Kukis Digests and Opines on this Week’s News and Views
February 19, 2012
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http://kukis.org/page20.html (their contents are described and each issue is linked to) or here:
http://kukis.org/blog/ (this is the online directory they are in)
I attempt to post a new issue each Sunday by 5 or 6 pm central standard time (I sometimes fail at this attempt).
I try to include factual material only, along with my opinions (it should be clear which is which). I make an attempt to include as much of this week’s news as I possibly can. The first set of columns are intentionally designed for a quick read.
I do not accept any advertising nor do I charge for this publication. I write this principally to blow off steam in a nation where its people seemed have collectively lost their minds.
I accidently referred to Chris Wallace as Chris Matthews in Say What? last week. Conservative Review regrets this error. A lot.
This Week’s Events
In North Carolina, all pre-Kindergarten programs are required to evaluate the lunches being provided and determine if they meet USDA nutrition guidelines. If not, they must provide an alternative. So, at West Hoke Elementary School a little girl had her lunch of a turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice thrown out because her mother did not pack her a nutritious enough lunch. The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs - including in-home day care centers - to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.
A second person has come forward—Diane Zambrano—claiming that her 4-year-old daughter, Jazlyn, is in the same West Hoke Elementary School class as the little girl above. When Zambrano picked Jazlyn up from school last month, she was told by Jazlyn's teacher that the lunch she had packed that day did not meet the necessary guidelines and that Jazlyn had been sent to the cafeteria. Zambrano had packed a cheese and salami sandwich on a wheat bun with apple juice for her daughter. The lunch she got in the cafeteria was chicken nuggets, a sweet potato, bread and milk.
Teen atheist after a 2 year battle, gets a school district to remove a prayer banner; and they win primarily because of the cost to the school district
A Massachusetts family has sued the Acton-Boxborough School District to take the words "under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance. They felt that their child felt marginalized because somehow, the words imply that people who don't believe in God are less patriotic. Has this particular case not been litigated many times already?
Chicago teachers are asking for a 30% raise over the next two years. Maybe Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin can use this as a part of his recall election campaign. “I took you in one direction and Illinois took its government in the opposite direction; you choose.” There is a good ad on this.
The Obama administration is weighing options for sharp new cuts to the U.S. nuclear force, including a reduction of up to 80 percent in the number of deployed weapons.
The FBI has arrested a man on his way to the U.S. Capitol for what he thought would be a suicide attack on one of the nation's most symbolic landmarks. The man is in his 30s and of Moroccan descent.
Charles Koch, his brother and employees have in recent months been getting death threats, hundreds of obscenity-laced hate messages, and harassment from some far left-wing groups.
NARAL Pro-Choice America will air radio ads to thank President Barack Obama for guaranteeing insurance coverage for birth control. These spots will air in Denver, Colorado, Orlando, Florida, Northern Virginia and Madison, Wisconsin. They include an ad that plays a mock scenario of a woman picking up a prescription. She is greeted by the pharmacist saying "there's no charge; this is covered without a co-pay now."
The President’s reelection committee launched a Truth Team in the 13 swing states. They are also reviving the AttackWatch website.
The $1-billion Genesis Solar Energy Project,
expedited by state and federal regulatory
agencies, is running into problems because of a
deadly outbreak of distemper among kit foxes
and the discovery of a prehistoric human
settlement on the work site. This is another
example of how the rush to harness solar power
in the desert can go very wrong. This project will
cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars—it is backed by an $825-million Department of Energy loan guarantee if it can be completed on time—and right now, this project could die out.
The Washington Post has discovered that $3.9 billion in federal grants and financing went to 21 companies backed by firms with connections to five Obama administration staffers and advisers.
The Stimulus Package is officially 3 years old. The new CBO report says we're in longest period of high unemployment since Great Depression.
However, President Obama is willing to make some cuts. His 2013 budget request zeros out funding for the highly successful D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which was revived last year thanks to the hard work of Speaker John Boehner and others.
Both the Massachusetts AFL-CIO and the SEIU State Council have endorsed the not-yet-official congressional candidacy of Joseph P. Kennedy III
Governor Chris Christie has vetoed a same-sex marriage bill for New Jersey.
Gas prices are highest ever for this time of year
Club Gitmo is going green.
Oops; now it turns out the man started this global warming thing 3500 years ago. Our bad.
A new mini-report from the environmental group Climate Nexus points out that climate change is poised to wreck Valentine's Day, or at least change it significantly, by threatening chocolate production.
The White House has resurrected their “What does $40 mean to you?” campaign. When Republicans wanted to pass a year proposition to exempt some people from paying payroll taxes and Democrats wanted to pass a 2 month extension of this, somehow, this got played out in the media that the Republicans opposed this bill altogether (which they should have, but they didn’t). So now, this argument will be brought back, and Republicans will be portrayed as opposing the payroll tax cut again. For me, that is a weekly tank of gas that should cost $25–30.
The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (a re-branded ACORN branch) sent out letters this month asking for contributions of up to $20,000 for buses, food, printing, sound and other supplies for an upcoming event dubbed "Occupy the Capitol."
Michael Moore and Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein have settled Moore’s $2.7 million lawsuit filed by the director, which suit alleged that "financial deception" resulted in him being rooked out of millions in profits from the documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11."
Police arrested two 10-year-old would-be suicide bombers in southern Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzai had already pardoned these boys a few months ago over a similar incident.
Members of al-Qaeda have infiltrated Syrian opposition groups, and likely executed recent bombings in the nation's capital and largest city.
A mob of nearly 20,000 radical Muslims, mainly Salafis, attempted to break into and torch the Church of St. Mary and St. Abram in the village of Meet Bashar,in Zagazig, Sharqia province.
Iran has been building suicide bomb speed boats for the Persian Gulf.
3000 Iranian women being trained as ninja warriors say they will use their martial arts skills to defend the country if necessary.
AP reports that diplomats claim that Tehran has put finishing touches for the installation of thousands of new-generation centrifuges at the cavernous facility. These machines can produce enriched uranium much more quickly and efficiently than its present machines. This could very well speed up Iran’s process of uranium enrichment which would boost how quickly it could make nuclear warheads.
Officials in key parts of the Obama administration are increasingly convinced that sanctions will not deter Tehran from pursuing its nuclear program, and believe that the US will be left with no option but to launch an attack on Iran or watch Israel do so.
Bombers targeted staff at Israel's embassies in India and Georgia on Monday, with a bomb going off in New Delhi but a second device in Tbilisi defused.
Naftali Bennett, the former chief of staff to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear facilities is "imminent."
An internal FBI investigation into its counterterrorism training has purged hundreds of bureau documents of instructional material about Muslims, some of which characterized them as prone to violence or terrorism.
However, the New York Police Department have been monitoring Muslim college students far more broadly than previously known, at schools far beyond the city limits, including the Ivy League colleges of Yale and the University of Pennsylvania
President Barack Obama on the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade: "As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman's health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters...And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams."
President Obama: "I'm a chauvinist; I want America to have the best stuff. I don't want to go to China and see their airports better than ours, or go to Europe and see their railroads faster than ours."
President Obama: "And what I've said consistently is, we're not going to just unilaterally disarm." Unfortunately, the President was not talking about unilaterally reducing our nuclear arsenal; he was indicating that he is all for SuperPAC’s to support his upcoming campaign.
President Obama on the payroll tax holiday: “I thank the many Americans who lent their voices to this debate in recent months. You made all the difference. This is real money that will make a real difference in people's lives. It includes important reforms that I proposed in the American Jobs Act to help discourage businesses from laying off workers and to connect workers with jobs. It includes a critical element in the plan I outlined in the State of the Union to out-innovate the rest of the world by unleashing mobile broadband, investing in innovation, and building a nationwide public safety network. It will mean a stronger economy and hundreds of thousands of new jobs. And as soon as Congress sends this bipartisan agreement to my desk, I will sign it into law right away. But this must be only the start of what we do together this year. There's much more the American people need and expect from us - to help our businesses keep creating jobs, to help restore security for middle class families, and to leave an economy that's built to last.”
President Obama: "We've gone through the toughest economy...since the great depression...[for many people] their concept of the American dream feels like it's slipping away from them.”
Obama: "We did not fully comprehend at that point how deep this crisis would be. Don't underestimate the changes we made."
Obama’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in a statement, when being faced with a potential bill that would expand oil drilling in Alaska and offshore reserves and greenlight the Keystone XL pipeline construction: "Because this bill jeopardizes safety, weakens environmental and labor protections, and fails to make the investments needed to strengthen the Nation's roads, bridges, rail, and transit systems, the President's senior advisors would recommend that he veto this legislation."
President Obama: "And when gas prices are on the rise again - because as the economy strengthens, global demand for oil increases - and if we start seeing big increases in gas prices, losing that $40 could not come at a worse time."
President Obama: "Right now, we're scheduled to spend more than $1 trillion more on what was intended to be a temporary tax cut for the wealthiest two percent of Americans. We've already spent about that much. Now we're expected to spend another $1 trillion. Keep in mind, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle class households. You've heard me say it: Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary." This is $100 billion each year, which is not even a tenth of the deficit. And, again, this is suggesting that all money belongs to the government, and whatever they choose not to spend, can be returned to the person who made that money.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner: "Even if Congress were to enact this budget, we would still be left with-in the outer decades as millions of Americans retire-what are still unsustainable commitments in Medicare and Medicaid.” Geithner admitted the same thing last year.
Gene Sperling, director of the White House's national economic council: "[Obama] supports corporate tax reform that would reduce expenditures and loopholes, lower rates for people investing and creating jobs in the U.S., due so further for manufacturing, and that we need to, as we have the Buffett Rule and the individual tax reform, we need a global minimum tax so that people have the assurance that nobody is escaping doing their fair share as part of a race to the bottom or having our tax code actually subsidized and facilitate people moving their funds to tax havens."
President Obama's chief of staff Jacob “Jack” J. Lew: "No institution that has - [no] non-profit institution - that has religious principles that we violated has to pay for or directly offer these services."
Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi: "You're talking about birth control, you're talking about women's health. I firmly believe - I want to remove all doubt in anyone's mind where I am on this subject. This is an issue about women's health, and I believe that women's health should be covered in all of the insurance plans that are there."
Rep. Gerry Connolly: "I believe that today's hearing is a sham. Here you are being asked to testify about your rights being trampled on -- an overstatement if there ever was one -- while you're on a panel, and your participation on the panel makes you complicit in of course the trampling of freedom, because we were denied, on this side of the aisle, any witness who might have a differing point of view. And I think that's shameful...This is a panel designed, with your conscious participation or not, to try one more time to embarrass the President of the United States and his Administration by overstating an issue which is sacred to all Americans -- religious freedom. But, of course, in order to do it, we have to -- in an almost Stalinist-like fashion -- have signs of Democratic icons to rub Democratic faces in it"
Rep. Jan Schakowsky: “...there's been a lot of male punditry, um, saying, oh, you know, we act as if this is a matter of religious freedom... forgetting that it's also a matter of women's health and women's lives....And you know what? The case is closed, too. There's no controversy around, uh, around contraceptives for almost 100 percent of Americans. You know, there's few in the, uh, some in the Catholic Church and maybe some other Evangelical churches, I don't know, that think that it's wrong, but none of the American people follow that.”
Democratic chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz: "[Contraception costs] about $700 a year. That's real money. And to say to hundreds of thousands of women who work for religious organizations, `No, because of your employers objections, whether or not you choose to use contraception, you aren't going to be able to get the same access as other employers' employees can get access to,' that's not right." No one, insofar as I know, is deprived of contraceptive products, many of which can be gotten free through Planned Parenthood. What Wasserman Schultz is arguing for is free contraception, which has suddenly become a right of womanhood.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: "[Free contraception] is a no-cost benefit, that the National Business Council on Health, that our actuaries, a variety of people in group plans say having contraception as part of a group insurance plan actually lowers the overall cost, doesn't increase it, because, on balance, preventive services around family planning, avoiding what may be unhealthy pregnancies, avoiding the health consequences of that actually is a cost reducer."
Press Secretary Jay Carney about President Obama’s promise to cut the budget deficit in half by the end of his first term in office: "It was a promise based on what we knew about the economy at the time as has been well established in this briefing and many other places. The economy turns out to have been far worse and in far greater distress when the president was running for office and then took office than we knew at the time."
Senator Frank Lautenberg: “The GOP agenda gives women one option: barefoot and pregnant. It’s time to tell the Republicans to mind their own business. Our side believes that women should be able to choose the paths in life that's best for them and that's why President Obama wants to make birth control more affordable. Contraception is basic health care, and it's essential for individuals to choose when they want to have a career and when they want to start a family."
Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson: “...the only thing I can figure out, Rachel, is that's based on a wrong and frankly insane belief that a fertilized egg is a fully formed person and has personhood and that, you know, preventing the implantation of that egg is some-, is murder. I don't, you know, it baffles me as to what other explanation there could be. They can be sincerely mad on this, on this subject, I think, and maybe they are.”
Planned Parenthood's tweets, meant for teens:
"Ever have one of those moments in school where you learned something REALLY worth knowing? #TellUs"
"Freaked out about asking yr parents about birth control? You can totally do this. We can help."
"Are you super obvious when you're #crushing on someone. or super stealth?"
Sen. Barbara Boxer: "In 2012, I stand here in complete amazement that in a country known for its medical breakthroughs and advancements, Republicans would have us go back to the medical dark ages."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on the House's transportation bill: "[This is a] love note to the tea party...The House bill reverses 30 years of good policy, of dedicating funding each year for mass transit. The policy was enacted in 1982 by that ultraliberal Ronald Reagan,"
Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver: "This budget is a nervous breakdown on paper. We're still in a recession, we're still struggling. Unemployment is still too high...We do have a serious ailment as a nation and certainly as Congress; we suffer from `spendicitis.'" Cleaver’s point was, Obama’s budget cut way, way too much.
Keith Ellison in fund raising email: “It took Eric Cantor less than an hour to start lying about President Obama's budget. Cantor and Republicans in Congress are so desperate to protect special tax breaks for billionaires and Big Oil companies that they're claiming that President Obama's budget, ‘calls for massive tax increases on hardworking families and small businesses.’ That's a bold-faced lie and they know it. President Obama's plan would simply ensure that the top 1% aren't paying less in taxes than middle class families. With the right-wing attack machine already running at full speed, we must set the record straight. We have a hard deadline of Wednesday night to raise the $150,000 we need to get our accountability campaign off the ground.”
Obama appointee, U.S. Judge Sue Myers cough: "[Although the] plaintiffs argue that the Second Amendment protects a general right to carry guns that include a right to carry operable guns in public . [the] Supreme Court has not recognized a right to bear firearms outside the home." For some reason, the right to keep and bear arms in the Second Amendment is a little fuzzy?
Rep. Maxine Waters: "Let me let you in on a secret. I am the senior-most person serving on the Financial Services Committee. Barney Frank is about to retire and guess who's shaking in their boots? The too-big-to-fail banks, and financial institutions and all of Wall Street because Maxine Waters is going to be the next chair of the Financial Services Committee!"
Maxine Waters: "On Immigration policy and reform they are on the wrong side of the track. They would have you believe that if they get into office, they are going to make sure that they are going to get rid of everyone in our society who was not born in America"
American Federation of Government Employees National President John Gage, after being informed that employees may have to cough up an additional 0.8% in their contribution to their own pension fund:"Working class men and women who have dedicated their lives to serve their country should not be on the hook for solving a crisis they did not create." We are all in this together, unless, of course, you are in a federal union.
Former President Jimmy Carter on the occupy movement: "It's been relatively successful even acknowledging there's no leadership, there's no coherence and there's no single list of issues they want to succeed."
Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas: "They [Occupiers] can be as filthy and they can rape people - if you want to make stuff up - but the fact is nobody really cares about it because that message isn't about the messenger, it's not about who's delivering a message, but it's about the message itself which really resonates at a very core emotional level with people who are suffering in this economy."
It’s all about race:
Rep. Keith Ellison: “The time has come for white people, when they see racist ads, against Black folks—food stamp president—that’s wrong!”
Toure: "[There is] an epidemic of death that's tragic among prematurely dying massive black singers. Michael Jackson was just 50. Now, Whitney at 48. Heavy D was 44, Nate Dogg was 41. Why are so many of these people dying early? And he talked about that there's an extraordinary pressure and stress on them to continue to succeed year after year because it is embarrassing to fall. But they also have a fear of going back to poverty."
Ari Berman: "And what Republicans are doing with redistricting now, following the 2010 election, is they're trying to draw as many Democrats as possible into as few heavily-minority districts as possible to maximize Republican turnout elsewhere and basically turn the Republican Party into the quote-unquote "white Party" and the Democratic Party into the quote-unquote "black Party," and ensure that there are Republican majorities in all of the South, including in crucial swing states, like North Carolina, for the next decade."
The Compliant Obama Press Corps:
Washington Post political writer Aaron Blake on Newt Gingrich's high unfavorable ratings: "Sarah Palin, even at her most divisive, never saw her unfavorable rating rise above 60 percent in the CNN poll. And even when Republicans were demonizing Nancy Pelosi in the runup to the 2010 election, her unfavorable rating never climbed beyond the high-50s."
