee State University for college. He looked forward to becoming a businessman and joining the family owned tour company in Memphis.
Switch to Islamism
But he did not get the education everyone expected. Instead, he became interested in Islamic extremism. At TSU, preachers from a radical Nashville mosque led courses in Islam. Eventually, Carlos began frequenting this mosque, converted, and took the name of the mosque's imam. This imam taught worshipers that America "is the worst country on earth," that the Christian faith is "the greatest lie ever told," that this worldly life "is trash," and that Muslims must seek death and the afterlife. Read more here.
New poll: 68 percent of Nashville voters oppose tax hike
NASHVILLE – The Beacon Center of Tennessee, the state’s Nashville-based free market think tank, today released portions of a poll concerning the proposed 13 percent property tax increase in Davidson County.
The opinion survey informed voters of Mayor Karl Dean’s proposed budget and tax increase and asked whether they support or oppose the plan. An overwhelming 68 percent of likely voters oppose the measure, while just 21 percent support it.
“The survey results prove what we have been saying all along, that now is not the time to raise taxes on hardworking Nashvillians,” said local business owner Philip Beyer. “Let’s just hope the Council heeds the call of Davidson County taxpayers, rather than just sit back and let the mayor force this tax hike on us all. If they don’t, I’ll be leaving Davidson County and taking my business with me.”
The specific question asked of voters was: “Metro Nashville-Davidson County Mayor Karl Dean is proposing a 13 percent property tax increase in his recommended budget for the city. The proposed budget includes a net spending increase of 7.85 percent. Please tell me if you support or oppose this proposed tax and budget plan, which is currently being debated by the Metro Council?”
“We have heard over and over that the public is on the mayor’s side,” said Beacon’s CEO Justin Owen. “We wanted to find out for ourselves, and the results of this survey unequivocally show that despite what the mayor has been saying, taxpayers do not support his plan to increase taxes.” Read more here.
Poll: 20% of Republicans likely to re-elect Obama
A shocking poll recently released by a conservative publication found that a large number of Republicans and conservatives are likely to vote for President Barack Obama.
The survey, conducted by Wenzel Strategies for World Net Daily, showed that one in five Republicans are leaning towards or would “definitely” re-elect the current president.
In contests against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Obama got more than 20 percent of support from Republicans. In a matchup with Texas Congressman Ron Paul, 19 percent of Republicans chose the president. Read more here.
Smile that melts misconceptions: How Taya, who was born with Down's, became darling of the modelling world
The camera just loves little Taya Kennedy. Wide-eyed, cheeky, engaged; she brims with the confidence of a natural performer. It is little wonder that she has taken the child-modelling world by storm.
The fact that 14-month-old Taya also has Down’s Syndrome is quite incidental. She was selected, not to fulfil a quota, tick a box or adhere to the dictums of some politically-correct code of positive discrimination. Taya was picked because, quite simply, she is a star.
‘Taya is an incredibly photogenic, warm and smiley child, and that shines through in her photographs,’ says Alysia Lewis, owner of Urban Angels, the prestigious UK model agency that has signed her up.
Star quality: 14-month-old Taya Kennedy. Retailers, including the Early Learning Centre and Mothercare, are already queuing up to feature the bright-eyed toddler in their advertising campaigns
‘We only open our books twice a year and select just a few new children each season.
'The standard is high; the desire for places strong. Taya is one of 50 children we chose from 2,000 applicants.
‘That she has Down’s Syndrome did not enter the equation. We chose her because of her vibrancy and sense of fun. Not all children are comfortable in front of a lens and with a photographer looking at them — especially when they are so young. But Taya was so relaxed and happy. She was just what we were looking for.’
And Taya’s devoted mum, Gemma Andre, couldn’t be more proud.
‘I always believed my daughter was stunning but I thought, “I’m her mum. I’m biased,”’ she says.
'When people say "poor you" I find it offensive and irritating,' said Taya's mother Gemma
‘When the agency rang me and said, “We want her on our books. She’s absolutely beautiful”, I was delighted.
‘I asked them if they were aware she had Down’s Syndrome. They said: “It’s immaterial. We’ve accepted her.” At that moment I burst into tears. I was overjoyed, not so much because Taya was going to be a model. More importantly, she had competed on equal terms with every other child and succeeded.
‘People can be really negative about children with Down’s. They say they can’t do this and won’t be able to achieve that. It’s incredibly frustrating. Someone said to me the other day: “I suppose she’ll never be able to live an independent life,” and I said, “Why on earth not?”
‘When people say “poor you” I find it offensive and irritating. The way I see it, some people cannot even have children and God has given me this special child.’
The story of Taya, her single-minded mum and proud father Robbie Kennedy is an uplifting one. Gemma, 29, a mortgage adviser with Santander, has never accepted that constraints must be imposed on her daughter because she has a disability.
She refuses to countenance the negative and believes that her only child is capable of achieving any dream, however elevated.
‘Already Taya attends a mainstream nursery,’ she says.
‘Her father and I want her to go to an ordinary school, too. After her birth, I was given a list of things she wouldn’t achieve; accomplishments she could never hope to master.
‘It was so dispiriting. I was told her teeth would not all develop. But already she has seven baby teeth. I was warned she would be slow to speak. But she already says “dad, mum, nana, cat and ta”.
‘So now I take no notice of what the experts say.
'And I am determined Taya will have as many chances in life as any other child. I want her to go to dancing school. She loves music and has a sense of rhythm; she sways and claps her hands when I sing to her.
Read more here.
Put Personhood Amendments Aside, Focus on Ending Abortion
by Steven Ertelt | LifeNews.com | 11/10/11 3:01 PM
With the defeat of the personhood amendment in Mississippi, it’s time for the pro-life movement to put aside these amendments and focus on the task at hand: ending abortion and protecting unborn children under law.
The sponsors of the personhood amendments have a great goal — define human life starting at fertilization. After all, what pro-life advocate doesn’t understand that the scientific beginning of human life is at conception. Anyone who has passed 8th grade biology ought to understand that the coming together of sperm and egg confers into existence a unique human being with all of the DNA necessary to make them who they will be after nine months of growth and development.
However, as a legal strategy for ending abortion, personhood amendments are another matter entirely.
The Personhood Amendment Will Not Ban Abortion
As LifeNews reported, personhood language is nothing new — even the state of Texas, whose abortion prohibition became the subject of the Roe v. Wade case that toppled pro-life bans on abortion at the time, contained language declaring unborn children are persons starting at conception. Other states have followed suit with similar personhood language, but the Supreme Court has expressed again and again, in Roe, Akron, Webster, Casey and other prominent abortion cases, that such language can’t be used to end abortions. We’re going on almost four decades of states defining human life at fertilization, yet we’ve experienced the travesty of more than 54 million abortions.
Knowing the personhood amendment will not challenge abortion law or overturn Roe (at best the Supreme Court would uphold the language but declare it not applicable to abortion laws, at worst some top pro-life attorneys argue it could be used to reaffirm Roe and unlimited abortions) sponsors of the amendments are pushing forward with more of them for 2012 and beyond.
Voters in Pro-Life, Swing States Are Reluctant to Pass Personhood Amendments
The first votes on personhood amendments took place in Colorado, a formerly conservative red state that, thanks to an influx of new residents from places like California and New York, has swung purple. There’s a reason why Barack Obama came to Denver to launch his 2008 campaign. Colorado is a swing state that every political observer says is key to whether or not pro-abortion President Barack Obama gets another four years in office.
Yet, as a swing state that is far less liberal than the West Coast states or those in the northeast like Massachusetts, Colorado overwhelmingly defeated the personhood amendment. Twice.
The 2010 amendment lost by a 70-30 percentage point margin as Amendment 62 failed to gain a majority in any Colorado county. Colorado voters defeated Amendment 48 in 2008 by a 73-27 percentage margin. The 2010 Colorado personhood amendment received the support of more than 100,000 fewer voters than in 2008 — and that was in an election cycle that was a banner one for conservatives and Republicans.
Now the amendment has received a vote on one of the most solidly conservative and pro-life red states in the nation. Mississippi has passed virtually every pro-life law imaginable — to the point that just one abortion business remains in the state. Democratic presidential candidates don’t bother to campaign in Mississippi because it is so strongly conservative and it is so solidly pro-life that both of the gubernatorial candidates — Democrat and Republican — in Tuesday’s election were pro-life.
Yet, the amendment failed in Mississippi, and the 58-42 percentage point margin wasn’t close as the amendment failed by more than 130,000 votes out of nearly 800,000 cast. That 58-42 percentage point margin is the almost the same as the blowout of 1984 when Ronald Reagan beat Walter Mondale in one of the top five most lopsided races in presidential history.
As pro-life political scientist and abortion law researcher Michael New explains, if the amendment can’t win in Mississippi, it’s likely not going to win anywhere in the current political climate.
“It is difficult to see where Personhood proponents go from here. Tuesday’s election offered Personhood supporters their best opportunity for electoral success. They qualified a citizen initiative in Mississippi — among the most pro-life states in the country — during a low-turnout election in which Democrats fielded relatively weak statewide candidates,” he explains. “In spite of all this, the Mississippi Personhood Amendment still lost by a double-digit margin.”
Pushing Personhood Amendments Further Damages the Pro-Life Movement
Knowing that the personhood amendment lost by a landslide twice in a swing state and a lopsided 17-point margin in arguably the most pro-life state in the nation, there’s little realistic expectation that the personhood amendment will be approved anywhere in the country. As the amendment continues to rack up defeats, support from pro-life advocates willing to invest in what will almost assuredly be a losing proposition will wane. Media reports will continue focusing on the pro-life movement losing at the polls and the pro-abortion side will continue gloating that they are in the majority despite clear polling data showing America is pro-life. Read more here.
Another Energy Company Goes Bankrupt, $39 Million Borrowed From Taxpayers
Beacon Power Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sunday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. The company, which develops energy storage systems based on what are known as "flywheels," had received the federal guarantee for a 20-megawatt energy storage plant in Stephentown, N.Y., back in August 2010.
The loan was expected to cover the lion's share of the $69 million project, one of several that Beacon was developing across the country.
But the company's CEO said in a statement to the court that all those projects are "capital intensive," and the firm is struggling to attract the additional investment needed to keep everything running. The fact that the company faced being de-listed from the NASDAQ didn't help, he said.
Top Muslim Declares All Christians Infidels' Quoting the Quran (correctly) may be fueling the recent slaughter of Christians in Egypt.
A video of Sheikh Ali Gomaa (or Gom’a), the grand mufti of Egypt, which began circulating weeks before the massacre, helps elucidate. While holding that Muslims may coexist with Christians (who, as dhimmis, have rights), Gomaa categorized Christians as kuffar — “infidels” — a word that connotes “enemies,” “evil-doers,” and every bad thing to Muslim ears.
After quoting Quran 5:17, “Infidels are those who say God is the Christ, [Jesus] son of Mary,” he expounded by saying any association between a human and God (in Arabic, shirk) is the greatest sin: “Whoever thinks the Christ is God, or the Son of God, not symbolically — for we are all sons of God — but attributively, has rejected the faith which God requires for salvation,” thereby becoming an infidel.
Gomaa then offered a hypothetical dialogue between Christians and Muslims to illustrate further:
Christians: You have the wrong idea about us; we don’t worship the Christ.
Muslims: Okay, fine; we were under the wrong impression — but, by the way: “Infidels are those who say God is the Christ, son of Mary.”
Christians: But these are philosophical matters that we are unable to explain.
Muslims: Okay, fine; God is one—but, by the way: “Infidels are those who say God is the Christ, son of Mary.”
As a graduate of and long-time professor at Al Azhar university before being named grand mufti, Ali Gomaa represents mainstream Islam’s — not “radical Islam’s” or “Islamism’s” — position concerning the “other,” in this case, Christians. Regardless, many in the West hail him as a “moderate” — such as this U.S. News article titled “Finding the Voices of Moderate Islam“; Lawrence Wright describes him as “a highly promoted champion of moderate Islam”:
He is the kind of cleric the West longs for, because of his assurances that there is no conflict with democratic rule and no need for theocracy. Gomaa has also become an advocate for Muslim women, who he says should have equal standing with men. Read more here.
