Kukis Digests and Opines on this Week’s News and Views
April 29, 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)
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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.
This Week’s Events
Monday, April 23, 2012 @ 11:48 am
US Air Force deploys several F22s to UAE base, which is near Iran. Officials deny deployment linked to potential Iran strike
The Labor Department came up with a lot of goofy regulations for farm children. However, under heavy pressure from farm groups, the Obama administration is dropping an effort to prevent children from doing hazardous work on farms owned by anyone other than their parents. The Labor Department says it is withdrawing proposed rules that would ban children younger than 16 from using most power-driven equipment. The rules also would prevent those younger than 18 from working in feed lots, grain bins and stockyards.
The federal government has taken Arizona to court over its immigration laws; and it was before the Supreme Court this week. Interestingly enough, our weak economy has been the greatest factor in reducing illegal immigration.
The EPA recently awarded a $90,000 grant over the weekend to Vanderbilt University students "who designed a biohybrid solar panel that substitutes a protein from spinach for expensive silicon wafers that are energy intensive to produce, and is capable of producing electricity."
Just signed into law, and voted on by large majorities of Republicans and Democrats, H.R.347 makes free speech a felony. Some conservatives, liberals and libertarians have a very negative view of this legislation. It appears as if this is directed against the Occupy movement; but it appears to suggest that a protest near the president or anyplace that the secret service is, could be shut down and the people arrested and charged with a felony. Here, Judge Napolitano discusses it.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has begun an investigation into whether some of Hollywood's biggest movie studios have made illegal payments to officials in China to gain the right to film and show movies there, according to a person with knowledge of the investigation. It is possible that Vice President Joe Biden may have been a party to these negotiations.
George Zimmerman had a website to get money for his defense, but it was shut down. However, he did get about $200,000 toward his defense.
A black man in suburban Chicago told police he jumped a white man last week because he was upset about the Trayvon Martin case.
The President announces by tweet that his first campaign rallies will begin May 5th. As recently as mid-week, Obama people were not sure when his campaign will actually begin. Really. First ones. Even liberal media figures are making fun of this.
Obama addressed the coeds at the Universities of North Carolina, Colorado, and Iowa at a sixth grade reading level, according to Flesch-Kincaid reading comprehension difficulty tests conducted by the Washington Free Beacon. The WFB is a conservative news service.
Today, Sunday, April 29, 2012, is the anniversary which is unprecedented in the history of American politics, marking three years since the Democratic-led Senate last complied with federal law by passing a budget.
Luckily, Sandra Fluke, who needs us to pay for her birth control, is back in the news. After finding out that Sandra Fluke is engaged, Fox News analyst Monica Crowley tweeted, in response, "To a man?" Crowley saw this as a joke; Fluke called Crowley's comment "hate speech," saying that Crowley’s "blatant homophobia" is what bothered her. I still don’t know the answer to Crowley’s tweet.
D.C. lawyer Timothy Broas, who has funneled more money to the political campaigns of President Obama than nearly anyone else, last week was recommended by Mr. Obama as the next U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands.
James Lovelock, the maverick scientist who became a guru to the environmental movement with his "Gaia" theory of the Earth as a single organism, has admitted to being "alarmist" about climate change and says other environmental commentators, such as Al Gore, were too.
Giant cannibal shrimp more than a foot long invade waters off Gulf Coast
The UN will conduct an investigation into the plight of US Native Americans, the first such mission in its history.
A Des Moines woman who publicly thanked President Barack Obama for helping her obtain health insurance actually is receiving her coverage through a long-standing state program.
John Edwards, former Democratic presidential hopeful and candidate for vice president has been in trial this week over his alleged misuse of campaign funds.
We find out this week that 9/11 Truther Cynthia McKinney will run against Hank "Guam might tip over" Johnson for her old congressional seat. Rumors of an un-refereed cage match are just that.
The Marine Corps decided Wednesday to discharge a sergeant who made comments critical of President Obama on Facebook. Sgt. Gary Stein will be given an other-than-honorable discharge for violating the Pentagon's rules limiting the speech of members of the armed forces.
A national atheist organization is demanding that a Rhode Island city remove a cross from a 91-year-old memorial honoring hometown soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their county.
Roman Catholic leaders are calling for two weeks of public protests against President Barack Obama's policies as they intensify their argument that the administration is engaged in a war on religion.
One of the largest Bible translators in the world is undergoing an independent review after critics claimed language in some of its translations intended for Muslim countries fail to present God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Jewish officials in the West Bank city of Hebron are appealing to the international community to intervene on behalf of a Palestinian who has been sentenced to death by the Palestinian Authority for selling property to a Jew. The accused, Muhammad Abu Shahala, is a former PA intelligence agent who was convicted following a rushed trial using a confession obtained through torture. Is there even one thing in this story that suggests sanity?
Egypt's new Islamist-led parliament to legalize men having sex with dead wives for up to six hours after death, allow girls to marry at 14-years old.
Explosions and gunfire rocked Bayero University, with witnesses reporting that two church services were targeted as they were being held on campus. Police say at least eight people have been killed in an attack on a church service at a Nigerian university in the northern city of Kano.
The Taliban captured a Pakistani comedian who used the militant group as a source for his jokes. Okay, I admit it; if Palin took Maher off at gunpoint, I might have excused that.
President Obama, citing the United States' national security interests, Wednesday waived restrictions on funding for the Palestinian Authority with $147 million.
President Obama: “Somebody gave me an education. I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Michelle wasn't. But somebody gave us a chance - just like these folks up here are looking for a chance.” Insofar as I know, President Obama has never had to attend a public school.
President Obama to soldiers at Fort Stewart on the Georgia coast: “Each of us is only here because somebody looked out for us. Not just our parents, but our neighbors and our communities and our houses of worship and our VFW halls. Because we had a country that was willing to invest in things like community colleges and universities and scientific research and medicine and caring for our veterans. Each of us is only here because somebody somewhere had our backs. Because generations of Americans worked together. `Out of many we are one.' Those are values we gotta return to."
Vice President Joe Biden: "I promise you the president has a big stick. I promise you."
President Obama about singing Al Green: "I can sing. I wasn't worried about being able to hit those notes."
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: "I never lie. I never say something that I know isn't true."
Michelle Obama “It's hard to sneak around and do what you want. I have done it a couple of times. But you know one fantasy I have, and the Secret Service they keep looking at me because they think I might actually do it, is to walk right out the front door and just keep walking."
President Obama, who ran up $5 trillion in debt in 3.5 years: "We're here only because somebody somewhere felt responsibility not just for themselves, but they felt responsibility for something else, but they felt responsibility for something larger. They thought about their neighborhood, they thought about their community, they thought about their country - now - they thought about the planet. Now its our turn to be responsible, its our turn to keep that promise alive. No matter how tough these times have been, no matter how many obstacles that may stand in our way, I promise you North Carolina, there are better days ahead."
Presidential advisor David Axelrod: “We've imposed new strictures relative to waste and inefficiency and fraud that have saved tens of billions of dollars on travel, on printing, on leases, on fraud. Our Medicare, our health care fraud unit over at the Justice Department and HHS has recovered over $10 billion. those prosecutions are up 70%. We are saving taxpayers money all the time.”
Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Penn. "Unemployment continues to drop and those people who are unemployed, they're not going to be voting for the party who wants to cut their benefits - cut access to food stamps, cut job training,"
Paul Begala fund-raising email: “Republicans won't just take us backward, they'll take us to a place called Radical.”
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev: "Of course, there are many people who don't like what President Obama is doing. But, my opinion of him is very [favorable]. I will support him.”
President Obama of Mitt Romney: "I've met him, but we're not friends. His wife is lovely."
Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt: "Secretive oil billionaires are making good on their promise to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on Governor Romney's behalf attempting to defeat the President."
Debbie Wasserman Schultz: "Ya know, [Romney is] wanting to take us back to a time when insurance companies could drop us or deny us coverage simply because of our gender being considered a preexisting condition."
Michelle Obama: "See, believe me, what you have to know is your president, Barack, he knows this. He knows this all too well. He understands these issues because he's lived them. He was raised by a single mother who struggled to put herself through school and pay the bills." And yet, the president attended only private schools?
DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz: “The Republicans have fully embraced extremism and they have brought in two years almost no jobs legislation to this floor and not worked with the president on any legislation to help make sure that we can move the economy forward because their number one goal is political and that's to defeat Barack Obama.” Except for those 30 bills which Harry Reid will not allow to be brought to the Senate floor.
Julianna Smoot of BarackObama.com in a fund-raising email: “Spend an evening with President Obama and George Clooney, all while helping build this campaign? You know you want to.”
Michelle Obama: “...let us never forget the impact their decisions [of the two justices appointed by President Obama] will have on our lives for decades to come-on our privacy and our security, on whether we can speak freely, worship openly, and, yes, love whomever we choose. That is what's at stake here.” How about the actual rights enumerated in the constitution?
Michelle Obama: "Two years ago, we made history together by finally passing health reform. And because we passed this law, insurance companies will now have to cover basic preventive care - things like prenatal care, mammograms, contraception - at no extra cost."
HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the balance between religion liberty and her most recent healthcare mandate on contraception: "I'm not a lawyer, and I don't pretend to understand the nuances of the constitutional balancing tests."
President Obama to students: "So stand up, be heard, be counted. Tell them now is not the time to double interest rates on your student loans. Now is the time to double down on smart investments to build a strong and secure middle class. Now is the time to double down on building an America that lasts."
Socialist senator Bernie Sanders: “A post office in a rural town is more than just a post office. That post office disappears, and many times, that town disappears.”
Barney Frank, of retirement: "I would like to do a TV hit once a week."
President Obama: "I never bought into the notion that by electing me, somehow we were entering into a post-racial period." I hope that is code for no Barney Frank on tv.
MoveOn.Org ad: “Calling a person illegal takes away their humanity; you can join with our voices to ask media and government to drop the I-word.” This is a push to get people to stop saying “illegal aliens.”
State Sen. Steve Gallardo at the Schumer scam hearings: "Juan Varela, a United States citizen who gets in an argument just days after Governor Brewer signs the bill and violence occurs and Mr. Varela is dead over Senate Bill 1070. These are the unintended consequences that come from legislation where the state tries to fix what is ultimately a federal immigration problem...Senate Bill 1070 and laws like it have fostered and legitimized vigilante movements responsible for violent and sometimes lethal attacks on Latinos." What really happened.
Former Green Jobs Czar Van Jones: "They [tea party] understood that people were sitting on a white hot stove out there, and if Democrats weren't going to point at the financial elites, they were going to point at the government elites. Somebody got to get blamed, and part of the problem with the president was by being so bipartisan and trying to not, you know, try to be one country about everything, he let his opponents set him up."
Vice President Joe Biden: "We're looking for Turkish leadership in the rest of that entire region...[because] It's a model as to how you can have an Islamic population, an Islamic state and a democracy, something the rest of the region is groping to figure out how to do."
A senior State Department official in the Obama administration: "The war on terror is over."
Dan Savage, homosexual activist, at a journalist conference, as many people exit his speech: “We can learn to ignore the bulls__t in the Bible the same way that we have learned to ignore the Bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation; we ignore bullsh__t in the Bible about all sorts of things. The Bible is a racially pro-slavery document.”
It’s all about racism...
Bill Maher: “Barack Obama was born to a single mother on food stamps and he became the first black president of the racist states of America.”
The War on Women continues...
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd: "IT is an astonishing thing that historians will look back and puzzle over, that in the 21st century, American women were such hunted creatures, even as Republicans try to wrestle women into chastity belts, the Vatican is trying to muzzle American nuns."
Nancy Pelosi on Republican plan to keep student interest rates low: “In order to pay for it, [House Republicans] are going to make an assault on women's health, make another assault on women's health, continue our assault on women's health and pay for this with prevention initiatives that are in effect right now for childhood immunization; for screening for breast cancer, for cervical cancer; and for initiatives to reduce birth defects - a large part of what the Center for Disease Control does in terms of prevention.”