NBC’s David Gregory: “Are Republicans depending too much upon the social issues to ignite the base?” It has been liberal news commentator/interviewer who have asked conservatives again and again and again about social issues. George Stephanopoulos spent 5 minutes during a debate a month or so ago asking Mitt. Romney about the states being able to ban contraception.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Rick Santorum: "I mean, you're talking about a guy from the Cro-Magnon era, in terms of politics." My hearing of this, identifies the Cro-Magnon guy as being Santorum and not Foster Frieze.
CNN's Candy Crowley to chief of staff Jacob Lew about the healthcare edict from the White House: ”You are an observant Jew, I know, was there anything about this that made you think twice when it first went out?”
Andrew Sullivan, of the Daily Beast: “So I think a lot of this was ginned up by the Bishops. They were the ones that set a trap for Obama. They're like Wile E. Coyote trying to blow up the Roadrunner only it blew up on them.”
Josh Bazell [Author, Wild Thing], on NBC: “...there's certain things that it's hard to do realistically in a novel. For instance, if I were to create a character who, say, had been the senator from Pennsylvania, as Rick Santorum was - Rick Santorum does not appear in the novel - and I had this character get up at a debate and say that global warming was a hoax and that we had to change the Constitution to limit the rights of gay people. No one would believe that...And if I said then, you know, that the entire Republican establishment sat quietly through this, no one stood up and said, ‘You know, that's a crazy man talking,’ it would just seem like I was being biased.” Apparently, this had almost nothing to do with the book he was selling.
Washington Post editor Melinda Henneberger on MSNBC: "Maybe the Founders were wrong to guarantee free exercise of religion in the First Amendment but that is what they did and I don't think we have to choose here."
Joy Behar on an impending Virginia Abortion Law which requires an ultrasound (there is the possibility that this could be an invasive ultrasound): "It's like, what are we? What is this, the Taliban now? What are we, in Afghanistan? Where are we exactly in this country?"
Actress Julienne Moore, who plays Sarah Palin in an HBO movie: “She wasn't qualified to be vice president. She wasn't a qualified candidate.”
Bruce Springsteen, when asked if he thought the United States should be changed into something closer to a Swedish-style welfare state: "Exactly! That's my dream! It's written between the lines. But you have to listen very closely,"
Oprah Winfrey tweet: "Every 1 who can please turn to OWN especially if u have a Nielsen box."
Actor Sean Penn while visiting socialist President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela: "It's never predictable what can happen in an American election, but we certainly believe at this point that it's becoming increasingly clear to the American people that the policies of the far right are the policies of the rich, and that they are to the exclusion of the middle class and the poor, and that no society has a future on that basis."
Sean Stone, son of American Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone: “I've studied history and my study of the Islamic teachings helped me understand that Islam can lead the humanity to happiness.”
Fred Amrisen as Obama/Cosby on SNL: “I hereby veto the rice cakes that Michelle said were healthier than the hoagie.”
Liberals from the past:
Media Matters "senior fellow" Karl Frisch in a 2009 internal memo to his bosses, just unearthed: "Simply put, the progressive movement is in need of an enemy. George W. Bush is gone. We really don't have John McCain to kick around any more. Filling the lack of leadership on the right, Fox News has emerged as the central enemy and antagonist of the Obama administration, our Congressional majorities and the progressive movement as a whole. We must take Fox News head-on in a well funded, presidential-style campaign to discredit and embarrass the network, making it illegitimate in the eyes of news consumers."
Bill Maher: "Something unprecedented is happening with the way conservatives are disrespecting this president. And I'm not talking about mere words uttered hundreds of thousands of miles away. Sean Hannity can say anything that he wants. No one looks to him as a model human being, or even a human being. Of course I'm very guilty and actually proud of innumerable insults to former President Bush, calling him `a rube, a cypher, a shit kicker, a yokel on the world stage, a catastrophe that walks like a man, the cowboy from toy story, Drinky McDumbass, and President Larry The Cable Guy.' But I wouldn't call him that to his face, and that is the difference."
MSNBC’s Martin Ashir: "If you listen carefully to Rick Santorum, he sounds more like Stalin than Pope Innocent III."
the "token" is Craig Mitchell, an Associate Professor of Ethics for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Bill Maher: “That's why, when the idea of states outlawing contraception came up, he said, well, maybe that's a good idea. But he can't be to the right to Rick Santorum because there's nothing to the right except Kirk Cameron and the Neonazi party.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast: "Israel perpetrated the terror actions to launch psychological warfare against Iran." This refers to the recent attacks against Israeli embassies in New Dehli and Tbilisi which have been tied to Iran.
Sheikh Saleh bin Fowzan Al Fowzan, a member of the 7-man supreme committee of scholars in Saudi Arabia: "Repenting will not work; any man who insults God or our Prophet (PBUH) should be killed." This is about the guy who allegedly insulted Mohammed on twitter.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh: "[The] Gun is our only response to Zionist regime In time, we have come to understand that we can obtain our goals only through fighting and armed resistance and no compromise should be made with the enemy."
Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghuzlan: "Concerning the Islamic caliphate, this is our dream, and we hope to achieve it, even after centuries."
Taliban official, Abdullah al Wazir: "They [al Qaeda] are among the first groups and banners that pledged allegiance to the Emir of the Believers [Mullah Omar, the leader of the Afghan Taliban], and they operate in Afghanistan under the flag of the Islamic Emirate,"
Liberals making sense:
Sen. Tom Harkin on the payroll tax holiday: "This Congress will be making a grave mistake -- a grave mistake -- and reinforcing a dangerous precedent. And I'm dismayed that Democrats, including a Democratic president and a Democratic vice president, have proposed this, and are willing to sign off on a deal that could begin the unraveling of Social Security...Make no mistake about it. This is the beginning of the end of the sanctity of Social Security."
Sen. Joe Manchin: "I didn't come here to put the next generation into more debt; I came here to get them out of it...I know that going back home and saying we voted for tax cuts is popular, but this is not a tax cut - this is a Social Security cut. Plain and simple. And knowing that we add 10,000 new beneficiaries a day, and knowing that last year Social Security took in less than it paid out - how does that make any sense?"
Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders: “My concern is diverting hundreds of billions of dollars from the Social Security trust fund into that immediate tax relief ... I would love to see tax relief, but done in a different way.”
U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta: "I think, in weighing how you address this issue, you've also got to take into consideration the national security threat that comes from the huge deficits and the huge debt that we're running. We're running a debt now that is comparable to our GDP."
Leon Panetta: “You can’t take a half a trillion out of the defense budget with some risks.” [quoted from memory]
Leon Panetta: “This budget bites.”
Rep. Barney Frank: "The tea party has been much more effective than occupy. The people in tea party do a much better job of organizing to get their policy views made apart of this process than occupy people."
An Israeli Cabinet minister regarding Iran’s bombing attempt in Bangkok: "We know who carried out the terror attacks, we know who sent them, and Israel will settle the score with them,"
Heather from Texas on Obama’s #40dollars Twitter campaign: "$40 a paycheck means I have to choose which medication my daughter takes gets put off, and not like something simple we are talking choice or of life or death. My daughter is a liver transplant [patient] and is waiting for another transplant."
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia [an edited statement]: “Many Catholics are confused and angry. They should be. Quite a few Catholics supported President Obama in the last election, so the ironies here are bitter. Many feel betrayed. They're baffled that the Obama administration would seek to coerce Catholic employers, private and corporate, to violate their religious convictions...Critics may characterize my words here as partisan or political. These are my personal views, and of course people are free to disagree. But it is this administration - not Catholic ministries, or institutions, or bishops - that chose the timing and nature of the fight. The onus is entirely on the White House, which also has the power to remove the issue from public conflict. Catholics should not be misled into accepting feeble compromises on issues of principle. The HHS mandate is bad law; and not merely bad, but dangerous and insulting. It needs to be withdrawn - now.”
Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan "I want to take him [Obama] at his word, [but] it's getting harder and harder. Does the federal government have the right to tell a religious individual or a religious entity how to define yourself? This is what gives us greater chill."
Fake Obama commercial: “The first four years were about change; now it’s about dollars.”
David Brooks: “We've become accustomed to the faith-driven athlete and coach, from Billy Sunday to Tim Tebow. But we shouldn't forget how problematic this is...The modern sports hero is competitive and ambitious...But there's no use denying - though many do deny it - that this ethos violates the religious ethos on many levels.” David Brooks, who long ago proved that he has no idea what conservatism is, now proves that he has no idea what Christianity is.
Sharon posting a recent Jake Tapper story: “What did we as a nation ever do before Obama? How did we function? Who knew I was responsible for birth control for the lady who I stood behind in Target today? Do she have to pay for my tampons & pads? They are a necessity, therefore somebody else should pay. What about diapers for my babies? Can't raise a kid w/out diapers - shouldn't they be free too?” Probably a conservative.
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on PBS's McLaughlin Group on President Obama's budget: “[you can't] drastically cut a deficit before you invigorate the economy or you're going to look at a lost decade."
National Review's Rich Lowry: "This isn't a Keynesian budget. It's a flat out tax and spend big government liberal budget" The entire exchange can be found here.
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell: “Do you have any concerns with some of his comments on social issues, on contraception on women in combat and whether or not it would hurt his viability in a general election campaign were he to be the nominee?”
Foster Friess, a Rick Santorum supporter: "Here we have millions of our fellow Americans unemployed. We have jihadist camps being set up in Latin America, which Rick has been warning about, and people seem to be so preoccupied with sex. I think it says something about our culture. We maybe need a massive therapy session so we can concentrate on what the real issues are... On this contraceptive thing, my Gosh it's such [sic] inexpensive. You know, back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn't that costly."
Mitchell, shocked that anyone could suggest abstinence as birth control: "Excuse me, I'm just trying to catch my breath from that, Mr. Friess, frankly... Let's change the subject."
Congresswoman Maxine Waters: "I saw pictures of Boehner and Cantor on our screens; don't ever let me see again in life those Republicans in our hall, on our screens, talking about anything. These are demons. These are legislators who are destroying this country."
Eric Bolling on Fox&Friends: "Congresswoman, you saw what happened to Whitney Houston; step away from the crack pipe, step away from the Xanax, step away from the Lorazepam, because it's going to get you in trouble."
Eric C. Bauman, chairman of the L.A. County Democratic Party, called for the network to remove Bolling, and said: "At worst, Bolling's comment oozes racism, which serves to discredit a strong African American woman by perpetrating racial stereotypes. Regardless of whether this remark was deliberate or offhand - it was irresponsible, despicable and reprehensible."
Interviewer: “You’re getting pelted in the media; they’re showing this video of you over and over again in February of 09 saying by the end of your first term, that you’re going to reduce the deficit by half—we’re not there.”
President Obama: “Well, we’re not there because this recession turned out to be a lot deeper than any of us realized. Everybody who is out there back in 2009, if you look back what their estimates were in terms of how many jobs had been lost, how bad the economy had contracted when I took office everybody had underestimated it. People thought that the economy contracted 3%, it turns it was close to 9%. We lost 8 million jobs just in a year's span, about half a year before I took office and about a half a year after I took office”
Follow up question: “9% contraction? I have not seen that reported anywhere. Can you provide us with some proof of this?”
Follow up question: “During the Reagan recovery, the private sector created 1 million jobs a month; will we ever see this as a part of the Obama recovery?”
Just kidding; there were no such follow up questions.
Paul Ryan: “Here's the point, if you'll allow me. This is your time, so we'll just take a long time. Here's the point. Leaders are supposed to fix problems. We have a $99.4 trillion unfunded liability. Our government is making promises to Americans that it has no way of accounting for. And so you're saying yeah, we're stabilizing it but we're not fixing it in the long run. That means we're just going to keep lying to people. We're going to keep all these empty promises going.”
Tim Geithner: “We have millions of Americans retiring every day, and that will drive substantially the rate of growth of healthcare costs. You are right to say we're not coming before you today to say we have a definitive solution to that long-term problem. What we do know is, we don't like yours.”
The entire exchange, unedited, with text.
Democratic strategist Bob Frum: "Catholic leaders are self-righteously trying to infringe on the liberty of all Americans."
Glenn Reynolds tries to come up with an equally stupid statement, to illustrate: "It's as if we passed a law requiring mosques to sell bacon and then, when people objected, responded by saying `What's wrong with bacon? You're trying to ban bacon!!!!`"
The National Journal: “What kind of chauvinism have you faced in Congress?”
Former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi: “At first the men thought having women in the House was nice. Then they started to get a little threatened-it wasn't as cute. When I decided to run for leadership, they said, "Who said she could run?" And I thought, "Perfect. That is exactly right. Who said she could run? Not you." That is how they thought not that long ago.”
Rick Santorum suggested on CNN that a child conceived in rape is an innocent child, so a woman could "make the best of a bad situation."
Radio personality Randi Rhodes: “It's a gift! God gives you a gift of a rape baby, that's what God gives you. Uh - God also gives people cancer - I wonder if Rick Santorum thinks that uh, you know, uh, uh, uh, cancer is given by God and AIDS is given by God - or, in your case, a shocking lack of empathy is given by God. Or in my case - you know, ridiculously acute bronchitis was given to me by God! It's to show me how tough I am! It's to show me just exactly how many steroids I can take before I want to bump your eyes out! Oh my God, look on the bright side rape victims! It was given to you by a man, therefore it must be a gift! It's a gift!”
CBS’s Charlie Rose: “There's no question that those issues are very important, and they're very important to the voters of Michigan. But also, you have been identified as a social conservative, and those issues have been part of what you have said to the country. So this is not gotcha. What this is, is trying to understand exactly what Rick Santorum stands for, and what he might say or do as president-“
Rick Santorum: “Well, Charlie, when you quote- hold on, Charlie. When you quote a supporter of mine who tells a bad off-color joke, and somehow, I'm responsible for that shall, that's gotcha. I mean, the bottom line is, we're- we've been- we've been-“
Rose: “But nobody said you were responsible, Senator. Nobody said you were responsible. They said, how would you characterize it and what have you said to him, not that you were responsible. It's to understand how you differ from what this person said. So let me quote you-“
Santorum: “Okay. So I'm now going to have respond to every supporter who says something. Now, I'm going to have to respond to it. Look, this is what you guys do. I mean, I don't- you don't do this with President Obama. In fact, with President Obama, what you did was you went out and defended him against someone who- he sat in a church for- for 20 years, and defended him- that, oh, he can't possibly believe what he listened to for 20 years. It's a double standard, this is what you're pulling off, and I'm going to call you on it.”
News columnist James Tarantino: “The president is negotiating with the Taliban, [but] he will not negociate with the Catholics.”
Radio personality Mark Levin: “[Obama’s] telling people who are having a tough time with their mortgages, ‘I’m going to take care of you.’ No, he’s not. He’s telling kids with student loans, ‘I’m going to take care of you’ and no, he’s not. He’s telling people who can’t read credit card information, ‘I’m gonna take care of you.’ Now this is the guy who runs the IRS—have you ever read the Internal Revenue codes? He’s not going to take care of you. He’s more about these promises, more about these abstractions, these fantasies, these arguments about equality.” [quoted from memory]
FoxBusiness person Gary B. Smith: “Income inequality is what made America great.”
Republican presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich: “It is truly astounding that you have an administration, the Obama administration, that refuses to even use the words radical Islam, which behaves as though terrorism is a random behavior, and literally has censored national security documents to eliminate accurate facts so that when a psychiatrist at Ft. Hood kills 13 Americans and wounds 30 others while yelling Allah-Akbar and having in his wallet, ‘warrior of Allah’. The administration manages to write a report with no mention of radical Islamists.”
Rep. Allen West: "Our party firmly believes in the safety net. "We reject the idea of the safety net becoming a hammock. For this reason, the Republican value of minimizing government dependence is particularly beneficial to the poorest among us. Conversely, the Democratic appetite for ever-increasing redistributionary handouts is in fact the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today, and it does not promote economic freedom."
Newt Gingrich on Romney’s negative ads: "negative junk...It drove down participation. We have a target, it's called Barack Obama. The Romney people don't seem to get that."
CRNC video on Obama: “He wanted to be my banker, my doctor.”
Big Journalist writer Dana Loesch: “That's the difference between conservatives and progressives: conservatives want the diversity of voices, even if they disagree with the thought or if the thought is offensively over-the-top sensational. They're eager to debate it out in the open and prove it wrong. They desire nothing more than to win converts by proving how illogical or immoral the opposite viewpoint is while using logic and reason. Progressives, on the other hand, desire none of those things, regardless whether or not the opposing viewpoint is sensational or simply one with which they disagree. Their idea of debate is quasi-censorship: blacklisting diversity from the airwaves. They're either too lazy or too incompetent to debate the issues, so they resort to hiding them altogether. They don't engage, they persecute and suppress.” This was in a story about Pat Buchanan being forced off MSNBC.
Rep. Phil Gingery: "I cannot and I will not support legislation that extends the payroll tax holiday without paying for it, This will add $100 billion to the deficit and it will create an even greater shortfall within the Social Security trust fund that already has over $100 billion shortfall just in the last two years."
Lamar Alexander, one of the other Republicans to speak up on this: "Getting rid of the way we fund Social Security through the payroll tax is a dangerous idea."
Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum: “[Obama's agenda is based on] some phony theology. Not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology."
