Saturday, July 23, 2011

“As I read the Constitution, the Congress writes the laws and you get to decide what you want to sign,” Boehner said, recounting what he told the president, according to two sources.

Undeclared Candidates Rick Perry, Sarah Palin left off Ames Straw Poll ballot

Iowa GOP leaders decided on Saturday the nine names to include on the ballot for next month’s straw poll in Ames, leaving off Rick Perry and Sarah Palin, but including the names of most declared candidates — even several who have opted not to compete in the vote.... Declared candidates Buddy Roemer and Gary Johnson were left off the ballot....

Perry is expected to decide whether or not he’ll run shortly after the straw poll. Not having him on the ballot means that Pawlenty and Bachmann will not have to compete with him for votes, but recalibrates how many votes they’ll have to get to seem strong.

“It helps them because they don’t face that competition,” longtime Iowa GOP activist Doug Gross told POLITICO. “It’ll be a race between Bachmann, Pawlenty and Paul.”
- Politico

Ames Straw Poll ballot set - Chris Cilliza/Washington Post

Six of the nine — Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, businessman Herman Cain, Rep. Ron Paul (Texas), former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and Rep. Thad McCottter (Mich.) — are aggressively campaigning in the straw vote.

The other three — former governors Mitt Romney (Mass.) and Jon Huntsman (Utah) as well as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — are not expected to even appear at the quadrennial event on the campus of Iowa State University.


CNN Poll: Drop in liberal support pushes Obama approval rating down

According to the poll, the president's 45 percent approval rating is down three points from June. - CNN

Fifty-four percent of people questioned disapprove of how Obama's handling his duties, up six points from last month. His 54 percent disapproval rating ties the all-time high in CNN polling that the president initially reached just before last year's midterm elections.

"But drill down into that number and you'll see signs of a stirring discontent on the left," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Thirty-eight percent say they disapprove because President Obama has been too liberal, but 13 percent say they disapprove of Obama because he has not been liberal enough - nearly double what it was in May, when the question was last asked, and the first time that number has hit double digits in Obama's presidency."

Boehner wants debt ceiling plan by Sunday

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer responded to the speaker’s statement Saturday on Twitter. - Politico

“Our message there will be simple: if the White House won’t get serious, we will,” Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said Saturday in an emailed statement before the meeting. “The speaker is determined to tackle our spending problem in a significant way and, as he stressed last night, is committed to preventing a default on our debt.”

Boehner was expected to insist that the president agree to a package of spending cuts that match the amount needed to raise the debt limit, which would be about $2.4 trillion through the end of next year, Buck said.

“Last night the president said, ‘the only bottom line that I have is that we have to extend this debt ceiling through the next election,’” Buck wrote. “Now, we do not know what size or shape a final package will take, but it would be terribly unfortunate if the president was willing to veto a debt limit increase simply because the timetable prescribed would not be the ideal one for his re-election campaign.”
House Speaker John A. Boehner told his troops Saturday that he hopes to roll out a two-step strategy within the next 24 hours for raising the federal debt ceiling to avoid roiling Asian financial markets when they open Sunday, according to several participants in the conference call. - Washington Post

In the call with his House GOP colleagues, Boehner (Ohio) said he still hopes to slice as much as $4 trillion out of the federal budget over the next decade, despite the collapse of talks with President Obama on Friday over a bipartisan “grand bargain” to restrain the nation’s debt....

In the call, Boehner stressed that the path forward would be a new plan, not a proposal offered earlier this month by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to authorize Obama to raise the debt limit on his own, without explicit congressional approval.
GOP readies new debt ceiling plan; bill set for Sunday - Byron York/Washington Examiner

House Republicans are finishing work on a new proposal to resolve the standoff over the debt ceiling. The proposal, set to be finished and crafted into the form of a bill by Sunday, will be in two parts. The first will combine a short-term increase in the debt ceiling with spending cuts. The second will lay the groundwork for a longer-term increase in the debt ceiling coupled with far-reaching deficit reduction.

Another Rotten Obamacare Easter Egg

A major provision of the healthcare reform law designed to prevent businesses from dropping coverage for their workers could inadvertently leave families without access to subsidized health insurance. - Guy Benson/Townhall

The problem is a huge headache for the Obama administration and congressional Democrats, because it could leave families unable to buy affordable health insurance when the healthcare law requires that everyone be insured starting in 2014. Some of the administration’s closest allies on healthcare reform warn this situation could dramatically undercut support for the law, which already is unpopular with many voters and contributed to Democrats losing the House in the 2010 midterm elections.

At issue is a so-called “firewall” in the law that denies subsidies to workers whose employers offer quality, affordable coverage...In calculating the bill’s cost last year, Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) took the law to mean that employers and their families aren’t eligible for subsidies as long as the individual plan is affordable — regardless of the price of the family plan. This means the costs to an employee for covering his or her family could be too high to afford for many working families.?

What a windfall for middle class families: Saddled with sky-high, unaffordable family coverage rates, and "socked" with billions in new taxes. Thanks, Obamacare!


◼ And, Health law could ban low-cost plans - Politico

Blaming the Tea Party for America's Debt Dilemma? Better Get Your Facts Straight

Neil Cavuto - FOX

Fact One -- Tea Partiers' opposition to tax hikes didn't bring us to this brink. Washington's indifference to spending did.
Fact Two -- Tea Partiers didn't create these deficits. Washington did.
Fact Three -- Tea Partiers didn't wreck the budget this year. Try Democrats, who had total control of Washington, not even offering a budget at all... last year.
Fact Four -- Tea Partiers aren't the reason we're up against another debt limit. Washington is....
Fact Eight -- Tea Partiers aren't the crazy ones for saying it's time to stop this nonsense. Those who call them crazy for dare speaking the obvious are the ones who make "no" sense....
Read all 10

“This is Obama at his most sanctimonious, demagogic, self-righteous and arrogant”


Remarks by the President - whitehouse.gov

Obama's OMB ignores document subpoena; Upton/Stearns House panel says Monday morning or else

President Obama's senior appointees at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget took another step this week toward a potentially epic confrontation with Congress by ignoring a document subpoena issued by a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. - Mark Tapscott/Washington Examiner

The subpoena is for thousands of documents requested months ago by the committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations concerning OMB's evaluation of a Department of Energy economic stimulus program loan guarantee worth $535 million for Solyndra, Inc., which makes solar energy panels....

Obama appointees at OMB have produced lots of documents in response to the subcommittee's original request in March, but many were so redacted of relevant information as to be useful. More important, they have simply refused to give the Upton/Stearns panel many other documents that could shed vital light on the loan guarantee decision-making process, including who drove it and why.

Yesterday, the Stearns subcommittee issued an ultimatum, telling OMB it has until Monday morning at 9 am to comply with the subpoena or face the consequences

JOHN BOEHNER: IF WHITE HOUSE WON’T GET SERIOUS, WE WILL



BOEHNER: WHITE HOUSE INSISTED ON RAISING TAXES, MOVED GOALPOSTS - speaker.gov/ Press Release

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) held a news conference at the Capitol this evening to talk about how the White House’s insistence on raising taxes led to a breakdown in discussions over increasing the debt limit. In a letter to colleagues, Boehner announced he would instead work with congressional leaders of both parties to pursue legislation that avoids default, reflects the will of the American people, and is consistent with the principles of the Cut, Cap, & Balance Act that passed the House with bipartisan support.

“The discussions we’ve had broke down for two reasons. First, they insisted on raising taxes. We had an agreement on a revenue number – a revenue number that we thought we could reach based on a flatter tax code with lower rates and a broader base that would produce more economic growth, more employees and more taxpayers, and a tax system that was more efficient in collecting the taxes that were due the federal government. Let me just say that the White House moved the goalposts. There was an agreement, until the President demanded $400 billion more, which was going to be nothing more than a tax increase on the American people. I can tell you Leader Cantor and I were very disappointed in this call for higher revenue. Second, they refused to get serious about cutting spending, and making the tough choices that are facing our country on entitlement reform. Listen, that’s the bottom line.”

