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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Obama: We Must Make Sure DC Doesn't Shut Down, So I'm Going Out Of Town to Campaign

We're supposedly facing a huge deadline this Friday. Either Congress is going to get the government funded for the rest of the year, or it is going to get shut down. Many are decrying that it would be catastrophic, if they let this happen. So, our president would be sure to stay home and make sure that this is done. Right? Er....wrong:

A fiery President Obama insisted Tuesday that if he and congressional leaders couldn’t reach a deal to avert a government shutdown, “I want a meeting again tomorrow here at the White House.”

“I will invite the same folks that we invited today,” he added. “And if that doesn’t work, we’ll invite them again the day after that. And I will have my entire team available to work through the details of getting a deal done.”

Obama’s team may not include the president himself. Despite the impasse in Washington over federal spending, the president as of early Wednesday was scheduled to give two speeches outside of Washington: one on energy in the Philadelphia suburbs, then another Wednesday evening to a group of black political activists in New York.

If the schedule remains intact, it will be the president’s first trip outside the capital since he officially declared Monday he will seek a second term. And while Obama (D) and his aides have repeated said he will not focus on his campaign in the next few months, his schedule may contradict those words.

Sadly, this is just par for the course for Obama and the Democrats. The Democrats were too scared that it'd hurt them politically to pass a budget with a huge deficit right before the midterms. So, they punted it until the next year.

Obama, also, has had a habit of staying clear of the tough issues. It took Obama months to go down to Louisiana, after the BP spill. Even with his key legislation, ObamaCare, he handed it completely over to Pelosi and Reid. His lack of leadership is just astounding and appalling. We hired him to lead not go to Pennsylvania to shill for his green agenda, while Rome burns.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Republicans Walk Back "Redefining Rape" in Bill Defunding Abortions

Looks like the Republicans in the House have walked back their controversial verbiage in the HR3 bill that would defund Planned Parenthood any any other organization that performs abortions. Many have argued that they were "redefining rape" by only including "forcible" rape in the list of exemptions:

"The word 'forcible' will be replaced with the original language from the Hyde Amendment," a spokesman for Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), one of the sponsors of H.R. 3. The "No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act," told Politico.

The Hyde Amendment is the existing measure meant to bar the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortions.

This is no big surprise. It should have never been put in the bill in the first place. They should've that this would only inflame the public with virtually no upside to including it.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sen. Schumer (D): We Have 3 Branches of Government: HOUSE, SENATE, & PRESIDENT!!!

This is just a fun video. I don’t really buy too much stock in occasional gaffes like this. I just get a bit of a chuckle out of them. Although, you have to wonder what if someone like Palin or Bachmann said something like this? Is Chris Mathews going to spend a week calling Schumer a “balloonhead”? I doubt it.

Of course, Schumer got it totally wrong. The three branches are legislative (Senate & House), executive (president), and judicial (Supreme Court).

Ed Morrissey brought up some good points about the rest of what Senator Schumer was saying:

But even apart from that, Schumer still doesn’t have a point. No one is saying that we shouldn’t pay the debt ceiling. There isn’t anyone rooting for default in either party. The question before Congress is whether we will raise the debt ceiling in order to allow the government to borrow even more money. If Congress doesn’t raise it, the US won’t be able to sell more debt, which means that it will have to stop paying on its obligations, although those decisions can be prioritized to put off defaulting on existing bonds, at least for a short period of time.

So, Schumer didn't know what he was talking about all the way around.

Another Messaging Problem For Democrats: 71% of Americans Think That It’s Important That Republicans Should Listen to TEA Party

It looks like the Democrats have another messaging problem. Despite the left’s attempt at trivializing and demonizing the TEA party for the past year or so, 71% of all Americans still believe that it is important for the Republicans to listen to the grassroots movement, according to a new Gallup poll:

About 7 in 10 national adults, including 88% of Republicans, say it is important that Republican leaders in Congress take the Tea Party movement's positions and objectives into account as they address the nation's problems. …

Although few Democrats (6%) are supporters of the Tea Party or even have a favorable view of it (11%), more than half say it is important that the Republican Party take the Tea Party’s positions into account. Why this is the case is unclear, although Democrats may simply feel that the opposing party should pay attention to all of its constituencies.

Perhaps underscoring the same principle, Republicans overwhelming feel their leaders should take the Tea Party’s positions into account, even though barely half are self-identified as Tea Party supporters."

This poll is especially telling, if you consider when the poll was taken. Ed Morrissey explains:

I’d somehow doubt that Democrats are really all that concerned about whether the GOP listens to “all its constituencies.” Their party leaders and the media spend most of their time sneering at the “teabaggers,” and dismissing them as cranks, or worse. The flip side to this analysis is that 44% of Democrats would think it unimportant for politicians to pay attention to their constituents, which seems unlikely to be the case.

“New survey” is somewhat relative. While Gallup published these results today, the survey itself was taken between January 14 and 16, within a few days after the shooting in Tucson and the media’s rush to smear the Tea Party as an unindicted co-conspirator. If those numbers were ever going to suffer, it would have been that week. Yet majorities in all party affiliations think that their ideas deserve important consideration, including 53% of Democrats, 72% of independents, and 88% of Republicans.

So, all of the left’s demagoguing and their attempt at convicting Palin and the TEA party for the Tucson Tragedy in the court of public opinion has fallen on deaf ears. Hopefully, the Democrats will stop their pointless finger-pointing, but I doubt that will ever happen. They’re hoping that if they repeat it long enough that people will eventually start to believe it, but they don’t seem to be having any luck.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Montana Children's Play Calls For Beheading of Sarah Palin

A local children's theatre in Missoula, Montana took too much poetic license, when they presented their own rendition of the book "The Mikado". Someone on the staff decided to take a shot at the former Alaska Governor and potential 2012 GOP presidential hopeful Sarah Palin and added a line into the play that called for her death by beheading.

Here's the letter written to a local Missoula, Montana paper:

Missoula Children’s Theater: Inserting line was unprofessional

Open letter to MCT director Curt Olds:

First I would like to compliment you and the entire staff of "The Mikado" on the beautiful sets, costuming and professional performance we experienced on Sunday, Jan. 23.

However, I must call you on something that was inserted into the play which I am almost positive was not in the original book.

The comments made in such a cavalier and oh-so-humorous way were uncalled for. Now, I realize you play to a mostly liberal audience in Missoula and so, I am sure, felt comfortable in your calling for the beheading of Sarah Palin. I am painfully aware that most in the audience tittered with laughter and clapped because "no one would miss her" but there were some in your audience who took great offense to this "uncivil tone" about another human being.

We are in the midst of a crisis that took place in Tucson where many started pointing fingers at that horrible right wing with all their hatred and targeting and standing for the second amendment and on and on and on. So, here we are in a lovely play with beautiful voices serenading us and we have to hear that it is okay to call for the killing of Sarah Palin because we don't like her and no one would miss her. Unbelievable.

As a professional you should be ashamed of yourself, the audience should be ashamed of themselves and I am ashamed of myself for not standing up and leaving at that very moment. I would like to see an apology from you not because I want to hinder free-speech but for the hypocrisy this so clearly shows.
Rory Page, Clinton

This is just beyond despicable. What were the adult staff and those in the audience that laughed thinking?

The entire staff of the Missoula Children's Theatre should be fired. There is no way that this should have been included in any kind of play much less a play geared towards children.

Flashback: Governor Palin went to Missoula last September. She was there to help raise money for Teen Challenge Montana, a local teen shelter and houses women who are trying to kick habits like drugs and alcohol. Not everyone was happy to see her there:

But not everyone was happy to see the former Alaska governor visit the Garden City as more than a dozen protesters lined North Reserve Street as well as the road leading to the hotel where Palin spoke. They held signs that said things such as, "real women don't quit" and "stupidity isn't cute." One protester said he supports the cause, but doesn't think Sarah Palin should be speaking at it.

Is a beheading how they repay her for helping to raise money for the Teen House Montana?

H/T to GretaWire and James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal.

