Saturday, June 23, 2012

Next up on al-Qaeda hit list: the West’s freedom-loving trees

The latest issue of the al-Qaeda propaganda publication Inspire contains the usual dose of narcissism, delusional threats and overwrought tributes to dead terrorists but what is striking is the space it devotes to an unexpected target: trees. - Stewart Bell/Canada National Post

Eleven pages of the online magazine are handed over to discussions about starting forest fires in NATO countries, providing both a tactical and religious justification for it, and an illustrated step-by-step guide on how to do it using a device made out of gasoline and a washing machine timer.

“Fire is one of the soldiers of Allah,” it says....

The idea gained traction in 2008, during Australia’s wildfire emergency. In 2009, a Department of Homeland Security bulletin noted “growing interest in ‘forest jihad’ among terrorists” but found no credible evidence it was a genuine threat to the U.S. “Considering the appeals posted in al-Qaeda forums, the possibility exists for arson to be used as a terrorist tool,” it allowed.

Al Qaeda's Inspire Magazine Returns, Recommends Forest Fires As Next Great Terror Innovation - Huffington Post

When we last left the genius who apparently thought that what al Qaeda's global death cult needed most was to embark on a print media enterprise, he was ... well, he was dead, actually. Samir Khan, the "Saudi-born, New York-raised" propagandist behind Inspire, the Lapham's Quarterly for bomb-mad terrorist weirdos, had been killed in one of those fun extrajudicial drone strikes that have become all the rage. Prior to that, Khan and his editorial team had commemorated the 9/11 attacks in "sour grapes" fashion.

Anyone looking for evidence that al Qaeda had been organizationally degraded in the decade since 9/11 would have found it in abundance in the pages of any issue of Inspire. Its debut issue urged young jihadis to "make a bomb in the kitchen of [their] mom" -- a sort of menacing version of the advice Alton Brown dishes out on the Food Network. Another issue featured a story suggesting that a good way to strike fear in the hearts of infidels would be to trick out your pickup truck to make it "the ultimate mowing machine," and terrorize sidewalk pedestrians.

Basically, these are the sort of convoluted, outlandish plans for villainy and mayhem that South Park's Professor Chaos would have deemed to be clownish.

Nevertheless, despite recent setbacks (that whole having your editor-in-chief killed thingy), Inspire is back, and it has new ideas for al Qaeda wannabes, chief among them ... uhm -- setting forest fires?

HHS pushes out cash ahead of ruling


Conservatives wanted the White House to stop spending on the health care law until the Supreme Court rules on whether it’s constitutional.

But the administration has forged ahead, spending at least $2.7 billion since oral arguments in the case ended on March 28. That’s more than double the amount that was handed out in the three-month period leading up to the arguments, according to a POLITICO review of funding announcements from the Department of Health and Human Services.

While much — if not all — of this funding was in the pipeline well before March, the timeline for handing out specific funds is not set in stone, which gives the agency leeway over the kinds of dollars it has been handing out.

And the stakes have increased as the date of a Supreme Court ruling approaches, because money that is spent won’t have to be repaid, most likely. But remaining funds will dry up if the court strikes down the law.

The court is expected to announce its decision next week.

The $2.7 billion includes grants and awards that have been handed out since the Supreme Court arguments — including more than $90 million in funds for health insurance cooperatives that HHS announced Friday afternoon.

By contrast, the administration gave out about $1 billion in grants, loans and other awards during the three months before the Supreme Court arguments.

Democrats still trying to secure support for California budget

Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders called their budget deal Thursday a "conceptual agreement" for good reason. - Sacramento Bee

With floor votes planned in three days, Brown officials and lawmakers are still filling out major details of cuts to welfare-to-work and health care for low-income children that will determine exactly how the budget will impact programs.

Egyptian Secular Parties Blast Obama Administration for Supporting Muslim Brotherhood



Egyptian secular leaders held a rally today condemning the US administration’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood in the country. The speakers claimed the Obama Administration was forcing the military to hand over power to the Muslim Brotherhood. - Gateway Pundit

Secular parties express discontent with Muslim Brotherhood and reject what they claim is Washington's endorsement of the Islamist group - Ahram Online

President Barack Obama must do more than manage America’s decline

In the face of Obama’s timid foreign policy towards Russia and the Arab world, Republican challenger Mitt Romney is offering real hope - Charles Moore/The Telegraph

Why was Barack Obama so popular globally when he ran for the US presidency four years ago? Because people believed that an eloquent and charismatic first (half-) black president of the United States could do good in the world. The retro-chic poster with a picture of Mr Obama and the single word “HOPE” on it conveyed the entire message.

Four years on, Mr Obama remains eloquent, charismatic and (obviously) 50-per-cent black. He still has considerable global prestige, but his career exhibits a contradiction which, over time, tells against him. He has used that prestige to tell us, in effect, that the president of the United States cannot do all that much good in the world. His message is that American power has lessened, that America is not a special place.

In logic, if you accept this message, you must place less hope in the man who delivers it. He is the advocate of his nation’s decline, and therefore of the reduction of his power. The odd decision to give Mr Obama the Nobel Peace Prize at the start rather than the finish of his presidency turns out to make a sort of sense: he achieved much more by winning the election than by anything that he has done.

...Mr Romney stands in the central tradition of the modern presidency. He thinks America should be strong. He sees decline as a choice to be rejected, rather than a fate to be embraced. He does not suffer from Jimmy Carter-type agonies about American power, and is not troubled by Obama-style, anti-Western “Dreams from my Father”. He is better qualified than Obama to recover the American economic leadership without which nothing much else can happen. He wants to build up defences again and shore up old alliances. The more he asserts these simple, important things, the more he will raise the question which ought to be asked of Mr Obama, as of all other incumbent Western leaders at this dire time – where the hell are you taking us?

Latinos forced to give up their knives and forks at Obama event

“It’s very important that you use your utensils as soon as possible” - Politico



“As you know, we’re having another speaker and there is some Secret Service involved. So there’s a reason why there’s no knives at your table and the forks will be collected. ... And I’m not joking,” Regalado told the audience in a ballroom at Disney’s Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World. “So, like the good Hispanic mother I’m here to tell you to please, eat your lunch.”

Eating utensils confiscated before Obama speech to Latino organization - Doug Powers/Michelle Malkin
Remember when they confiscated forks and knives at the White House Correspondents' Dinner? You don't? That's because they didn't. - Doug Ross

Afterburner with Bill Whittle: Follow the Ideology



President Obama personally inserted himself into the Fast & Furious gun walking scandal after he extended executive privilege over certain DOJ documentation. Was the Fast & Furious a botched scandal, or a deliberate effort to undermine the Second Amendment? Find out as Bill Whittle explores the ideological motives behind the Fast & Furious scandal.