President Obama: "This contraception fight in particular was illuminating. This is a [Republican] party that says it prides itself on being rabidly anti-regulation. These are folks who claim to believe in freedom from government interference and meddling. But it doesn't seem to bother them when it comes to women's health."
President Obama of mandatory ultrasound: "If you don't like it, the governor of Pennsylvania said you can `close your eyes. It's appalling. It's offensive. It's out of touch. And when it comes to what's going on out there, you're not going to close your eyes. Women across America aren't closing their eyes. As long as I'm president, I won't either." Having had neither, I suspect that an abortion is a good deal more invasive than an ultrasound (and the kind the Obama is worried about apparently does not occur that often). It is also my understanding that many Planned Parenthood’s require an ultrasound.
Global warming and evil oil...
President Obama's Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, when asked if he is "being more strict on denying drilling permits based on safety and environmental concerns": "We have new sets of regulations that that have been put into place. The permit reviews are rigourous. We make sure that any company that is going to be operating in the waters of the United States is going to be complying in the rules that we set out."
Major League Baseball announcer Tim McCarver: "It has not been proven, but I think that ultimately it will be proven that the air is thinner now; there have been climatic changes over the last 50 years. I think that's one of the reasons balls are carrying much better now."
Former Vice President Al Gore: "Now there are some talk radio show hosts, they say that (global warming is) not (real). It's up to you; my point is we must respond. What the scientists tell us is going to take place if we do not is too awful to contemplate."
The Compliant Obama Press Corps:
NY Times columnist Gail Collins: “Did you ever notice how many of the Republican candidates seemed to have animal issues? Rick Perry shot that coyote, and Jon Huntsman got bitten by a goat -- really, that was the high point of the Huntsman campaign. Also, Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, the veep front-runner, recently imitated a chicken on television...And the winner is the guy who drove to Canada with the family dog strapped to the roof of the car!” If someone wants to be a liberal and express their opinion, this is fine by me. But is this really political insight? Is there a person on this planet who read this and decided, “Wow, I never thought of it like that before. Republicans really do have some animal issues.”
The AP explains the anemic quarter growth: “Growth slowed at year's start but some see rebound. Don't panic yet. The government reported Friday that the economy got off to a tepid start this year, but that doesn't foreshadow a repeat of the near-standstill that happened in 2011....the Commerce Department said it was 2.2 percent, mainly because of government budget-cutting and a slowdown in business investment.” Except that there has been no slowdown in government spending.
Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne Jr. column headline: “Romney's principled, radical view for America”
A New York Times editorial calls Mitt Romney: “The best of a very bad bunch.”
MSNBC talking head Charlie Cook: "Small towns - states with a large small town rural populations, Democrats in general, the president has had a really hard time. I mean, we have kind of a metrosexual president. . . that doesn't go over well in the small town. And it's just cultural. It is what it is."
MSNBC’s Martin Bashir: “A teenage taste of beer aside, Mitt Romney does not consume alcohol. Which begs the question, will total abstention put his candidacy, perhaps even this great nation in jeopardy?”
Jimmy Fallon: “The Barack-ness monster ain’t buyin’ it.”
Jason Sudeikis of Saturday Night Live: "We're only a reflection of what's being done out there, there is have no agenda, believe it or not. You can't help it with our age and where we live that the writing and cast to skew a little bit liberal." Sudeikis plays Mitt Romney in the 15 or so cold opens for SNL this season. If the President has been spoofed even once, then I missed it. When he said “skew a little bit liberal” I think he meant “in the tank for Obama.”
Actor Josh Hartnett: "I believe that this President is the right man for the job. I have the entire time that he's been in the national spotlight - I just, I have total faith in what he's going to do in these next four years and total faith that he's going to win this election as well."
Sean Penn, referring to Rick Santorum: “It means that you did not read the Constitution, and indeed you are anti-American."
Occupy DC Speaker to fellow protesters: “[If I'm arrested,] I want you to start killing motherf___s!"
One of the dozen or so Blacks who did a beat down on white Matthew Owens using chairs, pipes and paint cans: "Now that’s justice for Trayvon."
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-NY) on the Tea Party: "These are individuals who have no problems with using racial epithets, have no problems with cursing and spitting. They showed the ugliest side of the United States of America."
Lib radio talker Randi Rhodes: “[Marco Rubio] looks like a little boy [next to Romney]. It's almost like the Batman and Robin thing that Quayle and Bush senior had going there, it's very homoerotic I gotta say!” This is why liberal radio is going nowhere. This is why it garners such a small audience.
MSNBC’s Martin Bashir: “We should point out that when you listen to someone like Rush Limbaugh, the sort of comedy that he enjoys generally is sexist, homophobic, and racist.”
Liberals from the past:
Barack Obama from 2006: "I think I could probably do every job on the campaign better than the people I'll hire to do it. It's hard to give up control when that's all I've known."
Obama 2006: "I think I'm a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I'll tell you right now that I'm gonna think I'm a better political director than my political director."
President Obama last year: "If Congress refuses to act, I've said that I'll continue to do everything in my power to act without them."
William M. Daley, when he was the White House chief of staff: "The president expressed frustration, saying we have got to scour everything and push the envelope in finding things we can do on our own."
Little 3 or 4 year old girl on a U.S. funded Palestinian children’s show: “...our enemy, Zion, is Satan with a tail.”
Liberals being honest:
James Lovelock, former climate change alarmist: "The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time. . . it (the temperature) has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising - carbon dioxide is rising, no question about that."
MSNBC’s Martin Bashir: “if there isn't a war on women, most of us must be ignorant” Okay, I admit that I pulled this out of a much larger quote; but otherwise, how can I put Bashir into the subheading?
From Jodi Kantor's The Obamas, of the inability of Americans to understand Obama: “Later in the first term, there were points where the American public seemed to be giving up on Barack Obama. . . But the relationship went both ways, and there were many times the president seemed to be giving up on the public, too, convinced Americans would never understand his point of view”
From Jodi Kantor's The Obamas, of the president's trip to Oslo to collect the Nobel Peace Prize: ”The trip spurred a thought the Obamas and their friends would voice to each other again and again as the president's popularity continued to decline: the American public just did not appreciate their exceptional leader.”
Female neighbor to George Zimmerman: "Let's talk about the elephant in the room. I'm black, OK? There were black boys robbing houses in this neighborhood. That's why George was suspicious of Trayvon Martin."
Alan Dershowitz: "Now, one of the problems is because they've indited for second degree murder - and there's nothing in this affidavit that suggests second degree murder, the elements of second degree murder aren't here - the expectations have been reduced. There's an article today in one of the. . . the Daily Beast saying "there'll be riots in the street if there's an acquittal." If there are riots, it's the prosecutor's fault. Because she over-charged, raised expectations. No reasonable jury is going to convict based on the evidence I know of second degree murder. So this prosecutor not only may have suborned perjury, she may be responsible if there are going to be riots here for raising expectations to unreasonable levels."
Michael Steele: "I resent that. What is this `grand wizard' nonsense?"
Chris Matthews: "I should say the far-right party."
Steele: "Are you saying that we're the Ku Klux Klan? Give me a break. Don't go there with me on that."
Matthews: "Okay. Great. Good. Thank you. There's none of those problems over there. All those birthers out there."
Steele: "Oh my gosh."
Region 6 EPA Administrator Al Armendariz was recently found to have made this public statement, explaining how the EPA would get control of various oil companies: "It was kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They'd go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they'd find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. So, that's our general philosophy." Armendariz has recent apologized for this remark (which was certainly not a slip of the tongue).
Benjamin Cole, American Energy Alliance: “If the president wants to fix the controversy at the EPA. This is a simple solution. He should follow the advice of the administrator. He should walk into the EPA headquarters, fire the first five people he sees, and it probably will become an agency a little easier to manage from that point forward.”
S.E. CUPP: Let's make the distinguish though, just real quick, between Mitt Romney the person and Mitt Romney the politician, because Mitt Romney the person has donated millions of dollars to poor people.
BILL MAHER: To Mormons.
CUPP: To poor people.
MAHER: Not poor people. No, no, no. Wait, wait, I gotta call bullshit on that one.
MAHER: All his charitable donations are to Mormons. He gives to his cult.
CUPP: So what?
MAHER: So what? That's not a charity. That's not a charity.
CUPP: So we can't help certain poor people.
MAHER: They're not poor people.
CUPP: Yes, they are.
MAHER: Name one poor Mormon. Alright, I've got to move on.
For some perspective (and I am not a Mormon), many Mormons take care of their own; that is, if someone gets into financial trouble, they help out those in trouble—but it is generally not a lifelong commitment of money. That is, a struggling Mormon is given a reasonable amount of time to get things straightened out.
President Obama, misquoting Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.): "I'm going to quote this because I know you guys will think I'm making it up. She said she had `very little tolerance for people who tell me they graduate with debt because there's no reason for that.'"
Virginia Foxx actually said that she had: "very little tolerance for people who tell me that they graduate with $200,000 of debt or even $80,000 of debt because there's no reason for that" - apparently limiting her comments to those who take on large amounts of debt for school.
Obama at another school: "You've got one member of Congress who compared these student loans - I'm not kidding here - to a `stage-three cancer of socialism.'"
Republican Akin in a Republican senate debate: "America has got the equivalent of stage 3 cancer of socialism because the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff it has no businesses tampering in."
In a statement, Akin later objected to Obama's dishonest paraphrase: "With all due respect, the president misquoted me. I was not saying that student loans are a cancer. I referred to the policies where there is a government takeover of private industries."
CIA interrogator Rodriguez: No, he gets a good night's sleep. He gets his Ensure. By the way, he was very heavy when he came to us. He lost 50 pounds.
60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl: What, his Ensure, you mean like people in the hospital who drink that stuff?
Rodriguez: Yes. Dietary manipulation was part of these dire techniques.
Stahl: So sleep deprivation, dietary manipulation. I mean, this is Orwellian stuff. The United States doesn't do that.
Rodriguez: Well, we do.
Rush Limbaugh must have played this clip 4 or 5 times, laughing every time.
Question: “...can you appreciate the criticism leveled at you regarding a possible double standard when it comes to the things Limbaugh said, and specifically a name you called (former vice presidential candidate) Sarah Palin?”
Bill Maher: “First off, it's not a double standard. It's false equivalency. Rush Limbaugh was talking about a civilian, a college student, and called her disgusting and vile names. I used a rude word (regarding Palin) that was not on the air. It was only in my comedy routine. It was met with gales of laughter. I trust my audience. It was part of a carefully crafted routine. It's not like I just went out on stage and said, ‘Good evening, ladies and gentleman. Sarah Palin is a (expletive).’ ” Personally, I have listened to Rush and have seen Bill Maher do his returns. I have laughed many times at what Rush Limbaugh has said; I cannot remember ever laughing at anything that Maher says. It is not just a conservative-liberal thing either; Jon Stewart makes me laugh. Steward and Limbaugh are funny; Maher isn’t.
George Will: “We have a president who believes, because he says so, that ATMs and airport ticket kiosks cause unemployment. So that gives you some sense of his grasp of how the economy works.“
George Will: “Mr. Obama, the night he clinched the nomination, said this will be the moment when the rise of the seas stop. Well, if he can stop the seas from rising, why can't he bring down the gas prices?”
Mike Huckabee about citizens who would visit him in the Arkansas capitol: “The people who came to our offices were not interruptions; they were our bosses.”
Mitt Romney: “This America is fundamentally fair. We will stop the unfairness of urban children being denied access to the good schools of their choice; we will stop the unfairness of politicians giving taxpayer money to their friends' businesses; we will stop the unfairness of requiring union workers to contribute to politicians not of their choosing; we will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the taxpayers they serve; and we will stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger and larger debts on to the next. In the America I see, character and choices matter. And education, hard work, and living within our means are valued and rewarded. And poverty will be defeated, not with a government check, but with respect and achievement that is taught by parents, learned in school, and practiced in the workplace. This is the America that was won for us by the nation's Founders, and earned for us by the Greatest Generation. It is the America that has produced the most innovative, most productive, and the most powerful economy in the world.”
