Saturday, December 17, 2011

Gallup: 99% is really 34%

On paper, the rhetoric of the Occupy Wall Street crowd should have led to revolution. - Don Surber
1% of the country controls more than 1% of the wealth. For shame. But the classic battle between the Haves and the Have Nots never materialized, and the Gallup Poll people found a reason for this: The overwhelming majority of Americans — 58% — say they are members of the Haves.

Only 34% believe they are members of the Have Nots.


Republicans score themselves in the Haves 76% to 17% Have Not. (Democrats 49%-44%) Yes, there is a difference.)


Senator Rubio Opposes Pork-Laden Omnibus


Washington, D.C. – Following his vote against H.R. 2055, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012, Senator Marco Rubio issued the following statement:

“This massive 1,200-plus page bill represents everything that is wrong with Washington. Our country faces major economic challenges, but Congress wasted the whole year stuck in partisan gridlock only to pass a funding bill that solves none of our problems, just to avoid a government shutdown. This plan spends too much, wastes precious taxpayer dollars to fund a menu of job-killing regulations, anti-life provisions and earmarks, and has been ushered through Congress in a highly secretive and non-transparent manner that didn’t allow for consideration of even a single amendment. I cannot support it.”

IS THE DEMOCRATS’ ATTEMPT TO RECALL SCOTT WALKER A MISTAKE?

If they lose–as I think they will–the lesson will be that honest politicians can stand up to the union bullies, and win. - John Hinderaker/Powerline

NEWT'S DAUGTHER CAMPAIGNS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE


Newt's daugther, Jackie Gingrich Cushman, was in New Hampshire yesterday to campaign for her dad and meet with voters. - Newt.org from ◼ Facebook
In between campaign stops, she set the record straight about a vicious lie about Newt, shared stories about campaigning at a young age, and how being a grandfather has made Newt a different person.

‘When the Legend Becomes Fact, Print the Legend’

Victor Davis Hanson/PJM
Barack Obama is a myth, our modern version of Pecos Bill or Paul Bunyan. What we were told is true, never had much basis in fact — a fact now increasingly clear as hype gives way to reality. - Victor Davis Hanson/PJM

Who was this Churchillian president so much smarter than the Renaissance man Thomas Jefferson, more astute than a John Adams or James Madison, with more insight than a Lincoln, brighter still than the polymath Teddy Roosevelt, more studious than the bookish Woodrow Wilson, better read than the autodidact Harry Truman?

...That his brilliance is a myth was not just revealed by the weekly lapses (whether phonetic [corpse-man], or cultural [Austria/Germany, the United Kingdom/England, Memorial Day/Veterans Day] or inane [57 states]), but in matters of common sense and basic history. The error-ridden Cairo speech was foolish; the serial appeasement of Iran revealed an ignorance of human nature; a two-minute glance at an etiquette book would have nixed the bowing or the cheap gifts to the UK.

In short, the myth of Obama’s brilliance was based on his teleprompted eloquence, the sort of fable that says we should listen to a clueless Sean Penn or Matt Damon on politics because they can sometimes act well.... READ THE WHOLE THING

North Dakota's energy lessons for California

If California adopted similar approaches, perhaps the state's fiscal health would once again be the envy of the nation. - Brian Calle/Orange County Register

California's economic slide is one of choice and consequence, not of necessity. The state still possesses the resources for prosperity, even today, but policies advanced by ideologues and political zealots in the state capital have tarnished the Golden State.

North Dakota, by contrast, illustrates, as it rapidly becomes the economic envy of the nation, how a different approach to public policy bolsters economic activity and job creation.

North Dakota reaps the vast economic benefits of traditional energy procurement and production as well as agricultural spoils, while the Golden State reels from ideological obstinacy where its legislators kowtow to special interests and frolic in dream world where green jobs save the day. North Dakota's approach to energy policy has created a boon allowing the state to achieve notable economic accomplishments, especially as the rest of the nation, and world, lags....

The opposite is true of California, where people and businesses are fleeing the state en masse. Outward migration resulted in a net loss 129,193 residents in 2010, according to a recent Los Angeles Times analysis of United States Census data. More people want to get out than want to move in. The percentage of people born other states now living in California is the lowest it has been since 1900....
- read the rest.

Signs of a Covert War Between the U.S. and Iran

There are unavoidable signs that the U.S. and Iran are engaged in significant covert actions against each other, including cyber war. - ABC News

The Keystone Pipeline

Senate Passes Payroll Tax Cut & Unemployment Extension — Oh, and Something About a Pipeline - Michelle Malkin
The bill gives Obama 60 days to decide about the Keystone pipeline — which is not-so-coincidentally the same amount of time before Congress will have to extend the temporary bill again.
GOP: Keystone oil will stay in tax bill - USA Today
Dem Senate Approves - CNN
FLASHBACK: Obama promises to reject - Real Clear Politics
DEMS: Obama will kill pipeline
Estimated to create thousands of jobs - KTVQ
The White House has delayed making a decision on the pipeline until after next year's election, but Republicans want to pass a bill that would require a State Department permit for the pipeline within 60 days, forcing President Obama to make a decision.

Republicans say the pipeline project would create jobs and increase the country's energy independence.
"What we do know is that if it were allowed to go forward, if the administration would simply get it out of the way and let it go forward, it would create jobs almost immediately," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said. "Lots of jobs."

Montana's Democrat Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester also like the potential job creation from the Keystone project.

"We need to put Montanans back to work and cannot afford further delays to the Keystone XL pipeline," Baucus said. "I strongly support the jobs and energy security presented by Keystone XL but am still reviewing this bill to make sure it's right for Montana."

"The Keystone pipeline will create Montana jobs and it should not have to wait 14 months for an up-or-down decision," said Democratic Senator Jon Tester. "I look forward to the project moving forward as long as TransCanada protects private property rights and as long as it is committed to the highest safety standards across rural America."

Republicans say there's no reason to delay approval.
Fmr. top adviser says approval of Keystone a matter of national security
Former National Security Advisor Jim Jones called today for quick action on the Keystone XL pipeline construction, directly opposing the White House he worked for only a few months ago.

Jones, who rarely speaks in public and almost never contradicts his former boss President Barack Obama, lashed out against the administration in a press call and warned of grave consequences to U.S. national security if the project to build the pipeline doesn't move forward immediately. The call was sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute and Jones was joined on the call by API President and CEO Jack Gerard.

"In a tightly contested global economy, where securing energy resources is a national must, we should be able to act with speed and agility. And any threat to this project, by delay or otherwise, would constitute a significant setback," said Jones. "The failure to [move forward with the project] will prolong the risk to our economy and our energy security" and "send the wrong message to job creators."
Green groups outraged at accelerated pipeline plan - Reuters

Why We Need the Gingrich-Obama Debates

Whatever comes to pass in this election season — whatever scandals emerge, gaffes are gaffed, turns twisted, figures fudged, wars waged, etc. — what I would I most like to see, even if I don’t get to, is the Gingrich-Obama debates. - Roger L Simon/PJM

Conventional modern liberalism (leftism, Keynesian economics, etc.) is dead in our country, indeed in the world, and yet a sizable portion of the populace clings to it. Like a massive cargo cult waiting for John Frum, these people cleave to an ideology that has been useless for years and is self-destructive even to them, most of them anyway, undermining the lives of the rest of us in the process.

Newt Gingrich is the only person I can think of with the rhetorical skills to explain this in a manner in which at least some of these same people, perhaps even enough of them, would understand the situation and change. He could do so in debate with Barack Obama — those Lincoln-Douglas style debates he so assiduously seeks....

We are at a crisis point in our culture. We need a teaching moment as well as a new president. Newt Gingrich, at his best, is a superb professor — witty, erudite, and on point. And my guess is he would be at his best against Barack Obama. Bring it on.