Friday, January 28, 2011

MSNBC: You Know Who's Responsible For Violence in Egypt? United States Of Course

Via Firedoglake's YouTube account, Here's one MSNBC reporter's take on who's to blame for the violence in Egypt, and no, it's not President Mubarak:

He has a point that we are somewhat backing Mubarak, but it's not exactly an easy position that President Obama and the United States is in:

So confounded is the administration by all this that you’ve got some Democratic foreign policy specialists saying Mubarak shouldn’t go while other Democratic foreign policy experts are calling for democratic presidential elections. Look at it from Obama’s perspective: If he sides with Mubarak and the regime falls, the anti-American backlash will be vicious. If he sides with the protesters and the regime falls, he’ll be blamed for having helped bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power. Better to stick to neutral, well-meaning pap about “restraint” and hope for the best, no? Which of course also explains why U.S. foreign policy towards Egypt has remained basically constant for 30 years through administrations as different as Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and Obama. Given the country’s Islamist grassroots, what was the alternative? Any president who came out whole-hog for democracy would have risked destabilizing the regime and empowering fundamentalists, which would in turn have encouraged fanatics across the region and potentially reoriented Sunni governments away from the Iranian threat and back towards Israel. As I recall, that was a chief “realist” criticism of Bush’s vision for the Middle East, later illustrated by Hamas’s victory in Gaza — that a democratic process doesn’t necessarily lead to a more liberal outcome. After 9/11 and the Iranian revolution in ’79, how could any American president gamble on backing reforms that might produce a net outcome that’s more Islamist? It’s political suicide.

Given that, I can see why there would be such a reluctance on the part of the Obama Administration to openly back one side or another.

However, this reporter went a bit further with it. He seemed to imply that the protesters believe that United States is backing the Egyptian president because the police used some tear gas from American companies. That is a bit far-fetched, but considering the Anti-American sentiment and the radical Islamic belief that the US is the Great Satan or something, it might be probable that some may believe that.

However, I have to wonder if those on the left actually agree with that sentiment.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

NJ Governor Christie Ups the Ante Against IL Gov Quinn: Releases Ad Compelling Business to Come to Jersey

A couple of weeks ago, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) announced that he would be taking trips to Illinois, meet with business leaders who might want to flee the huge tax hikes that Illinois Governor Quinn (D) had just signed into law, and persuade them to move to New Jersey. In response, Gov. Quinn, basically, told him: Good luck with that.

Now, Gov. Christie seems to be upping the ante with a new ad that is set to hit Illinois airwaves soon:

You have to hand it to the NJ Governor. He has big brass ones.

H/T to Stephen Gutowski aka @collegepolitico

Texas Senate Passes Voter ID Law, Making Its Passing Inevitable

The Texas State Senate passed the Voter ID Law, yesterday. This new law will make a requirement for everyone but the elderly, 70 or older, show a valid ID, whenever they go to vote:

With a strong push from Republicans and over the vigorous objections of Democrats, the Senate on Wednesday approved legislation requiring all but elderly Texans to show a photo ID before voting....

In the end, the measure was approved 19-11, with all Republicans backing it and all but one absent Democrat voting no.

Democrats argued that this would be a violation of the Voting Rights Act:

Democrats warned that the bill will run into trouble under the federal Voting Rights Act, designed to protect minority voting rights in several southern states — including Texas — and Alaska, Arizona and some urban areas. Under that law, the U.S. Justice Department must review all changes in election laws in those states.

“This requirement is just a poll tax by another name,” said Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, referring to the now outlawed practice of requiring voters to pay a fee before voting. The poll tax was used to discourage voting by minorities decades ago....

The bill would require Texans to show a driver’s license, state ID card, military ID, concealed handgun license, passport or citizenship ID to vote. An effort by Democrats to include student IDs with photos was rejected by Republicans.

However, Indiana passed a similar law in 2005, and the Supreme Court upheld it, when it was challenged as a violation of the Voting Rights Act.

This law is designed to curb voter fraud. If they have to show identification, it'll make it less likely that people are able to vote more than once, dead people voting through ID theft, and keep illegal aliens from voting.

The Democrats' poll tax argument is no quite on point. The poll tax was a tax only had to be paid when people went to vote. The price that people pay for the ID card will be spent anyway.

People will have to get an ID for many reasons, including getting a job or into college, apply for any sort of assistance from the government, or driving a car. So, the great majority of people will have an ID anyway.

The Senate was the biggest obstacle that this law had before it could be made into law. Now, the bill will go to the House where there is a huge Republican majority and will have no trouble passing. There is, also, no doubt that Governor Rick Perry will sign it into law.

CBO: Social Security Surplus? What Social Security Surplus?

Three years after the first Baby Boomer applied for Social Security, very disturbing news came out of a new semi-annual CBO report.

The tide has finally turned, and the ink on Social Security's budget has turned red. This year will be the the first time that the government program will have a deficit, after decades of having surpluses:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports that Social Security will effectively run a $45-billion deficit in 2011 and continue to run deficits totaling $547 billion over the coming decade.

The admission comes in the CBO’s semi-annual economic review that projects federal spending, debt, and economic growth. In the report, the CBO also examines the impact of projected economic performance on the trust fund that nominally funds Social Security. 

“Excluding interest, surpluses for Social Security become deficits of $45 billion in 2011 and $547 billion over the 2012–2021 period,” the CBO reported.

This means that in order to pay benefits Social Security will need $45 billion more than it will collect in payroll taxes this year, and $547 billion more over the next decade.

The “interest” the CBO mentions is the interest that the federal government owes to the Social Security trust fund because the trust fund is legally obligated to take Treasury bonds – federal government debt – in exchange for the cash revenues raised by Social Security payroll taxes.

Basically, balancing Social Sececurity's books has become a shell-game:

However, the fund is not taking in enough money to pay out its obligations, nor will it for the foreseeable future, according to the CBO. Adding the interest owed by one government account – the general fund of the U.S. Treasury – to another – the Social Security trust fund – is merely an exercise in moving money from one part of the federal budget to another. It does not mean that there is extra money available to pay Social Security benefits.

Adding in the transfer payments makes Social Security and other federal entitlements appear to be fiscally sound.

“That surplus is bolstered by interest receipts and other sums transferred from elsewhere in the [federal] budget,” the CBO explained. “Such intragovernmental transfers … reallocate costs from one category of the budget to another but do not directly change the total deficit or the government’s borrowing needs.”

In other words, Social Security is not taking in enough money in taxes to pay current or future benefits and instead will have to rely, in theory, on future federal borrowing to meet its needs.

Republicans have been warning us about this for years. However, the fact is that Social Security has had, until now at least, a surplus, and Republicans haven't been able to gin up enough support for any sort of meaningful social security reform. Because every time that it has been brought up in any form Democrats would bring up the surplus and demagogue that Republicans want to throw granny under the bus or something.

Well, the day of reckoning for Social Security has finally arrived, and we need significant reform to save social security for our kids and grandkids. At the rate we're headed, it won't be there for them, when they get old enough to apply.

I don't know if privatizing it is the answer, but raising the retirement age, for those under 55, should be a given.

Meet Fox's Newest Show Host: Bill Clinton / Alt. Headline: Job Opportunity at Fox News, Liberal Hosts Wanted

No, not really. Well, maybe:

Former President Bill Clinton may be looking for a new resume line: his own talk show. Clinton’s mastery of long-winded oration led to consideration of a show on FOX News.

In an interview with Esquire magazine, FOX News president Roger Ailes said that he met with Clinton to discuss the proposal.

“If he would stick with current affairs and stick with the clock, he’d be one of the great talk-show people in the world” said Ailes.

“I went up to Harlem, I met with him for an hour, an hour and a half” said Ailes. Clinton was ultimately asked to do a FOX News special, not host own show. He has yet to decide whether to commit to a special.

The only problem that Ailes said that he might see, if Clinton took him up on his offer, he could talk on and on about issues that no one cares about, like ethanol, and that he might have trouble keeping within the type of time constraints that you have to, when doing a TV show.

This is so true. Just think about his last White House press conference last month. Clinton spent over a hour, after Obama left to go to a Christmas party just answering questions and talking to the press. He'd have to learn, when to stop talking. That's something that Bill hasn't quite mastered, yet.

On a side note, Ailes hit back at his critics that say Fox only hires conservative hosts. He said that his aversion to hiring liberal hosts has been greatly exaggerated:

Ailes also said in the interview that he has no objection to hiring left-leaning personalities for the channel. “Tell me who you want to see on the left and I’ll hire them” said Ailes, “Now that probably surprises you and won’t get into the story, but it’s true.”

Hey, Roger, I believe that there might be a certain former ESPN Sportscenter host and MSNBC host that might be looking for a job.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Obama: No , Seriously I Want to Ban Earmarks & Freeze Spending Now, Really! Déjà Vu

According to Jake Tapper of ABC, Obama will call for a federal spending freeze and an earmark ban in tonight’s State of the Union speech:

Pursuing a path of deficit reduction and government reform, President Obama will tonight in his State of the Union address call for a ban on earmarks and he will propose a five year budget freeze on non-security related discretionary spending, ABC News has learned.

The proposals come as the president prepares to tackle the deficit and debt and as he faces a House of Representatives in Republican hands, many of whose members include those affiliated with the Tea Party who may be willing to embrace both moves.