Mitt Romney: “President Obama and I have very different visions. Government is at the center of his vision. It dispenses the benefits, borrows what it cannot take, and consumes a greater and greater share of the economy. With Obamacare fully installed, government will come to control half the economy, and we will have effectively ceased to be a free enterprise society. This President is putting us on a path where our lives will be ruled by bureaucrats and boards, commissions and czars. He's asking us to accept that Washington knows best - and can provide all. We've already seen where this path leads. It erodes freedom. It deadens the entrepreneurial spirit. And it hurts the very people it's supposed to help. Those who promise to spread the wealth around only ever succeed in spreading poverty. Other nations have chosen that path. It leads to chronic high unemployment, crushing debt, and stagnant wages. I have a very different vision for America, and of our future. It is an America driven by freedom, where free people, pursuing happiness in their own unique ways, create free enterprises that employ more and more Americans. Because there are so many enterprises that are succeeding, the competition for hard-working, educated and skilled employees is intense, and so wages and salaries rise.”
Peggy Noonan explains a fairly elementary fact to Keith Olbermann: “There is a lot of people who think businessmen create businesses which create jobs.”
Charles Krauthammer on Joe Biden’s foreign policy chops: “The Vice President has been over the last 30 years holds the American record for wrong on the most issues in foreign affairs ever. And the list starts with the nuclear freeze in the early '80s against Thatcher and Reagan and Cole which is one of the follies of the era. He supported it. He was against aid to the Nicaraguan Contras which in the end brought democracy and ended the Sandinista rule at the time. He was against Reagan's expansion of the defense budget, which bankrupted the Soviet Union and led to the end of the Soviet Empire. He was against Reagan on Strategic Defenses, which is the big advantage that we have now in the missile age. And look at where he was on Iraq. He opposed the first Iraq War, the Gulf War that liberated Kuwait that everybody agrees was a good thing. He supported the Iraq War which he, not I, he says was a terrible mistake. And then when the surge happened, he opposed the surge in Iraq which rescued a losing war and ended with our leaving with our heads held high and some promise in the future.”
GOP Strategist Alex Castellanos to Rachel Maddow about “equal pay”: “When you look at, for example, single women working in America today between the ages of, I think, 40 and 64, who makes more? Men or women, on average? Men make $40,000 a year. Women make $47,000. When you take out the marriage factor, look at some economics. My point here is that we're manufacturing a political crisis to get away from what this election really wants to be about.” The entire exchange is here.
Congressman Allen West: "President Obama seems determined to punish and wipe out economic success in this country, leveling tax weapons of mass destruction on all taxpayers"
Rush Limbaugh: "The Democrat Party must have a permanent underclass. That's the voting base. The 'permanent underclass' is simply poor people who have no alternative but than to vote Democrat for a meager subsistence."
Rush Limbaugh: "Illegal immigration is a big deal to the left because it's a source of voters. The Democrats are losing voters. They have to replace them. They're aborting voters. Literally! They are aborting their own future voters. They need new voters."
Rush Limbaugh: "If the Obama's are so worried about student debt, how come there's no record of either of them ever working a day to put themselves through college?"
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. concerning the Arizona immigration law that is up before the Supreme Court: "It seems to me the federal government just doesn't want to know who's here illegally."
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: "What does sovereignty mean if it does not include the ability to defend your borders?''
Rush Limbaugh: "All the Arizona state law does is require Arizona law enforcement officials to enforce federal law on immigration. There's no conflict between the Arizona state law and the federal law that anybody can cite. Even Mr. Verrilli, the government lawyer, could not find and could not cite any conflict."
Rush Limbaugh: "Make no bones, folks, I know it sounds sort of incomprehensible, but I'm telling you that the Democrat Party is looking at as many illegals as possible turning into voters. That's why they don't want photo ID at the polling place. It is the number one reason why."
Rush Limbaugh: "Not only, folks, can Obama not run on his past, he very likely can't even run on his future. He has no plans to address Social Security. He has no plans to address Medicare. He has no plans to address the debt. He has no plans to address any of the problems we've got. All of his plans -- and he can't run on these, either -- all of his solutions boil down to one thing, and that is taking more of our money."
Rush Limbaugh: "Oil is the fuel of the engine of freedom. Oil is directly tied to standard of living, prosperity, opportunity for prosperity, and freedom. It's not a pollutant. It's not any more dangerous than anything else that's organic and found naturally on this planet."
Rush Limbaugh: "There are hundreds of thousands of jobs waiting for the Keystone pipeline. There's all kinds of new domestic oil we have. We would be less dependent on Middle Eastern oil. Obama's opposed to it. 'Why?' Who cares why? The fact is he's opposed to it; that ought to be enough to disqualify him."
Rush Limbaugh: "January 16th of 2009, Wall Street Journal calls, 'We want 400 words on what your hopes for Obama are as this historic new presidency is inaugurated.' And they told me they were gonna be asking a lot of other people to submit 400-word little mini-essays, gonna publish them in the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal. I wrote back and I said, 'I don't need 400 words or 200 words. I can do it in four words: I hope he fails.' And reactions were predictable."
Rush Limbaugh: "There's no evidence whatsoever that fracking contaminates groundwater. But because the left is against the discovery of oil and gas, they'll simply lie about the destruction of the environment in the process of getting more oil and gas, because they hate it."
Rush Limbaugh: "The $800 billion that Obama supposedly injected in the private sector had to be taken from the private sector first. It was a wash, a net zero. There was no new money."
Rush Limbaugh: "Every one of Obama administration forecasts has been way wrong. They have been predicting that a boom is right around the corner. They make their predictions after such things as the stimulus or other Obama legislation, like the American Jobs Act, or the health care bill. Then they come out with their forecasts, 'This is gonna cause a boom,' and all it's doing is destroying the US economy."
Rush Limbaugh: "The vision that Obama and the Democrats have of work in this country is a hundred years old. Assembly line jobs, union jobs. It's a hundred years old, 50 years old. There's nothing high-tech, new, forward-thinking about the kind of work they envision."
The Conservative Press:
Cal Thomas: “To say that the New York Times is biased in favor of Barack Obama is on the same level as announcing that chickens lay eggs. Nothing’s going to change; they’re going to endorse him in the general election. They’re going to put as positive a face on him as possible.”
Snarky Weasel Zipper sub-headline comments:
On mug shots of Occupiers who were arrested: I know these guys are supposed to be "just like the Tea Party" and maybe it's just me, but they sure don't look like it.
Of Obama’s claim that "I think I could probably do every job on the campaign better than the people I'll hire to do it": Delusional with an ego the size of Michael Moore's ass, not a good combo.
The NY Times admits to being too pro-Obama in the last election and promises to be fair this election: I'd put the chances of this happening somewhere between Michael Moore passing on seconds and Obama giving up golf.
Dem Congressman Asks Navy To Name Ship After Gay Rights Activist Harvey Milk. All aboard the U.S.S. Fabulous!
American Crossroads Obama cool.
The video that has gone viral; “If I wanted American to fail.”
Another killer ad from the RNC. It’s good.
When I saw the headline, “Obama Makes Free Speech a Felony” I was skeptical. Watching the discussion between Judge Andrew Napolitano and This needs to be struck down by the Supreme Court. What is with our House? How could they pass this?
60 Minutes on the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. So, why is no one arrested? I’ve already told you this. :)
Michelle Malkin is probably one of the toughest conservative women around. Here, she takes on Joy Behar. Hope this will turn into an interview on Behar’s show.
Bret Baier is one of the toughest interviewers (he upset Mitt Romney). Here he is grilling Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Greta interviewing Senator John Thune on the proposed farm regulations.
Sebelius being questioned on the constitution and healthcare mandates. The constitution is not her strong point.
The government gives us one year to figure out how Catholics can compromise their values.
Google chairman schools Krugman: 'surely you're not arguing government should hire all the unemployed people'
One Quirky Girl lampoons MSNBC’s liberal Mika Brzezinski. “Obama is wonderful; that’s all I know.”
CNN anchor interviews gal who took a picture with the President, that went viral. At 2:33, an off-camera “newsperson” gasps when she hears that this student will not announce who she is voting for.
The president’s greatest hits when it comes to “fairness.” It takes place in the first 2 minutes or so.
44 seconds from a U.S. funded Palestinian show which is designed to brainwash children to hate.
This has been done on several college campuses. A petition to take the high GPA average of the top 10% and give them to those with lower GPA’s, so that everyone has a fair chance. Good cross-section of students.
Goofy “Pray for Bo” vid.
Sodomite Dan Savages full message about what should be ignored in the Bible. Interestingly enough, this is a speech that was supposed to be about anti-bullying, which became an attack against Christians (bullying Christian and Bible believers, if you will).
A Little Comedy Relief
President Obama: "What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? A pit bull is delicious."
President Obama: "I have not seen `The Hunger Games.' Not enough class warfare."
Jimmy Kimmel: "There's a term for President Obama. Not two terms."
Jimmy Kimmel: "Uggie [the dog] is amazing. He can roll over on command. He's a Democrat."
Jodi Miller: “On the campaign trail, Vice President Biden told a crying baby he was crying because he was going to have to pay for Romney’s tax cuts. See, even Joe Biden thinks Romney’s going to win.”
Jimmy Kimmel: “Alright, it's time for the fun part of the evening. I'd like everyone to look under your seats. Under each one you will find a copy of Keith Olbermann's resume. Is Keith here tonight? Limo wouldn't pick him up? The thing about Keith Olbermann is he's so likable. Al Gore launched Current TV in 2005 and it took off like a North Korean rocket. To be honest, I didn't even know Current TV was still on the air, but then I don't get channel a million. Keith Olbermann burned more bridges than the Arsonist of Madison County. He has more pink slips than Marcus Bachmann.” Marcus Bachmann plays a gay character on Modern Family.
1) I certainly believe that Operation Fast & Furious was a government screw-up; or, worse than that, intentional. However, the way the Republicans are going about this, it is a pure political stunt. You do not bring in people from the top (like Eric Holder), but you start at the bottom and work your way up. “You were ordered to do this? Who gave the order?” And then you go up a level. It is not as rewarding as beating down Eric Holder, but it might actually get one to the truth. If some official says, “I have been advised to invoke my 5th Amendment right;” that is your guy. Then you interview those above and below him.
2) I found why Dan Savage, the gay activist, has a
tee-shirt that reads “Google Santorum.”
Apparently, he was instrumental in seeing that some pretty filthy stuff would come up when you googled him. Beyond what I am willing to quote here.
3) Anytime government becomes involved and makes stuff free, it becomes much more expensive. College tuition, for 3 decades, has out-paced inflation. These colleges know that the government is going to give away loan money to whomever, and that many will take out loans simply because they are easy to get. Politicians pour more money into education, students take advantage of this more money, and college tuition goes up. So do the salaries and benefits of professors, as well as the environment of the schools. Prices increase dramatically year after year for medical costs and medical insurance, and the government gets more and more deeply involved. We know this is government involvement, because laser eye surgery improves year after year after year, and the prices have gone down on that over the past 10 years. No government involvement in laser eye surgery. However, if the government decides that this ought to be free, its cost will skyrocket as well.
By the Numbers
The fourth quarter of 2011 was good, at 3% growth. Again, a rule of thumb is, 1.5–2.5% growth is not really growth, but treading water, keeping up with population growth and new workers entering into the work force. First quarter growth in 2012 is 2.2%—treading water.
A federal government that is $15.6 trillion in debt is currently running 16 different programs to teach citizens "financial literacy." Just in case you were searching for the definition of “irony.”