Obama says ‘all your wedding gifts belong to me,’ sparks #Obamafundraisingideas

Just when you thought President Obama’s hubris level couldn’t get any higher, he proves you wrong. His latest fundraising idea? All your wedding gifts belong to him. - Twitchy


New Obama campaign fundraising pitch: How about you have people send your wedding, anniversary and birthday gifts to us instead? - Doug Powers/Michelle Malkin

Obama Jumps The Shark Lands On Snopes: Suffice it to say, Obama has become a proven to be true not so urban legend of his own making.

The Imperial Presidency

The United States was born when rebellious colonists declared their independence from an imperial ruler who had vastly overstepped his bounds. “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States,” they wrote in their Declaration of Independence. - Heritage

Today’s presidency lacks the regal air of George III. But imperialism is back, in a big way.

...We can now see before us a persistent pattern of disregard for the powers of the legislative branch in favor of administrative decision-making without—and often in spite of—congressional action. This violates the spirit—and potentially the letter—of the Constitution’s separation of the legislative and executive powers of Congress and the President. Examples abound: at the link.

CNN ALLOWS IMMIGRATION ACTIVIST TO POSE AS 'UNDOCUMENTED COLLEGE STUDENT'

Meet Mayra Hidalgo. She was introduced yesterday to the CNN viewing audience as a "student" who happened to question Gov. Mitt Romney after his speech to Latinos in Florida. She made for great television for CNN because Ms. Hidalgo asked Romney to explain his position on illegal immigration and the DREAM Act. - Larry O'Connor/Breitabrt's BIG Journalism

A little digging has revealed that this isn't the first time CNN has obliged Ms. Hidalgo. In fact, a few months ago, she was not just a student in the crowd at an event.... A little more digging reveals Hidaglo describes herself on her Twitter profile as an "Immigrant rights organizer," and she is called here a DREAM Act activist. In fact, Ms. Hidalgo, whom CNN referred to in January as a "college student" in fear of deportation – and then yesterday as a "college student" who confronted Gov. Romney – actually works for a Washington DC lobbyist.
After being asked if Romney might have suspected she was ambushing him, she told Political Pulse that she works for DRM Capitol Group, a Washington-based lobbying group that appears to exist specifically to push for the DREAM Act, according to the group’s website. In fact, DRM’s website statement about Romney includes this sentence: “Undocumented youth will escalate our actions against Mitt Romney until he supports the President’s new immigration policy.”
CNN got duped into covering this woman, multiple times; or else they knew very well that she was an activist and purposely hid the fact to paint her as "just a college student" in fear of Gov. Romney's policies. Either way, CNN has some explaining to do. More at Breitbart

Friday, June 22, 2012

Liberal conference straw poll finds enthusiasm for Obama is down

The straw poll from this week’s Take Back the American Dream Conference show that the left’s hope that President Obama would be a great transformational leader has waned since 2008. - Red Alert Politics

Less than half of the 209 conference attendees said they felt hopeful about the president at 46 percent, while 35 percent expressed dissatisfaction with him and a further 31 percent were concerned about his performance. Only 11 percent said they were enthusiastic about Obama.

Rubio Talks "An American Son" With Greta Van Susteren

FAST AND FURIOUS, BEYOND GUN CONTROL: OBAMA WANTS TO ERASE HIS FIRST (AND ONLY) POLITICAL DEFEAT

The root of Operation Fast and Furious is gun control. And the root of Barack Obama’s obsession with gun control is not typical left-wing politics, but the burning memory of the only political defeat in his career: his failed primary challenge against incumbent Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) in 2000, when Obama’s hypocrisy on gun control legislation earned him the outrage and ridicule of the Chicago media, and sealed his electoral defeat. - Joel B. Pollak/Breitbart

Then-state senator Obama had backed a bipartisan bill called the Safe Neighborhoods Act. It would have raised the crime of illegal transport of a firearm from a misdemeanor to a felony. But on the crucial day of the vote, Obama was out of town--and on vacation, in Hawaii. The bill failed by only three votes, and the media pounced--as did Obama’s rivals. It was the moment, Obama later said, when he knew he would lose the race.

...Obama and Holder, united in their dislike of guns, are now bound even more tightly by Fast and Furious. But Obama always had a motive beyond anti-gun ideology: the desire to erase his first defeat. His abuse of executive privilege will not prevent his second.

Ryan Being Vetted for VP

Ryan, one of the GOP’s brightest young stars, is clearly a favorite of Romney allies. But some top Republican officials are wary of plucking him from the House, where he is the party’s most influential voice on fiscal issues. - Robert Costa/National Review

NO, OPERATION WIDE RECEIVER DOES NOT EXCUSE OBAMA OR HOLDER

After a long period of resolutely ignoring Operation Fast and Furious, the bulk of the mainstream media has been dragged into covering the “gun walking” scandal by the charges of perjury directed at Attorney General Eric Holder. Flailing around for something they can spin, liberals have suddenly become very interested in Operation Wide Receiver, a gun walking program from the Bush era. - John Hayward/Human Events

... In summary, Operation Wide Receiver was a small-scale botched sting operation, in which a foolish, but faintly plausible, plan to track straw gun buyers to their criminal customers went terribly wrong. The Obama Administration used this disaster as a template, radically increased its scale, and turned it into something else altogether.

Far from letting the Obama Administration “off the hook” because “Bush did it too,” an understanding of the full Operation Wide Receiver story makes the Obama scandal worse. Read the rest.

THE IMMIGRATION BOMBSHELL: NAKED LAWLESSNESS



link - Charles Krauthammer/Human Events

"With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations [of immigrants brought here illegally as children] through executive order, that's just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed."

-- President Obama, March 28, 2011

WASHINGTON -- Those laws remain on the books. They have not changed. Yet Obama last week suspended these very deportations -- granting infinitely renewable "deferred action" with attendant work permits -- thereby unilaterally rewriting the law. And doing precisely what he himself admits he is barred from doing.

Obama had tried to change the law. In late 2010, he asked Congress to pass the DREAM Act, which offered a path to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants. Congress refused.

When subsequently pressed by Hispanic groups to simply implement the law by executive action, Obama explained that it would be illegal. "Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. ... But that's not how our system works. That's not how our democracy functions. That's not how our Constitution is written."

That was then. Now he's gone and done it anyway. It's obvious why. The election approaches and his margin is slipping. He needs a big Hispanic vote and this is the perfect pander. After all, who will call him on it? A supine press? Congressional Democrats?

On this day in 1990: Goodbye Checkpoint Charlie

June 22, 1990: On this day in 1990, the infamous Checkpoint Charlie -- the crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War -- was dismantled. ◼ Human Events

Mitt Romney 48%, Obama 43%



POLL: Obama drops 8 points with whites... - Rasmussen via Drudge

Just 33% now believe the president is doing a good or excellent job when it comes to the economy. That’s down from 41% at the beginning of May.



13-point plunge among young voters - Paul Bedard/Washington Examiner

When Leaders Lie

How many lies does a man have to tell before we can call him a liar? - Roger L Simon/PJM

What a horrible situation for our country. Barack Obama, win or lose, is forever tainted. And so is America if he remains our leader.

