Saturday, May 21, 2011

Herman Cain officially announces presidential bid



Herman Cain launches run for the White House - LA Times
Herman Cain, a conservative radio host and former business executive, became the latest Republican to officially enter the 2012 presidential campaign on Saturday.
hermancain.com
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Lawmakers Resist Obama's Call to Offer $2B in Loan Assistance to Egypt

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla: "Where are we going to get $1 billion?" he told Dow Jones News Service. "If we give them $1 billion, we're going to borrow $400 million from the Chinese."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which would have to allocate the funds, told Dow Jones News Service, "I don't know where this money is going to come from. Two billion dollars, when everything is getting cut to the bone, is going to be difficult."

"...we have learned that this idea of a mandate, of a particular type of government plan, is not the way to go, whether it is at the national level or at the state level.”

Jim DeMint to Mitt Romney - thestatecolumn

AARP latest to receive Obamacare break

The AARP was a driving force behind getting Obamacare through Congress, contributing a large sum to the $121 million advertising campaign pushing it, and spending millions more lobbying for it on Capitol Hill. - Daily Caller
The Daily Caller has learned that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rate review rules, which it finalized on Thursday, exempt “Medigap” policy providers, like the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), from oversight when such providers increase payment rates for their supplemental insurance plans....

...it’s clear that the AARP is set to make millions, if not billions, of extra dollars in Medigap plan sales moving forward because they’ve effectively knocked out their biggest competitor, Medicare Advantage, through Obamacare.
AARP repsonds that "this story’s mischaracterization of the senators’ letter and the new rules is inexcusable."

Friday, May 20, 2011

Obama to Congress: I don't need your permission

White House on War Powers Deadline: 'Limited' US Role in Libya Means No Need to Get Congressional Authorization - Jake Tapper/ABC News via Drudge
From the beginning of the U.S. military intervention in Libya, the Obama administration has cited the 1973 War Powers Act as the legal basis of its ability to conduct military activities for 60 days without first seeking a declaration of war from Congress. The military intervention started on March 19; Congress was notified on March 21. Those 60 days expire today.

Thank you Mr President, for once again exonerating the Palestinians from further peace talks. For everyone’s sake let’s hope that your words won’t have time to turn into weapons before your term is up.

Obama's words will be used as weapons - Jerusalem Post
Obama is an excellent orator, and though his speech was camouflaged in the nomenclature terms of UN Resolution 242, his immediate demand to return to 1967 lines ultimately cancels out the Resolution’s call for Israel’s right to “live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.”

Say anything: Obama in 2008



'Today I Speak From My Heart' Obama's Guarantee To Never Divide Jerusalem - trevorloudon

“Unfortunately, President Obama's important and constructive speech embracing and supporting the peaceful, democratic revolutions in the Arab world was also undermined by an unhelpful and surprising set of remarks about Israel and the Palestinians that will not advance the peace process and in fact is likely to set it back."

Lieberman Responds to Obama on Middle East - Weekly Standard

Wisconsin Supreme Court recount finished — and Prosser wins again!

With all 3,602 reporting units recounted, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting Justice David Prosser has beaten challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg by 7,006 votes, 310 votes less than the pre-recount 7,316-vote margin. - HotAir
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recount is finally over, Prosser has won by over 7,000 votes, but Kloppenburg may move the battle for judicial power into court....

It would seem that the only reason for taking this into the courts would be to delay in order to produce this vacancy. The vacancy has special value because of the hot controversy over the budget-repair bill:
- Althouse

Recent college grads sour on Obama, surveys say

A very large proportion of recent university graduates have soured on President Barack Obama, and many will vote GOP or stay at home in the 2012 election, according to two new surveys of younger voters. - news.yahoo
The GOP is making some progress towards earning their votes, Maddalone said. For example, 38 percent of his respondents said the GOP is “doing a good job addressing and engaging with young professionals,” and 58 percent said they would consider voting for the GOP “if you felt that Republicans were doing a good job addressing and engaging with young professionals.”

Herman Cain: You Mess With Israel, You Mess With the U.S.