BOEHNER: “NO ONE WANTS TO DEFAULT,” CONFIDENT HILL LEADERS CAN COME TOGETHER

“I want to be entirely clear: no one wants to default on the full faith and credit of the United States government. I am convinced that we will not. Starting tonight, I’ll be working with colleagues here in the Capitol – both the House and the Senate – to find a responsible path forward. And I have confidence that in the bipartisan leaders of the Congress that can come together and to ensure that we have an agreement that will allow the country to avoid default and meets the principles that we’ve outlined: the spending cuts that must be greater than the increase in the debt hike limit and no tax increases.”

BOEHNER: UNTIL RECENTLY, PRESIDENT SOUGHT A CLEAN DEBT LIMIT INCREASE; GOP PRINCIPLES HAVE BEEN CLEAR FROM THE OUTSET

“You know, until recently the president was demanding that the Congress increase the debt limit with no strings attached. As a matter of fact, the Treasury Secretary sent me a letter two days after we were sworn in in January demanding that we give him a clean increase in the debt limit. I immediately responded and told the Treasury Secretary that the American people would not tolerate a clean increase in the debt ceiling unless there were serious spending cuts attached and real reforms to the way we spend the American people's money. I went to New York City in May, gave a speech to the New York Economic Club, where I outlined the challenges we were facing and I made it clear that we would not increase the debt limit without cuts that exceeded that increase in the debt limit, that there would be no new taxes, and that there would be serious spending reforms put in place.”

BOEHNER: IF WHITE HOUSE WON’T GET SERIOUS, WE WILL

“I can tell you it’s not in the best interest of our country to raise taxes during this difficult economy, and it’s not in the best interests of the country to ignore the serious spending challenges we face. ... Now I want to say, this is a serious debate. It’s a debate about jobs, it’s about our economy, and frankly it’s also a big debate about the future of this country. ... Listen, it's time to get serious, and I’m confident that the bipartisan leaders here in the Congress can act. If the White House won't get serious, we will.”
CONTACT JOHN BOEHNER:
Office of the Speaker
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-0600
Fax: (202) 225-5117

◼ E-MAIL via webform: http://www.speaker.gov/Contact/
◼ FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/OfficeofSpeakerBoehner
◼ TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/SpeakerBoehner

Friday, July 22, 2011

Worse Than Gunwalker? State Dept. Allegedly Sold Guns to Zetas

It’s a stunning allegation that makes the other gunrunning scandals look like child’s play. - Pajamas Media

Phil Jordan, a former CIA operative and one-time leader of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Intelligence Center, claims that the Obama administration is running guns to the violent Zetas cartel through the direct commercial sale of military grade weapons...

A senior Republican Senate adviser said admiringly of Boehner, “I’m glad he stayed calm.” The White House now is left sputtering, fully aware that if the Senate and House reach a deal Obama will be in no position to veto it and send the country into default. All in all, a very good day for Boehner and the House Republicans.

Boehner runs laps around Obama, again - Jennifer Rubin/Washington Post

Reactions: What Happened to ‘No Drama Obama’?

Turned the TV on this afternoon to try to get some news about the Olso terrorism attacks and instead, I get a hectoring and angry President Obama. - theothermccain.com
Obama's Goal -- a Crisis -- Comes Nearer - The American Spectator
Obama Is Nearing His Goal - Quin Hillyer
President Obama wants a crisis. He plans to use a crisis to seize even more power for himself and for the government. Now he is a significant step closer to his goal. Despite his finger-pointing con-job in his nasty press conference this afternoon, Obama is the one who deliberately torpedoed the budget talks. He is the one who has yet to put an actual plan on the table. He is the one who refused to even let GOP negotiators talk. He is the one who insisted through most of the year that no other provisions be attached to the hike in the debt limit... he’s doing it on purpose. He’s doing it because he doesn’t want a deal. He wants a crisis. Read the rest
Wanted: Gang of 80 million - Don Surber/Daily Mail
Stating that "We've run out of time" to avert a debt crisis, workaholic president summons peasants to White House... at 11am tomorrow - Doug Ross
Obama blasts GOP, Boehner on debt: ‘We have run out of time’ - The Hill
Obama’s fury toward Boehner was on full display as he several times accused the Speaker of walking away from the talks.
“I've been left at the altar now a couple of times,” Obama said.

The president was angry on a number of counts, but he seemed especially miffed by Boehner's refusal to communicate with him on Friday before he walked away from the table.

Obama said he had a "cordial" relationship with Boehner "up until sometime today when I couldn't get a phone call returned."
The President Is Actually Trying to Talk the Markets Into a Panic. - John Podhoretz/Commentary magazine
Boehner to Obama: Take your higher taxes and shove it - Wizbang
Boehner cuts off talks with Obama - The Hill
Boehner told House Republicans in a letter that President Obama is “adamant” about raising taxes and would not agree to “fundamental changes” to entitlement programs.

“For these reasons, I have decided to end discussions with the White House and begin conversations with the leaders of the Senate in an effort to find a path forward,” Boehner wrote in the “Dear Colleague” letter....

"It's time to get serious. The White House won't get serious, we will."

Breaking: Boehner walks out: “In the end we couldn’t connect. Not because of different personalities but because of different visions for our country.”

Boehner will take up talks over the weekend with Democratic leaders in Congress rather than the president. (developing) - HotAir
Boehner: "The deal was never reached, and was never really close." - Althouse
Debt talks between Obama and Boehner break down - Politico

“The Democratic leaders of the House and Senate have not been participants in the conversations I and Leader Cantor have had with the White House; nor have Republican leaders of the Senate,” Boehner wrote to colleagues. “But I believe there is a shared commitment on both sides of the aisle to producing legislation that will serve the best interests of our country in the days ahead – legislation that reflects the will of the American people, consistent with the principals of the Cut, Cap & Balance Act that passed the House with bipartisan support this week.
(full text below)

BOEMRE Slowdown Costs 230,000 Jobs, $44 Billion in GDP

A new study from IHS-CERA, one of the leading energy think tanks, projects the cost of the Department of the Interior’s ongoing regulatory slowdown and its impact on the energy industry, employment in the coastal states, and the U.S. economy in general. The study, released on Thursday, was commissioned by the Gulf Economic Survival Team (GEST). - Redstate

We’re beginning to see the true cost of an energy-hostile Administration in Washington. Their policies are not just an inconvenience to a few companies. They are permanently damaging infrastructure which will be difficult to impossible to rebuild. That seems to be their intent....

The damage done by BOEMRE (The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement) now extends beyond a mere slowdown in acquiring permits. With the moratorium/permitorium well into its second year, structural damage to the industry has begun. This is affecting larger companies — the “majors” and the large independents — but it is especially damaging to the small independents and service companies. Private companies and small cap public companies have a particularly difficult time complying with new requirements and funding new bonding requirements. Many are understandably reluctant to embark on large new capital projects during a period of unprecedented hostility toward industry.

Oslo bomb attack: End of innocence


Blast hits government buildings in Oslo, Norway; shooter arrested at youth camp - CNN
Oslo Explosion: 7 Dead as Pair of Blasts Rock Norway Government Buildings - ABC
Oslo bomb attack: End of innocence - BBC

Obama 41%, Ron Paul 37%

Congressman Ron Paul may be a long shot to win the Republican presidential nomination, but he runs competitively with President Obama right now. - Rasmussen

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows Paul picking up 37% of the vote, while the president earns 41%. The Texas congressman joins Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachmann, and Rick Perry as candidates within hailing distance of the president at this time.

Rudy Giuliani is another potential candidate who is considered a long shot for the nomination but is competitive with the president. The former mayor of New York City trails Obama by five, 44% to 39%.

But the real story in the numbers is that the president continues to earn between 41% and 49% of the vote no matter which Republican is mentioned as a potential opponent. This suggests that the race remains a referendum on the incumbent more than anything else.

The only "plan" Barack Obama has put on paper is his February budget. Were there trillions and trillions of savings in that? Er, no. It increased spending and doubled the federal debt.

Obama the man without a plan - Mark Steyn/OC Register

How about Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader? Has he got a plan? No. The Democratic Senate has shown no interest in producing a budget for two-and-a-half years. Unlike the president, Sen. Reid can't even be bothered pretending he's interested in spending reductions. But he is interested in spending, and, if that's your bag, boring things like budgets only get in the way.
It seems reasonable to conclude from the planlessness and budgetlessness of the Obama/Reid Democrats that their only plan is to carry on spending without limit.


__________________
Mark Steyn is author of the forthcoming After America: Get Ready for Armageddon This title will be released on August 8, 2011.