1st Black Congressman

The National Review's anyone-but-Newt editorial - and the backlash

One brave soul at National Review stands up for Newt - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion
As I pointed out the other day, National Review demeaned itself and its many talented writers by going overboard in its attempt to demonize Newt Gingrich, including a cover which should live in conservative infamy.*

There was a reflexive reaction from some writers at National Review to defend, but Andrew McCarthy so far appears to be the only writer with the courage to stand up not so much for Newt, but for conservative journalistic integrity which was sorely lacking....
Nephew of National Review's Founder Blasts Magazine Over Romney, Huntsman Praise - FOX
Bozell Furious with National Review over Romney, Huntsman - Henry J. Reske/Newsmax
Gingrich’s Virtues - It is too early to rule out candidates. - Andrew McCarthy at National Review
The making of an anti-Romney - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion
A Chorus of Scientologists Claim Jim Jones Runs A Cult - Eric Erickson at RedState
Include Me Out - Mark Steyn at National Review
Is Newt Like Churchill? - Steven Hayward at National Review
The Gingrich Gamble - The real choice is: Gingrich/Romney vs. four more years of Obamian disaster - Victor Davis Hanson at National Review
The Editorial — My Take - Jonah Goldberg at National Review
__________________

◼ * The Editorial in question: Winnowing the Field - National Review

Courting Conservatives - Michelle Malkin - Sean Hannity



Sean Hannity Flummoxed By Michelle Malkin - The Other McCain

From the First Family to yours: Obamas release their first Christmas card in two years


The First Family is all smiles in their Christmas card which was released today, continuing their recent string of holiday-related appearances. - Daily Mail

Brutal confrontation in Cairo's Tahrir Square (photos)


Soldiers baton-charge Egyptian protesters in Tahrir Square after eight die and 300 are wounded in new clashes - Daily Mail (Scroll down for video. Beware graphic images)

San Francisco’s ban on fast-food toys may seem like a very small matter. Yet it is another step down a long road towards even more control over people’s lives.

A lesson in combating invasive government - Jeff O'Bryant/CatoosNews

Ronald found a clever way to protect McDonald’s from the tyrannical urges of the well meaning but misguided San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ so-called Healthy Food Incentive Ordinance. The clown’s answer to banning children’s meal toy giveaways? Sidestep the law completely and sell the toy for the insignificant sum of ten cents as opposed to merely giving it away with the meal. While this may simply seem like smart business, with the added pleasure of thumbing your nose at hyperactive government busybodies to make them froth with impotent rage, it also offers a sterling example to all Americans.

Our country is rapidly approaching, if indeed it has not already reached, a crossroads.

Friday, December 16, 2011

All-American Muslim: Why Advertisers Are Right to Boycott

Another advertiser pulled out of TLC’s All-American Muslim—but it’s not because the company is ‘Islamophobic.’ It’s simply a terrible program - Asra Q. Nomani/The Daily Beast

As a real-life American Muslim, I should have loved the new TLC reality show All-American Muslim. I agreed with CBS anchor Katie Couric when she said we need a "Cosby Show for Muslims." But after I eagerly watched the first episodes, I've got to say I think we ended up with something more like a Muslim Jersey Shore, the low-grade MTV series about Snooki's party life in New Jersey.

Forget political correctness. Lowe's, the national chain, did the right thing in pulling its advertising from the series. The company said it killed advertising from the show because it had become too controversial, but there is another legitimate reason the company could have given for yanking its advertising: it's bad TV.... Read The Rest

Eating Our Own & Providing Strategy for Obama

(H)yper-critiquing and self-immolation also does two things that Conservatives and Republicans fall prey to each and every time the General Election cycle comes calling - Frank Salvato at Breitbart's Big Government

It deflects from addressing the differences between the GOP field and the opposition; and it provides the opposition with talking points, opponent research and the luxury of hiatus.

This election – the 2012 General Election – is arguably the most important election of our generation; of our lifetimes. The quintessential questions being decided are these:
◼ Do we want a leader who will affect limited government, or a nanny state?
◼ Do we want a fiscally responsible leader and a federal government that budgets successfully, or a spendthrift federal government, enabled by a partisan politician, that refuses to craft and pass budgets annually – even if mandated by law, while bleeding the productivity of our nation?
◼ Do we want a leader that oversees a federal government that protects equal opportunity for each and every American citizen, or a political operative and federal oligarchy that embraces crony Capitalism and special interest groups?
◼ Do we want to a leader, an administration and a federal government that is dedicated to preserving, protecting and defending our Republic and our Charters of Freedom, or a political ideologue who, with his crony activists, successfully completes the transformation of the United States from that of sovereign Republic to a kow-towing Socialist Democracy?
...That understood, the opposition, sirs and madam, is Barack Obama. Now, knock it off with attacking each other and put your country ahead of your egos. For if we are stupid enough, if we are short-sighted enough, to lose sight of who the real opposition is, you lose, the country loses and the world loses.

Newt Gingrich: We Deserve Solutions

House approves $1T omnibus spending bill in easy 296-121 vote

Despite the frictions between the two parties throughout the week, the bill was approved in an overwhelming 296-121 vote. Thirty-five Democrats and 86 Republicans voted against it. More Democrats (149) voted for the package than Republicans (147) - The Hill

The bill, H.R. 2055, covers spending for Defense, Energy and Water, Financial Services and General Government, Homeland Security, Interior, Labor/Health and Human Services, Legislative Branch, Military Construction/VA, and State/Foreign Operations.

Broad support for the bill among Democrats in large part reflected the reality that without passage, the government would shut down at midnight Friday. Several Democrats grumbled about the process for considering the bill in early in floor debate, but House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) called on all his colleagues to support it, even though few, if any, have read it.

Republican lawmaker calls the omnibus spending bill a 'crap sandwich' - The Hill

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), who voted for the omnibus spending bill along with 146 other Republicans, called the measure a "crap sandwich" and said he wished it cut more.

"I have consistently said throughout my time in Washington that the American people deserve more from their government," he said. "This bill is a crap sandwich! You definitely do not want to bite into it, you cannot stand the taste, but you know you have to eat it."

Dem Congressman On $1 Trillion Spending Bill: "Not One Of Us Has Read Every Page In This Bill" - Real Clear Politics

"I rise in strong support of this bill. I urge my colleagues to support this piece of legislation. None of them have read it. Not one of us has read every page in this bill," Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said on the House floor about the $1 trillion spending bill that would prevent a government shutdown.

Full Fox News Iowa GOP Debate, Sioux City

Obama ready to cave on veto threat over Keystone pipeline provision?

His own party must have realized the cave was coming, though, because Emanuel Cleaver was backing off the threat just two days after The One made it. - HotAir

The politics were poisonous: Not only did it give the GOP an opening to seize the mantle of job creation, it pitted labor against Obama and the greens — and on top of all that, a veto would have meant torpedoing a tax break for the middle class, which he was never going to do with an election less than a year away. (That’s also why he caved on the millionaire surtax, natch.) Reminds me of the GOP’s predicament in the debt-ceiling standoff: O took a hostage he simply wasn’t prepared to shoot....

Senate Republicans think there are 14 Democrats willing to vote for the Keystone provision, which would be just enough to beat the filibuster. The White House must think so too or else Carney wouldn’t suddenly be conspicuously noncommittal. To be clear, the provision wouldn’t automatically approve the pipeline, it would merely force Obama to make a decision on it within the next 60 days. But that’s no help to O: Remember, his goal here isn’t necessarily to cancel the pipeline but merely to postpone a decision until after the election so that he’s not forced yet to choose between labor and the greens.