Netahyahu: 1967 Lines Are Indefensible, Can't Negotiate With a Government Backed by Hamas



TRANSCRIPT: Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at The White House
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Mr. President, first I want to thank you and the First Lady for the gracious hospitality that you’ve shown me, my wife, and our entire delegation. We have an enduring bond of friendship between our two countries, and I appreciate the opportunity to have this meeting with you after your important speech yesterday.

We share your hope and your vision for the spread of democracy in the Middle East. I appreciate the fact that you reaffirmed once again now, and in our conversation, and in actual deed the commitment to Israel’s security. We value your efforts to advance the peace process.

Ed Koch: Israel Facing 'Most Dangerous and Critical Period' Ever



One of the nation’s most influential Democrats, former New York Mayor Ed Koch, tells Newsmax.TV that Israel is facing its “most dangerous and critical period,” and warned he may cross party lines in 2012 and vote against Pres. Obama. Koch said, “This is the most dangerous and critical period that Israel has ever faced and regrettably it does not have the support of the president of the United States.” - Newsmax

Democrat Congressman: Obama Shredding the Constitution

In an interview with CNN, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, says that Obama is trying to “bring democracy to Libya while shredding the Constitution of the United States.” - Hillbuzz
Republican senators press president on War Powers deadline - politicalticker
Washington (CNN) – As the U.S. military campaign in Libya approaches the 60-day mark this Friday, six Republican senators wrote President Obama asking if he will comply with the War Powers Act, which says Congress must authorize action that lasts more than 60 days.
"Friday is the final day of the statutory sixty-day period for you to terminate the use of the United States Armed Forces in Libya under the War Powers Resolution. Last week some in your Administration indicated use of the United States Armed Forces will continue indefinitely, while others said you would act in a manner consistent with the War Powers Resolution. Therefore, we are writing to ask whether you intend to comply with the requirements of the War Powers Resolution. We await your response," wrote the GOP senators Wednesday.

The letter was signed by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.

Has Subsidy-Scrapping Time Arrived?

Has Subsidy-Scrapping Time Arrived? - Peter Hannaford for The American Spectator 5.18.11

One day last week Senate Democrats engaged in one of their favorite indoor sports: beating up on oil companies. They convened a kangaroo court (aka a hearing) to give tongue-lashings to the CEOs of major oil companies, just to make sure American motorists know it is this greedy bunch that is responsible for soaring gasoline prices.

"Take away their subsidies," they cried. The media missed the irony in the sharp inquisition by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), heir to a large Standard Oil fortune (of which Exxon is a modern descendant).

One of the accused said taking away the subsidies was okay if all government subsidies met the same fate. In calling for reform of the tax system, many Republicans and some Democrats propose lowering corporate tax rates sharply in exchange for eliminating "loopholes" (special tax deductions, credits, and direct subsidies). This was echoed by Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson at the hearing: "If you want to repeal it [a subsidy] repeal it for everybody." The tax reform act signed by President Reagan in 1986 represented a similar effort -- successful at the time -- but gradually, as taxes increased again, new loopholes were added to counter the effect of these.

American taxpayers would save hundreds of billions of dollars if subsidies were eliminated.

There would be howls of protest. Some would come from elected representatives of both parties from affected areas. "You can't do this," they will insist, for it would (a) cost thousands of jobs; (b) ruin the economy of ________; (c) endanger national security; (d) increase global warming. Reformers will have to steel themselves for this onslaught if they are to stay the course. If they do, there will be dividends.

Take, as an example, the huge subsidies of ethanol. Billed in the 1970s as an economic alternative to gasoline with the promise of greater miles per gallon and cleaner air, ethanol has been subsidized ever since. Environmentalists and more than a few Democratic lawmakers liked ethanol because it played to their anti-fossil-fuel bias. Creeping subsidies are the result. Today corn growers and ethanol producers collectively get $6 billion a year from the government.

After 40 years, it is a failure in every respect save one: corn growers and ethanol producers are doing nicely. The producers get a 45-cents-a-gallon tax break and growers get direct subsidies which they would like increased by this year's agriculture bill.

A 2007 energy bill required the annual blending of 14 billion gallons of ethanol with gasoline by this year, increasing to 36 billion gallons in 2022.

