Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pension Politics

Do Democratic legislators want pension reform? - Joel Fox/Fox&Hounds
Republican legislators want pension reform because they believe it is a step toward overall fiscal reform. The governor wants pension reform to show government can fairly manage tax dollars so that voters will support his tax increase initiative. Voters want pension reform, 83% in a recent poll, because they are concerned pensions are eating away at other services they expect to receive and they don’t want to fund extravagant retirement benefits that they, themselves, don’t receive.

Do Democratic legislators want pension reform?

We’ll call that the $500 billion dollar question.

Herman Cain expected to appear at California GOP Party Convention

California Republicans gathered for the state party convention in Burlingame are expected to hear from a surprise guest this weekend -- former GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain. - Sacramento Bee

Cain...is expected to appear alongside presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich at the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame on Saturday. The former House Speaker is the keynote speaker at Saturday's lunch banquet.

(Chairman Tom) Del Beccaro said conservative radio host and commentator Michael Reagan is also expected to join.

Former presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, is scheduled to address convention attendees during the Saturday dinner program.

Qualified Statewide Ballot Measures

The following is a list of measures that have qualified for the ballot. - sos.ca.gov/elections

June 2012 Statewide Ballot Measures:
Proposition 28 - Limits on Legislators' Terms in Office.
Proposition 29 - Imposes Additional Tax on Cigarettes for Cancer Research.

November 2012 Statewide Ballot Measure:
SBx7 2. - Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2012
1487 - Prohibits Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Prohibitions on Contributions to Candidates
1495 - Changes Law to Allow Auto Insurance Companies to Set Prices Based on a Driver's History of Insurance Coverage
1499 - Redistricting. State Senate Districts

November 2014 Statewide Ballot Measure:
ACA 4 was moved from the June 2012 Presidential Primary Election to the November 2014 General Election by SB 202 (Chapter 558, 2011) Hancock. Elections: ballot measures.
ACA 4. (Chapter 174, 2010), Gatto. State finance.
*State Budget. Changes California Budget Process. Limits State Spending. Increases "Rainy Day" Budget Stabilization Fund.

White House routine: One day, six fundraisers

Each of those 70 attendees paid $30,000 to attend the fundraiser, which was Obama’s 28th this year, and his 95th since declaring for re-election last year, according to a count by CBS Radio. - Daily Caller

President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden managed to hold six fundraisers on Thursday, collecting several million dollars for Democrats’ 2012 campaigns. At each fundraiser the president, the first lady and the vice president all portrayed Obama as a heroic defender of middle-class America beset by heartless Republicans. The Republican’ “philosophy is simple: We are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves, everybody makes their own rules, a few do very well at the top and everybody else is struggling to get by,” Obama told his audience

Democratic governors discuss bypassing Congress with Obama

President Obama met with a group of Democratic governors on Friday and discussed plans to work around Congress toward policy goals. - The Hill

...although they did not discuss the election, the sense in the room was that focusing on jobs is Democrats’ best chance to win in the fall....

Governors present included Govs. Jerry Brown (Calif.), Jay Nixon (Mo.), O’Malley, Christine Gregoire (Wash.), Bev Perdue (N.C.), Peter Shumlin (Vt.), Neil Abercrombie (Hawaii), Deval Patrick (Mass.) and Pat Quinn (Ill.).

Dem Rep booed by constituents over HHS mandate



Rep. Kathy Hochul expected to get some questions on the economy and on gas prices when she met with constituents in New York’s 26th Congressional district last night. Instead, the freshman Democrat got booed by a crowded room over her support for the HHS mandate on contraception and abortifacients, and spent the evening getting an earful from angry voters... ◼ More at HotAir

Hochul*: “We’re not gonna agree on this one. I’m gonna tell you that I will stand for our religious freedoms. But I don’t see a conflict here. Now that there’s been an accommodation that says religious institutions do not have to provide these services.

A man in the audience shouted: “It’s an insult to the Catholics in this country to even listen to that gibberish. It is an absolute insult and Catholics deserve better. We were taking care of this country’s sick long before the government got involved in it.”

Father Leon Burnett: "What would happen to western NYC if we would decide to close all of our hospitals because of this?"

*Hochul's claim is false: They still have to provide insurance to their employees that includes free contraception and abortifacients. Who pays for the insurance? The religious organizations that get forced to facilitate those transactions, since they can no longer opt out of offering the insurance and must pay a large part of the premiums — and in some cases, the religious organizations self-insure, which means the money comes directly out of their pockets rather than indirectly. Either way, they most certainly still do have to “provide these services.” Hochul either is woefully misinformed or willfully lying to her constituents.

Three ways somebody new could grab the GOP nod

Is it too late for a new candidate to enter the race for the Republican presidential nomination? Absolutely not. Is it probable? No. - Conn Carroll/Washington Examiner

There are three ways a still-unannounced candidate could end up being the nominee.

One option would be to fight for every delegate possible, including the 252 caucus- state delegates listed above. There are another 520 delegates up for grabs in states whose filing deadlines come after Super Tuesday. That’s almost 800 delegates potentially still up for grabs, more than enough to force a contested convention.

Another option would be to let Santorum and Ron Paul pile up delegates, thus forcing a contested convention, and then only pick one or two states to contest before heading into the convention. California, where 172 delegates are at stake, doesn’t vote until June 5th. Its filing deadline is March 23rd.

A final option would be to wait and hope that none of the current contenders is able to gain a convention majority. At that point, party power brokers may decide a fresh face, even one who had not won a single primary, might be the party’s best hope. There is no rule requiring the eventual nominee to have won any delegates before the convention.

"We have gone from apology here to abject self-debasement and groveling. And groveling to whom? To the mob.

Krauthammer On Apology To Muslims: Embarrassing, Self-Debasement And Groveling - Real Clear Politics

The Truth HBO’s ‘Game Change’ Hides: Palin Carried McCain Until He Changed the Game


The Democrats knew it, too. - Joel B. Pollak/Breitbart's Big Hollywood

... They feared Palin and, after her arrival, could barely talk about the election without a sense of dread. They had no answer for her optimism, her authenticity, her femininity and her courage.

On the ground in New Hampshire, where I volunteered after classes and on weekends, Palin’s nomination had led to a sudden groundswell of support. Where McCain had struggled to fill an arena, lines outside events featuring Palin seemed miles long. She had awakened and rallied the conservative base.

And then, just as quickly, after the bailout vote, support for the Republican ticket collapsed. People who had greeted canvassers warmly just a few weeks before refused to talk to us. Some took razor blades and sliced their McCain-Palin bumper stickers so that only the “Palin” half remained (a few switched the names so that Palin was on top of the ticket). McCain changed the game – and Obama stuck to his strategy, casting himself as a beacon of stability in turbulent times. And he won.

After the election, when the Republican establishment began to self-destruct, Palin rallied the conservative base yet again. She became an important voice in the burgeoning Tea Party movement. She helped lead Republicans to the greatest congressional victory in several generations. Her success stopped the Obama agenda dead in its tracks. That’s a real “game change” worthy of a film – and the story’s still being written.

Friday, February 24, 2012

There are a couple of interesting observations to be made from the graphic from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. One, the steep decline in American jobs correlates to when the Democrats took over control of Congress.