Rubio: GOP is pro-legal immigration

Georgia Democrats can’t move tickets to Obama reception? And The Coming DNC Disaster

The Georgia Democratic Party’s fifty percent reduction in ticket costs for a reception next week in which Georgians can press the flesh with Barack Obama has prompted some Republicans to ask if the president’s fundraising operation is slowing. - georgiatipsheet.com

“If Georgia Democrats can’t hawk a $500 reception with the President of the United States, they’re in worse shape than we knew,” a prominent Georgia Republican operative told the Tipsheet. “Guess their admission last month that the campaign would not pursue Georgia really depressed what little donor base remained here.”

In spite of the president’s reputation as an unparalleled fundraiser, his campaign has been losing in recent weeks the competitive edge to Republican Mitt Romney in the cash dash.

Financial disclosures for the two pols revealed Romney had outstripped Obama in May by nearly $17 million.

◼ And, coming to North Carolina: The coming DNC disaster - Michelle Malkin

There aren’t Greek columns tall or wide enough to camouflage Barack Obama’s impending North Carolina catastrophe. In September, the campaigner-in-chief will travel to Charlotte for his party’s presidential nominating convention. For once, the incurable jetsetter may wish he had stayed home.

Obama’s stage managers envision a triumphant, unifying coronation reminiscent of their 2008 DNC production in Denver. But the southern swing state is turning into a Democratic disaster zone.

Start with the North Carolina Democratic Party. At the state party convention last week, Obama for America was AWOL. The glaring absence of high-level national Obama surrogates was noted “as odd,” according to the Charlotte News and Observer. There’s good reason to steer clear. The party is embroiled in a sordid sex scandal that won’t go away. More at the link

California high speed rail is dead

The Los Angeles Times reports today: After encountering criticism from environmental groups, Gov. Jerry Brown signaled Wednesday that he plans to withdraw his controversial proposal to protect the California bullet train project from injunctions sought by environmental lawsuits. - Conn Carroll/Washington Examiner

The Los Angeles Times does not fully report this out, but Brown’s decision not to bypass CEQA essentially kills California’s high speed rail project.

President Obama’s stimulus allocated $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, including, eventually, up to $3.5 billion for California’s project. However, according to the stimulus law, California must begin construction on the project before December 31, 2012 or they will not be eligible for any more high speed rail stimulus dollars. Obama’s Transportation Department reaffirmed this time limit last year when they admitted they had “no administrative authority to change this deadline.”

Fast forward to this June when the city of Chowchilla filed suit to stop construction of the project alleging that the High Speed Rail Authority failed to conduct a proper Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA).

Studies show that the average time to complete the NEPA process is 6.1 years.

Gov. Jerry Brown to scrap environmental exception for bullet train - Ralph Vartabedian and Chris Megerian/LA Times

Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders announce budget deal

California will close its projected $15.7 billion budget deficit by restructuring the state's welfare program, streamlining health insurance for low-income children, and reducing child care coverage and college aid, as part of a deal Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders announced Thursday. - AP

The governor and lawmakers provided only broad outlines of the cuts and few hard dollar figures, but Brown said the deal met his demand for permanent welfare reform and is enough that he now is willing to sign the main budget bill Democratic legislators sent him last week.

Even with the changes, the state's new spending plan still relies heavily on voters in November approving Brown's initiative to raise the state sales tax and increase the income tax on people who earn the most. If that ballot measure fails, automatic cuts would be triggered; among other things, public school years would be cut by as much as three weeks.

California’s Bad Bet Makes JPMorgan’s Look Minor

Worrisome as that gamble was — after all, the banking crisis was largely due to bad bets by banks — it is unfortunate that Congress has never called hearings on a far bigger bet, one that has had more catastrophic consequences for millions of taxpayers. - David Crane/Fox&Hounds

The one I’m referring to was made by California legislators on Sept. 10, 1999. They decided that investment gains would cover 100 percent of the cost of retroactive pension increases they granted that day to hundreds of thousands of state workers.
The politicians made the wrong bet — and the result has been a penalty to California’s budget that has averaged $2 billion a year ever since and that will cost the state billions more for decades to come.... More...

ROMNEY TO LATINOS: OBAMA 'TAKING YOUR VOTE FOR GRANTED'

President Barack Obama has taken the Hispanic vote for granted, according to Mitt Romney in a much-anticipated speech to the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) in Florida on Thursday. - Tony Lee/Breitbart

“He’s taking your vote for granted,” Romney said of Obama. “I’ve come here today with a simple message: You do have an alternative. Your vote should be respected.”

Romney was referring to Obama’s inaction on immigration even though Democrats were in the majority in the House and Senate when he became president.

Romney said Obama, because he cannot sell his economic policies that have left more Latinos (11% as opposed to 8%) unemployed than the general population, will simply tell Hispanics that “things could be worse” and “imply that you really don’t have an alternative.”

Romney’s remarks were eagerly anticipated in light of Obama’s announcement last Friday that his administration would take actions to not deport illegal immigrants under 30 years of age who came to the country as children and even give some work visas. Critics responded that Obama was circumventing the legislative process and the will of the American people by implementing immigration policy by fiat.

If he became president, Romney claimed, he would “put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the President's temporary measure,” but left out specifics. Romney did offer some specific measure he would take to strengthen legal immigration, such as reallocating Green Cards to those seeking to keep their families under one roof, exempting “from caps the spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents,” proverbially stapling a green card to immigrants who get advanced degrees, and allowing for a “a path to legal status for anyone who is willing to stand up and defend this great nation through military service.”

Thursday, June 21, 2012

HRWF Special Event: Peter Friedman at Baywood TONIGHT

Join us at Baywood to hear our invited speaker, Peter Friedman. He's been a speaker at some of the CFRW events in Sacramento, and it's great to have him come up here to talk to our group...

Friday, June 22
At Baywood Golf & Country Club
$15 each
Wine & Light Hors-d'oeuvres Reception ~ 6:30 pm
Guest Speaker promptly at 7:15 - 2 hrs. w/questions

Mr. Friedman has studied the Koran for over 40 yrs. He is a Vietnam Veteran who has worked for the US Defense Department and has worked undercover with the FBI for over 20 yrs. He's been a regular on the Brian Sussman Show. Don’t miss this important presentation. ◼ Learn more at: islamthreat.com

There are seats available
Register today:
Gwen – 498-3101 Laura -- 839-5538
Remit checks to: HRWF,
PO Box 3563, Eureka, CA 95502

Obama Has Always Been a Divider

Among the people who are disappointed with President Obama, none has more reason to be disappointed than those who thought he was going to be "a uniter, rather than a divider" and that he would "bring us all together." - Thomas Sowell/Real Clear Politics

Now, with his presidency on the line and the polls looking dicey, President Obama's re-election campaign has become more openly divisive than ever.