This is madness when one considers the negatives:

• Cost of food. As ever more corn growers ship their corn to ethanol producers, there is less for feeding livestock. Result: higher prices for beef and pork. Also, some growers of other produce are switching to corn because it is more profitable.

• Poorer mileage. A National Center for Policy Analysis study concluded that a Chevrolet Tahoe SUV running on gasoline would get 21 mpg, but only 15 mpg when using a blend of 85 percent gasoline and 15 percent ethanol. Fifteen percent is the level the EPA requires for 2001 and newer model cars. Older cars could sustain engine damage with ethanol at that level. Does this mean gas stations must have two sets of pumps? An amendment by Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK) to block the EPA from raising the ethanol level from 10 to 15 percent passed the House 285-136 and awaits Senate action -- if any.

• Ethanol is not usable as aviation fuel.

• Environmental "wash." The amounts of water and fuel required to produce ethanol are about a "wash" with the decrease in carbon emissions in cars using the ethanol blend.

• Shipping costs. Ethanol-gasoline blends cannot go through pipelines for chemical reasons, so ethanol is transported by rail or truck. Most of it is produced in the Midwest so must be blended where it is distributed, increasing costs.

So, let's begin the reform process by eliminating the subsidies for ethanol, then we can move on to sugar, oil, even electric automobiles.
_________________

Peter Hannaford

Peter was closely associated with the late President Ronald Reagan for a number of years, beginning in the 1970s. He was vice chairman of the Governor’s Consumer Fraud Task Force, then the governor’s sole public appointee to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s governing board, then Assistant to the Governor and Director of Public Affairs in the Governor’s Office, Sacramento.

When Mr. Reagan’s second term expired, Peter and another senioir aide, Michael Deaver, founded a public affairs/public relations firm in Los Angeles (Deaver & Hannaford, Inc.) and Mr. Reagan became their lead client. They managed his public program until his election as president. In his 1976 campaign for the presidential nomination, Peter was his co-director of issues and research. In the 1980 campaign he was senior communications consultant to Mr. Reagan.

With the Reagan victory in November 1980, both men could not go into the White House. Mike Deaver did, as deputy chief of staff, while Peter continued with the company to manage it. He movedits headquarters to Washington, D.C. During the Reagan years he was involved in a number of volunteer activities including membership on the United States Information Agency’s Public Relations Advisory Committee, the board of trustees of the White House Preservation Fund, consultant to the President’s Privatization Commission and active in the President’s Private Sector Initiatives program.

After nearly three decades in Washington, Peter returned to his native state of California in 2006.
He remains a member of the board of directors of the Washington-based Committee on the Present Danger and a senior counselor of APCO Worldwide, a Washington-based public affairs/strategic communications firm. Currently, he is chairman of the Humboldt County Republican Party and lives in Eureka.

He is the author of 11 books (most of them about U.S. presidents) and a frequent contributor to opinion magazines and their online editions.

Eye-for-an-eye filibuster stops Democratic nominee

link - Byron York/Washington Examiner
Liu's nomination was blocked by a Republican filibuster Thursday -- the first successful filibuster against a judicial nominee since Democrats stopped all 10 of George W. Bush's appeals court nominees from 2003 to 2005. Although no one back then could have predicted that today's fight would be about Liu, everyone knew it was going to happen sometime. Once Democrats crossed the line to filibuster those Bush nominees, you could bet Republicans would strike back. And now they have.

Liu was as good a target as any for the GOP. A legal scholar who has never been a judge and has little experience practicing law, Liu occupies a place on the far left side of the legal spectrum.
Senate GOP blocks vote on Obama judicial nominee - Susan Ferrechio/Washington Examiner

An historic effort: Redistricting effort continues; Humboldt largely on sidelines

History is being made in California, but on the North Coast, most people don't seem to care. - Times Standard
...When the commission was meeting in Redding, former state Assembly candidate Karen Brooks said she tried to recruit anyone and everyone to hop in her minivan to make the three-hour drive east for the meeting. She went alone.

”The sentiment was just, 'Why waste my time?'” Brooks said of those she unsuccessfully lobbied to make the trip....