Social Security faces an unfunded liability of $8.6 trillion. The unfunded liability is the amount that has been promised in benefits to people now alive that will not be funded by the tax revenue the system is expected to take in to pay for those benefits and equals $73,167.83 for each American household.
The combined amount of unfunded liabilities of social security and medicare is $63 trillion, which equates to over $583,000 for each the 117K households in America.
Student loan debt now exceeds $1 trillion; half of college grads are not working; 85% are moving back in with their parents (is that stat really true?).
According to Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and fights government corruption, has determined that Michelle Obama's controversial August 2010 vacation to Spain cost at least $467,585.
Keeping student loan rates low will cost taxpayers about $6 billion a year, because Obamacare essentially allowed the government to take over the student loan business. Remember the Buffet tax rule? That will bring in about $4 billion a year.
Obama, in 8 years, has racked up more appearances than Reagan's 85 years' worth of TV and movie appearances.
Polling by the Numbers
www.sermo.com, a physican's website
75% of doctors are against Obama’s health care law
Quinnipiac University poll:
68% of U.S. voters approve of AZ immigration law,
62% want Supreme Court to uphold it
A Little Bias
Gail Collins is a journalist who writes a twice-weekly op-ed column for the New York Times. She appears to be obsessed with the fact that Mitt Romney once drove to Canada with the family dog strapped to the roof of the car, and has mentioned this fact 56 times in print: 50 op-ed columns, 6 blog "conversations" with David Brooks. But, how many times has she spoken of a rescue that Romney participated in, which included rescuing a dog. Does anyone know about this story?
The Today Show spends 11 minutes fawning over Obama’s college tour and on his appearance on the Jimmy Fallon show. Some difficult questions? Maybe asking about the future of these college students whose vote Obama wants? Nope. This is NBC (Non-dissenting Barack Coverage).
Random Acts of Journalism
ABC news: President Obama told students at the University of North Carolina Tuesday that he knows what it is like to struggle with student loan debt because he and his wife didn't pay off their student loans until eight years ago. That may be true, but a quick look at the Obamas' tax returns shows they were making enough to be considered "wealthy" by the president's own definition in the years before his loans were paid off. Their income in 2000 was $240,505, and in 2001, $272,759; the final two years that they struggled to pay off their student loans.
News Before it Happens
So, what are the chances that Mitt Romney will be described in the coming month as radical and/or extreme, in ads, on liberal radio, on 2 or 3 news programs and in several newspapers? I am writing this Saturday night, but I can almost guarantee you that someone on the Sunday talking head shows will use this word to describe Romney.
Weasel Zipper Headlines
Splattered: Obama Groupie Spills Yogurt on Barry, Has Fantastic Story She Can Tell Her Children to Ease the Pain of Their Enormous Debt
Alabama Man In Critical Condition After Mob Of 20 Men Who Would Look Like Obama's Sons Yelling "Now That's Justice For Trayvon" Viciously Beat Him.
Biden: "If you are looking for a bumper sticker to sum up how President Obama has handled what we inherited, it's pretty simple: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive" Weasel Zipper’s snarky comment: I think "Obama Spent Us Into Oblivion" is shorter and more to the point.
Female protesters chant "Not the church, not the state, women must control their fate" - then promptly demand free abortion & contraception
It's Cool To Be In The Tank For Obama
More EPA giveaways to failing green companies.
At least 4 Black on White Hate Crimes Since Trayvon
Obama Campaign About to Begin
3 year anniversary of no Senate budget
One more prominent global warming scientist jumps ship
Middle East Continues to Abound with Attacks on Christian
Come, let us reason together....
The President Has a List
Barack Obama attempts to intimidate contributors to Mitt Romney's campaign.
By Kimberley A. Strassel
Try this thought experiment: You decide to donate money to Mitt Romney. You want change in the Oval Office, so you engage in your democratic right to send a check.
Several days later, President Barack Obama, the most powerful man on the planet, singles you out by name. His campaign brands you a Romney donor, shames you for "betting against America," and accuses you of having a "less-than-reputable" record. The message from the man who controls the Justice Department (which can indict you), the SEC (which can fine you), and the IRS (which can audit you), is clear: You made a mistake donating that money.
Are you worried?
Richard Nixon's "enemies list" appalled the country for the simple reason that presidents hold a unique trust. Unlike senators or congressmen, presidents alone represent all Americans. Their powers-to jail, to fine, to bankrupt-are also so vast as to require restraint. Any president who targets a private citizen for his politics is de facto engaged in government intimidation and threats. This is why presidents since Nixon have carefully avoided the practice.
Save Mr. Obama, who acknowledges no rules. This past week, one of his campaign websites posted an item entitled "Behind the curtain: A brief history of Romney's donors." In the post, the Obama campaign named and shamed eight private citizens who had donated to his opponent. Describing the givers as all having "less-than-reputable records," the post went on to make the extraordinary accusations that "quite a few" have also been "on the wrong side of the law" and profiting at "the expense of so many Americans."
These are people like Paul Schorr and Sam and Jeffrey Fox, investors who the site outed for the crime of having "outsourced" jobs. T. Martin Fiorentino is scored for his work for a firm that forecloses on homes. Louis Bacon (a hedge-fund manager), Kent Burton (a "lobbyist") and Thomas O'Malley (an energy CEO) stand accused of profiting from oil. Frank VanderSloot, the CEO of a home-products firm, is slimed as a "bitter foe of the gay rights movement."
These are wealthy individuals, to be sure, but private citizens nonetheless. Not one holds elected office. Not one is a criminal. Not one has the barest fraction of the position or the power of the U.S. leader who is publicly assaulting them.
"We don't tolerate presidents or people of high power to do these things," says Theodore Olson, the former U.S. solicitor general. "When you have the power of the presidency-the power of the IRS, the INS, the Justice Department, the DEA, the SEC-what you have effectively done is put these guys' names up on 'Wanted' posters in government offices." Mr. Olson knows these tactics, having demanded that the 44th president cease publicly targeting Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries, which he represents. He's been ignored.
The real crime of the men, as the website tacitly acknowledges, is that they have given money to Mr. Romney. This fundraiser of a president has shown an acute appreciation for the power of money to win elections, and a cutthroat approach to intimidating those who might give to his opponents.
He's targeted insurers, oil firms and Wall Street-letting it be known that those who oppose his policies might face political or legislative retribution. He lectured the Supreme Court for giving companies more free speech and (falsely) accused the Chamber of Commerce of using foreign money to bankroll U.S. elections. The White House even ginned up an executive order (yet to be released) to require companies to list political donations as a condition of bidding for government contracts. Companies could bid but lose out for donating to Republicans. Or they could quit donating to the GOP-Mr. Obama's real aim.
The White House has couched its attacks in the language of "disclosure" and the argument that corporations should not have the same speech rights as individuals. But now, says Rory Cooper of the Heritage Foundation, "he's doing the same at the individual level, for anyone who opposes his policies." Any giver, at any level, risks reprisal from the president of the United States.
It's getting worse because the money game is not going as Team Obama wants. Super PACs are helping the GOP to level the playing field against Democratic super-spenders. Prominent financial players are backing Mr. Romney. The White House's new strategy is thus to delegitimize Mr. Romney (by attacking his donors) as it seeks to frighten others out of giving.
The Obama campaign has justified any action on the grounds that it has a right to "hold the eventual Republican nominee accountable," but this is a dodge. Politics is rough, but a president has obligations that transcend those of a candidate. He swore an oath to protect and defend a Constitution that gives every American the right to partake in democracy, free of fear of government intimidation or disfavored treatment. If Mr. Obama isn't going to act like a president, he bolsters the argument that he doesn't deserve to be one.
Critical time for ideological debate
By Rep. Allen West
Much has been made of my recent response to a question from a constituent and assertion regarding so-called "communists" in the Congressional Progressive Caucus. I am pleased it has inspired so much passionate debate, for that was precisely the point.
When I was studying for my two master's degrees in political science at Kansas State University and at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff Officer College, the very best professors were those who would begin each lecture with a challenging assertion. It engaged discussion and analysis, and was the best way to uncover the essence of the particular subject of the day.
As Americans, we must bring to the fore this fundamental discussion of what we want our country to be. Do we veer from our Founders' vision of a constitutional republic that preserves and protects the individual sovereignty of its citizens, along with the free market and the rights of the several states, or do we continue to slide down this path of expanding the secular welfare state, nationalizing production and enforcing economic equality?
My colleagues in the Congressional Progressive Caucus have taken umbrage with my equation of their ideals with those of communists. Why? Why shouldn't we have this discussion? What part of their agenda are they trying to hide?
We must be able to openly discuss how our fundamental freedoms are being slowly chipped away by an over-reaching nanny state that has bit by bit slipped its tentacles into every aspect of our lives, from the types of light bulbs we can use to the size of our toilet tanks.
We must be able to challenge the mandates being handed down by un-elected officials, which threaten our constitutional right to practice religion however we see fit.
We must be able to question tax policies predicated on "fairness" that punish job creators and do virtually nothing to reduce our spiraling debt and deficit.
Specific "party" affiliation is not the point of the discussion - it is rather affiliation with a set of ideals. Conservatives adhere to the ideals of individual responsibility and freedom, limited government, a free market and a strong defense. Those on the liberal left adhere to a collective ideal, directed and controlled by a centralized government to guarantee and enforce social and economic justice.
You can call this what you wish. The esteemed scholar and author Mark Levin calls it "statism." In our lifetime, the unpalatable and pejorative brands "socialist" and "communist" have been replaced with the more user-friendly "progressive" term.
But this is not a discussion about labels. It is a discussion far more important and grave, for it affects our nation's future, our security and each and every one of us. The dialogue must be about the future and direction of these United States. It is about the choice between two futures: a constitutional republic or a bureaucratic nanny-state.
As a nation, we must directly confront those issues that are most critical. We must be able to openly and candidly discuss how we will move forward to preserve our nation's greatness, reduce our debt and deficit, put Americans back to work, take full advantage of our domestic energy resources and ensure our security.
I do not believe we can achieve those goals with larger and larger government, centralized economic planning and redistribution of wealth. Those methods have failed miserably everywhere they are been tried. I will not stand by and watch this nation I love be remade slowly into a government-directed, bureaucratic collective - whether it is termed communist, socialist, progressive or any-other-ist.
I am not a politician by trade. I learned to communicate on the battlefield, where "nuance" is not at all useful and can in fact be dangerous, if not fatal.
These are dangerous and critical times for our country. We must be unafraid to discuss and confront the challenges we face and ensure we keep our focus on the fundamental issues rather than become distracted by semantics. I gladly welcome this debate in the arena of political ideologies of governance.
George Zimmerman Timeline
From the Business Insider
Reuters' Chris Francescani has written a detailed article that paints a far more sympathetic portrait of George Zimmerman than most media coverage to date.
Francescani visited the Twin Lakes neighborhood in Sanford, Florida where Zimmerman shot unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in February.
He talked to many residents of the neighborhood, who provided details about Zimmerman and a recent crime spree that had plagued the neighborhood in the months before the shooting.
The George Zimmerman that Francescani describes is quite different from the "violent racist vigilante" that many have made him out to be.
The background information doesn't make what happened any less tragic, but it does provide more color about Zimmerman's behavior.
Here are some of the details that Francescani reports:
•Zimmerman grew up in a mixed-race household
•He was an altar boy at his Caltholic church from age 7-17
•He is bilingual
•After he finished high school, he studied for and got an insurance license
•In 2004, Zimmerman and a black friend opened an Allstate insurance office (which soon failed)
•Zimmerman's 2005 arrest for "resisting arrest, violence, and battery of an officer" occurred after he shoved an under-cover alcohol control agent at a bar when the agent was trying to arrest an underage friend of his (he was 22 at the time)
•Zimmerman married his wife, Shellie, in 2007. They rented a house in Twin Lakes. Twin Lakes is about 50% white, 20% Hispanic, and 20% black.