Senate rejects House GOP bill to cut spending; House speaker says no deal with Obama

The Best Deal for the White House vs. the Best Deal for the Economy

The White House wants a grand bargain for three simple reasons that come down to one big reason: timing. A grand bargain could mean more stimulus now when the economy is weak, more cuts later when the economy is stronger, and less budget conflict next year as Obama runs for reelection. - The Atlantic

$14 Trillion in Debt, But Who Owns All That Money?


link - The Atlantic

In the next few days, Washington will almost certainly reach a deal to raise the debt ceiling above $14 trillion, which is the current level of total government debt. Who owns all those promised payments?

We do, mostly. More than half of the total national debt is owed to the Federal Reserve, "intragovernmental holdings," such as the Social Security Trust Fund, domestic investment accounts, and U.S. households. Within the more regularly cited category of "public debt" held outside the U.S. government, foreign sovereigns and investors own about half.

Who owns what?
- click on the slideshow at the link

Fed Prepares for Doomsday as Debt Deadline Nears - MoneyNews, Reuters

Two-thirds of Americans support House Cut Cap and Balance Plan

Two-thirds of Americans support Balanced Budget Amendment for debt limit hike - Conn Carroll/Washington Examiner

CNN just released a poll of 1,000 Americans showing overwhelming support for the House Republican approach to the debt limit crisis. Specifically, 66 percent of Americans favor a deal where both houses of Congresses pass a balance budget amendment, and substantial cuts and caps on future spending, in exchange for a debt limit hike.

As a stand-alone measure, 74 percent of Americans favor a constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget. And 60 percent of Americans believe a balanced budget amendment is necessary to get federal deficits under control.

Huntsman campaign manager resigns

Communications director Matt David is to replace Susie Wiles, according to campaign officials. Huntsman will announce the changes in his campaign staff Thursday. - Washington Examiner

"Susie has served the campaign well and was vital in getting it off the ground in such a short time-frame," Senior Campaign Adviser John Weaver said in a statement. "Now the campaign is moving into phase two which will be more aggressive from a messaging and tactical standpoint and Matt is prepared to take that on."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

RON PAUL CAMPAIGN RAISES MOST DONATIONS FROM MILITARY

RON PAUL CAMPAIGN RAISES MOST DONATIONS FROM MILITARY, OUT-RAISES ALL CANDIDATES FROM BOTH PARTIES - ronpaul2012.com

“Our fighting men and women take an oath to protect America, defend our Constitution and defend our borders,” said Ron Paul 2012 Campaign Chairman, Jesse Benton. “They look at Ron Paul and see a leader who takes their oath seriously, and who will fight to ensure that we don’t misrepresent that oath by sending them off to police the world, instead of defending our country.”

Change direction


The Republican National Committee (RNC)

After Half A Century, Obama Ends America’s Leadership In Space Exploration

The last flight of the Space Shuttle - Strata-Sphere

My father worked on the first of these wondrous missions and with their amazing machines – Gemini & Mercury.

The Mercury Missions were America’s answer to the Russians reaching orbit ahead of us. Gemini paved the way for the Apollo Missions and our exploration of another celestial body. We had embarked on the greatest exploration ever proposed.

My father worked on the communications systems, and worked to integrate the first two IBM computers into a single system. His efforts exemplify how the act of exploration pushed technology in all directions and dimensions – providing a direct benefit to the American economy and humanity itself. Computer technology leaped forward in the wake of this nation’s drive to have humans explore off-world. And from that enhanced computational capability uncountable progress was achieved in areas as diverse as medicine, food preservation, communications, etc....
Read the rest...

CRP Chairman Calls for Resignation of Dr. Gabino Aguirre from Redistricting Commission


SACRAMENTO, CA – Today during a California Redistricting Commission meeting at the McGeorge School of Law, CRP Communications Director Mark Standriff personally delivered a letter to the Chairman of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission calling for the prompt resignation of Dr. Gabino T. Aguirre, who according to the Cal Watchdog blog has failed to disclose any of his political contributions, as well as his current advisory board membership with the Central Coast Alliance for a Sustainable Economy more commonly known as CAUSE. California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro is calling either for Aguirre to resign or for Governor Jerry Brown to remove him.

Cal Watchdog’s investigation of Aguirre’s political past found that he has made multiple political campaign contributions to Democratic candidates and has a special "web of connections" with a special interest group that submitted its own redistricting proposals to the commission. This revelation comes amidst recent public criticism that the Redistricting Commission maintains a partisan slant.

To view a PDF version of the Cal Watchdog article, click HERE.

To view a PDF version of CRP Chairman Tom Del Beccaro's letter to the Redistricting Commission and Governor Jerry Brown, click HERE.
# # #

Wisconsin Creates 13,000 Private-Sector Jobs

According to new jobs figures, Wisconsin created 12,900 new private-sector jobs in June, almost as many as the 18,000 new jobs created nationwide last month. This represents the largest one-month gain of private-sector jobs in Wisconsin since 2003, according to the state Department of Workforce Development. - National Review

Michele Bachmann’s First Campaign Ad



Rep. Michele Bachmann’s first campaign ad of the season is out in Iowa today, and it’s clearly aimed at introducing herself to Iowa voters. - commentarymagazine.com

The commercial is short and simple, and features Bachmann talking directly into the camera about her Iowa roots, her foster kids, her career as an attorney, and her fiscal record as a member of Congress.

The underlying message of the video: this is not the crazy tea party lady the Democrats have been trying to paint her as for the past few years.

Palin second only to Romney in Washington Post/ABC News poll


Sarah Palin continues to remain popular among Republicans, many of whom would vote for her as president, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Thursday - LA Times
The former Alaska governor who has yet to announce whether she will run for president trails former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney by a mere eight points among voters who leaned Republican.

Romney's support would be at 26% with Palin coming in at 18% with Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann placing third with 12%.
Without running, Palin stays near top of GOP field - Byron York/Washington Examiner
Discussion at Lucianne
The Most Interesting Part of the New Washington Post/ABC Poll - commentarymagazine.com

A new web site, Time for Perry, has been launched



Is it time for Rick Perry? - Redstate
Anita Perry encourages husband to run for president - khou.com

Scheffler: Include Palin, Perry in straw poll

Republican National Committee member Steve Scheffler e-mailed me this morning to say that he’ll be “lobbying hard” to include Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on the Iowa Republican Straw Poll ballot. - Kathie Obradovich/DesMoinesRegister.com
Candidates will watch this Iowa debate - Kathie Obradovich/DesMoinesRegister.com

Six presidential candidates (Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Thaddeus McCotter, Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum) spent $15,000 each for the privilege of speaking at the Iowa Republican Party’s Ames straw poll and reserving space for their supporters. On Saturday, the GOP state central committee will decide which of the other candidates, who haven’t paid a penny, will get their names on the ballot, too.... Should announced candidates who have chosen not to buy space for the straw poll — Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich, for example — get a spot on the ballot?

A Democratic polling firm said President Obama's already weak job-approval numbers are "worse than they appear" and he likely would lose the election if it were held today.


The Horserace for July 21, 2011 - Redstate

12 GOP congresswomen react to comments made by DNC head




Obama Legacy May Be Withering American Dream

link - Forbes via Drudge

Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign trumpeted hope for the future, but his legacy may include presiding over the withering of the American Dream. Belief that the American Dream is possible has dropped by nearly 20 points since his election, falling just below one-half of U.S. adults....

JOBLESS CLAIMS (UNEXPECTEDLY) JUMP AGAIN, RISE TO 418,000...

Regional factory rebound, jobless claims up - Reuters
"Jobless claims are a leading economic indicator. These numbers don't support the case for having 3.5 to 4 percent growth in the second half of the year that some people had talked about," said John Silvia, chief economist at Well Fargo in Charlotte, North Carolina.
15TH STRAIGHT WEEK ABOVE 400K... - CNBC via Drudge
New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, a government report showed on Thursday, pointing to a labor market that is struggling to regain momentum after job growth faltered in the last two months.