The truth is clear - the Obama presidency has been a near-complete disaster for working Americans. This might explain a term growing in popularity of late – “ABO” - Anybody But Obama in 2012… - The Ulsterman Report

Maryland becomes eighth state to legalize gay marriage

Despite one of the largest Democratic majorities in any state legislature, backers of gay marriage in Maryland had to overcome fierce opposition from blocks of African American lawmakers and those with strong Catholic and evangelical views to cobble together coalitions big enough to pass both chambers. - HotAir

Big Surprise: Obamacare’s Pre-Existing Condition Plan Costing Twice as Much Per Enrollee as Originally Estimated

Medical costs for enrollees in the health-care law’s high-risk insurance pools are expected to more than double initial predictions, the Obama administration said Thursday in a report on the new program. - Michelle Malkin

Long, damaging primary has GOP considering changes to its rules

Republicans are weighing a change to the party’s presidential primary rules amid fears this year’s prolonged nomination process is hurting the GOP’s chances of retaking the White House. - The Hill

The problems with the current system were discussed at length at both the most recent Republican National Committee meeting and at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference last month. Top RNC committeemen plan to reconsider the rules at the next RNC meeting, slotted for late spring in Phoenix.

The $4 Billion Obamacare Slush Fund for Progressives

If you like how the Obama administration's multibillion-dollar "investments" in bankrupt solar companies have turned out, you'll love the latest federal loan program to nowhere. It's the Obamacare loyalty rewards program for progressives. - Michelle Malkin at TownHall

To appease liberal Democrats pushing for the so-called "public option" (the full frontal government takeover of our health care system), the White House settled for the creation of a $6 billion network of nonprofit "CO-OPs" that will "compete" with private insurers. It's socialized medicine through the side door. House Republicans sliced about $2 billion from the slush fund in last spring's budget deal and proclaimed the program dead. Hardly.

On Wednesday, the White House trumpeted the release of nearly $700 million in taxpayer-funded low-interest loans for seven CO-OPs in eight states. Administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the fund will pour more money into CO-OP plans nationwide throughout the next year. In 2014, according to Washington bureaucrats, the plans will be offered on the federally approved and federally monitored state health exchange "marketplace."

Some marketplace. Given how Team Obama has dispensed special Obamacare waivers to scores of campaign donors, it's a sure bet the CO-OP/exchange mechanism will be brazenly rigged against non-subsidized, for-profit insurers. And against taxpayers.... More...

Alinsky-tied group awarded $56 million federal loan for health insurance project - FOX

A Saul Alinsky-tied group has been awarded a $56 million federal loan to start up a nonprofit health insurance company -- one of several organizations across the country this week tapped to launch a new network of insurers under the sponsorship of the federal health care overhaul.

The Wisconsin group, Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative, was awarded the funding on Tuesday. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the group is expected to provide coverage statewide within five years after starting on a smaller scale in early 2014.

But Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson questioned the group's credentials -- given its affiliation and lack of experience in the insurance field.

"The indisputable fact is that Common Ground was an outgrowth of the Alinsky operation in Chicago," Wilson said. "We're not giving money to a group with experience in health care issues or in setting up exchanges. ... We're handing the money to people who have been trained by arguably the single most expert individual on community organizing in the last 100 years."

Common Ground, a Milwaukee group that dates back to 2004, is an affiliate of the Alinsky-founded Industrial Areas Foundation.

Dem Pollster: Voters Don't Think America's Back

Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg is out with a must-read polling memo this morning, which offers some eye-opening advice to President Obama and his re-election team. After testing several of the president's economic messages, he finds the argument that the economy is back on the right track polls miserably - and "produces disastrous results." - National Journal

"It is weaker than even the weakest Republican message and is 10 points weaker in intensity than either Republican message," Greenberg wrote. "A third said this message made them less likely to support Barack Obama. Alarmingly, this message barely receives majority support among self-identified Democrats - and even less support among all other groups."

Obama’s More Deferential to Afghan Muslims Than American Catholics

It is plain as day: Obama is more deferential to the religious sensibilities of Muslims in Afghanistan than he is to the constitutionally protected religious liberty of Catholics in the United States of America. - CNS News

Obama campaign co-chair tied to subprime mortgage crisis

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, the Democrat who was named a national co-chair of President Obama’s re-election campaign on Wednesday, served on the board of a company that is widely blamed for helping start the subprime mortgage crisis in 2007. - Daily Caller

Beginning in 2004, Patrick served two years on the five-member board of ACC Capital Holdings, the parent company of Ameriquest Mortgage. He was paid a $360,000 annual salary for his efforts, according to “All The Devils Are Here,” a history of the financial crisis by Bethany McClean and Joe Nocera.

Geithner: Rich Need to Pay for ‘Privilege of Being an American’



CNBC Video

No 'Hannity' tonight but tune in at 9 p.m. for John Stossel's special 'Illegal Everything'!

He investigates why America has become a country obsessed with rules and regulations

Candidate Buddy Roemer leaves GOP to seek Americans Elect, Reform Party nominations


Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer ended his quixotic bid for the Republican presidential nomination Thursday, announcing that he would run as an independent and attempt to secure the nominations of Americans Elect and the Reform Party. - Daily Caller

Speaking from the headquarters of the video live stream website Yowie in Santa Monica, Calif. — a place he described as “a lot like Louisiana, just not as much fun… the weather’s good, but you know, they don’t know Mardi Gras here. … Everybody’s a little sophisticated and either untight, or very uptight” — Roemer announced his new plan, and spoke to The Daily Caller afterward.

Roemer’s biggest problem, he explained, was not being allowed to participate in any one of the debates.

“I’m not trying to put the Republican Party down, but you cannot run for president and be shut out of all 23 national televised debates,” Roemer explained.

“I mean you get one percent in the polls, and they say it needs to be two percent; and you get two percent, and they say you need to raise a half a million dollars,” Roemer went on.

“Every time government attempts to handle our affairs, it costs more and the results are worse than if we had handled them ourselves.”

Benjamin Constant - via The Cato Institute

As Gas Prices Rise, Washington Democrats Tell American Families to Get Used to It

High Gas Prices, Sky-High Unemployment and Massive National Debt are All Part of the Miserable “New Normal” Democrats Have Created - RNC

Speaking yesterday in Florida, President Obama tried to “divert blame and prepare voters for higher costs” from energy due to his policies of sabotaging new energy development.

As Democrats are telling American families to get used to high gas prices, they are also attempting to shirk responsibility for the “new normal” of sky-high unemployment they have created.

Meanwhile, the Democrats’ spending spree has burdened America’s families with a record increase in the national debt, despite the grave threat their policies pose to economic growth. Much more at the link...

RNC political director Rick Wiley gives an overview of the path to victory for the GOP in 2012.

'The American people aren't stupid," thundered President Obama yesterday in Miami, ridiculing Republicans who are blaming him for rising gasoline prices. Let's hope he's right, because not even Forrest Gump could believe the logic of what Mr. Obama is trying to sell.

'Stupid' and Oil Prices - Wall St. Journal

Obama's Forrest Gump analysis of rising gas prices.

As a state senator, Obama voted against legislation, four times in total, that protects babies who survive abortion procedures. His no vote meant he was in support of legally allowing people to leave baby abortion survivors to die on the operating table instead of giving them care.

Newt to Media: Remember When Obama Voted for Infanticide? - Katie Pavlich/TownHall

When Obama Voted For Infanticide - Andrew C. McCarthy/National Review

Obama’s abortion extremism is such that, as a state legislator, he opposed protection for — I’ll use his words here — “that fetus, or child — however way you want to say describe it” when, contrary to the wishes of the women involved and their abortionists, there was “movement or some indication that, in fact, they’re not just coming out limp and dead.” Babies were inconveniently being born alive, self-styled health-care providers carted them off to utility rooms where they would be left to die. That is infanticide, plain and simple. In Illinois, people tried to stop this barbarism by supporting “born alive” legislation. Barack Obama fought them all the way....

There wasn’t any question about what was happening. The abortions were going wrong. The babies weren’t cooperating. They wouldn’t die as planned. Or, as Illinois state senator Barack Obama so touchingly put it, there was “movement or some indication that, in fact, they’re not just coming out limp and dead.”