He has embraced the strident "Occupy Wall Street" movement, with its ridiculous claim of representing the 99 percent against the 1 percent. Obama's Department of Justice has been spreading the hysteria that states requiring photo identification for voting are trying to keep minorities from voting, and using the prevention of voter fraud as a pretext....

President Barack Obama’s latest campaign ad was reviewed Thursday by the Washington Post and earned a negative four out of four Pinocchios on its accuracy rating.



The Post concludes that “on just about every level, this ad is misleading, unfair and untrue, from the use of ‘corporate raider’ to its examples of alleged outsourcing. Simply repeating the same debunked claims won’t make them any more correct.” (video at link) - Matt Pitchford/The Daily Caller
"On just about every level" Obama's new anti-Romney ad "is misleading, unfair and untrue..." - Althouse
WAPO: OBAMA AD “A REAL STRETCH” - Washington Free Beacon
4 Pinocchios for Obama’s newest anti-Romney ad - Glenn Kessler/Washington Post Fact Checker

White House spins Fast and Furious scandal

Carney denied that the White House was hiding documents to avoid political damage, and said he is merely protecting presidents from current and future unconstitutional prying by members of Congress. - Neil Munro/The Daily Caller

“This is entirely about principle,” he said, prompting laughter from reporters.

President Barack Obama’s new de facto amnesty for young illegals will create a logistical nightmare when it is implemented, according to a chorus of legislators and policy analysts.

Obama’s election-year immigration move could create logistical nightmare - Michael Volpe/Daily Caller

The new program, initiated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and announced by President Obama, will bring nearly one million new people into the offices of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Meanwhile, a deferred action — whereby DHS decides at its discretion against deporting or prosecuting an individual — must be done for free for every new applicant.

Amid all of this, a continuing hiring freeze at all levels of the federal government means that USCIS won’t be allowed to hire any new employees to deal with the influx of new immigration cases.

Add to that President Obama’s decision to sidestep Congress, which leaves the program without specifically appropriated funds.

All of this, say critics, creates a program that is unworkable and will only lead to rationing of other services provided by USCIS.

Recover Our Country

OBAMA FORGETS ANNIVERSARY



Thursday marked the 224th anniversary of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution with no word out of the White House. - Washington Free Beacon

Three Tax Initiatives Qualify – Will they be Placed Back to Back to Back on the Ballot?

If tradition holds, the three tax measures that qualified yesterday will appear one after the other on the November ballot. - Fox&Hounds

GALLUP: OBAMA FALLS TO 43%...

Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval

"After he took office, he ignored everyone here," gripes one L.A. donor, "and now we feel like we're being used."

Hollywood Fears Backlash to Obama Celebrity Fundraiser Barrage... - Hollywood Reporter via Drudge

OBAMARULE AND THE KILLING OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES

If last Friday's dictatorial action by President Obama is allowed to stand, historians may someday look back on June 15, 2012 as the day the Constitution died. - Newt Gingrich/Human Events

Executive Privilege and how the House should move forward legally

Executive Privilege is a very important implied executive power, used in various forms since the presidency of George Washington. Therefore, it's misuse and abuse, to cover-up wrongdoing, conceal embarrassing information, or advance a political agenda, diminishes the ability of future presidents to assert it legitimately. - Mark Levin

Former Judiciary Chairman: Why Obama’s Executive Privilege is Illegal - Bridget Johnson/PJM

O’Reilly and Krauthammer on Obama’s ‘Boring’ G-20 Presser



Much to O’Reilly’s horror, the president delivered “the most boring press conference I have seen in 37 years of covering the news.” - Mediaite

Border Patrol Group Calls For Holder’s Resignation

Pawlenty moves up Romney VP list

While the GOP buzz about Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick is focused on rookie Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, key sources say that former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is fast moving up the veep list and likely now is the second choice behind Ohio Sen. Rob Portman. - Washington Examiner
Larry Sabato and his University of Virginia "Crystal Ball" deputy Kyle Kondik agree with the emergence of Pawlenty and on Thursday will move him up in their latest edition from No. 7 to No. 2. "He has emerged as another safe choice for Romney. is conservative credentials, like Portman's are pretty solid," they write in the new edition of "Sabato's Crystal Ball" provided in advance to Secrets.

Obama’s campaign spent heavily in May and shelled out more than it raised

Obama campaign burns through cash quickly - Washington Post
Obama super PAC raised $4 million in May, $40 million overall - Chris Cillizza/Washington Post

The fundraising from Priorities has to be encouraging for Democrats who openly fretted about their ability to keep up with the well-funded conservative super PACs led by American Crossroads and Restore Our Future, which announced today it had raised $5 million in May.

American Crossroads raised $1.2 million in March and $1.8 million in April. The group has yet to release its May fundraising report.

What’s nearly certain to be the case, however, is that Crossroads’ cash on hand total will dwarf that of Priorities, which ended May with $4.5 million on hand. At the end of April, Crossroads had $25.5 million in the bank.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Documents: ATF used "Fast and Furious" to make the case for gun regulations

Documents obtained by CBS News show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using their covert operation "Fast and Furious" to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales. - Sharyl Attkisson/CBS

In Fast and Furious, ATF secretly encouraged gun dealers to sell to suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels to go after the "big fish." But ATF whistleblowers told CBS News and Congress it was a dangerous practice called "gunwalking," and it put thousands of weapons on the street. Many were used in violent crimes in Mexico. Two were found at the murder scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

ATF officials didn't intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called "Demand Letter 3". That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or "long guns." Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.

On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF's Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:

"Bill - can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks." More at the link.

ICE agent's family files wrongful death claim against DOJ

CBS News has learned that the family of ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata has filed a claim for wrongful death against the Justice Dept. and other federal agencies. Zapata was gunned down by suspected drug cartel members in Mexico in Feb. 2011 with weapons later linked to an ATF case in the Texas area. Joining the claim is Zapata's surviving partner in the attack: Victor Avila. - Sharyl Attkisson/CBS

Background:
Issa: ‘Similarities’ between Fast and Furious, sale of Texas guns that killed ICE agent - Matthew Boyle/Daily Caller
Jaime Zapata’s death: One year later, still many unanswered questions - Melissa Bell/Washington Post
Issa: Murdered Agent Zapata's Family Speaks Out, Demands Accountability Fast & Furious (Video) - YouTube

Mexican attorney prepares civil lawsuit on Fast and Furious - David Codrea/Examiner.com

A Mexican attorney is preparing a civil lawsuit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fireams and Explosives over the Fast and Furious “gunwalking” criminal operation, the Mexican news magazine Proceso reported Tuesday. Diana Eugenia González Saldaña, “in coordination with [a legal] office in Houston, Texas, intends to take legal action…for the damage caused by the operation, whose failure has already been publicly acknowledged by the government of Barack Obama.”

House Oversight Committee Holds US Attorney General Eric Holder in Contempt



A year-and-a-half long investigation into a botched gun trafficking program culminated Wednesday with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. - CBS

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted along party lines to pass a resolution holding the attorney general in contempt for withholding documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious.