This is really laughable. He’s called for an earmark ban, since 2007, when he was running for the presidency, and that never stopped him from signing any bills that had thousands of earmarks in it, like Stimulus and his health care legislation.

Second, it seems that he’ll be speaking out of both sides of his mouth tonight. He’s supposed to call for a freeze on spending but then go on to say that we need to spend more. Huh?

The president will propose some new spending in certain areas that address the speech’s theme of “How We Win the Future”: innovation, education and infrastructure. But those increases will be proposed within the context of a proposed partial budget freeze.

I’ve wrote on his call for more spending earlier.

This really is really rather pointless. Republicans have already banned earmarks in the House and the Senate Republicans were able to kill the omnibus bill that was full of earmarks, when the Democrats tried to ram it down their throats during the lame duck.
Also, as Ed Morrissey explains, this budget “cut” isn’t really a cut:

It’s a cut in Beltwayese, in other words, because normally we’d expand spending instead of reducing it. At least that isn’t as bad as Washington usually gets about cuts, which politicians usually define as a decrease in the rate of spending increases. And don’t expect that definition to become defunct in the next two years, especially on the Democratic side of the aisle on Capitol Hill.

Let’s not even get me started on Obama’s record on reigning in spending.

Monday, January 24, 2011

State Senator (D) From Pence's IN District Dishonestly Goes After Pence's Bill That'll Cut Federal Money to Planned Parenthood

Democratic State Senator and former Planned Parenthood public policy director Sue Errington recently went after US Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) and his plan to stop giving any federal money to Planned Parenthood, in an op-ed. FYI, Errington's state district 26 resides in Pence's federal 6th district:.

Why would Congressman Mike Pence suggest it is good public health policy to take birth control away from low-income women in this country? Yet that would be the result of the bill he promoted in last Sunday's Star Press. He wants to ban Planned Parenthood -- the country's leading provider of birth control services -- from the Title X program.

Title X is the only federal grant program dedicated solely to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services. It is designed to provide access to contraceptive services, supplies and information to all who want and need them. By law, priority is given to persons from low-income families. From the program's beginning in 1970, Planned Parenthood, with clinics throughout the country, has been an important part of the program. It's estimated that one out of four American women has visited a Planned Parenthood center for health care at least once in her life. Why would Congressman Pence want to remove this pillar from our country's family planning infrastructure?

He says it's because he wants to ensure that no federal funds are used to subsidize abortion. That assurance is already in the law through the Hyde amendment, which prohibits the use of federal dollars for abortion. Not a dime of Title X funding supports abortion. It is used, rather, to assist low-income persons with the cost of basic reproductive health care -- Pap tests, pregnancy tests, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and birth control.

Her whole premise for this story is wrong. Actually, it's so wrong that there's no way that this is just made a honest mistake. One can only come to the conclusion that, not surprisingly, she is lying in order to promote her own liberal agenda.

Pence is not calling for Planned Parenthood to be "banned" or closed. He's proposing that federal taxpayer money should no longer be given to Planned Parenthood.

Given the dire straights that the government is in, this isn't an outrageous proposal. Cuts need to be made, and this should be an easy cut to make.

Most Americans don't want their money to go to funding abortions and Planned Parenthood, and the women's clinic receives enough money from other sources that they really don't need our tax money to stay afloat. They'll be just fine without it.

Also, she says that the Hyde Amendment already stops Planned Parenthood from directly using federal money for abortions. While this is true, Pence argues that any money given to them does indirectly pay for it. He says that they will use the money that they get from the government for other programs, but in doing so, that will free up money that they have received from other sources that would've paid for those other programs, otherwise, and use it to pay for abortions.

Since Pence is probably running for governor or an outside chance of running for president in 2012, she is might be trying to position herself for a campaign to replace him as Indiana's 6th District representative in the US House. Still, why would she be so blatantly dishonest? That won't make the conservative 6th think highly of her.

Also, it could be that she's trying to protect her former employer. Either way, she needs to stop being so dishonest.

Senator Errington couldn't be reached for comment.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

VA Gov. McDonnell: Obama's Wrong, We Need More Spending Cuts Not More Spending

Virginia Governor McDonnell went on Fox, today, and responded to reports that Obama will call for more stimulus spending during his State of the Union Address on Tuesday. Not surprisingly he disagrees with President Obama:

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell delivered last year's GOP response to the State of the Union. McDonnell spoke to Fox News on Saturday about what he hopes the president will focus on as he prepares to address the nation Tuesday.

McDonnell recommends Obama make spending cuts a priority. Citing budget cuts made in his own state, the governor said reduced spending in Virginia has "had a huge impact." While acknowledging that finding places to cut funding isn't easy and that "tough choices" are involved, the changes made under McDonnell have resulted in a huge surplus for the state.

Chief among the governor's priorities for Virginia has been job creation. McDonnell said Virginia is currently ranked "third in the country" when it comes to new jobs in large part "because of the time and investment" that's been put into "job creating programs."

Amid reports that President Obama's Tuesday address will call for increased spending in infrastructure and education, McDonnell predicts the president's message won't be "well received" by Americans. Instead, the governor suggests President Obama focus on fiscal cuts and "reduction of the national debt." McDonnell thinks these themes, combined with an emphasis on incentives for growing small business will help the president strike the right tone.

If polls are any indication, McDonnell is absolutely right. The American people won’t like hearing the president say that he wants to spend more. It’ll kill whatever momentum that he had gained in winning back the independents and will make him look, again, like a far-left ideologue. His approval numbers would probably fall a bit, too.


I was trying to get the video embedded, but I can't find an embeddable one, right now, since Fox disables the ability to embed their video. So, here's the link to see it, for now. I'll keep looking for one that can be embedded and embed it, if I can.

Obama's New Economic Policy, Just Like His Old Policy: Spend, Spend, Spend

Obama’s new economic is just like his old economic policy. Wall Street Journal is reporting that, in his State of the Union, Obama wants to spend more instead of less, you know, because it worked so well the last time:

President Barack Obama will call for new government spending on infrastructure, education and research in his State of the Union address Tuesday, sharpening his response to Republicans in Congress who are demanding deep budget cuts, people familiar with the speech said.

Mr. Obama will argue that the U.S., even while trying to reduce its budget deficit, must make targeted investments to foster job growth and boost U.S. competitiveness in the world economy. The new spending could include initiatives aimed at building the renewable-energy sector—which received billions of dollars in stimulus funding—and rebuilding roads to improve transportation, people familiar with the matter said. Money to restructure the No Child Left Behind law's testing mandates and institute more competitive grants also could be included.

While proposing new spending, Mr. Obama also will lay out significant budget cuts elsewhere, people familiar with the plans say, though they will likely fall short of what Republican lawmakers have requested….

Republicans are casting the White House's pivot toward competitiveness as an excuse for bigger government and more spending. They say a surge in federal spending and a $1.3 trillion budget deficit are impeding job creation, and dramatic spending cuts are needed immediately.

In the House, Republicans are pushing to cut $100 billion from the annual budget as soon as this year. A coalition of House Republicans proposed Thursday cutting $2.5 trillion in spending over a decade, pushing nondefense discretionary spending down to 2006 levels for 10 years.

This is bad for Obama for two reasons:

1.)High deficits are part of the reason why we are in the economic trouble that we are in, today. Polls have consistently said that people want Washington to reduce the deficits and return to fiscal sanity.

2.)Unemployment rate has been stalled over the last two years, since the stimulus passed. People don’t believe that federal stimulative spending worked the first time, and they won’t like Obama doubling down with another massive stimulus package, when the only long term result will be more debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay down the road.

Why would Obama want to do this? He needs to move to the center, if he has any shot at winning in 2012. This will be seen by the voters as a sign that Obama hasn’t learned his lesson from the failure of the last stimulus and that he is still the far-left ideologue that everyone on the right and Republicans have said that he is.

Maybe he’s just saying it to appease his base but has no intention to, actually, pass new spending because he knows that the Republican-led House will never agree to it. Even if he is just appeasing his base, it won’t look good to the American people. However, if his words don’t turn into any real action and legislation, what he says on Tuesday will be long forgotten by November 2012.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Didn't Take Long: Unions Sue SC Gov Nikki Haley For What She MIGHT Do

Newly sworn-in South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has not been in office even a week, and she is already getting sued by Big Labor:

Little more than a week after taking the oath of office, Gov. Nikki Haley has been sued by a trade union and the AFL-CIO, for saying the state would try to keep unions out of a new Boeing plant being built in North Charleston, next to Charleston International Airport.