No, Senator. They wouldn’t go along with the program. They wouldn’t just come out limp and dead.

They were coming out alive. Born alive. Babies. Vulnerable human beings Obama, in his detached pomposity, might otherwise include among “the least of my brothers.” But of course, an abortion extremist can’t very well be invoking Saint Matthew, can he? So, for Obama, the shunning of these least of our brothers and sisters — millions of them — is somehow not among America’s greatest moral failings.

What don’t you (or didn’t Obama) understand about killing a baby born alive? - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion

When Newt brought it up at the debate, ◼ Politico immediately jumped to Obama’s defense, confusing partial-birth abortion (which is bad enough) with post-abortion snuffing out of babies who survived.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Krauthammer On Obama's Algae Policy: "I Think He's On To Something"



"Tongue out of cheek," host Bret Baier joked. - Real Clear Politics

"I'm sorry that I brought the level of discussion so low," Krauthammer joked back.

Obama: Use 'algae' as substitute for oil - Joel Gehrke/Washington Examiner

Obama affirmed the need to protect the planet by developing clean energy alternatives, but The Washington Examiner's Michael Barone argues that he hasn't been consistent even on that front. "We’ve prohibited a pipeline, the safest way to transport oil, from Canada, but we’re aiding Mexico in offshore drilling, which is riskier, and by a firm that lacks the experience of the U.S. firms we have been trying to prevent drilling in the same body of water," Barone wrote yesterday. "Does this make any sense at all?"

Obama's sour spot on energy - Michael Barone/Washington Examiner

The Obama administration has been slow-walking oil drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico, has continued the longstanding opposition of most Democrats and some Republicans to the common sense policy of oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska and has blocked the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, apparently at the behest of wealthy campaign contributors—and seems to realize the political idiocy of this policy, as witness the totally-without-credibility denial by Press Secretary Jay Carney that the president did what he did....

Democratic leaders increasingly oppose Obamacare

The ongoing controversy over President Barack Obama’s universal, female-contraception entitlement decree reportedly found Vice President Joseph Biden, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, former Chief of Staff Richard Daley and five Democratic senators opposing Obama’s fusillade against religious liberty and economic freedom. - The Reporter Online

(It is tyrannical to force faith-based organizations to commit what they consider sins and dictate to insurance companies that they deliver a service for free — namely, birth-control coverage — for which they normally charge money.)

This is the latest example of Democrats rejecting Obamacare — in whole, or in part.

Obama’s ‘Modest American Dream’ More Like a ‘Dream Killer’

An Associated Press article titled, “Obama Promotes Modest American Dream” , highlights Obama’s grim view of the American dream from comments he made in his January 25th speech to Conveyor Engineering & Manufacturing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. - Donlyn Turnbull/Breitbart's Big Government
Obama promotes modest American dream - Erica Werner/Big Government

"If you're willing to put in the work, the idea is that you should be able to raise a family and own a home; not go bankrupt because you got sick, because you've got some health insurance that helps you deal with those difficult times; that you can send your kids to college; that you can put some money away for retirement," Obama said recently in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

"That's all most people want," he said. "Folks don't have unrealistic ambitions. They do believe that if they work hard they should be able to achieve that small measure of an American Dream."

Sour race heads to Michigan, turns off voters

Barbara VanSyckel is the chairwoman of the Republican Party in Macomb County, Mich., a key county in a key state with a crucial GOP primary coming next Tuesday. She was looking forward to the Republican debate from Arizona this week, eager to see the candidates outline their positions before heading to Michigan. But after watching for a while, VanSyckel actually turned the debate off, disgusted by the negativity and bad-mouthing between the candidates. - Byron York/Washington Examiner

If you're a party trying to build enough enthusiasm to take back the White House, it's never a good idea to alienate your own county chairmen so much that they won't even watch your debates. But that is the situation as the increasingly sour Republican race moves to Michigan.... where Romney has been running ads attacking Santorum, and on Thursday Santorum introduced two new ads attacking Romney. The first hit Romney for supporting Wall Street bailouts and "turning his back on Michigan workers." The second simply featured Romney statements from the past like, "I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose" and "I'd have been embarrassed if I didn't ask for federal dollars every chance I had."

All in all, it's been enough to make even a party chairwoman turn off the TV. What will it do for GOP voters?

The Mittens Come Off in Mesa - George Neumayr/American Spectator

CNN Arizona Republican Presidential Debate at Mesa Arts Center - February 22, 2012



Full video of last night's debate.

Did Obama lose the debate? - Don Surber/Daily Mail
Rick Santorum in CNN Debate: Not Crazy, Just a Conventional Politician - Michael Medved/The Daily Beast
Once-hot Santorum up in smoke - John Podhoretz/New York Post
Tough at the top: Santorum struggles to defend Washington record as he becomes main target in Arizona debate - Yoby Harnden/Daily Mail
Five Takeaways From the Arizona Republican Debate - Ronald Brownstein/National Journal
Mitt Romney's winning debate performance might make him a loser in the long termDr Tim Stanley/The Telegraph
Was CNN Influencing Debate On Obama’s Behalf? = Big Journalism

Seven states have filed suit together today seeking to overturn the controversial mandate the Obama administration put in place that has sparked strong opposition from pro-life groups because of its violations of religious liberty.

Seven States File Lawsuit to Overturn Obama HHS Mandate - Lifenews.com

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning started coordinating a lawsuit with other states attorney general recently. Today, he led seven states in asking a federal judge to block the Obama administration mandate by filing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court of Nebraska alleging that it violates the First Amendment rights of groups that object to the requirement to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions.

“This violation of the [First] Amendment is a threat to every American, regardless of religious faith,” Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said in a news release. “We will not stand idly by while our constitutionally guaranteed liberties are discarded by an administration that has sworn to uphold them.”

We Already Know Democrats’ Energy Plan: Higher Energy Prices and Less Energy

President Obama is Trying to Pivot Away from Rising Gas Prices, But Democrats Have Consistently Pushed Policies that Hurt the American Consumer - NRCC