Brooks said when she drove the three-plus hours to attend the Redding meeting, she was surprised to hear commissioners refer to it as a rural area.

”They said, 'This is our rural meeting coming to Redding,'” she recalled. “I said, 'No, this is like a big city for us.' I said, 'You need to go to a place like Eureka, or Quincy, or Big Bear, those rural areas that are resource based and agriculture based -- some of these places where generations of families have lived.”

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu: Israel Expects Obama to Take Back ‘1967 Lines’ Demand

"Prime Minister Netanyahu expects to hear a reaffirmation from President Obama of U.S. commitments made to Israel in 2004, which were overwhelmingly supported by both Houses of Congress.” - israelnationalnews.com

OBAMA SIDES WITH THE PALESTINIANS
In a speech outlining U.S. policy in the Middle East and North Africa, Obama on Thursday sided with the Palestinians' opening position a day ahead of a visit to Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu is vehemently opposed to referring to the 1967 borders.

Until Thursday, the U.S. position had been that the Palestinian goal of a state based on the 1967 borders, with agreed land swaps, should be reconciled with Israel's desire for a secure Jewish state through negotiations.
PM slams Obama call for ‘Palestine’ based on ’67 lines - Jerusalem Post
linkAbbas calls emergency Palestinian Authority meeting...
Israeli Knesset member: Obama is the new Arafat
Romney: Obama threw Israel 'under the bus'
Jewish donors warn Obama on Israel
The news in Obama’s speech - Charles Krauthammer/Washington Post
The Democratic Party Should Be Ashamed of Themselves!

Herman Cain SRLC Speech



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin jump to top in new Gallup poll


With Mike Huckabee's exit from the race, Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin are now on top of the Republican field, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday.

Twenty percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters say they'd support the former Massachusetts governor, while 18 percent say they'd support the former Alaska governor.
- Politico

Gingrich and Romney run against their own party

...Two of the best-known candidates seem bent on ruling themselves out of contention... - Michael Barone/Washington Examiner

"The White House may be able to manipulate pool coverage, but they can’t manipulate the fact that millions of Americans are out of work because of President Obama’s failure to create jobs and get our economy moving,”

White House shuts out Boston Herald scribe - for "bias" - Boston Herald
The White House Press Office has refused to give the Boston Herald full access to President Obama’s Boston fund-raiser today, in e-mails objecting to the newspaper’s front page placement of a Mitt Romney op-ed, saying pool reporters are chosen based on whether they cover the news “fairly.”

Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom defended Romney’s March 8 opinion piece:

“That op-ed was about jobs, which apparently is a sensitive subject for the thin-skinned people around the president. The White House may be able to manipulate pool coverage, but they can’t manipulate the fact that millions of Americans are out of work because of President Obama’s failure to create jobs and get our economy moving,” Fehrnstrom said in a statement yesterday.
Vote in the Boston Herald Poll: Herald Pulse
Is it legitimate for the White House to consider a paper’s coverage in granting access?
Current results:
3% - Yes. Why should the president reward negative coverage?
96% - No. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
1% - Not sure. Each case is different.

Newt Gingrich apologizes to Paul Ryan


Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich apologized in a telephone call to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Tuesday afternoon for his remarks on “Meet the Press,” where the presidential candidate referred to Ryan’s Medicare proposal as “radical change.” - Politico

Gingrich's brand damage - Philip Klein/Washington Examiner
For decades, Gingrich has built his name on being the idea man for Republicans. He has repeatedly emphasized over the years that the challenges facing the nation are so great that we need to move beyond the stale old political debates and talk about fundamental chaanges that need to be made.

As Alana Goodman noted, back in 1992, Gingrich urged college students to push for "radical" changes. During his tenure as Speaker, he pushed for restraining the growth rate of Medicare. And in his entire post- House Speakership brand has been built around this idea of needing to do the big stuff. He has fostered this image through organizations such as "American Solutions" and the "Center for Health Transformation" as well as book titles such as "Winning the Future" (ironic now) and "Real Change."