White House silent on whether Obama would veto payroll tax cut over pipeline deal - AP/Washington Post

Iran-bound radioactive material seized at airport, Russia says

NBC News reported that U.S. officials believe the type of radioactive material seized was typically used for medical diagnostics, pointing away from Iran's nuclear program. - MSNBC

It quoted an un-named U.S. intelligence official saying: "We don't know whether the receipient was a government agency. It's unclear why they would want to smuggle it in - we are still investigating - but it does not appear that this involves Iran's nuclear program."

It said the official was nonetheless "deeply concerned" by the incident and commended the Russian security services for seizing it.

Russia supports Canada's decision to pull out of the Kyoto Protocol, says its foreign ministry, reaffirming Friday that Moscow will not take on new commitments

Russia Slams Kyoto Protocol - FOX

Canada on Monday pulled out of the agreement - initially adopted in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, to cut carbon emissions contributing to global warming. Its move dealt a blow to the treaty, which has not been formally renounced by any other country.
"This is yet another example that the 1997 Kyoto Protocol has lost its effectiveness in the context of the social and economic situation of the 21st century," Lukashevich said, adding that the document does not ensure the participation of all key emitters.

California finally grabs school money from Race to the Top

California shot and finally scored in the competition for more federal education dollars, as the state was one of nine winners named Friday in the Education Department's Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant program.
Sacramento Bee

But don't count on the funds to relieve California of K-12 cuts. The state will receive $52.6 million, largely to build a new child-care rating system that measures learning environment, teachers and parent involvement, according to the California Department of Education.

Rick Santorum TV Ad: Sing Sing Sing



Video: Santorum’s first TV spot - HotAir

None of the three people mentioned — Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Mike Huckabee — have actually issued an endorsement in this race to Santorum, or anyone else, either. However, Santorum hopes that their praise for his commitment to social-conservative principles as well as his achievements in Congress will convince voters that he is truly a reliable alternative to Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich — and also to Perry and Michele Bachmann, who will be spending more money and time in Iowa as Santorum makes his play.

Rick Santorum is long on substance, short on support - Melinda Henneberger/Washington Post

Scott Walker, Wisconsin GOP sue state elections and ethics agency over recall effort

The top GOP lawmaker in the Assembly also took a shot at the Government Accountability Board - which he voted to create - saying it had strayed from its nonpartisan mission and might need to be replaced. - Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel

The lawsuit filed Thursday in Waukesha County Circuit Court asks a judge to order the accountability board to look for and eliminate duplicate signatures, clearly fake names and illegible addresses.

Gov. Walker sues to require the Government Accountability Board to check for fake/duplicate/illegible signatures on recall petitions. - Althouse

The GAB is putting the burden on Walker to challenge the signature, but its rules give Walker "only 10 days to examine, compare and then challenge more than 540,000 signatures – more than 50,000 signatures a day," which the complaint calls "a practical impossibility."

Flashback: TIME Magazine's Man of the Year 1995


HOW ONE MAN CHANGED THE WAY WASHINGTON SEES REALITY - TIME

LEADERS MAKE THINGS POSSIBLE. EXCEPTIONAL LEADERS make them inevitable. Newt Gingrich belongs in the category of the exceptional. All year--ruthlessly, brilliantly, obnoxiously--he worked at hammering together inevitabilities: a balanced federal budget, for one. Not so long ago, the idea of a balanced budget was a marginal, we'll-get-to-it-someday priority. Other urgent work needed doing: the Clintons' health-care program, for example, which would have installed elaborate new bureaucratic machinery. Today, because of Newt Gingrich, the question is not whether a balanced-budget plan will come to pass but when.

Gingrich has changed the center of gravity....

NEWT GINGRICH; MASTER OF THE HOUSE

NEWT GINGRICH: GOOD NEWT, BAD NEWT (Man Of The Year) - IS THE GINGRICH VISION OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE WORTH THE RISK OF A RADICALLY NEW DIRECTION IN AMERICAN GOVERNANCE?

NEWT GINGRICH: TAKING HIS MEASURE (Man Of The Year) - FIVE HISTORIANS WEIGH NEWT ON THE SCALES OF TIME-- AND AGAINST OTHER LEADERS

California tech company to move most of its business, 135 jobs to Austin

Superconductor Technologies Inc. of Santa Barbara, Calif., said it has leased a 94,000-square-foot building in Northeast Austin to house its headquarters along with its engineering and manufacturing operations. - Kirk Ladendorf/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

"This is a good win for Austin," said Dave Porter, senior vice president of economic development for the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, which collaborated with the Austin office of real estate firm CBRE in recruiting the company to Austin. "It continues the momentum we have seen out of California, with companies looking for a less-costly business environment."

The company's proposed average wage will be $75,000, Porter said, and most of its jobs are expected to be filled with local employees.

Obama abandons demand for millionaire tax

"So much for a really good talking point for Democrats in 2012," wrote progressive blogger Joan McCarter on Daily Kos, lamenting the impending death of the Senate Democrats' proposal for a surtax on millionaires. - Hayley Peterson/Washington Examiner

House Republicans have refused to raise taxes on the wealthy and only agreed to extend the payroll tax cut if the administration pays for it through budget cuts. The Republican proposal also mandates construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a project that would run from Canada to Texas and which Obama recently put on hold.

With Republicans unwilling to budge, Senate Democrats met with Obama and then offered Thursday to rescind their proposed millionaire's surtax.

"I just heard that the Democrats have dropped the millionaire surtax for the payroll tax cuts," wrote liberal blogger John Cole. "I never knew the amount of depression and self-loathing that was involved in becoming a Democrat. I honestly think I hate Democrats more now that I am one than I did when I was a Republican."

In debate, Romney lets others do the attacking

Romney decided not to attack Gingrich. He's already done a lot of damage; he didn't need to keep at it in a forum in which his attacks might backfire. - Byron York/Washington Examiner

After the debate, Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond chose to make the best of things. Asked his views on why Romney went easy on Gingrich, Hammond responded, "You kill 'em with kindness and they return the favor." But Team Gingrich knows the truth is really nearly the opposite. In politics, if you try to kill 'em with kindness, they'll kill you with attack ads. That's Newt Gingrich's dilemma after the last Iowa debate.

Gingrich defends credentials in GOP debate - Susan Ferrechio/Washington Examiner

Newt sees Iowa as three-way race - Lynn Campbell/Washington Examiner

Bachmann clearing the brush for Romney - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion

Congress suspends light bulb ban


Breaking News from Watts Up With That?

Spending bill blocks light bulb standards - Politico (Image Source/AP)

The shutdown-averting budget bill will block federal light bulb efficiency standards, giving a win to House Republicans fighting the so-called ban on incandescent light bulbs.

GOP and Democratic sources tell POLITICO the final omnibus bill includes a rider defunding the Energy Department’s standards for traditional incandescent light bulbs to be 30 percent more energy efficient.

Are we so inculcated we can’t be outraged? - Protein Wisdom

The spending bill doesn’t actually amend the 2007 law, but does prohibit the administration from spending any money to carry out the light bulb standards — which amounts to at least a temporary reprieve....

A spending ban of a previous ban, in other words, both rendered into your daily life by unresponsive elected strangers wielding the increasing contempt an empowered and determined ruler has for the subject dependents in his sights....

I realize I’m stating the obvious and not without some emotion. But if this — if lightbulbs won back with opportunistic political sleight of hand — is how we take back liberty and pay just and proper allegiance to our individual sovereignty and with it our self respect in this, the age of client statism and what’s sold as patriotic reform and general pushback, I’m quite sure we’ve given up before we truly begin.


Light bulb ban NOT repealed - Steve Milloy/Canada Free Press

We fell for it, too. There has been no repeal of the light bulb ban.