Washington Examiner Editorial: Gang of Six plan is more smoke and mirrors... written in secret, with no public record of its deliberations or who participated in its creation

Gang of Six plan is more smoke and mirrors - Washington Examiner Editorial
Like President Obama's disastrous $859 billion economic stimulus package and the Obamacare "reform" he and Democratic leaders rammed through Congress last year, the Go6 plan unveiled Tuesday was written in secret, with no public record of its deliberations or who participated in its creation. But the Go6 plan does offer one thing of value -- it reminds us that Washington's professional politicians thrive behind closed doors.
Editorial: Gang Of Six Plan: A $3.1 Tril Tax Hike - Investor's Business Daily
National Debt: No wonder President Obama has so heartily endorsed the "Gang of Six" deficit plan. Just like everything Obama has offered so far, it's short on details and long on tax hikes.

Soon after the "Gang of Six" — a bipartisan group of senators that has been trying for months to put together a deficit reduction plan — issued its new proposal, President Obama praised it as "a very significant step" that represents "the potential for bipartisan consensus."

What it really represents is Washington at its worst.

The "plan" Obama was praising isn't a plan at all, but a few pages of bullet points with vague concepts, promises of future cuts, and confusing, and at times contradictory, numbers...

According to the outline, the $1.5 trillion in "tax relief" is how the Congressional Budget Office would score the plan.

But what the gang conveniently leaves out is that the CBO's forecast has $4.6 trillion in tax hikes already baked into it. That's because the CBO baseline assumes all the Bush tax cuts get repealed, that every other temporary tax cut is left to expire, and that the alternative minimum tax continues to entrap millions more middle-class families each year.

Once you take that into account, the $1.5 trillion in "tax relief" turns instead into a $3.1 trillion tax increase over the next decade..
Why is Gang of Six plan "practical" but Cut, Cap and Balance will never pass? - Mark Tapscott/Washington Examiner
(I)s it too much to ask our esteemed lions of the Fourth Estate toiling in the White House Press Corps to at least ask the president why he opposes a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget and a supermajority in both chambers of Congress to raise taxes?

Barack Obama's 2008 bundlers flee political 'machine'

Campaign officials deny that there’s any “enthusiasm gap” - Politico

When Sen. Barack Obama began running for president in 2007, a small handful of determined, inspired supporters found a new political calling. A new group of professionals — from a San Juan jewelry store owner to a West Coast biotech executive — raised hundreds of thousands of dollars each for him and their “bundling” was crucial in helping Obama offset Hillary Clinton’s profound financial and institutional advantages.

Four years later, many of those new bundlers say they won’t be coming back. For reasons ranging from disillusion and dissatisfaction to an overriding sense that the once idealistic Obama crusade has become yet another soulless political behemoth, that inspired cadre of early Obama supporters has largely been replaced by professional Democratic Party operatives....
Read the rest

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

As debt talks intensify, Obama opens door to short-term deal to buy more time

The contentious budget talks that have dominated Washington for months intensified Wednesday, prompting President Obama to say he would accept a short-term hike in the debt ceiling if it gave lawmakers time to finalize a comprehensive deal.. - Washington Post

The contentious budget talks that have dominated Washington for months intensified Wednesday, prompting President Obama to say he would accept a short-term hike in the debt ceiling if it gave lawmakers time to finalize a comprehensive deal.

Obama had pledged to veto any short-term measure, but White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday that the president could accept an extension of “a few days” if it allowed a long-term deficit-reduction and debt-ceiling deal to work its way through Congress.


WH's Carney: Obama May Accept A Short-Term Debt Ceiling Deal- Real Clear Politics

PREDICTION: HOW THE DEBT DEBATE WILL UNFOLD - Dick Morris

The tweets fly at first-ever GOP Twitter debate

Six Republican presidential candidates participated in a tea-party sponsored debate on Twitter on Wednesday — and the results showed both the promise and the limits of the social medium. - LA Times

The format allowed the six, Reps. Michele Bachmann and Thaddeus McCotter, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, ex-Sen. Rick Santorum, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, and businessman Herman Cain, to interact directly with supporters and detractors — and allowed their respective messages to be relayed and retweeted across the ever-expanding platform.....

It took awhile to get going, as well, as each candidate laboriously pounded out an abbreviated opening statement. Thirty-five minutes into the event, not a single question had been asked.

After that, the candidates answered a series of broad questions, largely signaling their similar positions with respect to repealing the Democratic healthcare overhaul, reducing regulatory burdens on business, and cutting government spending.

Obama in perilous shape

Obama's approval rating this month is 46% with 48% of voters disapproving of him. - PPP's monthly national poll on the 2012 Presidential race

There are 2 things particularly troubling in his numbers: independents split against him by a 44/49 margin, and 16% of Democrats are unhappy with the job he's doing while only 10% of Republicans give him good marks. Republicans dislike him at this point to a greater extent than Democrats like him and that will be a problem for him moving forward if it persists.

Liberal Pollster Declares Obama's Re-election in Trouble - Yid With Lid

Gallup is also showing a drop in support for Obama, the three-day rolling average of presidential approval reflected that Obama's approval dropped to 42%, to put that into perspective one month ago that approval rating was at 49%.

Since it is a three day average, and the first day a drop has been detected, tomorrow's Gallup numbers for Obama may be even worse.

Rasmussen's three-day average reflects a similar drop with the President's disapproval at 54% vs 44% approval.

What is forcing Obama's numbers down? That could be best answered with the now-famous phrase, "Its the economy stupid!"

Newsweek on Sarah Palin Cover Story

Report: Private sector job creation ground to a halt almost instantly after Obamacare passed

A new report out yesterday from The Heritage Foundation shows private sector job creation dropped dramatically almost immediately after President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) into law. - HotAir

Obama summons DEMOCRATS to White House for debt-ceiling meeting

"Where is the President's plan?"





Tucker Carlson: ‘Few People Have Done More To Divide The Country Than Chris Matthews’ - Mediaite

We are sending a consistent message to the world that the political structures of the United States do not allow for meaningful course correction.

Gang of Six Bag of Tricks - Mark Steyn at National Review Online

Paul Ryan: Cut, Cap & Balance the Budget; Grow the Economy; Save this Country



"Leading on reporters is not leadership"

House Republicans pass symbolic measure on debt ceiling - LA Times

The legislation calls for a cap on spending and a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. It is likely to die in the Senate. President Obama says time is running out for 'actually solving this problem.'


Congratulations To House Republicans For Standing Up For Middle America
- Strata-Sphere
Sacrifice this time begins at the top. State government across the nation have been able to cut back and produce modest surpluses. It is not impossible or devastating as the left moans constantly. Now is the time to stand up for a historic rescue.

Issa camp says Washington Post wrong on Gunrunner story

A spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican and the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, told The Daily Caller that the Washington Post is the only news organization to bite on new misleading sentiments from the Justice Department. - Yahoo

That part of his statement walks through how the Wall Street Journal had already debunked the meme, too. “The April 2010 ATF briefing on weapons smuggling by criminal cartels included a staff member of the Democratic staff of the Oversight Committee who has been working for Ranking Member Cummings on the Fast and Furious investigation,” the part of Hill’s statement to the Post that its reporters ignored read. “This Democratic staff member has never indicated to Republican staff that he had any prior awareness of the gunwalking that took place in Operation Fast and Furious and the recollections of Republican staff who attended this briefing have already been reported in the Wall Street Journal.”

On top of all that, one of the two Post reporters in the story’s byline, Sari Horwitz, is a known plagiarist. She plagiarized at least two stories during her reporting on the shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords, Arizona Democrat.

The Post’s executive editor, Marcus Brauchli, did not return TheDC’s request for comment on why he allowed a reporter with a history of plagiarism to use anonymous sources to bash a Republican.

Poll: Romney leads Obama in Michigan 46-42

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads President Obama in Michigan, according to a new poll. - The HIll

Michigan is likely a must-win for Obama. He took 57 percent of the vote there in the 2008 presidential race after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) gave up on the state and pulled out resources a month before the election. But a brutal local economy has hurt Obama with Independents: in the poll, he trails Romney 42 percent to 31 percent with that key group.