And when Republicans lost power after 2006, his message to the GOP was to be bolder. In January 2007, Gingrich invoked an old Ronald Reagan quote and declared, "If I could name the theme for the 2008 elections it would be this: Bold solutions based on bold colors."
Iowan to Gingrich: Get out now before you make a bigger fool of yourself

GOP defends budget against Democratic attacks

Republicans have tied their budget plan to ongoing negotiations over raising the debt ceiling in hopes of achieving significant cuts in domestic spending, at the very least. The government technically reached that borrowing limit Monday, but Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said he will borrow from federal pensions to help pay the nation's loans until Aug. 2. - Susan Ferrechio/Washington Examiner
Ryan argued in his speech that the higher taxes and increased spending Obama is proposing in his plan will hamper productivity and business and ultimately weaken the economy. Ryan instead called for slashing spending and government regulations that hamper business.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Obama's dilemma: Why Libya and not Syria?

The central question President Obama will have to answer this week as he defines his vision for the Middle East is this: Why Libya and not Syria? - Hayley Peterson/Washington Examiner
National Security Adviser Tom Donilon said, "It has mystified me and others as to why the administration has been so slow-footed [in Syria]," said Steven Cook of the Council on Foreign Relations. "The administration certainly set a precedent in what it did in Libya ... and now [it] seems to be passing up a tremendous strategic opportunity."

Downgrading Expectations: Obama Expects Modest Fundraising Quarter

Democratic officials insist that Obama’s fundraisers have been sold out, suggesting that the issue is one of priorities and capacity and not enthusiasm. - National Journal
Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, has said publicly that the president will not raise $1 billion, contrary to press reports. Privately, members of Obama’s national finance committee expect to raise about the same amount of money as they did in 2008.

Rick Perry Presidential Push Quietly Gains Steam


a man from deep in the heart of Texas who was tea party before the tea party was cool appears to be giving the presidential race some thought - Real Clear Politics
A Texas pol who is close to Perry has been telling a few key strategists that the nation's longest-serving governor sees a vacuum and is waiting to be summoned into the race. This source believes that could happen by late summer. Without fellow Southerners Haley Barbour or Mike Huckabee in the race -- and with Newt Gingrich's early troubles raising further doubts about the current lineup -- there could be a glaring niche for Perry to fill.

According to another well-connected Republican, at least one Perry confidant has been very quietly making inquiries about the political terrain in the nation's first voting state of Iowa. A third Perry associate, RCP has learned, has been heralding a small contingent of Iowans with the time-tested line that is often used by would-be candidates who are leaving their options open: "Keep your powder dry."

Gov. Brown sticks with "tax extension" plan

Releasing revisions to his budget proposal Monday, Brown continued to argue -- in the face of Republican opposition and increasing state revenues -- that extending tax increases is the best way to bring the state's beleaguered budget into balance. - Times-Standard
Brown's plan now goes to legislators, who have until June 15 to pass a spending plan and send it back to the governor for his signature.

North Coast representatives Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, and Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro, D-Arcata, both offered lukewarm responses to Brown's proposal Monday, with Evans even going so far as to question whether she could support the Democratic governor's plan as it includes the closing of a host of state parks within her district.

Gov. Sarah Palin on Pelosi district’s Obamacare waivers: ‘Seriously, this is corrupt’

President Barack Obama’s administration approved 204 new Obamacare waivers in April. Thirty-eight of them went to upscale businesses including four-star hotels, gourmet restaurants, day spas and hip nightclubs in Pelosi’s district. That’s in addition to 27 new waivers for health care or drug companies and the 31 new union waivers Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approved. - The Daily Caller
“Unflippingbelievable! No, wait, it is believable,” Palin said in an email to TheDC. “Seriously, this is corrupt. And anyone who still supports the Pelosi-Reid-Obama agenda of centralized government takeovers of the free market and the corresponding crony capitalism is, in my book, complicit.”

"The fact that over 1,000 waivers have been granted is a tacit admission that the healthcare law is fundamentally flawed"

HHS approves 200 more new healthcare reform waivers - the Hill
The Obama administration approved 204 new waivers to Democrats' healthcare reform law over the past month, bringing the total to 1,372.