The federal complaint from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the South Carolina branch of the AFL-CIO was inspired by remarks Haley made in December when she nominated Catherine Templeton, a Charleston attorney, to head the state's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Haley, a onetime protégé of scandal-plagued former Gov. Mark Sanford, played up Templeton's union-fighting background as an attorney with the Ogletree Deakins law firm and said she would help protect the state from unionization efforts, particularly at Boeing…..

In its 16-page complaint, the union accuses Haley and Templeton of pursuing an anti-union policy by "unlawfully utilizing 'increased regulatory scrutiny' of union activity and threats to immediately activate the 'punitive machinery' of state government against unions and against employees who wish to join or who advocate in favor of unions."

The union's Southern Territory Vice President Bob Martinez said in a statement: "Gov. Haley placed her hand on a Bible and swore to defend the Constitution of the United States. But her stated intention is to actively oppose workers in South Carolina who wish to exercise their legal right to join a union. There is nothing in the governor's oath of office that gives her the right to choose which laws to enforce and which to ignore."

Martinez continued: "By tasking Templeton to lead the fight against union organizing in South Carolina, and specifically against the IAM at the Boeing facility in North Charleston, Gov. Haley is requesting a state official to violate the very law she is charged with enforcing."

The union asks the court to order Haley and Templeton to remain neutral in matters concerning union activities.

But the new governor appears unbowed. Speaking with reporters after the complaint was filed, Haley said, "There's no secret I don't like the unions and that we are a right-to-work state.

"I will do everything I can to defend the fact we are a right-to-work state. We are pro-business by nature. I want us to continue to be pro-business. If they don't like what I said, I'm sorry, that's how I feel."

Granted, I’m not an expert on South Carolina law, but I’m hard pressed to find anything that Haley has actually done to warrant a civil suit. She hasn’t been in office long enough to do anything meaningful to hurt unions. All that she has done is spoken out against unions, expressed a desire to limit their influence, and hired a lawyer to look into the issue.

None of the above is grounds for a lawsuit. She has the first amendment right to say whatever she wants, and as governor, she has the right to hire anyone that she wants. Basically, she’s being sued for what she MIGHT do not what she has done, and they can’t do that. This lawsuit is way premature and should be promptly thrown out of court by the judge.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pima County Sheriff's Department Finally Puts Muzzle on Mudslinging Sheriff Dupnik

It looks like someone finally put a muzzle on the verbose, left-leaning, mudslinging Sheriff Dupnik (emphasis mine):

The Pima County Sheriff's Department has suddenly turned off the flow of information in the January 8th mass shootings in Tucson. Shortly after noon Tuesday Sheriff's PIO Jason Ogan released this terse, one-line statement:

"Until further notice, due to a controversy between the Sheriff's Department and the County Attorney's office, no further information reference the January 8, 2011 shooting will be released."…

As KGUN9 News has reported, some critics have suggested that some statements from the Sheriff's Department -- particularly those from Sheriff Clarence Dupnik -- could serve to work against prosecutors. A legal expert that 9 On Your Side consulted did not share the concern. Whether LaWall has views on the subject, and if so, whether those views played into Wednesday's Sheriff's Department statement, is unknown.

Sheriff Dupnik has been taking full advantage of his 15 minutes of fame over the past week and a half and accusing everyone for the shooting including: Sarah Palin, the right, TEA Party, etc. Many in the conservative media have criticized him for this because the Loughner’s defense attorney’s could turn around and use what he said against the prosecution in his case.

He is the sheriff that is supposed to be investigating what really happened and why. He had no business guessing what Loughner’s motive was in the media before any evidence had been found, in the first place. This gag order on him is long overdue. He should have spent the time that he used pontificating investigating the shooting. That IS what he was elected to do. There will be hell to pay for Dupnik, if his politicization of the shooting costs the prosecution the case.

H/T to Ed Morrissey

Boehner Makes Bill Banning Federally-Funded Abortions A Priority

In the spirit of making even more spending cuts, Speaker Boehner announced that he will put forth a bill written by Rep. Smith (R-NJ) that will cut all federal funding of abortions:

Calling it a top priority of the Republican agenda, House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday gave a top designation to a bill introduced by New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith that would ban the use of any federal funds from being used for abortions.

The "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," given the numerical designation H.R. 3 to emphasize its prominence, would make permanent in existing law any language that bans abortion. It also would provide medical workers with "conscientious protections" that allow them to refuse to participate in abortion procedures against their will.

The legislation will "ensure that the taxpayers -- through huge majorities clearly show do not want their money being used to pay for abortions -- no longer are coerced into using taxpayer funding to subsidize the killing of an unborn child and the warping of his or her mother," Smith said in a press conference with Boehner on Capitol Hill

"Our members feel very strongly about the sanctity of human life. We listened to the American people. We made a commitment to the American people under the Pledge to America and we're continuing to fulfill our commitment," Boehner said.

Separately, Reps. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., and Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., are introducing a bill to prohibit any money from the new health care law from going to fund abortions.

Again, this is appealing to the base. Even some that are pro-choice are against federal taxpayer money going to the procedure. So, this would be easily palatable by the majority of Americans. Democrats will, of course, ferverently oppose the bill, but given the current political climate and the winds of change blowing towads reducing the deficits, they’ll have a hard time defending it.

However, with the Democrats in the Senate and Obama in the White House, the chance of this passing is minimal, unless it is included in some sort of compromise down the line. Abortion is one of the main tenents of the Democratic party, and they’ll be hard-pressed to do anything that would upset the pro-choice lobby.

House Republicans to Introduce Bill That Will Cut Spending By $2.5T Over 10 Years

Now that the Republcans have passed the ObamaCare repeal in the House, they are moving onto the next promise: massively cutting spending and bringing down the deficit. This new bill will be introduced by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH):

A number of the House GOP’s leading conservative members on Thursday will announce legislation that would cut $2.5 trillion over 10 years, which will be by far the most ambitious and far-reaching proposal by the new majority to cut federal government spending….

Jordan’s “Spending Reduction Act” would eliminate such things as the U.S. Agency for International Development and its $1.39 billion annual budget, the $445 million annual subsidy for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the $1.5 billion annual subsidy for Amtrak, $2.5 billion in high speed rail grants, the $150 million subsidy for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and it would cut in half to $7.5 billion the federal travel budget.

But the program eliminations and reductions would account for only $330 billion of the $2.5 trillion in cuts. The bulk of the cuts would come from returning non-defense discretionary spending – which is currently $670 billion out of a $3.8 trillion budget for the 2011 fiscal year – to the 2006 level of $496.7 billion, through 2021.

Going back to 2006 levels would reduce spending by $2.3 trillion over ten years. It is a significantly more drastic cut than the one proposed by House Republican leadership in the Pledge to America last fall, which proposed moving non-defense, non-mandatory spending for the current fiscal year back to 2008 levels, which was $522.3 billion. Jordan’s proposal includes the recommendation from the Pledge for the current fiscal year, which ends in September.

The proposal would cut the federal work force by 15 percent and freeze automatic pay raises for government employees for five years.

This will definitely be popular with the most Americans, especially the base. Defunding NPR, PBS, and Amtrak are easy targets, even though the left will give a very spirited defense. In the end, I think that their days of receiving money from the federal government are over.
If you break down the bill, it will come to about $250,000 in cuts a year, and that is only one-sixth of this year’s deficit. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a great start, but it is still just a start. Only cuts to the entitlement programs will make a long-term impact on the deficit. Only when they take on entitlements will there be any chance for long-term solvency.

The bill will, also, not be very popular with Democrats because it will cut the legs out from under what is left of the Stimulus money and funding for ObamaCare:

And don’t expect cheers from the White House in any case. Jordan’s bill ends the stimulus program and sends its remaining $45 billion back towards deficit reduction, which means the end of $6 billion earmarked for states already in budgetary crises. Another $16 billion meant to bolster Medicaid will make that situation even worse, since it will transfer more costs to the states (or more accurately, keep the states from transferring costs to the federal government) and set back the ObamaCare rollout. Expect Democrats to ramp up attacks on spending cuts using the same anecdotal strategy they attempted with the ObamaCare repeal vote this week.

Still, this is an excellent start to the new Republican majority in the US House. Let’s hope that it continues.

Republicans in the Senate should follow suit, as well. Sen. Jim DeMint has expressed an interest in introducing a similar bill in the Senate soon.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Great News! CNN: Doctors' Say Giffords Could Be Released From Hospital in Weeks or DAYS

Great news!:

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords continues to make progress in her recovery, with doctors estimating she could be released from the hospital as soon as "days to weeks."

Giffords, who was wounded in the January 8 mass shooting in Arizona, underwent a successful procedure Saturday to repair a fracture in the roof of her right eye socket, doctors said Monday.