WSJ/NBC Poll: Bachmann Surges to Second Place

Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has stormed into second place among Republican primary voters in the race for the GOP presidential nomination - Wall St. Journal

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Laura Ingraham: Project Gunwalker: ATF Scandal Unfolding; Gunrunner; Mexican Drug Cartels;



cleanupatf.org forum
More connections in ATF scandal: drug cartel stashes weapons at Columbus, NM - Examiner.com
Grassley/Issa, or as some now refer to them "Grassa" (sort of like "Brangelina"), fire double broadsides at FBI & DEA. and NAME NAMES. - sipseystreetirregulars

BREAKING: House PASSES "Cut, Cap and Balance Act"

The House of Representatives voted 234 to 190 in favor of the "Cut, Cap and Balance Act - The Hill

The House of Representatives voted 234 to 190 in favor of the "Cut, Cap and Balance Act" -- an updated version of the kind of balanced-budget amendment that Republicans have coveted for years -- but which the White House has said will be vetoed in the unlikely event it passes the Senate and reaches President Obama's desk, the Washington Post reports.

Boehner's office says Gang of Six proposal 'appears to fall short'

Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) office said Tuesday that a $3.7 trillion deficit-reduction plan from the Senate's Gang of Six appears to fall short of goals set by House Republicans. - The Hill
Gang of Six plan punts on key details - The Hill

Gang of Six: $1.2 TRILLION IN NEW TAXES

DEAL: SENATE HUDDLES TO HIKE TAXES... - Reuters via Drudge
Obama praises 'Gang of Six' debt ceiling plan - Politico via Drudge
RESTATES THREAT TO VETO SPENDING CUTS... - AP via Drudge
The Fuzzy Math from Gang of Six - Redstate
The festive atmosphere at the press conference prompted bearded Marxist Senator Chris Coons to observe that “if Sen. Durbin and Dr. Coburn can both endorse it, this may be just the tough discipline fiscally and the balanced path forward that we need.” So the questions begs, just how can such an ‘austere budget plan’ garner the support of liberal luminaries like Coons and Durbin?

The answer is very simple: the budget plan is devoid of a roadmap to achieve the alleged $2.7 trillion in cuts and $1 trillion in revenue gains. Furthermore, the proposal relies upon the passage of some conservative reforms, which if seriously drafted, will never be supported by a majority of the Democrat Caucus, including Gang members like Dick Durbin.

...It looks like these guys never had all the details worked out before they announced their plan. Their sole objective was to eclipse the media attention surrounding the only coherent plan that actually balances the budget – the conservative plan.

Cut, Cap, and Balance – or bust.
Support Growing for Bipartisan Gang Plan - Though Some Express Concern - FOX

READ THE 'Gang of Six' Proposed Debt Reduction Deal

Perry shaping GOP's Iowa race without declaring candidacy

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has not yet committed to a run at the GOP presidential nomination, but his potential candidacy is already shaping the prospects of Republicans in the race as the party prepares for a critical test in Iowa. - Hayley Peterson/Washington Examiner

"[Perry] has the ability to attract from both the Bachmann [supporters] and the Pawlenty [supporters] ... and that's a unique space he fills," Gross said, referring to the two GOP candidates who are expected to do well in Iowa.

The Ames Straw Poll has traditionally been considered a vital test ahead of the crucial Iowa caucuses.

That's why Iowans were aggravated when former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the perceived GOP front-runner, announced that he would skip the Iowa caucuses and instead focus on the first two primary states -- New Hampshire and South Carolina.

With Romney out of the mix, "there's a real vacuum in Iowa for someone of [Perry's] stature, magnitude and fundraising capability," said Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak.


Perry’s people active all over the place - HotAir

As a presidential announcement from Texas Gov. Rick Perry looks ever more likely, his supporters and potential supporters have upped their activity in apparent preparation. Tonight in Austin, for example, a group of top Republican donors will meet to discuss whether they think Perry will be able to garner the support he needs across the country.

Ron Paul: "We Will Default Because The Debt Is Unsustainable"

"When a country is indebted to the degree that we’re indebted, the country always defaults. We will default because the debt is unsustainable," Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) said on the House floor today. - Real Clear Politics

"If we don’t understand this, this default will not be because we don't send out the checks. We will send out the checks. It will be defaulted on because people will get their money back, or they will get their Social Security checks and it won't buy anything." Video at the link

Doesn't Washington know we can't afford more taxes and debt?



Spanish version: Crossroads GPS "Despertarse"

Total debt now amounts to 95 percent of gross domestic product. We may already be at the danger point, rather than heading there fast

Things are worse than I said - Michael Barone/Washington Examiner
Federal expansion the real issue in debt ceiling debate. - Michael Barone/Washington Examiner

Warren Buffett: Corporate-jet demagoguery is nonsense



Barack Obama supporter Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest men in the world and a believer in redistributionism, seems to draw the line at demonizing corporate-jet owners. - HotAir
Why is a corporate jet any different than, say, a corporate locomotive — or any other corporate-owned transportation? Congress passed a rule allowing for 100% depreciation in the first year for all capital purchases in order to stimulate manufacturing and sales, a rule that applies to more than just corporate jets.

In Their Own Words: Americans' Views on Raising Debt Ceiling

Why do Americans oppose raising the debt limit? - Conn Carroll/Washington Examiner
Gallup has just posted more than 700 open-ended responses from the Americans that they polled who oppose raising the debt limit. These are not canned or prompted responses. They are the real views of average Americans in their own words. The question Gallup asked was: “What are some of the reasons why you would want your member of Congress to vote...
In Their Own Words: Americans' Views on Raising Debt Ceiling - Gallup
Page 2 contains the responses of those opposed to raising the debt ceiling and page 3 the responses of those in favor or raising the debt ceiling. Reading through the words average Americans use when asked to discuss their position on the debt ceiling provides a unique and rewarding insight into public opinion on this key issue. (Note: Gallup edited these responses for language.)
Poll: Low ratings for Obama, Congress on debt talks - USA Today
Discussion at Lucianne

The next step for Republicans in the debt fight

link - Byron York/Washington Examiner
"Everybody talks about how much the Bush tax cuts cost, and we're saying, no, they led to a huge increase in revenue," says the Republican involved in the fight. It's true. According to historical tables published by the Office of Management and Budget, government revenue shot higher after the Bush tax cuts were enacted. Total federal government receipts rose from $1.782 trillion in 2003 to $2.567 trillion in 2007 -- an increase of $785 billion, or 44 percent. In 2007, the federal deficit shrank to $160 billion -- all after tax cuts that Obama and his Democratic allies portray as disastrous.

That recent history is at the heart of the conflict between Republicans and Obama over taxes. "The president's view of tax reform is tax increases," says the Republican. "Republicans view tax reform as setting tax rates to maximize economic activity."

While they continue the message war, Republicans are moving the real war to another level. After weeks of useless negotiations with the White House, they're taking the debt issue into their own hands with the passage of cut, cap and balance, in defiance of Obama's veto threat. Republicans know the president and Senate Democrats can stop it, but they believe it's important to stake out their ground.

"Republicans are laying out a starting point with cut, cap and balance," says the Republican. "They're saying to the president, 'We have actually passed something. It's time for you to come up with your proposal.'
Sen. Coburn says lawmakers can't put off "grand bargain" debt deal until 2013 - Philip Klein/Washington Examiner

"And I'm telling you that the business community in this company is frightened to death of the weird political philosophy of the President of the United States. And until he's gone, everybody's going to be sitting on their thumbs."



Wynn CEO Goes On Epic Anti-Obama Rant On Company Conference Call - Business Insider
I’m saying it bluntly, that this administration is the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime. - Ed Driscoll at Pajamas Media
Wynn's Rant: One Among Many

Business is being hammered, he said. "And I'm telling you that the business community in this country is frightened to death of the weird political philosophy of the president of the United States."
Wynn's words resonate because America's weak economic growth and high unemployment can be laid in large part to the inexperience of this president and his just-as-callow advisers.

In such a climate, it's no surprise that executive outbursts are erupting like lava from scorched earth. Wynn's remarks echo those on a lengthening list of CEOs including:

• 3M's George Buckley, who blasted Obama last February as anti-business. "We know what his instincts are," Buckley said. "We've got a real choice between manufacturing in Canada or Mexico — which tends to be more pro-business — and America," he told the Financial Times.

• Boeing's Jim McNerney, who in the Wall Street Journal last May called Obama's handpicked National Labor Relations Board's suit against his company a "fundamental assault on the capitalist principles that have sustained America's competitiveness since it became the world's largest economy nearly 140 years ago."