•In 2009, Zimmerman enrolled in Seminole State College
•In the fall of 2009, a pit bull broke free twice and once cornered Shellie in the Zimmermans' yard. George Zimmerman asked a police officer whether he should buy pepper spray. The cop told him pepper spray wasn't fast enough and recommended that he get a gun.
•By the summer of 2011, Twin Lakes "was experiencing a rash of burglaries and break-ins." In several of the cases, witnesses said the robbers were young black men
•In July 2011, a black teenager stole a bicycle off the Zimmermans' porch
•In August of 2011, a neighbor of the Zimmermans, Olivia Bertalan, was home during the day when two young black men entered her house. She hid in a room upstairs and called the police. When the police arrived, the two men, who had been trying to take a TV, fled. One of them ran through the Zimmermans' yard.
• After the break-in, George Zimmerman stopped by the Bertalans and gave Olivia a card with his name and number on it. He told her to visit his wife Shellie if she felt unsafe.
• The police recommended that Bertalan get a dog. She moved away instead. Zimmerman got a second dog--a Rottweiler.
• In September, several concerned residents of the neighborhood, including Zimmerman, asked the neighborhood association to create a neighborhood watch. Zimmerman was asked to run it.
• In the next month, two more houses in the neighborhood were robbed.
• A community newsletter reminded residents to report any crimes to the police and then call "George Zimmerman, our captain."
• On February 2, 2012, Zimmerman spotted a young black man looking into the windows of a neighbor's empty house. He called the police and said "I don't know what he's doing. I don't want to approach him, personally." The police sent a car, but by the time they arrived, the man was gone.
• On February 6th, another house was burglarized. Witnesses said two of the robbers were black teenagers. One, who had prior burglary convictions, was soon caught with a laptop stolen from the house.
• Two weeks later, Zimmerman spotted Travyon Martin and called the police. The last time he had done this, the suspect got away. This time, he disregarded police instructions and followed. A few minutes later, Martin was dead.
Taxmageddon coming? Answer could cost Americans $500 billion
By Jim Angle
As many Americans were scrambling to get this year's taxes done, analysts were warning about a bigger tax day -- what some call a tax Armageddon, or "Taxmageddon," to characterize its potential effect on the U.S. economy.
At the end of the year, some $500 billion in tax breaks expire all at once, hitting American households with an average tax increase of $3,800 -- if Congress doesn't act.
The potential increases include $165 billion more from taxpayers as a result of expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, which would push taxes from a bottom rate of 10 percent and a top rate of 35 percent to a bottom rate of 15 percent and a top rate of 39.6 percent.
"Taxmageddon is a $500 billion, one-year tax hike that hits the economy on Jan. 1, 2013," Curtis Dubay of the Heritage Foundation said.
It would cut the child tax credit by half, from $1,000 a child to $500.
The marriage penalty would return.
The tax on dividends, which many seniors rely on, would soar from 15 percent to as high as 39.6 percent.
A separate $124 billion cut in the payroll tax would end.
And a temporary fix to the alternative minimum tax would be erased. The tax originally was aimed at millionaires, but it could would hit some 34 million taxpayers next year.
"Almost the entire tax code has been put on a year-to-year lease, and in some cases, month-to-month lease, which is no way to run a tax system," Scott Hodge of the Tax Foundation said.
The expiring cuts would hit all income groups but those at low and middle incomes the hardest.
"Taxmageddon falls 70 percent on middle and low income families. That's because 60 percent of the Bush tax cuts were for middle- and low-income taxpayers," Dubay said. The payroll tax cut was aimed at the same taxpayers.
"No American will be unscathed at the end of this year," Hodge said. "Taxmageddon hits all of us."
And that could have a serious impact on the economy, including a drop in disposable income for individuals, which would put a damper on the overall economy.
Jim Capretta, a former official with the White House's Office of Management and Budget who now works for the Ethics and Public Policy Center, says it would mean "an economy that's about one to two percentage points points smaller than it otherwise would have been, and unemployment that's a full percentage point higher than it otherwise would have been."
With all that facing the economy, wouldn't Congress act? Ordinarily, yes -- but this is a presidential election year.
"It's my guess that nothing will happen on any of these issues until after the election," Hodge said. "Here we have a case where many in Congress will be retiring, maybe even a president. How do you fix system with that uncertainty?"
And Capretta adds, "it'd be hard for an old ... outgoing Congress to make decisions when a new Congress is about to come in. And I think the public might react a little badly to that as well."
Nevertheless, one congressional source says the chances of a lame duck session are 100 percent: Congress can't afford to take the end of the year off.
All this raises the stakes for the economy, because until Congress acts, businesses can't know what their tax rates are going to be, making it hard to hire more workers or plan for the future and leaving both taxpayers and the economy awash in uncertainty.
The 2013 Tax Cliff
Business had better enjoy the next 16 months.
From the Wall Street Journal
President Obama unveiled part two of his American Jobs Act on Monday, and it turns out to be another permanent increase in taxes to pay for more spending and another temporary tax cut. No surprise there. What might surprise Americans, however, is how the President is setting up the U.S. economy for one of the biggest tax increases in history in 2013.
Mr. Obama said last week that he wants $240 billion in new tax incentives for workers and small business, but the catch is that all of these tax breaks would expire at the end of next year. To pay for all this, White House budget director Jack Lew also proposed $467 billion in new taxes that would begin a mere 16 months from now. The tax list includes limiting deductions for those earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for couples), limiting tax breaks for oil and gas companies, and a tax increase on carried interest earned by private equity firms. These tax increases would not be temporary.
What this means is that millions of small-business owners had better enjoy the next 16 months, because come January 2013 they are going to get hit with a giant tax bill. Let's call the expensive roll:
• First comes the new tax hikes that Mr. Obama proposed on Monday. Capping itemized deductions and exemptions for the rich would take $405 billion from the private economy for 10 years starting in 2013. Taxing carried interest would raise $18 billion, and repealing tax incentives for oil and gas production would get $41 billion.
• These increases would coincide with the expiration of the tax credits, 100% expensing provisions and payroll tax breaks in Mr. Obama's new jobs program. This would mean a tax hit of $240 billion on small business and workers. That's the downside of temporary tax breaks and other job-creation gimmicks: The incentives quickly vanish, and perhaps so do the jobs.
So even if the White House is right that its latest stimulus plan will create "millions of jobs" through 2012, by this logic a $240 billion tax hike on small businesses in 2013 would cost the economy jobs. This tax wallop would arrive when even the White House says the unemployment rate will still be 7.4%.
• January 2013 is also the same month that Mr. Obama wants the Bush-era tax rates to expire on Americans earning more than $200,000. That would raise the highest individual income tax rate to about 42%, including deduction phaseouts, from 35% today. Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation found in 2009 that $437 billion of business income would be taxed at higher tax rates under the Obama plan. And since some 4.5 million small-business owners file their annual tax returns as subchapter S firms under the individual tax code, this tax increase would often apply to the same people who Mr. Obama is targeting with his new tax credits.
• The capital gains and dividend taxes would also rise to an expected 20% rate from 15% today. The 10-year hit to the private economy for all of these expiring Bush rates: about $750 billion.
• Also starting in 2013 are two of ObamaCare's biggest tax increases: an additional 0.9-percentage point levy on top of the 2.9% Medicare tax for those earning more than $200,000, and a new 2.9% surcharge on investment income, including interest income. This will further increase the top tax rate on capital gains and dividends to 23.8%, for a roughly 60% increase in investment taxes in one year.
The White House's economic logic seems to be that its new spending and temporary tax cuts will so fire up investment and hiring in the next 16 months that the economy will be growing much faster in 2013 and could thus absorb a leap off the tax cliff. But this requires its own leap of faith.
WSJ Editorial board member Steve Moore on President Obama's plan to pay for temporary tax cuts by hiking income and business taxes over the long haul.
The White House also predicted a similar economic takeoff from the 2009 stimulus that was supposed to make a tax hike possible in 2011. Then last December Mr. Obama proposed new tax incentives only for 2011 because the economy was supposed to be cooking by 2012. Now it wants to extend those tax breaks so the economy will be cruising in 2013.
All of this assumes that American business owners aren't smart enough to look beyond the next few months. They can surely see the new burdens they'll face in 2013, and they aren't about to load up on new employees or take new large risks if they aren't sure what their costs will be in 16 months. They can also reasonably wonder whether Mr. Obama's tax hike will hurt the overall economy in 2013-another reason to be cautious now.
For the White House, the policy calendar is dictated above all by the political necessities of the 2012 election. Mr. Obama will take his chances on 2013 if he can cajole the private economy to create enough new jobs over the next year to win re-election, even if those jobs and growth are temporary. Business owners and workers who would prefer to prosper beyond Election Day aren't likely to share Mr. Obama's enthusiasm once they see the great tax cliff approaching. Look out below.
FoxNews on Taxmaggeddon.
Heritage on Taxmaggeddon.
And also, a comprehensive list of tax hikes in Obamacare
Or, if you want a smile, check Doug Ross’s and his Obama no-tax-increase card which you can use.
EPA Official's 'Philosophy' On Oil Companies: 'Crucify Them' - Just As Romans Crucified Conquered Citizens
By Craig Bannister
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) took to the Senate floor today to draw attention to a video of a top EPA official saying the EPA's "philosophy" is to "crucify" and "make examples" of oil and gas companies - just as the Romans crucified random citizens in areas they conquered to ensure obedience.
Inhofe quoted a little-watched video from 2010 of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official, Region VI Administrator Al Armendariz, admitting that EPA's "general philosophy" is to "crucify" and "make examples" of oil and gas companies.
In the video, Administrator Armendariz says:
"I was in a meeting once and I gave an analogy to my staff about my philosophy of enforcement, and I think it was probably a little crude and maybe not appropriate for the meeting, but I'll go ahead and tell you what I said:
"It was kind of like how the Romans used to, you know, conquer villages in the Mediterranean. They'd go in to a little Turkish town somewhere, they'd find the first five guys they saw and they'd crucify them.
"Then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years."
"It's a deterrent factor," Armendariz said, explaining that the EPA is following the Romans' philosophy for subjugating conquered villages.
Soon after Armendariz touted the EPA's "philosophy," the EPA began smear campaigns against natural gas producers, Inhofe's office noted in advance of today's Senate speech:
"Not long after Administrator Armendariz made these comments in 2010, EPA targeted US natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming.
"In all three of these cases, EPA initially made headline-grabbing statements either insinuating or proclaiming outright that the use of hydraulic fracturing by American energy producers was the cause of water contamination, but in each case their comments were premature at best - and despite their most valiant efforts, they have been unable to find any sound scientific evidence to make this link."
In his Senate speech, Sen. Inhofe said the video provides Americans with "a glimpse of the Obama administration's true agenda."
That agenda, Inhofe said, is to "incite fear" in the public with unsubstantiated claims and "intimidate" oil and gas companies with threats of unjustified fines and penalties - then, quietly backtrack once the public's perception has been firmly jaded against oil and natural gas.
The Daily Caller has a similar article.
A Hard Look at the President
By Arthur S. Brisbane
FOUR weeks ago, I criticized The New York Times for overplaying an article on an investment made by Ann Romney's blind trust. The article was but one installment of the intense campaign coverage scrutinizing Mitt Romney as he bids for the Republican presidential nomination.
During this period, we haven't heard as much from The Times about President Obama's re-election effort.
There is precedent for the disparity. The Republican primary fight is a prelude to the general election season. Eight years ago, The Times offered comparably scant campaign coverage of the incumbent, George W. Bush, even as it blanketed readers with articles about Senator John Kerry and others competing for the Democratic nomination.
Now, though, the general election season is on, and The Times needs to offer an aggressive look at the president's record, policy promises and campaign operation to answer the question: Who is the real Barack Obama?