The vote went forward despite intervention by President Obama, who invoked executive privilege, which protects the Justice Department from handing over documents, even though a subpoena has been issued.

For Holder to be held in contempt, the full House of Representatives must approve the committee's resolution, which, according to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio., and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., the vote will take place next week.

"While we had hoped it would not come to this, unless the Attorney General reevaluates his choice and supplies the promised documents, the House will vote to hold him in contempt next week," the Republican leaders said in a statement. "If, however, Attorney General Holder produces these documents prior to the scheduled vote, we will give the Oversight Committee an opportunity to review in hopes of resolving this issue."

BOOM: HOUSE COMMITTEE HOLDS HOLDER IN CONTEMPT - Breitbart News (image source)

Issa Statement on Committee Approval of Fast and Furious Contempt Report - oversight.house.gov

NYT's Frank Bruni After Obama's G20 Press Conference: 'He Doesn't Seem In Command'



Shortly after the press conference ended, Morgan played a clip from the event and said to Bruni, “He looks a little bit on edge, the President, at the moment. A little less self-assured and calm.” - Newsbusters

“Well, right there, I mean, he looked really de-energized,” responded Bruni. “I was watching him, you know, as he stepped to the podium. One of the whole advantages of being President, of being the incumbent, is you get those settings – the flags behind you, the podium. You get the international audience.”

“And he strode out there,” Bruni continued, “and the cadence of his speech was very slowed down. There was a lot of hemming and hawing. He got the first question from the press and answered, that answer went on and on and on, and he provided this really strange tutorial on European economic dynamics, and I just, I don’t think that’s what he went to do when he went to that microphone.”

Bruni put an exclamation point on this critique adding, “He doesn’t seem in command.”

BREAKING: Obama asserts executive privilege on Fast and Furious documents


President Obama uses executive privilege on Fast and Furious - POLITICO (image source)
“Until now, everyone believed that the decisions regarding ‘Fast and Furious’ were confined to the Department of Justice. The White House decision to invoke executive privilege implies that White House officials were either involved in the ‘Fast and Furious’ operation or the cover-up that followed,” said Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) spokesman, Michael Steel. “The Administration has always insisted that wasn’t the case. Were they lying, or are they now bending the law to hide the truth?”
BREAKING: Obama grants Holder request on 'Furious' documents as contempt vote looms - FOX

President Obama has granted an 11th-hour request by Attorney General Eric Holder to exert executive privilege over Fast and Furious documents, a last-minute maneuver that appears unlikely to head off a contempt vote against Holder by Republicans in the House.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is expected to forge ahead Wednesday morning with its meeting on the contempt resolution anyway.

If the vote proceeds, Republicans have more than enough votes on committee to pass the resolution. However, Holder would not be considered held in contempt of Congress unless and until the full House approves the measure.

The move by Holder and Obama to lock down some requested documents only complicates the fight over the botched anti-gunrunning operation between the legislative and executive branches.

PRESIDENT OBAMA GRANTS EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE TO ERIC HOLDER OVER ‘FAST AND FURIOUS’ DOCUMENTS - The Blaze
Transparency: Eric Holder runs for White House cover; obtains executive privilege over Fast and Furious docs; Update: AG letter added - Michelle Malkin
...And yes, this does give clear and unmistakable lie to the Holder spin that Fast and Furious was just a local, little nothing-burger contretemps out of Arizona that had nooooothing to do with DOJ and the executive branch. Executive privilege applies to communications in which the president, ahem, was directly involved....
Obama exerts executive privilege over Fast and Furious documents. - Althouse
Obama asserts executive privilege on Fast and Furious documents - CNN
In a letter to Obama seeking the assertion of executive privilege, Holder said the documents involved related to the Justice Department's "response to congressional oversight and related media inquiries," and that release of internal executive branch documents would have "significant, damaging consequences."

Holder also said releasing the documents would "inhibit the candor of executive branch deliberations in the future and significantly impair the ability of the executive branch to respond independently and effectively to congressional oversight."
GRASSLEY: ASSERTION 'RAISES MONUMENTAL QUESTIONS'... - Washington Times via Drudge
...'Over documents he's supposedly never seen?' - Des Moines Register
Obama invokes Executive Privilege after long stall by Holder - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion
WHITE HOUSE ASSERTS EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE CLAIM TO FURTHER DOJ’S FAST AND FURIOUS COVER-UP - Powerline
Issa pushes ahead with Holder contempt vote despite Obama intervention - FOX
Judge Napolitano on ‘Fast and Furious’ Documents: Executive Privilege Only Applies If the President Was Personally Involved - FOX
Fast And Furious: Executive Privilege Is Illegitimate to Shield Wrongdoing - Heritage
Holder retracts claim Bush team knew about Fast and Furious - Washington Examiner
What to Make of Obama’s Executive Privilege Move? - Bryan Preston/PJM

Supervisors vote to look at amending urgency ordinance; Supervisor Jimmy Smith submits resignation letter to board

While the supervisors said they're not in support of seeing the courthouse grounds turned into “a private living room” again, Lovelace, 5th District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg and 4th District Supervisor Virginia Bass agreed the urgency ordinance should be changed to allow people to protest at night and hold candlelight vigils.

An urgency ordinance that restricts protest activities at the Humboldt County Courthouse might be amended after the Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to have staff look at alterations.

Currently, the urgency ordinance restricts protest activities between 9:30 p.m. and 6 a.m., prohibits people from erecting structures or securing items to county property, prohibits camping on the courthouse grounds, prohibits obstructing access or interfering with the passage of others and more. The ordinance was passed in March in response to complaints about the activities of the Occupy group in front of the courthouse....

During the afternoon session of the meeting, the board officially received Smith's resignation letter. Smith is resigning effective Aug. 3 so he can rest while undergoing treatments for lymphoma -- a type of cancer that attacks white blood cells called lymphocytes.

An emotional Smith read the resignation letter aloud, struggling to get through the first few sentences. Smith, who has served on the board for 12 years, sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown asking that supervisor-elect Rex Bohn take his place when he steps down. The governor is responsible for appointing someone to fill the vacant supervisorial seat.

The board expressed gratitude for Smith's leadership, guidance and knowledge. The supervisors voted unanimously to send a letter to the governor seconding Smith's request to appoint Bohn to the seat. Bohn and Smith's wife were in the audience to support Smith.

Smith said he'll be working closely with Bohn and the board to try to make the change as seamless as possible.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Darrell Issa: Holder not complying, contempt vote still on tomorrow

FOX

Last Monday, the House Oversight Committee scheduled a contempt of Congress vote against Eric Holder unless he complied with all 22 parts of a congressional subpoena that Darrell Issa served him last October. - Doug Powers/Michelle Malkin

Today, Issa met with Holder, and from what we can gather from the Tweet below, if Holder handed over to Issa anything related to Fast & Furious, it was only a DVD with a picture of Vin Diesel on it.