• Intel's Paul Otellini, who told CNET last August that the U.S. legal environment has become so hostile to business that there is likely to be "an inevitable erosion and shift of wealth, much like we're seeing today in Europe — this is the bitter truth."
Read the rest

“[Obama] has made it harder to establish trust, which will make it harder to find compromise,” Ryan says. “As much as he wants to come off as a leader, every time he talks about Republicans holding out to save fat-cat corporate-jet loopholes — which he knows is false — or leaks alleged spending cuts to the press, he reduces his leadership. He knows how that damages his credibility up here. Yet he continues to spin.”

Paul Ryan: Obama has been “fundamentally un-presidential” - brutallyhonest.org
Ryan Urges ‘United Front’ - National Review Online

San Francisco To Shutter Courtrooms; Lay Off 200 Workers

The San Francisco Superior Court announced Monday that it's laying off more than 40 percent of its staff and shuttering 25 courtrooms because of budget cuts. - KTVU

Presiding Judge Katherine Feinstein said the actions were necessary to close a $13.75 million budget deficit caused by state budget cuts. She said the cuts mean it will take many more hours to pay a traffic ticket in person, up to 18 months to finalize a divorce and five years for a lawsuit to go to trial.

"The civil justice system in San Francisco is collapsing," Feinstein said.

Get Ready for a 70% Marginal Tax Rate

President Obama has been using the debt-ceiling debate and bipartisan calls for deficit reduction to demand higher taxes. With unemployment stuck at 9.2% and a vigorous economic "recovery" appearing more and more elusive, his timing couldn't be worse. - Micheal Boskin/Wall St. Journal

Two problems arise when marginal tax rates are raised. First, as college students learn in Econ 101, higher marginal rates cause real economic harm. The combined marginal rate from all taxes is a vital metric, since it heavily influences incentives in the economy—workers and employers, savers and investors base decisions on after-tax returns. Thus tax rates need to be kept as low as possible, on the broadest possible base, consistent with financing necessary government spending.

Second, as tax rates rise, the tax base shrinks and ultimately, as Art Laffer has long argued, tax rates can become so prohibitive that raising them further reduces revenue—not to mention damaging the economy. That is where U.S. tax rates are headed if we do not control spending soon.

The current top federal rate of 35% is scheduled to rise to 39.6% in 2013 (plus one-to-two points from the phase-out of itemized deductions for singles making above $200,000 and couples earning above $250,000). The payroll tax is 12.4% for Social Security (capped at $106,000), and 2.9% for Medicare (no income cap). While the payroll tax is theoretically split between employers and employees, the employers' share is ultimately shifted to workers in the form of lower wages.

But there are also state income taxes that need to be kept in mind. They contribute to the burden. The top state personal rate in California, for example, is now about 10.5%. Thus the marginal tax rate paid on wages combining all these taxes is 44.1%. (This is a net figure because state income taxes paid are deducted from federal income.)

So, for a family in high-cost California taxed at the top federal rate, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts in 2013, the 0.9% increase in payroll taxes to fund ObamaCare, and the president's proposal to eventually uncap Social Security payroll taxes would lift its combined marginal tax rate to a stunning 58.4%.

But wait, things get worse....

Stop the presses! Michele Bachmann gets migraines!!! UPDATED

Stop the presses! Michele Bachmann gets migraines!!! - neoneocon
One of my first thoughts on hearing about the migraine charge against Bachmann is that it’s an affliction far more likely to be suffered by women than men. Indeed, 18 to 25% of women get them. Does that disqualify all of them from office? Or just the Republican ones?
A Prediction Comes True? - theothermccain.com
Stress-related condition ‘incapacitates’ Bachmann; heavy pill use alleged - Daily Caller

UPDATE: Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has issued the following statement in response to reports of her experiencing migraines:

“Like nearly 30 million other Americans, I experience migraines that are easily controlled with medication. I am a wife, a mother, a lawyer who worked her way through law school, a former state senator who achieved the repeal of a harmful piece of education policy in Minnesota, and a congresswoman who has worked tirelessly fighting against the expansion of government and wasteful spending.

“Since entering the campaign, I have maintained a full schedule between my duties as a congresswoman and as a presidential candidate traveling across the nation to meet with voters in the key, early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. I have prescription medication that I take whenever symptoms arise and they keep the migraines under control. Let me be abundantly clear – my ability to function effectively has never been impeded by migraines and will not affect my ability to serve as Commander in Chief.

“The many questions I have received on this subject have allowed me to discuss this important condition that impacts individuals in nearly one in four households. However, as a presidential candidate and office holder, I am focused on performing my job, which has never been more important given the state of our economy and the millions of Americans that are out of work. While I appreciate the concern for me and my health, the greater concern should be the debate that is occurring in Washington over whether or not we will increase our debt, spending and taxes.”


Bachmann: Yes, I experience migraines, but so do 30 million other Americans - HotAir
Bachmann explains her headaches - Hayley Peterson/Washington Examiner
Did Anyone Fact Check Bachmann Hit Piece? I Don't Think So - Dan Riehl/Riehl World View

UPDATE:
Bachmann’s doctor: Migraines occur infrequently - HotAir

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) today released the following letter from her doctor to clear up, once and for all, the question of whether her migraines would interfere with her ability to be president.
Dear Congresswoman Bachmann –

The enclosed summary regarding your experience of migraine headaches is provided to you as per your request. You are overall in good general health.

You have a well-established diagnosis of migraine headaches with aura for which you have had an extensive evaluation by both my office and by a board certified consulting neurologist. Your evaluation has entailed detailed labwork and brain scans all of which were normal. Your migraines occur infrequently and have known trigger factors of which you are aware and know how to avoid. When you do have a migraine, you are able to control it well with as-needed sumatriptan and odansetron. It has not been necessary for you to take daily scheduled medications to manage this condition. You have not needed medical attention from me regarding your migraines with the use of the above-mentioned commonly used therapies.

Sincerely,

Brian P. Monahan, MD, MACP
So, there you have it. The Attending Physician of the U.S. Congress says she’s good to go.

Monday, July 18, 2011

McConnell Calls ‘Cut, Cap, Balance’ Strong Medicine That Washington Needs


mcconnell.senate.gov

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement on the Senate floor Monday regarding the need to pass legislation that would cut government spending now, cap it in the future and approve a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget:

“This is a pivotal week for America.

“Two years of reckless spending and debt have brought us to the point of crisis. And this week, Americans will see how their elected representatives decide to resolve it.

ATF Chief Admits Mistakes in 'Fast and Furious,' Accuses Holder Aides of Stonewalling Congress

The head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has admitted that his agency, in at least one instance, allowed sales of high-powered weapons without intercepting them -- and he accuses his superiors at the Justice Department of stonewalling Congress to protect political appointees in the scandal over those decisions. - FOX

Obama-Contra - IBD
As if "Project Gunrunner" and "Operation Fast and Furious" weren't bad enough, we now learn of "Operation Castaway," run out of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Tampa field division. It's another operation that allowed guns to "walk" south of the border, this time to Honduras, using similar techniques and tactics.

Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., sent two letters a week ago to Attorney General Eric Holder and ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melsom inquiring about the program. He shouldn't expect much. As commentator Brit Hume noted on "Fox News Sunday": "The stench of cover-up on this gun-running operation is very strong indeed."

...Project Gunrunner, of which Operation Fast and Furious was a part, and now Operation Castaway, are without noble purpose. The cover story is that they were part of a plan to trick and track gunrunners. In fact, these schemes made it easy for criminals, drug cartels and gangs to acquire weapons.

The real purpose, we have stated and still suspect, was to advance the administration's push for gun control and the stripping of law-abiding Americans of their Second Amendment rights through "common sense" restrictions on private gun ownership by creating chaos and fomenting violence with the guns provided.

Indeed, it did not take long for ATF to announce a new gun-control mandate — the requirement that gun store owners in the border states of Arizona, California, Texas and New Mexico make a special ATF report for multiple long-gun sales, the same type of weapons the ATF was freely providing to the worst of the worst.

Obama's default

If the government ends up defaulting on its debt obligations, President Obama will have no one to blame but himself. - Emily Miller/Washington Times

It’s a breath of fresh air to have Congress take the debt issue out of the backrooms of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and discuss the issue in an open floor debate. The public is behind the concept of a balanced budget and needs to hear the Democrats stubbornly clinging to the tax-and-spend mentality that got us into this problem in the first place. Their position is reckless and indefensible. Cut, Cap and Balance prevents a government shutdown and preserves America’s credit rating. If Mr. Obama follows through with his threat to veto this proposal, the blame for whatever happens next will be on him.