State Dept. spends $70K on Obama books
The State Department has bought more than $70,000 worth of books authored by President Obama, sending out copies as Christmas gratuities and stocking “key libraries” around the world with “Dreams From My Father” more than a decade after its release.
The U.S. Embassy in Egypt, for instance, spent $28,636 in August 2009 for copies of Mr. Obama’s best-selling 1995 memoir. Six weeks earlier, the embassy had placed another order for the same book for more than $9,000, federal purchasing records show.
About the same time, halfway around the world, the U.S. Embassy in South Korea had the same idea and spent more than $6,000 for copies of “Dreams From My Father.”
A review of the expenditures in a federal database did not reveal any examples of State Department purchases of books by former Presidents George W. Bush or Bill Clinton. The purchases of Mr. Obama’s literary work mostly, but not always, took place in the months after Mr. Obama captured the White House. Read more here.
Meet the real Grover Norquist
This week a Republican member of Congress took on an increasingly controversial political activist, Americans for Tax Reform founder Grover Norquist, an influential figure in the conservative movement famous for his "no tax increase pledge."
Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., took to the House floor in an unusual and blistering denunciation of Norquist and his "unsavory" connections. Among those, he cited:
- his ties to known terrorist financiers Abdurahman Alamoudi and Sami Al-Arian;
- his support for the Ground Zero mosque;
- his advocacy for transferring Guantanamo detainees to U.S. soil;
- his lobbying on behalf of Fannie Mae;
- his representation of the Internet gambling industry.
"Simply put," said Wolf in a sharp attack recorded on C-SPAN, "I believe Mr. Norquist is connected with or has profited from a number of unsavory people and groups out of the mainstream."
Issa to launch probe of Obama actions on Solyndra, LightSquared
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Tuesday that his committee plans to investigate government loan programs to private corporations in light of allegations of improper dealings between the White House and failed energy company Solyndra and wireless start-up LightSquared.
"I want to see when the president and his cronies are picking winners and losers… it wasn't because there were large contributions given to them," the chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee said Tuesday morning on C-SPAN.
Issa said the committee was looking at whether it was improper for members of Congress or White House staff to select companies eligible for subsidized government loans when those companies could give campaign donations. Loan programs have been a popular tool to provide funding for popular industries — like tech, green energy, and American auto companies — at more favorable terms than could be secured privately.
The Obama administration has been defending itself against criticism by Republicans that it exerted improper influence to the aid of both companies.
Solyndra abruptly filed for bankruptcy earlier this month, surprising both employees and the administration, which had secured $535 million in low-interest loans for the company. Read more here.
A major victory, but the battle rages on
Taking out a big-time terrorist like al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s Anwar al-Awlaki is kind of like winning a key game in the fall run for the pennant: It’s a big victory, but it doesn’t mean you’ve won the World Series.
Sure, some high-fives, back-slaps and oh-yeahs have been earned by our intrepid spooks and military special-operations folks for getting a bad actor like Awlaki, who was born in the US but left for his parents’ home in Yemen as a kid.
But it doesn’t mean the fight with terrorism is over.
There’s no doubt the reportedly charismatic, self-proclaimed cleric was a dangerous dude and his demise is another bone-crushing roundhouse to al Qaeda -- and especially to AQAP, probably the most dangerous al Qaeda affiliate out there today.
For instance, Awlaki had contact with at least three of the 9/11 hijackers, who frequented his mosques in Virginia and California, although it’s not clear whether he was aware of the horrific plot before it happened.
More recently, he had a direct or indirect hand in a number of serious terror plots or acts against the United States, including:
* Last year’s attempted Times Square bombing.
* The “ink cartridge caper,” where AQAP modified printer cartridges into bombs that they then sought to mail to the United States on air freight carriers, planning to blow up the bombs over US cities.
* The Underwear Bomber, who tried to bring down a trans-Atlantic Northwest Airlines flight over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009 by detonating explosives in his pants.
* The Fort Hood massacre, where a US Army major killed nearly 15 and injured almost twice as many in 2009 at one of our largest military bases.
With his native English-language skills, Awlaki was also key in the development of al Qaeda’s online magazine, Inspire, which not only encouraged the terror group’s efforts to establish a global caliphate, but schooled them in terrorism’s dark arts.
So where do we stand now that Awlaki is gone? Read more here.
Heat-Seeking Missiles Are Missing From Libyan Arms Stockpile
TRIPOLI, Libya — The sign on the wall reads “Schoolbook Printing and Storage Warehouse,” but the fact that the double gates in the wall have been crudely ripped off suggests that something more interesting might be inside.
It turns out that the only books to be found in any of the three large buildings in the walled compound are manuals — how to fire rocket launchers and wire-guided missiles, among others. The buildings are actually disguised warehouses full of munitions — mortar shells, artillery rounds, anti-tank missiles and more — thousands of pieces of military ordnance that are completely unguarded more than two weeks after the fall of the capital.
Perhaps most interesting of all is what is no longer there, but until recent days apparently was: shoulder-fired heat-seeking missiles of the type that could be used by terrorists to shoot down civilian airliners. American authorities have long been concerned that Libyan missiles could easily find their way onto the black market.
These missiles, mostly SA-7b Grails, as NATO refers to them, have been spotted in Libya before and are well known to have been sold to the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi by former Eastern bloc countries. The evidence at the schoolbook warehouse confirms just how large those quantities were. It also raises questions about how many of them may have been purloined by rebels, criminals or smugglers.
Matthew Schroeder, who researches heat-seeking antiaircraft missiles and their proliferation for the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, said the discovery of yet another looted arms depot in Libya was cause for concern, especially depots that contained what security specialists call Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems, or Manpads.
Western governments and nongovernment organizations have repeatedly asked and prodded the rebel government, the Transitional National Council, to take steps to secure the vast stockpiles of arms that it has inherited, apparently to little avail. Read more here.
PayPal blacklists Christian writer
Online activist told friends must find another way to support his ministry
Shariah Lobby's Play Action Fake - "Danger, Danger, Danger!"
United Arab Emirates Donates $500,000 to Joplin Schools
United Arab Emirates Donates $500,000 to Joplin Schools
In the wake of the May 22, 2011 catastrophic tornado that damaged and destroyed much of Joplin,
Missouri, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy in Washington, DC, on behalf of the people of
the UAE, has pledged a significant donation to Joplin Public Schools (JPS) to assist the school
district in meeting its goal to provide all enrolled high school students with laptops at the start of the
2011-12 academic year. These laptops will allow students to attend “virtual classrooms” while Joplin
High School is being rebuilt, and access educational resources, such as textbooks.
The UAE Embassy is providing an initial $500,000 donation to support JPS’s “One-to-One”
initiative, which aims to provide all 2,200 Joplin High School students with a personal laptop
computer. In addition, the Embassy has issued a challenge grant, in which it will match, dollar-fordollar,
any funds donated to the “One-to-One” initiative, up to an additional $500,000; bringing the
total UAE Embassy grant to $1,000,000. The Embassy issued the challenge in the hope that
encouraging others to donate will help JPS swiftly meet its goal of issuing all students a laptop at the
start of the school year. Read more here.
The Debt-Ceiling Divide
The Debt-Ceiling Divide
We’re only at the midpoint of the battle to change the ideological course of the country.
We’re in the midst of a great four-year national debate on the size and reach of government, the future of the welfare state, indeed, the nature of the social contract between citizen and state. The distinctive visions of the two parties — social-democratic versus limited-government — have underlain every debate on every issue since Barack Obama’s inauguration: the stimulus, the auto bailouts, health-care reform, financial regulation, deficit spending. Everything. The debt ceiling is but the latest focus of this fundamental divide.
The sausage-making may be unsightly, but the problem is not that Washington is broken, that ridiculous, ubiquitous cliché. The problem is that these two visions are in competition, and the definitive popular verdict has not yet been rendered.
We’re only at the midpoint. Obama won a great victory in 2008 that he took as a mandate to transform America toward European-style social democracy. The subsequent counterrevolution delivered to that project a staggering rebuke in November 2010. Under our incremental system, however, a rebuke delivered is not a mandate conferred. That awaits definitive resolution, the rubber match of November 2012.
I have every sympathy with the conservative counterrevolutionaries. Their containment of the Obama experiment has been remarkable. But reversal — rollback, in Cold War parlance — is simply not achievable until conservatives receive a mandate to govern from the White House.
Lincoln is reputed to have said: I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky. I don’t know whether conservatives have God on their side (I keep getting sent to His voicemail), but I do know that they don’t have Kentucky — they don’t have the Senate, they don’t have the White House. And under our constitutional system, you cannot govern from one house alone. Today’s resurgent conservatism, with its fidelity to constitutionalism, should be particularly attuned to this constraint, imposed as it is by a system of deliberately separated — and mutually limiting — powers.
Given this reality, trying to force the issue — trying to turn a blocking minority into a governing authority — is not just counter-constitutional in spirit but self-destructive in practice. Read more here.
Founders Without Whom America Would Not Exist
As we enter another Independence Day weekend, I think it would be good to remind ourselves of who those men were that counted the cost and paid the price to bring this land of liberty into existence. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans today seem to have very little–if any–knowledge and appreciation for the sacrifices that our Founding Fathers made in order to birth this great country. We can thank the vast majority of our schools (including the institutions of higher learning), major media, political institutions, and even churches for this egregious embarrassment. Accordingly, I think it fitting that today’s column will attempt to renew in our hearts the respect and reverence that these great men whom we call Founding Fathers so richly deserve.
Called “The Father of His Country,” George Washington was, perhaps, the most important man of the founding era. Supernaturally spared during the Indian wars, Washington became the military leader who held the Continental Army together when it was virtually impossible for any man to do so. Without his leadership at Valley Forge and elsewhere, there is absolutely no doubt that the Continental Army would have fallen apart and the fight for independence would have been lost.
Equally significant is the leadership that George Washington demonstrated in the Continental Congress. Without question, Washington was the glue that held the political bodies of the colonies together. Then add the fact that George Washington was America’s first President, whose leadership solidified the colonies into a new United States, and his value to the cause of American independence cannot be in any way overstated.
Think of it: George Washington was the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. And he led that inferior army to victory over the greatest military force in the world at the time: Great Britain. Afterward, Washington rebuffed a strong effort to inaugurate him as America’s king, and led the fledgling nation to embrace republican government instead. Washington presided over the Constitutional Convention that drafted the US Constitution. He was America’s first President. Washington’s Farewell Address formed the compass and rudder of America for at least the next hundred years and, in my opinion, is the greatest political address ever delivered on American soil. Without George Washington, there would be no America.
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of America’s birth certificate: the Declaration of Independence. In my mind, there is no greater document of liberty ever written by man. When it came to the understanding of human rights, individual liberty, State rights, and enlightenment philosophy, Jefferson had no peer.
President John F. Kennedy once held a dinner at the White House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: “This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” He was probably right.
Jefferson served in the Continental Congress; he was the first Secretary of State; he was the third President of the United States; he commissioned the Lewis and Clark expedition; he was the author of the Virginia Statute For Religious Freedom, which is regarded as one of the greatest declarations of religious liberty ever written; he spoke five languages and could read two others; he knew and influenced virtually every man who would be regarded as a Founding Father today; and he wrote nearly 16,000 personal letters. Had not the British burned much of it in the War of 1812, his library would probably go down as the greatest personal collection of literary works ever collected by one man. Without Thomas Jefferson, there would be no America.
Patrick Henry Read more here.
Radical Islamist groups gaining stranglehold in Egypt
The rapid spread of Muslim political parties ahead of September's parliamentary elections has strengthened fears that Egyptian democracy will be dominated by radical Islamic movements.
The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest Islamic movement and the founder of Hamas, has set up a network of political parties around the country that eclipse the following of the middle class activists that overthrew the regime. On the extreme fringe of the Brotherhood, Islamic groups linked to al-Qeada are organising from the mosques to fill the vacuum left by the collapse of the dictatorship.