The congresswoman tolerated the two-hour, minor operation well, and is "back at that same baseline where she was before surgery," said Dr. Michael Lemole, chief of neurosurgery at University Medical Center.

The operation was necessary, he said, because bone fragments were pushing down on Giffords' eye. When she arrived at the hospital shortly after the shooting, doctors did a quick operation but "did not want to do the full repair" because she was in critical condition.

I will continue to pray for her continuing recovery and thank God for the recovery that she's had, so far. It's truly been a miracle.

I, sincerely, look forward to the day that she steps back in the halls of Congress to represent her district.

She is a symbol of America's undying spirit and resiliency and the epitome of the strength of this great nation.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Perspective: Three Mexican Mayors Have Been Shot Dead Since Jan 1, 14 Killed All of Last Year

While people have been mourning the Tuscon Tragedy here in the US, the Mexican Drug Wars against the government rages on. After seeing 14 mayors killed all of last year, we have already seen three mayors shot and killed this year, so far, and we're just into the second week of the year. At this rate, 78 mayors will die by the end of the year in the battle between the Mexican government and police versus the various drug cartels.

The mayor of an indigenous community in southern Mexico was shot dead on Thursday, a local prosecutor said, making a total of three Mexican mayors killed this year.

Luis Jimenez Mata, who only took up his post in Santiago Amoltepec at the start of year, was shot dead as he arrived at his offices in nearby Oaxaca City, capital of Oaxaca state, said Manuel de Jesus Lopez.

The motive of the killing remained unclear and fourteen people were called in for questioning, but none had been detained, the official said.

Santiago Amoltepec, which has around 1,000 inhabitants, is involved in several land conflicts with neighboring communities.

The mayor of Temoac, in central Morelos state, was fatally "shot in the face" last Monday, while authorities in the northern state of Coahuila found the bullet-riddled body of the mayor of Zaragoza last week.

Fourteen Mexican mayors were killed in 2010, mostly in the volatile north of the country near the US border, which has been gripped by brutal violence among drug gangs and security forces in recent years.

Now, I'm not trying to minimize the tragedy in Tuscon. It was horrific, but I just want to remind everyone that as much as we hem and haw about how violent the US is and that all of this violent rhetoric will take us down the path to uncontrollable violence, it could always be much worse.

Mexican officials and the population in general have to worry about getting gunned down in certain parts of the country every day. In 2010 alone, over 15,000 have been killed in the Drug Wars overall, including many police chiefs and mayors. Since 2006, a total of around 35,000 people have been killed in the Drug Wars.

Compared to many other countries, public officials in this country are very safe. Prior to the Giffords shooting, there has not been an assassination attempt of an elected official, since Hinkley shot Reagan looking to impress Jodie Foster in the 80's, and that was around 25 years ago.

So, all of this finger pointing and blaming is trivial and means nothing in the big picture.

Rahmbo Still Has a DREAM & Wants to Make It Come True in Chicago

In order to regain his liberal cred and get elected in the extremely liberal city of Chicago, Mayoral candidate and Obama's former Chief-of-Staff is looking to enact part of the federal DREAM Act in the Windy City, since it failed in the last Congress' lame duck session :

In recent months, former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has been widely criticized by immigration reform advocates who say he did not throw enough support behind the DREAM Act when he was in Washington. Emanuel has disputed those claims, and is now out to prove just how much he supports giving the children of immigrants a chance to attend college in the United States.

The Chicago for Rahm campaign issued a press release Thursday evening touting Emanuel's plan for immigration Chicago.

"Just because Congress has yet to pass the Dream Act doesn't mean we will wait for progress in Chicago," Emanuel said in a statement. "All children in Chicago deserve to have access to a quality education, and we will make sure they have that opportunity."

Emanuel's plan would not provide a path to citizenship as a national DREAM Act would, but would "allow these children to access the same financial aid opportunities as every other child," according to his campaign.

Of course, he is debating that this is about helping young people to afford to go to college by giving them small-interest loans. He plans to pay for this by "raising" it from "business and civic leaders".

I just wonder what "raising" means. Does this mean some sort of tax, or is he expecting them to freely give it to the city for the cause?

If the Chicago DREAM Act comes to be, Emanuel's campaign said a Chicagoan must meet the following criteria:

* Moved to Chicago before the age of 16...
* Resided in Chicago for at least five consecutive years prior to application for DREAM Status.
* Be a student in good standing at an elementary or high school in Chicago - public, private or religious.
* Be between the ages of 12 and 25 at the time of application.
* Be a law-abiding Chicagoan.

There may be some that will contest this on the grounds that American tax money may go to help illegal immigrants, but this will be largely academic, as Chicago is too liberal for this not to pass. I'd be shocked, if it did fail.

However, I'm putting the cart before the horse here because he hasn't even been elected, yet.

Pelosi: Remember The Victims of the "Tragic Accident" in Tucson

RealClearPolitics - Video - Pelosi Calls Tucson Murders A "Tragic Accident That Took Lives"

Oh, ok. So, Jared Loughner went to an event with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in attendance and "accidentally" pulled out a semi-automatic and "accidentally" shot 20 people and killed six of them, including a 9-year-old girl born on 9/11 and an Arizona judge.

Why would she try to minimize this tragedy? This wasn't an "accident" it was an act of lunacy and a senseless massacre. What alternative reality is she living in?

Luckily, Rep. Giffords, who was the main target of the attack and was shot "point-blank" in the head, is expected to pull through and live a relatively normal life. I don't think that her, the other victims, or their families appreciated that Pelosi downplayed the tragedy.

Could Illinois' Loss Be NJ's Gain? On IL Trip Gov. Christie to Lure IL Businesses to NJ After Tax Hike

Following the news of a 66% temporary tax hike that the heavily Democratic Illinois Legislature passed and was quickly signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn (D), it didn't take long for the Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie to plan a trip to Illinois. Why is he going to the Land of Lincoln? He is going there with one goal in mind, and that goal is to convince businesses who may want to avoid the tax hikes and the hostile political climate for business there to migrate to New Jersey:

Watch out, Illinois: New Jersey wants your businesses.

It is a time-honored tradition for mayors and governors of neighboring cities and states to compete for large corporations with tax breaks and other incentives. And so it was no surprise that the steep new tax increases approved this week by the governor of Illinois inspired the kind of trash talking heard more often from athletes than from state chief executives.

"Escape to Wisconsin," chortled Scott Walker, the state's Republican governor. Mitch Daniels, the Republican who runs Indiana, compared Illinois to the Simpsons - "you know, the dysfunctional family down the block?"

But New Jersey? Trenton is about 900 miles from Springfield, Ill. Jersey City is a 13-hour drive from Chicago. None of that deterred Gov. Chris Christie, a New Jersey Republican who spent much of last fall stumping around the country, from speaking up even before Gov. Patrick J. Quinn of Illinois, a Democrat, had signed the legislation.

"I'm going to Illinois," Mr. Christie said in an interview on Wednesday. "I mean soon. I'm going to Illinois, personally, and going to start talking to businesses in Illinois and get them to come to New Jersey."

In response to this story, Governor Quinn basically said: Good luck with that, and for good reason.

This will be a harder task than Christie would like it to be. Even if you taking into account the new higher tax rates in Illinois, the taxes in New Jersey still won't be lower than the taxes in Illinois, overall.

Also, the tax climate in New Jersey is so bad that it was ranked #48 in a list of the best states for businesses, when it comes to taxes. In this list that was put together by the Tax Foundation, Illinois would have dropped from #23 to #36, if the list was published today with the new tax rates. This is a huge drop, but it is still better than New Jersey.

Governor Christie knows that it will very much be an uphill climb, but he said that he has something that Gov. Quinn can't replicate:

Mr. Christie acknowledged that over all, taxes remain higher in New Jersey, but he said he could offer something more valuable, certainty.

“The pitch I’m going to make to businesses in Illinois is, ‘With Pat Quinn as your governor and this Democratic Legislature, you can guarantee this is just the beginning,’ ” Mr. Christie said. “As long as I’m governor, you’re not going to see that happen.”

I don't know how much "certainty" that Christie can give them. It is not a "certainty" that he'll be re-elected in the next election, and the next governor could be very different. Plus, the tax hikes in Illinois are "temporary" and are set to expire in four years. So, some CEOs may be worried that, if they make the move, all of the promises that Christie may make now may be broken by the next governor at the same time that the taxes are set to go back down in Illinois.