Rick Santelli: “While the vandals are on the street corners, the Tea Party conservatives they're working state houses, the governorships, the mayorships, the Senate, the House. See, they understand, they've read the Constitution. If you want to make a difference, don't go break windows, okay? Break some phony arguments that things like austerity are going to put you in the hole. What put you in the hole is borrowing 38 cents of every dollar you spent. That's what put you in the hole, pure and simple. Everything else is political spin.” I think he is conservative?
Foster Friess to Andrea Mitchell: “Do you honestly think that if Senator Santorum becomes president that we are going to get rid of contraceptives?”
Foster Friess: "I walked in the Country Club and said, you gotta get behind this guy, Rick Santorum—he’s what America’s all about; he’s standing on the shoulders of the founding fathers...and he said, ‘He’s too extreme.’ I said, ‘What do you mean by that?’ And he said, ‘The same-sex marriage.’ So I said to this guy, `You know, through the beginning of time, not just the major religions but various African tribal people have said man is marrying a woman. At what point in your life did that suddenly become an extreme idea?' Well, obviously, he couldn't answer. So the whole idea of extremism, it's kind of a bizarre terminology for someone that believes marriage is between a man and a woman. Why is that extreme?"
Republican National Committee Communications Director Sean Spicer about the possibility of a brokered GOP convention in Tampa: "The last time we had a brokered convention was in the 1940's, and we're four contests in that have awarded delegates. We are four weeks and four states into a process. I get that it's the buzz, but I literally spend as much time worrying if some space alien attack happens."
Greg Gutfeld of Obama: “The first term, he had to be nice.”
Rush Limbaugh: "Most Americans I think by now realize the AP is no longer a news outlet. It's just part of the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party."
Rush Limbaugh: "You know, it's funny what offends liberals, and the liberal media. Bill Clinton abusing and ruining the life of an intern. JFK, ditto. It's admirable. That's behavior they want to emulate. But an aspirin joke, boy, look how that offends them. Just really funny these people are."
Rush Limbaugh: "You boil it all down, what you end up with is something very simple. Liberals want life without consequences."
Rush Limbaugh: "I don't know what percentage, but a portion of the population will believe, at the end of the day today or whenever they watch the news, that the Republicans wanted to have a hearing on banning contraception. That's what the news will be."
Rush Limbaugh: "Because of the bailout and the special deals, General Motors does not pay any income tax. They pay no corporate tax for ten years on whatever profits they earn."
Rush Limbaugh: "The whole point of bringing up contraception and trying to make it look like the Republicans want to ban birth control is simply something to excite the Democrat base, which has been depressed as it can be because their president has done a rotten job."
Rush Limbaugh: "Why is contraception so important that it must be paid for by somebody else? It's so important that you have contraceptives. It can't be left up to you to even take the initiative to provide them for yourself. They have to be provided for you. Why not toothpaste? Why not hotel rooms? Why not a car? What is it, as far as liberals are concerned, that makes contraceptives a must-have?”
Rush Limbaugh: "Obamacare could ban contraception or abortion. Once Obamacare is implemented, the government can make any change unilaterally it wants. Because, if it is implemented and if this mandate is found to be constitutional -- if the government can tell you that you've got to buy an insurance policy or you get fined or you go to jail -- then they can tell you anything."
Rush Limbaugh: "Conventional wisdom is a bunch of know-nothings agreeing. When everybody agrees on something, something's wrong."
Rush Limbaugh: "The Washington Post, New York Times, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, LA Times, it's all oriented toward two things: advancing the Democrat Party and whoever runs it -- in this case, Barack Obama -- and at the same time defeating, embarrassing, and humiliating the Republicans and conservatives."
Rush Limbaugh: "Obama is campaigning on the notion there are more takers than there are producers, that there are more people dependent on government than there are not, and that they will vote for whoever they think is going to keep that gravy train flowing."
Rush Limbaugh: "Barack Obama and the Democrat Party are aiming at the lowest common denominator. They have spent decades dumbing down the American people in the education system that they run and that they have run. Campaign for the stupid. Get the votes, buy the votes of the stupid."
Rush Limbaugh: "We have a president for whom the Constitution is an impediment. The Constitution is a roadblock. The Constitution is a problem. The Constitution, for Obama and his boys, is a worthless document."
Rush Limbaugh: "The arms race was not about total numbers. It was about having more than all of your enemies because of the deterrent factor. None of these weapons were ever built with the hope that they would have to be used."
Rush Limbaugh: "The United States had an AAA credit rating when Obama was immaculated. It was $1.61-a-gallon gas, 7.2% unemployment, a deficit four times smaller than it is today. And Obama, as a senator, voted for every spending increase put before him. Every one! Everything he 'inherited,' he voted for."
Rush Limbaugh: "Barack Obama is attempting to occupy a position that essentially is, 'I haven't been president for three years. I'm running for office for the first time here. It's worse than anybody ever told us!' When does he get blamed? Name for me any other president, three years after a disaster like this, who would not be blamed at least for some of it? You can't."
Rush Limbaugh: "Every problem we are having in housing is directly traceable to Barack Obama. He owns it! As a Senator, as a community organizer, the only thing Obama didn't like about Bush's big spending policies is that the spending was never enough."
The Conservative Press:
Charles Krauthammer on PBS’s Inside Washington: “This tells you how bad our politics have become. Everybody here is so delighted that we finally have a bipartisan agreement and are celebrating it over what? We have just, we have, for 16 billion-trillion dollars in debt. We just added 100 billion, on a payroll tax cut that every economist will tell you is not going to have any influence on the creation of jobs or helping our economy. It's temporary, will have no effect. And you know how we are paying for some of the goodies in there? We are auctioning off spectrum. Now, you ought to auction off spectrum anyway. However, the idea that you're going to do that - this is a priceless commodity that the government is selling it off - is selling crown jewels, it's selling the jewels to buy crack. A payroll tax cut has no effect at all, it's going to make people smile for, you know, eight or nine months. It'll be $100 billion, and we are selling auction to do that. That's the state of our politics today, and we're all happy because it was done on a bipartisan basis.” The video.
FoxNews’ Lou Dobbs: "These are choices that are going to be made individually by voters, and it's awfully nice of the national media and the Democratic Party to help everyone understand the dangers of Rick Santorum. But the Republican primary process will make that evaluation irrespective of our assistance genuine or manufactured."
Bill O’Reilly on an SNL skit: “I’m not sure what happened here.”
Colonel Martha McSally (USAF-RET), who is a Republican candidate running for Gabrielle Giffords' old seat, was on Fox and Friends discussing Rick Santorum's recent comments about women in combat: “When I heard this, I really just wanted to kick him in the Jimmy.”
Joe Biden Prophecy Watch
Although Glen Beck was repeatedly painted as a nut job to suggest that Muslims intend to establish a world Muslim order, there are sermons about this being given regularly.
The President’s budget in 62 seconds; no fanfare, no judgement, just what it is.
Stop the rhetoric; it is time to act. This video is excellent and it is not just about Obama.
This is refreshing; there are people in Times Square who actually recognize that the debt is a problem.
Democrat Tom Harken making sense about the payroll tax cut, saying what Republicans should have said.
30 second video on Obama; send it to your kid.
4 minutes on the Obama education takeover; what has happened and what are the practical effects. The video is excellent and about one screen shot down on this webpage.
The argument that the Obama administration is making before the Supreme Court is, the fines that result from not buying Obama-approved healthcare policies are actually taxes, and the government can tax all that it wants to. However, the White House budget director is pinned down to admitting that these fees are not a tax.
High School student refuses to sing song praising Allah, drops out of choir, and now is receiving death threats.
Obama and why Obama won’t get elected; 40 seconds.
Howard Dean accuses interviewer on CNBC of wanting to work for FoxNews, and the interviewer does not bash Fox. Yay for him!
Occupy Portland speaker.
Greek leftists rain down molotov cocktails on the police.
In a breakout session of the "Academic Boycott of Israel" initiative, Amy Kaplan, professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania spoke about how teachers can most effectively demonize Israel in every classroom as well as the "positive aspects" of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Bill Maher’s audience boos the idea of talking women out of having abortions
For those of us who do not text every waking moment of the day, here is a texting woman falling on her face during live news shot.
A Little Comedy Relief
Dick Morris: “A liberal, a moderate and a conservative walk into a bar and the bartender says, ‘Hi, Mitt.’”
1) Greece is an easy fix. Anyone throwing or bearing a Molotov cocktail will be shot dead. Anyone in demonstrations with a mask covering the face will be arrested.
2) I loved Cain, and was disappointed when he dropped out of the race. However, I think I could love Foster Friess just about as much. I wish that he was running for president and that Rick Santorum was his advocate.
3) Both Rush Limbaugh and Dick Morris made the same connection that I did last week; that the goofy question by George Stephanopoulos was a set up to this goofy contraception “discussion” that we are having today.
4) Let’s look at this a different way. Suppose you belonged to a religion that was very health conscious and you were against lollipops. Does the government have the right to force some 3rd party agency to give those associated with you lollipops for free?”
5) How does contraception cost $700 but private insurance companies can afford to give it away for free?
6) All sorts of stores and services try to get us to buy their stuff. So, since contraception is actually cheaper to provide than not, why haven’t healthcare insurers been offering that for free, in order to get more customers?
7) Liberals in Washington are after a number of different things. Evening out incomes is good, as long as it has no effect on them. They also like dependancy on government. Obamacare is going to cost the individual $600–800/month. Many people cannot pay this. This is fine; you will be able to get it as a government subsidy, and they have just snagged you and put you on the dole.
8) Free stuff—free breakfasts, free lunch, free foodstamps, etc.—are designed to suck you into government dependancy.
9) If Rick Santorum should not talk about contraception (and many on the left and right agree on this point), why is Obama talking about it? What gives him the right to require insurance companies to give away their services and/or their medicine for free?
10) Income inequality is the result of freedom. Furthermore, you can no more guarantee that every child has exactly the same chance in life as you can guarantee that everyone will make a “Fair” salary.
11) Manufacturing has been kicked out of the United States because of high taxes, heavy regulations and, most important of all, EPA demands. When you make something, there is also waste. No matter what any politician says, unless he plans to get the EPA to back off, there will be no expansion in manufacturing in the United States.
13) Liberals love to do a bait and switch when they argue. For instance, when it comes to the “right” of abortion, they always talk about incest and rape, whereas, these reasons account maybe 1% of the abortions which are performed. Most abortions are retroactive birth control. Virginia has a new law requiring a sonogram be administered before an abortion is performed, and liberals are in a tizzy about this. Dana Loesch approaches this from a more balanced perspective.
14) If you actually are concerned that someone in government could take away contraception from you, then pester the government for repeal Obamacare, because whatever that has given Obama the right to do, that gives anyone else to right to do the exact opposite. However, this is not really a concern of anyone; it is just a liberal talking point, because we cannot talk about the Obama economy and Obama’s accomplishments.
By the Numbers
In fiscal year 2011, the administration requested $121.7 million in military aid for Israel's key missile defense programs. In the 2012 budget proposal, that number dropped to $106.1 million. For 2013, that will be reduced to $99.8 million, according to the new budget. I guess that missile defense for Israel has become less critical in these past few years?
The rate of unemployment in the United States has been above 8% since February 2009, making the past three years the longest stretch of high unemployment in this country since the Great Depression. Furthermore, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that the unemployment rate will remain above 8% until 2014. The official unemployment rate excludes those individuals who would like to work but have not searched for a job in the past four weeks as well as those who are working part-time but would prefer full-time work; if those people were counted among the unemployed, the unemployment rate in January 2012 would have been about 15%.
President Obama released a budget this week that estimates the federal deficit will drop to $901.4 billion in fiscal 2013, resulting in the first federal deficit of less than $1 trillion since Obama was elected in 2008. It also predicts the federal deficit will decline sharply in fiscal 2014, dropping all the way to $667.8 billion (roughly, 3x the average Bush deficit). However, in the fiscal 2013 budget that Obama submitted to Congress this week, the White House is predicting that the federal deficit for fiscal 2012 will not be $557.4 billion after all. Instead, the White House says, it will be $1.3269 trillion. This is an error of 138%. Either they have no clue as to what they are doing or they are just making up nice numbers to sell to the public.
Deficit spending during Obama's four years in the White House (based on his own figures) will be an estimated $5.170 trillion. If you take our deficit spending under Obama and divide it evenly among the roughly 300 million American citizens, that works out to just over $17,000 per person - or about $70,000 for a family of four.
51.5% of Planned Parenthood’s funding comes from performing abortions and 46.5% of it comes from government funding.
The White House intends to boost government subsidies for buyers of the Chevy Volt and other new-technology vehicles from $7500 to $10,000 per buyer. So far, those who have purchased Chevy Volts are among America’s most wealth.
A Pew study reveals that there are problems with 1 in 8 voter registrations. This includes about 2 million voters who are dead.
The payroll tax holiday that Congress approved a year ago reduced Social Security's revenues this year by $105 billion.
Because of the way that 8 out of 10small businesses file, they would be taxed at the higher Obama rate.
Although the official Washington numbers indicate that unemployment is going down, Gallup has unemployment and underemployment all going up, to 9% and 19% respectively.
GM reports record profit of $9 billion, pays $0 in taxes, hands out $7,000 bonus to every UAW member, and taxpayers get nothing. GM still owes taxpayers around $28 billion. They will get to continue their tax-exempt status for another 8 years and the government will subsidize their failing Volts by $10,000 each now. However, these subsidies are necessary, because the average salary of a Volt buyer is $170,000, so they need to cut whatever corners they can.
Polling by the Numbers
59% of likely Catholic voters nationwide at least somewhat disapprove of the president's job performance,
40% at least somewhat approve.
Pew Research national poll of Republicans:
Romney 28% (a statistical tie)
CNN/ORC International poll
50% of the public disapproves of the Obama administration policy of mandated contraception provision;
44% approve of the plan
According to Gallup, 85% of U.S. small-business owners surveyed won’t be hiring this next year. Of those, 48% point to potential healthcare costs and 46% cite government regulations as reasons.
A Little Bias
NPR's Imbalanced Report on Payroll Tax Cut. It is actually, outright dishonest. Every Republican should have stood against it; they did not. Many of the Democrats who opposed this gave great, impassioned speeches against it.
CBS radio recently ran a story on the new FCC regulations requiring telemarketers to get written permission from consumers to call their landline phones. Barker began her report by casting robocalls in a negative light and presenting the FCC's new rules as a positive development. The "actuality" - what some radio folks call sound bytes - behind Barker's report was that of a robocall from the phone book company Yellowbook. At the end of the report Barker made sure to note that political calls are excluded from the new restrictions. Barker used Sarah Palin as an example of such a robocall call. It has been years since Ms. Palin has made a robocall. However, do you think they could have used the more recent and more pervasive union robocalls in Wisconsin?
Stephen Barr, who authored Washington Post’s The Federal Diary column for several years, joins the Labor Department as a top public affairs official.
President Obama held a major fundraiser with more than 2,500 doting supporters this week at the San Francisco Masonic Center. What the L.A. Times didn't report, however, was that just outside, at least 200 men and women with the Bay Area Tea Party were protesting in the group's designated protest area.
AP hit piece lists the ways that Rick Santorum is `out of step' with Americans. This is fine and legitimate; and where is a similar piece of Barack Obama and his association with his previous minister? Is this in step with anyone at all? But the AP never considered that worthy of a similar approach.
Sen. Bill Nelson `Farms' Six Cows to Dodge $43,000 in Taxes, All While Supporting Obama's Spending Spree. Will we see this in the mainstream press? Will his party affiliation be in the title or in the first paragraph?
HBO's `Game Change' Pummels Palin with Liberal Talking Points; video of preview. It starts okay, and then, a minute into it, it is clear this was written and directed by liberals.
LA Times Hails radio liberal Ed Schultz's 'Rare Liberal Success,' and ignores the people who crush him in ratings
Saturday Night Live Misses
I’ve got to admit, SNL did okay with this one; the Obama Show.
Bill O’Reilly on Saturday Night Live???
But, they were tougher on Republicans; not too much of a surprise. However, “How’s He Doing?” is okay.
At least 3 Democrats spoke against the payroll tax holiday because it takes from Social Security. Furthermore, even NPR ran a story on this! Where are the Republicans on this issue? Only 10 Senators voted against this; and this was bipartisan opposition.
women’s rights = free contraception
Questions for Obama
Your Health and Human services secretary says that healthcare insurers can give away contraceptive care because it is actually cheaper to them. The Democrat party head says this would cost the average person $700/year. Who’s right?
With a great deal of help from the news media, Democrats have managed to make birth control access to appear to be the most important issue in the upcoming election. Although no Republican has ever come out for any public policy which would restrict birth control access, somehow, Democrats have framed the issue to make it seem as if that is the Republican platform for 2012.
News Before it Happens
When it comes to the main stream media, let’s talk about anything else other than the economy, jobs and the debt; unless it is good news. As a rough guess, 3 good stories on the economy for every bad or neutral story on the economy. The word “national debt” will almost disappear from the Obama Media Complex. Unlike the year that preceded the 2008 election, we will not hear the words “Great Depression” over and over again. If the unemployment rate goes down, the OMC will do no in depth analysis (e.g., the number of people who have disappeared from the workforce).
Missed this one...