President Obama is speaking this afternoon to unveil what he claims is his plan for American energy amidst rising gas prices. Sadly, Americans know all too well from three years of this administration that Democrats' plan for energy is to artificially increase prices while exacting enormous costs on the rest of the economy.
◼ OBAMA TO "PROMOTE ENERGY PLAN THURSDAY"
◼ "GAS PRICES ARE HIGHEST EVER FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR"
◼ OBAMA WANTED ENERGY PRICES TO "NECESSARILY SKYROCKET" UNDER HIS CAP-AND-TRADE PLAN"
◼ ENERGY SECRETARY STEPHEN CHU IN SEPTEMBER 2008: "SOMEHOW WE HAVE TO FIGURE HOW TO BOOST THE PRICE OF GASOLINE TO THE LEVELS IN EUROPE"
◼ FLASHBACK: HOUSE DEMOCRATS RAMMED THROUGH CAP-AND-TRADE NATIONAL ENERGY TAX IN 2009
Perhaps most shockingly, the Obama administration is trying to reinvent its record of blocking oil and gas production, most recently with their decision to block the Keystone pipeline but also with the hurdles they've placed in front of new oil and gas leases.
◼ "THE ANTI-JOBS PRESIDENT" REJECTS JOB-CREATING KEYSTONE PIPELINE
◼ GREEN GROUPS THREATENED TO ABANDON OBAMA IF HE APPROVED KEYSTONE
◼ NATIONAL JOURNAL ANALYSIS: "U.S. ECONOMY MISSED OUT ON CREATING UP TO A QUARTER-MILLION JOBS" IN 2011 BECAUSE IT "LACKED [ENERGY] INFRASTRUCTURE"
◼ INCREASING ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE THROUGH KEYSTONE XL WOULD LIMIT PRICE SPIKES IN FUTURE
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION CONTINUING TO SLOW-WALK NEW DRILLING PERMITS
◼ OBAMA MORATORIUM ON GULF DRILLING "TAKING ITS TOLL" AND "MIGHT AS WELL STILL BE IN EFFECT"
◼ GULF BUSINESSES FRET THAT "PERMITORIUM" REMAINS IN PLACE
◼ ISSUANCE OF NEW PERMITS MUCH SLOWER THAN IN RECENT YEARS
◼ OBAMA'S MORATORIUM ON OFFSHORE DRILLING SHRANK PRODUCTION IN THE GULF OF MEXICO
◼ OBAMA HAS RESCINDED SEVERAL LEASES FOR OIL EXPLORATION
Instead of allowing proven energy technologies to tap into existing energy reserves and increase American energy independence, Democrats have repeatedly placed high-risk, taxpayer-funded bets on companies like Solyndra in the name of unproven "green" experiments, but have little to show for it.
◼ OBAMA SAID STIMULUS WAS INTENDED TO "TAKE BETS" ON NOW-BANKRUPT COMPANIES LIKE SOLYNDRA
◼ LAST WEEK OBAMA INSISTED HE WOULD "DOUBLE DOWN" ON GIVING TAXPAYER MONEY TO COMPANIES LIKE SOLYNDRA
◼ AFTER HE USED STATE OF THE UNION TO EMBRACE HIS RECORD OF FAILURE ON "GREEN" PROGRAMS LIKE SOLYNDRA
◼ "REPORT: ENERGY LOANS COULD COST $3B" FROM "HIGH-RISK" GREEN PROGRAMS
◼ REPORT "ECHOES CRITICISM" THAT "OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SHOULD HAVE CUT OFF MONEY TO SOLYNDRA FAR SOONER THAN IT DID"
◼ OBAMA'S RE-ELECT CAMPAIGN SIGNALS INTENTION TO RUN ON FAILURE, CELEBRATING NOW-BANKRUPT SOLYNDRA IN THEIR FIRST 2012 AD
Obama: Republicans Playing Politics with Spiking Gas Prices - Michelle Malkin
Obama accuses GOP of playing 'bumper sticker' politics with higher gas prices - The Hill
“You pay more and they’re licking their chops. And you can bet since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas,” Obama said. “I’ll save you the suspense: step one is drill, step two is drill, and then step three is keep drilling.

“We heard the same line in 2007 when I was running for president,” Obama said. “We hear the same thing every year. We’ve heard the same thing for 30 years.”
‘Chops Licking,’ Then and Now - Ed Driscoll
Gee, as the above video highlights, I can remember a politician who licking his own chops to see higher energy prices himself in 2008 — and several big media outlets on both coasts who also supported the idea of themselves:
Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.

Sarah Palin Demands Afghanistan Apologize for Slaughter of US Soldiers

...Several people were wounded on Wednesday, witnesses said, when shots were fired as hundreds of angry Afghans gathered in a second day of violent clashes after copies of the Koran, Islam’s holy book, were burned at NATO’s main base in Afghanistan.... - Jim Hoft/Gateway Pundit

After ◼ Obama apologized to Afghanistan for a torched book with extremist writings, Sarah Palin called on Afghanistan to apologize for the two soldiers killed today.

From her Facebook page: Obama apologizes for the inadvertent Koran burning this week; now the U.S. trained and protected Afghan Army can apologize for killing two of our soldiers yesterday.

While he waits for a GOP nominee, Obama has carved out his re-election campaign path against a do-nothing Congress, but 61 percent of those polled said they blame Obama for the economy’s slow recovery while only 21 percent hold Congress responsible.

Congress has single digit approval ratings and they still beat Obama. Amazing. - Weasel Zippers

A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday morning reveals voters believe Republicans in Congress can fix the country's budget deficit crisis more than Obama can.

Iranian Scientist 'Sought Israel's Annihilation,' Says Widow

Semi-official Iranian news agency interviews widow of Mostafa Roshan – leaving no doubt as to nuclear program's goal. - israelnationalnews

The wife of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, an Iranian nuclear scientist who was assassinated in Tehran in January, said Tuesday that her husband "sought the annihilation of the Zionist regime wholeheartedly," according to Iran's semi-official Fars news agency.

"Mostafa's ultimate goal was the annihilation of Israel," the agency quoted Fatemeh Bolouri Kashani as saying Tuesday.

Bolouri Kashani also underlined that her spouse "loved any resistance figure in his life who was willing to fight the Zionist regime and supported the rights of the oppressed Palestinian nation."

The report belies attempts by Iran to claim that its nuclear program is not military in nature.

Formerly secret telexes offer window into Iran’s nuclear deceit

...the telex, sent in 1992 and made public here for the first time, was not what it seemed. The real purchaser was not a university but a secretive research institute working for Iran’s military. The fluorine gas, investigators later concluded, was to be blended with uranium in a nuclear program that would remain hidden for 10 more years.

The document is part a trove of 1,600 formerly secret telexes obtained by nuclear researchers seeking to unearth the early history of Iran’s clandestine pursuit of nuclear technology. While nearly two decades old, the records offer an unusually detailed glimpse into Iran’s alleged efforts to defy sanctions to obtain sensitive technology — tactics that intelligence officials say continue even now.

Experts who studied the documents say they were struck by patterns of behavior that began early in the program and involved some of the same individuals who run the country’s nuclear efforts today, under the oversight of the same supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who came to power in 1989. The telexes and other records show Iranians using subterfuge and deception to obtain the parts they needed, and afterward issuing vigorous denials to U.N. nuclear officials, even when confronted with evidence.

Obama launches 'African Americans for Obama' in honor of Black History Month



To Celebrate Black History Month, Congressman West took to the House Floor with a remarkable speech on the relationship between African-Americans and the Republican party (Video)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chavismo is in a much worse shape than what you thought


At this point it is simply impossible for chavismo to organize a primary election. - Daniel in Venezuela

Not that Chavez would allow it anyway, and even less his Cuban masters who are getting tired of all that electoral waste of time (look at the renewed repression in Cuba as soon as Dilma Roussef, to her eternal shame, left Havana). And would a quick primary campaign help anyway? After what the country witnessed with the opposition there is simply no time, nor conviction, to organize something remotely comparable within chavismo. The 7 months spent by chavismo in making fun of the opposition instead of minding their own business are suddenly cashing at the door (the tortoise and the hare anyone?).

It is thus my opinion that chavismo is in much deeper disarray as you may see from the surface. In the next two months they need to decide whether Chavez will campaign or not. If not, does that mean someone can campaign for him? If not, does that mean they need to replace him?

Chavez surgery throws Venezuela into uncertainty - Breitbart.com

#CNNdebate - Ron Paul Highlights


__________________
Ron Paul

Birth control question booed at #CNNdebate



Newt Gingrich attacks 'elite media,' again - Politico
Gingrich went after the media again for a question over birth control that had already drawn loud disapproval from the audience.

"i just want to point out, you did not once in the 2008 campaign, not once did anybody in the elite media ask why Barack Obama voted in favor of legalizing infanticide," he continued. "So let's be clear here. If we're going to have a debate about who the extremist is on these issues, it is President Obama who as a state senator voted to protect doctors who kill babies by abortion. It is not the Republicans."