Many critics view The Times as constitutionally unable to address the election in an unbiased fashion. Like a lot of America, it basked a bit in the warm glow of Mr. Obama's election in 2008. The company published a book about the country's first African-American president, "Obama: The Historic Journey." The Times also published a lengthy portrait of him in its Times Topics section on NYTimes.com, yet there's nothing of the kind about George W. Bush or his father.
According to a study by the media scholars Stephen J. Farnsworth and S. Robert Lichter, The Times's coverage of the president's first year in office was significantly more favorable than its first-year coverage of three predecessors who also brought a new party to power in the White House: George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.
Writing for the periodical Politics & Policy, the authors were so struck by the findings that they wondered, "Did The Times, perhaps in response to the aggressive efforts by Murdoch's Wall Street Journal to seize market share, decide to tilt more to the left than it had in the past?"
I strongly doubt that. Based on conversations with Times reporters and editors who cover the campaign and Washington, I think they see themselves as aggressive journalists who don't play favorites. Still, a strong current of skepticism holds that the paper skews left. Unfortunately, this is exacerbated by collateral factors - for example, political views that creep into nonpolitical coverage.
To illustrate, Faye Farrington, a reader from Hollis, N.H., wrote me earlier this year in exasperation over a Sunday magazine article about "Downton Abbey," the public television series, in which the writer slipped in a veiled complaint about Mitt Romney's exploitation of the American tax code.
"The constant insertion of liberal politics into even the most politically irrelevant articles has already caused us to cancel our daily subscription," Ms. Farrington wrote, "leaving only the Sunday delivery as I confess to an addiction to the Sunday crossword."
The warm afterglow of Mr. Obama's election, the collateral effects of liberal-minded feature writers - these can be overcome by hard-nosed, unbiased political reporting now.
Mr. Farnsworth, the media scholar, who is a professor at the University of Mary Washington, suggested to me that "more vigilance" is what The Times needed to keep out bias. He advocated a "wider range of sources and greater openness to perspectives that may not be the way the reporter thought of the story at the outset."
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, is a co-author of "The Obama Victory: How Media, Money, and Message Shaped the 2008 Election." I asked her what she thought The Times should do to wring out bias in its 2012 coverage. Among other things, she said, "Don't play a sex scandal out when you don't have any evidence," a reference to The Times's controversial 2008 article on John McCain's relationship with a lobbyist.
Going forward, she said, The Times should examine Mr. Obama's record and campaign promises; monitor campaign messaging for deception; emphasize substantive policy matters over petty rhetorical combat; scrutinize the newly powerful "super-PAC" groups, and take care not to let polls overdetermine the coverage.
These are the right priorities. To date, The Times has delivered some clear-eyed coverage of the administration's mixed record on the housing crisis, banks, the economy, Afghanistan and other issues. Now is the time to shift to a campaign coverage paradigm that compares promises with execution, sheds light on campaign operations and assesses the president's promises for a second term.
I asked Richard Stevenson, the political editor overseeing campaign coverage, about these matters, and he offered a detailed e-mail response, noting that "we take very seriously our responsibility to report without favoritism."
He added, "We remind ourselves every day of the need to provide readers - voters - with as much news, information and context as possible about the candidates, their records, their characters, their positions and the influences on them, including their campaign donors."
On covering Mr. Obama's record, he cited as an example a Feb. 27 article about the president's decision not to pursue recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles commission on debt reduction - a move the article said had contributed to undercutting "a central promise of his 2008 campaign, to rise above the rancor."
Mr. Stevenson promised that the Obama campaign's use of his powers of incumbency, along with his "political style, character and learning curve," will all be targets of Times coverage.
On the question of campaign finance, Mr. Stevenson cited several articles that The Times has already done: one on the Obama campaign's acceptance of money from a questionable source, another on the link between campaign contributions and White House access, and a third on Mr. Obama's decision to use super-PACs to support his campaign, reversing an early policy.
On the campaign operations side, he pointed to a March 8 article about the "largely secret" operation in Chicago where data specialists are cooking up ways to rebuild the vaunted support base of four years ago.
I applaud The Times's stated commitment to doing these kinds of stories. Readers deserve to know: Who is the real Barack Obama? And The Times needs to show that it can address the question in a hard-nosed, unbiased way.
Article on this by PushBackNow.
And Dick Morris predicts that the media will turn against Obama (Video). Really?
Questions for Obama’s 08 Voters
Obama has held more fundraisers than previous five Presidents combined as he visits key swing states on 'permanent campaign'
Vacation backlash: Blue collar Dems jealous, angry at Obamas
Obama selects woman who wanted to invade Israel as chair of genocide panel
Liberals, who accuse conservatives of being homophobes, also love to do gay jokes where the punchline is related to some conservative.
Twitter explodes with death threats against George Zimmerman upon hearing that he will get bail.
New York Times Employees Fit to Be Tied Over Little Pinch's Pension Changes
RUSH: The New York Times is in the news twice today. There is the most hilarious six-minute video. We're not gonna play the whole thing for you, but a bunch of employees of the New York Times are just fit to be tied that that Little Pinch wants to change their pension plan on 'em. The New York Times right now has a "defined benefit plan" which basically is what General Motors used to have and what a lot of big companies used to have until they found out they couldn't afford it. What happened was that in negotiating union contracts, they allowed early retirement in some of these places 'cause the jobs were so mundane and boring.
But you could retire early and then after you retired, you got health benefits as part of your pension for the rest of your days. Even though you weren't producing anything more for the company. For a while it sounded good, looked good, until the moment came when all of these people began to retire at once and it pretty much became obvious that the companies could not afford this. They couldn't afford lifetime health benefits and pensions for people that weren't working. Well, that's what the New York Times has. So Little Pinch and the management want to change from a defined benefit plan to a benefit plan where the workers contribute to their own retirement that is matched somewhat by the company.
The company will match 3%, basically a 401(k) plan.
And the employees at the Times are livid! And they've put together a six minute video. They've been in practically bare-knuckle union negotiations over this for a year. And the reason it's funny is because it's happening all over the world. All over the world -- governments, states, cities, federal, companies, whatever -- can't sustain themselves with these deals. They're all having to revise backwards and change it in order to stay solvent and sustainable. Wisconsin's a good example. But the employees of the New York Times, despite reporters covering this seeing the reality that it cannot work and cannot be sustained -- and despite the New York Times being in the news business, and therefore seeing what is happening to that business -- are still saying, "To heck with it! We want the money!" The sense of entitlement and greed is on display in this video. We have that plus they're promising a hard look at President Obama, editorial. A hard look at the president coming up soon the New York Times.
RUSH: Now, want to go back to this New York Times employee video. Folks, this is very telling. Let's go around the country. In Wisconsin and many other places, governments and businesses are no longer able to fulfill agreements. They're no longer able to meet agreements they made years ago. The greatest illustration is GM and the United Auto Workers. By the way, Michael Barone has a great piece about this I want to get to today too. But the bottom line is that United Auto Workers members were, by contract, allowed to retire long before age 65. And at retirement they were allowed to keep, as a benefit, lifetime pension and primarily health care benefits.
And that is what is sinking every state government, every city government, every town government and many companies. It's what's sinking many foreign governments, this idea that you can continue to pay people either a full salary or 80% (plus health benefits) for 30 years when they're not working, in addition to having to pay that for current employees. Just isn't the money there for it. So states are revising these plans, as has happened in Wisconsin. And the unions are so ticked off, that's why the recall of the governor, the attempt of the recall of Scott Walker. In Greece, in Spain, wherever you go: The fact of the matter is that lifetime health care benefits and pensions, when you no longer work for the company, cannot be sustained.
The money isn't there.
And what happens is, if they're forced to make the payments, they'll go bankrupt and out of business. So accommodations have to be made. The New York Times is having the same thing happen to it, the same exact thing. They cannot maintain their current defined benefit plan. Now, these are reporters! These are newspeople! They see this happening all over the world. They see it happening all over the country. Many of them are reporting on it. Now when it happens to them, they are demanding an exemption. And it's funny because the New York Times runs around and rips Scott Walker. The New York Times management and editorial rip Scott Walker and rip any company that tries to renegotiate these deals to stay in business and stay solvent. They rip 'em to shreds. Yet here comes that Little Pinch doing the same thing his paper is ripping everybody else for. So there's hypocrisy, there's entitlement. It is delightful to behold this, in a... Well, it's not delightful, but it's as instructive as it can be.
RUSH: So the New York Times is having pension problems. The company cannot afford the defined benefit plan anymore. Cannot afford it. Wisconsin couldn't afford it. General Motors couldn't afford it. Nobody can afford any more to pay lifetime salaries and health benefits for people that don't work for them, especially for 20 to 30 years. The Times covers this. The New York Times rips Scott Walker for making these changes while the New York Times institutes its very same changes. So the Times reporters, editors have put together a six-minute video whining and complaining. They think they're going to get our sympathy! It is the most illustrious example of being out of touch that I've ever heard. It's 53 seconds. We've edited six minutes to 53 seconds. Listen to this...
WOMAN: I'm horrified. I'm sickened by what's going on at the Times.
MAN: They would take $350,000 between 65 and 85. $350,000 is a lot of money! $350,000 is worth fighting over.
WOMAN: This does mean a threat to what I thought my retirement era was gonna look like.
WOMAN: Even if it's like a couple of thousand of a month or whatnot, at least it's there for me in my old age (snickers), if I... Hopefully I won't find myself, you know, scruffling [sic] around looking for a cardboard box to work in, for God's sake.
WOMAN: If the pension was not frozen and I worked here 30 years, I would collect $58,000 a year until the end of my life. If the pension is frozen, I will collect $15,000 a year. I would be one of those elders covered in the Times who's living on food stamps!
MAN: What am I gonna do? Am I gonna eat cat food and am I gonna move in with my kids? Am I gonna commit suicide? It's a very ugly choice to stick people with.
RUSH: Welcome to the real world, New York Times reporters.
This is happening all over the world, and you know why? For those of you at the New York Times: It's happening because of policies you've supported and people you've endorsed! You have brought this about with your own reporting. You've brought around your own future with your own reporting choices and your own votes and support of candidates and liberals who have broke the bank! It's almost safe to say you deserve this. This is what you have advocated your entire journalistic lives.
RUSH: Want to do this New York Times video one more time. I asked Snerdley... We've got new people here and I'm hell-bent on being persuasive and understood. And I understand that sometimes things have to be done more than once. I hate to be repetitive. When I am repetitive it's strategic. It's not because I'm out of other stuff, because I'm by no means out of other stuff. But to me this is so instructive. Another teachable moment. Around the world and in this country, union benefit packages are unsustainable -- particularly those offered to people who retire and are no longer working. You can't pay 'em for their health care for the rest of their lives. You can't pay 'em 80% of full salary the rest of their lives.
When they can retire at age 45, when they can retire at age 50, you just can't do it with the actuarial tables. It's what brought down General Motors. It's going to bring down every city government and state if they don't do something about it, which is what Scott Walker brilliantly fixed in Wisconsin. And the unions there are livid, and that's why the recall election. But it's happening in Greece, it's happening in Spain, it's gonna happen in the UK. It's happening everywhere. It's happening in our little town here in Palm Beach. They've had to make all kinds of changes in the contracts with the police and firemen, 'cause it's just not sustainable.
Especially in this economy. There just isn't the revenue to pay people who aren't working anymore! "But, Rush! But, Rush! The deals were made!" Yeah, they were, but what good's the deal when there's no money? What good's the deal when the business is bankrupt and out of the business. What good's the deal when the city defaults? There has to be, that favorite word of people: compromise. The unions don't want to compromise. Now, the New York Times is in the same situation now. They have a defined benefit plan which allows people to retire and pay them health care and salary 'til they die.