This is a close call. I suggested that media figures or the news organizations which supported President Obama would get some kind of a pay-off; perhaps the government would bail-out or partially support AP or Reuters. I didn’t quite get that prediction right, but Obama has hired 19 people, newsmen and media executives, to his staff, which is a record. We have no investigations by the Attorney General into Media Matters and its tax-exempt status, even though they have clearly stepped out of their bounds.
Federal Debt Has Climbed $4.47 Trillion Since Obama Released First Budget That Called For "A New Era of Responsibility" from Weasel Zippers.
Want To Be A Member Of Obama's "Truth Team?" Then You Are In Luck. Also Weasel Zippers.
ESPN's mobile website of basketball star Jeremy Lin: "Chink in the Armor"
Death Threats Against Koch Brothers and Their Employees
The Food Police Cometh
Teacher Unions Want 30% Raise in Chicago
$4 Billion to 21 Companies with Obama-Ties
Stimulus is 3 Years Old; No Results
Mobs In Muslim World Continue to Attack Christians
Come, let us reason together....
Inside Media Matters: Sources, memos reveal erratic behavior, close coordination with White House and news organizations
By Tucker Carlson, Vince Coglianese, Alex Pappas and Will Rahn
This is the first in a Daily Caller investigative series on Media Matters For America. Daily Caller reporters Alex Pappas and Will Rahn contributed to this report.
David Brock was smoking a cigarette on the roof of his Washington, D.C. office one day in the late fall of 2010 when his assistant and two bodyguards suddenly appeared and whisked him and his colleague Eric Burns down the stairs.
Brock, the head of the liberal nonprofit Media Matters for America, had told friends and co-workers that he feared he was in imminent danger from right-wing assassins and needed a security team to keep him safe.
The threat he faced while smoking on his roof? "Snipers," a former co-worker recalled.
"He had more security than a Third World dictator," one employee said, explaining that Brock's bodyguards would rarely leave his side, even accompanying him to his home in an affluent Washington neighborhood each night where they "stood post" to protect him. "What movement leader has a detail?" asked someone who saw it.
Extensive interviews with a number of Brock's current and former colleagues at Media Matters, as well as with leaders from across the spectrum of Democratic politics, reveal an organization roiled by its leader's volatile and erratic behavior and struggles with mental illness, and an office where Brock's executive assistant carried a handgun to public events in order to defend his boss from unseen threats.
Yet those same interviews, as well as a detailed organizational planning memo obtained by The Daily Caller, also suggest that Media Matters has to a great extent achieved its central goal of influencing the national media.
Founded by Brock in 2004 as a liberal counterweight to "conservative misinformation" in the press, Media Matters has in less than a decade become a powerful player in Democratic politics. The group operates in regular coordination with the highest levels of the Obama White House, as well as with members of Congress and progressive groups around the country. Brock, who collected over $250,000 in salary from Media Matters in 2010, has himself become a major fundraiser on the left. According to an internal memo obtained by TheDC, Media Matters intends to spend nearly $20 million in 2012 to influence news coverage.
Donors have every reason to expect success, as the group's effect on many news organizations has already been profound. "We were pretty much writing their prime time," a former Media Matters employee said of the cable channel MSNBC. "But then virtually all the mainstream media was using our stuff."
The group scored its first significant public coup in 2007 with the firing of host Don Imus from MSNBC. Just before Easter that year, a Media Matters employee recorded Imus's now-famous attack on the Rutgers women's basketball team, and immediately recognized its inflammatory potential. The organization swung into action, notifying organizations like the NAACP, the National Association of Black Journalists, and Al Sharpton's National Action Network, all of which joined the fight.
Over the course of a week, Media Matters mobilized more than 50 people to work full-time adding fuel to the Imus story. Researchers searched the massive Media Matters database for controversial statements Imus had made over the years. The group issued press release after press release. Brock personally called the heads of various liberal activist groups to coordinate a message. By the end of the week, Imus was fired.
Media Matters soon became more sophisticated in its campaigns against non-liberal cable news anchors. Lou Dobbs, then of CNN, was a frequent target.
"As part of the Drop Dobbs campaign," explains one internal memo prepared for fundraising, "Media Matters produced and was prepared to run an advertisement against Ford Motor Company on Spanish Language stations in Houston, San Antonio, and other cities targeting its top selling product, pick-up trucks, in its top truck buying markets."
Ford pulled its advertising from Dobbs's program before the television ad aired, but Media Matters kept up its efforts, working primarily with Alex Nogales of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and with the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and other self-described civil rights groups.
In November of 2009, Dobbs left CNN. "We got him fired," says one staffer flatly.
"Certainly Media Matters deserves a lot of credit for the work they did," Nogales said in an interview. "They're very effective."
Glenn Beck, the former Fox News Channel host, drew the ire of a wide spectrum of liberal groups while his program aired nationally. But according to several people who watched the process from the inside, it was Media Matters that orchestrated much of the opposition to Beck.
WASHINGTON - AUGUST 28, 2010: Fox News personality Glenn Beck speaks during the "Restoring Honor" rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial at the National Mall on August 28, 2010 in Washington, DC. Beck held the rally on the 47th anniversary of the "I Have a Dream" speech of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to "restore America."
"We called it `fingerprint coverage,'" explains one former staffer, "where you know it was the result of your work." As an example, he cites the left-wing group Color of Change, co-founded by the controversial former White House "green jobs" czar Van Jones, which received much of the credit for pressuring advertisers to drop their sponsorship of Beck's show. But in fact, he says, Media Matters developed the campaign that cowed Beck's sponsors.
Media Matters, according to its 2010 tax filing, gave a $200,000 grant to Citizen Engagement Laboratory, Color of Change's parent group. The purpose of the grant, according to the document, was for a "campaign to expose Glenn Beck's racist rhetoric in an effort to educate advertisers about the practices on his show."
High profile though these victories against conservatives were, Media Matters has perhaps achieved more influence simply by putting its talking points into the willing hands of liberal journalists. "In `08 it became pretty apparent MSNBC was going left," says one source. "They were using our research to write their stories. They were eager to use our stuff." Media Matters staff had the direct line of MSNBC president Phil Griffin, and used it. Griffin took their calls.
Stories about Fox News were especially well received by MSNBC anchors and executives: "If we published something about Fox in the morning, they'd have it on the air that night verbatim."
But MSNBC executives weren't the only ones talking regularly to Media Matters.
"The entire progressive blogosphere picked up our stuff," says a Media Matters source, "from Daily Kos to Salon. Greg Sargent [of the Washington Post] will write anything you give him. He was the go-to guy to leak stuff."
"If you can't get it anywhere else, Greg Sargent's always game," agreed another source with firsthand knowledge.
Reached by phone, Sargent declined to comment.
"The HuffPo guys were good, Sam Stein and Nico [Pitney]," remembered one former staffer. "The people at Huffington Post were always eager to cooperate, which is no surprise given David's long history with Arianna [Huffington]."
"Jim Rainey at the LA Times took a lot of our stuff," the staffer continued. "So did Joe Garofoli at the San Francisco Chronicle. We've pushed stories to Eugene Robinson and E.J. Dionne [at the Washington Post]. Brian Stelter at the New York Times was helpful."
"Ben Smith [formerly of Politico, now at BuzzFeed.com] will take stories and write what you want him to write," explained the former employee, whose account was confirmed by other sources. Staffers at Media Matters "knew they could dump stuff to Ben Smith, they knew they could dump it at Plum Line [Greg Sargent's Washington Post blog], so that's where they sent it."
Smith, who refused to comment on the substance of these claims, later took to Twitter to say that he has been critical of Media Matters.
Reporters who weren't cooperative might feel the sting of a Media Matters campaign against them. "If you hit a reporter, say a beat reporter at a regional newspaper," a Media Matters source said, "all of a sudden they'd get a thousand hostile emails. Sometimes they'd melt down. It had a real effect on reporters who weren't used to that kind of scrutiny."
A group with the ability to shape news coverage is of incalculable value to the politicians it supports, so it's no surprise that Media Matters has been in regular contact with political operatives in the Obama administration. According to visitor logs, on June 16, 2010, Brock and then-Media Matters president Eric Burns traveled to the White House for a meeting with Valerie Jarrett, arguably the president's closest adviser. Recently departed Obama communications director Anita Dunn returned to the White House for the meeting as well.
It's not clear what the four spoke about - no one in the meeting returned repeated calls for comment - but the apparent coordination continued. "Anita Dunn became a regular presence at the office," says someone who worked there. Then-president of Media Matters, Eric Burns, "lunched with her, met with her and chatted with her frequently on any number of matters."
Media Matters also began a weekly strategy call with the White House, which continues, joined by the liberal Center for American Progress think tank. Jen Psaki, Obama's deputy communications director, was a frequent participant before she left for the private sector in October 2011.
Every Tuesday evening, meanwhile, a representative from Media Matters attends the Common Purpose Project meeting at the Capitol Hilton on 16th Street in Washington, where dozens of progressive organizations formulate strategy, often with a representative from the Obama White House.
In the past several years, Media Matters has focused much of its considerable energy on the Fox News Channel. The network, declares one internal memo, "is the de facto leader of the GOP and it is long past time that it was treated as such by the media, elected officials, and the public." At the end of September 2009, Burns made the case publicly in an interview on MSNBC.
Fox, he said, "is a political organization, and their aim is to destroy a progressive policy agenda."
Less than a month later, in language that could have been copied directly from a Media Matters press release, White House communications director Anita Dunn leveled almost precisely the same charge, dismissing Fox as "more a wing of the Republican Party."
Were the lines of attack coordinated? "To my knowledge, there wasn't coordination," says a source. But at times there has seemed to be a kind of mind meld between the Obama political team and Media Matters.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, for example, author Jerome Corsi wrote a highly critical book about the Democratic candidate, titled "The Obama Nation." The Obama campaign responded immediately with a detailed memo. The title of that memo, "Unfit For Publication" (a play on Corsi's 2004 book, "Unfit for Command," about then-presidential candidate Senator John Kerry), was the same title used by Media Matters just weeks before in a similar memo about the same book.
The irony of Brock's relationship with the White House is that at certain points he has been openly hostile to Barack Obama, especially in conversations in social settings. Described by some who know him as a passionate and emotional Hillary Clinton supporter, many Democrats believe Brock maintained regular contact with the highest levels of Clinton's campaign and its advisers.
As late as 2010, Brock was still exchanging personal emails with longtime Hillary Clinton consigliore Sidney Blumenthal, in which the two seemed to grouse about Obama and bond over their shared connection to Hillary.
The intensity of the 2008 campaign, say those who knew Brock at the time, seemed to exacerbate his bouts of what appeared to be mania, a condition from which he had apparently suffered for some time. In 2002, the Drudge Report reported that Brock had "suffered a breakdown" the year before and was treated in the psychiatric ward of Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington.
During a 2008 meeting of the left-wing umbrella group Democracy Alliance outside San Diego, Brock's unusual behavior drew considerable attention. According to a fellow attendee, "David completely lost his shit. He started getting incredibly aggressive. He alienated important people in the progressive movement, like John Podesta [of the Center for American Progress] and Anna Burger [of the Service Employees International Union]. Lots of drama. There were a lot of conversations about David's mental health."
Two years later, at another Democracy Alliance meeting shortly after the 2010 election, Brock behaved in a way one prominent liberal who was there described as "erratic, unstable and disturbing." Brock's aggression, this person said, was "hard to ignore and noticed by a number of people," generating "quite a bit of concern" about his condition. A number of demonstrably odd media appearances Brock made around this time only reinforced those concerns.
All of this, sources say, has caused anxiety for prominent Democrats. Brock's profile has risen recently, mostly due to American Bridge 21st Century, the political action committee he founded and runs. Brock boasted loudly and in public that American Bridge would be an answer to Karl Rove's American Crossroads GPS, a claim some found unsettlingly grandiose.
At some point, Brock received a prescription for his condition. "Some days he'd come in and you could tell he was on his meds because he would just sit in his office alone and not engage with staff," says a coworker. Other days, "he'd be intensely engaged. He'd get manic, very reckless and grandiose. You'd see this level of self-confidence in him that would spiral."
Last spring, some at Media Matters headquarters and in other parts of the progressive world were caught off guard by an interview Brock gave to Ben Smith at Politico, in which he promised to wage "guerrilla warfare and sabotage" against Fox News. "It was insane," says a coworker. "David was totally manic at the time. We were all shocked."
Friends say Brock, who has publicly admitted drug use in the past, was working obsessively and staying out late with compatriots. "They'd close [local bars] and party till six in the morning," said one.
By 2010, Brock's personal assistant, a man named Haydn Price-Morris, was carrying a holstered and concealed Glock handgun when he accompanied Brock to events, including events in Washington, D.C., a city with famously restrictive gun laws. Price-Morris told others he carried the gun to protect Brock from threats.
Late in 2010, other Media Matters employees learned about Price-Morris's gun, and he was fired due to their objections. No public announcement was made.
According to one source with knowledge of what happened next, Brock was "terrified" that news of the gun would leak. "George Soros and a lot of groups connected to gun control are funding this group, and they wouldn't be too happy that an employee of Media Matters was carrying a gun, especially when it was illegal in D.C."
Meanwhile, Brock became rigid and harsh with his employees - "viciously mean," in the words of someone who witnessed it. "He spent a lot of time ripping up researchers. It was abusive. I never understood why more people didn't quit." One staffer recalls Brock saying he would like to fire a researcher for being physically repugnant. "David definitely does not like ugly people."
At times, Brock would become crazed with intensity, "obsessively" involving himself in research: "There was a point at which he would pore over every single piece of research we put out, 10 or 15 dense items a day. He would line-item all of it."
David Saldana, the former deputy editorial director at Media Matters, concedes that under Brock's leadership, "there were very harsh penalties for getting things wrong. And justifiably so. . There was no room for weakness. Things had to be gotten right."
The atmosphere in the office was considerably more tolerant on non-editorial matters. "There were these two folks who got caught [having sex] in the communications war room on the weekend," said one employee.
"People came in, and lo and behold there were two of their colleagues doing the nasty on a desk." Neither one was fired.
This is one of many stories on this topic and they can be found at the Daily Caller.
Left-wing foundations lavish millions on Media Matters
By David Martosko
Relying on tax returns and websites of wealthy U.S. foundations, a Daily Caller investigation has revealed the sources of more than $28.8 million in funding collected by the liberal Media Matters for America since 2003, the year before its formal incorporation. That sum represents 54 percent of every dollar the organization has raised in its history, making Media Matters a principally foundation-driven - not citizen-supported - activist group.
The list of Media Matters' foundation funders, 120 in all, reads like a Who's Who of the American progressive movement, including the far-left Tides Foundation ($4,384,702), George Soros' Open Society Institutes ($1,075,000), the Ford Foundation ($966,466), the Sandler Foundation ($400,000) - endowed by subprime mortgage lenders Herb and Marion Sandler, who once bankrolled the embattled ACORN organization - and the Schumann Fund for Media and Democracy ($600,000), managed by longtime PBS host Bill Moyers and his son.
They also include the anti-George W. Bush organization MoveOn.org ($50,000), the Barbra Streisand Foundation ($85,000), the kids' shoes-powered Stride Rite Charitable Foundation ($25,000), the Lear Family Foundation ($55,000) - endowed by the TV producer and People for the American Way founder Norman Lear - and the Joyce Foundation ($400,000), whose board of directors included Barack Obama from 1994 to 2002.
The Joyce Foundation grant, made in 2010, was earmarked for "a gun and public safety issue initiative." That program, judging from the ensuing Media Matters coverage, included scathing reports on the shooting-sports lobby and on the firearms industry's annual convention. "To lure repeat buyers," that story warned, "increased lethality has become the nicotine of the firearms industry."
2010 was also, TheDC reported Monday, the year when Media Matters founder David Brock's personal assistant was carrying a holstered and concealed Glock handgun when he accompanied Brock to events.
The Daily Caller is publishing spreadsheets describing all the grants to Media Matters it has identified, how much each donor contributed overall, and for what purpose, if any, their donations were earmarked. Most grants were described in foundations' tax returns as "general support" contributions.
TheDC reported Thursday that the ARCA Foundation, a Democratic-aligned philanthropy, made a $50,000 grant to Media Matters in 2006 for the specific purpose of "fact checking" religious broadcasters. ARCA also gave Media Matters $100,000 in startup funding two years earlier. But in the larger context of the $53.4 million the organization has raised since 2003, $150,000 is a drop in the proverbial bucket.
Non-profit organizations like Media Matters are permitted to keep their sources of support secret, but grantmaking foundations are required to disclose how much they give away each year, and to whom. According to the Foundation Center, U.S. foundations distributed more than $45.7 billion in 2009. Their publicly available tax returns make it possible to reconstruct non-profit grant recipients' once-secret incomes to a great degree.
A list of foundation donors to Media Matters.
A list of grants awarded to Media Matters.
Global warming -- the great delusion
By Matt Patterson
In 1841 a Scottish journalist named Charles Mackay published a study of mass hysteria titled "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds."