Just More Words: Hypocrisy At The Pump


In Response To Skyrocketing Gas Prices, Obama Tries To Take Credit For Policy Actions That He Once Campaigned Against - RNC

USA National Gas Price Heat Map - gasbuddy

CNN Republican National Debate in Mesa, Arizona

Liveblogging at Gateway Pundit
at Pat Dollard
At - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion
At HotAir
The Other McCain
At NoQuarter
Protein Wisdom
White House Dossier
At Althouse
At The Right Scoop

WATCH LIVE
CNN Debate Transcripts Posted Online (in 30 minute segments)
At CNN.com
CNN LiveStream

Debate could be a real game-changer in GOP race - LA Times

Video: Tough night for Santorum - HotAir
Debate word of the night: Cheerful - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion
Romney, Santorum go after each other in debate - CNN
Newt Gingrich attacks 'elite media,' again - Politico
Gingrich went after the media again for a question over birth control that had already drawn loud disapproval from the audience.

"i just want to point out, you did not once in the 2008 campaign, not once did anybody in the elite media ask why Barack Obama voted in favor of legalizing infanticide," he continued. "So let's be clear here. If we're going to have a debate about who the extremist is on these issues, it is President Obama who as a state senator voted to protect doctors who kill babies by abortion. It is not the Republicans."
Arizona Republican debate: GOP rivals slam Santorum as Paul labels him a 'fake' - Ny Daily News
Rivals target Santorum in debate - Washington Times

$2.50 per Gallon Gasoline, Energy Independence and Jobs -- An Address by Newt Gingrich



Beyond the soundbites: Gingrich releases 30-minute energy ad - HotAir

It’s as simple as simple can be — just a man, speaking against a blue background. But, in a cycle of 30-second ads, this one stands out for a different reason: It runs for 28 minutes and 59 seconds. It fits that it comes from Newt Gingrich, who has arguably been most stung by the work of skilled videographers at his rivals’ campaigns. While the Gingrich campaign has run its share of attack ads, too, those quick hits never seem to advance his cause in quite the way he’d like. He’s oscillated between a positive and negative approach to campaigning — but he’s always taken a wordy approach to it.

Debates — at least until Florida — have been the most effective vehicle by which Gingrich has promoted himself. This ad offers him the chance to speak fluidly and passionately, as he does in debates, without the pesky interruptions of MSM moderators and the other candidates. He was wise to choose energy as his first topic, too. As he states in the video, it’s an issue that has implications for national security, personal family budgets, the national economy and balancing the federal budget. It’s not like high gas prices work in Obama’s favor, either.

No lie—it’s Washington’s birthday


Today we celebrate George Washington’s 280th birthday. - Nancy Griesemer/examiner.com

WH ignores House subpoena for Solyndra documents

President Obama and his West Wing aides ignored a subpoena of documents pertaining to the Solyndra loan guarantee even after congressional investigators met with White House officials to negotiate the scope of the subpoena, according to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. - Joel Gehrke/Washington Examiner

"The White House's failure to comply with today's document deadline is a sad milestone on the path chosen by this administration to obstruct and delay our investigation rather than cooperate and help deliver answers for taxpayers," committee chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee chairman Cliff Stearns R-Fla., said in a statement this evening.

Santorum Trails Among Women in Poll

A gender gap for Rick Santorum has surfaced in the most recent set of polls released before next week’s primaries, with women in Arizona supporting Mitt Romney over Mr. Santorum by nearly 2 to 1. - New York Times

Republican Sen. Scott Brown holds a decisive lead over Democrat Elizabeth Warren in the race for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts.

Brown Surges in Massachusetts - Wall St. Journal

According to a new Suffolk University/7NEWS (WHDH-Boston) survey, the freshman senator garners 49% of the vote -- nine points ahead of his main Democratic rival. It's the first time a poll put Mr. Brown in the lead since last fall...

The survey suggests there's a reason independent voters favor the Massachusetts senator. And it has to do with the perception of Ms. Warren as a liberal Democrat. When asked what word first came to mind when respondents heard the name Elizabeth Warren, "liberal" was a top reply. On the other hand when asked what came to mind when they heard the name Scott Brown, "independent" and "fair/fair person" were among the top responses.

Christie To Warren Buffett: 'Just Write A Check And Shut Up'



"He should just write a check and shut up. Really. And just contribute. I'm tired of hearing about it. If he wants to give the government more money, he's got the ability to write a check. Go ahead and write it," Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) said to CNN's Piers Morgan. - Real Clear Politics

$6 A Gallon

Talk about pain at the pump! Some Florida drivers are spending nearly $6 a gallon to fill up their gas tanks. - CBS Local

According to GasBuddy.com, motorists are shelling out $5.89 for a gallon of regular gas at a Shell station in Lake Buena Vista, topping out at $5.99 a gallon for premium. It doesn’t get better at a Suncoast Energy station in Orlando, where drivers are paying $5.79 for a gallon of regular.

Season finale? How debates have become the ultimate 'event' TV


CNN LIVE: Tune in Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET for the last presidential debate before Super Tuesday, the CNN/Arizona Republican Party Debate hosted by John King. Follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate and on Facebook at CNN Politics. For real-time coverage of the Arizona and Michigan primaries, go to CNNPolitics.com, to CNN apps or to the CNN mobile website.

Tweet your questions using #CNNDebate #CNN

Santorum, Romney at center of table in first GOP presidential debate in a month - CNN
Lots at stake in first GOP debate in nearly a month - CNN

White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett: 'People Who Receive that Unemployment Check Go Out and Spend It and Help Stimulate the Economy'



...speaking at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said that folks getting and spending unemployment checks is a healthy thing . . . because it stimulates the economy

Team Santorum: campaign needs local volunteers


The campaign coordinator for Rick Santorum is looking for a volunteer grassroots organizer in Humboldt County to:
· Establish and maintain contact with the county GOP office
· Recruit volunteers and potential donors
· Categorize volunteers (writers, boots on the ground, callers donors, social media)
· Coordinate local debate parties, local sign waving events, and get out the vote volunteers
Contact:
Shellie Collins
California Campaign Coordinator
Rick Santorum for President
(209) 744-1785
__________________
Rick Santorum

‎3 Ways To Help Rick Santorum!
1) Volunteer - Join Team Santorum today - RickSantorum.com/teamsantorum/
2) Call From Home to voters in key battleground states - PhoneForRick.com/
3) Donate - RickDonate.com/
- Thanks for your support! Together we can win back the White House!
3 Ways To Help Rick Santorum - Volunteer, Call From Home & Donate
RickSantorum.com

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The gasoline trap

It takes heavy fuel to transform a nation. - John Hayward at Human Events

We went from $1.84 gas at the time of Obama’s inauguration, to $3.56 ($4.19 in Eureka) and climbing today, but it took a little while to get there, so panic hasn’t quite broken out at the pumps.

Over the long term, high gas prices fuel the “transformation” of the populace, which has always been one of Obama’s most important stated goals. For one thing, it’s easier to hide a few more cents of tax in $4 gas than $2 gas. More insidiously, expensive gas begins changing public expectations about the ability to travel, and the ability of average people to afford automobiles. For an example of the former, look at the blossoming trend of stories about “staycations” as summer approaches. That’s a vacation where you don’t actually go anyplace. The Associated Press wrote about them over the weekend.

Soon you’ll begin seeing carefully placed stories about how wonderful staycations are. You’ll hear about the stress of packing the family into a car or airplane for a long journey, versus the marvelous relaxation of camping out in the backyard, or connecting with one another over kitchen-table games. Remember how the media started writing about “funemployment” when Barack Obama got his hands on the economy? Meanwhile, two months after her previous luxury vacation, Michelle Obama whisks the kids off to go skiing in Aspen.

Lowest Regular Gas Prices in the Last 36 hours in Eureka, CA - californiagasprices.com

Stunning report: Obama used administrative earmarks to buy Congressional support for his wildly unpopular agenda

Wondering how President Obama convinced politicians to vote for Cap-and-Trade, Obamacare and other unpopular bills that Democrats knew would put their seats at risk? - Doug Ross


‘Buying’ House Votes for Unpopular Legislation - Heritage.org

At least 32 vulnerable House Democrats received significant federal grant money in the periods leading up to or directly after their votes on at least one of these three pieces of legislation (see charts below), raising concerns that those grants may have been used either to encourage or reward votes in favor of the administration’s position.