The waivers are temporary and only apply to one provision of the law, which requires health plans to offer at least $750,000 worth of annual medical benefits before leaving patients to fend for themselves. Still, Republicans have assailed the waivers as a sign of both favoritism and of major problems with the law.

"The fact that over 1,000 waivers have been granted is a tacit admission that the healthcare law is fundamentally flawed," Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said in March. Upton is one of three House committee chairmen who has used new oversight powers to investigate the annual limit waivers....
Nearly 20 percent of new Obamacare waivers are gourmet restaurants, nightclubs, fancy hotels in Nancy Pelosi’s district - The Daily Caller
Of the 204 new Obamacare waivers President Barack Obama’s administration approved in April, 38 are for fancy eateries, hip nightclubs and decadent hotels in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Northern California district....

Before hanging up on TheDC, Tru Spa’s owner said new government health care regulations, both the federal-level Obamacare and new local laws in Northern California, have “devastated” the business. “It’s been bad for us,” he said, without divulging his name, referring to the new health care restrictions.
House puts health care measure on Florida ballot - Miami Herald
In Idaho, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter Signs Order Banning Health Care Reform - Miami Herald
Oklahoma rejects $54.6 million in Obamacare funds - News OK
Democrat in Missouri to Oppose Health Care Law - NYT
6 Pages of Obamacare Equals 429 Pages of Regulations - US News
Giving proof to Main Street's worries that President Obama's healthcare reform will lead to thousands of new and costly regulations, the Department of Health and Human Services has taken one small section of the law and written enough new rules to (equal) every page of Obama's campaign book, The Audacity of Hope—plus another 45 pages....
Washington Post and CBS receiving money from Obamacare ’slush fund’ - The Daily Caller
Two mainstream news organizations are receiving hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars from Obamacare’s Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP) — a $5 billion grant program that’s doling out cash to companies, states and labor unions in what the Obama administration considers an effort to pay for health insurance for early retirees. The Washington Post Company raked in $573,217 in taxpayer subsidies and CBS Corporation secured $722,388 worth of Americans’ money....
MORE: Harry Reid's entire state, Nevada secures partial waiver from federal health care law - Las Vegas Sun
The Health and Human Services Department announced late Friday that Nevada had secured a statewide waiver from certain implementation requirements of the Obama administration’s health care law, because forcing them through, the department found, “may lead to the destabilization of the individual market."
Nancy Pelosi denies having anything to do with the Waivers - Huffington Post

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gingrich Blasts House GOP's Medicare Plan; Republicans Livid



Gingrich Blasts House GOP's Medicare Plan - Wall St. Journal
Presidential Candidate Calls It 'Right-Wing Social Engineering,' Agrees With Obama About Need for Insurance Mandate
Gingrich reaction: Republicans livid, accuse former speaker of hypocrisy in attack on Ryan - Byron York/Washington Examiner
This morning Republicans are just beginning to assess the damage that former House Speaker and current presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has done to the GOP budget plan currently before Congress. On "Meet the Press" Sunday, Gingrich denounced House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan's plan to restructure Medicare, saying, "I don't think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering. I don't think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate."

On his radio program Monday morning, former Education Secretary Bill Bennett, who knows Gingrich well but is also close to Ryan, reacted angrily to Gingrich's remarks. Referring to Ryan's Medicare plan as "right-wing social engineering" is, Bennett said, "an unforgivable mistake, in my judgment." Bennett went on to say that Gingrich "has taken himself out of serious consideration for the [2012] race."
RYAN: 'With Allies Like That, Who Needs The Left?' - Real Clear Politics
ARMEY: Gingrich 'Confused and conflicted'
Former Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas), a Gingrich leadership partner turned rival, told POLITICO that it fits Gingrich’s track record of being “confused and conflicted” on health care policy.
link

Since Obama officially announced his re-election campaign in early April, his advisers have been working to reignite the grassroots campaign that was inspired by Obama's days as a community organizer.

Obama working to rebuild grassroots army - apnews
In some ways, Obama's first campaign never folded.
After he was elected, he turned it into an organization called Organizing for America to communicate with supporters, rally them behind his policies and encourage get-out-the-vote efforts during the midterm elections. The group, run through the Democratic National Committee, has been criticized even by some Democrats for being ineffective at translating support for Obama's campaign into support for his policies.