RIP Christopher Hitchens

Ever the atheist even in the foxhole, he cautioned his friends and fans to not “trouble deaf Heaven with prayers for me,” but most did, anyway. - Dana Loesch at Big Journalism
In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011 - Vanity Fair

“My chief consolation in this year of living dyingly has been the presence of friends,” he wrote in the June 2011 issue. He died in their presence, too, at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. May his 62 years of living, well, so livingly console the many of us who will miss him dearly.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sioux City Debate Recap

Gingrich faces attacks at debate... - AP via Drudge
Perry: 'I hope I'm Tim Tebow of caucuses'... - Politico
Paul, Bachmann spar over Iran nuke threat... - AP
Sparring Republicans turn guns on Obama... - Breitbart
Winners and losers... - Washington Post

Rick Perry compares himself to Tim Tebow at Iowa debate - LA Times
Candidates Stake Iowa Debate on Electability, Leadership - FOX

The Keystone Ultimatum, Will Obama veto a tax holiday to stop a job-creating pipeline?

If Republicans hang tough, they might even get a useful policy victory in return for giving President Obama his political fillip. - Wall St. Journal

Keep in mind that the payroll tax "cut" is nothing more than a tax holiday. All the political palaver is about extending it for one more year, through 2012, so Mr. Obama can claim he did something for middle-class voters before Election Day. Because it is temporary, the tax holiday will do little to change employer incentives to hire.

The best one can say for the payroll reprieve is that individuals will better spend the money than the government would. The problem is that government will keep spending anyway, borrowing the money instead. The one-year payroll extension will take something like $121 billion from Social Security revenues, which means about 10% to 15% of the entire federal budget deficit expected for this fiscal year.

Congress is now fighting over the details of how to "pay for" this lost revenue with spending cuts. But the only certainty is that most of those cuts will be either notional or pulled from the later years of the 10-year budget window and thus never happen. The real news in this end-of-year political rush is that total federal spending in fiscal 2012 will increase—notwithstanding all the posturing about a new era of spending restraint. Mr. Obama and Senate Democrats have blunted House GOP efforts this year and largely preserved the government they grew so rapidly in 2009-2010.

KUHNER: Obama’s Watergate

Officials cover up culpability for gun smuggling and murder - Jeffrey T. Kuhner/Washington Times

A year ago this week, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered. He died protecting his country from brutal Mexican gangsters. Two AK-47 assault rifles were found at his death site. We now know the horrifying truth: Agent Terry was killed by weapons that were part of an illegal Obama administration operation to smuggle arms to the dangerous drug cartels. He was a victim of his own government. This is not only a major scandal; it is a high crime that potentially reaches all the way to the White House, implicating senior officials. It is President Obama’s Watergate.

Operation Fast and Furious was run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and overseen by the Justice Department. It started under the leadership of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. Fast and Furious enabled straw gun purchases from licensed dealers in Arizona, in which more than 2,000 weapons were smuggled to Mexican drug kingpins. ATF claims it was seeking to track the weapons as part of a larger crackdown on the growing violence in the Southwest. Instead, ATF effectively has armed murderous gangs. About 300 Mexicans have been killed by Fast and Furious weapons. More than 1,400 guns remain lost. Agent Terry likely will not be the last U.S. casualty....

Fast and Furious is even worse than Watergate for one simple reason: No one died because of President Nixon’s political dirty tricks and abuse of government power. But Brian Terry is dead; and there are still 1,500 missing guns threatening still more lives.

What did Mr. Obama know? Massive gun-smuggling by the U.S. government into a foreign country does not happen without the explicit knowledge and approval of leading administration officials. It’s too big, too risky and too costly. Mr. Holder may not be protecting just himself and his cronies. Is he protecting the president?

RNC: Obama and Corzine

Obama Panics as Ryan, Wyden Offer Bipartisan Medicare Reform, Thwarting 2012 ‘Mediscare’ Campaign Strategy

Today, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) will formally introduce a new, bipartisan plan for Medicare reform. People 55 years of age or older would not be affected; everyone else, starting in 2022, will receive premium support that will allow them to choose between private insurance and traditional, fee-for-service public insurance. - Joel B. Pollak at Breitbart's Big Government

The Ryan-Wyden plan also disrupts the false mainstream media narrative that Republicans want to harm the economy in order to defeat President Obama next November. In fact, it exposes the reformist pretensions of the Obama White House, which is fully prepared to exacerbate America’s debt and entitlement crises to ensure the president’s re-election.

And as ◼ the Wall Street Journal suggests in an editorial today, the Ryan-Wyden plan sends a message to those Republicans too timid to offer serious and sweeping policy proposals. Real and meaningful political change is still possible, with the right ideas, and the requisite amount of courage, which both Rep. Ryan and Sen. Wyden have commendably displayed.

Sioux City Debate - Live Blogs

Watch it LIVE online at FOX.com

Hillbuzz
Legal Insurrection
Dick Morris
Althouse
Ace of Spades
HotAir: Open thread: Iowageddon
WeaselZippers
Maggie's Notebook
The Blaze

New Rick Perry ad: Problem/Solution


__________________
Rick Perry

For good or ill, this year's record-breaking mass of debates has made the contest the most unpredictable, rapidly shifting, and often downright inexplicable primary race I've ever witnessed. And voting hasn't even begun.

Donald Trump and Our Debate Mania - Why this presidential race has been the most unpredictable contest of my lifetime. - Karl Rove/Wall St. Journal

On the plus side, the debates have allowed every potentially serious candidate to be seen by large audiences (an average of 4.5 million people have tuned in to each one). They have helped candidates sharpen sound bites and flesh out images. And they've kept alive candidacies that might have otherwise died due to lack of interest.

For the most part, the debates have been helpful. Before them, the "generic Republican" never led President Barack Obama in any Gallup survey. Since early July, the generic GOPer has often been leading Mr. Obama. The debates likely contributed to this shift.

Still, there can be too much of a good thing. Debates have nearly crippled campaigns, chewing into the precious time each candidate has to organize, raise money, set themes, roll out policy and campaign.

Each debate kills at least three days: one day (and sometimes two) to prepare, the day of the debate, and the day after, spent dealing with the fallout from the night before. This late in the process—there are 19 days until Iowa and 26 days until New Hampshire, with the Christmas and New Year's holidays eliminating crucial campaign days—many candidates might want to chart their own schedules and set their own message priorities. But the debates won't allow for that.

High Stakes, High Drama for Final Debate Before Voting Begins

It’s been 32 weeks since the first Republican presidential debate. Since then, a changing cast of contenders has faced off a dozen times across the country with millions watching at home. - FOX

Of the original combatants from that May 5 meeting in Greenville, S.C., only two, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum, remain. There have been four lead changes in national polls, two candidates drop out, four candidates join the field and billions of pixels poured out by reporters and pundits trying to make sense of it all.

Tonight, that all culminates here on the western edge of Iowa with the 13th showdown -- the last chance for candidates to make their cases before voters start the process of picking a presidential nominee. Even in a cycle that has been shaped by televised debates like no other, the stakes for the candidates this evening are enormous.
__________________
DEBATE TONIGHT:

Air Time: Thursday, December 15 at 6pm PT (9pm ET) on Fox News
Live Stream: FoxNews.com
Participants: Bachmann, Gingrich, Huntsman, Paul, Perry, Romney, Santorum
On Twitter: #iowadebate is the hashtag for the debate.

"I believe that history will judge this president’s leadership with the scorn and disdain it deserves.”

One Hundred Million Dollar Penny

Firearm Sales "off the charts" During Holiday Season

“People are just coming in to protect themselves,” the employee said. “I think there’s just a lot of things going on in the world that are getting people thinking.” - CBS Sacramento

More women are buying guns than ever before as criminals get more desperate.