...while administrative earmarking is a practice used by nearly every administration, CRS found in a report published in April 2010 — immediately after the time period at issue — that “[b]oth the number and value of earmarks requested solely by the President increased since FY2008.” The number of earmarks had increased by 54 percent, CRS found, while the value of those requests had increased by a whopping 126 percent.

The timing of those requests also suggests political factors at play. Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky, a former Federal Elections Commissioner, said the administration’s actions “show how taxpayer funds are used for crass political purposes — it is a rank abuse of the government’s power and another sign of this administration’s lack of a moral compass.”

Get up to speed online: Learn to Edit and Maintain Wikis

American Majority Training Resources

Wikis are simply editable websites. One of the most famous wikis is Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. A study found that although this wikis is open to the public, the information is as accurate as Encyclopedia Britannica. The future of mass collaboration, transparency, and accountability can be found in emerging wikis like Sunshine Review, Ballotpedia, and Judgepedia.

Sites like Sunshine Review empower citizens across the country to share information with each other about their local units of government — cities, counties, school districts, and state agencies. As the country shifts from individual protest to collaborative action, wikis will play a critical role in keeping government accountable and transparent. To help you participate in this new technology and empower your organization, Sunshine Review has produced a set of video tutorials to get you started. View the Video Tutorials >>

See also:
Twittivism: Guide to Twitter and Activism
Twitter Workshop with Tabitha Hale (52:21 minutes)
Press Release Template (PDF Download)

Ballotpedia,
Judgepedia.
Sunshine Review

Radtke Calls for Congressional Investigation Into IRS Abuse of Tea Party, Patriot Groups

U.S. Senate candidate Jamie Radtke has asked the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to launch a formal investigation into abusive actions by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) toward Tea Party and Patriot organizations. - Jamie Radtke for Senate

On Friday, Radtke sent a letter to Congressman Darrell Issa describing IRS actions toward conservative organizations currently seeking IRS non-profit status as “an assault by the Internal Revenue Service on Tea Party and Patriot groups.” As an example, Radtke mentioned the plight of Richmond Tea Party, which applied for 501(c)(4) non-profit status more than two years ago. After waiting two and a half years for approval, the IRS recently communicated a new set of overly-burdensome and invasive demands for information that exceed the scope of the IRS code.

Radtke told Issa she is familiar with other groups that are having similar experiences with the IRS. Radtke wrote, “There is a pattern of IRS activity toward Tea Party and Patriot organizations that includes unwarranted delays and overly burdensome information requests that divert the energy and resources of those groups from their missions. This behavior chills the exercise of free speech and free association by the groups’ members and supporters.”

Radtke To Issa: WTF, IRS? - The Other McCain

Congressman Allen West Mocks ThinkProgress and Huffington Post



The Think Progress article concludes by vowing to “track every little single thing” Rep. West says so long as he continues “to campaign on this record of hate.” - The Blaze

Well, then. If being “divisive” and “irresponsible” are what prompts Think Progress to “track” politicians, they might want to take a look at some others.

How about the guy who called on voters to “punish our enemies?“ That was ”divisive,” wasn’t it? Or how about the guy who publicly insulted, say, the Cambridge police without actually knowing the full story? That was “irresponsible,” wasn’t it? Or maybe – just maybe — Think Progress could roundly criticize the person who called GOP leaders “demons.” That’s “divisive,” right?

Right?

As the curtain is pulled back and more of Media Matters’s actions see the light of day, expect more of these sorts of calls — but don’t expect the IRS to act on them, at least not yet.


The Daily Caller reported last week that Media Matters, the progressive-fascist group funded by wealthy leftists to silence anyone who dare fail to meet their political purity test, received a $50,000 grant to “fact-check” religious broadcasters. Coincidentally, last November, religious broadcasters found themselves under attack from the FCC, when their exemption to closed captioning regulations, which is very expensive, was revoked.

According to the Caller, “The grant came in 2006 from the ARCA Foundation, a 60-year-old philanthropy that funds Democratic causes. The foundation gave Media Matters the $50,000 “to support a Religious Broadcasting Project to expand the monitoring and fact checking of religious broadcasts.”

This week, the target of these actions struck back.

The organization National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) called for the IRS to launch an investigation into Media Matters to see they violated the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

BREAKING: Gleick Confesses... Eco-fraud: Global warming crusader admits lying, stealing, smearing

Question: Where are all the front-page mea culpas from the all the mainstream media outlets that ran with Gleick’s slime? - Michelle Malkin
Gleick removed from AGU Task Force on Scientific Ethics page - Watts Up With That?
BREAKING: Gleick Confesses - Watts Up With That?
NCSE accepts Gleick’s resignation - Watts Up With That?
Heartland ClimateFakeGate Exposes Rot In Alarmists’ Camp - AJ Strata

...When the false Hockey Stick (showing never-before-seen-warming) was exposed in the middle of the last decade, you would think the alarmists would have learned their lesson about misrepresenting data. Fudging and hiding data (like the directly measured disconnect between tree rings and global/regional temperatures) is scientifically unethical. In the applied engineering world it could be cause for criminal prosecution.

But no – the zealots were on God’s side. So the ends justified any means. Therefore onward they marched.

When the censoring of scientific debate was exposed in the CRU emails at the end of the last decade, you would think those paragons of ‘ climate science’ virtue would stop their madness and consider how far they had sunk. It was clear that a cadre of self appointed ‘experts’ (whose only expertise appears to be in producing shoddy statistics) worked over time to punish dissenting views and data. They almost succeeded....

Wisconsin Union Protest: Myth vs. Fact

Gallup Finds Unemployment Climbing to Nine Percent in February


The polling company said this suggests that it is “premature” to assume the economy will not feature prominently in the 2012 election season. - CNS News
The U.S. unemployment rate, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, is 9.0% in mid-February, up from 8.6% for January. The mid-month reading normally reflects what the U.S. government reports for the entire month, and is up from 8.3% in mid-January. - Gallup

Ron Paul on Social Conservatism: 'I Think It's a Losing Position'

"Do you--are you uncomfortable--certainly Rick Santorum is the one who has been in the forefront of some of this talk on social issues, but there have been others in the race," Crowley asked Paul. "Are you uncomfortable with this talk about social issues? Do you consider it a winning area for Republicans in November?" - CNS News

"No," said Paul. "I think it's a losing position.

"I mean, I talk about it because I have a precise understanding of how difficult problems are to be solved," Paul continued. "And they're not to be at the national level. We're not supposed to nationalize these problems. The founders were very clear that problems like this, if there needs to be legislation of sorts, the state has the right to write the legislation that they so choose. And that solves a lot of our problems."

Romney suddenly closes on Santorum in Michigan

Just in time for tomorrow's final debate before Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney is surging in Michigan, his home state where he'd been badly trailing Rick Santorum for the Republican primary one week from today. - Investors.com

According to a new Public Policy Poll out late last night, in the past week Romney's support has jumped nine points in the crucial Midwestern state to carve away at Santorum's lead, reducing a 15-point margin to only four, 37%-33%. Four points happens to also be the poll's margin of error. This new survey found Ron Paul with 15% support and Newt Gingrich trailing badly at 10%.

In a less meaningful Gallup national poll, that has nothing to do with delegates, Santorum leads Romney 36%-26%.

As Republicans gnaw at each other’s throats, playing a desperate game of “I’m more conservative than you,” something yet more depressing and deeply ironic is occurring: Capitalism is saving Obama.