The military-led government already faces accusations that it is bowing to the surge in support for the Muslim movements, something that David Cameron warned of in February when he said Egyptian democracy would be strongly Islamic.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, warned on Sunday that the direction of Egyptian politics was anti-Israeli. He told diplomats last week that Egyptian officials – including Nabil al-Arabi, the foreign minister – were pandering to political militants by branding Israel as the "enemy".
"I am very concerned over some of the voices we've been hearing from Egypt recently," Mr Netanyahu said. "I'm especially concerned over the current Egyptian foreign minster's statements."
An Egyptian court on Saturday disbanded the National Democratic Party, which won 80 per cent of seats in parliament in December's rigged election. Hosni Mubarak, the ousted president, and his protégés are under arrest and threatened by prison.
Mohammed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader, last week predicted the group's candidates would win 75 per cent of the seats it contested. Read more here.
Unreported Soros Event Aims to Remake Entire Global Economy
Two years ago, George Soros said he wanted to reorganize the entire global economic system. In two short weeks, he is going to start - and no one seems to have noticed.
On April 8, a group he's funded with $50 million is holding a major economic conference and Soros's goal for such an event is to "establish new international rules" and "reform the currency system." It's all according to a plan laid out in a Nov. 4, 2009, Soros op-ed calling for "a grand bargain that rearranges the entire financial order."
The event is bringing together "more than 200 academic, business and government policy thought leaders' to repeat the famed 1944 Bretton Woods gathering that helped create the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Soros wants a new 'multilateral system," or an economic system where America isn't so dominant.
More than two-thirds of the slated speakers have direct ties to Soros. The billionaire who thinks "the main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist but the capitalist threat" is taking no chances.
Thus far, this global gathering has generated less publicity than a spelling bee. And that's with at least four journalists on the speakers list, including a managing editor for the Financial Times and editors for both Reuters and The Times. Given Soros's warnings of what might happen without an agreement, this should be a big deal. But it's not.
What is a big deal is that Soros is doing exactly what he wanted to do. His 2009 commentary pushed for "a new Bretton Woods conference, like the one that established the post-WWII international financial architecture." And he had already set the wheels in motion. Read more here.
A European's Warning to America
The perils of following us toward greater regulation, higher taxes and centralized power.
On a U.S. talk-radio show recently, I was asked what I thought about the notion that Barack Obama had been born in Kenya. "Pah!" I replied. "Your president was plainly born in Brussels."
American conservatives have struggled to press the president's policies into a meaningful narrative. Is he a socialist? No, at least not in the sense of wanting the state to own key industries. Is he a straightforward New Deal big spender, in the model of FDR and LBJ? Not exactly.
My guess is that, if anything, Obama would verbalize his ideology using the same vocabulary that Eurocrats do. He would say he wants a fairer America, a more tolerant America, a less arrogant America, a more engaged America. When you prize away the cliché, what these phrases amount to are higher taxes, less patriotism, a bigger role for state bureaucracies, and a transfer of sovereignty to global institutions.
He is not pursuing a set of random initiatives but a program of comprehensive Europeanization: European health care, European welfare, European carbon taxes, European day care, European college education, even a European foreign policy, based on engagement with supranational technocracies, nuclear disarmament and a reluctance to deploy forces overseas.
No previous president has offered such uncritical support for European integration. On his very first trip to Europe as president, Mr. Obama declared, "In my view, there is no Old Europe or New Europe. There is a united Europe."
I don't doubt the sincerity of those Americans who want to copy the European model. A few may be snobs who wear their euro-enthusiasm as a badge of sophistication. But most genuinely believe that making their country less American and more like the rest of the world would make it more comfortable and peaceable.
All right, growth would be slower, but the quality of life might improve. All right, taxes would be higher, but workers need no longer fear sickness or unemployment. All right, the U.S. would no longer be the world's superpower, but perhaps that would make it more popular. Is a European future truly so terrible?
Yes. I have been an elected member of the European Parliament for 11 years. I have seen firsthand what the European political model means.
The critical difference between the American and European unions has to do with the location of power. The U.S. was founded on what we might loosely call the Jeffersonian ideal: the notion that decisions should be taken as closely as possible to the people they affect. The European Union was based on precisely the opposite ideal. Article One of its foundational treaty commits its nations to establish "an ever-closer union." Read more here.
Extremist cleric to lead White House protest calling for Muslims to 'rise up and establish Islamic state in America
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 3:27 PM on 20th February 2011
Call to arms: Muslim extremist Anjem Choudary will call for Sharia law to be established across the U.S.
A hardline Muslim cleric who sparked anger across the U.S. with his anti-American comments in a television interview this month is to hold a protest outside the White House.
British extremist Anjem Choudary - who once said 'the flag of Islam will fly over the White House' - has announced he will lead a demonstration calling on Muslims to establish the Sharia law across America.
The rally, planned for March 3, is to take place just weeks after his on-screen row with Fox News presenter Sean Hannity.
Mr Choudary, 43, called Americans 'the biggest criminals in the world today.'
The former leader of outlawed group Islam4UK told the Daily Star 'we expect thousands to come out and support us.'
Mr Choudary said the March rally was organised by the Islamic Thinkers society, an extremist group based in New York.
Two other British extremists, Abu Izzadeen and Sayful Islam, have also been asked to speak at the demonstration.
Izzadeen is the hate preacher who caused fury last year when he called British soldiers 'murderers' the day he was released from jail after a three-and-a-half year sentence for inciting terrorism.
Mr Choudary told the newspaper: 'The event is a rally, a call for the Sharia, a call for the Muslims to rise up and establish the Islamic state in America.'
Furious reaction: Cleric Anjem Choudary made headlines when he was interviewed by Fox News presenter Sean Hannity earlier this month
However, whether the three will be able to enter the U.S., especially Izzadeen, remains to be seen. Even a tourist visa requires applicants to answer questions on whether they have been involved in acts of terrorism or plan to commit crimes in the U.S.
'This is a unique event taking place in Washington, outside the White House which, Inshallah, (God willing) will garner huge support.'
He hit U.S. headlines just two weeks ago after his furious exchange with Mr Hannity on Fox News. The presenter became so enraged with his anti-American comments he ended the interview by calling him a 'sick, miserable, evil S.O.B'.
The East London-based cleric's anti-American stance is well-documented. Last year he led protesters in burning the American flag outside the U.S. embassy in London. Read more here.
String of failures' cited in Fort Hood attack Report: Warning signs unheeded
An extensive investigation by a Senate committee says the massacre at the U.S. Army Base at Fort Hood, Texas, in which 13 people were killed and 32 others were wounded should have been prevented, but a “string of failures” by the FBI and the Army allowed a “ticking time bomb” to open fire at a crowded deployment center in the worst domestic terrorism ambush since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee investigation, released Thursday by Chairman Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent, and the ranking Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, says the FBI and the Army failed to act on evidence “in plain sight” that the suspected shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, had become an increasingly radicalized Muslim and was in communication with radical Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.
The committee‘s report says that though the FBI and the Defense Department did not have specific information concerning the time, place or nature of the attack, “they collectively had sufficient information to have detected Hasan‘s radicalization to violent Islamist extremism but failed both to understand and to act on it.
“Our investigation found specific and systemic failures in the government’s handling of the Hasan case and raises additional concerns about what may be broader systemic issues,” the report says. “DOD possessed compelling evidence that Hasan embraced views so extreme that it should have disciplined him or discharged him from the military, but DOD failed to take action against him.”
The report says evidence of Mr. Hasan‘s radicalization to violent Islamist extremism was on “full display to his superiors and colleagues during his military medical training” and that an instructor and a colleague each referred to him as a “ticking time bomb.” Not only was no action taken to discipline or discharge him, the report says, but also his officer evaluation reports sanitized his obsession with violent Islamist extremism into praiseworthy research on counterterrorism.
“The Department of Defense and the FBI had ample evidence of alleged killer Nidal Hasan‘s growing sympathies toward violent Islamist extremism in the years before the attack,” said Mr. Lieberman, who along with Ms. Collins conducted the investigation into the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting. “He was not just a ticking time bomb but a traitor. Thirteen people died needlessly at Fort Hood.”
In response, the FBI said Thursday that it recognizes the value of congressional oversight and agrees with much in the report and many of its recommendations.
“During the internal FBI review undertaken immediately after the attack at Fort Hood, we identified several of the areas of concern outlined in the report, and, as noted in the report, have implemented changes to our systems and processes to address them,” the FBI said. “We will review each of the report’s recommendations and adopt them, as appropriate.”
GOP freshmen are ready to rock 'n' roll
When the 112th Congress convenes Jan. 5, many familiar faces will be gone from the Capitol's hallways, replaced by newcomers sent by angry voters eager to shake up Washington, D.C.
The incoming class of freshmen lawmakers is enormous by historical standards, and mostly Republican. Of the 435 House members, 96 were newly elected Nov. 2 and 87 of them are Republicans. In the Senate, 13 of the chamber's 100 members are new arrivals, all but one of them Republican.
"Our election represents one of the strongest statements from the American people in the history of our country," incoming Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., told The Washington Examiner.
Scott, the freshman class president, won his House seat much like many of his fellow newcomers: by defeating a Democratic incumbent. Scott beat four-term Rep. Jim Marshall, a moderate Democrat who, like so many others this year, was rejected largely because voters linked him with what they perceived to be an overspending, overreaching federal government run by Democrats. Scott arrives knowing that voters don't want more of the same.
"We are well aware that we need to get to work immediately to stop Washington's spending spree and get this economy turned around," Scott said.
Republicans in November took 63 seats away from House Democrats, recapturing the majority they lost in 2006, and picked up six seats in the Senate, narrowing Democrats' hold on that chamber. By comparison, the so-called Republican Revolution of 1994 yielded 54 new GOP seats in the House and eight in the Senate.
Unlike past years, however, dozens of the Republican freshmen come to Washington carrying the banner of the Tea Party, whose members want a smaller, less intrusive federal government that spends less, a philosophy underscored by their demand that Congress repeal President Obama's new health care reforms.
Tea Party activists aren't just sitting back now that their candidates have won. They say they intend to hold accountable the new lawmakers they helped elect, particularly when it comes to reducing government spending.
"What I want them to accomplish is nothing short of a nonviolent revolution," said Tea Party Patriots co-founder and national coordinator Mark Meckler. "What we expect them to do is absolutely go in and turn Washington, D.C., on its head. We are looking for them to evolve away from the ruling elite and back to the people and back to the states."
Some political experts say the Tea Party's expectations may be too high.
"To some extent, the belief that the freshmen are wild-eyed radicals might work to their benefit by rattling the Washington establishment," Claremont McKenna College political science professor John Pitney said. "In the end, though, I don't think they are going to shut the government down. For the most part, these are sensible people and they realize that such a move would ultimately backfire."
House and Senate GOP leaders have already signaled plans to give the freshmen a greater voice than in the past. Read more here.
Big Nannies of the Year
by Michelle Malkin
It was a nefarious year for nettlesome nosy-bodies employed by the Nanny State. Here are the top power-grabbers of 2010 who just can’t leave us alone:
– New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Two feet of snow paralyzed trains, buses, plows and emergency vehicles in the Big Apple this week. Perhaps if Bloomberg — the nation’s top self-appointed municipal food cop — spent more of his time on core government duties instead of waging incessant war on taxpayers’ salt, soda, trans-fat and sugar intakes, his battered bailiwick would have been better equipped to weather the storm.
– Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. He proposed meddling mileage taxes, mused about a system to track drivers’ routes, lobbied for high-speed rail boondoggles and promoted a “livability initiative” to limit suburban growth and force dwellers into public transportation. Then America’s driving czar floated a plan earlier this fall to disable cell phones through some kind of centralized government mechanism. LaHood backed off that creepy crusade, but he is still intent on waging war against drivers who choose to use cell phones, entertainment systems and GPS devices on the road. Just last week, the unstoppable control freak proposed a new rule banning truck and bus drivers from any use of cell phones while driving — including emergency calls on hands-free devices. His anti-car agenda is stuck in overdrive. Read more here.
The Net Neutrality Coup
The campaign to regulate the Internet was funded by a who's who of left-liberal foundations.