Mackay analyzed a wide variety of popular pathologies in his entertaining tome, including financial panics, medical quackery, alchemy, and witch crazes. He wanted to know why so many people choose to believe so much that is false and potentially deadly. His answer:
I could not help but think of global warming as I was re-reading Mackay's words. He would have recognized it as kin to his own numerous and insidious subjects-superstition masked as science; Western guilt over having conquered the world manifesting itself as hatred for the technologies that made it possible; apocalyptic yearning in the guise of political enlightenment.
In fact, global warming is the most widespread mass hysteria in our species' history. The fever that these legions of warmists warn of does not grip the globe, but rather their own brains and blinkered imaginations.
And like every mass delusion, there is danger - danger that Man will be convinced by these climate cultists to turn his back on the very political, economic, and scientific institutions that made him so powerful, so wealthy, so healthy.
Will the fever break before this happens?
I think so.
I think the fever is breaking, as more and more scientists come forward to admit their doubts about the global warming paradigm.
Just last September, Ivar Giaever, a Nobel Prize winning physicist, resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) over that organization's climate change orthodoxy.
In his resignation letter to APS, Giaever lambasted the society's public stance that global warming is an incontrovertible fact:
And recently in the Wall Street Journal 16 prominent scientists, including physicists, meteorologists and climatologists, came forward to express solidarity with Giaever, writing:
So why do so many still cling to the hope of climate change catastrophe? The scientists offer their own view in the Journal:
Fortunately this strange fever is breaking, and voters are becoming ever more suspicious of government-mandated schemes to control their "carbon emissions," which is just a bureaucrat's way of curbing productivity, and therefore liberty.
In centuries hence the global warming boogeyman will be seen for exactly what it is - The Great Delusion. Future generations will wonder how so many people could have believed something so suicidally ridiculous.
Unless they read Charles Mackay's wonderful book.
The War on Wyden
For daring to work on Medicare reform with Republican Paul Ryan, the Democratic senator from Oregon is lambasted by keepers of the liberal flame.
By Kimberley A. Strassel
Mitt Romney has had a tough week, Newt Gingrich a tough month, Barack Obama a tough three years. But hey, they could be Ron Wyden.
Ticked off by Washington's failure to tackle big problems? Spare a moment for Oregon's senior senator. Mr. Wyden is the Democrat who in December had the audacity to team up with House Republican Paul Ryan on a proposal to reform and strengthen Medicare-the entitlement that is pushing the country, and seniors, off a cliff. As bipartisan exercises go, this was big, thoughtful, promising.
It was also a complete anathema to a Democratic establishment that is ideologically opposed to change, and cynically intent on using Mediscare to beat Republicans in 2012. Mr. Wyden, as a result, is taking a beating from his own.
"Ron Wyden, Useful Idiot," railed New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. "Is Ron Wyden trying to get Mitt Romney elected?" fumed the Nation magazine. Ron Zerban, a Democrat running for Mr. Ryan's seat, accused Mr. Wyden of giving the GOP cover and proclaimed him no longer a "Democrat."
The White House went defcon, insisting that the plan would cause Medicare to "wither on the vine." House Democrats hissed the plan would end "Medicare as we know it." Most informative was the gripe of a former Senate staffer: Mr. Wyden was taking away "a key argument for Democrats that are trying to retake the House." The nerve!
Ugly, yes, though it washes over Mr. Wyden, who by Washington standards is one odd duck. On his voting record alone, he ranks with the best of progressives. Yet he's spent most of his 16 Senate years working from the backbench, with Republicans, on big problems-with some 150 bipartisan bills to date.
Neither a headline-seeker nor a party rebel, he's best described as a wonk, a workhorse, a doer. That's kept him popular in his home state where-by contrast to the Beltway storm-the editorial boards praised his outreach to Mr. Ryan, and where seniors in recent town halls have been equally receptive.
As for this town, "you can't have been in Washington for more than 15 minutes and not have known what was coming," says a cheery Mr. Wyden, who agreed to an interview (and true to poindexter form, spent it talking policy). The big issues require bipartisan buy-in, he says, "and you are never going to get good policy if you don't try." He rejects Democratic complaints that he should have waited until after the election. "There is never really a good time to take on big, tough issues," he says. Elections are in fact the opportunity to highlight them.
And Lord knows he's trying. Mr. Wyden has been stressing to colleagues that this joint proposal is different from Mr. Ryan's initial reform-which Democrats attacked-and offers plenty to reassure his party. It preserves the option for seniors to stay in government-run Medicare, makes Mr. Ryan's "premium support" plan more generous, even adds a catastrophic benefit. Mr. Wyden notes there'd have been no plan had not Mr. Ryan agreed to "traditional Medicare remaining a permanent part of the program," a fact, he says, that rebuts any notion of it "withering on the vine."
The real problem, he acknowledges, is ideological opposition to any private-sector involvement-a position that frustrates the senator, since it is already reality. More than 40% of Oregon seniors already use private coverage, through Medicare Advantage or Medigap.
"This is a disconnected conversation," he pronounces. The Wyden-Ryan bill is simply acknowledgment that any serious entitlement reform must encompass choice and markets.
That's been clear since the 1990s, when Democrats like John Breaux and Bob Kerrey came out for premium support. Then, as now, there followed not just the attacks, but the inevitable silence-from the media and those who otherwise make a career out of noisily deploring the deficit. With entitlements the crisis they say they are, you'd have thought at least the Erskine Bowles and the Alan Simpsons would be defending Mr. Wyden for acting.
They haven't so far, which leads to one Senate Democratic staffer's lament: "Republicans are better at using Paul Ryan than Democrats are at using Ron Wyden. They both are nerdy policy guys who work on ideas. Republicans embrace Ryan, they get behind him. Democrats look at Ron as an outlier who makes their lives more difficult."
The Republican challenge is not to add to the difficulty. The GOP may be tempted to take the lazy route, to use Mr. Wyden as cover-which will only feed the liberal complaints. They'd be better off doing the hard work of explaining and promoting reform itself, positioning themselves, and Mr. Wyden, as the adults in the room.
That's been Mr. Wyden's focus, leading by example. Asked about the White House's comments on Wyden-Ryan, he notes only that there is great opportunity to address "big issues" with a "presidential bully pulpit." He hopes to help. "The first folks who reach out get the most flak," but hopefully make it "easier for others." It's a big hope and, at least right now in liberal-land, a lonely one.
Chuck Todd’s Message to the Occupy Movement
By John Nolte
Chuck Todd’s coverage of Occupy protestors interrupting a Santorum event.
So let's break down what Chuck Todd is intentionally doing to encourage Occupy to disrupt GOP events:
1. Todd is sending a loud and clear message of approval to Obama-endorsed Occupy thugs: If you successfully disrupt a GOP event, not only will we reward you with media coverage, we'll start a narrative about how your thuggery proves the GOP challenger isn't ready for prime-time.
2. Todd is telling Occupy: If you successfully disrupt a GOP event, I'll be sure to report it with a chyron that reads: "Occupy Protesters Draw Santorum Off Message."
3. Todd is encouraging Occupy with this message: If you successfully disrupt a GOP event, the only clip I'll run of the GOP challenger's message and speech is the one where he's futilely attempting to speak over you.
4. Todd is telling Occupy to keep it up with this message: If you successfully disrupt a GOP event, I'll blame the hapless GOP challenger for allowing you to throw him off message.
5. With this message, Todd is telling Occupy they succeeded: If you successfully glitter-bomb a GOP challenger, I'll be sure to report it while shaking my head at how unready the GOP is for the big time.
Nolte’s complete article:
NPR & Marketplace: Keeping Smart Americans Stupid About the Economy
by Joel B. Pollak
If you've ever wondered why so many educated, professional, otherwise intelligent Americans seem to know little about basic economics and what is actually going on in the world, look no further than publicly-funded outlets like National Public Radio and American Public Media.
NPR and APM's Marketplace program, carried by NPR affiliates, are doing their best to reinforce the false economic narratives that best serve the re-election interests of the Obama administration-cum-campaign. In the process, they are recycling pure fantasies and falsehoods that much of America's intellectual elite seems to take as Gospel truth.
In a story about the Michigan Republican primary, NPR's Don Gonyea described the opposition of Sen. Rick Santorum and Gov. Mitt Romney to the federal auto industry bailout that allegedly helped Chrysler and General Motors to "survive." The implication is that they wanted those companies to "fail"-a false accusation made repeatedly by President Obama.
Core Values Help Santorum in Michigan Polls.
In reality, critics of the bailout wanted those companies to go through normal bankruptcy-instead of a politicized restructuring process that gave Obama's union contributors huge chunks of the companies they had crippled, while destroying the property rights of primary creditors, arbitrarily closing dealerships nationwide, and fleecing the taxpayers.
Marketplace led this morning by touting what it calls the "Great Rebound," the supposedly fantastic economic recovery that is entirely due to President Barack Obama's miraculous policies, as proven by two successive months of less-than-awful data.
[Update: For a more realistic picture, read the Congressional Budget Office's report on "Persistently High Unemployment":
Host Jeremy Hobson and correspondent Heidi Moore engaged in an absurd display of back-slapping over the notion that fortunes have reversed since 2008, and we are now helping debt-stricken Europe:
The segment that followed was almost as bad. Hobson interviewed Ford CEO Alan Mulally about his company's success in turning around its fortunes-and deliberately steered Mulally away from the fact that his company was the sole major American automaker to refuse a government bailout. Instead, he tried to emphasize Ford's borrowing-perhaps in the belief that it parallels Obama's borrowing to fund the bailout-while Mulally gently corrected him:
Hobson continued with an absurd, Occupy-inspired line of questioning about inequality:
For saving Ford without taxpayer help, Mulally deserves whatever Ford is willing to pay him. Heck, he probably deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom. But to Marketplace-and to the Obama administration-contrived issues of "fairness" trump real issues of success.
The Do-Nothing Senate
Memo to GOP candidates: Make Harry Reid an issue.
By William Mcgurn
Back in the dog days of George W. Bush's second term, when each month seemed to bring new lows for the president's approval ratings, there was almost always this consolation: The surveys would show that Congress was even less popular than he was.
In general, that's going to be the advantage an executive enjoys over a collective body such as a legislature. Hence the decision by Barack Obama to take a page out of Harry Truman's 1948 playbook and campaign for re-election against a "do-nothing Congress." Given his record, it may be his wisest course.
It's also a gift to Republicans-if the party's presidential nominee has enough wit to turn it to his advantage.
Let's take the politics first. However useful the "do-nothing Congress" theme may be for Mr. Obama, it's not exactly a ringing endorsement of Harry Reid in an election when the Democratic majority he enjoys in the Senate is up for grabs. To the contrary, it opens the door for Republicans to turn the tables in a way that squeezes Mr. Reid and his fellow Senate enablers: between a Democratic president attacking them implicitly, and a Republican presidential contender attacking them explicitly.
Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee who was a colleague in the Bush administration, sums up the challenge this way. "Our nominee," he says, "needs to talk about the do-nothing Senate, and remind voters that Harry Reid and the Democrats are in control there. Republicans need to constantly remind voters that the problems in our economy and with the health-care bill are the result of Democratic control-and that in the Senate this control continues to block reform and advance the Obama agenda."
The good news is that the Republican contenders are mostly in a good place to advance this argument. As a former leader in the U.S. Senate, Rick Santorum no doubt understands how important a majority in the Senate would be to a GOP president. So does Newt Gingrich, who had his own experience with the Senate leadership when he served as speaker of the House.
For the Romney campaign, this line of attack might be even more fruitful. For the most part, Mr. Romney has campaigned as a former business executive and Beltway outsider who can get things done. The president, however, is not a CEO with everyone else in Washington under his direction-and going after Mr. Reid's do-nothing Senate would be a good sign that Mr. Romney understands that.
Manifestly there's no shortage of material. Under Mr. Reid's leadership, the Senate has not passed a budget resolution in three years. It has never voted to extend the payroll tax cut for a full year-which Vice President Joe Biden says is the administration's No. 1 economic priority. Nor did it protest when the president made a controversial recess appointment when the Senate plainly was not in recess.
The one notable area where Mr. Reid did not "do nothing"-ObamaCare-is not pretty. It would be good for Republicans to remind the public of this record. Partly it involved a complete rewrite in Mr. Reid's backroom, along with notorious vote-buying deals to secure enough votes to prevent a GOP filibuster, including the Louisiana Purchase ($300 million in Medicaid funds for the home state of Sen. Mary Landrieu) and the Cornhusker Kickback ($100 million in Medicaid funds for Nebraska's Sen. Ben Nelson).
The point is that with the exception of ObamaCare and the stimulus, Mr. Reid's energies have been exercised largely to prevent action, not take it. Remember Mr. Obama's jobs bill, and how he called on Congress to "pass this bill now"? When Senate Republicans pushed for a vote, Mr. Reid responded by changing the rules of the Senate to prevent one.
Over in the House, meanwhile, Republicans have been a hive of activity. Currently some 30 pro-growth bills languish in Mr. Reid's do-nothing Senate, lest the buck ever be passed to the president's desk. These include measures reflecting proposals endorsed by the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness-ranging from regulatory reform and tax simplification to reducing our dependence on foreign sources of energy.
For the past two years, House Republicans have used their majority to block further expansion of the Obama agenda. They have also come up with real alternatives that they know will likely be vetoed by the president or stalled in the Senate. That too is part of the groundwork for this November's elections. For the message they are sending is that if you want change in Washington, you need more than a Republican-controlled House.
By adopting the do-nothing Congress meme, Mr. Obama implies that Mr. Reid and his Senate Democrats have failed. Memo to Messrs. Romney, Santorum and Gingrich: Now's the time to make that point from the right.
Blaze Readers: Here Are Your Faith Poll Results - The Bible, Conscience Protection & More
Posted by Billy Hallowell
Here Are the Results From the Blaze Faith, Religion & Government PollIn December, the Blaze conducted a flash poll that provided some intriguing insights regarding the demographics and political views of our readers. Last week, we unveiled another set of questions in an effort to examine readers' views on the roles of faith and government in their lives.
Considering the religious freedom issues that continue to emerge across America - and in nations around the globe - understanding how the public sees both God and the government's appropriate role in religious processes is paramount. With secular attacks on faith continuing to ramp up and with the Obama administration's controversial stance on religious institutions and contraceptives, this examination is timely.
To provide a truly comprehensive recap, we've divided the results into two sections - "religious beliefs and practices" and "the intersection of faith and government."
Religious Beliefs & Practices
Currently, the poll has brought in more than833,800 responses to a multitude of faith-based questions (this number accounts for total answers given, not the number of individuals participating). Overall, the Blaze audience - at least the portion that took part in the survey - is overwhelmingly religious. An astounding 91 percent of readers self-identify as Christians (Catholic, evangelical and other), with 66 percent saying that they do daily or weekly Bible studies or religious readings on their own to help build upon their faith (2 percent reported being Jewish; 3 to 4 percent report being atheists in separate questions).
Additionally, 72 percent claim that they pray on a daily basis, with nearly seven in 10 reporting that they attend church, temple or a religious service at least monthly. In a separate question, this proportion is even larger, as 85 percent of respondents claim that they go to God regularly for guidance on any and all major decisions they are faced with.
Here Are the Results From the Blaze Faith, Religion & Government Poll
On another note, 86 percent reported that God is the most important "person" or "element" in their lives, with only 14 percent of those answering that God does not fit this description. Nearly every individual (98 percent) answering the poll contends that genuine evil exists in the world.
Here are some additional results:
●51 percent claim to have read the Bible in its entirety; 49 percent claim they have not (but 79 percent say they have read more than half of the holy book)
●The majority (93 percent) believe that the devil exists
●For one question, four percent of respondents claimed to be polytheistic (to embrace a belief in multiple gods)
●93 percent believe God has performed miracles in their lives
●The vast majority (95 percent) report having shared their faith with someone else
●26 percent say they have converted from one faith to another or from non-belief to religious adherence (74 percent have not experienced a conversion)
●Nearly eight in 10 (76 percent) believe the Bible is "completely true"
●70 percent do not believe in evolution; 30 percent do
●Only 47 percent say they have sincerely investigated another religion
●65 percent believe you must be "born again" to enter heaven
The Intersection of Faith & Government
When it comes to faith in society, the results were equally fascinating. An overwhelming majority (97 percent) of those who took part in the poll believe that the decline of faith in America will have serious moral and ethical consequences. Additionally, this same proportion contends that the nation was built upon Christian principles.
Considering the Obama administration's mandate that certain religious institutions violate their consciences by providing birth control and related services, eight in 10 Blaze readers oppose the measure, with only 20 percent claiming that they agree with Obama's stance.
As far as nativity scenes on local, state and federal property go, 97 percent oppose removing them, with only three percent claiming that they should be taken off of government lands. While five percent of those answering believe that the official National Day of Prayer is a violation of the separation of church and state, 95 percent reject this ideal.
On the education front, 84 percent of those participating said that they would vote in support of putting religious education back into our schools; 16 percent said they would not. While compelling, this is a relatively vague indicator (i.e. the question and answer don't address whether this educational amendment would be voluntary or mandatory for students), although it does seem to support the notion that the majority see the need for faith-based values in the public education system.