Post Office closures, consolidation decision held off until May; TONIGHT'S meeting to go forward despite delay

According to a press release from the agency's headquarters, the decisions have been pushed back to May 15, “in response to a request made by multiple U.S. Senators.” - Times-Standard

U.S. Postal Service representatives are moving forward with the public process on possible local post office closures and a consolidation despite an announcement from Washington, D.C., that no final decision will be made before May.

Postal Service spokesman James Wigdel said the meeting scheduled for tonight regarding the possible consolidation of the Eureka processing plant with one in Medford, Ore., will go on as planned. Representatives will make a presentation to the public explaining the consolidation process and preliminary results of a study examining the cost savings of consolidation before taking questions and comments.

”We'll continue the public process,” Wigdel said on the phone while traveling to Eureka on Wednesday.

The delay, which the postal service announced Tuesday, applies to the closure decision as well.
__________________

IF YOU GO:
WHAT: U.S. Postal Service consolidation meeting
WHERE: Wharfinger Building, 1 Marina Way, Eureka
WHEN: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. today

House Approves Defense Bill After White House Drops Veto Threat

The House passed a massive $662 billion defense bill Wednesday night after last-minute changes placated the White House and ensured President Barack Obama's ability to prosecute terrorist suspects in the civilian justice system. - FOX

The House passed a massive $662 billion defense bill Wednesday night after last-minute changes placated the White House and ensured President Barack Obama's ability to prosecute terrorist suspects in the civilian justice system.


The vote was 283-136 and reflected the strong support for annual legislation that authorizes money for the men and women of the military as well as weapons systems and the millions of jobs they generate in lawmakers' districts.

It was a rare instance of bipartisanship in a bitterly divided Congress. The Senate is expected to pass the measure on Thursday and send it to Obama.

Solyndra debacle goes global

‘Green’ strategies may undermine prosperity in developing countries - Ambassador Alan Oxley/ashington Times

For political junkies, critics of President Obama’s “green” energy initiatives and Republicans on Capitol Hill, the seemingly never-ending Solyndra scandal is the gift that keeps on giving. Every day, new information comes to light detailing the inherent failure of pouring hundreds of millions of U.S. tax dollars into an unsustainable energy company and the dozens of red flags that the Obama administration ignored along the way.

We might think Solyndra is a uniquely American scandal, yet it draws from the very same failed thinking that environmental nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) employ around the globe. They involve two key features: applying “green” economics and squandering taxpayer funding.

The fundamental flaw of the Department of Energy loan program was its promotion of “green” energy that isn’t viable on the open market. Not only did the federal government offer specific loans to these companies, it also pushed for energy standards that only the industries they funded could meet. The result was to prop up a company, indeed an entire industry, that otherwise would be uncompetitive.

The Next Trillion Dollar Bubble

One of the oldest economic maxims, “if you subsidize something, you get more of it” has created the next trillion dollar-plus bubble for which American taxpayers will be on the hook. - Front Page Mag

More money available for borrowing by students has led directly to massive increases in tuition. Those increases substantially exceed the actual costs of the education itself. The Cato Institute reveals that it costs roughly $8,000 to educate an undergraduate at an average residential college, even as a private four-year university averages $37,000 to attend and a public equivalent averages $16,000. The resulting profits allow colleges to expand their facilities, their bureaucracies and their amenities, leading to higher tuition charges.

Hence, a vicious cycle: as college tuition costs increase, the government makes more funding available to students to pay for them. The more funding available–guaranteed by the taxpayers, so that colleges never face the possibility of a loan default–the more they can raise their tuition costs without ever having to worry about getting stiffed.... The American taxpayer, on the other hand, is getting stiffed with increasing regularity.

It has now been nearly 1,000 days since the Democrats last passed a federal budget. This unprecedented act of fiscal irresponsibility -- one that no other Congress in generations has committed -- allows the most profligate administration in American history to continue racking up more than a trillion dollars in deficit spending each year.

The Horrifying Chart That Democrats and RINOs Don't Want You to See - Doug Ross

GETTING AMERICA OUT OF DEEP DEBT - Tom Price and Paul Ryan, budget.house.gov ◼ Chicago Tribune

For three straight years, the U.S. government has run trillion-dollar deficits. In total, the nation has recently surpassed $15 trillion in debt — a number that continues to rise. For nearly 1,000 days, the Democrat-led Senate has refused to write a budget while Washington continues to careen from one budget crisis to another. This is a stark reality for a nation already facing tremendous economic challenges, and it is the strongest argument and impetus for the series of budget-process reforms recently introduced by members of the House Budget Committee.

Earlier this year, House Republicans presented a budget to the Congress that would cut nearly $6 trillion in spending, reform the tax code and improve and strengthen programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. We drafted, debated and passed a plan to put our nation on a path to prosperity. President Barack Obama, along with Democrat leaders on Capitol Hill, responded with demagoguery while offering no credible plan of their own — no plan to pay off the debt and no plan to save and strengthen health and retirement programs for seniors.

Elected leaders should not be able to avoid their responsibilities in such a cavalier manner. And yet, under the broken budget process in Washington, they have been able to get away with doing nothing as the debt piles even higher. Read the rest...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A grand jury has begun investigating Solyndra LLC, the failed California solar-panel maker that lost more than a half-billion dollars in federal loans, according to law-firm billing records.

Grand jury begins probe of Solyndra - Washington Times

The formation of an investigative grand jury would mark a significant development in the criminal investigation into Solyndra, which saw its offices raided by the FBI within days of its bankruptcy filing in September.

“The subpoenas would be just the tip of the iceberg,” said Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and now a law professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. “The first things to happen in grand juries are subpoenas to collect every possible document you can.”

Port Whine: Big Labor’s Occu-punks

It’s no coincidence that businesses using cutting-edge technology and automation are now being targeted and demonized while a man who blames ATMs (which have been around for four decades) and automation for his skyrocketing unemployment rate is sitting in the White House. - Michelle Malkin

Chaos is the progressive Luddites’ goal. Chaos is the reality — and enablers like left-wing Oakland Mayor Jean Quan are reaping what they sow...

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is concerned about how the protesters will affect the people of the city this holiday season. “People have to think about the consequences,” she said. People have to think about who they are hurting. They are saying, ‘We want to get the attention of the ruling class.’ Well I think the ruling class is probably laughing, and people in this city will be crying this Christmas. It’s really got to stop”…

They’re not getting the message. Neither are ◼ the clueless elites at Time Magazine, who celebrated ◼ “The Protester” as their “person of the year.” But it looks like more on the left side of the aisle are getting tired of the mob. ◼ The liberal Los Angeles Times editorial board pans Occupy’s second act:

“The shipping industry didn’t get America into this economic mess, and there is little it could do to get us out. In times of rising joblessness, it’s common to blame foreign competition for the losses at home. But blaming ports or shippers for the changes wrought by an increasingly global economy is sort of like fingering automakers for urban traffic congestion. In its search for a new direction, Occupy Wall Street would probably do better to occupy the National Mall than San Pedro.”

Time's Person of the Year: 'The Protester'

See All Iowa Republican Presidential Caucus Polling Data

RCP Average Gingrich +12.1, Insider Advantage Gingrich +10, PPP (D) Gingrich +1, Univ. of Iowa Gingrich +10, MUCH MORE at the link

NBC/WSJ poll: Gingrich hits 40 percent nationally

The standard caveats apply — only state polls really matter, it’s a poll of registered voters instead of likelies, etc — but this is in fact a milestone. - HotAir

In a three-way race with Romney and Paul, Gingrich leads 53/31/13. One not-so-minor detail, though: Obama leads Romney by just two points head to head but leads Gingrich by 11 thanks to Newt’s weakness among women and independents. Romney’s already made electability an overt part of his campaign messaging...

In the name of protecting copyright, this bill bring about the end of the Internet as we know it.