Now, what's fascinating about it is the New York Times editorial position is to rip these companies that make these changes in order to stay in business. The New York Times editorial position is to crucify Scott Walker. The New York Times editorial position is to rip to shreds anybody -- any business, any government, any state government, city government -- which needs to renegotiate these union contracts because they don't have the money to pay all these people who aren't working. They just don't have it or they'll go out of business. The second thing about this that's funny is that these reporters...
They made a six-minute video. It's a very slick-looking video. We will link to the whole video at RushLimbaugh.com. We might tweet this thing out, too, just to have it go viral. It's byline reporters, it's editors and art directors and so forth. And they're whining and moaning about how mean the Times is and how they're gonna end up eating dog food, maybe cat food, sleeping in cardboard boxes. What's funny about it is they're covering this stuff, they're reporting on it, and yet their sense of entitlement is such that they expect to be immune from it. The second thing that's a teachable moment: Who are they? They're newspaper people!
What is happening to the newspaper business?
Have you seen what's happening to circulation and ad revenue?
At the New York Times both are plummeting. In fact, in 2002, a share of stock at the New York Times was 48 bucks. It's now $6.34. That's one-tenth, almost one-tenth of what they were worth just ten years ago. And it's this liberal bias. It's the way these reporters have reported. It's the way they've voted. It's the way they've urged everybody else to vote -- this never-ending support of bankrupting liberalism -- that got them where they are. But now they want immunity. They want the Times to keep paying them no matter what. They're threatening to go on strike. Now, there's a part of me... I must be honest. There's a part of me, a part of me that's on the side of the union here. (interruption)
No, no, no. Follow me, Snerdley. There's part... (interruption) Yes, yes! Let the union hold tight; have the Times go out of business. That might be one of the best things that ever happened to country. Stop and think about that. The US would be a better place without the New York Times. If these writers and all these people you hear in this video, if they get their way, if they don't buck, they don't buckle and force the New York Times into bankruptcy? Well, I asked the other day: Can you imagine what a different country we would be if we had a media that actually was as the Founding Fathers envisioned it?
Guardians of democracy.
Suspicious of power.
We now have a media that protects power, that wants to be part of the power structure. We have a media that's not doing its constitutional duty as envisioned by the founders. So if the union wins, no New York Times. I know it's not gonna happen, but we can sit here and dream. So now I've set it up. We'll take a break, we'll come back, and I'll play this video again, or the audio from it. It's six minutes. When you know the context and you know the history and you listen to these people, they have the most amazing sense of entitlement.
They want immunity from the real world conditions everyone else is subject to. I'm telling you, it is a wonderful teaching moment. They got themselves in their own situation by advocating -- by writing the way they wrote, by voting the way they voted -- for all of these bankrupted liberal policies for all of these years. You could say that they are responsible for their own plight, given their liberalism.
RUSH: Okay. New York Times reporters, six minute, five-minute video, whatever it is, complaining and whining about proposed cuts to their pension plan. Which is what people all over the country and all over the world are dealing with right now. And maybe if they hadn't worked so hard getting Obama elected, maybe the economy would have grown. Maybe there would be some prosperity going on. And maybe the Times' stock price wouldn't be falling. And maybe they wouldn't have to be renegotiating the deal. But here it is one more time.
WOMAN: I'm horrified. I'm sickened by what's going on at the Times.
MAN: They would take $350,000 between 65 and 85. $350,000 is a lot of money! $350,000 is worth fighting over.
WOMAN: This does mean a threat to what I thought my retirement era was gonna look like.
WOMAN: Even if it's like a couple of thousand of a month or whatnot, at least it's there for me in my old age (snickers), if I... Hopefully I won't find myself, you know, scruffling [sic] around looking for a cardboard box to work in, for God's sake.
WOMAN: If the pension was not frozen and I worked here 30 years, I would collect $58,000 a year until the end of my life. If the pension is frozen, I will collect $15,000 a year. I would be one of those elders covered in the Times who's living on food stamps!
MAN: What am I gonna do? Am I gonna eat cat food and am I gonna move in with my kids? Am I gonna commit suicide? It's a very ugly choice to stick people with.
RUSH: Well, what do you think is happening all over the country?
And, by the way, the New York Times editorial position is to rip companies and cities and states that are doing just exactly what the New York Times is. I just find this delectable. Michael Barone has an interesting piece somewhat related: "Liberal Nostalgiacs Don't Understand Jobs of the Future." Michael Barone. "I don't know how many times I've seen liberal commentators look back with nostalgia to the days when a young man fresh out of high school or military service could get a well-paying job on an assembly line at a unionized auto factory that could carry him through to a comfortable retirement.
"As it happens, I grew up in Detroit and for a time lived next door to factory workers. And I know something that has eluded the liberal nostalgiacs. Which is that people hated those jobs." Boy, this is such a good piece, because he's so right. The nostalgia is for these labor union and assembly line jobs outta high school, all the way to retirement, and supposedly people loved 'em. And that's what Obama's all about. That's what he envisions this green job business to be. "The assembly-line work was boring and repetitive. That's because management imbibed Frederick W. Taylor's theories that workers were stupid and could not be trusted with any initiative.
"It was also because the thousands of pages of work rules in United Auto Workers contracts, which forbade assembly-line speedups, also barred any initiative or flexible response. That's why the UAW in 1970 staged a long strike against General Motors to give workers the option of early retirement, 30-and-out. All those guys who had gotten assembly-line jobs at 18 or 21 could quit at 48 or 51. The only problem was that when they retired they lost their health insurance. So the UAW got the Detroit Three auto companies to pay for generous retiree health benefits that covered elective medical and dental procedures with little or no co-payments" for the rest of their lives.
"It was those retiree health benefits more than anything else that eventually drove General Motors and Chrysler into bankruptcy and into ownership by the government and the UAW. The liberal nostalgiacs would [LOVE] to see an economy that gives low-skill high-school graduates similar opportunities. That's what Barack Obama seems to be envisioning when he talks about hundreds of thousands of 'green jobs.'" Folks, this is so good. This is exactly the way to understand when Obama talks about "workers."
When the Democrats talk about "workers," and "green jobs," they're talking about this. They look at everybody as woefully inept and incompetent. You come out of high school, you're not good for anything, but get an assembly-line job with a union and then you'll get a job and you get the rest of your life and you get health benefits. And that's prosperity to them! That's as much as most people should hope for. That's one of the things that so offends me about liberalism is how limiting it is.
RUSH: I want to finish with the Barone piece, because this is really, really good. "Liberal Nostalgiacs Don't Understand Jobs of the Future," and, by the way: Nothing wrong with this. But to them this is the epitome. This is the peak. You come outta high school and you're not trained to do anything. You're just a dork. And then you get on the assembly line and you work there, and you retire at age 48 or 50, and you get your lifetime benefits. And that's cool, and that's what Obama wants to create with green jobs, and that's what the libs are looking at. To them, that's...
See, when you and I, as conservatives, look back at nostalgia, we look at entrepreneurism. We see a massively growing United States economy with people able to participate in it however they wish. The only limits on people are those that they impose on themselves. And I've often said: Philosophically, most of the limits that people face in life are self-imposed. The greatest example is somebody who grows up in a small or medium-size town and wants to do something in life that doesn't exist in that town. That business isn't there, and they say, "Well, but I really don't want to leave. My family's here. It's secure." Okay, fine. Cool. But, it's not anybody else fault but yours.
You coulda moved. You could have followed your dream. You chose not to. You chose to do something else. It wasn't the country that held you back. It wasn't anybody else that held you back. And I don't mean this as a criticism. It's tough love. Most of the limitations that people face are self-imposed. Not by The Man. Not by the system. The system's not keeping you down. There are all kinds of people who work their way around it. Many do. And that's what we advocate. We advocate the pursuit of excellence. We advocate being the best you can be, whatever that is. Using whatever ambition you want, getting whatever education you think you need.
But look, Barone is right: Liberal nostalgics look at jobs in an entirely different way, particularly mass production jobs on the assembly line. Join the union, get your benefits and your pension, and that's it. And if that's what you want, that's fine, by the way, don't misunderstand. I'm just saying that's how the people you are voting for look at you. It's important to understand this, if you're a liberal Democrat. So, "The liberal nostalgiacs would like to see an economy that gives low-skill high-school graduates similar opportunities." And that's what they think of most people: Low skill, incompetent, need the government to guide you and help you.
"That's what Barack Obama seems to be envisioning when he talks about hundreds of thousands of 'green jobs.' But those 'green jobs' have not come into existence despite massive government subsidies and crony capitalism." Jeff Immelt! With all that crony capitalism, GE still doesn't have a whole lot of these green jobs. They're all shutting down. They're all going out of business. There isn't any business. There is no wind business; there is no solar business. It's not there. There is no energy alternative to oil that's producing all kinds of wonderful jobs. "It's become apparent that the old Detroit model was unsustainable and cannot be revived even by the most gifted community organizer and adjunct law professor," and, boy, does that not nail what Obama's trying to do!
Look what he's trying to revive: The 1930s in every way you can imagine. Obama is retro. The liberals are retro, anti-progress, back to the days before all this progress took place. "For one thing, in a rapidly changing and technologically advanced economy, the lifetime job seems to be a thing of the past. Particularly 'lifetime' jobs where you work only 30 years and then get supported for the next 30 or so years of your life." Sorry, can't do that anymore. The money isn't there. The template isn't there. It's just not possible anymore. You don't go to work someplace for 30 years, retire, and make the same amount until you die that you were making when you worked.
"Today's young people can't expect to join large organizations and in effect ride escalators for the rest of their careers. The new companies emerging as winners in high tech -- think Apple or Google -- just don't employ that many people, at least in the United States. Similarly, today's manufacturing firms produce about as large a share of the gross national product as they used to, but with a much smaller percentage of the labor force. Moreover, there's evidence that recent growth in some of the professions -- law, higher education -- has been a bubble, and is about to burst." I've got stories in the Stack: One out of two graduates have nothing to do, no jobs. (Hang on; that's coming up.)
"As Walter Russell Mead writes in his brilliant blog, Via Meadia, referring to young people, 'The career paths they've been trained for are narrowing and they are going to have to launch out in directions they and their teachers didn't expect. They were bred and groomed to live as house pets; they are going to have to learn to thrive in the wild.' But, as Mead continues, 'The future is filled with enterprises not yet born, jobs that don't yet exist, wealth that hasn't been created, wonderful products and life-altering service not yet given form.'" But it isn't gonna come from the government. All that magic never has come from the government, and it won't.
Now, you can have ten stimulus programs. You could have all these new regulations from one of these agencies. That's not where the magic has happened in this country, and it's not gonna happen there ever. "What we can be sure of is that creating your own career will produce a stronger sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. Young people who do so won't hate their work the way those autoworkers hated those assembly-line jobs." That's a key point. The nostalgia the left has for those union jobs... You know nostalgia, in a psychological sense, I've always believed nostalgia... For the most part when people get nostalgic, they're thinking good things.
It reminds them of the wonderful things in the past. And when the left gets nostalgic for jobs, look at the kind of jobs they're thinking about. They're jobs that nobody wants anymore, jobs that don't have the same structure as they used to have. They're dinosaurs. The left is a bunch of Jurassic Park people. They are not progressives in any sense of the word. What they do is retard people. They retard growth. They retard the creation of opportunity. It's just a shame. This is one of Barone's best columns ever. He may not even know that, but it is.
Mediabistro: `New York Times' Staffers Protest Contracts & Pension in New Video
National Review: Liberal Nostalgiacs Don't Understand Jobs of the Future - Michael Barone
AP: 1 in 2 New Graduates Are Jobless or Underemployed
Obama Would Rather Forgive Student Loans Than Create Jobs for Graduates
RUSH: Here it is from the AP: "One in two new graduates are jobless or underemployed." Young skulls full of mush devoid of job prospects. Maybe the best education they can get is that liberals lie. Liberals want people dependent. They want you in those nostalgic jobs because you're gonna end up depending on them for your pension. You're gonna end up depending on them for your health care. That's what they want. They don't want you entrepreneurial. They don't want you creative. They don't want you taking care of yourself. They don't want you being self-reliant. There's no need for them if you pull that off. This is another teachable moment. In 2008, parents were told by their children why Barack Obama was the future. In 2008, children told their parents why Obama was the answer.