However, he is a very smart, charismatic man, and if anyone can entice companies to move there, it's him. It'll be interesting to see what companies that he will go after and if he is able convince them to make the move. The economy in New Jersey needs him to convince at least some new businesses to come to the Garden State, so that their economy will have a better chance to recover and grow.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Let's Get It On: First GOP Presidential Hopeful Creates Exploratory Committe: Herman Cain

The 2012 presidential race has officially begun, and it's Herman Cain who is stepping up to set up an exploratory committee, when is the first step that a potential candidate takes before the official campaigning starts:

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: Talk show host and businessman Herman Cain yesterday announced that he’s forming a presidential exploratory committee, with an eye on challenging for the Republican nomination in 2012.

On ABC’s “Top Line” today, Cain – the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza – said he’s planning to use the coming months to determine his support among voters and donors.

He said he’s “confident” that he could defeat President Obama.

“Yes. If I didn't think I could -- if I didn't think I could win the Republican nomination, No. 1, and if I didn’t think that I could beat, in a political competition, President Obama, I wouldn't be doing this,” Cain told us.

“I had a new acquaintance ask me: Was I arrogant enough to be president. And my response was, I am confident enough to be president. So I am confident that -- after we go through this exploratory phase where we are going to test the amount of voter support, we're going to test the amount of financial support that I would be able to garner -- after I go through this phase and the decision is yes, trust me, I'm running to win. Not for a consolation prize.”

In the interview, he, also, praised President Obama for his speech last night Cain said that Obama "said the right things" and set the right tone like a leader should do.

He briefly went through some of the things that he would do, if he was elected:

He also outlined some of his ideas for stimulating the economy, including making tax rates permanent, lowering corporate taxes and capital gains, and extending a payroll tax holiday for employees and employers.

“We can re-strengthen our national security, we can really get a handle on the immigration problems and we can really do something about cutting federal spending. That's where I'm going to focus on as I go forward in evaluating whether or not I am going to make a final decision to run for president,” Cain said.

He is definitely going to be going into the race as an underdog. Most Americans don't know who he is much less what he stands for, but as Obama proved in 2008, that doesn't mean anything.

He has executive experience as a former CEO for Godfather's Pizza, which will be a blessing and a curse. It'll be good in the fact that people will know that he knows what he's talking about, when he talks about the economy, and the economy is still the number 1 issue and concern for the electorate.

On the other hand, the Left will try to brand him as a big-business fat cat, who will only look out for other fat cats and not the "little guy". They will say that his policies as being "gifts" to CEO and to Wall Street. Unfortunately for the Democrats, this type of name calling is not really working anymore.

He could be an interesting candidate and someone who could come up from behind to win it all.

Check out Cain's exploratory website here.

H/T to Ed Morrissey

Republicans From Both Sides of Congress Planning to Introduce Balanced-Budget Amendments Soon

There has been a big push in the country looking for government to get their fiscal house in order. This push is being lead by the TEA Party, which had a huge impact in last year’s election and doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. The Republicans are seeking to take advantage of this and is looking to make spending cuts and balance the budget. In response, Senators Hatch (R-UT) and Cornyn (R-TX) have announced their intent to introduce a balanced-budget amendment that would force the federal government to make the changes necessary to stop borrowing money, start acting like adults, and keep their promise to the American people to curb the deficit spending:

Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) penned a letter to their Senate colleagues Tuesday pitching a constitutional balanced-budget amendment.

"The American people are demanding action from Washington to get our fiscal house in order once and for all," part of the letter read. "They don't want any more empty rhetoric or excuses."

Six Senate Republicans have already signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation — Sens. Saxby Chabliss (Ga.), Jim DeMint (S.C.), Olympia Snowe (Maine), John Ensign (Nev.), Michael Enzi (Wy.) and David Vitter (La.) — with more expected.

Along with Hatch, Snowe and Ensign are up for reelection in 2012. Hatch and Snowe are rumored Tea Party targets and Ensign could also face a Republican primary if he opts to seek another term.

Hatch and Cornyn are looking to roll out the balanced budget amendment effort the week the Senate returns.

Republicans in the House, meanwhile, are hopeful there is renewed momentum for a balanced-budget amendment introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).

One of the measure's co-sponsors in the House is Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), a rumored primary challenger to Hatch in 2012.

The House Republicans are preparing to introduce their own balanced budget amendment, too:

Some House Republicans are expressing renewed confidence that the push for a balanced-budget constitutional amendment will gain real steam in the 112th Congress — aided by the newly elected crop of budget-slashing GOP freshmen.

"We're very optimistic that we'll be able to get a vote on this at some point," said Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who has introduced two separate balanced-budget amendment measures...

"Right now I'm just in the process of signing up as many co-sponsors as I can," said Goodlatte, who noted that he hasn't yet spoken to the Republican leadership about moving the measure to the floor. "There's such great support for this both outside and within the Congress, that I anticipate we can move it."

Goodlatte has already signed on 137 co-sponsors, including one House Democrat — Rep. Jim Matheson (Utah) — and he said both Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) have supported his push for a balanced-budget amendment in the past.

Ready to aid Goodlatte's effort is the new class of Republican freshmen, many of whom have Tea Party activists looking over their shoulder ahead of 2012 as they cast their first votes and set priorities for the new Congress.

"You have a host of new Republican freshmen who were sent here with a mandate for a balanced budget," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), one of the co-sponsors of Goodlatte's bill.

"When I was sent here, it was with a mandate for a balanced budget. So I think it's time we act on that."

This should be a no-brainer for the House. The Senate may be a bit trickier, but I highly doubt that it would fail there, either, especially since most of the Democrats that are up in 2012 are from historically red states. I don’t see the vulnerable Democrats risking their political futures voting against something that has such huge support from their constituents. Yeah, I know. Many of them did vote for ObamaCare, despite hearing from people in their town hall that they didn’t want it, but after the tsunami last election, I think (or hope) that they have learned their lesson. Obama should sign it, too, now that he is trying to triangulate into a repeat of what Bill Clinton did in the 90s.

This should be a rare kumbiya moment for DC, when they all come together in spirit of bipartisanship to vote for something that will actually benefit the country. However, that will all come to a quick end, when the debate starts on HOW they will balance the budget.

Kay Bailey Hutchison Becomes First Incumbent to Announce That She Won't Run For Re-Election in 2012

Kay Bailey Hutchison has become the first incumbant to declare that she won’t be running for re-election in 2012:

""This is the time to go," she said in an interview.

Hutchison made her announcement at noon in an open letter to Texans. In the letter, Hutchison said she wanted to live "full-time in Texas with my family" and was "forever grateful for the privilege of working for you in the United States Senate."

In the interview, Hutchison said she is proud of her record but "now is the time for a new person to come in."

I have known since 2006 that I would not seek another term," she said. "I just wanted to announce it in my own way in my own time."

Hutchison said the time was right because her junior colleague, Sen. John Cornyn, R-San Antonio, has become a national figure. She said she had not reconsidered her decision after Republicans made gains in the 2010 midterm elections, leaving her in line for the chairmanship of the powerful Senate Commerce Committee in 2013.

Hutchison becomes the first incumbent senator up for election in 2012 to make a retirement announcement. Her decision will set off a wild scramble for the Senate seat the Dallas Republican first won in a 1993 special election against interim Sen. Bob Krueger, D-New Braunfels. She said she wanted to give the large field of potential successors plenty of time to run for an open seat.

She has no plans to run for public office, again, but she won't rule out running sometime in the future. She didn’t endorse anyone but reserves the right to do so before the primary. She, also, said that, unlike her promise to resign her seat in last election’s Texas gubernatorial race, she won’t change her mind this time.

She has been a great Senator from the great state of Texas for almost 20 years. She will be missed.

More Democratic Messaging Fail: Only 28% Believe Repealing ObamaCare Will Increase Deficit, 39% Believe That Repeal Will Reduce It

Here’s more bad news for the Democrats:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 39% believe repeal will reduce government spending, and another 21% say repeal will have no impact. Just 28% of Likely U.S. Voters believe repeal of the health care law will increase federal spending…

Similarly, 36% say repeal of the health care law will reduce the federal deficit, while 23% say repeal will have no impact. Only 29% predict that repeal will increase the federal budget deficit.

It is interesting to note a significant difference in perspective when asking about the impact of repeal compared to the impact of the law itself. While only 36% say repeal will reduce the deficit, most voters have consistently said that the implementation of the measure is likely to increase the deficit. That belief has ranged from 51% to 63%.

The most recent CBO report seems to support the beliefs of the majority of the American people.

Is this just more “bad messaging” from the Democrats, or is it really that most Americans just don’t believe them?