Lucky Barack - Roger L Simon/PJM

What a lucky man Obama has been and apparently still is. Perhaps we should call him Lucky Barack, in homage to Kingsley Amis’ Lucky Jim. But in actuality the President more closely resembles Chauncey Gardiner of Jerzy Kosinki’s Being There. That comparison is surprisingly apt. Obama is essentially a pseudo-intellectual, dyspeptic and self-centered version of Gardiner, originally and ironically named Chance, rising out of obscurity to everyone’s astonishment to be president of the United States.

Of course, Obama’s rise is not entirely accidental. A major characteristic of modern liberal/leftism, indeed one of its hallmarks, is a kind of determined fakery, using a pretense of anti-capitalism as a masquerade for greed. It’s an old and cynical game. Many of the richest people in the world are self-described liberals who shout loudly for supposed “progressive” causes, creating foundations proclaiming their goody-goodyism while quietly salting away billions for personal gain.

Obama is the perfect president for them.

Romney suddenly closes on Santorum in Michigan

Just in time for tomorrow's final debate before Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney is surging in Michigan, his home state where he'd been badly trailing Rick Santorum for the Republican primary one week from today. - Investors.com

According to a new Public Policy Poll out late last night, in the past week Romney's support has jumped nine points in the crucial Midwestern state to carve away at Santorum's lead, reducing a 15-point margin to only four, 37%-33%. Four points happens to also be the poll's margin of error. This new survey found Ron Paul with 15% support and Newt Gingrich trailing badly at 10%.

In a less meaningful Gallup national poll, that has nothing to do with delegates, Santorum leads Romney 36%-26%.

Mardi Gras celebration rocks New Orleans with Fat Tuesday music, revelry and parades


Across the Gulf Coast, Mardi Gras was getting into full swing. - Washington Post

In the Cajun country of southwest Louisiana, masked riders were preparing to go from town to town, making merry along the way in the Courir du Mardi Gras. And parades were scheduled elsewhere around Louisiana and on the Mississippi and Alabama coasts. The celebration arrived in Louisiana in 1682 when the explorer LaSalle and his party stopped at a place they called Bayou Mardi Gras south of New Orleans to celebrate. The site is now lost to history.

The end of Mardi Gras gives way to the beginning of Lent, the period of fasting and repentance before Easter Sunday.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Santorum Foot Shooting Underway. But, This election won't be about access to condoms. It's going to be about freedom. What it means to be an American.

In Wednesday night's debate, Given his perceived front runner status he is going to be put on the hotseat from the outset. - Larry Johnson/No Quarter
Rick Santorum: “Maybe We’re In an Era Where You Can’t Go Out & Talk to the People” - Gateway Pundit



In defense of Rick Santorum: no matter what Obama and the media say, this election is going to be about freedom, not contraception - Doug Ross

Tonight on Fox News, Brit Hume asserted that Santorum's social conservatism would be "poison" in a general election. The media, willing accomplices to the Democrat Party, will be more than happy to paint the former Pennsylvania senator in that light....

In a debate, when some left-wing hack like George Stephanapolous kicks off the proceedings by asking about contraceptives, Rick Santorum should respond as follows:

"Are you having problems getting contraceptives, George? Is someone proposing to ban them? I reject your question. This country faces existential threats economically and from nuclear-armed terror states. I respectfully request that you prioritize your questions in terms of importance to all Americans and not just your personal issues in getting access to contraceptives. So let's start off the debate with a question about something truly important to all Americans."

...This election won't be about access to condoms. It's going to be about freedom. What it means to be an American.

Pro-Obama super PAC a bust in January fundraising

The big-money vehicle intended to raise astronomical sums to serve as the Democratic counter to similar action by Republican-funded super PACs and outside groups is failing miserably, federal documents filed Monday showed. - Luke Rosiak/The Washington Times

That desperate financial situation explains a change of course by Mr. Obama earlier this month that drew criticism as hypocritical from officials of both parties and campaign-finance watchdogs. Mr. Obama frequent speaks of the ills of “big money” in politics, especially the little-regulated super PACs, even to the point of dressing down the Supreme Court justices present for his State of the Union speech over the Citizens United decision that made super PACs possible.

...The presidential campaign of former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, who has yet to meet the criteria to appear in any of the numerous Republican presidential debates, also raised about the same amount of money as the pro-Obama super PAC.

iPhones, gas, and brain surgery spontaneously appear for all our benefit; engineers, oil company CEOs, and doctors deliberately profit at all our expense. Good things appear on trees; bad people claimed they made them. The gas in your L.A. Mercedes never should come from the oil off your coast. The driver is a refined sort; the refiner is not.

The New Commandments on the Barn Wall - Victor Davis Hanson/PJM

Did you know … today actually isn’t Presidents Day?

In case you missed the Headlines item about this, today is actually “the day that isn’t.” For The American Spectator, Peter Hannaford explains:
In 1968 sentiment grew for a Uniform Monday Holiday Act that would move several national holidays from their specific dates to the nearest Monday, thereby reducing down-time for the economy and giving workers a series of three-day holidays. An early draft of the enabling bill would have renamed the Washington’s Birthday holiday “Presidents’ Day” to honor both Washington and Lincoln, whose birthday is on February 12 and has never been a national holiday.

The bill passed and was signed into law as the Uniform Monday Holiday Act on June 28 that year. George Washington’s birthday, February 22, was moved from that date to the third Monday of the month and remains officially, the George Washington’s Birthday Holiday. The term “Presidents’ Day” is not mentioned in the Act.
On Monday we'll celebrate Washington's Birthday, and no one else's. - Peter Hannaford for The American Spectator Online on 2.17.12

Note to Michelle Obama: It’s ‘Washington’s Birthday’ - CNN

Michelle Obama wished her famous husband a “Happy President’s Day” on twitter earlier Monday, declaring @BarackObama her “personal favorite.” The tweet was signed “-MO,” which the Obama campaign has said means it comes from the first lady directly.

The only problem? There is no such thing as Presidents Day. The official name of the holiday is “Washington’s Birthday,” according to the Office of Personnel Management, the agency in charge of federal employees.

New political maps force North Coast politicians to adjust plans

Most of the 2nd District’s new area was carved out of Rep. Mike Thompson’s 1st District, which is renamed the 5th District. - Jeremy Hay/Press Democrat via WatchSonomaCounty.com (image source)

This is the redistricting the Humboldt RCC campaigned against. We didn't win. h/t: cece





THIS WEEK AT THE LENDING LIBRARY: TEN NEW TITLES

The new Republican Lending Library has added four books by political gurus Dick Morris and Eileen McGann: Catastrophe (“How Obama...and Special Interests Are Transforming...Freedom Into Socialism”); Outrage (about various government ripoffs); Because He Could (the Bill Clinton phenomenon); and Condi vs. Hillary (imagining a future presidential contest).

We have also added Catherine Drinker Bowen’s classic account of the Constitutional Convention, Miracle at Philadelphia and Margaret Leech’s Reveille in Washington, about the nation’s capital in the Civil War.

Other new title are The Really Inconvenient Truths in which Iain Murray refutes Al Gore’s “global warming” theory; Strategery, Bill Sammon on the George W. Bush phenomenon; A Time for Truth by the late Treasury Secretary William E. Simon; and Rising to the Challenge, a pictorial record of the U.S. pavilion at the Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

Come in and browse. Sign out a book for two weeks (only $1). Call for open times, 442-2259.
The Library is at Republican Headquarters, 311 Fifth Street, Eureka.

Liberals vs. conservatives/Conservatives vs. liberals

We are not the same. I equate Republicans' political views with thoughtlessness, intolerance and narcissism. They're neither kind nor empathetic. - LA Times Op-Ed by Diana Wagman

Debating a liberal is maddening: They think conservatives are evil, while we think they're silly. - LA Times Op-Ed by Charlotte Allen

The bleak media landscape, as the presidential campaign goes forward, shows Fox News moving to the left and MSNBC moving further to the left.