Occupy Eureka pulls up roots, people remain at courthouse; EPD removes couches, chairs over weekend

Marco Rubio, the fast-rising 'American son'



Florida's junior senator — 41 years old, the fastest-rising Hispanic political star in American politics and a contender to be Mitt Romney's running mate — is a man in a hurry. - USA Today

Rubio bats away speculation about whether Romney will choose him as the GOP vice presidential nominee this summer — "Look, it's flattering; it's also fleeting" — and says he hasn't thought about whether he might run for president down the road, though he doesn't dismiss the idea.

"I'm going to do the best job I can as a senator," he said in an interview in his family's compact, immaculately tidy home. "And if I do a good job at it, I'll probably have other opportunities. I don't know what those are today."

It is a curiosity of American politics that, while Latino voters are overwhelmingly Democratic, the highest-ranking Latino officeholders are just as likely to be Republican.

Romney says Rubio is being vetted for VP - USA Today

Mitt Romney told reporters in Michigan that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is being looked at as his possible running mate, adding that a news story out today about the Tea Party favorite not being vetted was "entirely false."

"Marco Rubio is being thoroughly vetted as part of our process," Romney said during a campaign stop in Holland, Michigan....

Rubio's name is frequently mentioned as a possible VP contender, and former Florida governor Jeb Bush is among those who have been touting the Tea Party favorite as a top pick. Rubio has been highlighted as someone to watch ever since he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010.

An American Son: A Memoir at Amazon

SENATOR JOHN McCAIN ON NBC'S MEET THE PRESS

Anti-Romney Protesters Say They're Paid To Heckle

Two protesters and an Obama official say “Good Jobs Now” protesters are compensated for their time. A protest leader denies it. - Buzzfeed

The protesters popping up at Mitt Romney's rallies throughout Michigan Tuesday look like run-of-the-mill grassroots liberals — they wave signs about "the 99 percent," they chant about the Republican's greed, and they describe themselves as a loosely organized coalition of "concerned citizens."

They're also getting paid, two of the protesters and an Obama campaign official told BuzzFeed.

At the candidate's afternoon stop outside a bakery in DeWitt, a group of about 15 protesters stood behind a police barricade, a few of them chanting in support of Obama. Asked why he was protesting, a man dressed in a grim reaper costume pointed a reporter to a pair of "designated representatives" standing in the shade.

"I can't talk, you gotta get one of those people over there to talk to y'all," he said. "They're the ones who can talk to reporters."

Neither of the representatives agreed to give their names, but two protesters said they were getting paid to stand outside of the rally, though their wage is unclear: one said she was getting $7.25 per hour, while another man said they were being paid $17 per hour.

Meanwhile, about 50 feet away, another protest had been organized by local Democrats in conjunction with the Obama campaign. A campaign official told BuzzFeed they had nothing to do with the other group — which he said he believed they had been sent by the labor-backed "Good Jobs Now" — and confirmed that they were being paid.

MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell edits Romney rally speech to portray candidate as out of touch

During an afternoon broadcast of "Andrea Mitchell Reports," video of the GOP presidential candidate seemed to show a politician out of touch as he discussed ordering a hoagie at Wawa. - FOX

“It’s amazing," Romney said, as the Pennsylvania crowd appeared to laugh. Then viewers saw Romney say, "You have a touchtone keypad, and you touch that, touch this, go pay the cashier, there’s your sandwich.”

What viewers didn't see or hear was nearly three minutes of Romney discussing the nightmare of paperwork faced by an optometrist he'd talked to in trying to get the post office to change his address. He expressed mock amazement at Wawa's efficiency to underscore how the private sector often runs circles around the clumsy bureaucracy.

"We went to Wawas and it was instructive to me, because I saw the difference between the private sector and the governmental sector. People who work in government are good people and I respect what they do, but you see, the challenge with government is that it doesn’t have competition,” Romney said in a portion edited out of the segment.

A laugh track spliced in from another part of the speech allowed the left-leaning news network to further mock Romney....

Last August, Ed Schultz of MSNBC played an edited clip in which then-presidential candidate Rick Perry described the national debt as a “big black cloud that hangs over America” to make it sound like a racial dig at President Obama. Schultz later apologized.

And in March, NBC was caught editing the audio of George Zimmerman's 911 call as he watched Trayvon Martin in the minutes before he fatally shot the Florida teen. On a tape edited and played on the “Today” show, Zimmerman was heard calling Martin “suspicious” and volunteering that he was “black.” But the full, unedited tape showed that Zimmerman only mentioned Martin’s race when asked by the dispatcher. The result made it sound like Zimmerman was racially profiling Martin. The network fired three people after getting widespread criticism.

Obama's Immigration Ploy Is Meant To Help Obama, Not The Nation

Whatever the merits or demerits of the Obama immigration policy, his executive order is good only as long as he remains president, which may be only a matter of months after this year's election. - Thomas Sowell/Investor's Business Daily
Like so many other Obama ploys, his immigration ploy is not meant to help the country, but to help Obama. This is all about getting the Hispanic vote this November.

The principle involved — keeping children from being hurt by actions over which they had no control — is one already advanced by Sen. Marco Rubio, who may well end up as Gov. Romney's vice-presidential running mate.

The Obama executive order, which suddenly popped up like a rabbit out of a magician's hat, steals some of Rubio's thunder, so it is clever politics. But clever politics is what has gotten this country into so much trouble, not only as regards immigration but also as regards the economy and the dangerous international situation.
McCain on Obama Granting Work Permits to Illegals: He Can't Do It Because He's Not King - CNS
Discussion at Lucianne

ROMNEY HOLDS LEAD OVER OBAMA FOR ELEVEN DAYS STRAIGHT

Today, Rasmussen has Romney up 48 - 44% over Obama. Romney inches towards the magic 50% number as Obama languishes. - John Nolte/Breitbart

This poll also takes into full account Obama's cynical move to violate the law with respect to our policy surrounding illegals. No bump here, Mr. President. Just more bad news....

People can complain about polling this early and say we have a long way to go, which is fair enough, but a small but steady lead over this amount of time is worth noting. What it mainly tells us is that Obama is stuck in the mid-forties, which is disastrous for an incumbent. The known quantity can't budge his numbers and unless the flailing Obama campaign can toxify Romney into something unelectable between now and November, Obama is going to lose.

Another reliable pollster, Gallup, is still using a registered voter screen, but has also showed Romney with a slight lead for a number of days until the two men tied things up yesterday.

While we political junkies live and breathe every twist and turn of the political daily grind, everyday American are too busy living their lives to pay attention right now. This is why there hasn't been much volatility in the polls, but there has been a trend.

The graph just below the Real Clear Politics poll of polls shows that since March 5, Obama's numbers against Mitt Romney have been on a noticeably downward trend, while Romney's numbers have -- through fits and starts -- trended up. This poll of polls shows Obama in the lead by less than a percentage point, again, an awful place for an incumbent to be at this point in the race.... More at the link....