By JOHN FUND
The Federal Communications Commission's new "net neutrality" rules, passed on a partisan 3-2 vote yesterday, represent a huge win for a slick lobbying campaign run by liberal activist groups and foundations. The losers are likely to be consumers who will see innovation and investment chilled by regulations that treat the Internet like a public utility.
There's little evidence the public is demanding these rules, which purport to stop the non-problem of phone and cable companies blocking access to websites and interfering with Internet traffic. Over 300 House and Senate members have signed a letter opposing FCC Internet regulation, and there will undoubtedly be even less support in the next Congress.
Yet President Obama, long an ardent backer of net neutrality, is ignoring both Congress and adverse court rulings, especially by a federal appeals court in April that the agency doesn't have the power to enforce net neutrality. He is seeking to impose his will on the Internet through the executive branch. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a former law school friend of Mr. Obama, has worked closely with the White House on the issue. Official visitor logs show he's had at least 11 personal meetings with the president.
The net neutrality vision for government regulation of the Internet began with the work of Robert McChesney, a University of Illinois communications professor who founded the liberal lobby Free Press in 2002. Mr. McChesney's agenda? "At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies," he told the website SocialistProject in 2009. "But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control." Read more here.
Election of black conservatives signals 'awakening'
With South Carolina's victory of the first 'Deep South' black Republican to Congress since Reconstruction, one conservative thinks it's evident that the tea party is not racist.
Ron Miller, a conservative author, columnist, veteran and tea party member, says Tim Scott's election to Congress is "an impressive victory."
"I think it's a great testimony to Americans' ability to evaluate people by the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin," he suggests.
In winning the election, Scott beat out two white candidates in the Republican primary, including the son of late Senator Strom Thurmond and the son of former South Carolina Governor Carroll Campbell.
"You would think that if there was going to be any state where race would be an issue [it] would be South Carolina. But they've demonstrated their ability, not just with Tim Scott's election, but with Nikki Haley's election as the first female and Indian-American governor of that state, that they're perfectly capable of voting based on the issues," the conservative columnist notes.
He decides the endorsements Scott and Haley both received from the tea party should reject claims that the grassroots movement is racist. Miller also predicts more black conservatives will get involved in the political process in the future.
"We had the largest number of black conservatives run for Congress this year than in any other, and we're going to have two black conservatives in Congress for the first time since 1996," Miller points out. "So we have a beachhead -- to use a military term -- and we want to start using that, not only to show everyone that the black community doesn't think or act alike, [but also] to give black conservatives the courage to speak out and let themselves be heard." Read more here.
Why Liberals Don't Get the Tea Party Movement
Our universities haven't taught much political history for decades. No wonder so many progressives have disdain for the principles that animated the Federalist debates.
Highly educated people say the darndest things, these days particularly about the tea party movement. Vast numbers of other highly educated people read and hear these dubious pronouncements, smile knowingly, and nod their heads in agreement. University educations and advanced degrees notwithstanding, they lack a basic understanding of the contours of American constitutional government.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman got the ball rolling in April 2009, just ahead of the first major tea party rallies on April 15, by falsely asserting that "the tea parties don't represent a spontaneous outpouring of public sentiment. They're AstroTurf (fake grass-roots) events."
Having learned next to nothing in the intervening 16 months about one of the most spectacular grass-roots political movements in American history, fellow Times columnist Frank Rich denied in August of this year that the tea party movement is "spontaneous and leaderless," insisting instead that it is the instrument of billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch.
Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne criticized the tea party as unrepresentative in two ways. It "constitutes a sliver of opinion on the extreme end of politics receiving attention out of all proportion with its numbers," he asserted last month. This was a step back from his rash prediction five months before that since it "represents a relatively small minority of Americans on the right end of politics," the tea party movement "will not determine the outcome of the 2010 elections." Read more here.
Obama Approval Averages 45% in September
Blacks, Democrats, liberals show greatest support for Obama
PRINCETON, NJ -- President Barack Obama's job approval ratings remain below 50%, with an average 45% job approval score for the president in September. That is a slight improvement from his term-low 44% average in August.
More generally, Obama's approval rating has not exceeded 50% in any month this year. Also, he has not had an approval rating above 50% in any Gallup Daily tracking three-day rolling average since mid-May.
These are troubling signs for the Democratic Party as presidents below 50% approval at the time of midterm elections typically see their party lose a substantial number of seats.
With his public approval solidly below 50% in September, it follows that less than a majority in most key demographic subgroups approve of the job the president is doing. His staunchest supporters remain blacks (91%), self-identified Democrats (79%), and self-identified liberals (75%).
Several other groups, all tending to be Democratic in their political orientation, give Obama approval ratings just above the majority level. These include young adults, Hispanics, Eastern region residents, political moderates, those who are unmarried, those with a postgraduate education, and those in the lowest income bracket. Read more here.
The Lap Dog Coalition
Organizing into a coalition after the Republican takeover of the House in 1994, the Blue Dogs branded themselves loyal but conservative Democrats. They were, in the words of Rep. Pete Geren of Texas, yellow dogs who had been "choked blue" by the strident economic liberalism of their party leaders. In their first Congress, the Blue Dogs mostly lived up to the hype (albeit in an economically conservative environment). In 1995, the average Blue Dog's score on the National Taxpayers Union's congressional score card—which measures how well members vote on matters of taxes, spending and debt—was 52%, while the average Democratic score was 28%. Afterward, though, the Blue Dogs' performance fell precipitously. Democrats retook the House in 2006, partly because of victories by Blue Dogs such as Brad Ellsworth in Indiana and Heath Shuler in North Carolina. Blue Dogs' average NTU scores since then, during Nancy Pelosi's first three years as House speaker, were 10%, 15% and 18%—hardly distinguishable from the average Democratic scores of 6%, 11% and 8%. Every year since 2007, the Democratic advantage in the House has been fewer than the number of seats held by Blue Dogs: If they had wanted to, the Blue Dogs could have made themselves masters of the House. They could have held an effective veto over any bill they pleased, insisting that Mrs. Pelosi, Majority Leader Harry Reid and even President Obama himself heed their call for fiscal responsibility. Read more here.
In the House of Representatives, the 54 members of the Blue Dog Coalition are the self-described fiscal conservatives in the Democratic caucus. Unfortunately, the description doesn't fit.
Blue Dog Democrats voted with Nancy Pelosi 80% of the time on economic issues.
Organizing into a coalition after the Republican takeover of the House in 1994, the Blue Dogs branded themselves loyal but conservative Democrats. They were, in the words of Rep. Pete Geren of Texas, yellow dogs who had been "choked blue" by the strident economic liberalism of their party leaders.
In their first Congress, the Blue Dogs mostly lived up to the hype (albeit in an economically conservative environment). In 1995, the average Blue Dog's score on the National Taxpayers Union's congressional score card—which measures how well members vote on matters of taxes, spending and debt—was 52%, while the average Democratic score was 28%.
Afterward, though, the Blue Dogs' performance fell precipitously. Democrats retook the House in 2006, partly because of victories by Blue Dogs such as Brad Ellsworth in Indiana and Heath Shuler in North Carolina. Blue Dogs' average NTU scores since then, during Nancy Pelosi's first three years as House speaker, were 10%, 15% and 18%—hardly distinguishable from the average Democratic scores of 6%, 11% and 8%.
Every year since 2007, the Democratic advantage in the House has been fewer than the number of seats held by Blue Dogs: If they had wanted to, the Blue Dogs could have made themselves masters of the House. They could have held an effective veto over any bill they pleased, insisting that Mrs. Pelosi, Majority Leader Harry Reid and even President Obama himself heed their call for fiscal responsibility. Read more here.
Obstacle to Deficit Cutting: A Nation on Entitlements
Efforts to tame America's ballooning budget deficit could soon confront a daunting reality: Nearly half of all Americans live in a household in which someone receives government benefits, more than at any time in history.
At the same time, the fraction of American households not paying federal income taxes has also grown—to an estimated 45% in 2010, from 39% five years ago, according to the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research organization.
A little more than half don't earn enough to be taxed; the rest take so many credits and deductions they don't owe anything. Most still get hit with Medicare and Social Security payroll taxes, but 13% of all U.S. households pay neither federal income nor payroll taxes.
"We have a very large share of the American population that is getting checks from the government," says Keith Hennessey, an economic adviser to President George W. Bush and now a fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution, "and an increasingly smaller portion of the population that's paying for it."
The dimensions of the budget hole were underscored Monday, when the Treasury reported that the government ran a $1.26 trillion deficit for the first 11 months of the fiscal year, on pace to be the second-biggest on record.
Yet even as Americans express concern over the deficit in opinion polls, many oppose benefit cuts, particularly with the economy on an uneven footing. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll conducted late last month found 61% of voters were "enthusiastic" or "comfortable" with congressional candidates who support cutting federal spending in general. But 56% expressed the same enthusiasm for candidates who voted to extend unemployment benefits.
As recently as the early 1980s, about 30% of Americans lived in households in which an individual was receiving Social Security, subsidized housing, jobless benefits or other government-provided benefits. By the third quarter of 2008, 44% were, according to the most recent Census Bureau data.
That number has undoubtedly gone up, as the recession has hammered incomes. Some 41.3 million people were on food stamps as of June 2010, for instance, up 45% from June 2008. With unemployment high and federal jobless benefits now available for up to 99 weeks, 9.7 million unemployed workers were receiving checks in late August 2010, more than twice as many as the 4.2 million in August 2008.
Still more Americans—19 million by 2019, according to the Congressional Budget Office—will get federal aid to buy health insurance when legislation passed this year is implemented. Read more and see charts here.
Saudi judge considers paralysis punishment
Thu Aug 19, 3:27 PM
By Salah Nasrawi, The Associated Press
CAIRO - A Saudi judge has asked several hospitals in the country whether they could damage a man's spinal cord as punishment after he was convicted of attacking another man with a cleaver and paralyzing him, the brother of the victim said Thursday.
Abdul-Aziz al-Mutairi, 22, was left paralyzed and subsequently lost a foot after a fight more than two years ago. He asked a judge in northwestern Tabuk province to impose an equivalent punishment on his attacker under Islamic law, his brother Khaled al-Mutairi told The Associated Press by telephone from there.
He said one of the hospitals, located in Tabuk, responded that it is possible to damage the spinal cord, but it added that the operation would have to be done at another more specialized facility. Saudi newspapers reported that a second hospital in the capital Riyadh declined, saying it could not inflict such harm.
Administrative offices of two of the hospitals and the court in Tabuk were closed for the Saudi weekend beginning Thursday and could not be reached for comment.
A copy of the medical report from the King Khaled Hospital in Tabuk province obtained by the AP said the same injury al-Mutairi suffers from can be inflicted on his attacker using a nerve stimulant, and inducing the same injuries in the same locations. The report was dated six months ago.
Saudi Arabia enforces strict Islamic law and occasionally doles out punishments based on the ancient legal code of an eye-for-an-eye. However, King Abdullah has been trying to clamp down on extremist ideology, including unauthorized clerics issuing odd religious decrees.
The query by the court, among the most unusual and extreme to have been made public in the kingdom, highlights the delicate attempt in Saudi Arabia to balance a push to modernize the country with interpretations of religious traditions that critics say are out of sync with a modern society.
The Saudi newspaper Okaz identified the judge as Saoud bin Suleiman al-Youssef.
The brother said the judge asked at least two hospitals for a medical opinion on whether surgeons could render the attacker's spinal cord nonfunctional. He and Saudi newspaper reports did not identify the attacker
Khaled al-Mutairi, 27, said the assailant was sentenced to 14 months in prison for the attack that paralyzed his younger brother, but he was released after seven months in an amnesty. He said the attacker then got a job as a school teacher .
"We are asking for our legal right under Islamic law," the brother said. "There is no better word than God's word — an eye for an eye." Read more here.
Feds admit storing checkpoint body scan images
For the last few years, federal agencies have defended body scanning by insisting that all images will be discarded as soon as they're viewed. The Transportation Security Administration claimed last summer, for instance, that "scanned images cannot be stored or recorded."