Here's more on the faith and government front:
●88 percent contend that only Americans' faith in God will restore the nation
●The overwhelming majority (97 percent) believe Shariah law will impact America negatively (in a separate question, 63 percent say that Jews, Christians and Muslims can co-exist peacefully)
●97 percent believe our laws should remain based on Judeo-Christian values
●Nearly all respondents (98 percent) believe a valedictorian should be able to share his or her faith during a graduation ceremony
●97 percent believe that Jews and Christians should stand together to prevent the decline of faith in America
●Only two percent believe that "In God We Trust" should be removed from all government money and buildings; 98 percent disagree
We'd like to thank everyone who participated in the poll, as it provided some noteworthy insight into the faith and values of our readers. If you'd still like to participate, you can do so here.
Ten Legal Reasons to Reject Roe V. Wade
by Susan E. Wills, Esq.
Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court rarely attract much public interest. One news cycle and a few days' discussion in the op-ed section is probably the norm for even the most important and sweeping decisions. The average person probably has to cast back to a high school history course to recall the names of even a few landmark cases other than Miranda v. Arizona (known mainly from the scripts of popular police shows).
But one Supreme Court decision eclipses all others in the past century. Far from being forgotten, in the thirty years since Roe v. Wade announced that the "constitutional" right to privacy encompasses a woman's decision to abort her child, its fame (or infamy) just keeps growing.
How Roe is Perceived
For many Americans, Roe is a symptom of and catalyst for a continuing decline in American culture and institutions. It represents a tragic failure of the government, an abdication of its duty to defend the vulnerable and innocent. The judicially-created regime permitting abortion on request throughout pregnancy has eroded principles on which this nation was founded - the sanctity of life, the equal dignity of all, and impartial justice. Even the fundamental principle of self-government is shaken when seven unelected judges can overturn the will of the people expressed in the laws of 50 states. And how does one begin to assess the meaning and impact of destroying over 40 million children?
Many other Americans, less attuned to public policy matters, hold a very different view of Roe v. Wade. They see Roe as being immutable, permanent, "settled law." "Abortion is a constitutional right." End of discussion. In thirty years, the Roe abortion license has been elevated by some to the stature of "freedom of speech," "trial by jury" and other bedrock American principles.
It is not surprising that many people share this distorted view of Roe v. Wade. For thirty years, the abortion industry has refined and perfected this message. Advocates like Planned Parenthood's president, Gloria Feldt, proclaim (with no apparent irony): "It's been 30 years since women were guaranteed the basic human right to make their own childbearing choices - a right as intrinsic as the right to breathe and to walk, to work and to think, to speak our truths, to thrive, to learn, and to love."
Roe has also become a lodestar for abortion advocates and the politicians who support their agenda. Any event or policy affecting a child before or near birth is minutely scrutinized for its potential to "undermine Roe v. Wade." Anything (and anyone) that threatens the shaky "constitutionality" of Roe must be stopped. For example, state laws which punish violent attacks on unborn children and their mothers are denounced as schemes "designed to chip away at the constitutional rights of women." Even expanding eligibility under the State Children's Health Insurance Program to provide prenatal care to children from conception onward is attacked as "a guerilla attack on abortion rights."2
Allegiance to Roe has become the sine qua non for presidential aspirants of one political party and a litmus test used by many politicians in evaluating judicial nominees. Senate filibusters are being used to block confirmation votes on nominees. Individuals who have received the American Bar Association's highest recommendation based on their knowledge of law, their integrity and judicial temperament are blocked chiefly because abortion lobbyists suspect they are not sufficiently deferential to Roe v. Wade.
Already two presidential candidates seeking election in 2004 have announced that, if elected, they would appoint no one to the Supreme Court "if they don't commit to supporting Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose." This, too, is an unprecedented admission. They strain to explain why their position does not constitute a single issue "litmus test" for judicial appointees: "The focus is on the constitutional right that Roe established in America," says one. "I want jurists to agree, to swear to uphold the Constitution." Are abortion and the Constitution really synonymous?
Many Americans, including members of Congress, believe or act as if Roe v. Wade and the U.S. Constitution have equal authority. They are wrong, both as to Roe's place in American constitutional law and as to the duty of citizens and judges to follow it unquestioningly. Few decisions in the history of the Supreme Court have cried out so loudly for reversal, on both moral and legal grounds. And rarely has any decision been so fraught with conspicuous errors of law, fact and reasoning as the majority opinion in Roe.
This article is addressed to all who may think that Roe deserves a measure of deference as a landmark of constitutional law (notwithstanding its immoral outcome). Not so! Legally speaking, Roe is an abomination, and an embarrassment to lawyers and public officials who feel compelled to defend it.
Who Says So?
Among the legal scholars who have roundly criticized the Court's ruling in Roe as not being grounded in the U.S. Constitution are the following:
Ten Legal Reasons to Condemn Roe
1. The Court's decision in Roe v. Wade exceeded its constitutional authority.
Under the legal system established by the U.S. Constitution, the power to make laws is vested in Congress and retained by state legislatures. It is not the role of the Supreme Court to substitute the policy preferences of its members for those expressed in laws enacted by the people's elected representatives. The role of the judiciary in constitutional review is to determine if the law being challenged infringes on a constitutionally protected right.
Justice O'Connor reiterates this principle, quoting Chief Justice Warren Burger:
Irrespective of what we may believe is wise or prudent policy in this difficult area, "the Constitution does not constitute us as `Platonic Guardians' nor does it vest in this Court the authority to strike down laws because they do not meet our standards of desirable social policy, `wisdom,' or `common sense.'"
In Roe v. Wade and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton, however, the Court struck down criminal laws of Texas and Georgia which outlawed certain abortions by finding that these laws (and those of the other 48 states) violated a "right of privacy" that "is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy." Such a right is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution nor derivable from values embodied therein.
In his dissenting opinion in Doe v. Bolton, Justice Byron White, joined by Justice William Rehnquist, wrote:
I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court's judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant mothers . and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes. The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of the 50 states are constitutionally disentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus, on the one hand, against a spectrum of possible impacts on the mother, on the other hand. As an exercise of raw judicial power, the Court perhaps has authority to do what it does today; but, in my view, its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court.
2. The Court misrepresents the history of abortion practice and attitudes toward abortion.
The apparent purpose of the Roe opinion's long historical excursion is to create the impression that abortion had been widely practiced and unpunished until the appearance of restrictive laws in the prudishly Victorian 19th century. One example is adequate to show how distorted is Justice Harry Blackmun's rendition of history. He must overcome a huge hurdle in the person of Hippocrates, the "Father of Medicine," and his famous Oath which has guided medical ethics for over 2,000 years. The Oath provides in part: "I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and in like manner I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce abortion."9 This enduring standard was followed until the Roe era and is reflected in Declarations of the World Medical Association through 1968: "I will maintain the utmost respect for human life, from the time of conception. ."10 But Justice Blackmun dismisses this universal, unbroken ethical tradition as nothing more than the manifesto of a fringe Greek sect, the Pythagoreans, to which Hippocrates is alleged to have belonged!
3. The majority opinion in Roe wrongly characterizes the common law of England regarding the status of abortion.
The Court's strained analysis and conclusion - "it now appears doubtful that abortion was ever firmly established as a common-law crime even with respect to the destruction of a quick fetus" - are rejected by many legal scholars.11
William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-1769), an exhaustive and definitive discussion of English common law as it was adopted by the United States shows that the lives of unborn children were valued and protected, even if their beginning point was still thought to be "quickening" rather than conception:
Until well into the 19th century, it was assumed that a child's life may not begin - and certainly could not be proven to have begun to satisfy criminal evidentiary standards - prior to the time her movements were felt by the mother ("quickening"), at approximately 16-18 weeks' gestation. The Roe Court looks at the distinction in common law concerning abortions attempted before or after "quickening," and wrongly infers that the law allowed women great latitude to abort their children in the early months of pregnancy. This is like saying people had a general right to spread computer viruses before such acts were criminally prosecuted.
4. The Court distorts the purpose and legal weight of state criminal abortion statutes.
In the 19th century, in virtually every state and territory, laws were enacted to define abortion as a crime throughout pregnancy. They contained only narrow exceptions, generally permitting abortion only if necessary to preserve the mother's life. The primary reason for stricter abortion laws, according to their legislative history, was to afford greater protection to unborn children. This reflected a heightened appreciation of prenatal life based on new medical knowledge. It is significant that the medical profession spearheaded efforts to afford greater protection to unborn lives than had been recognized under the common law's archaic "quickening" distinction.
The existence of such laws, and their clear purpose of protecting the unborn, rebuts the Court's claim that abortion has always been considered a liberty enjoyed by women. These laws show broad acceptance of the view that the life of an unborn child is valuable and should be protected unless the mother's life is at risk. In that case, of course, both mother and child were likely to perish, given the primitive care then available for infants born prematurely.
How does the Court get around the impressive body of laws giving clear effect to the state's interest in protecting unborn lives? It attempts to devalue them by ascribing a completely different purpose: the desire to protect the mother's life and health from a risky surgical procedure. Applying the maxim "if the reason for a law has ceased to exist, the law no longer serves any purpose," the Court declares that abortion is now "safer than childbirth." Therefore, laws banning abortion have outlived their purpose.
5. A privacy right to decide to have an abortion has no foundation in the text or history of the Constitution.
Roe v. Wade locates a pregnant woman's "constitutional" right of privacy to decide whether or not to abort her child either "in the Fourteenth Amendment's concept of personal liberty ., as we feel it is, or . in the Ninth Amendment's reservation of rights to the people."
The Court does not even make a pretense of examining the intent of the drafters of the Fourteenth Amendment, to determine if it was meant to protect a privacy interest in abortion. Clearly it was not. The Fourteenth Amendment was not intended to create any new rights, but to secure to all persons, notably including freed slaves and their descendants, the rights and liberties already guaranteed by the Constitution.
Several rhetorical devices are used to mask this absence of constitutional grounding. The Court mentions several specifically enumerated rights which concern an aspect of privacy, for example, the Fourth Amendment's "right of the people to be secure in their houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures." However, the Court fails to connect these to the newly found "right" to abortion, because no logical connection exists.
Justice Blackmun attempts to graft abortion onto the line of decisions recognizing privacy/liberty rights in the following spheres: marriage (Loving v. Virginia, striking down a ban on interracial marriage); childrearing (Meyer v. Nebraska and Pierce v. Society of Sisters, upholding parental decision-making regarding their children's education); procreation (Skinner v. Oklahoma, finding unconstitutional a state law mandating sterilization of inmates found guilty of certain crimes); and contraceptive use by a married couple (Griswold v. Connecticut). Certainly marriage, and building and raising a family are fundamental aspects of human life that predate human laws and nations. They are implicit in the concept of liberty and the pursuit of happiness, though even these rights are subject to state limitation, such as laws against bigamy, incest, and child abuse and neglect.
But abortion does not fit neatly among these spheres of privacy. It negates them. Abortion is not akin to childrearing; it's child destruction. A pregnant woman's right to abort nullifies the right to procreate upheld in "Skinner." He no longer has a right to bring children into the world, but only a right to fertilize an ovum, which his mate can then destroy without his knowledge or consent. The fear of government intruding into the marital bedroom by searching for evidence of contraceptive use drove the Griswold Court to find a privacy right for couples to use contraception in the "penumbras, formed by emanations from" various guarantees in the Bill of Rights. But however closely abortion and contraception may be linked in purpose and effect, they are worlds apart in terms of privacy. Abortions do not take place in the sacred precincts of marital bedrooms, preventing them does not require investigation of private sexual behavior, and they involve personnel other than the spouses.
A "privacy right" large enough to encompass abortion could also be applied to virtually any conduct performed outside the public view, including child abuse, possession of pornography or using illicit drugs. The liberty interest to be protected from state regulation is never really defined in Roe. Instead the Court describes at some length the hardships some women face, not from pregnancy, but from raising children:
Maternity, or additional offspring, may force upon the woman a distressful life and future. Psychological harm may be imminent. Mental and physical health may be taxed by childcare. There is also the distress, for all concerned, associated with the unwanted child, and there is the problem of bringing a child into a family already unable, psychologically and otherwise, to care for it.
By this reasoning, one might argue that Roe's liberty encompasses ridding oneself of unwanted toddlers! Ordinarily, the defense of rights requires us to forgo lethal methods and use means likely to create the least harm to others. We may not, for example, surround our house and yard with a high voltage fence to deter trespassers. This principle is upended in the abortion context. Adoption, for example, would effectively eliminate all the "hardships" of raising "unwanted" children by non-lethal means.
6. Although it reads the 14th Amendment extremely expansively to include a right of privacy to decide whether to abort a child, the Court in Roe adopts a very narrow construction of the meaning of "persons" to exclude unborn children.
Much is made of the fact that "person" as used elsewhere in the Constitution does not refer to unborn children when, for example, discussing qualifications for public office or census-taking. That point proves nothing. The Supreme Court has held that corporations are "persons" within the meaning of the 14th Amendment and they are not counted in the census, nor can a corporation grow up to be president.
The Roe Court also ignored the clear and uncontested biological evidence before them that individual human lives begin at conception: "We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins." This is question determined by science, not philosophers or theologians or politicians. But while seeming to sidestep the question, the Court in fact resolved the question at birth, by allowing abortion to be legal throughout pregnancy. In the same vein, the Court refers to the unborn child as only a "potential life" (indeed, an actual life) from the moment of his or her conception.
The Roe opinion states that a contrary finding on "personhood" would produce the opposite result (presumably foreclosing the mother's privacy right to an abortion). One does not have to be a "person" in the full constitutional sense, however, for a state to validly protect one's life. Dogs can be protected from killing although they are not "persons."13 And under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), people are prosecuted, fined and jailed for acts that may harm creatures, such as sea turtles, that are not "persons" in the full constitutional sense. Sea turtles are protected not only after they are hatched, but even while in the egg. In fact, each sea turtle egg removed from its nest constitutes a separate violation under the ESA, regardless of whether the sea turtle egg contained an embryo that was alive or "quick" or "viable" or even already deceased at the time of the taking.
7. The Roe Court assumed the role of a legislature in establishing the trimester framework.
Roe holds that in the first trimester of pregnancy, the mother's "privacy interest" in an abortion trumps state regulation. From the end of the first trimester to the child's "viability" - which the Court presumed to be no earlier than 26 weeks - the state can regulate abortion practice only in ways reasonably related to advancing the mother's health. In the final trimester, the state - in the interest of protecting the "potential life" of the child - can regulate and even proscribe abortion, except where necessary to preserve the mother's "life or health." Health (see point 8 below) is the exception that swallows the rule.
Pre-decision memoranda among members of the Roe Court acknowledged the serious flaw in establishing arbitrary, rigid time frames. Justice Blackmun himself admitted it was arbitrary.14 A reply memorandum from Justice Potter Stewart stated:
One of my concerns with your opinion as presently written is . in its fixing of the end of the first trimester as the critical point for valid state action. . I wonder about the desirability of the dicta being quite so inflexibly "legislative."
My present inclination would be to allow the States more latitude to make policy judgments. ."15
Geoffrey R. Stone, a law clerk to Justice Brennan when Roe was decided, was recently quoted as saying: "Everyone in the Supreme Court, all the justices, all the law clerks knew it was `legislative' or `arbitrary.'"16
Justices O'Connor, White and Rehnquist denounced the arbitrary trimester framework in O'Connor's dissenting opinion in Akron:
[There] is no justification in law or logic for the trimester framework adopted in Roe and employed by the Court today. . [That] framework is clearly an unworkable means of balancing the fundamental right and the compelling state interests that are indisputably implicated.
The majority opinion of Justice Rehnquist in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services states:
The key elements of the Roe framework - trimesters and viability - are not found in the text of the Constitution or in any place else one would expect to find a constitutional principle. . the result has been a web of legal rules that have become increasingly intricate, resembling a code of regulations rather than a body of constitutional doctrine. As Justice White has put it, the trimester framework has left this Court to serve as the country's "ex officio medical board with powers to approve or disapprove medical and operative practices and standards throughout the United States."
8. What Roe gives, Doe takes away.
Many Americans believe that abortion is legal only in the first trimester (or first and second trimester). Many pollsters and media outlets continue to characterize Roe v. Wade as the case which "legalized abortions in the first three months after conception."17 In a recent television appearance, NOW's former president Patricia Ireland falsely claimed that "thirty-six states outlaw abortion in the third trimester."
As noted above, under Roe state laws banning late-term abortions must contain a "health" exception. Health is defined in Roe's companion case, Doe v. Bolton, as including "all factors - physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age - relevant to the wellbeing of the patient. All these factors may relate to health." This definition negates the state's interest in protecting the child, and results in abortion on request throughout all nine months of pregnancy. The fact that the Court buries its improbably broad definition of health in the largely unread opinion in Doe v. Bolton makes it no less devastating.
9. The Court describes the right to abortion as "fundamental."
The Supreme Court has found certain rights fundamental. Expressed or implied in the Constitution, they are considered "deeply rooted in the history and traditions" of the American people or "implicit in the concept of ordered liberty," such as the free exercise of religion, the right to marry, the right to a fair trial and equal protection. A state law infringing on a fundamental right is reviewed under a rigorous "strict scrutiny" standard. In effect, there is a presumption against constitutionality. The Roe Court claims abortion is fundamental on the ground that it is lurking in the penumbras and emanations of the Bill of Rights or the 14th Amendment, along with privacy rights like contraceptive use. It's ludicrous to claim abortion is deeply rooted in American history or traditions or that our governmental system of "ordered liberty" implicitly demands the rights to destroy one's child, but it was an effective way to foreclose state regulations of abortion. The strict scrutiny test was later abandoned in Casey.