Mitt Romney: phone bank raises $10.25M in a single day

"This is a big kickoff for us, for our fundraising effort. It's kind of a celebration," Romney told the more than 400 supporters tuned in to watch him host a brief town hall-style broadcast on Facebook. - AP/Yahoo

Pakistan to Return Remains of Secret Stealth Helicopter

Pakistan will return the pieces of the secret U.S. helicopter that went down during the operation that killed Osama bin Laden early this month, Senator John Kerry told reporters today. - ABC NEWS
Kerry, chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said the chopper's wreckage -- which aviation experts said was the first public evidence of a secret U.S. stealth Blackhawk program -- would be handed over to American officials Tuesday. Kerry (D-Mass.) met with senior Pakistani civilian and military officials today in Islamabad in hopes of improving relations between the two countries following America's unilateral incursion into Pakistan to kill the al Qaeda leader on May 1.

Israel under attack: Obama regrets "loss of life"

Israel-Palestinian violence erupts on three borders - Reuters via Yahoo
US urges restraint after Israel border clashes - Reuters
Palestinian 'nakba' protests turn deadly. Israel sees Iran's 'fingerprints.' - Christian Science Monitor

GALLUP: OBAMA DROPS TO 46% RASMUSSEN: DAILY APPROVAL RATING -10

Obama Job Approval - Gallup via Drudge


The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 25% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Thirty-five percent (35%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -10 Rasmussen

After a roller-coaster flirtation with a presidential bid, Donald Trump bowed out of the 2012 contest in true Trump fashion

Trump Not Running for President: 'Decision Does Not Come Easily Or Without Regret' - ABC News via Drudge
Donald Trump to skip 2012 presidential race - USA Today
Trump's Statement:
After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the office of the Presidency. This decision does not come easily or without regret; especially when my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking at the top of the Republican contenders in polls across the country. I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election. I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly. Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector.

I want to personally thank the millions of Americans who have joined the various Trump grassroots movements and written me letters and e-mails encouraging me to run. My gratitude for your faith and trust in me could never be expressed properly in words. So, I make you this promise: that I will continue to voice my opinions loudly and help to shape our politician’s thoughts. My ability to bring important economic and foreign policy issues to the forefront of the national dialogue is perhaps my greatest asset and one of the most valuable services I can provide to this country. I will continue to push our President and the country’s policy makers to address the dire challenges arising from our unsustainable debt structure and increasing lack of global competitiveness. Issues, including getting tough on China and other countries that are methodically and systematically taking advantage of the United States, were seldom mentioned before I brought them to the forefront of the country’s conversation. They are now being debated vigorously. I will also continue to push for job creation, an initiative that should be this country’s top priority and something that I know a lot about. I will not shy away from expressing the opinions that so many of you share yet don’t have a medium through which to articulate.

I look forward to supporting the candidate who is the most qualified to help us tackle our country’s most important issues and am hopeful that, when this person emerges, he or she will have the courage to take on the challenges of the Office and be the agent of change that this country so desperately needs

Thank you and God Bless America!

Donald J. Trump

Geithner’s plan to tap federal retiree programs as a temporary means to avoid a government default comes as the Obama administration has shown growing interest in altering those programs to curb the debt in the long run.

Treasury to tap pensions to help fund government - Washington Post
The Obama administration will begin to tap federal retiree programs to help fund operations after the government loses its ability Monday to borrow more money from the public, adding urgency to efforts in Washington to fashion a compromise over the debt.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has warned for months that the government would soon hit the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling — a legal limit on how much it can borrow. With the government poised to reach that limit Monday, Geithner is undertaking special measures in an effort to postpone the day when he will no longer have enough funds to pay all of the government’s bills.

Geithner, who has already suspended a program that helps state and local government manage their finances, will begin to borrow from retirement funds for federal workers....

Administration officials have expressed interest in raising the amount that federal employees contribute to their pensions, sources told The Washington Post.

The U.S. government is expected to hit the $14.294 trillion debt ceiling Monday, setting in motion an uncertain, 11-week political scramble to avoid a default.