New Poll Shows 53% Believe Media Is Exploiting Tuscon Tragedy to Hurt Conservatives

A new Gallup poll from USA Today shows that, despite Democrats and the media constant assertions that the right and (especially Palin) is to blame for the shooting in Tuscon, not only isn’t America not buying it, but they, also, see it for what it is, the left exploiting this tragedy to further their own political agenda:

A new USA Today/Gallup poll finds Americans dubious that the heated language used in politics today was a major factor that influenced the alleged gunman in last week's shootings in Tucson, Ariz. Twenty percent say such rhetoric was a major factor in the shootings, while 22% cite it as a minor factor; 42% say it was not a factor at all. Democrats are more likely than independents or Republicans to believe political debate played a role….

Most Americans reject that theory, with 53% agreeing that commentators who allege conservative rhetoric was responsible were mostly attempting to use the tragedy to make conservatives look bad. Roughly one in three, 35%, say the commentators were making a legitimate point about how dangerous the language used by conservatives can be.

This poll was done three days after the shooting, giving people plenty of time to make up their minds on the issue.

Of course, gun control has, also, been brought up by the Democrats in the wake of the shootings, but the people aren’t buying those tickets, either:

Most Americans, though, do not believe tougher gun laws in Arizona would have prevented these shootings. One in five say stricter laws would have prevented the tragedy, while 72% disagree. Democrats, who are more likely to support gun restrictions, are also more likely to believe the shootings could have been prevented if tougher gun laws were in place, but a majority of this group still says the shootings would have occurred regardless.

This is not going to help new gun control laws, like the one from Rep. King (R-NY) prohibiting guns within a 1,000 feet of any federal official, from gaining enough momentum to pass, especially in the heavily Republican House. New gun laws, probably, wouldn’t even pass the pro-2nd amendment Democrats in the Senate.

This meme is a dead issue for the Democrats, and they should give it up and move on.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Palin: Media Shouldn't "Manufacture a Blood Libel" That Only Incites Hate, Violence

Sarah Palin, finally, responded to the shooting of Rep. Giffords and others in Tuscon, Arizona (transctipt here):

She focused on not throwing blame around to score political points, when discussing the tragedy in Tuscon, and called it "irresponsible". She quoted Reagan saying that "society" wasn't guilty, when a mad man does something like this. The mad man is.

She, also, pointed out that Giffords and the other victims were exercising the same first amendment rights that Giffords recited, when the House read the Constitution aloud last week, and people shouldn't use this to stifle others from exercising the same free speech rights that they were enjoying that fateful morning.

This was a very good speech that made Palin look "above the fray" and, dare I say, presidential. She was calm the whole time, and she didn't go after anyone in particular. There was no lashing out at the media or Democrats that might have looked like she was getting back at them for their attacks on her and her character.

Ed Morrissey had a very good synopsis of how he felt about the speech and how she presented it:

Earlier this week, I told a reporter that a public response would be tricky for Palin. She needed to defend herself but without being seen as descending to the level of the debate as it stood at that moment. Plenty of others were defending conservatives already, but Palin needed to engage the debate on her own terms at some point in a manner that allowed her to rise above the accusatory morass that the media encouraged almost from the hour in which the shootings took place.

This video message affirms the wisdom of that approach. Palin does an excellent job in making her point without lashing out in anger over the attacks, and underscores the importance of personal responsibility rather than group guilt in a free society, the priority of free speech as an underpinning of democracy, and the determination of Palin and the rest of the conservatives to defend those principles. It’s precisely what Palin needed to say, and precisely the manner and forum in which she needed to say it.

Now, some have gone after her use of the term "blood libel":

Some are criticizing Palin’s use of “blood libel,” saying that it refers to a specific anti-semitic charge from centuries ago that Jews supposedly used the blood of Christian children in preparing ritual food. But as Glenn Reynolds points out to Politico’s Ben Smith, Israel uses “blood libel” today to rebut charges of deliberately killing Palestinians, and Tony Blankley used it in a column to describe John Murtha’s accusations against Marines about murders in Haditha. It’s a functional political term.

I think that it is a odd choice of words and could have chosen something better, but it is a minor gripe. She didn't use the term to mean what it might have meant regarding the Jews. I doubt that it had even been aware of that possible connotation.

If any one is focusing on those two words and totally ignoring the rest of the almost 8 minute speech, they are missing the forest for the trees. They should look at the speech as a whole, too, which was very thoughtful and insightful.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rep. King (R-NY) to Introduce Bill Banning Guns Within 1,000 Feet of Government Officials

Representative Peter King (R-NY) is considering introducing a bill that will ban guns within 1,000 feet of any government official. That will include any federal members of Congress, governors, or any federal judge:

Rep. Peter King, a Republican from New York, is planning to introduce legislation that would make it illegal to bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a government official, according to a person familiar with the congressman's intentions.

King is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. The proposed law follows the Saturday shooting of Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and a federal judge that left six dead, including the judge, and 14 wounded...

It is already illegal in the U.S. to carry a gun within 1,000 feet of a school. King's legislation to make it illegal to knowingly carry a gun within 1,000 feet of the president, vice president, members of Congress or judges of the Federal Judiciary, would offer government officials the same protection.

This law could be very problematic for various reasons. Ed Morrissey of HotAir broke it down perfectly on why this could cause more problems than it would solve:

There are two questions involved in any gun-control legislation, the first of which is whether it will be constitutional, and the second of which is whether it will do any good. Let’s take those in order. Courts have thus far upheld reasonable restrictions on where guns may and may not be carried, such as courthouses and in the vicinity of schools. However, those are fixed locations, not mobile personnel, locations for which a court could reasonably expect most people to know.  If one carries a gun legally to a public place without knowledge of the presence of a judge or member of Congress, then an arrest would pobably be unreasonable (although courts might end up ruling otherwise). And if an arrest without any kind of attempt to initiate an assault is considered unreasonable, then the law is superfluous, since the attempt itself would be illegal already.

Some may also argue that an attempt to create a special class of protected people in this law might also fail to pass constitutional muster  I’d say a court would take a long look at whether Congress has a compelling state interest in passing such legislation, at least on that point, and wouldn’t bet that they’d rule no. A better question might be jurisdiction, where the law would create a mandate on state and local police to enforce federal law. The Obama administration just got done arguing in federal court that Arizona should be constrained from enforcing federal immigration law, to which the district court agreed. Would states not have an argument in the other direction in the case of this law?

Next, let’s look at its effectiveness  Would such a law work in the sense that it would make these protected classes more safe?  Such a law would not have stopped the shooting in Tucson. Had anyone in law enforcement seen the pistol in Jared Lee Loughner’s hands, they almost certainly would have reacted to it immediately by detaining him even without the federal law  Depending on the circumstances, they may not have been able to prosecute him under existing state law, but perhaps they could have confiscated his gun and revoked his permit after discovering just how insane he was and the evidence of his grudge against Giffords. Of course, the sheriff’s department in Tucson already knew of Loughner and hadn’t done much about it, but that won’t change under King’s proposed law, either.

King’s effort is of questionable constitutional and operational merit at best. It seems like another example of my axiom, Legislate in haste, repent at leisure.  Rather than issue knee-jerk proposals to change the law, let’s see where the evidence leads us in this case to determine how best to protect everyone from lunatics like Loughner.

Given that the Republicans control the House and could easily block it in the Senate, I doubt that this will go anywhere. This is just a knee-jerk reaction to the shooting out of fear or grief. In the end, cooler heads will prevail, and this bill should die a quick and quiet death.

Security around government should probably be strengthened, but this law wouldn't stop another attack from happening.

New Georgia Gov. Deal (R) Questions Keeping Drug Addicts in Jail to Save Money

In his inaugural address, the new Georgia Governor Nathan Deal (R) questions the wisdom of keeping criminals locked up, when their main offense is a drug charge:

"Presently, one out of every 13 Georgia residents is under some form of correctional control. It cost about $3 million per day to operate our Department of Corrections. And yet, every day criminals continue to inflict violence on our citizens and an alarming number of perpetrators are juveniles....

“For violent and repeat offenders, we will make you pay for your crimes. For other offenders who want to change their lives, we will provide the opportunity to do so with Day Reporting Centers, Drug, DUI and Mental Health Courts and expanded probation and treatment options. As a State, we cannot afford to have so many of our citizens waste their lives because of addictions. It is draining our State Treasury and depleting our workforce…..”

According to HuffPo, here's a stat showing just how many are in Georgia prisons with drugs has their main offense:

According to a 2009 Office of National Drug Control Policy report, approximately 17% of Georgia's 53,268 prisoners had drug-related offenses listed as their primary offense.

I happen to agree with this to a certain extent. Throwing drug addicts in jail won't cure them. In fact, it can make it harder for them to move on to a better life. They need psychiatric help, and you can't get good psychiatric help in prison.