Bloomberg said that he believed Mr. Romney would probably be better at running the country than Mr. Obama

But Mr. Bloomberg said he could not support Mr. Romney because he disagreed with him on so many social issues - Michael Barbaro/New York Times

A guest at the dinner had asked the mayor for his feelings about the two candidates, prompting a lengthy reply, which was overheard by other guests. Two of those guests spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they feared upsetting the mayor by discussing a private discussion; a third was a reporter for The New York Times.

...Both Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama are vying for the political support of Mr. Bloomberg, whose name is all but synonymous with corporate-style management, Wall Street clout and nonpartisan politics.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Obama's media hit man linked to Fast and Furious

A name that most Americans have probably never heard is Denis McDonough, who serves as Deputy National Security Adviser for the President. But McDonough is perhaps one of the two or three most influential advisers on the Obama team, and he is now directly linked to the Fast and Furious scandal. - Anthony Martin/Conservative Examiner

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A Nation of Paper, Not of Men

(N)o matter how sympathetic their plight, no matter how blameless they may be for the illegality of their status — are not citizens of the United States. They are not Americans. Period. It is not “paper” that separates them from our body politic, it is the law, of which Obama is supposed to be servant, not master - Andrew C. McCarthy/PJM

In continuing the dramatic shift from American constitutional democracy to rule by executive fiat that has marked his tenure, President Barack Obama now claims that the illegal aliens, to whom he purports to grant what effectively is amnesty, are “Americans … in every single way but one — on paper.” That is false. They are not Americans under the only thing that matters, the thing the Obama administration has chanted like a mantra — while riding roughshod over – since its very first day in power: the rule of law.

The Constitution and congressional statutes are written on parchment. That is the only relevance of “paper” in this equation — as the “hard copy” of our social contract and of the laws enacted pursuant to it. Under the Constitution, Congress, not the president, is endowed with such a power... Read the rest...

Darrell Steinberg defends CA budget, aims for completion this week

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, defended the Legislature's deadline passage of a main budget bill Friday without most of the implementing language, responding to critics who suggested lawmakers had rushed through a plan to maintain their pay. - Sacramento Bee

Legislative Democrats and Gov. Jerry Brown largely disagree over how to treat the state's welfare-to-work program, CalWORKs. The governor wants to remake CalWORKs by imposing harsher consequences for parents who do not find a job or seek training. Brown wants to reduce grants and cut off child care and other assistance for those parents.

Democrats believe those consequences are too severe in the midst of 10.8 percent unemployment. They instead want to save money by continuing to provide full cash aid to parents of young children without requiring them to work or seek training. The state saves money by not paying for their child care, transportation or education.

Steinberg said his goal is to strike a budget deal with Brown this week. Last year, Brown swiftly vetoed Democrats' first budget the morning after they passed it on the constitutional deadline, but he has let the latest budget bill simmer since Friday.

Brown has until Wednesday, June 27, to sign or veto the main budget legislation, Assembly Bill 1464.

Confirmed: Obama Mailed It In (Again)

President Obama's "major" address to "reframe" the campaign was little more than a re-run of the speech he's been giving for months: - Guy Benson/Townhall

Romney In Wisconsin. A Sight for Sore Eyes



With Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, Ron Johnson and Reince Priebus. - Backyard Conservative
Romney Joins Wisconsin Republicans in Show of Force - Real Clear Politics

In a rally designed to exhibit his intentions of winning this blue-leaning state, which has not voted for a GOP presidential candidate since 1984, Mitt Romney on Monday joined four prominent Wisconsin Republicans at a textile factory where the crowd's energy matched the sweltering temperature inside.

Before Romney took the stage, hometown Congressman Paul Ryan, Sen. Ron Johnson, and RNC Chairman and Wisconsin native Reince Priebus took turns singing the former Massachusetts governor’s praises and making the case that their state would prove decisive in electing him this November.

Not a single mainstream journalist today is doing what we know ALL of them would do if Obama were a Republican

WHY DOES MEDIA TOLERATE OBAMA'S LIES?

...if it helps Obama stay in power, the media likes being lied to by Barack Obama, which is why he will never be held accountable or forced to pay a political price for the truths that have been uncovered over the past few months.

Fast and Furious Whistleblower Breaks Silence

Why are we suddenly learning in spring of 2012 of all sorts of classified information about the administration’s war on terror? Why not in 2009? Why is all the disclosed information in the press predictably designed to offer another side of Barack Obama in an election year?

The Scandal of Our Age - Victor Davis Hanson/PJM

What I call "Securitygate" -- the Obama administration's release of covert details of the war on terror -- is far more serious than either Watergate or Iran-Contra.

Here is the crux of the scandal: Obama is formulating a new policy of avoiding overt unpopular engagements, while waging an unprecedented covert war across the world. He’s afraid that the American people do not fully appreciate these once-secret efforts and might in 2012 look only at his mishaps in Afghanistan or his public confusion over Islamic terror. Ergo, feed information to a Sanger or Ignatius so that they can skillfully inform us, albeit with a bit of dramatic “shock” and “surprise,” just how tough, brutal, and deadly Barack Obama really is....

Reader, forget politics. Just digest the nature, theme, the timing, and the damage of these disclosures. Do that and most of you will conclude they are offenses to the security of the United States — or, in the words of Barack Obama on another matter, “unpatriotic.”

CONGRESS CALLS FOR ‘COMPLETE, IMPARTIAL, AND FAIR INVESTIGATION’ INTO WHITE HOUSE LEAKS - Robert Maginnis/Human Events

The Obama administration is leaking sensitive information to bolster the president’s national security credentials and portray him as a hands-on commander in chief in preparation for the November presidential election. These leaks damage our security, the culprits ought to go to jail, and Congress must quickly stop the hemorrhaging.

Leaders on Capitol Hill are rightly alarmed. “The recent disclosures of sensitive information constitute damaging breaches of U.S. national security,” said Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. “We must demand assurances from the attorney general that the Department of Justice prosecutors are empowered to conduct a complete, impartial, and fair investigation....”

What America Buys

How do ordinary Americans spend their money? And how has spending changed over time? - NPR
Breakdown (PDF)



What America Spends On Groceries - NPR

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hey California: Meet Wisconsin

It was one giant step for a man, and one giant leap toward fiscal sanity. - Austin Hill /TownHall

But the failed labor union recall of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was only a beginning. America needs a bunch more Scott Walkers, a whole lot more thoughtful, discerning voters – and we need California voters, in particular, to wake-up.

So California, meet Wisconsin. It’s the state where voters chose a Governor who, despite claims to the contrary, is neither “destroying workers’ rights” nor “killing democracy.” Governor Walker has brought government labor costs in-line with private sector labor costs, and in so doing is saving the state from fiscal collapse. Wisconsin chose wisely – and California, so can you.

I’m emphasizing “the voters” here because statesmen and women don’t operate in a vacuum. We, the people can affirm and encourage elected leaders to do the right thing, or we can encourage our leaders to be reckless and self-serving. In November of 2010 Californians rejected a candidate for Governor who pledged to do much of what Scott Walker has done, and instead elected a Governor who is bought and paid for by labor unions.