Now it turns out that some police agencies are storing the controversial images after all. The U.S. Marshals Service admitted this week that it had surreptitiously saved tens of thousands of images recorded with a millimeter wave system at the security checkpoint of a single Florida courthouse.
This follows an earlier disclosure (PDF) by the TSA that it requires all airport body scanners it purchases to be able to store and transmit images for "testing, training, and evaluation purposes." The agency says, however, that those capabilities are not normally activated when the devices are installed at airports.
Body scanners penetrate clothing to provide a highly detailed image so accurate that critics have likened it to a virtual strip search. Technologies vary, with millimeter wave systems capturing fuzzier images, and backscatter X-ray machines able to show precise anatomical detail. The U.S. government likes the idea because body scanners can detect concealed weapons better than traditional magnetometers.
This privacy debate, which has been simmering since the days of the Bush administration, came to a boil two weeks ago when Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that scanners would soon appear at virtually every major airport. The updated list includes airports in New York City, Dallas, Washington, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, and Philadelphia.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, has filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to grant an immediate injunction pulling the plug on TSA's body scanning program. In a separate lawsuit, EPIC obtained a letter (PDF) from the Marshals Service, part of the Justice Department, and released it on Tuesday afternoon.
These "devices are designed and deployed in a way that allows the images to be routinely stored and recorded, which is exactly what the Marshals Service is doing," EPIC executive director Marc Rotenberg told CNET. "We think it's significant." Read more here.
Another Blind Side: How Compassion Sets The Pro-Life Movement Apart
Not long ago, a Hollywood film, “The Blind Side,” left viewers across America marveling at one family’s compassion in adopting a troubled young teen. This week another such story emerged in the folds of a Minnesota newspaper.
It centers on a pregnant eleventh-grader, who, despite pressure from her boyfriend and mother to have an abortion, decided to protect her baby’s life. But four months into the pregnancy, La’Shay Ester found herself estranged from an already broken family, struggling to juggle school and a full-time job, and in need of some serious help.
That’s when the school nurse, Kathleen Hook, stepped in. It started with small gestures—a hug, some crackers and juice, a place to rest in between classes—but quickly grew into an extraordinary relationship. While others in the school raised disapproving eyebrows, the Hook family offered La’Shay a place to live. They eventually became her legal guardians. And that’s made all the difference in the world for La’Shay.
With the family’s support, the teen is pressing on. She graduated from high school months early, just in time for the birth of her son, Santana. By working at a retail supercenter, she saved enough money to purchase a car so she can commute between her job and the daycare. And this fall, she plans to attend a private four-year university—one that Kathleen helped her apply for—and move in to her own apartment.
The thriving young mother says she owes it all to Kathleen. “I couldn't have made it without her,” she told the newspaper. It felt like “someone loves me, someone cares.”
This kind of compassion is exactly what the pro-life community should—and I believe does—represent. When young mothers are hurting, they don't need another person telling them they can't succeed, that their only option is death for their child and pain for themselves. They need practical help, someone to point them in the right direction. Most of all, they need encouragement to pursue the dreams they have for themselves and their babies. Read more here.
Doomsday for Congress' 'old bulls'
Editor's note: Ed Rollins, a senior political contributor for CNN, is senior presidential fellow at the Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency at Hofstra University. He was White House political director for President Ronald Reagan and chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
New York (CNN) -- There is a term used widely on Capitol Hill, and it needs no explanation to the tens of thousands who work there serving the House and Senate. The term is "old bulls," and it is used to describe the most senior members of Congress.
Unlike in the farm pasture, where younger and stronger bulls sometimes push the old guys off to the sidelines, the old bulls in Congress usually get stronger and seldom get challenged either for re-election or their chairmanships or ranking positions on committees.
All that is changing. The pending election of 2010 may be a doomsday election that already is causing a giant reshuffling of the old guard. In the last few days, one longtime respected senator, Robert Bennett, was denied renomination by Republican convention delegates in Utah. Yesterday in West Virginia, after 14 terms, Democratic Rep. Alan Mollohan was crushed by Democratic voters in his bid for renomination.
You add that to the 37 House members who are retiring or running for other office, and now 10 Senate seats where the incumbent is not running again, and there will be a lot of new faces roaming the Capitol after November.
And add to that the probable defeat of a 30-year veteran senator -- Republican turncoat and now Democrat Arlen Specter -- in the Democratic primary next Tuesday, and you can see that seniority means little to voters. Many formerly safe incumbents will be running for their lives.
The idea that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, now running behind three potential Republican opponents in Nevada (primary June 8) could be the second majority leader defeated in the last six years (the first was Tom Daschle) is unsettling to say the least.
On Presidential Rhetoric
On Presidential Rhetoric
Obama's ad hominem method and the politics of polarization.
President Obama came to office promising an era of political comity, but even he has had to concede that his first 15 months in office haven't lived up to his campaign hope of transcending partisan divisions. While it takes two to tangle, we think the hyper-polarization owes more than a little to Mr. Obama's own rhetorical habits. More than any President in memory, Mr. Obama has a tendency to vilify his opponents in personal terms and assail their arguments as dishonest, illegitimate or motivated by bad faith.
A notable instance is Mr. Obama's ad hominem attack on Mitch McConnell at a California fundraiser for Barbara Boxer on Monday. The Senate Minority Leader "paid a visit to Wall Street a week or two ago," Mr. Obama said, and "met with some of the movers and shakers up there. I don't know exactly what was discussed. All I can tell you is when he came back, he promptly announced he would oppose the financial regulatory reform."
In other words, the Kentucky Republican is merely a mouthpiece for the bankers. Mr. Obama added that Mr. McConnell's objections to the bill were not merely "just plain false" but also "cynical"—and then he repeated the attack on motives at another event the following evening.
We can't recall anything close to this kind of language from, say, Ronald Reagan toward House Speaker Tip O'Neill, or even George W. Bush after Harry Reid called him a "liar." But it is an Obama staple.
A few hours after the Supreme Court's vindication of political speech last year in Citizens United, Mr. Obama called the decision "a major victory for Big Oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans."
He later personalized his criticism by rebuking the Justices as they sat in front of him during the January State of the Union, accusing them of reversing "a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests—including foreign corporations—to spend without limit in our elections." So the Justices, too, are mere tools of corporate interests. Don't expect many of them at next year's SOTU.
The President is especially fond of employing this blunt rhetorical force against business. In a December interview, Mr. Obama said he "did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street. . . . They're still puzzled why it is that people are mad at banks. Well, let's see," he continued. "You guys are drawing down $10, $20 million bonuses after America went through the worst economic year that it's gone through in—in decades, and you guys caused the problem."
Amid the Beltway panic during the AIG bonus bonfire in March 2009, Mr. Obama played directly to the public anger. "This is a corporation that finds itself in financial distress due to recklessness and greed," said the President, and asked, "How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping this company afloat?"
He did the same with the Chrysler bondholders who had initially resisted the White House's bankruptcy terms that squeezed them in favor of the United Auto Workers. Mr. Obama characterized these investors in April 2009 as "a small group of speculators" who "were hoping that everybody else would make sacrifices, and they would have to make none." They quickly caved. Read more here.
Poll: 4 out of 5 Americans don't trust Washington
WASHINGTON — America's "Great Compromiser" Henry Clay called government "the great trust," but most Americans today have little faith in Washington's ability to deal with the nation's problems.
Public confidence in government is at one of the lowest points in a half century, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center. Nearly 8 in 10 Americans say they don't trust the federal government and have little faith it can solve America's ills, the survey found.
The findings illustrate the ominous situation President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party face as they struggle to maintain their comfortable congressional majorities in this fall's elections. Midterm prospects are typically tough for the party in power. Add a toxic environment like this and lots of incumbent Democrats could be out of work.
Released Sunday, the survey found that just 22 percent of those questioned say they can trust Washington almost always or most of the time and just 19 percent say they are basically content with it. Nearly half say the government negatively affects their daily lives, a sentiment that's grown over the past dozen years.
This anti-government feeling has driven the tea party movement, reflected in fierce protests this past week.
"The government's been lying to people for years. Politicians make promises to get elected, and when they get elected, they don't follow through," says Cindy Wanto, 57, a registered Democrat from Nemacolin, Pa., who joined several thousand for a rally in Washington on April 15 — the tax filing deadline. "There's too much government in my business. It was a problem before Obama, but he's certainly not helping fix it."
Majorities in the survey call Washington too big and too powerful, and say it's interfering too much in state and local matters. The public is split over whether the government should be responsible for dealing with critical problems or scaled back to reduce its power, presumably in favor of personal responsibility.
About half say they want a smaller government with fewer services, compared with roughly 40 percent who want a bigger government providing more. The public was evenly divided on those questions long before Obama was elected. Still, a majority supported the Obama administration exerting greater control over the economy during the recession.
Only twice since the 1950s has public skepticism dipped this deeply — from 1992 to 1995 during which time it hit 17 percent, and 1978 to 1980, bottoming out at 25 percent. The nation was going through economic struggles during both of those periods.
"Trust in government rarely gets this low," said Andrew Kohut, director of the nonpartisan center that conducted the survey. "Some of it's backlash against Obama. But there are a lot of other things going on." Read more here.
Lower and Simplify Taxes!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
It's that joyous time of year: income tax time. So I spend time with my accountant. I don't want to see him, but I must. I could not do what he's doing. The tax code has grown so complex that today most Americans hire someone to do their taxes.
For the money I pay my accountant, I could get a hundred massages. I could buy a fancy motorcycle. I could take a cruise ship to Venice and back.
Better yet, I could do some good in the world. I could pay for two Habitat for Humanity homes or help three kids escape government schools by paying their tuition at a good Catholic school.
What a shame that I pay my accountant instead.
How'd we get to this point? U.S taxes were once simple! The government funded itself on tariffs and excise taxes. It didn't violate our privacy by asking us how much we made or how many dependents we have.
But in 1913, the politicians decided they needed an income tax.
At first, they took little money: just 1 percent on incomes between $20,000 and $50,000. Those were big incomes -- adjusted for inflation, $50,000 is $1.1 million today. The top bracket paid 6 percent, but that only applied to people who earned at least $11 million in today's dollars. Anyone who made less than $400,000 paid no income tax. Read more here.
Who is rewriting history?
As both a history teacher and a conservative, I have to admit to being quite amused by the foaming-at-the-mouth reaction liberals have had recently to the Texas Board of Education. It seems that the board has approved changes to the history curriculum adopted for use in the Texas public school system.
The New York Times, ever the beacon of objectivity and fairness, described the changes as, "put[ting] a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks."
The reason I find this situation amusing is because when you look at the actual changes approved for the curriculum, they demonstrate an effort to undo the revisionist, multicultural, politically correct garbage that has overrun American and world history texts for a generation. In other words, the left isn't worried about history being rewritten; they're worried about seeing the history they've already rewritten being restored.
Take, for example, the curriculum surrounding World War II. In history texts today, the liberal narrative is dominant: that the United States interned Japanese citizens because of fear, prejudice and inherent discrimination against a foreign race. The Texas Board of Education has now required that narrative to include the reality that in addition to Japanese, both Germans and Italians living in the United States during World War II were also interned.
Or consider the treatment of "McCarthyism." Liberal academics have long used high school and college history texts to portray this era as the lowest example of anti-communist paranoia run amuck. But the Texas Board has now passed an amendment requiring that any retelling of McCarthyism include "how the later release of
[PDF] confirmed suspicions of communist infiltration in U.S. government."
Are these examples of "putting a conservative stamp on history?" No. They're simply telling the truth.
Though it may be inconvenient for the left in trying to carry forth their self-loathing, Americans-as-imperial-racists agenda, we did intern Germans and Italians (the same race) as well as Japanese.
And though it may be inconvenient for the left in trying to portray all conservatives as paranoid freaks who see communists under their beds, the Venona documents of declassified information did reveal that there were indeed multiple examples of Soviet operatives in high-ranking positions of American government.
Other examples abound. The left may prefer that free-market giants Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek be excluded from school curriculum in deference to John Maynard Keynes and Karl Marx, but the reality is that the Texas Board is right to include them in American economics courses.