Free Speech for Conservatives - Trevor Loudon's New Zeal

For Baby Boomers, it's now 'work til you drop'...

The oldest ones, (Ed) Lawler says, aren't retiring, and more and more the youngest members of the generation ahead of them aren't either. It's no longer uncommon, he says, for people to work until 70. - AP via Drudge

(W)hen it comes to income equality, the United of States of America makes the professional couch potato the equal of the factory worker.

The chart liberals hate - Don Surber/Daily Mail

Wyatt Emmerich... got to thinking about why people remain on welfare and why people don’t seek jobs at even $10 an hour. Government assistance is the reason. The federal government through the state governments provides food, shelter, health insurance and now, even free cell phones to the poor and people who don’t work.

Guess what? People don’t work. Why should they? The government provides a lifestyle that is better than if you earned $15 an hour. How are employers to compete? More at the link

When you honor everyone, you honor no one, and honor becomes meaningless. The name of the law which created President’s Day – The Uniform Monday Holiday Act – is absurd, much like the mush it inspired.


Failure to Honor Washington - Greg Halvorson/Canada Free Press

“If we do this - change the date of the Washington holiday – ten years from now our children will not know what February 22 means. They will not know or care when George Washington was born. They will know only that in the middle of February, they will have a three-day weekend for some reason…. This will come.”

It has. The progressive effort to rewrite history and to demonize – and erase – the Founders has succeeded. General Washington is now less revered than Lady GaGa.

It's President's Day

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Karl Rove: ‘Mental Illness’ to Think New Candidate Will Emerge

On Fox News Sunday this morning, Karl Rove threw cold water on the murmurings by unnamed “top Republicans” that a new candidate could emerge should Romney lose Michigan. - National Review

...Rove added, for good measure, that the thought the possibility of the last scenario — a new candidate with enough delegates to see the nomination decided at the convention itself — was as “remote as life on Pluto.” See what else he said, at the link.

Newt Gingrich on Fox News Sunday



At The Right Scoop

Eureka tops nation in gas prices; supervisors send letter to President Obama

According to the report, the average price for regular, unleaded gasoline in Eureka between Jan. 10 and Feb. 14 was $4.05 per gallon, 20 cents higher than the state average of $3.85 per gallon. The state average rose 15 cents between Jan. 10 and Feb. 14. Prices continue to rise, coming in between $4.13 and $4.19 per gallon around Eureka on Friday. - Times-Standard

County supervisors Jimmy Smith and Clif Clendenen sent a letter to Obama and Vice President Joe Biden this month requesting presidential action to lower gas prices.

Whitney Houston Critics Called Her ‘Too White' -- Black Republicans Can Relate

Whitney Houston died at the age of 48. Most articles about her death said something like, "Houston struggled with drug and alcohol problems for years ..."

But Houston also struggled with something else that black Republicans and black non-Democrats can understand: ridicule and ostracism for "selling out," or "acting white," or not being "black enough."

Ebony, the black monthly magazine, wrote about the then-27-year-old: "Black disc jockeys have chided her for 'not having soul' and being 'too white.' ... She was booed at the Soul Train Music Awards. ... It's enough to drive a good Christian girl to drink, drugs or at least to cursing. But not Whitney. Though it hurts her deeply, she handles it all with aplomb..."

Black Republicans can relate to the name-calling.

A black St. Petersburg Times columnist wrote this about black Republicans: "Some creatures are just plain strange, making us do double takes because their compositions or habits or appearances defy our sense of logic and our way of viewing reality. Take the wildebeest, the warthog, the hyena, the brown pelican, the Shar-Pei. These animals, seemingly wrought by committee, make us laugh or shake our heads.

"Another such creature, of the human kind — and perhaps the strangest of all — is the black Republican... Black Republicans fail to understand that white Republicans will never accept them as equals. Although they will not acknowledge the truth, white Republicans, like most other whites, view black Republicans as strange creatures." Agree? Weigh in with Larry Elder at Creators.com

Obama trails three of four Republican candidates in latest Iowa Poll

The Republican with the biggest lead: Ron Paul, who would defeat Obama by 7 percentage points, 49 percent to 42 percent. Rick Santorum, winner of the 2012 Iowa caucuses, leads Obama 48 percent to 44 percent. Mitt Romney, edged in the caucuses by Santorum, leads Obama 46 percent to 44 percent. - DesMoinesRegister.com

Iowa Democrats made Obama the winner of the 2008 Iowa caucuses, launching him on his road to the White House. In the general election, he defeated Republican nominee John McCain in Iowa by nearly 10 percentage points.

But Obama is in trouble in Iowa today, hampered by negative perceptions of the job he is doing as president. More Iowans disapprove (48 percent) than approve (46 percent). That’s just one percentage point above his all-time low in job approval, 45 percent in September 2010.

Obama's low start 'suggests real trouble' - DesMoinesRegister.com
Poll: Obama Trailing 3 GOP Challengers in Swing State Iowa - Publius/Big Government
The poll's results are a troubling sign for Obama in a state that launched him to the presidency. - The Hill

Romney's struggles fuel talk of brokered convention

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's struggles in Michigan are fueling speculation that Republicans might have to resort to a doomsday scenario and launch a frantic search for a 2012 savior at their nominating convention in late August. - Reuters

Rare in the modern age of U.S. politics, a "brokered convention" could result in Republicans ditching their current crop of candidates and turning to someone else who they feel would have a better chance of defeating Democratic President Barack Obama in the November 6 election.

How did Republicans get to this point? Romney's failure to get conservatives fully behind him and put down yet another challenger in the party - this time it's Rick Santorum - is causing angst in the party.

Many senior Republicans do not think Santorum, a social conservative caught up in the U.S. culture wars over issues like abortion and contraception, has a chance to beat Obama if he wins the party's presidential nomination.

McCain 'concerned' about November - Politico

Iran stops oil sales to British, French



Iran has stopped selling crude to British and French companies, the oil ministry said on Sunday, in a retaliatory measure against fresh EU sanctions on the Islamic state's lifeblood, oil. - Reuters

The European Commission said last week that the bloc would not be short of oil if Iran stopped crude exports, as they have enough in stock to meet their needs for around 120 days.

Industry sources told Reuters on February 16 that Iran's top oil buyers in Europe were making substantial cuts in supply months in advance of European Union sanctions, reducing flows to the continent in March by more than a third - or over 300,000 barrels daily.

France's Total has already stopped buying Iran's crude, which is subject to fresh EU embargoes. Market sources said Royal Dutch Shell has scaled back sharply.

US officials believe Iran sanctions will fail, making military action likely - The Guardian

(T)here is a strong current of opinion within the administration – including in the Pentagon and the state department – that believes sanctions are doomed to fail, and that their principal use now is in delaying Israeli military action, as well as reassuring Europe that an attack will only come after other means have been tested.

"The White House wants to see sanctions work. This is not the Bush White House. It does not need another conflict," said an official knowledgeable on Middle East policy. "Its problem is that the guys in Tehran are behaving like sanctions don't matter, like their economy isn't collapsing, like Israel isn't going to do anything.

"Sanctions are all we've got to throw at the problem. If they fail then it's hard to see how we don't move to the 'in extremis' option."

The threat from Iran grows ever graver - The Telegraph

Iran’s scientists may soon be able to present their country’s obdurate and ruthless leaders with an invulnerable means of constructing a nuclear arsenal. As William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, warns in his interview with this newspaper today, any such decision on the part of the regime would trigger a “new Cold War in the Middle East without, necessarily, all the safety mechanisms”.