As Debt Limit Reached, Agreement Still Far Off - Wall St. Journal via Drudge
The Treasury Department plans to announce Monday it will stop issuing and reinvesting government securities in certain government pension plans, part of a series of steps designed to delay a default until Aug. 2.

The Treasury's moves buy time for the White House and congressional leaders to reach a deficit-reduction agreement that could clear the way for enough lawmakers to vote to raise the amount of money Congress allows the nation to borrow.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

To put it in Obama terms, America is a moat, and it's filled with government spendaholics. You could toss a poor alligator in there, but they'd pick him clean in seconds, and leave what was left for Nancy Pelosi's shoes.

Who will restore reality to politics? - Mark Steyn in the OC register

It is time to come back to reality and focus our attention on how Obama is hurting America, not on how he was supposedly born outside of it.

Letter to a birther - David Freddoso/Washington Examiner
Gangster Government: Barack Obama and the New Washington Thugocracy
The Case Against Barack Obama: The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media's Favorite Candidate

Double Standard: "The “scabs” in this case happen to be elite left-wing, union-friendly “progressive” writers who raise bloody hell when anybody else crosses a picket line, but apparently have no problem doing so themselves."

Unions demand HuffPo's 'riches,' but get nowhere dealing with liberal hypocrites - Barbara Hollingsworth/Washington Examiner

Make that SIX Democrat senators choosing not to run in 2012

Are Democrats exiting the sinking ship? Part 3: Senator Herb Kohl - Michael Barone/Washington Examiner
Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin is announcing he will not run for a fifth term next year.... Kohl’s retirement almost certainly guarantees that this will be a seriously contested seat in 2012. Barack Obama carried Wisconsin 56%-42% in 2008 and Republican Governor Scott Walker and Senator Ron Johnson were both elected by 52%-46% margins in 2010. Democrats won the popular vote for the U.S. House 50%-46 in 2008 and Republicans won it 55%-44% in 2010. And of course Wisconsin has been the scene of furious battles over Walker’s budget plans which restrict collective bargaining with public employee unions. The 14 Democratic state senators hid out in Illinois for weeks to prevent the 19 Republican state senators from getting the 21 votes required for a quorum on spending bills; eventually Republicans removed the spending provisions and passed the collective bargaining restrictions. Democrats have filed recall petitions against six Republican state senators and Republicans have filed recall petitions against three Democratic state senators. So there will be plenty of political conflict in Wisconsin in the coming months—something for which Herb Kohl has shown little taste. Maybe this helps explain why he decided to step aside.
Democrats exiting the sinking ship: Part 2: Daniel Akaka
Jim Webb: Exiting the sinking ship? Part 1
Lieberman, Harman and vanishing Democratic moderates
Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl is retiring, making him the sixth senator in the Democrats' caucus to opt out of running for reelection in 2012 - Yahoo
Among those who are potential contenders for Kohl's seat are Rep. Paul Ryan, author of the House GOP's controversial budget bill that overhauls Medicare, and former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold, who lost his seat in last fall's midterm elections.
Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., to Retire - National Journal

Wikileaks standard: Do as we say, not as we do

A remarkable WikiLeaks document has been, well leaked. The confidentiality agreement basically prohibits any employee from leaking the materials leaked to WikiLeaks under threat of being liable for about $20 million US dollars. - James Jay Carafano/Washington Examiner

Poll: Only 19% of Americans Favor Debt Ceiling Increase

A Gallup poll released Friday reveals that only 8% of Republicans, 33% of Democrats and 46% of Independents polled favor raising the debt ceiling. - Hillbuzz
Americans Oppose Raising Debt Ceiling, 47% to 19% - Gallup

Herman Cain: Being Number 2 is not in our DNA

The Atlanta businessman and former talk radio host delivered a rousing speech to party activists at the Georgia GOP's convention - Politico
Cain, who supports replacing the federal income tax with a national sales tax, called for cutting taxes to stimulate the economy.

"It's time to tell the people the truth, lower taxes are good for the economy, and we don't have any intention of hurting old people, children or puppy dogs," Cain said.

Cain will formally announce his White House bid next Saturday at an Atlanta rally.