The left may find that teaching the violence inherent in the Black Panther movement hampers their lopsided retelling of the Civil Rights era, but the reality is that the Texas Board is right to tell students the full story.
And not just the full story, but the true story. In what I think was the most illuminating example of what's happening in textbooks today, Mavis B. Knight, a liberal Democrat from Dallas, proposed that the Texas curriculum require students to study why "the founding fathers...barred the government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion above all others."
Pupils aged five on hate register: Teachers must log playground taunts for Government database
Heads will be forced to list children as young as five on school 'hate registers' over everyday playground insults.
Even minor incidents must be recorded as examples of serious bullying and details kept on a database until the pupil leaves secondary school.
Teachers are to be told that even if a primary school child uses homophobic or racist words without knowing their meaning, simply teaching them such words are hurtful and inappropriate is not enough.
Instead the incident has to be recorded and his or her behaviour monitored for future signs of 'hate' bullying.
The accusations will also be recorded in databases held by councils and made available to Whitehall and ministers to help them devise future anti-bullying campaigns.
The scale of the effort to stop children using homophobic or racist language was revealed after the parents of a ten-year-old primary school pupil in Somerset, Peter Drury, were told that his name would be put on a register and his behaviour monitored while he remained at school.
The boy was reported after he called a friend 'gay boy'. His parents fear the record of homophobic bullying will count against him throughout his school career and even into adulthood.
In another incident last year a six-year-old girl, Sharona Gower, was reported for 'racist bullying' at her school near Tunbridge Wells in Kent. Read more here.
Children 'over-exposed to sexual imagery'
Children are being increasingly exposed to sexual imagery and their parents have limited opportunities to stop it, a report for the Home Office warns.
The report calls for tougher regulation of sexual imagery in adverts and a ban on selling "lads' mags" to under-16s.
It also recommends selling mobile phones and games consoles with parental controls automatically switched on.
Author Dr Linda Papadopoulos said there was a clear link between sexualised imagery and violence towards females.
Her report said the material children were being exposed to included the growth of lads' mags and pornography on mobile phones, through to big-name fashion brands using sexual imagery to advertise clothes targeted at young teenagers.
Underreported Stories of 2009
Friday, January 01, 2010
Most news outlets end the year with extensive reviews of their top headlines and scoops. But the stories they didn't cover deserve much greater attention. Journalistic sins of omission are often far more damning and more telling than sins of commission.
Let's start with President Obama's ongoing radical czar problem. Until Bay Area Marxist agitator-turned-green-jobs-czar Van Jones resigned in September, most Americans hadn't heard of him. Mainstream newspaper readers and network news viewers were left in the dark about his cop-killer-supporting activism, his endorsement of nutball Sept. 11 conspiracies and his advocacy of using capitalism-sabotaging environmental policies as "the engine for transforming the whole society."
Fox News, talk radio and conservative blogs pounded Jones' embarrassing public record for months until the White House and its press corps enablers were forced to acknowledge the firestorm. Only after Obama threw Jones under the bus did New York Times editor Jill Abramson confess that the Fishwrap of Record suffered from "insufficient in-tuned-ness." She promised better coverage of Obama scandals.
So, what's she waiting for, pray tell?
Obama has appointed unaccountable czars by the mile whose statements and policies have yet to hit national media front pages. The "safe schools czar," Kevin Jennings, is a far-left activist whose organization, GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) is infamous among parents' groups for promoting explicit, outrageously age-inappropriate sexual lessons in the classroom. GLSEN's recommended reading for teens includes pamphlets promoting leather bars and public sex in parks and lurid books describing incest, rape, adult-child fantasies and essay collections in which one author recounted playing "sex therapist" at the age of 6 with a 5-year-old friend, and exploring "our sexuality to its fullest."
GLSEN's corporate sponsors include Eastman Kodak, Ernst & Young, PepsiCo and Time Warner. Eastman Kodak defended its sponsorship as an expression of its commitment to "diversity." Secretary of Education Arne Duncan also said he stood by Jennings earlier this year, before this material was exposed in-depth on Fox News, talk radio and conservative blogs. Where are the vaunted watchdogs of the Fourth Estate to follow up now?
Liberal journalists were also AWOL on the Obama White House's U.S. attorney nomination debacle in Denver. What, you hadn't heard of it? You're not alone. Nominee Stephanie Villafuerte withdrew earlier this month after Colorado Republicans, immigration enforcement activists, Denver Post investigative reporter Karen Crummy and Denver talk show host Peter Boyles raised bright red flags about the culture of corruption in her office. Read more here.
As the Nation’s Pulse Races, Obama Can’t Seem to Find His
I was walking through a deserted downtown on Christmas Eve with a friend, past the lonely, gray Treasury Building, past the snowy White House with no president inside.
“I hope the terrorists don’t think this is a good time to attack,” I said, looking protectively at the White House, which always looks smaller and more vulnerable and beautiful than you expect, no matter how often you see it up close.
I thought our guard might be down because of the holiday; now I realize our guard is down every day.
One thrilling thing about moving from W. to Barack Obama was that Obama seemed like an avatar of modernity.
W., Dick Cheney and Rummy kept ceaselessly dragging us back into the past. America seemed to have lost her ingenuity, her quickness, her man-on-the-moon bravura, her Bugs Bunny panache.
Were we clever and inventive enough to protect ourselves from the new breed of Flintstones-hardy yet Facebook-savvy terrorists?
W.’s favorite word was “resolute,” but despite gazillions spent and Cheney’s bluster, our efforts to shield ourselves seemed flaccid.
President Obama’s favorite word is “unprecedented,” as Carol Lee of Politico pointed out. Yet he often seems mired in the past as well, letting his hallmark legislation get loaded up with old-school bribes and pork; surrounding himself with Clintonites; continuing the Bushies’ penchant for secrecy and expansive executive privilege; doubling down in Afghanistan while acting as though he’s getting out; and failing to capitalize on snazzy new technology while agencies thumb through printouts and continue their old turf battles.
Even before a Nigerian with Al Qaeda links tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet headed to Detroit, travelers could see we had made no progress toward a technologically wondrous Philip K. Dick universe.
We seemed to still be behind the curve and reactive, patting down grannies and 5-year-olds, confiscating snow globes and lip glosses.
Instead of modernity, we have airports where security is so retro that taking away pillows and blankies and bathroom breaks counts as a great leap forward.
If we can’t catch a Nigerian with a powerful explosive powder in his oddly feminine-looking underpants and a syringe full of acid, a man whose own father had alerted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a traveler whose ticket was paid for in cash and who didn’t check bags, whose visa renewal had been denied by the British, who had studied Arabic in Al Qaeda sanctuary Yemen, whose name was on a counterterrorism watch list, who can we catch?
We are headed toward the moment when screeners will watch watch-listers sashay through while we have to come to the airport in hospital gowns, flapping open in the back.
In a rare bipartisan success, House members tried to prevent the Transportation Security Administration from implementing full-body imaging as a screening tool at airports.
Just because Republicans helped lead the ban on better technology and opposed airport security spending doesn’t mean they’ll stop Cheneying the Democrats for subverting national security.
Congressman Pete Hoekstra of Michigan was weaselly enough to whack the president and “weak-kneed liberals” in his gubernatorial fund-raising letter.
Before he left for vacation, Obama tried to shed his Spock mien and juice up the empathy quotient on jobs. But in his usual inspiring/listless cycle, he once more appeared chilly in his response to the chilling episode on Flight 253, issuing bulletins through his press secretary and hitting the links. At least you have to seem concerned.
On Tuesday, Obama stepped up to the microphone to admit what Janet Napolitano (who learned nothing from an earlier Janet named Reno) had first tried to deny: that there had been “a systemic failure” and a “catastrophic breach of security.”Read more here
Obama’s Science Czar John Holdren involved in unwinding “Climategate” scandal
Lift up a rock and another snake comes slithering out from the ongoing University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU) scandal, now riding as “Climategate”.
Obama Science Czar John Holdren is directly involved in CRU’s unfolding Climategate scandal. In fact, according to files released by a CEU hacker or whistleblower, Holdren is involved in what Canada Free Press (CFP) columnist Canadian climatologist Dr. Tim Ball terms “a truculent and nasty manner that provides a brief demonstration of his lack of understanding, commitment on faith and willingness to ridicule and bully people”.
“The files contain so much material that it is going to take some time t o put it all in context,” says Ball. “However, enough is already known to underscore their explosive nature. It is already clear the entire claims and positions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are based on falsified manipulated material and is therefore completely compromised.
“The fallout will be extensive as material continues to emerge. Reputations of the scientists involved are already destroyed, however fringe players will continue to be identified and their reputations destroyed or sullied.”
While the mainstream media is bending into pretzels to keep the scandal under the rug, Climategate is already the biggest scientific scandal in history because of the global policy implications.
A throwback to the intro of the television series Dragnet, “Ladies and Gentlemen: “The story you are about to hear is true, only the names have been changed to protect the innocent”, the innocent in Climategate have already been thrown to the ravening wolves. Read more here.
Owens Breaks 4 Campaign Promises in first hour in Congress
GOUVERNEUR, NY - Congressman-elect Bill Owens was sworn in at noon today.
Owens indicated in a press release released shortly afterwards that he was now in favor of the the "Affordable Healthcare for America Act" bill in direct contrast to his earlier position during the election campaign.
According to Politico.com, Mr. Owens assured voters that he felt the public option had no place in the health care reform bill. Contrary to that position, Mr. Owens now indicates that he intends to vote in favor of the bill even though it now contains a public option.
UPDATED: A spokesman for Congressman Owens indicated correctly that Mr. Owens had recanted his solid position against public option later in the campaign, clarifying that he did not wish public option to be a 'litmus test' for the Health Reform bill and that on Oct. 30th, several days prior to the election, in a debate had stated that he generally supported the public option as it was now written (at that time.)
Mr. Owens also indicated during his campaign that he was firmly opposed to cutting Medicare benefits, taxing health care benefits, and increased taxes on the middle class in any way as you can see clearly in the screenshot below, taken directly from Mr. Owens' campaign website. Read more here.
More than 3 Million Registered Voters are Dead, 12 Million More Ineligible, Analysis Finds
Regardless of how lively an election season might be, a new study shows that more 3.3 million voters on current registration rolls across the country are dead.
Another 12.9 million remain on voter registration lists in an area where they no longer live.
The analysis was conducted by the Aristotle International Inc., a technology company
specializing in political campaigns, developing software and databases for politicians.
In total that means about 8.9 percent of all registered voters fall under the category of “deadwood” voters on the rolls, the term for voters who should no longer be eligible to vote in a precinct.
Not only does this raise concerns about potential voter fraud, but from the interest of campaign consultants, ineligible or expired voters could lead to a waste of resources, said John Aristotle Phillips, CEO of Aristotle.
“Some states have bigger problems than others,” Phillips said. “With deadwood exceeding one in seven votes in some counties, candidates might as well spend a day a week campaigning in the cemetery.” Read more here.
Harrycare Buckles to Government Option
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced yesterday that his “Harrycare” bill will include a government option. Looking a great deal like a man who can see the end of his political career looming over the horizon, Reid buckled to the far left ideologues in the White House and his caucus to go over the political cliff.
“We intend to include it [a government option] in the bill that will be submitted to the Senate,” Reid said at the presser. “We’ve spent countless hours over the past few days in consultation with Senators who’ve shown and share a desire to reform the health care system, and I believe there is a strong consensus to move forward in this direction.”
Oops, thought this was about reforming “insurance” not the “health care system,” Sen. Reid. Must be a misspeak after all those long hours.
Reid also said his bill will include an “opt out” at the state level which is a façade. Can individuals “opt out” of the penalties and the mandatory coverage? Can individuals “opt out” of paying for government-run health care for everyone else in the country in the form of higher premiums, higher taxes, and Medicare cuts? Can small business owners “opt out” of the higher payroll taxes?
Who decides what a state does? The legislature? The governor? A state referendum? It’s not clear. Also unclear is what exactly happens in Reid’s “opt out” scenario between passage and the drop dead of 2014 for the state “opt out” date, if you’ll pardon the unfortunate juxtaposition.