Many drug possession charges are felonies, and that can haunt them for the rest of their lives, if they have a felony on their record. Even if they are staying clean, they will have a harder time getting a job or a place to live, especially in a good area, with that on their record.

Now, I'm not calling for the legalization of drugs or letting them off the hook totally. I just think that they should rethink how they deal with non-violent drug offenders.

Violent drug offenders should never be let off easy. Also, drug dealers should get tougher sentences because they are knowingly taking advantage of the pain and misery of addicts like parasites, in order to make money and gain power.

However, non-violent addicts should be put into recovery programs and institutions with the option of their charges to be expunged, if they stay clean for a certain length of time, and periodic drug tests should be done to prove that they've stayed clean before their charges are pardoned.

If these addicts get help and stay clean, then, they'll stay out of jail, and in the long run, that'll save money.

Mission Not Accomplished: 57% of Americans Don't Blame Political Rhetoric For Gifford's Shooting

Seconds after the Giffords' shooting, the left immediately proceeded to blame the right, Sarah Palin and the TEA Party most of all, for shooting by claiming that their rhetoric creates a violent aura in government. Despite all of the political mudslinging from the left, the majority of Americans aren't buying what the media is selling, according to a new CBS poll:

Nearly six in 10 Americans say the country's heated political rhetoric is not to blame for the Tucson shooting rampage that left six dead and critically wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, according to a CBS News poll.

In the wake of the shooting, much focus has been put on the harsh tone of politics in Washington and around the country, particularly after a contentious midterm election. Rhetoric and imagery from both Republicans and Democrats have included gun-related metaphors, but the majority of the country isn't connecting the shooting to politics.....

Overall, 57 percent of respondents said the harsh political tone had nothing to do with the shooting, compared to 32 percent who felt it did. Republicans were more likely to feel the two were unrelated - 69 percent said rhetoric was not to blame; 19 percent said it played a part. Democrats were more split on the issue - 49 percent saw no connection; 42 percent said there was.

Independents more closely reflected the overall breakdown - 56 percent said rhetoric had nothing to do with the attack; 33 percent felt it did.

I'm ecstatic to see that people are seeing this huffing and puffing by the left for exactly what it is: BS. All evidence shows that he couldn't have cared less about Palin or the TEA Party. He was apolitical. His rants just seemed to be just rants of a madman, who had held a grudge since Giffords became US Representative in 2007. That was way before the rise of Palin or the TEA Party.

Democrats were hoping to not to "waste this crisis" and villanize and bully the right into silence and obscurity, so they could further their anti-2nd amendment agenda and more, but they failed big time.

H/T to Ed Morrissey

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sen. Manchin (D-WV) Defends "Dead Aim" Campaign Ad, Not Sure if He'd Still Run Ad Today

Via Mediaite, newly elected West Virginia Senator and former Governor Joe Manchin (D)was confronted by ABC's Huma Khan about his 2010 campaign ad where he touted being endorsed NRA while shooting the ObamaCare bill with a rifle:

ABC News' Huma Khan reports: Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., one of a number of 2010 candidates who used gun imagery in their campaigns, today explicitly separated himself from those who targeted specific candidates and expressed doubts that he would run the same ad again today.

“I've spent my whole career bringing people together, avoiding the rancor of partisan politics, and that will continue to be the focus of my work as U.S. Senator going forward,” Manchin said in a statement today.

“The act of a deranged madman who commits a horrific act should not and cannot be confused with a metaphor about a piece of legislation. I have never targeted an individual, and I never would," he added. "This tragedy, I hope, serves as call for common sense, and wake-up call that we should all come together with common purpose to do what is best for our country.”

In his campaign ad below, Manchin -- touting his National Rifle Association endorsement -- shoots a bullet at the "cap and trade bill," as a symbolic rejection of the energy legislation being discussed by Democrats.

Rueters: Can NJ Gov Christie Overcome Weight to Become Legit Presidential Contender?

Even though, he has denied that he is running for president again and again and again, a reporter from Rueters still questions whether New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) can overcome his obesity to become president or not:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is a rising star of the Republican Party seen as having a shot at a White House run, raising questions whether his obesity could impede his chances.

Now, I'll admit that this article does a pretty good job of making their case without being too biased, but the fact that they brought it up is a bit questionable. Someone's weight has nothing to do with how good of a president they could be. It's a cheap shot.

If fact, the reporter admitted that going after Christie's weight has backfired, when opponents have tried to go after his girth:

Referring to Christie's size may have backfired on former Governor Jon Corzine, whose 2009 campaign ads showed unflattering images of Christie and accused him of "throwing his weight around."

"That was seen as a desperation move in New Jersey," Galen said. "The fact is that Corzine tried an ad hominem attack against Governor Christie and Corzine is now a private citizen and Christie is now governor of the state."

It's not like we haven't had overweight presidents before. Taft was very fat, and Teddy Roosevelt was a bit hefty, too.

Considering that a recent pollhas Christie not just ahead of every other GOP hopeful in a hypothetical field but he is the ONLY one to actually be beating Obama in a hypothetical one-on-one race, it doesn't seem to be hurting him at all.

So, if it has backfired to go after his weight before and polls show that he's not hurting in the polls in the slightest, why mention it?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Louisiana Ranked #1 in Nation For Projected 2011 Job Growth

What a difference a conservative governor makes! A recent survey projects that Louisiana will top state in the US for job growth in the upcoming year:

Louisiana was ranked No. 1 in the nation in a recent survey measuring projected job growth in the first quarter of 2011.

Employer resource company Manpower Inc. recently released its Employment Outlook Survey. It has been publishing the survey, which polls employers across the country about their hiring plans, since 1962.

"This is great news for Louisiana, and we hope that it is also good news for Central Louisiana," said Jim Clinton, chief executive officer of Cenla Advantage Partnership. "Hopefully, it's a harbinger of a broader and deeper recovery for the state, the region and the nation."

"Since the beginning of the national recession, Louisiana's economy has outperformed the South and U.S. by any reasonable measure," said Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret. "Our state's job performance during the recession was far better than the South and U.S., and Louisiana has been growing jobs at a faster rate than the South and U.S. since the official end of the national recession in June 2009."

The spread between those businesses looking to increase staff is much higher than those who are looking to contract their staff levels are much wider than the national average:

In Louisiana, for example, 21 percent of employers surveyed planned to increase their staff, compared to 7 percent who planned to decrease, giving the state a net employment outlook of plus-14 percent.

The national net employment outlook, according to the survey, was plus-4 percent, with 14 percent planning to hire and 10 percent planning to cut.

As a general rule, red states
have fared the recession and weak economy better than blue states, and Louisiana hasn't been any different. Gov. Bobby Jindal has been doing a great job, so far, and his hard work is starting to pay off and bear fruit for Louisiana.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ): You Know Who Is to Blame For the Giffords Shooting?...Fox News

Today was a sad day. Conservative, Blue Dog Democrat Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords (AZ) was shot "point blank" in the head. Thank God because she went through surgery and is expected to pull through.

Of course, the far left bloggers quickly pounced on this to blame Sarah Palin for it because of a “hit list” that she posted on her website. Of course, she only meant that she would be a target for the TEA Party to challenge in the polls, but the left is all too eager to imply that she meant for Giffords to be shot.

Now, a NJ Democrat has his own theory on who is to blame for the shooting…Fox News:

Two New Jersey Democrats who work with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords said Saturday they were shocked by her shooting and hoped it would lead to more civilized debates about public policy.

"This hostile rhetoric, I hope we put it behind us and try to work on things to move this country forward," said Rep. Albio Sires, D-West New York, who sits next to Giffords on the western hemisphere subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"Nobody knows why this guy shot all these people or shot her, but I just think this rhetoric has to change."

Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-Paterson, said he feels the nation is approaching the status of a banana republic where there is no law and order.

"There's an aura of hate and elected politicians feed it, certain people on Fox News feed it," said Pascrell.

This is just pathetic for him to exploit this tragedy to score political points. Palin and her “hit list” is no more to blame for this than is Daily Kos for his own ”target list” that included Giffords, too. To imply otherwise makes them just as bad as the one that shot her because they are gleefully taking advantage of her tragedy for their own personal political gain.

While they are actively trying to portray the shooter as a member of the TEA Party and a hard right-winger, they are, of course, totally ignoring that his YouTube account shows that he has a very interesting books in his reading list. I don’t think that the Communist Manifesto or Mein Kampf is a favorite of the right wing, contrary to popular belief on the left.

In the end, neither side is to blame for this. No one else is to blame, other than the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner. Sometimes, a nut is just a nut.