Speaker Boehner Statement on Veto Threat of Cut, Cap, & Balance Legislation


Statement on Veto Threat of Cut, Cap, & Balance Legislation

Washington (Jul 18) House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement today after the Administration announced that the President would veto H.R. 2560, the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011. The House is expected to vote on this legislation tomorrow.

“It’s disappointing the White House would reject this common-sense plan to rein in the debt and deficits that are hurting job creation in America. While American families have to set priorities and balance their books, this White House obviously isn’t serious about making the same tough choices. While the House is once again acting responsibly, the Administration still won’t say what cuts it’s willing to make to end Washington’s spending binge and the economic uncertainty it’s creating. This unfortunate veto threat should make clear that the issue is not congressional inaction, but rather the President’s unwillingness to cut spending and restrain the future growth of our government. If we are going to raise the debt limit and avoid default, the White House must be willing to demonstrate more courage than we have seen to date. The House will proceed as planned with its vote on the Cut, Cap and Balance Act.”
###
House GOP readies ‘cut, cap, balance’ plan - Democrats resist tying debt rise to constitutional amendment - Washington Times

DeMint Statement on Veto Threat of Cut, Cap & Balance: Democrats Oppose EVER Balancing the Budget


demint.senate.gov

Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), made the following statement after President Obama threatened to veto the Cut, Cap & Balance Act and announced his opposition to a balanced budget amendment.
“Democrats are now admitting they will never support balancing the budget because it threatens their reckless spending agenda,” said Senator DeMint. “President Obama says it is an ‘unrealistic goal’ to stop deficit spending over the next decade. He promises to veto the Republican plan to save our credit rating, and instead is asking for a blank check debt to borrow trillions of dollars more. This extreme position puts the President on the wrong side of the American people who are demanding an end to wasteful Washington spending.

“The biggest threat to our economy and to our nation’s future is the reckless debt. Moody’s and S&P have warned they will downgrade America’s credit rating if we raise the debt limit again without serious, long-term reforms to stop borrowing money. Only the Cut, Cap & Balance plan will permanently stop Washington from spending more than we bring in and it’s the only plan on the table with the votes to pass the House.”
###

Karen Brooks' letter to Humboldt County Supervisors re: REDISTRICTING

I made some connections with people in Sonoma county who are following the redistricting even closer than myself and just got off the phone.

I spoke about how the northern coastal counties are not happy being linked in with Marin County and even the more urban areas of Sonoma county. The advice I received was to get as many people as possible writing/emailing the commission to remove Marin (and southern Sonoma) from the Congressional and State Senate districts.

Remember Assembly districts are 465,674 people, the new map includes downtown Santa Rosa eliminating Eureka as the largest city of the district. Congressional districts are 702,905 people, the new map goes all the way to Golden Gate Bridge and eliminates Santa Rosa from the majority of Sonoma. The Senate district is 931,349 people, the map goes to SF and includes Santa Rosa.

We know Marin is the bedroom of SF but they have been successful working together, and the commissioners are listening, to link with rural northern calif/somona but not urban SF. Unless we flood the commissioners with comments to remove Marin the maps may not change.

I just wanted to give you feedback that more action than just your letter is needed. Your voices urging the public to make comments will help in the paper, radio and TV. Networking with the boards of Del Norte and Mendocino will also help. The reality of the situation is the that mandatory population of each district requires us to adjoin with counties to our east so we need to identify those counties. Siskiyou, Lake, Glenn and/or Tehama come to mind.

If we want to better control our destiny, and water, we have got to remove Marin from our districts. IN TEN DAYS THE LAST MAPS COME OUT, WE MUST COMMENT NOW. Listed below is the latest press release listing how to respond and the time table.

Thank you for "listening"!
Karen Brooks
****
We Draw The Lines, press statement - Sacramento, CA (July 12, 2011)

CBS skewing the news

CBS poll with D+11 sample oddly disfavors GOP - Ed Morrissey at HotAir
In their latest poll today on the debt ceiling debate, CBS offers one of its most egregious poll samples in recent memory to pursue the “public blames the GOP” meme: "a new CBS News poll showing a majority disapprove of all the involved parties’ conduct, but Republicans in Congress fare the worst, with just 21 percent backing their resistance to raising taxes"
See? B.S.! - RS McCain

Perry edges Obama in North Carolina poll


Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry leads Barack Obama 45 percent to 42 percent among North Carolina voters in a potential presidential matchup, according to a new poll released by the Civitas Institute. - HotAir
Perry on prez run, says he's starting to feel "this is what I’ve been called to do" - Philip Klein/Washington Examiner
Should he run, he'd instantly be considered a top tier candidate. Perry's chances hinge on finding a sweet spot between the Tea Party appeal of Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and the executive experience of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. He can also tout the strong economic performance of Texas.
Rick Perry ‘comfortable’ with idea of presidential run - AP. Boston Herald

Shared Sacrifice: White House Threatens Another Veto, This Time of Bill Containing Budget Cuts to Executive Office

In addition to threatening to veto the Cut, Cap and Balance bill (H.R. 2560), the White House is threatening to veto H.R. 2434, the 2012 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act. Among other things, the White House is arguing against a proposed $65 million budget cut to the Executive Office. - Michelle Malkin

Breaking: White House threatens veto of Cut, Cap, and Balance bill

With the House poised to vote on a debt-ceiling increase tomorrow, the White House has released a threat to veto the bill if it reaches the President’s desk. This statement was just released by e-mail, emphasis in the original: - HotAir

The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 2560, the “Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011.” Neither setting arbitrary spending levels nor amending the Constitution is necessary to restore fiscal responsibility. Increasing the Federal debt limit, which is needed to avoid a Federal government default on its obligations and a severe blow to the economy, should not be conditioned on taking these actions. Instead of pursuing an empty political statement and unrealistic policy goals, it is necessary to move beyond politics as usual and find bipartisan common ground.

The bill would undercut the Federal Government’s ability to meet its core commitments to seniors, middle-class families and the most vulnerable, while reducing our ability to invest in our future. H. R. 2560 would set unrealistic spending caps that could result in significant cuts to education, research and development, and other programs critical to growing our economy and winning the future. It could also lead to severe cuts in Medicare and Social Security, which are growing to accommodate the retirement of the baby boomers, and put at risk the retirement security for tens of millions of Americans.

Furthermore, H. R. 2560 could require even deeper cuts, since it conditions an increase in the Federal debt limit on Congressional passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment. H. R. 2560 sets out a false and unacceptable choice between the Federal Government defaulting on its obligations now or, alternatively, passing a Balanced Budget Amendment that, in the years ahead, will likely leave the Nation unable to meet its core commitment of ensuring dignity in retirement.

The President has proposed a comprehensive and balanced framework that ensures we live within our means and reduces the deficit by $4 trillion, while supporting economic growth and long-term job creation, protecting critical investments, and meeting the commitments made to provide economic security to Americans no matter their circumstances. H.R. 2560 is inconsistent with this responsible framework to restore fiscal responsibility and is not an appropriate method of reducing the Nation’s deficits and debt. The Administration is committed to working with the Congress on a bipartisan basis to achieve real solutions.

If the President were presented this bill for signature, he would veto it.


Obama officially threatens to veto 'Cut, Cap and Balance' - The Hill

Nikki Haley: "You have to cut your spending, you have to cap where you are going to be, and you have to balance that budget. All the states are doing this - DC can do this as well, if they want to."



Governors gag over D.C. dysfunction - Politico

In the eyes of America’s governors, Washington D.C. has hit a new low.State executives have long vented about the shortcomings of the Beltway mindset, carping that the federal government is too partisan, too fiscally irresponsible and out of touch with the citizens back home. Now, those complaints have evolved into deep frustration, verging on contempt, thanks to a stalled debate over the federal debt ceiling that caps off months of partisan dysfunction in Congress.

Many states celebrate surpluses as Congress struggles with debt - Washington Times

“We’ve been able to cut taxes, improve [and] reform government. And you know why? We looked [the fiscal problems] square in the eye. … That is what they’re not doing here in D.C. right now.”