Are church leaders affirming Allah?
Has anyone noticed how hundreds of professing Christian leaders are compromising their faith by uniting with Muslims? Could it be that we are witnessing the formation of the prophesied one-world religion under the Antichrist? (Revelation 13:1-18)
For example, Brian McLaren, a prominent Emerging Church leader, announced plans to celebrate the Islamic holiday Ramadan, commemorating Muhammad's reception of the Quran. On the Fourth of July, when most Americans were celebrating the birth of our nation, Rick Warren, "America's Pastor," addressed the Islamic Society of North America, which, the Department of Justice categorized two years ago as a co-conspirator in financing a foreign terrorist group!
Another Emerging Church leader, Tony Campolo, a proponent of the so-called "evangelical left" claimed that "even if" Muslims "don't convert, they are God's people." Campolo further declared, "A theology of mysticism provides some hope for common ground between Christianity and Islam." ("Speaking My Mind," page 149). Campolo, like McLaren and Warren, has a habit of compromising biblical truth to forge unholy alliances with sworn enemies of the Gospel. Campolo admitted, "Consequently, anyone who accuses me of violating the biblical message is correct!" ("A Reasonable Faith," page 190)
Even more chilling is the fact that over 300 prominent Christian leaders signed a letter issued by the Yale Center for Faith and Culture claiming that world peace is dependent on Muslims and Christians recognizing "Allah" and "Yahweh" as the same God. This letter, titled "Loving God and Neighbor Together," was written in response to a signed document by 138 Muslim leaders titled "A Common Word Between Us and You." McLaren, Warren, Robert Schuller and Bill Hybels were just several of the signatories to this outright betrayal of Christ!
Furthermore, both of these documents affirmed Muhammed as a "Prophet" of God and declared that world peace was dependant on mutual affirmation of the "unity" of God. Dr. William Lane Craig, a leading Christian apologist and
philosopher, correctly stated that by signing this document, Rick Warren and others were, in effect, signing up to become Muslims! This is because an affirmation of Allah as God is a denial of the Triune God revealed in Holy Scripture. Moreover, the Quran denies that Jesus is the Son of God no less than nine timesRead more here
Doctors Wage War Against Obama's Health Care Overhall
As President Obama pushes for passage of his first major domestic policy change, some physicians are waging an all-out war against a health care reform bill they say amounts to nothing more than socialized medicine.
As President Obama pushes for passage of his first major domestic policy change, some physicians are waging an all-out war against a health care reform bill they say amounts to nothing more than socialized medicine.
America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 would create a public health insurance alternative and require coverage for most Americans and from most employers.
The American Medical Association -- the nation's largest physician organization with nearly 250,000 members -- initially opposed the president's plan, but backed the House Democrats' version of the bill last week. That has led to an internal dispute that has resulted in some physicians leaving the nation's largest doctors' association.
Some doctors charge the bill will lead to inferior patient care as physician offices around the country triple their patient lists and become forced to ration care.
"This is war," Dr. George Watson, a Kansas physician and president-elect of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, told FOXNews.com Thursday. "This is a bureaucratic boondoggle to grab control of health care.
Everything that has been proposed in the 1,018 page bill will contribute to the ruination of medicine." Read more here
Health Care Bill Will Fund State Vaccine Teams to Conduct ‘Interventions’ in Private Homes
There is a knock at the front door. Peeking through the window, a mother sees a man and a woman, both in uniform. They are agents of health-care reform.
“Excuse me, ma’am,” says the man. “Our records show that your eleven-year-old daughter has not been immunized for genital warts.”
“And your four-year-old still needs the chicken-pox vaccine,” says the woman.
“He will not be allowed to start kindergarten unless he gets that shot, you know,” says the man—smiling from ear to ear.
“So, can we please come in?” asks the woman. “We have the vaccines right here,” she says, lifting up a black medical bag. “We can give your kids the shots right now.”
“We are from the government,” says the man, “and we’re here to help.” Read more here.
Billions in aid go to areas that backed Obama in '08
That aid — about $17 billion — is the first piece of the administration's massive stimulus package that can be tracked locally. Much of it has followed a well-worn path to places that regularly collect a bigger share of federal grants and contracts, guided by formulas that have been in place for decades and leave little room for manipulation.
"There's no politics at work when it comes to spending for the recovery," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says.
Counties that supported Obama last year have reaped twice as much money per person from the administration's $787 billion economic stimulus package as those that voted for his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, a USA TODAY analysis of government disclosure and accounting records shows. That money includes aid to repair military bases, improve public housing and help students pay for college.
The reports show the 872 counties that supported Obama received about $69 per person, on average. The 2,234 that supported McCain received about $34.
1st quarter wiped out $1.3 trillion for Americans
WASHINGTON (AP) — The brute force of the recession earlier this year turned back the clock on Americans' personal wealth to 2004 and wiped out a staggering $1.3 trillion as home values shrank and investments withered.
Net worth, or the value of assets such as homes, checking accounts and investments minus debts like mortgages and credit cards, declined 2.6 percent in the first three months of the year, the Federal Reserve said Thursday.
Those months were some of the worst of the recession so far for job losses, and the stock market sank to its lowest point of the year in March. Since then, some signs suggest the economy is stabilizing.
Still, partly because of the carnage earlier in the recession, Americans are putting plans on hold until the economy improves.
B. Smith, a conductor for a Chicago commuter rail line, is waiting to buy cars for two of his children. He spent $260,000 to build his suburban Chicago home about 10 years ago and watched its value spike to $380,000 in January 2008. Today, it stands at about $310,000. "I'm still ahead, but I'm not as ahead as I was before," he said.
Even if things improve, such a dramatic evaporation of wealth will probably make Americans more thrifty down the road, said Scott Hoyt, senior director of consumer economics at Moody's Economy.com.
Read more HERE.
Same-Sex Marriage Bill Signed into Law in New Hampshire
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Concord, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage after the Senate and House passed key language on religious rights and Gov. John Lynch - who personally opposes gay marriage - signed the legislation Wednesday afternoon.
After rallies outside the Statehouse by both sides in the morning, the last of three bills in the package went to the Senate, which approved it 14-10 Wednesday afternoon.
Cheers from the gallery greeted the key vote in the House, which passed it 198-176. Surrounded by gay marriage supporters, Lynch signed the bill about an hour later.
"Today, we are standing up for the liberties of same-sex couples by making clear that they will receive the same rights, responsibilities - and respect - under New Hampshire law," Lynch said.
Lynch, a Democrat, had promised a veto if the law didn't clearly spell out that churches and religious groups would not be forced to officiate at gay marriages or provide other services. Legislators made the changes.
Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont and Iowa already allow gay marriage, though opponents hope to overturn Maine's law with a public vote.
Baptist Pastor Assaulted After Refusing Police Search
See disturbing video HERE.
This story has been circulating around the web and is generating some media attention as well.
Obviously, this is a deeply troubling example of a worst-case outcome for a citizen who asserted constitutional rights during a police encounter. Given that our mission is to help people understand and assert these rights, we regret that events like this happen as often as they do.
Fortunately, the internet itself has become a useful tool not only for educating the public about their rights, but also for exposing police who violate the constitutional rights of the people they're supposed to protect. Some might say Steven Anderson's experience is an example of how police just do whatever they want. Yet Steven Anderson is exactly the type of brave citizen whose decision to assert his rights could ultimately have a meaningful impact.
It is precisely because too many police officers continue to recklessly disregard the basic rights of innocent people that we must make sure all citizens have the tools to confidently assert their rights if and when they feel compelled to do so. This incident will likely culminate in a high-profile lawsuit that could change the way similar situations are handled in the future. If it weren't for Anderson's decision to flex his rights, there's no question that the officers he encountered would be out there right now abusing other people, instead of being investigated for civil rights violations.
Protecting Yourself at Police Checkpoints
Steele urged to label Obama a socialist
State RNC leaders raise dissent
Republican state party leaders are rebelling against new Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele for failing to dub President Obama and the Democrats as "socialists." And the rebels insist that the label matters.
Even though Mr. Steele has called his Democratic adversaries "collectivists," at least 16 state leaders say the term lacks the pejorative punch needed to sway public opinion and want all 168 members of the Republican National Committee to debate and vote on it.
It is the first time in memory that a sitting national leader of the Republican Party has faced a public challenge over his ideological leadership by conservative members of his own national committee.
Critics say it is also a sign of Mr. Steele's rocky start as RNC chairman and his continuing struggle to assert control of the party's message since his election in January.
Sebelius lowballed donations from abortion doctor
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's Health secretary nominee got nearly three times as much political money from a controversial abortion doctor as she told senators.
The Health and Human Services Department said Monday that the omission was an oversight that Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius would correct.
In a response to questions from the Senate Finance Committee made public last week, Sebelius wrote that she received $12,450 between 1994-2001 from Dr. George Tiller, one of the nation's few late-term abortion providers. But in addition to those campaign donations, records reviewed by The Associated Press show that Tiller gave at least $23,000 more from 2000-2002 to a political action committee Sebelius established while insurance commissioner to raise money for fellow Democrats.
Sebelius did not tell senators about that additional money, although Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., asked specifically about any Tiller donations to her PAC.
"There was an oversight in the initial answer provided to the committee," HHS spokesman Nick Papas said Monday. "Obviously donations to the PAC are a matter of public record. The governor is updating the answer to this question and will resubmit it to the committee."
If that is not socialism, what is?
Washington’s Socialist Spendathon
The federal bailout exceeds 90 percent of U.S. GDP. If that isn’t socialism, what is?
By Deroy Murdock
Anyone who doubts that the Bush and Obama administrations collectively transformed America into a socialist state should consider this: For every dollar American citizens generated last year, the federal bailout consumed more than 90 cents in outlays, loans, and commitments.
Bloomberg News has tallied Washington’s spending and promises as it props up banks, insurers, automakers, and seemingly everyone except hardworking taxpayers who promptly pay their bills. Bloomberg deserves great credit for focusing on this constantly moving target. In its latest estimate, Bloomberg correspondents Mark Pittman and Bob Ivry reported on March 31 that the Federal Reserve, Treasury, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Department of Housing and Urban Development have saddled taxpayers with $12.8 trillion so far. America’s 2008 gross domestic product was $14.2 trillion. Hence, the federal bailout now equals 90.14 percent of GDP.
If that is not socialism, what is?
This $12,798,140,000,000 costs every American man, woman, boy, and girl $42,105. A family of four’s share of the bailout equals $168,420. Bloomberg reckons that this $12.8 trillion invoice is more than 14 times the $899.8 billion in U.S. currency coursing through the economy. This signals inflation ahead.
The only glimmer of good news is that actual outlays are only $4,169,710,000,000 to date. Think of the bailout as $4.17 trillion in spending on a credit card with a $12.8 trillion limit. While the bailout ultimately may not reach that higher figure, taxpayers are exposed up to that level.
Dodd Admits Role in AIG Bonus Scandal
WASHINGTON -- For a while, the disappearance of an executive bonus restriction from last month's economic stimulus looked like sleight of hand worthy of a Las Vegas stage. No one could explain how the provision faded into thin air. On Wednesday, Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., acknowledged that his staff agreed to dilute the executive pay provision that would have applied retroactively to recipients of federal aid.
Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, told CNN that the request came from Obama administration officials whom he did not identify.
The provision was the subject of new attention this week because, had it survived, it would have prevented the American International Group Inc. from granting $165 million in bonuses to employees of its financial products division.
While the House and Senate reconciled their different stimulus bills last month, the Treasury Department expressed concern with a Senate restriction on bonuses, noting that if it applied to existing compensation contracts it could face a legal challenge.
"The alternative was losing, in my view, the entire section on executive excessive compensation," Dodd told CNN. "Given a choice, this is not an uncommon occurrence here, I agreed to a modification in the legislation, reluctantly."
Tiller trial begins, pro-lifers gather
Late-term abortionist George Tiller goes on trial in Wichita today.
Operation Rescue and the Christian Defense Coalition have organized prayer rallies at the courthouse. Troy Newman heads Operation Rescue.