Internet piracy bill: A free speech ‘kill switch’

What began as an attempt to restrain foreign piracy on the Internet has morphed into a domestic “kill switch” on First Amendment freedom in the fastest-growing corner of the marketplace of ideas.

Proposed federal legislation purporting to protect online intellectual property would also impose sweeping new government mandates on internet service providers — a positively Orwellian power grab that would permit the U.S. Justice Department to shut down any internet site it doesn’t like (and cut off its sources of income) on nothing more than a whim.

Under the so-called “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) the federal government — which is prohibited constitutionally from abridging free speech or depriving its citizens of their property without due process — would engage in both practices on an unprecedented scale. And in establishing the precursor to a taxpayer-funded “thought police,” it would dramatically curtail technology investment and innovation – wreaking havoc on our economy.


An Internet without uploading? - Bill Wilson/Net Right Daily

Censorship is never the solution. Internet piracy can be combated without a regime of suppression that threatens activities that are protected by the First Amendment. This will have a chilling effect on what is in effect cyber speech: on uploading, posting, and sharing files. That is the heart of the Internet, and it is being gutted by this legislation.

Even with the changes proposed by Smith, this bill will essentially criminalize the Internet, making it impossible to upload and share content. Any service that allows for storing files or posting hyperlinks could easily be targeted, and on the Internet, that’s everything.

In cyberspace, this is like trying to pass a law against breathing. Copyright can be protected on the Internet, but it will be done by adapting copyright law to the technology, not by outlawing the technology.

Obama Campaign Collecting GOP Emails


The Obama presidential campaign is launching an effort to collect Republican email addresses by inviting its supporters to submit information about their Republican associates to the Obama 2012 website. - White House Dossier

The effort could help the Obama campaign build a database that would enable it to target Republican voters during the general election campaign. But, more perniciously, it could also become part of an Democratic effort to influence Republican primary voters to select a candidate Democrats think Obama could most easily defeat....

The Obama information collection effort is cast under the mischievous guise of asking Obama supporters to “have a little fun at the expense of a Republican in your life” by signing them up to get an email from the Obama campaign ribbing them for having “inspired” the Obama supporter to donate.

The result, however, is that the Obama campaign gets a new trove of Republican email addresses that it could never have collected through voluntary submissions....

One message, from Deputy Campaign Manager Julianna Smoot, also invites donors to buy something from the Obama 2012 store for their Republican friend.

Really want to fire up your GOP friends? Buy them a gift from the 2012 store. I recommend the birther mugs — they get the message across pretty well.

The email was sent Tuesday. If the Obama supporter sends the gift directly to their Republican friend, then the campaign has a new personal address for its database.

House Republicans Pass Payroll Tax Cut & Unemployment Extension President Obama Wanted

Well, except for one little item: the bill also includes a requirement for construction of an oil pipeline that has drawn a veto threat. - Michelle Malkin

The pipeline would create between 6,000 and 20,000 US jobs, depending on whose estimate you use. Obama claimed that the payroll tax break and unemployment extension would create more jobs than the pipeline (pause for laughter).

The bill will have trouble getting through a Dem-controlled Senate that claims to need more time for careful analysis.... Reid and other Democrats argue the pipeline project requires more study and should not be fast-tracked as part of a political calculation by Republicans.

An oil pipeline should be studied meticulously over the course of years before being built, but more trivial bills like ones that take control of the entire country’s health care system qualify for fast-tracking and hasty implementation? That sounds about right.

Mickey Mouse, Adolf Hitler Allowed On Wisconsin Recall Petition

Suspicious signatures will be noted when the Government Accountability Board reviews the petitions, but reviewers will look to see that signatures are accompanied by a Wisconsin address and are dated as having been signed during the circulation period, board elections specialist David Buerger said. - WISN.com

"We will flag them, but we will not strike them without challenge," Buerger said after being asked whether Mickey Mouse's signature would be counted. He noted that in previous recall petitions, Adolf Hitler's name was struck because the address given was in Germany, not because of the name itself....

The effort to recall Walker, Kleefisch and four Republican state senators is fueled by anger over the proposal passed this year that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for public workers. Recall elections targeting six senators this summer resulted in two Republican incumbents losing their seats....

The Republican Party and Walker's campaign have started their own website asking for people to submit information about signatures that ought to be disqualified, including multiple signatures.

Walker and those targeted are at a disadvantage since they can't see the signatures collected until after they are submitted, while circulators can weed out problems before they are submitted.

"A majority of citizens have grown increasingly frustrated with the recall process, and this effort allows these people to get involved and protect their state from repeated fraudulent activity," said Republican Party executive director Stephan Thompson in announcing the launch of the website Tuesday.

The impossible task of verifying signatures on the Walker recall petitions. - Althouse

What a mess! I hope they are planning to get the signatures quickly typed up and presented on a webpage so that everyone who wants to check names can do so. I am especially concerned about the appropriation of names of people (like me) who did not sign. I am genuinely afraid of fraud and don't think we have anything close to decent safeguard in place.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

House Passes Obama's Tax Cut, Democrats Threaten to Kill It

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.–Nev.) has vowed to kill the bill and President Barack Obama issued a veto threat just hours before the House vote. - Audrey Hudson/Human Events

If Congress fails to act on the tax cut before leaving Washington this week, most Americans will see $20 missing from their weekly paycheck, and unemployed workers face a loss of some benefits.

President Obama is demanding Congress forgo their Christmas holiday and stay in town to pass a tax cut measure he will support, and White House officials are threatening a veto on the separate government spending bill needed to keep federal agencies operating past Friday until the tax cut is passed.

The controversial measure includes a demand on Obama to make a yes or no decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, an issue that has divided Democrat supporters in the green community who claim it will hurt the environment, and unions who want the 20,000 jobs created by the project.

“The president is going to have to decide, can he wait to create American jobs or can he not wait to run against us?” said Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R.–Texas), chairman of the Republican Conference. “It’s Christmas time, let’s deliver to the American people a jobs bill.”

Republicans push payroll tax cut bill through House, despite White House veto threat - AP/Washington Post

The legislation “extends the payroll tax relief, extends and reforms unemployment insurance and protects Social Security — without job-killing tax hikes,” Republican House Speaker John Boehner declared after the measure had cleared.

Referring to the controversy over the Keystone XL pipeline, he added, “Our bill includes sensible, bipartisan measures to help the private sector create jobs.”

House Republicans Pass Payroll Tax Cut & Unemployment Extension President Obama Wanted - Michelle Malkin

Rick Perry: Momentum


__________________
Rick Perry

Ron Paul calls for criminal charges against Eric Holder.

Today, Texas Congressman Ron Paul became the first GOP president candidate to call for criminal charges against Eric Holder. - examiner.com

Speaking to syndicated radio talk show host Alex Jones, Paul called for Holder to be "immediately fired." Paul went on to say "I think it was criminal," and called the operation a "false flag." He said that there needs to be an immediate investigation into Holder himself, and said Holder "deserves charges."

Paul went on to discuss a now infamous memo from White House lawyers who claim Obama has the right to assassinate American citizens anywhere in the world. Paul stated that Obama is trying to "legalize Martial law."

Paul also mocked the FBI's claim of uncovering an Iranian assignation plot against the Saudi ambassador. He said the man arrested "may never be tried because they don't want the truth to come out."

The country is looking for a leader, unafraid to tell the truth, and many think that Newt Gingrich is that person.

Newt Gingrich: Liberals’ Nightmare - Ed Koch at Newsmax

I have watched about a half-dozen events involving the Republican presidential candidates, including their appearance this week before both the Republican National Jewish Coalition and the Iowa debate moderated by Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos.

In the beginning of the early debates, I was not very impressed with any of the candidates’ grasp of the issues being discussed. Either my standards have lowered over the passing months — I was not really listening — or they have increased their comprehension of the issues. I believe it is the latter.