Federal expansion the real issue in debt ceiling debate

It's hard to keep up with all the arguments and proposals in the debt limit struggle. But what's at stake is fundamental. - Michael Barone/Washington Examiner
The bedrock issue is whether we should have a larger and more expensive federal government. Over many years federal spending has averaged about 20 percent of gross domestic product.
Presidential flummery andquestions left unasked - Hugh Hewitt/Washington Examiner
Bravo, Jake Tapper.

Finally from a member of the increasingly supine White House press corps came a question that demanded of the president specificity as to his alleged willingness to "upset his base."

Tapper asked the president on Friday to "tell us one structural reform that you are willing to make to one of these entitlement programs that would have a major impact on the deficit?"

The president spoke a long time in response but provided no such specificity about even one such reform, revealing again that the would-be Emperor of the Big Deal has no plan beyond a political operation to assign blame for any unpleasant consequences of a collision with the existing debt ceiling.
There’s a Reason We Have a Debt Ceiling - Jonathan S. Tobin/Commentary Magazine via Lucianne
Spengler on the Debt Ceiling - Stanley Kurtz/National Review Online
The redoubtable Spengler of the Asia Times (channeled by David Goldman), offers a sobering and entirely plausible scenario showing how Obama could take advantage of the debt ceiling battle to undercut the Tea Party and the Republicans, stoke class warfare, secure re-election, and get the banks to fund his favored projects to boot. Spengler is a fan of the Tea Party, but thinks the McConnell plan as the best way to prevent Obama from off-loading the onus of the bad economy onto the Republicans. Whatever you think of the debt ceiling quandary, Spengler’s case is worth a look.
Disregard what pols are saying about the debt debate - Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post
Nick Gillespie's three reasons the debt-ceiling debate is full of malarkey - Mark Tapscott/Washington Examiner
Obama's 2012 prospects tied to debt ceiling deal - Brian Hughes/Washington Examiner

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Paul Ryan: Setting the Record Straight $6.31 trillion to $9.75 trillion




A BRIEF HISTORY OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S FISCAL RECORD

Despite newfound concern with the debt overhang stifling economic growth, President Obama’s record falls far short of his rhetoric. Let’s review the decisions made by President Obama and Congressional Democrats over the past couple of years, and the disappointing results of their policy choices:

January 20, 2009 - President Obama sworn into office
President tells the American people in his Inaugural Address: “Those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.”
Debt Held By Public = $6.31 trillion
February 17, 2009 President Signs into Law the Spending Stimulus
The stimulus adds $821 billion in new spending according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The White House promises this infusion of spending and borrowing would keep unemployment rate below 8%. As millions of Americans are painfully aware, that promise was broken.
Debt Held by Public = $6.48 trillion
February 26, 2009 President Issues FY2010 Budget
The President’s budget adds $2.7 trillion in new debt in FY2010 and imposes $1.4 trillion in new taxes.
Debt Held by Public = $6.58 trillion
March 11, 2009 President Signs FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act
The massive spending bill includes 8,696 earmarks at a cost of $11 billion.
The spending bill adds $19 billion in new spending above the baseline – an 8.6% spending increase.
Debt Held by Public = $6.66 trillion
April 29, 2009 Congressional Democrats Pass FY2010 Budget
The Congressional Democrats’ budget calls for a $2 trillion debt increase in 2010, and another 8.9% increase in non-defense discretionary spending.
The reconciliation process is abused to later pave the way for health care overhaul to be jammed into law.
Of note: this is the last time Congressional Democrats will bother budgeting.
Debt Held by Public = $6.85 trillion
February 2, 2010 President Issues FY2011 Budget
The President’s budget more than doubles the debt; pushes the FY2011 deficit to a new record of $1.6 trillion; drives spending to a new record of $3.8 trillion in fiscal year 2011; and raises taxes by more than $2 trillion through 2020, under the administration’s own estimates.
Debt Held by Public = $7.85 trillion
March 23, 2010 President Signs Health-Care Overhaul Into Law
The massive new law adds$1.4 trillion in new spending over the next decade, and over $2.5 trillion once the law is fully implemented.
Despite sluggish economic growth and high unemployment, the law imposes over $500 billion in new tax hikes. CBO Director Elmendorf would later testify that the law would reduce employment by roughly half a percent – a reduction of approximately 800,000 jobs.
Debt Held by Public = $8.18 trillion
April 15, 2010 Congressional Democrats Decide Not to Do a Budget for FY2011
The 1974 Budget Act requires Congress to pass a budget each year by April 15.
In an unprecedented budget failure, House Democrats not only failed to pass a budget – they opted to not even propose a budget.
Debt Held by Public = $8.39 trillion
July 21, 2010 President Signs Financial Regulatory Overhaul Into Law
In addition to heightened regulatory uncertainty, the massive new law adds $10.2 billion in new spending.
Debt Held by Public = $8.69 trillion
February 14, 2011 President Issues FY2012 Budget
The President’s budget yet again calls for the doubling of the debt in five years, and tripling the debt in ten years.
The President’s budget spends $47 trillion over the next decade, imposes over $1 trillion in new tax hikes, and fails to address the drivers of the debt.
Debt Held by Public = $9.45 trillion
April 13, 2011 President Delivers Speech on Deficit Reduction
The President appears to abandon his own budget by offering a ‘framework’ that calls for additional tax increases, defense spending cuts, and Medicare price controls – yet lacks sufficient detail to back-up claims of deficit reduction.
Debt Held by Public = $9.65 trillion
April 15, 2011 House Passes FY2012 Budget Resolution
The House-passed budget cuts $6.2 trillion in government spending over the next decade, saves Medicare, strengthens the social safety net, lifts the crushing burden of debt, and spurs economic growth and job creation.
Senate Democrats fail to meet their legal requirement to pass a budget by April 15.
Debt Held by Public = $9.68 trillion
April 18, 2011 S&P Issues Credit Warning on U.S. Debt
The rating agency sets off the latest alarm bells, warning of lawmakers of unsustainable fiscal course.
President Obama has still not proposed a credible budget; Senate Democrats have still not proposed any budget.
Debt Held by Public = $9.68 trillion

May 13, 2011 Medicare and Social Security Trustees Issue Warning of Looming Insolvency
According to the programs’ own trustees, the unsustainable future of Medicare and Social Security threatens the health and retirement security of America’s seniors.
President Obama and Congressional Democrats continue to engage in a partisan campaign to attack efforts to save and strengthen these critical programs – while offering no serious solutions of their own.
Debt Held by Public = $9.67 trillion
May 25, 2011 reveals the bankruptcy of Senate Democrats’ ideas.
Senate Democrats have still not proposed any budget.
Debt Held by Public = $9.72 trillion
June 23, 2011 CBO Director Further Discredits President’s Fiscal Record
In testimony before the House Budget Committee, CBO Director Doug Elmendorf responds to questions on the President’s ‘Framework’: “We don’t estimate speeches. We need much more specificity than was provided in that speech for us to do our analysis.”
Debt Held by Public = $9.74 trillion
July 8, 2011 Unemployment Hits 9.2%; Day 800 Since Senate Democrats Last Passed A Budget
A devastating jobs report that shows the unemployment rate at 9.2% coincides with the 800th day since Senate Democrats last thought the federal government needed a budget.
Debt Held by Public = $9.75 trillion
July 11, 2011 Senator Conrad Gives Budget Speech on Senate Floor
On Day 803 since the Senate last passed a budget, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad takes to the Senate floor to deliver a speech about the Senate Democrats’ non-existent budget resolution.
Senator Conrad makes the case for imposing over $2 trillion in new taxes, but provides no actual budget resolution and no credible details.
Debt held by Public = $9.75 trillion
July 15, 2011 President Holds Press Conference: “We’re Running Out of Time” to Deal with Debt

President Obama tells reporters: “I've got reams of paper and printouts and spreadsheets on my desk, and so we know how we can create a package that solves the deficits and debt for a significant period of time. But in order to do that, we got to get started now.”

The American people have still not seen any “paper” or “printouts” of what specific spending cuts the President supports. The American people have still not seen any “spreadsheets” from the White House to corroborate their claims of having offered a deficit reduction plan.

While it’s long past time for Washington “to get started now” on tackling our debt problems, President Obama has still not proposed a credible budget, and Senate Democrats have still not proposed any budget.

Debt Held by Public = $9.75 trillion