In 2012, parents can tell their children, "Barack Obama has heaped so much debt on you and us, combined with your student loans, that the future is unraveling everything Obama did!" That's what must happen. Our future must be devoted to unraveling everything Obama has done in these three-and-a-half years. That's what your future is, graduates. That's what you need to learn. And guess who's in charge of the student loan program now? Obama himself! Nobody ever intended for college graduates to be $200,000 in debt coming out. Nobody ever intended that, but now it's happened -- and guess who's not disappointed by it? The people that hold the loans (i.e., Obama).
You're indebted to 'em. That's exactly what they want. It's a shame.
Debt is not good. Public or private.
And the only way out is to cut spending, like a lot of Republican governors are trying to do. Grow the private sector. That's the way out. "One in Two New Graduates are Jobless or Underemployed." The only way that's gonna change is to get government out of the job market, pure and simple. In fact, it's funny. Most of the news today is on how Obama is once again running around promising to find ways to help college students pay their tuition loans. Is that what you want your life to be? Obama, he's got the answer for you to pay off your student loan.
What a life goal: Pay off your student loan!
He ought to be focused on the real problem: There aren't any jobs for college graduates, thanks largely to his policies. But in this story from the AP, "One in Two New Graduates are Jobless or Underemployed," they have an analysis of government data shows that about 1.5 million or 53.6%, of bachelor's degree holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed, the highest it's been in 11 years. This AP analysis found that "while there's strong demand in science, education, and health, arts and humanities are floundering." Imagine that! The humanities and the arts are floundering (which is also no surprise), but what kind of courses does the left encourage?
Arts and humanities and conflict resolution and political correctness and all that. In none of this story will you find any blame for the left or Obama or their policies. It's just the job market. You know why it's bad? The private sector sucks. That's what this story is all about. One in two new graduates are jobless or unemployed because the private sector sucks. Capitalism sucks. Let Obama take more control and we get better. That's the point. And then there's this from Mediaite: "Young voters trending more Republican, according to a new poll by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs."
Young voters trending more Republican.
RUSH: Looky here! What a coincidence. Barack Obama just warned the students at the University of North Carolina that interest rates on federal student loans will double if Congress doesn't act by July 1st. They'll go from 3.4% to 6.8%. That's word-for-word what Sandra Fluke just tweeted herself, and of course she is represented by operatives inside the White House. So here's the guy in charge of student loans who... Let me just tell you something. Let's talk a little politics. I don't care what Congress does in July, I don't care. By October, Obama is gonna announce forgiving student loans or the interest. You watch. As a reelection ploy to get the youth vote, he'll do something to wipe out student loan debt, forgive it or whatever, saying, "It's unconscionable! It should never happen."
You wait. He's president. He can do that. That's one of the things we're up against. If he wants to forgive student loans, if he wants to forgive underwater mortgages, he can do that, too, folks. He can say he wants to, and then if the Republicans fight him on it, guess what? He's president. This is what we're up against. He can do this kind of stuff. Sandra Fluke just tweeted: "#DontDoubleMyRate. Many students will see the interest rate on Fed #StudentLoans increase if Congress doesn't act by 7/1." That's an exact tweet from Sandra Fluke. Obama just said the exact same thing word-for-word to the students at the University of North Carolina. Sandra Fluke is just a poor, isolated, alone little college student worried about her contraception at Georgetown. But now she's represented by the flacks in the White House -- Hilary Rosen, Anita Dunn -- and they're coordinating with Obama, scaring students about the interest rates on their student loans.
RUSH: David Plouffe is acting as president, Axelrod is the policy guy, and Obama is out raising the money. Obama is out playing golf. Obama is out flying around the country. Obama today campaigned at the University of North Carolina, where the crowd, we should point out (according to Jessica Yellin at CNN), is 9,000. They're in an arena that holds 9,000 people. Four years ago they were in an arena that was full that held 22,000. So math would tell us that's less than half the crowd. That's less than half the number of people this year as opposed to four years ago, the yutes of America. Now, I want to read to you a tweet. (Have audio sound bite 41 standing by.) I want to read to you a tweet from Sandra Fluke. We all know who Sandra Fluke is.
She's the young, 30-year-old Georgetown University student who is courageously and bravely fighting for contraception, at Georgetown and wherever else it can be provided, at no charge. Sandra Fluke today, mere moments ago, in fact (within the last 45 minutes), Sandra Fluke tweeted the following: "Many students will see the interest rate on Fed #StudentLoans increase if Congress doesn't act by 7/1." So contraception isn't enough. Some people want their education paid for by other people, too. Well, what a coincidence! Sandra Fluke tweets, "Many students will see the interest rate on Fed #StudentLoans increase if Congress doesn't act by 7/1." What a coincidence! Obama warned the students at UNC, within moments of her tweet, the following...
OBAMA: On July 1st -- that's a little over two months from now -- that rate cut expires. And if Congress does nothing, the interest rates on those loans will double overnight. So I'm assuming a lot of people here have federal student loans.
STUDENTS: (smattering of applause)
OBAMA: The interest rates will double unless Congress acts by July 1st.
RUSH: There was a smattering of applause, but wasn't a lot. Well, I'm the one that can't hear. Did it sound like there was a lot of applause there? Okay. Here's the thing. The reason there wasn't a lot of applause is because their parents are paying for it, they're not paying for it. But some of them are gonna have to pay for it, some of them are mounting up these student loans when they get out of school, they're insurmountable, be paying for it the rest of their lives. Obama runs student loan program. Laying this off on Congress? Obama took over the student loan program from private sector banks! You young people need to know this. Barack Obama and the federal government run the student loan program.
And, by the way, what is it? Defaults on the student loans are at a rapid rate, but if you hang on long enough, isn't...? Oh, I forget this. After so many years, isn't the student loan just wiped off the books? I forget how many years it is. Don't quote me on that. I might have that wrong. What would college costs be -- would it cost less -- if illegal aliens had to pay out-of-state tuition rates? There are a lot of factors in why tuition goes up. You young people ever noticed that price of gas goes up a dime and everybody raises hell. The price of contraception goes up and everybody really raises hell. Price of milk goes up and mothers raise hell. The price of tuition goes up, and nobody raises hell, except the students.
But government never gets on education for overcharging its customers.
We never hear about Big Education being greedy.
We never hear it.
"Tuition goes up? Fine. Cool. That's where our buddies are. That's where our liberal professors are."
So tuition goes up, "Here's your student loan."
But I find it very coincidental that within 30 minutes of each other, Sandra Fluke -- who, by the way, is being advised by Anita Dunn and Hilary Rosen. Anita Dunn and her PR firm and Hilary Rosen are advising Sandra Fluke ever since the contraception thing five weeks ago, or six now. So she has a tweet: "Many students will see the interest rate on Fed #StudentLoans increase if Congress doesn't act by 7/1." Within minutes Obama says the same thing. Student loans are forgiven after 25 years. That's what it is. And Obama wants to reduce it to 20. Student loans are forgiven after 25 years. Now, in his speech at the University of North Carolina Obama said that the increased interest rate would mean another thousand dollars in debt a year for those with student loans.
Now, how come reducing that isn't seen as taking a thousand dollars from government? Any time taxes are lowered, that means that government's doing with less. We can't have that! But now Obama wants interest rates to the government -- they run the student loan program -- cut? He wants government to do without money? Folks, I'm telling you, this is smoke and mirrors. You want to hear the rest of what he's talking about? I'll tell you. I made a joke. He's out there playing golf. He's going on Jimmy Fallon and all these other shows while Plouffe is the president and Axelrod's the policy guy. Here's Obama. He drug a band, the Dave Matthews Band with him. He had Dave Matthews... Get this. He had Dave Matthews, he had Jimmy Fallon, he had Stephen Colbert, he had a couple other guys, and he still couldn't draw half the crowd he had four years ago!
With Dave Matthews, Jimmy Fallon, and Stephen Colbert, he still couldn't draw half the crowd that he did.
We have sound bites from this. Here's the first...
OBAMA: Later today I am getting together with Jimmy Fallon --
STUDENTS: (cheers and applause)
OBAMA: -- and the Dave Matthews Band --
STUDENTS: (cheers and applause)
OBAMA: -- right here on campus. We're gonna tape Jimmy's show for tonight. So I want everybody to tune in! --
OBAMA: Make sure it has high ratings.
STUDENTS: (smattering of laughter)
OBAMA: (nervous chuckling) That's a Dave Matthews fan right here!
RUSH: The President of the United States trolling for ratings on the Jimmy Fallon show. (interruption) Well, Snerdley's asking, "How demeaning can...?" I don't know. Just the president of the United States is trolling for audience and begging people to watch him on the Jimmy Fallon show with the Dave Matthews Band. Now, I think this next bite is why the crowds are half the size. Listen to this.
OBAMA: I don't want this to be a country where a shrinking number of Americans are doing really, really well but a growing number of them are just strugglin' to get by. That's not my idea of Amer'ca. I don't want that future for you; I don't want that future for my daughters. I want this forever to be a country where everybody gets a fair shot and everybody's doing their fair share, and everybody's playin' by the same set of rules.
RUSH: Then get out of the way, sir.
You're the obstacle. Your policies are the obstacle.
Get out of the way.
Basically, you have Barack Obama running against all the traditions and institutions that have defined our greatness. Barack Obama is running against America here. He's running against... I don't even know how many of these kids are paying taxes? He's making a speech here to people that this doesn't even relate to yet. Here's the next bite that we have for you.
OBAMA: Michelle and I, we've been in your shoes. Like I said, we didn't come from wealthy families. So we... When we graduated from college and law school, we had a mountain of debt. When we married, we got poor together.
OBAMA: We added up our assets, and there were no assets. And we added up our liabilities, and there were a lot of liabilities. Check this out, all right? I'm the president of the United States.
OBAMA: We -- we only finished paying off our student loans about eight years ago. That wasn't that long ago. And that wasn't easy. Especially because when we had Malia and Sasha, we're supposed to be saving up for their college educations, and we're still paying off our college educations.
RUSH: There you go. There you go. Whine and moan about his student loans. Don't show any leadership. The woman who raised him was the vice president of a bank! Barack Obama went to private schools all of his life. The woman who raised him was the vice president of a bank. He got into Harvard; he got into Columbia. He's trying to poor-mouth it here. This is a man who's never had a nine-to-five job, by the way, folks. Anyway, he's losing the youth vote. We just had the story. The youth vote is abandoning Obama. "One in Two New Graduates are Jobless or Underemployed." I'm telling you, you've gotta trust me. It is not cool inside the White House. It's not going at all the way they intended.
The fundraising is raising a lot of money, but not nearly as much as everybody had thought. And this is actually kind of embarrassing and pathetic, to be trolling for audience for the Jimmy Fallon show. Have Jimmy Fallon and Steve Colbert. I think Colbert is there. I think I read that. Maybe not, but Dave Matthews is there and they're all attracting half the crowd that he did on his own four years ago. And now whining and moaning about his student loans. (interruption) I didn't hear the bigger-than-life reverb there, but it'll be back. It's back, the bigger than life, the God reverb, ah, it shows up now and then. You can guarantee it will happen at the Democrat convention.
ABC: Obama's Student Loan Push Helps Him Court Crucial Young Voters
AP: 1 in 2 New Araduates Are Jobless or Underemployed
Mediaite: Young Voters Trending More Republican According To New Poll
Rushlimbaugh.com - CNN: Obama Crowd Half the Size of '08
Comedy: The "Paper of Record" Promises "Hard Look" at President Obama
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.
Misfit Politics (conservative opinions with a younger edge)
Push Back Now; a conservative news site:
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