I intend to vote for the re-election of President Barack Obama. In the past I have said the only credible Republican candidate running for president was Mitt Romney. I now believe that Newt Gingrich is very credible and the Republican ticket will end up as Gingrich/Romney.

Gingrich is perceived by all as the smartest of the eight Republican candidates vying for the presidency. He is also the whipping boy of all the commentators on the left, and his philosophical positions and character are attacked with a glee and a fierceness rarely seen.

But my belief is that Gingrich is not suffering from the attacks. Rather than injuring him, he seems to be gaining new supporters and widening his lead. A recent Gallup poll shows Gingrich leading Romney 37 percent to 22 percent among Republican registered voters....

POLLS and more POLLS: In Iowa, Paul closes to within one point of front-runner Gingrich

IOWA: GINGRICH 22% PAUL 21% ROMNEY 16% - Daily Caller
New Hampshire: Romney 33% Gingrich 22% Paul 18%... - Rasmussen
Voters See Gingrich, Romney As Strongest GOP Opponents for Obama - Rasmussen
Voters Like Romney Best, But GOP Voters Give Edge to Gingrich - Rasmussen
42% Say GOP Candidates Paying Too Much Attention to Trump - Rasmussen
Election 2012: Obama 43%, Paul 35% - Rasmussen
Gallup: Romney, Gingrich Beat Obama in 12 Swing States - Newsmax
Rush: Gallup Poll Must Have White House 'Panicking' - Newsmax
Surprise! Poll with ties to SEIU and Daily Kos says... Ron Paul getting close to leaders in Iowa - Doug Ross
Gingrich Up 10 in Iowa; Perry Moves Into Third - Real Clear Politics
InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion Research, conducted for Newsmax
Romney, Gingrich Beat Obama in 12 Swing States - Newsmax
New USA Today/Gallup poll.... Former Massachusetts Gov. Romney leads Obama among registered voters, 48 percent to 43 percent, in the 12 states the survey covers. And former House Speaker Gingrich leads the president, 48 percent to 45 percent. Nationwide, Obama leads Gingrich, 50 percent to 44 percent, and Romney, 47 percent to 46 percent, according to the poll.

The 12 states are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Obama won all of them in 2008. Each could go either way next year, and Obama needs to win half of their electoral votes to gain a second term, according to USA Today.

The portion of voters in those states who identify themselves as Democratic or Democratic-leaning has dropped 4 percentage points since 2008, while the portion of Republicans has risen 5 points.
Rush Limbaugh: WH 'Must Be Panicking' About Gallup Poll - Newsmax

In today’s Congress Blog in The Hill online edition, California Representative Dennis Cardoza blows his party’s leader right out of his Teddy Roosevelt combat boots.

According to Cardoza, US voters made a gross mistake in hiring Obama as chief executive. - Gateway Pundit

In Cardoza’s opinion, Obama is at best cut out to be no more than a professor–and a non-tenured one, we could hope–as since his election, he has done nothing more than lecture, lecture, lecture.

Wisely, Cardoza apologizes to all professors, saying he’s not trying to disparage their profession–only simply point out the obvious. And although he never directly says so, Cardoza makes it fairly clear that the obvious isn’t so much Obama’s reliance on his teleprompter as his lack of leadership and a personality ill-suited to holding the position of Most Powerful Man in the Universe.

Dem lawmaker blasts ‘Professor Obama’ as arrogant, alienating - The Hill

"One former administration official told me directly that the people in the White House “NEVER TALK TO REAL PEOPLE.” Another former Obama staffer confided to me that it was clear to him that the president didn’t mind giving speeches (lectures), but really avoided personal contact with members of Congress and folks outside the Beltway. “He doesn’t seem to derive energy from spending time with regular people the way Clinton did. He rallies to give speeches for the big crowds, but avoids individual contact,” the former staffer recalled. This “arms-length” attitude extends to top decision-makers in the president’s administration. A senior housing official recently told me that, despite the fact that he was responsible for crafting policies to stem the foreclosure crisis, he had personally never met with a homeowner who had been foreclosed on."

Resurgent Republicans close gap in key states


Key Swing Stated - Interactive Map - USA Today

President Obama is moving to energize the Democratic base for his re-election campaign, but in the case of a dozen battleground states, he'll have to work harder than four years ago to find it.

Since the heady days of 2008, a new USA TODAY/Gallup Swing States Poll finds the number of voters who identify themselves as Democratic or Democratic-leaning in these key states has eroded, down by 4 percentage points, while the ranks of Republicans have climbed by 5 points.

Republican voters also are more attentive to the campaign, more enthusiastic about the election and more convinced that the outcome matters.

In U.S., Fear of Big Government at Near-Record Level


The 64% of Americans who say big government will be the biggest threat to the country is just one percentage point shy of the record high - Gallup

Historically, Americans have always been more concerned about big government than big business or big labor in response to this trend question dating back to 1965. Concerns about big business surged to a high of 38% in 2002, after the large-scale accounting scandals at Enron and WorldCom. An all-time-high 65% of Americans named big government as the greatest threat in 1999 and 2000. Worries about big labor have declined significantly over the years, from a high of 29% in 1965 to the 8% to 11% range over the past decade and a half.

Democrats Lead Increase in Concern About Big Government

Almost half of Democrats now say big government is the biggest threat to the nation, more than say so about big business, and far more than were concerned about big government in March 2009. The 32% of Democrats concerned about big government at that time -- shortly after President Obama took office -- was down significantly from a reading in 2006, when George W. Bush was president.

By contrast, 82% of Republicans and 64% of independents today view big government as the biggest threat, slightly higher percentages than Gallup found in 2009.

'Republicans Around the Country' Like My Ideas, Obama Says

President Obama, asked about his low poll numbers and the poor prospects for his re-election, blamed Republican intransigence for the American people's dissatisfaction. He also said rank-and-file Republicans "like the ideas that we put forward." - CNS News

"It is my job to put forward a vision of the country that benefits the vast majority of Americans," Obama told CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview that aired Sunday. "If I can't get Republicans to move, partly because they've made a political, strategic decision that says, 'Anything Obama's for, we're against, because that's our best chance of winning an election,' I don't think the American people would see that as a failure on my part."

DNC Chair Says Unemployment Is Not Increasing Under Obama



Here are the facts. - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard

When Obama took office, the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment is now at 8.6 percent. Nearly two million jobs have been lost under Obama.

Is America Awakening To The Real Jobs Picture (11% Unemployment)? - AJ Strata

“According to government statistics, if the same number of people were seeking work today as in 2007, the jobless rate would be 11 percent.” - Financial Times’ Edward Luce

Long-shot GOP presidential candidate Gary Johnson says he won't give up

"I think the Republican National Committee has hung me out to dry," he said. "I'm angry. Really angry." - St. Petersburg Times

(T)he wildly popular former two-term governor of New Mexico, who lost part of his toe to frostbite climbing Mount Everest on a broken leg, has been excluded from 15 of 17 presidential debates.

The 58 year old who was elected governor in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1 has virtually disappeared from major political polling. The governor who got rid of 1,200 state employees, vetoed 750 bills and left New Mexico with a billion-dollar budget surplus is not Republican enough for the GOP.

"They won't return my calls," he said.

"Gingrich reminds me more of a Steve Jobs or a Richard Branson than he does of a politician, and that is a good thing because politicians these days are the kind of people that make me want to bang my forehead against the desk."

Explaining Newt - Roger L Simon/PJM

Let’s begin here: America is in a slough of despond. In fact, it’s in close to the worst shape it’s been since the Great Depression. Negativity rules the land. Few people are happy or optimistic. Basically, this once great nation is asleep.