The fact that California Governor Jerry Brown has recently succumbed to telling the media “no, we’re not like Greece” should be a serious warning sign. Yet California’s plight could likely be different, had voters there been more like voters in Wisconsin....

Happy Father's Day

Are We in Revolutionary Times?

link - Victor Davis Hanson/National Review Online

Legally, President Obama has reiterated the principle that he can pick and choose which U.S. laws he wishes to enforce (see his decision to reverse the order of the Chrysler creditors, his decision not to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, and his administration’s contempt for national-security confidentiality and Senate and House subpoenas to the attorney general). If one individual can decide to exempt nearly a million residents from the law — when he most certainly could not get the law amended or repealed through proper legislative or judicial action — then what can he not do? Obama is turning out to be the most subversive chief executive in terms of eroding U.S. law since Richard Nixon.

FORBES: OBAMA THE BIGGEST GOVERNMENT SPENDER IN WORLD HISTORY

The U.S. has never before had a President who thinks so little of the American people that he imagines he can win re-election running on the opposite of reality. But that is the reality of President Obama today. - Peter Ferrara/Forbes

Waving a planted press commentary, Obama recently claimed on the campaign stump, “federal spending since I took office has risen at the slowest pace of any President in almost 60 years.”

A government that begins by telling the people what to eat will end with a state so vast that it eats up the people, their substance, their freedom and their very lives.

Eating the State - Sultan Knish

In Gotham, Michael the First, King of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and the rebellious province of Staten Island, has returned from celebrating his successful campaign against large sodas, to consider expanding the ban to large popcorn and milkshakes. Los Angeles has voted to ban the plastic bag and add a 10 cent fine for paper bags.

Where does the future of the Nanny State lead? In Sweden, the Left Party is calling for men to be banned from urinating standing up. And why not? If the government should have a say in what food you eat and what you carry the groceries you buy in, why not have it complete the cycle and tell you how to eliminate them?...

List of those who don’t believe president has constitutional authority to suspend deportations includes… Obama?



Illegal Amnesty - National Review Editorial

Though apparently a little fuzzy on the subject of judicial review, President Barack Obama is supposed to be a constitutional scholar of some sort. On the subject of his decision yesterday to unilaterally enact sweeping changes to U.S. immigration policy on nothing but his own say-so, we would like to introduce Barack Obama to Barack Obama, who during a Univision interview just last year affirmed: “America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the president, am obligated to enforce the law. . . . There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president.” A little softness in the polls and one executive order later, the president has reversed himself...

Here’s a transcript of that clip, which is from a 2011 Univision town hall: - Michelle Malkin

“With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order — that’s just not the case. Because there are laws on the books, that Congress has passed — and I know that everybody here at Bell is studying hard so you know we’ve got three branches of government. Congress passes the laws. The Executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement the laws, and then the Judiciary has to interpret the laws. There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system, that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president.”

Iowa rep Steve King will file lawsuit over immigration announcement - CNN

"This is no longer a debate about immigration policy. The debate is now about the Constitution and the Rule of Law," the Iowa congressman said in a statement. "I am preparing to bring suit against the President and ask for a court to enjoin him from implementing his unconstitutional and unlawful policy."

“President Obama’s attempt to go around Congress and the American people is at best unwise and possibly illegal” - The Hill

Obama’s policy strategy: Ignore laws - Steve Friess/Politico

President Barack Obama returned Friday to a trusted tactic — satisfying his political allies by not doing something.
Conservatives were angry when Janet Napolitano announced the administration would stop deporting certain undocumented immigrants, but they should have seen it coming. On issue after issue — gay rights, drug enforcement, Internet gambling, school achievement standards — the administration has chosen to achieve its goals by a method best described as passive-aggressive.

Rather than pushing new laws through a divided Congress to enact his agenda, Obama is relying on federal agencies to ignore, or at least not defend, laws that some of his important supporters — like Hispanic voters and the gay community — don’t like.

Obama immigration order: Does 'audacity of hope' mean unchecked presidential power? - Patrik Jonsson/Christian Science Monitor

“This isn’t about immigration but about constitutional order,” says Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a conservative-leaning think tank. “One problem is that even Democrats in Congress now have no right to complain about future usurpations – they might as well all go home and have Napoleon run the country.”

MUNRO: Obama ignores questions about controversial de facto amnesty decision

President Barack Obama declined to take any questions from reporters about his controversial and significant decision to offer a de facto amnesty to at least 800,000 foreigners aged 15 to 30.

...The president has often used this no-questions strategy when making important or poll-boosting announcements.

The president has often used this no-questions strategy when making important or poll-boosting announcements.

...Obama’s deputy, Janet Napolitano, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, followed the same strategy Friday during a morning telephone press-conference. She gave a short statement and then left the conference while two officials provided not-for-attribution answers to selected reporters’ questions.

The reporters selected to offer questions included established media outlets and Spanish-language outlets. The chosen outlets included the Los Angeles Times, CNN, National Journal, Univision, The New York Times and La Prensa.

The selected reporters did not ask about the controversial impact on American workers....

Dobbs defends TheDC’s Munro: ‘What’s rude is the president not speaking to the American people’ - Jeff Poor/The Daily Caller

The apparent Republican edge in spending this year, like the Democratic edge in 2004, was evidence of widespread and heartfelt opposition to an incumbent president. It's a sign of civic health, not sickness.

'Angry' money gives funding edge to GOP and Romney - Michael Barone/Washington Examiner

There has been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth as, in the spring, it appeared that forces supporting Mitt Romney would be able to raise about as much money as those supporting Barack Obama. There's even more now that it seems likely that the pro-Romney side will raise and spend more money than the pro-Obama side.

Four years ago, the Obama forces heavily outspent those supporting John McCain. The Obama campaign had enough money to target -- and carry -- heretofore Republican states like North Carolina and Indiana.

That experience made the Democrats spoiled. The prospect that the other side would have as much money as they do struck them as a cosmic injustice. The prospect that it would have more -- heaven forfend!

...What's really interesting is that, if current projections are right, this will be the third election in a row in which the party holding the White House will be outspent by the opposition.

...In 2008 Barack Obama raised a lot of "hope" money and, since it looked like a Democratic year, a lot of smart money. But angry money from Bush haters helped propel his total take to record levels.

This year there's no doubt that the billionaires and the many, many others contributing to the Romney campaign and pro-Romney super-PACs are angry about the Obama Democrats' policies and believe they will be harmful to the nation. More at the link...

Allen West blasts Obama overriding Congress on Dream Act as ‘rule by edict’



He adds that this proposal has more to do with political expediency than finding an appropriate solution to our immigration problem - The Right Scoop

The president can't tell voters about a grand economic comeback story because there isn't one to tell.

Obama Suffers Scathing Reality Check from AP - FOX