"To my knowledge, this is the first time [since 1973 that] an abortionist has been on trial for doing abortions...," says Newman. "And Christians are gathering to pray -- to pray for the jury, to pray for the judge, and ultimately to pray for justice for the preborn children."
Tiller faces 19 criminal counts of illegal late-term abortions. Newman explains those charges.
Steele disappoints conservatives on abortion, homosexuality
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is under fire from social conservatives for telling GQ magazine that abortion is an "individual choice" and homosexuality is not.
Despite declaring to GQ that women have the right to choose an abortion, Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Michael Steele has issued a statement saying he has always been pro-life and supports a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Matt Barber, director of cultural affairs for Liberty Counsel and Liberty Alliance Action, says in Steele's interview with GQ, he "sounded like he was on the payroll of Planned Parenthood."
"I'm encouraged that Michael Steele is on record now in support of the human life amendment. However, for the life of me I cannot imagine why he would have chosen to use the euphemistic language of choice. That's language that they came up with in the smoky back room of Planned Parenthood somewhere to try to hide the reality of what abortion is," he contends. "There is no such thing as pro-choice. You're either pro-abortion or anti-abortion."
Pastor Sentenced to Jail
OAKLAND, Calif.: Today the Rev. Walter Hoye of Berkeley, California was sentenced to serve 30 days in county jail and fined $1,130.00 by Judge Hing of the Alameda Superior Court after being found guilty on January 15, 2009, of unlawfully approaching a person entering an abortion clinic in Oakland. The court is allowing Rev. Hoye to serve his time by an alternative method like community service. Rev. Hoye was also ordered to stay away from the clinic. However, Rev. Hoye refused this term of probation and would not agree to a stay-away order. Nonetheless, the judge is having the order drawn up and refused to accept Rev. Hoye’s decision not to agree to the stay-away order.
Dozens in the African-American community from around the nation who came out in support of Rev. Hoye were outraged by the sentence. The consensus of these leaders is that it was a travesty that Rev. Hoye was found guilty in the first place for standing in the gap for black children targeted by the abortion industry. Now they are simply enraged.
“It is absolutely incredible that in America an individual can be sentenced to jail for engaging in peaceful free speech activity on a public sidewalk,” remarked Allison Aranda, Staff Counsel for Life Legal Defense Foundation. Allison Aranda further stated “Rev. Hoye has a legal right to refuse onerous conditions of probation. Rev. Hoye will not and should not agree to give up his free speech rights. We will appeal.”
Teens spend average of 87 hours a year looking at porn online
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 6:49 PM on 09th February 2009
The average teenager spends one hour and 40 minutes a week browsing sites for pornography, according to new research.
That equates to 87 hours a year spent surfing for porn. A further hour and 35 minutes is spent looking at dieting and weight loss websites.
The study of 1,000 youngsters found the average teenager was online 31 hours each week looking at soft pornography, plastic surgery, dieting, family planning and emotional support.
Another hour and eight minutes is dedicated to exploring cosmetic surgery websites, to learn about breast surgery, bum lifts and collagen implants.
The research was conducted by CyberSentinel.co.uk, a computer software that enables parents to block websites and monitor use of the internet.
Ellie Puddle, Marketing Director of CyberSentinel, said: 'The alarming thing about this research is that it shows that teenagers are obviously exploring all sorts of topics as a result of modern-day pressures.
'For instance, pressure to emulate celebrity standards of beauty is resulting in teens spending a significant amount of time researching cosmetic surgery.
The research has also found that they're viewing information on contraceptives and pregnancy and sex as well as weight loss.
'And for some reason they find it easier to go online to conduct their research than asking mum and dad for advice.
'Using the internet to research topics which are difficult to talk about is fine, but parents should agree and set boundaries to protect their children from accessing inappropriate material.'
The Youngest Congressman
Republicans looking for a fresh, young face to help guide the party out of the political wilderness don't need to look any further than new Representative Aaron Schock of Illinois. At age 27, Schock is the youngest face of all in the House of Representatives, where the Constitution requires members to be at least 25.
Schock started his own business right out of college, and won a seat on the Peoria school board as a write-in candidate when he was only 19. In 2004, at age 23, the Republican Schock won a Democratic-leaning Peoria-based seat in the Illinois House of Representatives.
He was elected to the U.S. House in November as the representative of Illinois's 18th District, which includes Peoria and Springfield, with 59 percent of the vote. He replaced fellow Republican Ray Lahood, who now serves as President Obama's secretary of transportation.
Schock says his first few weeks on Capitol Hill have been "action packed" and "non-stop fun." He says his new post is "a little bit like being a state legislator on steroids." Despite his age, Schock reports that his colleagues have been respectful and encouraging. "Many of them understand the importance of having a diverse representation in government, and obviously age is a part of that diversity," he says.
One sign that Republican leaders see Schock as a future leader of the party is that Schock was assigned to the transportation and infrastructure committee, his first choice. It's not exactly a given that freshmen lawmakers in the minority party receive their first-choice committee assignment.
While Schock shies away from the "conservative" label, he says he is both fiscally and socially conservative. He thinks the best strategy for long-term economic growth is "to continue to incentivize entrepreneurialism, risk-taking, and investment, and the best way to do that is through tax incentives that promote those things." He is also pro-life and opposed to gay marriage.
Family's remarkable string of SAT math aces alive and well
CEDAR RAPIDS - Math is in the blood of one Cedar Rapids family.
Evan Gaebler, 17, became this fall the fifth child in his family to receive a perfect score of 800 on the SAT Math 2 subject test.
Two more kids are still to come.
Evan received his perfect score in November. The Math 2 test consists of problems are a couple levels above the regular math test in the SAT.
For many kids, the math section in the normal SAT is an insurmountable conglomeration of numbers. But that test was just too easy for Evan and his four older brothers.
"I just did math because it was there, it was just another subject," Evan said.
His mother, Sally Gaebler, home-schools Evan and his two younger siblings, as she did her four oldest sons. But from about seventh grade on, Sally said, they basically taught themselves.
"I don't expect this, but if they want to, they should sure try for it," Sally Gaebler said of the five perfect scores. She was a math major in college, but claims she forgot most of it by the time she started teaching her children.
Obama planning billion-dollar 'bailout' for abortion industry
A pro-life group in Washington has launched a campaign to oppose what it calls president-elect Barack Obama's planned $1.5 billion "bailout" of the abortion industry.
Last week, the Obama-Biden Transition Project posted a report on its website that calls for dramatic policy reversals on abortion, including $1 billion in taxpayer money for international abortion groups like Planned Parenthood. The report, titled "Advancing Reproductive Rights and Health in a New Administration," also calls for a 133-percent increase in funding for the Title X program, which funds Planned Parenthood clinics across the country.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, is hoping a Republican-led effort in the Senate will block Obama's plan to substantially increase taxpayer funding of the abortion industry.
Raising some 'Cane'
Florida Department of Children & Families supervisor gets 17-year sentence for stealing public funds
20-year employee took $1.54 million designated for families in need
For two decades, she worked for the state helping Florida's neediest. Colleagues considered her a mother figure. Bosses respected her. She got promotions.
No one noticed when Department of Children & Families supervisor Violet Jones started pilfering small chunks of money—no more than $900 at a time—from funds set aside for struggling families. And for three years, she kept tapping into public assistance funds, until she had swiped $1.54 million—enough to help feed 8,810 households for a month.
All of that stealing culminated Thursday in her receiving a 17-year prison sentence for acts described by a judge as unconscionable.
"It's really hard to get beyond how many people she impacted," said Broward Circuit Judge Eileen O'Connor. Jones' attorney argued that the money she stole was to feed a gambling addiction — a shame she kept hidden from even her closest family members. She gambled away almost all the money she took, he said.
Read more here
Wall Street Journal: Franken Stealing Election
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
By: Jim Meyers
Democrats won the White House and increased their majorities in the Senate and House, but “some in their party wouldn’t mind adding to their jackpot by stealing a Senate seat for left-wing joker Al Franken.”
That’s the thrust of an editorial in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal about the still unresolved race between Franken and incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman in Minnesota.
On the morning after Election Day, Republican Coleman led Franken by 725 votes. By that evening, his lead had shrunk to 477, and as of Tuesday, the margin was just 206 votes.
“This lopsided bleeding of Republican votes is passing strange considering that the official recount hasn’t even begun,” the Journal observed.
It’s not unusual that state officials, in double-checking the initial election results, would find and fix errors. What is unusual is that nearly every “fix” has gone in favor of Franken.
Read more here
Preserving the Brilliant Dance Called Freedom
By Janet Lynn
Olympic ice skater and former Eagle Forum Homemaker of the Year
"You don't know what freedom is," I was told by a former Soviet Olympic champion after the fall of the Berlin Wall. He proclaimed that "freedom is having everything given to you," adding, "so you can become great like me."
Barack Obama's mantra of "change" eerily echoes the statement, "Freedom is having everything given to you."
Success of 'Fireproof' shows appetite for Christian films
Fireproof, a Christian film released by Franklin-based Provident Films and Sony Pictures, proved itself a force to be reckoned with last weekend.
It was the weekend's fourth-best-selling movie in the nation, earning $6.5 million and outpacing the star-studded casts of movies such as Burn After Reading, according to Encino, Calif.-based box office tracking firm Media By Numbers.
Analysts said it's a sign there's a strong appetite for more faith-based films.
"Nobody saw it coming," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Media by Numbers, adding it proves faith-based audiences "really vote with their dollars to support films that reflect their beliefs."
Fireproof stars Kirk Cameron of TV show Growing Pains as a firefighter who rescues people daily but who has trouble saving his own marriage. After some advice from his father, the firefighter turns to God for guidance.
Barack Obama's "Freedom of Choice Act" Would Mean 125K More Abortions
With so much attention on the economy, one area of federal legislation that can be overlooked is abortion. An old and dangerous bill that will increase abortions by an enormous amount is being resurrected by abortion advocates: the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). H.R. 1964 and S.1173.
FOCA is usually reported as “codifying Roe v. Wade,” but it is much more. Since the Webster and Casey decisions in 1989 and 1992, the Supreme Court has allowed states to limit abortion somewhat by such things as requiring parental involvement and informed consent, prohibiting government funding of most abortion, and more recently outlawing most partial birth abortions.
But FOCA tolerates none of this. Advocates and opponents of FOCA all agree that the bill would nullify every legal limit on abortion, state, federal or otherwise. Americans United for Life, as well as the Family Research Council, explain this fact in great detail. Abortion advocates who want FOCA concur: NOW, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and FOCA sponsor Senator Barbara Boxer all contend that FOCA will strike down all state pro-life laws.
The shockwaves that FOCA would cause are immense and wide-ranging, but recent research shows one effect in particular. Certain state laws that are doomed under FOCA actually prevent a statistically significant number of abortions. These laws include parental involvement requirements, informed consent laws, and restrictions on government funding of abortions.
Boys Punished with detention for refusing to pray to Allah
Boys punished with detention for refusing to pray to Allah
Two seventh-grade boys were given detention and their classmates forced to miss their scheduled refreshment break when the pair refused to kneel and pray to Allah during a religious studies class.
Outraged parents called the punishment of the boys for not wanting to take part in the practical demonstration at Alsager High School near Stoke-on-Trent, UK, of how Muslims' worship Allah a breach of their human rights.
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Fatherlessness and same-sex parenting
For the last 35 years there have been hundreds and hundreds of studies examining the long-term impact on children of being raised without fathers. That's because fatherlessness has become a phenomenon not primarily due to the gay movement, but due to the impact of heterosexual divorce and other forms of heterosexual misbehavior."
The research points to long-term ill effects in almost every aspect of children's lives. "There's lower educational attainment, poor physical health, earlier sexual activity, increased cigarette smoking, increased criminality, lower financial attainment later in life. There are even studies which show that the absence of fathers has an effect into the next generation."
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Abortion Drug Deaths RU 486
Another study suggests Planned Parenthood is at fault in the deaths of women in the United States from the abortion drug RU 486. The abortion business had been telling women to use the drug in a different way than the FDA guidelines suggested and the study shows it contributed to the deaths.
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