10. Despite the rigid specificity of the trimester framework, the opinion gives little guidance to states concerning the permissible scope of abortion regulation.
Abortion decisions that followed Roe chronologically have not followed Roe jurisprudentially. Many decisions have five separate opinions filed, often with no more than three justices concurring on most points. Eight separate opinions were filed in Stenberg v. Carhart (which effectively nullified laws in over two dozen states banning partial-birth abortion).
The 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey could have resulted in Roe's reversal. The Casey Joint Opinion (there being no majority opinion) comes close to conceding that Roe was wrongly decided:
We do not need to say whether each of us, had we been Members of the Court when the valuation of the state interest came before it as an original matter, would have concluded, as the Roe Court did, that its weight is insufficient to justify a ban on abortions prior to viability even when it is subject to certain exceptions. The matter is not before us in the first instance, and, coming as it does after nearly 20 years of litigation in Roe's wake we are satisfied that the immediate question is not the soundness of Roe's resolution of the issue, but the precedential force that must be accorded to its holding.
Instead they jettisoned Roe's trimester framework and standard of legislative review, but kept Roe alive: Chief Justice Rehnquist's dissent in Casey, in which he is joined in part by Justices White, Scalia and Thomas states:
Roe decided that a woman had a fundamental right to an abortion. The joint opinion rejects that view. Roe decided that abortion regulations were to be subjected to "strict scrutiny," and could be justified only in the light of "compelling state interests." The joint opinion rejects that view. . Roe analyzed abortion regulation under a rigid trimester framework, a framework that has guided this Court's decision-making for 19 years. The joint opinion rejects that framework. .
Whatever the "central holding" of Roe that is left after the joint opinion finishe[d] . Roe continues to exist, but only in the way a storefront on a western movie set exists: a mere facade to give the illusion of reality.
And later in that dissent:
Roe v. Wade stands as a sort of judicial Potemkin village, which may be pointed out to passers-by as a monument to the importance of adhering to precedent. But behind the façade, an entirely new method of analysis, without any roots in constitutional law, is imported to decide the constitutionality of state laws regulating abortion. Neither stare decisis nor "legitimacy" are truly served by such an effort.
Roe v. Wade must be reversed
Contrary to popular opinion, decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court are "often" reversed.18 Stare decisis (let the decision stand) does not prevent reversal when the constitutional interpretation of a prior ruling is later understood to be flawed. Justice Rehnquist's dissent in Casey notes that the Court "has overruled in whole or part 34 of its previous constitutional decisions" in the past 21 years. It the Court's duty to reverse wrongly decided rulings. "Justices take an oath to uphold the Constitution - not the glosses of their predecessors."19
The Casey plurality weighed the "integrity of the Court" (its reputation for being above political considerations) as more important than fidelity to the Constitution and, not incidentally, more important than the continuing destruction of over one million children annually. Roe must be reversed to restore integrity to the Court, meaning to the Constitution, political rights to the people and their elected representatives, and most importantly, the right to life to children in the womb.
Susan E. Wills is associate director of education for the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, USCCB.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1058038/posts (Which includes the references, comments, and some more things)
Are we a welfare nation now?
By Bill O'Reilly
As we reported last night, President Obama's new budget is financially outrageous. It adds $1.3 trillion in new deficit spending and basically doesn't cut very much anywhere.
So it is obvious the President not very concerned about the debt. He doesn't seem to think it's a big deal. But it is. And if you want more facts, I direct you to the "Wall Street Journal" lead editorial today.
Bottom line, Mr. Obama is spending far more than any other president ever has. And tax revenues is down because the economy remains shaky.
So let's all do the math. President Obama continues incredible government spending yet tax revenues remain low. It's obvious Mr. Obama is rolling the dice. He understands the situation. And apparently believes that a massive federal debt's not going to harm the country any time soon. Also he's calculating that the American voter has changed into a person who wants free stuff from the government and is willing to sacrifice some freedoms in order to get the free stuff.
And you know what? The President might be
right. There's no question many Americans simply
do not want to put in the hard work that it takes to succeed on a grand scale. They would rather just get by and have the government fill in the things they need. That is why entitlement spending is at the highest level in the nation's history.
"Talking Points" doesn't want to sound cruel, but if you don't understand that dropping out of high school will doom you to poverty, you're not smart enough to even be in high school.
If you don't understand the marketplace is changing, you will fail. In this high-tech world, workers need to have skills, education and disciplined thinking. If you don't have those things and they're not easy to get, you will not prosper economically.
So I believe some Americans are simply saying, we don't want to pay the price. We would rather spend our time on the net, texting, tweeting, gaming, creating our own little worlds. We are not willing to study hard. We don't want to learn a trade. We don't want to go to a demanding college. No. It's far easier to devote our time to leisurely pursuits and let the government take care of us.
That kind of mind-set has taken root in this country. And that's why we are seeing the huge divide between the progressive party and the Democrats and the traditional party, the Republicans. President Obama wants voters to believe that massive federal spending will improve their lives and that he, the President, will tax the rich in order to make free stuff available.
Right now, the polls say about half the country's buying that and it will take a very strong counter argument from Mr. Obama's opponent in order to defeat him. Free stuff is a powerful lure. No question about it.
And that's "The Memo."
Jake Tapper’s story on who was involved in the Obama contraception decision, which included Planned Parenthood CEO.
Quotations for all sides about the Stimulus Package. Did it work or not? Easy to decide. How many times have you heard the White House propose a bill over the past 2 years with the word “stimulus” in it?
Massachusetts hospitals are poised to receive a $3.5 billion windfall in federal funding over the next 10 years thanks to a little-known provision Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) inserted into the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, also known as "Obamacare."
You have to give MSNBC some credit; and Al Sharpton as well: Lin Forward.
The Washington Free Beacon reveals that far left Anita Dunn, formerly of the Obama administration (this is the one who cited Mao as one of her favorite philosophers) is now doing public relations work for a hedge fund.
So-called conservative David Brooks claims that Jeremy Lin’s problem is, he is not acting like a Christian ought to act; that sports and Christianity are antithetical.
Obama economic advisers wanted $1.8 trillion stimulus package.
Pelosi fundraises at home of lobbyist tied to company that booted occupy wall street from Zuccotti Park.
Republican party leaders are finally realizing that many of these candidate debates are set up by people who purposely look to use quotes from these debates in order to smear GOP candidates. You think?
2012 Campaign: When Did Honesty Become Optional?
All-Male Contraception Panel Criticia3e By . . . All-Male Morning Joe Panel
Rachel’s Maddow’s “attention to detail” reveals another inaccuracy in her reporting on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
Obama Didn't Understand How Bad the Economy Was? He Kept Telling Us It Was the Worst Since the Great Depression!
RUSH: Obama is making me look as prescient as I have ever been. We even found an example before Obama was inaugurated, in which I predicted that what he would say eventually as president, is he had no idea how bad this economy was. It was so much worse than anybody ever told him. "The Bush administration, the transition team, outgoing, never told us how bad this economy really was. And that's why it's taken my policies so long, or that's why it's going to require such drastic measures." Obama -- we've got the audio coming up on this at some point -- is out there saying, "I didn't understand how bad things were."
After going through how many trillions of dollars of debt, after going through how many stimulus bills, after lying to the American people about shovel-ready jobs, creating make-work jobs, building roads and bridges and schools, Barack Obama now says, "I didn't understand how bad things were." And that's not even true. Barack Obama, September 2008, during a presidential debate in Oxford, Mississippi: "We are going through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression." That was candidate Obama in September 2008. In October of 2008, Barack Obama: "We meet here at a time of great uncertainty. Our economy is in crisis." November of 2008, announcing members of his economic team: "In Chicago we are facing an economic crisis of historic proportions."
He is lying today when he says he didn't understand how bad things were. He's the guy who's been telling us how bad things were. He's the guy who's been saying that our economy was the worst since the Great Depression. He said it before he was inaugurated, while he was a candidate, he said it in his inaugural address, and he has said it repeatedly as he's told us for the past three years the number of times that we've turned the corner and that we're on the way back. How many times have we turned the corner on this bad economy and been on the way back in the past three years? How many times has he told us how bad it was? How many times has he told us he didn't know how bad it was, it was even worse than he knew? All this is a giant lie, and it was predicted by your host, El Rushbo.
What we're going to do, we're gonna go back and we're gonna find audio sound bite examples of Obama telling us how bad it was, and we are going to play that sound bite of him saying recently, "I didn't understand how bad things were." He said it in an interview with the local Fox affiliate in Atlanta, WAGA-TV. This is on Real Clear Politics. He was lobbed a question by a sympathetic reporter who said he's getting pelted in the media for making a campaign promise he didn't keep. It's about reviving the economy, about employment being under 8%, all those promises. Obama said, "Well, we're not there yet, because this recession turned out to be a lot deeper than any of us realized." That was his excuse for his inability to cut the deficit in half. "I didn't understand how bad things were."
He is the one who has been telling us how bad things are, as an excuse for his stupid, failed policies not working. I think we even did a montage of this back on December 14th. I think we did a montage of Obama's "I had no idea." Every time he's tried to make this statement, "I didn't understand how bad things were," we have refuted it, we've had the audio to refute it, we have gone back and played sound bites of Obama saying he had no idea how bad it was and then sound bites of Obama telling us it was the worst economy since the Great Depression.
RUSH: Let's go to the audio sound bites. January 16th, 2009, right here on this program. January 16th is roughly a week before Obama was immaculated.
RUSH: (January 16, 2009) After The One accepts the oath was office we'll start hearing, "It's worse than we knew. We didn't know how bad it really was."
RUSH: January 16th, 2009. Over three years ago I predicted this. Now, let's go back and review just some of the many, many times I predicted that this is exactly what he would do.
RUSH: (January 16, 2009) After the One accepts the oath of office, we'll start hearing. It's worse than we knew We didn't know how had been it really was.
RUSH: (May 11, 2011) If there's a bumper sticker that could sum up the campaign: `It's taking a lot longer than we thought.'
RUSH: (January 29, 2010) "Oh, it's much worse than we were told! Bush didn't tell us how bad it was. We had no idea it was going to be this bad."
RUSH: (May 12, 2011) "Frankly, it took longer than we thought for our policies to start to have any impact because it was so much worse than we even knew."
RUSH: (January 9, 2009) You've gotta understand how the media is going to portray this, that it was much worse than we knew because of Bush.
RUSH: (June 14, 2011) What their campaign is going to be, and I told you this, when they got into Washington they discovered it was far worse than they even knew.
RUSH: (June 8, 2009) "We have this recession -- that, frankly, was worse than we thought -- that was given to us."
RUSH: (October 28, 2011) I'm gonna tell you what it's gonna be: "See? It was worse than we knew when Obama was inaugurated!"
RUSH: (December 1, 2011) It's exactly what I told you they were gonna do: "You can't change horses midstream."
RUSH: Yep. So just to document all the times and more that I have predicted what they would do. Last night in Atlanta, Fox 5 News, the infobabe said, "You're getting pelted in the media. They're showing this video over and over again of you in February of '09 saying by the end of your first term you were gonna reduce the deficit by half. We're not there. We're not there.
OBAMA: Well, uh, we're not there because, uh, this recession turned out to be a lot deeper than any of us realized. Everybody who was out there back in 2009, uh, if you look back at what their estimates were in terms of how many jobs had been lost, how bad the economy had contracted when I took office, everybody underestimated it. We lost, uh, eight million jobs just in the year span about half, uh, uh, uh, a year before I took office and half a year after I took office. So the dye had been cast but a lot of us didn't understand, at that point, how bad it was gonna get.
RUSH: Right. Well, okay. Let's go back to October 7, 2008, in Nashville, a presidential debate. Senator Barack Obama.
OBAMA: (October 7, 2008) I think everybody knows now we are in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. And a lot of you I think are worried about your jobs, your pensions, your retirement accounts, your ability to send your child or your grandchild to college.
RUSH: So which is it, Mr. President? You didn't know how bad it was, or do we accept what you said October 7, 2008: Everybody knows we're in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. That's pretty bad. How can you now tell us that you didn't know how bad it was? I know these people, folks. I know these people better than they know themselves. I know what they're going to say and know what they're gonna do before they even do it.
RUSH: Now, ladies and gentlemen, I want to go back to another subject that we discussed earlier in the program, and that is Obama saying, "I didn't understand how bad things were." Last night in Atlanta: "I didn't know how bad things were." Now, you heard the sound bites from me from prior to his immaculation predicting that he would say that. You also heard sound bites from Obama admitting that he knew how bad it was. Even before he was inaugurated, he was saying, "This economy is the worst since the Great Depression." That's bad. That's as bad as you can get. And he's made no secret of the fact, in these past three years, that this economy is bad.
Now he's saying he didn't understand how bad things were.
My question is this: "Are we ever going to hear that anything is Obama's fault? Ever?" After three years, this isn't Bush's budget, this isn't Bush's plan, this is not Bush's philosophy. We've had three years of Obamaism. We have a three-year record. We have over $5 trillion in new debt added by one man: Him. Bush?
Nothing to do with it. Republican Congress? Nothing to do with it. Barack Obama, Peaky Reid, Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat Party, they did this. It is all on them. It's three years in, and the media is still letting Obama get away with this. When he says, "I didn't understand how bad things were," that translates to: "It's not my fault! This is all Bush's fault. This is my predator's fault. This is what I inherited."
It is not what he inherited. He has doubled down and he has worsened by a factor of five what he inherited. If that weren't bad enough, where are the Republicans reacting to this in the right way? Why does everybody seem...? On our side, why does everybody seem like they are conceding the point that he inherited a mess from Bush? Why is everybody on our side seemingly conceding that? This mess is directly traceable to Obama. He is accountable. His policies, the enactment of his policies. All the spending, all the debt, back home, all the new regulations, all the taxes, all the shackles on business, all the drilling moratoriums, the Keystone pipeline. Every policy designed to stop and prevent economic growth is his and his alone.
Every problem we are having in housing is directly traceable to Barack Obama. He owns it! As a Senator, as a community organizer, the only thing Obama didn't like about Bush's big spending policies is that the spending was never enough. He never got mad at Bush because he spent a lot; it was because it wasn't enough! They got mad at FDR not because he spent too much, but because he didn't spend enough. They're trying to make up for that now. They're making up, Obama is making up for that fact. Look at gasoline. Obama takes office, gasoline is $1.61. We are heading to $4- or $5-dollar-a-gallon gasoline, and he wants us to believe that's George W. Bush's fault. He wants you to believe and the media want us to believe that that is what he inherited.
Where...? Where are the Republicans standing up and saying, "No, sir! You don't get to do this. You don't get to blame the Republican Party, essentially, for this mess." Barack Obama is attempting to occupy a position that essentially is, "I haven't been president for three years. I'm running for office for the first time here. And we got these problems out there, and I need to address 'em. It's worse than anybody ever told us!" When does he get blamed? When is anything -- just one thing! -- his fault? Name for me any other president three years after a disaster like this who would not be blamed at least for some of it. You can't. This is unprecedented. There never has been a president like this. (interruption) Well, maybe JFK, but that's arguable. But the fact remains that this is all tied to Barack Obama. Every aspect of this nation's present circumstance and disaster is owned, fully and solely, by Barack Obama and the Democrat Party.
RUSH: The United States had a AAA credit rating when Obama was immaculated, a $1.61 a gallon gasoline price, a 7.2% unemployment rate, a deficit four times smaller than it is today -- and Obama as a Senator voted for every spending increase put before him. Every one! Everything he "inherited," he voted for.
Real Clear Politics: Obama: I 'Didn't Understand How Bad It Was Going to Get'
Washington Times: Gallup Shows US Unemployment at 9%
A Coordinated Contraception Attack
RUSH: Somebody sent me a note. I was working this morning, and I'm sending notes back and forth to a couple people. "Can you believe this?" We're talking about the nuclear warhead reduction down to 300 and other things, too. I advanced my theory here that not only are they campaigning for reelection under the full-fledged visible banner of socialism, that more properly stated what they're doing is assuming that there are enough votes that can be bought to secure victory.
There are enough people, enough Americans who will sell their vote to Obama. Somebody said, "Well, where's the Democrat Party in this? Is the entire Democrat Party made up now of people who have a chip on their shoulder like Obama does about the country? Is the Democrat Party -- man to man, woman to woman -- of the same mind-set?" Folks, they must be. Do you hear anybody in the Democrat Party saying or intimating anything that represents disagreement with any of this? I don't. Now, I remember the Democrat Party used to have people that we would laughingly call "adults" back during the Clinton years. People like Robert Strauss -- big, big Democrat from Texas, from the LBJ era.
They would put the brakes on if they saw the party heading down the path of total destruction. I don't think anybody of that in the Democrat Party mind-set exists now. I don't think there's anybody in the Democrat Party who is worried about the country. I mean, look what happened with the 2010 midterms. They knew full well what was gonna happen. They knew they were going to get shellacked, but they knew at the end of the election they would still have Obama in the White House. They know they've got the media on their side. They know that they're gonna be able to advance their agenda regardless as long as they have Obama there, because he will behave outside the Constitution as warranted. They fully believe they're gonna win the House of Representatives back in this election. Because, like Obama, they think there are enough Americans who will sell their votes to Democrats.