And we have a president who wants us to stay there, who is banal, irritating, humorless, reactionary, self-righteous, and narcissistic all at once. He hasn’t said one interesting thing or proposed one creative idea since being in office.

Unfortunately, the Republican candidates aren’t much better. Romney, Perry, Santorum, Bachmann, Huntsman, even Paul, are no more than critics of a system gone moribund. They do not inspire us. Their ideas, even when worth investigating (flat tax, etc.), are no more than rehashes of proposals we have heard for decades.

Only Newt dances. Only Newt, on occasion, is original. Only Newt — and here is the important part — has the capacity to wake us up.

What attracts me about the man is the very thing that Romney criticized, the part that wants to explore the moon and stars, maybe even mine them.
__________________

Reminder: NO HRWF December Meeting

The next Humboldt Republican Women's Club meeting will be January 19th, at Baywood Golf and Country Club in Arcata.

Enjoy the holidays!

Colt Tells Connecticut, “You Can Keep Your Unions, Gun Bans, and Taxes”…Hello Florida!

Colt is joining all the other innovative American manufacturing companies in the great stampede to the Right to Work South. - Gateway Pundit

Monday, December 12, 2011

When Romney criticized Gingrich's statement as unhelpful to Israel, Gingrich replied, "I feel quite confident that an amazing number of Israelis found it nice to have an American tell the truth about the war they are in the middle of, and the casualties they are taking and the people around them who say, 'They do not have a right to exist and we want to destroy them.'"

Gingrich's fresh hope - Caroline Glick

...And he is absolutely right. It was more than nice. It was heartening.

Thirty years of pre-Obama American lying about the nature of the conflict in an attempt to balance support for Israel with appeasement of the Arabs did not make the US safer or the Middle East more peaceful. A return to that policy under a new Republican president will not be sufficient to restore stability and security to the region.

And the need for such a restoration is acute. Under Obama, the last three years of US abandonment of the truth about Israel for Palestinian lies has made the region less stable, Israel more vulnerable, the US less respected and US interests more threatened.

Gingrich's statement of truth was not an act of irresponsible flame throwing. It was the beginning of an antidote to Obama's abandonment of truth and reason in favor of lies and appeasement. And as such, it was not a cause for anger. It was a cause for hope.

◼ Related: Conservatives need some peer review - Jennifer Rubin/Washington Post

Obama, Romney Change Tacks in Week of Political Risks

Barack Obama, his job approval languishing in the low 40s, delivered a much heralded speech in Osawatomie, Kan., framing the choice between the parties in class-warfare terms. - Michael Barone/Human Events

It's hard to see how this thin gruel is going to strike independent voters as (to use Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election theme) a bridge to the 21st century. And it's notable that Obama scarcely made reference to the Democrats' signal legislative accomplishment, Obamacare.

He has thrown away his image, established in his 2004 convention speech and maintained through the 2008 campaign, of a compromise-minded conciliator....

On the Republican side, the oft-proclaimed and oft-dislodged frontrunner Mitt Romney moved from running a risk-averse campaign to a tactic that is highly risky -- launching negative attacks on one opponent in a multi-candidate race.

Romney's Granite State firewall is looking dangerously weak. "If Romney loses New Hampshire," writes longtime election analyst (and George W. Bush cousin) John Ellis, "the Romney campaign collapses in a heap."

...The obvious dynamic in the Republican race this year is that many voters, particularly those who identify with the tea party movement, are casting about for an alternative to Romney. At the moment they're delighted at the prospect of Gingrich debating Obama.

Romney's negative attacks are an attempt to get them to focus on the qualms many former Gingrich colleagues have about him. It's a risky move, but probably not as risky as Obama's.

Obama’s ‘Green’ Initiatives: It Pays (BIG) to Be an Obama Bundler.

Consider the sweetheart deals and contracts that have come the way of some of President Obama’s biggest fundraisers: - Peter Schweizer/Big Government
◼ Financier David Shaw has raised $1.08 million for Obama’s reelection so far. Shaw’s firm D.E. Shaw is heavily invested in two wind projects that received taxpayer money: $115 million for First Wind, and $117 million for Kahuku Wind.
◼ Financier John Rogers is a board Exelon board member has raised $1.2 million, and Frank Clark, an executive Exelon, has raised $153,000 thus far. Exelon has been approved for $646 million in Department of Energy loan guarantees for a project called AV Solar Ranch One. They also received a $200 million Department of Energy cash grant through a company they own called Peco Energy for smart-grid work.
◼ Financier Steve Westly has raised $302,000 so far. Westly has held large investment stakes in numerous companies that have received stimulus grants, including Amyris Biotechnologies ($24 million), Tesla Motors ($465 million), as well as Edeniqu and Recyclebank.
◼ Bruce Heyman of Goldman Sachs, who has had three energy projects approved for taxpayer money Cogentrix ($90 million), First Solar ($4.7 million), and U.S. Geothermal ($96.8 million) has already raised $366,884 for the Obama 2012 reelection campaign.
◼ Daniel Weiss of the Angelino Group has raised $39,000 so far. Weiss’ firm is a major equity holder in Powerspan, we received a $100 million cash grant for smart grid projects.
◼ Steve Spinner has raised $31,900 to this point. Spinner is a green energy investor who worked at the Department of Energy as a “strategic advisor” to the loan program.
◼ Financier John Doerr has held a series of held a private pow-wow bringing together big financiers to meet with President Obama, including a February 17, 2011 dinner at his home with the late Steve Jobs, Zuckerberg of Facebook, and John Chambers of Cisco Systems. Doerr and his firm have investments in sixteen green energy companies that have received taxpayer grants and loans.
(The) new book, Throw Them All Out, ...expose(s) the scandal that is outrageous and typical: those who are raising money for Obama received large amounts of taxpayer-funded energy stimulus money from the Obama Administration. It offers a new form of “recycling” when it comes to campaign dollars that is unprecedented.

Congress, it's time to stop lining your pockets - Sarah Palin/USA Today
__________________
Throw Them All Out - Peter Schweizer

Repeal Is Overwhelmingly Popular

The latest Rasmussen poll of likely voters shows that, by the whopping margin of 20 percentage points — 55 to 35 percent — Americans support the repeal of Obamacare. - Jeffrey H. Anderson/The Weekly Standard

When a sitting president’s signature legislation is this wildly unpopular, you can bet that the economy won’t be the only — or necessarily even the most important — issue in his reelection campaign. President Obama would like Americans to forget about Obamacare and stop thinking about its repeal. The Republican nominee’s job will be to make that impossible — and to ride Americans’ support for repeal to victory.

55% Favor Repeal of Health Care Law - Rasmussen

Santorum Understands Something the Other Republicans Don't

More or less alone among the Republican candidates, Santorum has consistently highlighted the ways in which government policies make it harder for families to navigate the economy. - Joseph Lawler/American Spectator

Most of the others have focused solely on the ways that, for instance, the tax code makes it harder for corporations to find success and remain internationally competitive. Taxes, regulations, and other policies, though, don't just shape the business climate. They also affect households in countless ways.

Huntsman Gingrich debate wrap.

If you missed the live web feed of the two person debate in New Hampshire, you missed a good one. - HotAir

(Fortunately for you they will be replaying it on C-SPAN at 8 PM eastern.) We had ◼ a very lively discussion going on during the debate here at Hot Air, but I assure you it will be worth your time to watch the replay.

The format was, as promised, a rather casual, two person discussion on weighty topics of the day. The moderator simply provided general topics – almost entirely on foreign policy – and gave both Speaker Gingrich and Governor Huntsman ample time to explore each one in depth. There was no sniping and no “gotcha moments,” as Newt noted in his closing. The discussion points were important and both men demonstrated a remarkable depth of knowledge on matters from Afghanistan / Pakistan to Israel / Iran to China....

Missed it? Watch it online at C-SPAN