And you know what I mean by that, vote buying. You know, give this group this benefit, give that group food stamps, exempt that group from taxes, or whatever that group wants, you give it to them. The theory that most Americans are single issue and if you find out what the single issue is and give them that, or, by the same token this contraception bit with Santorum, you establish the notion with the help of your willing accomplices in the media that Rick Santorum and the Republican Party want to deny women birth control pills. All you have to do is make the charge. Now, they happen to have an interview that Santorum gave years ago in which he talked about this within the context of states' rights. He said if the state wants to ban contraception, they should have the right to do that.
Well, that becomes: Santorum supports banning contraception. So to the people in this country who do nothing but have sex mindlessly day in and day out and to whom birth control is only a means of eliminating consequences, you tell them that the Republican Party wants to take away their means of no consequences, and I don't care what else is going on in the world, 300 nuclear weapons, tax increases, economy being destroyed, you tell that bunch of mindless, brain-dead twerps that they're not gonna get their birth control pills, and that's all that will matter. They're gonna vote for Obama on that alone, and that's what they're counting on. Barack Obama and the Democrat Party are aiming at the lowest common denominator. They have spent decades dumbing down the American people in the education system that they run and that they have run.
Campaign for the stupid. Get the votes, buy the votes of the stupid. That's what they're banking on here. They firmly believe that the number of Americans educated and informed is dwarfed by the idiots. And they're not high-minded. They don't care to get elected with a mandate. They don't care to get the votes of the best and brightest. They don't care who the electorate is. They just want the votes. They don't care if they're even legitimate votes, for crying out loud. Meanwhile, who are we? We're idealists, civics 101. We gear everything we do to people that we think make the country work, the intelligent, the informed, and we try to get more and more of those people. We want elections to have substance and meaning.
Obama doesn't care. The end result is all that matters, then moving the agenda forward. That's why any lie necessary, any misrepresentation necessary, no problem, we'll do it. Gonna put the notion out that Republicans are against birth control, that the Republicans want to force every woman to have an abortion, we'll say it, we'll do it. We know that F. Chuck Todd, Dan Rather, whoever they are in the media are gonna be right there with us advancing the cause. The media people go to Republicans, "Why do you want to ban birth control from the people?"
"I don't want to --"
"Well, clearly you do. Obama said you want to ban birth control. You want to eliminate birth control."
"No, no. We --"
"Well, Obama says so. Why do you want to do that?"
We did a parody of this back during the Ken Starr investigation of Clinton. James Carville accusing Ken Starr of being an alien.
(imitating Carville) "He's a space alien, Larry. He just got here from Mars. He's a sex crazed space alien, Larry."
So, Ken Starr, in our parody goes on Larry King. Larry King says, "Ken Starr, are you an alien?"
"He's a space alien, Larry. Look at him. He's got those big eyes. He's got that big head. He looks just like a space alien, Larry. And he comes here with cigarettes. He wants your kids smoking. He wants your babies dead, and he wants the lovely president, Bill Clinton, kicked out of office."
"Why would you want Bill Clinton kicked out of office?"
Ken Starr: "Larry, seriously, I'm just investigating --"
"He's a space alien, Larry. He's a space alien from Mars. He wants to come here and get your kids smoking cigarettes."
That's how it works. So they make the charge, the media asks the questions. I guarantee you right now, the whole point of this contraception stuff started last week is to make sure that if Santorum gets this Republican nomination that's what he's going to be known for and of course the theme of that is Santorum hates women, Republicans hate women, Republicans have no respect for women, Republicans want women in the kitchen constantly pregnant, blah, blah, whatever it is. The truth, they don't care about the truth. They don't care because they know they'll never have to defend the lie. Their lies will be supported.
For crying out loud, Harry Reid, Republicans want arsenic in your water. The Republicans want to punish women with babies. The Republicans want you and your kids to breathe dirty air and to drink dirty and poisoned water. Does the media ever go to Harry, "Do you really mean that?" No. In this case they leave it alone. They let Harry Reid's statements stand alone. They haven't yet gone to a Republican, "Why do you want to poison the water?" But they will if they have to.
RUSH: You might just as well ask how can Obama mandate free birth control and abortion pills for everybody? How can he do that? He can't, according to the Constitution, but he just did it. He just did it. Nobody's trying to stop it. He just did it.
RUSH: Now, to illustrate what I was just talking about regarding how the Democrats and the media work together to set up just outrageous characterizations and lies. First, here's Santorum October 21st last year. He's appearing on a blog called Caffeinated Thoughts. The editor of this blog, Shane Vander Hart, asks, "What's at Rick Santorum's core? What are your core values, your convictions, the hills that you will die on?"
SANTORUM: (bad audio) We'll repeal Obamacare and get rid of any idea that you have to have abortion coverage and contraceptive coverage. One of the things I will talk about that no president has talked about is, I think, the dangers of contraceptives in this country. The whole sexual libertine idea. Many in the Christian faith have said, "Contraception's okay." It's not okay. It's a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.
RUSH: If you were unable to hear that, I have the transcript. He said, "We'll repeal Obamacare and get rid of any idea that you have to have abortion coverage and contraceptive coverage. One of the things I will talk about that no president has talked about is, I think, the dangers of contraceptives in this country. The whole sexual libertine idea. Many in the Christian faith have said, 'Contraception's okay.' It's not okay. It's a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be." So, Santorum clearly is suggesting this is an area the Feds ought not be involved in. All it does is promote aberrant behavior that causes cultural rot and decline. (interruption) I know. It's been the Church's position for centuries, and he's a Catholic. Exactly right. There's nothing new here. That's my point. This has been the Church's position. Now, the Church doesn't preach this anymore. That was the point of Paul Rahe's piece at Ricochet the other day. The Church has totally thrown in with the Democrat Party on this stuff. So last night on MSNBC, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson was on. He got this question: "Are we headed toward a November election that is the pro-birth control party against the anti-birth control party?"
ROBINSON: That cannot be a good idea for the Republicans to go into a November election as the anti-birth control party. I've tried to figure this out from every sort of cynical, smart politics angle I can figure it out from (gasp) and it doesn't matter for me. What's the figure? Something like 98% of American women use some form of birth control at some point during their lives? How can you be against that?
RUSH: All right, so that's one example. Now, up next yesterday on Capitol Hill. This during a Senate Democrat press conference. Senator Frank "The Lout" Lautenberg (Democrat-New Jersey) had this to say about the Republican Party.
LAUTENBERG: (haltingly) The GOP agenda gives women one option: Barefoot and pregnant. It's time to tell the Republicans to mind their own business. Our side believes that women should be able to choose the paths in life that's best for them. And that's why President Obama wants to make birth control more affordable. Contraception is basic health care. And it's essential for individuals to choose when they want to have a career and when they want to start a family. This is an attack by the Men's Club here.
RUSH: So this... Now Republicans want women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. Exactly what I said! Exactly! I didn't know this was in the roster until Cookie pointed it out to me. This is exactly, exactly what I knew (I even said it last half hour) was gonna happen.
Washington Post: Santorum: Birth Control `Harmful to Women'
Politico: Megadeth Frontman Backs Rick Santorum
CNSNews: Harry Reid Says Republicans Want to Put `Arsenic and Mercury in the Water'
Making Takers Out of Producers
RUSH: Now, let me move on to this New York Times piece. This from February 11th. This is about the takers. I had a call in the last hour. The guy agreed with me. Obama is campaigning on the notion there are more takers than there are producers, that there are more people dependent on government than there are not, and that they will vote for whoever they think is going to keep that gravy train flowing. It doesn't matter, any other issue. It doesn't matter a whit what's happening in any other realm of American life, American politics.
And that's what they're banking on. The regime, the Democrats are clearly now thinking that we've reached a point where all they have to do is wage a campaign aimed at the takers, the dependents, in this country -- that they vastly outnumber us, the producers -- and they win. So the New York Times has a piece, February 11th by Binyamin Appelbaum and Robert Gebeloff: "Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It." Now, I mentioned to Snerdley after that call during the break at the top of the hour: "I'll tell you what worries me," and part of it was having read this piece. I've actually had it in the Stack here for a couple of days. "I think that there are a lot of middle-class people who now believe that the deck is so stacked against them, that all the hard work in the world will not get them anywhere and that some of what we call 'the takers' are those people."
They want to believe. They want to do the hard work. They want to play by the age-old rules that led to the American dream. But they just don't think that they can get there anymore, and therefore it's just easier to sit there and let Obama wipe out your student loan. It's easier to let Obama take care of your mortgage. It's easier to let Obama give you a food stamp. It's easier! They may not like it, but it's easier. So here's the New York Times piece. It starts this way: "Ki Gulbranson owns a logo apparel shop, deals in jewelry on the side and referees youth soccer games. He makes about $39,000 a year and wants you to know that he does not need any help from the federal government.
"He says that too many Americans lean on taxpayers rather than living within their means. He supports politicians who promise to cut government spending. In 2010, he printed T-shirts for the Tea Party campaign of a neighbor ... who ousted this region's long-serving Democratic congressman." This story comes out of Lindstrom, Minnesota. "Yet this year, as in each of the past three years, Mr. Gulbranson, 57, is counting on a payment of several thousand dollars from the federal government, a subsidy for working families called the earned-income tax credit. He has signed up his three school-age children to eat free breakfast and lunch at federal expense. And Medicare paid for his mother, 88, to have hip surgery twice. There is little poverty here in Chisago County, northeast of Minneapolis, where cheap housing for commuters is gradually replacing farmland.
"But Mr. Gulbranson and many other residents who describe themselves as self-sufficient members of the American middle class and as opponents of government largess are drawing more deeply on that government with each passing year." So we're left to believe here that this guy hates it, but he needs it. He's in the middle class; he wants out of the middle class. But he can't get by without the aid the government gives him. He's in the social safety yet, but he doesn't like it. And what he instinctively knows is the social safety net... Let's be honest with each other. The social safety net, if you acknowledge the good intentions of the people that started this... And that's a stretch, but just for the sake of this discussion let's say that the original good intentions were that the social safety net was for the poor; that that's who the social safety net was intended to catch. But as time has gone on, more and more middle-class people -- and we know this is true. This is inarguable. More and more middle-class people are in the social safety net.
And the point of the New York Times story, this headline: "Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It." The point of this story, and it's a long story, and it has examples of a number of people. It basically posits here that a whole lot of people in the middle class are in the social safety net and don't like it but can't do anything about it. Listen to this. This will make it a little bit clearer. "The government safety net was created to keep Americans from abject poverty --" See, I happen to disagree with that. I think the original intent was to do exactly what's happened. I think the original intent of the social safety net was to make as many people dependent as possible.
They sold it on the basis that it would help the poor. They sold it on the basis that we are good people, that we're a compassionate country and that we'll take care of anybody who really can't. We're good people. I think that's how they sold it, but I think the FDRs and the LBJs and the architects of this intended from the get-go to ensnare as many Americans as possible. I think they intended for the social safety net to be like glue for the middle class, because that's where votes were. The more people -- you know this -- the more people that you can make dependent on the federal government, and if you run the federal government then the more dependent on you they are and that equals power and that equals reelection. So I don't accept this notion that the original purpose of the safety net was just for the poor. It was sold that way, but that was never their intention. But let me continue with the Times piece.
"The government safety net was created to keep Americans from abject poverty, but the poorest households no longer receive a majority of government benefits. A secondary mission has gradually become primary: maintaining the middle class from childhood through retirement," that has become the purpose of the safety net. Stop and think about that now. A secondary mission has gradually become primary: maintaining the middle class from childhood through retirement. What that means is entrapping people there and keeping them there. The American dream has always been to get out of the middle class. The American dream has always been to have upward mobility and eventually get out of it. Not because there was anything wrong with it, but because that was what America was, economic advancement, improving one's lifestyles, standard of living. What's happened now is that the poor are not the primary members of the social safety net. The middle class are.
"The share of benefits flowing to the least affluent households, the bottom fifth, has declined from 54 percent in 1979 to 36 percent in 2007." That's a CBO figure. "And as more middle-class families like the Gulbransons land in the safety net in Chisago and similar communities, anger at the government has increased alongside. Many people say they are angry because the government is wasting money and giving money to people who do not deserve it. But more than that, they say they want to reduce the role of government in their own lives. They are frustrated that they need help, feel guilty for taking it and resent the government for providing it. They say they want less help for themselves; less help in caring for relatives; less assistance when they reach old age."
But they can't get out of it.
If you read the whole story, what you learn is -- I mean this is kind of perverted -- the middle class taxes are going to support the middle class in the safety net. And this story is about people in the safety net who resent being there, to whom it is a stigma, they don't like it, but, at the same time, they look at the amount of work necessary to get out of it and to equal all the benefits they're getting, and they don't think it's possible. And so it just becomes easier to hang in the safety net, take whatever you get, and be mad about it, but it's still easier. Now, this is what the Democrats have wrought, and this is what they're counting on.
So when the guy calls about the takers, he's talking, whether he knows it or not, about this element of the takers as well, takers who are taking but profess to resent the heck out of it, not like it, but experience all kinds of frustration that they just can't work hard enough to get out of it. The deck is stacked or whatever. The media creates this impression, by the way, the rules are stacked against them, only the rich are getting richer, the income gap, whatever the reason, they think it's pointless to work as hard as would be necessary to improve their lot in life or to even improve themselves in such a way that they stay even with the benefits when they no longer have them, when they're providing for them themselves.
"The expansion of government benefits has become an issue in the presidential campaign. Rick Santorum ... has warned of 'the narcotic of government dependency.' Newt Gingrich has compared the safety net to a spider web." I've called it a hammock. "Mitt Romney has said the nation must choose between an 'entitlement society' and an 'opportunity society.' All the candidates, including Ron Paul, have promised to cut spending and further reduce taxes. The problem by now is familiar to most. Politicians have expanded the safety net without a commensurate increase in revenues." It's a very fascinating story from the New York Times, but it does make me wonder if indeed it's true that a lot of people stuck in the safety net simply think it's pointless to work hard to get out of it because they don't think they can.
RUSH: We had a report last week, if you recall, from the Heritage Foundation, which said this. The average individual who relies on Washington could receive benefits valued at $32,748, more than the nation's average disposable personal income at $32,400. So it's already marginally more profitable to live on government benefits than to have a job where you earn the nation's average disposable personal income. And it dovetails nicely with the New York Times story: "Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It."
Folks, Newsweek did a cover story not long ago, "We're all socialists now." And that's just what the New York Times story is, we're all socialists now. Even some of us who don't like it are all socialists. It's just easier. That's what the Times story is about. It's just easier to stay in the safety net than to try work out of it. It's just easier.
RUSH: Last night, by the way, at a campaign event, Boise, Idaho, Santorum spoke. It's about a minute here of his remarks.
SANTORUM: The reason we have to reduce the
size and scale of government is to protect your
freedom. That's what this is about. This election
ultimately is about freedom, and the bigger the
government is, the smaller you become. It is a
zero-sum game, folks, and we have a president
who is spending us into oblivion. This is right out of the FDR playbook. Continue to grow government, to get more and more people on government programs, more and more dependency. We have almost half the people in this country don't pay taxes and almost half now receive some sort of government benefit. We're reaching a tipping point, folks. When those who pay are the minority and those who receive are the majority, freedom in the election process is not something people will care about. They'll care about whether they get their piece. This is what it's all designed to do, gradually, slowly erode your freedom and increase your dependency on government.
RUSH: That's right.
SANTORUM: That's why --
RUSH: That's right.
SANTORUM: -- this election is the most important election of your lifetime. This is a chance for Americans to stand up and say, "We will be free."
RUSH: Entitlement growth is designed to make you care less about your freedom. And I call your attention to this New York Times piece, right there, February 11th, got it right here in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers, "Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It." Middle class ensnared by the safety net, not the poor. They don't like it, but they're stuck. They think they can't work hard enough to get out of it. It's just not possible anymore. That's what they think. So they resent having to depend on it, they don't like it, and they're really ticked off about the fact that hard work, in their minds, will no longer elevate them out of the middle class.
New York Times: Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It
North Carolina in Uproar Over Pre-School Lunch Inspection by Federal Agent
The Theocracy of Liberalism
Government Motors Union Ownership Exacts Revenge on White-Collar Workers
Democrats Ginned Up Contraception Debate to Fire Up Their Base, Divide the GOP and Distract from the Economy
Obama Thinks He Can Buy Enough Votes to Trump His Record and Continue His Mission to Weaken America
Educator: Parents Don't Know Best
Democrats are Running for Reelection on Unmasked Socialism
What's So Crucial About Free Contraceptives? Why Not Free Toothpaste?
The Real Unemployment Numbers
The Sex-Obsessed Left is Offended by an Aspirin Joke?
Dung Heap Harkin Makes Our Point!
Geithner: We Have No Solutions
Obama Approval Up, Jobless Rate Down, "Culture War" Revived -- All Manipulated by Lib Media to Dispirit You
The GOP Establishment is Embarrassed by Social Conservatives
Since there are some links you may want to go back to from time-to-time, I am going to begin a list of them here. This will be a list to which I will add links each week.
The Washington Free Beacon; looks like a good news service that leans right.